UToledo School of Visual and Performing Arts

ART ALUMNI SUPPORTING INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY – ANDREA PRICE

Andrea Price and her artwork titled Not My Art History.

Andrea Price and her artwork, “Not My Art History,” 2019.

The UToledo Department of Art is proud to feature our alumni who are supporting inclusion and diversity in their careers and artistic activities.

Artist Andrea Price, BFA ’19, resists an accepted Eurocentric perspective of art and beauty that represents people of color in positions of oppression. In her opinion, historical images of slaves that are considered beautiful are nothing more than the representations of black people created by those who colonized and enslaved them. Seeing these images in an art history class awakened a passion in Price to contribute to a new vision. “My heart literally broke, and I got angry because,” she asked, “why is the esteem that we hold in art attached to European views of what art should look like? That really began my journey to decolonize, to think … how can we create art that involves everyone; where I see myself in a piece of art; where other people of color can see themselves and know that they’re beautiful; and it’s not through the perspective of our white comforts?” Price told SHELOVES Magazine.

Get you Some Sensitivity Thanks, 2019 - Andrea Price

“Get You Some Sensitivity, Thanks” 2019, Andrea Price

Price creates art that denies those representations and introduces a different perspective that celebrates artistic diversity. Using drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and fiber art, Price weaves a new image of the African American experience through these media, focusing her work on social justice in relationship to people of color.

SHELOVES Magazine’s interview with Price features her art piece, “Not My Art History,” a powerful fiber-based work that reimagines history’s views of black art and black beauty.

“I hope that you can search your heart and see this piece and think: Huh, is art history really completely Eurocentric? Is what I’ve been taught from a very young age very Eurocentric, and why is that? Why are we not talking about all of the indigenous cultures that create beautiful things that we like to label as savage, as lesser-than, but not understanding the level of intelligence it takes to create something because they’re doing it with meaning?” Price says.

Rug of Equality, 2020, Andrea Price

“Rug of Equality,” hand crocheted 4’m 2020, Andrea Price

Price advocates for the recognition of black artists, such as one of her favorite artists, Carrie Mae Weems. “Even throughout my whole educational experience, I think one thing that gets brought up so often is Kehinde Wiley. And I love Kehinde Wiley, but he is not the only person of color that is creating art about people of color,” Price told SHELOVES Magazine. She says that it’s necessary to backtrack through decades of the works of other artists and cultures that are “equally beautiful.” She says the writers of our history books are not telling the full story.

SHELOVES Magazine video interview.

Instagram: @andreaandherart

 


Art Alumni Supporting Inclusion and Diversity – Alicia Disantis

The UToledo Department of Art is proud to feature our alumni who are supporting inclusion and diversity in their careers and artistic activities.

Alicia Disantis, BA ’08, combines a set of artistic and entrepreneurial skills that have led her to establish a successful design and marketing firm, 38th & Kip, in Denver, Colorado. She also serves as brand manager at Aux in Lakewood, Colorado, where she develops and executes brand strategies that drive company recognition and profitability.

Her writing, graphic design and marketing expertise come together in marketing campaigns that include website design, print collateral, videos and trade show materials. Disantis’ own company provides creative pieces in various industries that include professional services, manufacturing, non-profit, technology and more. In the non-profit sector, Disantis has volunteered pro bono design services, including developing a targeted infographic for the Feline Foundation of Greater Washington, an animal welfare organization.

She founded 38th & Kip in 2010 with a mission to provide Illustrated Magazine Ads - Client: CU Service Network“exceptional, fairly priced marketing and design services to improve people’s lives.” Disantis’ business philosophy aligns with living in a just world, where fairness and equality are the norm, and the injustices of racism and bigotry are not tolerated. She says on the 38th & Kip website that her company is “committed to a better tomorrow.”

Disantis, who earned her bachelor’s degree in Studio Art, New Media, at UToledo, said about her professor, Deb Davis, “You know, I think of your classes often. You were challenging but your principles and passion for art stuck with me.” Alicia also earned a master’s degree in Arts, Entertainment and Media Management at Columbia College in Chicago. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from both colleges. She notes that she is inspired by retro design, Scandinavian minimalism, street art and bold colors. As an avid backpacker, she has traveled through many countries, stopping to visit as many museums as possible.

