Daily Archives: November 11, 2014

SCUBA club offers unique opportunities to UWF students

Members of the UWF SCUBA Club diving at a shipwreck in Pensacola. Photo courtesy of UWF SCUBA Club Facebook page.

Members of the UWF SCUBA Club diving at a shipwreck in Pensacola.
Photo courtesy of UWF SCUBA Club Facebook page.

Kyle Treadway
Staff Writer

The University of West Florida SCUBA Club not only offers students an extracurricular activity, but also gives them valued experience before heading into their career field.

The club allows those with a maritime biology and marine archeology, or similar major to become SCUBA certified and gives them diving experience while saving money.

The club is a part of the UWF Recreation and Sports Services.

“Our main goal is to get reduced pricing for students so it is cheaper for them to go diving,” club president Jamie Glynn, senior, said.

“It isn’t necessarily the cheapest sport around, and in order to get people out there we have our own gear so our members can use it as long as they pay membership fees.”

The membership fees for the club are $20 or a semester or $30 for the fall and spring semesters. Those fees go toward the cost of dive trips and equipment for the club. There are currently around 70 members in the club.

The club mainly dives off of local beaches, off of Fort Pickens or onto shipwrecks. Over spring break, the club takes trips to premier dive locations around Florida.

“Sometimes we go diving down in the (Florida) keys,” senior Nathan Oliphant, club vice president said. “There’s a bunch of shipwrecks down there so we try to get there.”

Recently, the club hosted an underwater pumpkin carving contest a week before Halloween.

They also recently joined the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to help with a process called oyster bagging.

This process involves bagging oyster shells from restaurants around Pensacola into mesh bags. Oyster bagging helps to oxygenate the water and helps to promote reef growth.

Another part of the club’s community service involves cleaning the entire pool in the UWF Aquatic Center every two weeks.

The club also trains members that have no prior SCUBA experience to become certified.

“We offer all types of levels of SCUBA certification,” junior Jennifer Smith, club secretary said. “We start off with the first level, open water certification, then move on to advanced and so on.

“We go all the way from open water certification to master diver,” she said.

While most of the club’s members are maritime biology and maritime studies majors, it is not restricted to those majors. Any UWF student is welcomed to join the club.

For a student with no SCUBA experience, it takes two weekends to become open water certified and begin SCUBA diving.

The club usually meets every Monday in Building 58 Room 101 from 7 to 8 p.m. Midway through the semester, the club changed it schedule to only meet every other Monday. The club’s next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 17.

For additional information, students are encouraged to contact the club’s Facebook page or email the club’s officers at scubaclub@uwf.edu

Valdosta eliminates UWF in GSC semifinal match

Ashley Seifert
Staff Writer

The University of West Florida’s women’s soccer team dropped out of the Gulf South Conference running when the Valdosta State Blazers defeated the Argonauts 2-1 last Friday.

After a defensive struggle to see who would come out on top, the Blazers (10-6-2, 9-2-1 GSC) took the lead in the 26th minute when forward Maegen Doyle, off of midfielder Karly Lenz‘s assist, propelled the ball past goalkeeper Katelyn Burkhart’s defensive stance and netted the first goal of the game.

Blazers’ midfielder/defender Kim Caitlin Alderman helped her team pull even further ahead when she launched the ball into the top right corner of the net with seven minutes to spare in the first half.

During the second half, the Blazers brought forth a strong defense in hopes of denying the Argos (12-6, 9-3 GSC) a chance to turn the game around.

However, freshman Georgia Bailey found an advantageous hole in the Blazers’ defense and scored in the 83rd minute.

Head coach Joe Bartlinski said that although his team wasn’t able to outlast the Blazers to secure a place in the GSC finals, he still felt this game afforded them a great learning opportunity.

“I’m happy for our seniors. They worked very hard to get where they are,” Bartlinski said. “For such a young team, however, this is unfamiliar territory to them. Valdosta State has a lot of seniors compared to us, so of course they showed a little more maturity from the start of the game.”

Bartlinski added that it was their maturity that made all the difference in the grand scheme of things.

“I feel as though we were as well prepared for the game as we possibly could be,” Bartlinski said. “We have sixteen new kids this year, so this one marked their very first tournament.”

