Thursday Oct 10, 2019

Art gallery features H.O.P.E. 

Artists from around the world share their message 

PHOTO BY Jeff Sigmund
The H.O.P.E. banner, which hangs in the Iowa Hall Art Gallery, is a collaboration between artists from across the globe. “H” was created by artist Melissa Collins - Cedar Rapids, “O” created by artist Awa F Bakr - Iraq, “P” created by artist Vanila Van - Iraq and “E” by artist Mike Stenerson - Iowa City.

BY Jeff Sigmund, Sr. Photo Editor

“More Friends Than Mountains” by Jason Everett, is the title of the photo exhibition of Syria children in refugee camps, which is being held in the Iowa Hall Art Gallery through Nov. 15. 

Everett is a free-lance photographer and writer who is based out of Cedar Rapids. He earned a degree in Liberal Arts at Kirkwood Community College and transferred to the University of Iowa where he earned a Bachelors in Arts in International Relations. 

His work focuses on international conflict but his interest spans urban environment and social life. His aim is always to find creative ways to make a difference in the world. 

 Q: What moved you toward photography? 

A: “My interest in photography coincided with my interest in world people; international relations and current events - through my first experience of leaving the country which was to Iraq with the US Army.

 The experiences I had, being in the middle of the conflict in Iraq, with the multi-ethnic people and soldiers, was trans-formative as they enabled me to connect deeply with the humanity of diverse people through a wide spectrum of shared emotional experiences.  

I felt like everything I was feeling, seeing and experiencing was important to capture for myself and others, so I started photographing everything and writing a lot.” 

Q: How did you select the title for your exhibition?  

A: “I chose ‘More Friends Than the Mountains’ as the title because of the old adage ‘no friends but the mountains’ that expresses the Kurdish historical experience. 

I wanted this project to show diverse people coming together in friendship, Kurdish and Americans, to encourage and inspire people living in challenging circumstances.” 

Q: What are your plans for upcoming projects? 

A: “I have a lot of irons in the fire, some are projects that belong to other people and I want to support them. I have some projects I’m working on. The “HOPE Mural Project” has been a global wall mural project my project partner Nancy Bartosz (Chicago schoolteacher and “HOPE Travels” founder) and I have engaged in 16 countries with a few dozen artists. 

We are going through the process of developing some community wall mural events in Illinois and Iowa.” 

Q: Do you have any advice for students? 

 A: “I’ll borrow a Cheryl Dunn quote from the documentary “Everybody Street.” Make things about your life. What do you have access to that maybe is inaccessible to other people? Go there and go deep and that should be one of your projects. And see where you get with that. 

Really, these are things I’m pondering for myself as I think what’s important to me. Maybe somewhere in there is some advice.” 

Student can view Everett’s  work at the exhibition that runs through Nov. 15 with a reception on Nov. 14 in the Iowa Hall Gallery.

Movie Review
'The Shining'




BY Dakota Gesling, A&E Editor

‘The Shining’, the all-time classic written by Stephen King and directed by Stanly Kubrick has been remastered from the original 1980 footage to the 4K screen in theaters. For those who have seen the film before, there is no difference to the story or who plays the characters; however the imaging itself is enhanced beautifully.  

The trend of re-mastering older films and releasing them into theaters is one that has been adopted by the film community in recent years. This re-mastering has been brought to the big screen to show Jack and all his insanity at Wehrenburg Marcus Theaters complete with extra features after the film also in 4K for the viewers’ pleasure.  

For anyone who has not seen ‘The Shining,’ the suspenseful film is one that will shock and entrap you entirely. The film shows Jack, a middle-aged writer who is enlisted to maintain a hotel in the Colorado mountains during the winter when the hotel is shut down. Jack brings his wife and child along.  

The family soon learns that they are not the only ones at the hotel however they are the only ones alive at the hotel. With Jack becoming more and more irritated as the film progresses the relationships between the three main characters becomes stressed and soon becomes violent.  

With the tensions rising in the hotel and Jack losing more and more of his marbles, the story of the hotel begins to bring itself to the surface. The high pitch tones and unique filming styles of the classic horror genre bring a tone to this thriller that sends chills down your spine through every scene.  

Finally the descent into madness brings Jack into the fold of the hotel and finally forces him to a maddening finale. With his wife forced to face him and try to save their son in a last ditch effort jack tries to fulfill he wishes of the hotel, he viciously hunts them in the hotel that he dragged them to. 

The suspense of the film, empowered by the sound and disturbing images of the movie, keeps the viewer both horrified and enthralled completely as Jack wields his ax with ferocity. This is where the line “Here’s Johnny!” is first brought to the big screen, to be quoted by movies, television shows and people alike for decades. 

The film ends in what some might argue as an anticlimactic chase through the hedge maze that has inspired memes for years in the end. The film’s resolve only begs more questions however with the character of Jack’s true story being revealed in a very Stephen King fashion. Even in the end, with all it’s mystery, the film is suspenseful, luring and all around beautiful film, made even better by the wonderful re-mastering into 4K.

