drug prescription

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

PAC Turning Heads

The Performing Arts Center at South Mountain Community College, or PAC, as it is more commonly known in the area, is more than an arresting looking building.  Housing a theater, recording studio and classrooms, the building serves practical functions, and more subtlety symbolic ones.  As a visible symbol of the type of reconstruction and revitalization that is occurring daily in South Mountain District, the PAC is much more than the sum of its parts. It could very well be the physical embodiment of the ambitions of a community coping with the demands of the new while handling the needs of the present with an eye open to the future.
Accessible from 24th Street and just north of Baseline Road, the contents concealed behind the austere post-modernist building may surprise many.  Spanning 24,600 square feet, the PAC consists of a multi-purpose class room (7,600 square feet), scene shop, costume shop, make-up lab, dressing rooms and a 350-seat theater. It also houses a more modest 100-seat theater that can multi-function as a recording studio, a venue for experimental productions or simply as a rehearsal hall.
The Performance Hall is the one part of the building the public may be most aware once entering, and it is just as unexpected as the eye-catching exterior.  If the outside of the building is a study in sharp lines and bold geometric shapes, the interior is a departure entirely.  Although contemporary, the first thing that strikes the visitor is the curving wood walls.  Flowing like waves, they are attention grabbing and certainly lend a decidedly organic look to a building built on economical expression.
Designed by Phoenix-based architecture firm Jones Studio, the interior is inspired by the shape of a violin case. The curvaceous walls are constructed of eucalyptus wood and reminiscent of their source.
Founded in 1979, Jones Studio is lead by brothers Eddie and Neal Jones, with the duality of the PAC clearly a reflection of their working relationship.  Conceptualizing projects in different ways, they make it clear that it is the result of the “tensions” between them, the two brothers, that in turn result in buildings that are created to be harmonious solutions coming from very different places.  That could very well explain the warm wooden curved interior of PAC resting inside a building built on some strong and severe lines. 
It is an interesting dichotomy that could be interpreted as a metaphor for the differing forces working in South Mountain.  “Drawing inspiration from society’s cultural response to nature,” as an objective in design, it is perhaps not too much of a stretch to see the building as a personification of the goals of not only South Mountain Community College, but the area.  As art projects spring up around Baseline Road, and new homes and developments continue, it is the rapid pace of the new existing along with the historic to the area that is becoming something of a duality that is very much shaping the area. The fact that an architectural form is reflecting that is more than just a coincidence.
Augmenting the sculptural feel of the interior and exterior, the Foyer plays host to a hand-blown glass sculptural installation that appears to miraculously emerge from the wall.  Created by Tucson artist Tom Philabaum, the bright colors and organic flowing forms that make up “Baseline Bouquet” are colorful interjections that were no doubt created to commemorate the many flower farms that once graced Baseline Road.
“The new facilities will enhance performing arts education at S.M.C.C. and also will provide an outstanding opportunity for the entire community to enjoy the performing arts close to home,” said S.M.C.C. President Ken Atwater.  Apparently, that mission has already been accomplished.
Guests like internationally recognized poet and author Maya Angelou have made visits to the center (this was in 2003 for the Center’s grand opening), with an increasing number of programs coming the Center’s way.   Last March, the PAC hosted The South Mountain Community Jazz Festival featuring Dr. Jeffrey Jacobsen, Michael Blake and Henry Rose. The Phoenix Symphony has played multiple times.
With programming and attention being drawn to both SMCC and the PAC, it may not be surprising that the center has gained some notoriety.  Southwest Contractor Magazine’s Best of 2004 Editor’s Choice Awards listed PAC in the December 2004 issue.  In January of 2005 the PAC was featured along with five other performing arts centers from around the United States in Architectural Record magazine along with full color spreads. 
Naturally drawing artists of all kinds to the center and brining diversity to the area is part of the mission of both the PAC and the SMCC.  What many may not be aware of is that there are periodically free programs taking place, as well as those with minimal cost.  The center maintains a web calendar that lists up coming events, of which there are several taking place at almost any time.  For those living in the South Mountain area, the center is providing a place to have fine art experiences that are not confined to those enrolled at SMCC exclusively. 
With a busy schedule of events for the public, “An Evening of Classical Hits” featuring Robert Belinc, guitarist and Andrew Grams, conductor is slated for February 27th  at 7 p.m. at the performance hall. Admission is $10 for the general public and $ 7 for students with a valid SMCC I.D. card.
Web site: www.southmountaincc.edu/performingarts
The Performing Arts Complex
South Mountain Community College
7050 South 24th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85042
Phone: 602-243-8000
See web site or phone for scheduled events

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!