Student Voices
Introducing The Reclaimed Wood Network!

Jack Barbour was awarded the Valley Business Keynote Entrepreneurial Scholarship, which supports local arts-based entrepreneruial projects that serve the Harrisonburg community. VBK, a group of local business leaders, annually partners with the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts ot make the award.

Barbour, an architectural design major, is investigating how natural resources, public sector work and community engagement intertwine with architectural design, focusing on how sustainable architecture helps local communities. Working in partnership with the Harrisonburg Public Works Department, he has developed the Reclaimed Wood Network, an initiative that repurposes reclaimed wood beyond rebuilding structures.

Currently, the Reclaimed Wood Network is curating exhibitions of sets made from reclaimed oak and ash wood, providing a platform for local artists to display their work. Barbour is also constructing a boat from local rescued wood, to inspire the fishing community to incorporate sustainability in public waterways.

Jack Barbour boat
Jack Barbour boat
Moments of Introspection – Nihal Koyash

Nihal KoyashNihal oil on canvasNihal Koyash, pursuing her B.F.A. in studio art, participated in Becoming: Pendulum, one of three instalations presented in the School of Art, Design, and Art History’s 2024 Senior Capstone class. Though Koyash works primarily in oil paint, she worked with Leah Stoddard and other student artists to craft a collaborative exhibition across a variety of mediums.

Since arriving at JMU, Koyash has been an active member of the National Academic Art Fraternity, Kappa Pi, serving on the executive board for the 2023 fall semester. Through Kappa Pi, Koyash has been taken part in local exhibitions and community engagement through ArtFest, a fundraising arm of Any Given Child.

Meet Unaccompanied, JMU’s upper voices acapella group!

UnaccompaniedCelebrating their first tour performance at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, Va. this semester, a year since the release of their first EP in March 2023, without u,Unaccompanied hopes listeners connect with the vibrant energy and emotion infused within their voices, emphasizing the team’s sisterhood and individuality. Citing inspiration from indie artists such as Maggie Rogers, Hozier, and Phoebe Bridgers, the team’s sound continues to evolve alongside the various interests and strengths of the group, with their repertoire reflecting the eclectic and joyful group of people behind the music.

Abby Pond, a new member of Unaccompanied, encourages incoming students to get involved – even if the first step feels intimidating: “Joining [Unaccompanied] was the best choice I’ve made since I’ve come here, and I hope that I can encourage new students to put themselves out there and meet new people.”

In April 2023, Unaccompanied celebrated their spring concert, “Xoxo, Unac”, performing their traditional song, “Kaleidescope Heart,” with alumni. Looking forward, the team will host their 15-year reunion next spring, and continue fundraising for the Save the Music Foundation and towards a new EP.

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