A Recommended Read for Kirkwood Students

The Annual Kirkwood Library Featured Book

BY James Dykeman, Managing Editor

Most years in the past decade, the Kirkwood Library has selected one book title that it believed the student body would enjoy and find value in reading, as well as a prompt for discussion and dialogue with fellow students, according to Julie Peterson, Librarian at Kirkwood Community College.

The selection for this year was Binti, the first entry in a trilogy of short science fiction novels, written by Nigerian-American author Nnedi Okorafor, that became available in the library on Oct. 1st.

Kate Hess, Digital Services Librarian, read the novel and described it as a book that, “tells the story of a young woman named Binti who leaves her sheltered, traditional, home community to travel across the galaxy to a university she had dreamed of going to for years.”

Hess adds, “You might think this sounds like a tender coming-of-age novel, but I would describe it as more of a non-stop action-adventure Africanfuturist alien-pirate coming-of-age novel, all packed into 90 pages. I would love to tell you more about it, but I’d much rather let it grab you from the very first sentences, as it did me: “I powered up the transporter and said a silent prayer. I had no idea what I was going to do if it didn’t work.” Now: go grab your own copy of Binti and read the rest!”

Students who are interested in reading this year's selection were encouraged to visit the library top pick up a copy, which is available now.

Tuesday Oct. 1, 2019

Joke of the Week

Submitted BY Riley McMurrin

joke graphc
The Bi-weekly Comic

Students Struggle

WRITTEN BY Debra McRoberts
Tuesday Sept 24, 2019

Fun Fair at Horticulture building features games for students

PHOTO BY Jeff Sigmund
Chris Smeed Parks and Natural Resources tosses a beanbag while Brenden Whitt Parks and Natrual Resources waits to make his play on Sept 24.

PHOTO BY Jeff Sigmund
The sandbag rest on the edge of the game board, during a game of Cornhole at the Fun Fair on Sept.16

PHOTO BY Jeff Sigmund
Quinn Franklin Parks tosses a frisbee towards a goal during a game of Go Gater on Sept 24.



Tuesday Sept. 24, 2019

Movie Review
'IT: Chapter 2'






BY Dakota Gesling, A&E Editor

The final chapter of the Stephen King creepy clown series is one that brings the story of our favorite group of kids to a resounding end. The film does not feature as many frights as the first but does not leave the audience craving anymore horror than they have already received.  

Between the gory nature of the demonic clown, Pennywise, and the well-written character development that only Stephen King can provide, viewers are left changed, for the good and the bad.  

Each character is brought back to the town of Derry and must go through a trial all on their own. These trials are ones that Pennywise does not go about lightly. Each character must face him on their own, each time getting equally more dangerous and personal. 

As the story progresses it is realized that not everyone will leave alive and no one is safe. With the first main character death coming in the first 15 minutes of the movie, nothing is granted in this horror de clown. 

The film boasts an almost three-hour time-span but fills every minute perfectly. As things escalate the group of friends are drawn back to the horrible house that they charged into in the first film to face the demon once again. This time however they have a plan. 

As Pennywise displays more and more power over the group they are forced to fight harder than they ever have before. With the film coming to an ultimate and climactic end, grief and cheer are welcomed feelings by the group.  

The band of fear fighters is faced with an unforeseen betrayal but does not let it stop them from putting up the fight of the century against the dancing clown, with the story coming to an end that prevents the possibility of a third film.  

For some fans they wish there was more, others are glad that they won’t be seeing the demonic dancing clown again. Regardless of whether you are a gore groupie or despise horror movies, “IT: Chapter 2” brings to the audience not only an amazing story but a true fright film.

Tuesday Sept. 17, 2019
<strong>PHOTO BY Dedric Roundtree <strong><br>Members of Kirkwoods Arts and Humanities department perform during the Faculty Recital held in Ballantyne Auditoruim on Sept. 12. Left to Right are Dr. Kim Seong-Silkim, Mary Jane Cluassen, Dr. Benjamin Laur, Dr. Allison Holmes-Bendiyen, and Dr. Fred Kiser.
PHOTO BY Dedric Roundtree
Members of Kirkwoods Arts and Humanities department perform during the Faculty Recital held in Ballantyne Auditoruim on Sept. 12. Left to Right are Dr. Kim Seong-Silkim, Mary Jane Cluassen, Dr. Benjamin Laur, Dr. Allison Holmes-Bendiyen, and Dr. Fred Kiser.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 12, 2019

Shifting attitudes on body art  

Travis Kalmomi, Liberal Arts, has a tattoo of Michael the Arc Angel on his left leg.

PHOTO BY Dakota Gesling

On Kalmomi’s right leg is a family inspired rose-key tattoo.