Product Promo Illustration Client: CU Service Network

Product Promo Illustration Client: CU Service Network

Product Promo Illustration Client: CU Service Network

Illustrations and type are hand-drawn, then scanned and colored.

Product Promo Illustration Client: CU Service Network

Create concept and illustrations for product ads and a series of educational events that focus on specific services.

Aux Rebrand Client: CU Service Network

Aux Rebrand Client: CU Service Network

All rights 38th and Kip.


Art Alumni Supporting Inclusion and Diversity – Caroline Jardine

The UToledo Department of Art is proud to feature our alumni who are supporting inclusion and diversity in their careers and artistic activities.

Caroline Jardine, BFA ’17, BA Education ’16, identifies with art on a variety of levels — her personal artwork, the community-driven, public mural projects she leads and the creative expressions of her young students.

As a teenager, Jardine was introduced to place-making while she apprenticed for the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo. Through her passion for community-based art, Jardine became further engaged with local residents and arts practitioners, creating and leading mural projects, installations and other collaborative projects for organizations, businesses, schools and community events.

Caroline Jardine working on a mural in downtown Toledo with muralist Maya Hayuk.

Caroline Jardine working on a mural in downtown Toledo with muralist Maya Hayuk.

Her 2020 work includes a collaboration with fellow muralist Maya Hayuk, whom Jardine assisted on a mural highlighting the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Maya Hayuk has been my favorite muralist for years, so this was so meaningful to

Momentum Toledo Alphabet Project

me to be able to not just meet her, but work with her,” says Jardine. The year also saw Jardine working on a project for local business owners of the Stubborn Brother pizza restaurant, a project in which she hand-lettered all of the text.

Two additional Toledo projects from 2020 include a board-up mural at 1105 and 1109 N. Huron, and an interactive spray chalk mural on the grounds of the Toledo Museum of Art. Caroline was also the lead designer for the first Community Collaborative artwork for the Arts Commission Momentum ’20. The “art-by-number” pieces that were broken into smaller 6″ X 6″ squares completed by the community and placed within a larger installation on Adams Street.

Children and adults join Caroline Jardine on her TMA sidewalk art project.

New work by Caroline Jardine

Images: Caroline Jardine

Jardine, who teaches 6- 12th-grade art at St. Ursula Academy, blends Ukrainian symbolism into her personal, mixed media artworks to represent themes of identity, connection and history. “When working on personal artwork, I allow my own voice to guide the process,” says Jardine.

Voice is a significant distinction between her personal and public artworks, she says. “I believe that when leading a community mural, the mural must be informed by the members of the community; my voice should not be the loudest in the room. In creative place-making, community members lead the direction of the artwork. My role is to listen, ask questions, and facilitate the creation of an artwork that is representative and reflective of the voices of the community.”

BCAN video features the community mural work of artist/educator/muralist, Caroline Jardine.


Art Alumni Supporting Inclusion and Diversity – Jym Shipman

Diamond in the Rough cast image.

Diamond in the Rough title.

The UToledo Department of Art is proud to feature our alumni who are supporting inclusion and diversity in their careers and artistic activities.

Jym Shipman is currently the Member Experience Coordinator for the Sylvania YMAC/JCC at YMCA of Greater Toledo.  Jym Shipman, BFA ’04, reaches thousands of readers every week all over the world with his LGBTQ comic strip, “Diamond in the Rough.” Shipman launched the comic strip on his birthday, May 25, 2013, intending to expand the audience for stories about LGBTQ people. “My goal was to produce an LGBTQ comic strip that was family friendly,” says Shipman. When he decided to share his storylines, most LGBTQ comic strips focused on adults and many were sexualized.

“I want my readers to leave my strip with the ‘warm fuzzies,’ he says. “Even though many of my storylines are serious, I try to spin them in a way that uplifts the readers. It’s what I look for and read in the strips I follow.”

Portrait of Jym Shipman, artist of the LGBTQ comic strip "Diamond in the Rough."

Two fellow cartoonists, Bart deGraaf and Tom Batiuk, offered Shipman support and nudged him to put his art out there for the world to see. He took their advice. While “Diamond in the Rough” began on Facebook, it now is published on Webtoon, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Flickr, Reddit, Boredpanda, Tapas, Ello, and Tagpacker.

