All courses will meet at the Waters-Moss Memorial Wildlife Preservation Area, primarily in the Moss Building and occasionally in the Hillcrest Community Center unless otherwise indicated.

Contact Osher@Mizzou

Email or call 573-882-8189.

To register for classes, call 573-882-8189.

Friday courses

Spring 2019 Semester

Potpourri of the Arts [4 SESSIONS]

9:30 – 11:00 a.m., Moss A
Fridays: March 15, 22; April 5, 12, 19, 26; May 3, 10 

Each semester, Osher invites the movers and shakers of mid-Missouri’s arts scene to discuss, display, perform and showcase their work. Join us for this grab bag of arts topics.

Coordinator: Carolyn Dye

March 15: A Closer Look at the Novels of Anne Bronte 

Anne, the youngest Bronte sister, published two novels in her short lifetime. Though overshadowed by her elder sisters’ more famous novels, Anne Bronte’s novels feature a writing style, topics and characterizations that are compelling and highly readable. Agnes Grey is a short but very powerful look at the life of a governess in 19th century England. In it the heroine Agnes Grey faces numerous difficulties, but with spirit, hard work and perseverance, ultimately resolves them and finds both spiritual and personal love. This is an amazing first novel for 27-year-old Anne Bronte. The Tenant of Widlfell Hall, Anne’s second novel, is written in epistolary and diary style. It is an insightful, harrowing, and moving account of a woman who leaves an abusive marriage and successfully makes her own way in the misogynistic world of 19th century England. Both novels feature female protagonists very much like Anne herself, young women of modest means, but high intelligence, quiet determination and deep inner resources. We will also delve into the imaginary world of Gondal, the shared-world adventures, that served Anne and Emily Bronte as both imaginative outlet and literary training ground. 

Instructors: Mike Trial worked as a civil engineer with the Corps of Engineers for 30 years at various locations in the United States and around the world. He is now retired, living on the family farm near Columbia, and spends his time writing novels and reading great literature. 

March 22: A Day in the Life of a Missouri Contemporary Ballet Dancer 

Go in-depth with professional dancers to learn what it is like to work for Missouri Contemporary Ballet. Experience a condensed version of what a normal class entails, as well as a full explanation of rehearsals and what goes into the creation and execution of each performance. As the artistic/executive director of Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Karen Grundy’s unique experience is reflected in her fresh and innovative style, which combines her classical ballet and modern dance training with a twist from the productions of Las Vegas, resulting in work that’s accessible to all. 

Instructor: Born and raised in Las Vegas, Karen Grundy began dance training at the age of 3. By age 8, she was training in modern dance with Ronnie Greenblatt, who trained under Martha Graham. Karen’s extensive classical ballet and jazz training was under the direction of Inez Mourning and Belinda DeBecker. Her love of contemporary ballet was discovered in working side by side with L. J. Ballard as a dancer and as an assistant choreographer. Grundy has taught master classes throughout the country, and in 2000, Karen was recruited to teach at Columbia Performing Arts Centre, where she taught for nine years. She then moved forward with her ultimate dream of building a company. Missouri Contemporary Ballet launched in 2006 and has since grown from a handful of dancers and annual performances to a multi-level operation with members, apprentices and trainees, as well as a not-for-profit school and numerous outreach programs. 

April 5: An Introduction to the Unbound Book Festival 2019 

Unbound is a book festival that celebrates literature of all kinds. This year’s fourth annual festival is scheduled from April 18-20, 2019. Events will take place at various venues around Columbia, including a keynote address by Booker Prize winning author George Saunders on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Missouri Theater. There will be a full day of events on the campus of Stephens College on Saturday. Nationally acclaimed writers and poets across many genres will come from around the country to talk about their writing. With programs for fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children’s literature, there is something for 

everyone. Come and learn about the exciting array of authors and poets who will be attending this year’s festival and the creative panels and conversations we have planned. You’ll learn about some of the new events for this year and get hints and suggestions about how to plan your day in order to make the most of the event. 

Instructor: Alex George is the founder and artistic director of the Unbound Book Festival. He is the author of six novels, including A Good American, which was a national and international bestseller, and Setting Free the Kites, both of which were published by Penguin. He also has his own law firm and is the owner of Skylark Bookshop that opened in downtown Columbia in August 2018

April 12: Vicariously Accompany Sharon Kinden on her Road Scholar Hands-On Glass in Chihuly’s Seattle Adventure 

With no previous experience in working with glass, Sharon will take you into the Pratt Center “hot shop” where heat waves radiate off the 2,000-degree molten glass which she will gather on her blowpipe as she makes a glass paper weight and black and gold blown globe. Through photos, watch as she creates glass beads and a colorful fused plate. Next, you will travel to Tacoma, Chihuly’s hometown, with stops at the Tacoma Art Museum, his six glass displays at Union Station, his Bridge of Glass spanning a major highway, and the Museum of Glass. More glass studios and glass galleries will culminate at Chihuly’s Garden and House of Glass in Seattle Center. If you aren’t familiar with Dale Chihuly’s stunning glass creations, you will be after this class. If you are familiar with Chihuly, you will race home to make travel plans for Seattle.. 