PHOTO BY Dakota Gesling


BY Dakota Gesling, Arts and Entertainment Editor


In the past tattoos were considered taboo. Today they are conversation pieces and have grown in popularity. The art of tattooing is estimated by some to go back as far as 3370 BC and has been known to be used for religious, tribal and identification purposes. 

The culture around tattoos has changed however in recent generations that has led to a change in the way that tattoos are viewed.  

What was once looked down upon in recent years as a sign of the uncivilized is now seen for it’s creative purposes as art and expression. 

People get tattoos for reasons that are very meaningful to them that no longer fit the origins of tattooing. Now many people seek “body modifications” such as different styles of tattoos, gauges and piercings, scarring, sub-dermals and others.  

Travis Kalmomi, a counseling major at Kirkwood Community College, said tattoos were previously related to tribal and gang symbols. He then went on to say, “Now it’s normal.”  

Where before someone could very easily be denied a job for having certain pieces of body art, now in the workplace they are conversation pieces. When asked if every one of his tattoos has a reason, Kalmomi replied, “They all have meaning and every one is personal.” 

This is a mentality that is shared by many people which has led to tattoos changing from a cultural taboo to a way to connect with other people and express their life stories.  

With society increasingly becoming more accepting of new forms of art and expression; fear and discrimination against tattoos has begun to become a thing of the past. In the meantime, people choosing to get pieces that are easily covered may find more acceptance as society adjusts to a new form of expression. 

THURSDAY, SEPT. 12, 2019

Star of ‘The Voice’ plays on campus

Musician Kristen Merlin preforms for the audience during  Kirkwood Kickoff sponsored by Student Life and held in the Rec Center on Aug. 25.

PHOTO BY Juana Jones


BY Juana Jones


Music filled the Rec Center as students welcomed performing artist Kirsten Merlin to Kirkwood Community College for the first event of Welcome Week. 

Merlin is a country music singer best known for placing in the top five of in ABC’s show “The Voice” in 2014. 

She was picked to be on Shakira’s team during season six of the show which is now in season 17. Although living in Nashville, which is known for country music, she is well versed in several genres from rap to old country.  

At the event, Merlin played songs from famous artists such as Pink, Taylor Swift, Eminem and Johnny Cash. 

In addition to her own lineup of songs Merlin took requests from the audience. Following her hour-long performance Merlin took a few minutes before packing up to chat and take pictures with students. 

After taking a few photos with students, Merlin said, “Kirkwood is amazing, this has been the most entertaining crew to play to and I did not want to stop.” 

In addition to live music the first 500 students who arrived received a free t-shirt and food. This event was sponsored by Kirkwood Student Life and food was provided by The Café which included hamburgers and hot dogs. 

Kirkwood staff also set up several games students could play such as cornhole and pool.

Jessica Earle, Liberal Arts, said, “The event was well organized and the food was good. I thought the singer was talented and she had the crowd singing along. When the concert was over, she did a lot of pictures and it was a good way to start the school year.”


THURSDAY, SEPT. 12, 2019

Hypnotist strikes Kirkwood

Hypnotist Brain Imbus makes student volunteers dance during a special event during Welcome week in Johnson Hall on Aug. 29.

PHOTO BY Dedric RoundTree


Hypnotist Brain Imbus puts the participating students to sleep during his visit to the campus on Aug. 29.

PHOTO BY Dedric RoundTree



THURSDAY, SEPT. 12, 2019

MOVIE REVIEW: Ready Or Not for some ‘killer’ fun with the new in-laws



BY Dakota Gesling, Arts and Entertainment Editor


The film “Ready or Not” boasts a cast of fresh actors who play their intended roles to the tee. The story follows a young lady marrying into a wealthy family known as the Le Domas that is well known for their mystery, money and power. 

The film starts on the young couple’s wedding night, one that the bride would never forget but not for a night of her dreams but one from her nightmares. 

Grace, the young bride played by Samara Weaving, soon is brought into playing a game with the family, one that almost everyone knows as fun and playful. This proves to be far different for the rich family as they take it a step further and in this game of Hide and Seek, if the hider is found, they are killed. 

Grace must navigate a house that is unfamiliar to her for an entire night while dodging death at every corner and trying to reconnect with her new husband, Alex, played by Mark O’Brien, to escape. 

Things become dicey as the film builds to its climax and characters make their last stands. Character development is a small factor in this film but in the few characters who change, they change drastically.  

Each player of the game must make their decision and not everyone lives. The final betrayal brings forth emotion displayed by the young actors to perfection and changes things for the family forever. 

The film follows a series of movies that are based on childhood games, Truth or Dare, Would You Rathe and many others. This, like the others, adds a twist to the game but still brings its own individuality to the mix by adding to the family history of the antagonists. 

“Ready or Not” brings to the table the same premise as similar films in recent times with individuality and fresh but great acting that brings the film to a climactic and surprising ending. 



Image courtesy of admin | Kirkwood Communiqué