In the past, Shipman’s strip appeared in print, but most of the traditional print publications are either obsolete or transitioned to online only. “Universal Click and Comics Kingdom are the two all-in-one big players of the day,” says Shipman about current sites featuring LGBTQ comic strips. “It brings me joy knowing that the voices in my head that brought me comfort as a gay child and now as an adult are being viewed in physical form via “Diamond in the Rough” — not just locally or in the United States, but all over the world.”

Creating “Diamond in the Rough” helps heal the tough experiences of living an LGBTQ life, says Shipman, as does the feedback from his audiences. “Being LGBTQ is not a curse. It’s a blessing.”


UToledo Faculty Members’ Play Wins 6 Theatre Awards in Chicago

The Chicago production of a play written and directed by Dr. Matt Foss and designed by Stephen Sakowski, both associate professors of theatre at The University of Toledo, has won six out of the seven nominations it received for the prestigious 2020 Non-Equity Jeff Awards.

Similar to the Tony Awards in New York, the Jeff Awards recognize Chicago’s top theater each year.

This battle scene is from the 2019 production of “All Quiet on the Western Front” at the Red Tape Theatre in Chicago.

“This is the first time a production that began in this department has ever gone on to a professional version and several professional awards,” said Dr. Edmund Lingan, professor and chair of UToledo’s Department of Theatre and Film. “We are extremely proud of Matt Foss and his team.”

“All Quiet on the Western Front” won for Best Production of a Play and for Best Ensemble —two of the top awards in Chicago theater each year. Two UToledo alumni, Austin Rambo (Theatre 2019) and Bianca Caniglia (Environmental Science and Women’s Studies 2018), were part of the Chicago production’s ensemble cast.

The production also was won awards for Best Choreography (Leah Urzendowski) and Sound Design (Dan Poppen).

Sakowski received the award for Best Lighting Design of the year, and Foss the prize for Best New Work.

Dr. Matt Foss, associate professor of theatre at The University of Toledo

Dr. Matt Foss, associate professor of theatre at The University of Toledo

Foss adapted Erich Maria Remarque’s historic novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” for the stage, and it premiered at The University of Toledo with a student cast in fall 2018 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, the war in which the novel is set.

The professional premiere of the play featured a unique collaboration between The University of Toledo co-producing the production with Red Tape Theatre and the Greenhouse Theatre Center — two professional companies in Chicago. UToledo’s support resulted in an extension of classroom learning in a professional setting, with Sakowski and a number of former students also participating in the project. The opening of the production culminated in a showcase event highlighting the UToledo College of Arts and Letters’ commitment to the arts, student experiences and innovation.

In 2019, the play received the Kennedy Center’s David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award, recognizing the year’s outstanding new work premiered at a college or university.

More information about the 47th Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards can be found at jeffawards.org.


UToledo Theatre and Film faculty Matt Foss translates his play to the online world, creating an interactive theatre learning experience

Dr. Matt Foss, and cast members from his play, “Faithful Friends” (left to right) Sarah West as Julia, Erik Pearson as Valentine, Emily Hawkins as Silvia, and Crabbe as Himself

Dr. Matt Foss, an assistant professor of theatre with The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film, wrote and directed a play that was originally intended to be performed live and taken on the road to elementary schools. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down performances, he had to successfully translate the production to the online performance space and lesson plan to help those learners now at home. The play premiered online today.

Foss originally created the play, “Faithful Friends: An Adaptation of the Two Gentlemen of Verona,” in late January and has been working with the company’s staff and leadership to build the interactive modules and workshops that accompany it over the past week. The work was created for PreK-6 grade students and to tour to elementary schools. It was created in partnership with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks (MSIP), a theatre he has worked with in the past, and its Montana Shakes! program, an elementary school outreach tour seeks to make Shakespeare and other classic works accessible to young people.

Scene from the online production of “Faithful Friends” by Dr. Matt Foss, assistant professor of theatre at The University of Toledo

“Working with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks was a foundational experience early in my career. They provide free and public art across the mountain west and their mission relates closely to what I have found and seek to do here in Toledo” says Foss.

Four of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks’ teaching artists, who are safely quarantined together, filmed the play and created lesson plans through the interactive learning platform FlipGrid. To convert the project to online, Foss enlisted the help of UToledo film student, Jarrett Cunningham.