Instructor: Known for her thrilling travel tales and stunning photos in Osher’s “Travels With Sharon” series, Sharon Kinden loves to travel. Having visited 77 foreign countries and all seven continents, but only 26 U.S. states, she is now focusing on more domestic travel. 

April 19: Documentary Short Film Baby Brother – A Screening and Discussion 

Local filmmaker and MU professor Kamau Bilal’s short documentary film, Baby Brother, premiered last year during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, and appeared on The New York Times’ website as part of its Op-Docs series. Osher students will watch the stunning 14-minute film and hear from this up-and-coming artist, recently named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine. Kamau’s previous short film, Crown Candy, co-directed with True/False Film Fest’s David Wilson, premiered at DOC NYC and won the grand jury prize at the St. Louis International Film Festival, an Academy Award qualifying event. 

Instructors: Kamau Bilal teaches film production classes at MU, where he is infusing a new generation of filmmakers, “with a desire to reject the expensive industrial process, currently known in our industry, with the hope that average people alike will be given the time and space to speak in the language of cinema.” 

April 26: Caravaggio, Bad Boy Genius of Baroque Art 

This session will focus on the life and work of the Italian baroque artist, Michelangelo Merisi (Caravaggio), who lived from 1571 until 1610 and is considered by some art historians to be one of the greatest painters in the Western tradition of art. The presentation will touch on his chaotic personal life but will primarily focus on his art. We will examine his secular and religious paintings with attention to his innovative realism, depiction of dramatic action, use of lighting (chiaroscuro and tenebrism) and portrayal of intense psychological states. We will discuss the controversies provoked by his commitment to realism in art and his profound influence on other artists. 

Instructors: Robert (Robin) Blake is a docent at the MU Museum of Art and Archeology. Previously, he gave a presentation at an Osher session on Representations of Medicine in the History of Art. He has studied art history at the university and has visited many art museums in the U.S. and Europe. He has personally seen 25 of the approximately 50 original paintings by Caravaggio (his favorite artist) that are known to exist. 

May 3: The Pursuit of Happiness in the Founding Era 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”– Declaration of Independence (1776). Scholars have struggled to understand what the American founders meant when they included the unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence. Eighteenth-century political philosophers often made a distinction between “fleeting” and “temporal” happiness, and “real” and “substantial” happiness. The first is a happiness rooted in emotion, disposition or circumstance. The second is happiness in the classical sense of eudaimonia – well-being or human flourishing that results from living a life of virtue. To pursue “real” and “substantial” happiness was a theological, political and scientific endeavor. It assumed human free will, required a political status of liberty, and relied on the scientific processes of observation and experimentation in order to identify the principles that would enable a human, or government, to be truly happy. This session will consider the pursuit of happiness across a variety of 18th-century intellectual traditions, and explore its usage in two key legal texts of the founding era, William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England and the Declaration of Independence. Special thanks to the University of Missouri Press for partnering with Osher on these author visits. 

Instructors: Carli N. Conklin, J.D., Ph.D., is an associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Law and an associate professor of Constitutional Democracy at the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy. She is the author of The Pursuit of Happiness in the Founding Era: An Intellectual History, published by University of Missouri Press

May 10: Hot Summer Nights Music Festival 

The Missouri Symphony has produced and presented a summer festival in Columbia for the past 37 years, and this is the 16th year it has been named Hot Summer Nights Music Festival. This has grown into the largest music festival in a three-state region, with more than 20 concerts in five weeks. The Festival is anchored by the Missouri Symphony Orchestra, a fully professional Symphony Orchestra comprised of musicians from across the U.S. Last year the orchestra’s 60 musicians came from 11 states. Come hear about the 2019 line-up of classical, pops, silent movie and community concerts, beginning June 1st. Maestro Trevor will also present some of the challenges and interesting facets of being a professional orchestra conductor. 

Instructors: Kirk Trevor, internationally-known conductor, recording artist and teacher, is a regular guest conductor in the world’s concert halls. Kirk was appointed music director of the Missouri Symphony in 2001. He is widely recognized as one of the leading conducting teachers in the world. His International Workshop for Conductors, held in Europe, is in its 29th year and draws more than 50 young conductors each year to study with him.