This Saturday, local artist Jon Kaplan and indie pop singer VÉRITÉ will take to the Bear’s Den in Willard Straight Hall for free performances, marking the 15th annual concert the WSH Student Union Board of Directors has held to honor art enthusiast Lauren Pickard ’90.
The Emerging Artists Concert Series remembers Pickard, who was an active WSH Student Union Board member, as a dedicated supporter of emerging local and student artists, according to Kristen Crasto ’17, public affairs director for the board. She said Pickard often helped to host coffeehouses showcasing artists to the Cornell community.
After Pickard died suddenly from a seizure while living in Paris, the Student Union Board launched the concert series in her memory. Each year, members of the board propose and choose performers they believe will best serve the mission of the series, according to Crasto.
“When we choose an artist, we choose someone we feel will bring the community together to remember Lauren Pickard because we feel it’s important to showcase what she used to do, which was to bring about emerging artists and let them show their talent to the Cornell community,” Crasto said.
Kaplan will open Saturday’s show, and VÉRITÉ, a native of Orange County, New York, will headline. Crasto said the board tries to select “up and coming artists,” narrowing the pool down based on preference and then finding out which of their top picks are willing to come to Cornell.
“The artists aren’t necessarily within the Ithaca community, we also try to find artists in the New York area,” she said. “We put a lot of effort into making sure that they enjoy their time here and that it’s a good experience for them.”
Casto said VÉRITÉ seemed like a natural fit because her music is “very unique.”
“We thought that her music was a very good way to bring the community together because once they listen to one song they’d want to listen to more and appreciate her music, as she is an up and coming talent,” Crasto said.
The Student Union Board hopes to make the concert experience valuable, both by honoring Lauren and expanding Cornell’s artistic community, Crasto said.
“The Board of Directors works toward creating a more informed student body and one of the missions we have is to encourage students to learn about different cultures through music,,” Crasto said. “We really want to remember what Lauren Pickard did while she was here and showcase this new artist.”