“I’ve been teaching myself to edit as fast as I can the past week, but Jarrett was able to work remotely and close my learning and ability gap to help get the performance out to students and their families as quickly as possible”

The play and lessons will be available on Montana Shakespeare in the Parks’ YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBdb7l5OuPc. Teachers who want to use the Flipgrid materials at https://flipgrid.com/montanashakes will need to have an account on the app. More information can be found on the MSIP website: https://www.shakespeareintheparks.org/

Cast and Production Crew

  • Samual Cheeseman……………Proteus
  • Emily Hawkins……………………..Silvia
  • Erik Pearson………………………..Valentine
  • Sarah West…………………………..Julia
  • Crabbe……………………………….…Himself

Written and Directed By Matt Foss

Special Thanks to: Our Student Volunteers who submitted videos -Paul Heitt-Rennie and Montana PBS -Christus Collegium

PRODUCTION TEAM

  • Claudia Boddy…………….Costume Designer
  • Stacy Hostetter……………Properties Designer
  • Matthew Foss……………..Sound Designer
  • Gordon Carpenter…………Technical Director
  • Anna Neikirk……………….Production Manager
  • Jesse Mooney-Bullock……Puppet Designer
  • Jarrett Cunningham……….Video Editor
  • Katherine Norman…………Education Director
  • Sarah Stanek………………Stage Manager
  • Emily Cowles………………Stitcher

UToledo Art Faculty Work Published in International Research Journal

University of Toledo Art Department faculty Eric Zeigler (assistant professor of art, Art Print Center coordinator) and Brian Carpenter (assistant professor of art, gallery director) received international recognition for a course they designed for the department. Their paper “Engaging Tools” was published this week by the international research organization, Architecture_Media_Politics_Society (AMPS) in its conference publication, “AMPS Proceedings Series 17.1. Education, Design and Practice – Understanding skills in a Complex World.”

Students working with tools in the Foundations of Art Studio Technologies at UToledo

Students working with tools in the Foundations of Art Studio Technologies at UToledo

Zeigler and Carpenter’s paper covers the development and implementation of a course they designed for The University of Toledo Department of Art – Foundations of Art Studio Technologies (FAST). The purpose of the course is to enhance a student’s understanding of themselves as “tool-users” and to reinforce the importance of agency that is developed through the process of “making.”

Brian Carpenter, Gallery Director and assistant professor of art at the University of Toledo

Brian Carpenter, Gallery Director and Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Toledo

The paper’s introduction states, “The paper examines…our approach for creating an environment where students understand the physical, historical, and philosophical relationships between tools; can operate and discern the components of tools, and begin to create a foundation to become a manually competent knowledge worker.”

Eric Zeigler, UToledo Assistant Professor of Art and Coordinator of the Art Print Center

Eric Zeigler, UToledo Assistant Professor of Art and Coordinator of the Art Print Center

“I would add that the course is a foundational component in a college career where an understanding of the components of the systems we live within needs more scrutiny and analysis than ever before,” Zeigler said.

The FAST course has been offered at UToledo since 2016 and is greatly appreciated by the students who have taken it. One remarked anonymously in a course evaluation, “I love that we are able to learn something conceptually, and then immediately apply it hands-on. This isn’t common in most classes, and I really appreciate this.”

The paper was presented last June at the AMPS conference. A compilation of all the papers presented was published this week and back dated to the date of the conference. https://architecturemps.com/proceedings/

Citation:
Zeigler, Eric; Carpenter, Brian. “Engaging Tools.” In: Ellyn Lester (ed.), AMPS Proceedings Series 17.1. Education, Design and Practice – Understanding skills in a Complex World. Stevens Institute of Technology, USA. 17 – 19 June (2019). pp. 160-165


UToledo Film/Video Alumnus makes a dream come true as film, “Dream Runner,” streams on Amazon Prime Video

Scene from DREAM RUNNER by James Aponte, featuring Jeffrey Burden, II as “Julian”

The film DREAM RUNNER (2020) by University of Toledo alumnus James Aponte (Film/Video ’16) is now streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video. It is included with Prime to its subscribers. The film’s national debut on Amazon is a major step forward in Aponte’s effort to take his film to mainstream audiences.

In announcing the film’s release, Aponte said on Facebook, “It’s been two years of navigating distribution, but I am so happy to say that as of today my feature film ‘Dream Runner’ is now streaming on Amazon Prime!”