Bartlinski said that, fortunately, this learning opportunity would provide them with a little more experience and a little more knowledge going forward.

Freshman forward Hugrun Elvarsdottir agreed on that point.

“We worked really hard during the second half, but we should have come together sooner to show our real game and to show what we’re actually capable of,” Elvarsdottir said. “We should have played our best for 90 minutes rather than the 45 we ended up scoring in.”

Elvarsdottir said that although herself and her teammates prepared for this game just like they would any other, their mentality during the first half was off by a little.

“We should have brought in more positivity and worked better as a unit. Not only that, but I personally think we should have gone with a penalty in the last minutes,” Elvarsdottir said. “That way, we would have finished the game earlier.”

The GSC semifinal round included the Argos, the Blazers, the University of North Alabama Lions and the University of West Alabama Tigers. The Lions’ 1-0 defeat over the Tigers resulted in a final match between the Blazers and the Lions on Sunday at Brosnaham Park.

Valdosta State went on to win the 2014 GSC Women’s Soccer Tournament Championship, shutting out North Alabama 3-0.

‘Against All Odds: The Art of the Highwaymen’

This painting by Harold Newton is currently featured in "Against All Odds: The Art of the Highwaymen” exhibit in downtown Pensacola. Photo by Kyle Treadway

This painting by Harold Newton is currently featured in “Against All Odds: The Art of the Highwaymen” exhibit in downtown Pensacola.
Photo by Kyle Treadway

Kyle Treadway
Staff Writer

Paintings from artists who overca

me segregation in the 1950s to produce more than 200,000 works in 20 years are currently on display at the Voices of Pensacola Multicultural Resource Center in downtown Pensacola.

The traveling exhibit was funded in part by an Arts, Culture and Entertainment (ACE) grant.

The 23 paintings with the exhibit, “Against All Odds: The Art of the Highwaymen,” feature the natural and cultural history of Florida. The paintings range from depictions of the state’s swamps and beaches under a sunset to cotton fields and steamboats.

The Voices of Pensacola hosted an opening reception for the traveling exhibit on Nov. 7 from 5-7 p.m. and welcomed both members of the University of West Florida Historic Trust and UWF students.

The paintings were on display throughout the first floor’s main room, along with a presentation showcasing the 26 African-Americans who made up The Highwaymen.

“The Highwaymen earned their living creating paintings on the side of the road,” said Malinda Horton, interim executive director of the UWF Historic Trust. “They mainly traveled up and down the east coast of the United States.”

Students were also in attendance for the opening reception.

“These are excellent works of art,” graduate student John Hancock said. “I’m glad UWF was able to showcase this exhibit.”

UWF president Judy Bense was also in attendance.

“This exhibit is not only important to southern history, but Florida history as well,” Bense said. “This story exemplifies a silver lining of segregation in the 1950s.

The Highwaymen were self-taught landscape artists and used a technique called “fast grass” to create their paintings. The technique used a knife to quickly pull color in various directions to give it the look of thick, unruly grass.

Photo by Kyle Treadway

Photo by Kyle Treadway

This technique was created by Alfred Hair, according to the exhibit’s description.

Instead of using a blank canvas, The Highwaymen used Upson board. To prepare the board, a knife was used to lay down a thin undercoat of paint. A knife was used again to build up the scenery in the painting.

Galleries around Florida and the rest of the South both shunned and refused to buy their work, so the Highwaymen turned to traveling and selling paintings out of the back of their cars.

Originally, the Highwaymen charged around $35 for a framed painting. Today, an original painting might cost up to $45,000, according to the exhibit’s description.

The exhibit will be on display at the Voices of Pensacola until Dec. 28. The building is located at 117 East Government St. Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

The Voices of Pensacola will also be hosting a presentation by Gary Monroe, writer of “The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters” on Dec. 5 at 5:30 p.m. This presentation is also free and open to the public.

The opening reception for the traveling exhibit was on the second day of Pensacola’s Foo Foo Festival, a 12 day celebration of the city’s cultural history. The festival takes place from Nov. 6 to Nov. 17.

Events in the festival include the Japanese film festival, performances from the symphony orchestra and Jerry Seinfeld, and the third annual craft beer festival.