UToledo Theatre and Film Department chair, Dr. Edmund Lingan says he is thrilled that Aponte’s film is receiving national play, but not surprised. “As a UToledo student – and later as a professional filmmaker – James always proved to be that rare blend of artist and entrepreneur that leads toward professional success. Our department has been proud and happy to support his work from the beginning, and I am sure this is only the beginning of a series of successes in his career that I will enjoy watching.”

The film’s subject matter leans toward sci-fi, as the film’s opening text makes clear, “Humans no longer dream. Now man made, dreams are sold in supermarkets, drug stores, and fueling stations. Certain dreams are declared illegal by world governments and organizations. Patrons turn to Dream Runners to attain these illicit fantasies.”

Watch the film is available on Amazon Prime Video

Watch a trailer for DREAM RUNNER by James Aponte

A host of UToledo and Theatre and Film Department grads star in and helped create this film:

CAST
“Dana” – Olivia Pierce (Theatre ’16)
“Phil Donahue” – Jamal Knight (actor)
“Drake” – Ian Davis (2014)
“Robbie” – Nolan Thomaswick (Theatre ’16)
“Julian” – Jeffrey Burden II (Theatre ’16)
“Rene” – Christina Pinciotti (Theatre ’17)
“Victoria Kingsley” – Samantha Campbell (Theatre ’17)

PRODUCTION TEAM
Executive Producer/Director – James Aponte (Film/Video ’16)
Producer – Nick Kostelnak (Film/Video ’15)
Producer – John Eidemiller (Communication, faculty)
Music – Stephen Mariasy (Film/Video ’15)
Cinematography – Andre Lewis (Film/Video ’18)
Production Management/Assistant Director – Marcus Jordan (Film/Video ’17)
Guitar – Ryan Dalton (Music, Jazz Performance ’17)


University of Toledo Department of Art student’s work receives local and national recognition and exposure

Summer Daze a color pencil drawing by artist Alaina Coote depicts image of a woman with long hair wearing in a sun hat

“Summer Daze” (color pencil drawing) by Alaina Coote, Art Student at The University of Toledo

Alaina Coote, a sophomore studying graphic and interactive design with The University of Toledo Department of Art, has received some important recognition and exposure for her work locally and nationally. Three of her color pencil drawings were chosen by a local hospital for display, and one, which also appeared locally on digital billboards, has been chosen to be published in a national calendar. Coote’s teacher, Barry Whittaker, associate professor of graphic and interactive design, said, “Alaina is putting her work out there, just as we discussed in class. I’m glad she is getting recognition for all her hard work.”

Coote’s work, “Summer Daze,” appeared in the UToledo Art Department’s annual Toledo area Digital Billboard Exhibition. The exhibition featured 21 pieces that were displayed on area digital billboards in January and February.

In addition, the drawing was chosen to be in the upcoming 2020 CURE® calendar, a national calendar created by CURE magazine, a national cancer information publication serving nearly 1 million readers among cancer patients, cancer centers and advocacy groups. The CURE webpage announcing the calendar winners states that, “Selected by a panel of judges, the artwork of the 12 winners exemplifies the beauty and creativity that can arise from the challenges of the cancer experience. Created using a variety of media, the pieces served as a therapeutic outlet for the artists and will inspire all those who view them.”
“Summer Daze” is from a collection of Coote’s drawings, which all feature women. The collection was inspired by her own personal life, having witnessed the experiences of her mother and grandmother who both battled cancer. “I saw how cancer had the ability to shape and change a women’s self-esteem and femininity. Cancer shaped their ideas about themselves and gave me a mature perspective about the psychological impact of the disease…This work is to serve as an encouragement to the women as they are battling cancer, portraying the power, beauty, femininity and strength that each woman has within themselves.”

“Summer Daze” (color pencil drawing) by Alaina Coote“Summer Daze” is also among three of Coote’s drawings that will soon be hanging in theWomen’s Specialty Center of Wooster Community Hospital in Wooster, Ohio. Michelle Quisenberry, director of marketing and public relations at WCH Health System, said she was impressed with Coote’s work and style. She felt that the pieces fit well with the center’s mission of serving the women of their community. Quisenberry added that the statewide shutdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus has delayed the framing and hanging of the pieces. The hospital will install the artworks when they are returned from the framer.


UToledo Art Students Organize Exhibition at Toledo Museum of Art

Image of the painting of Henrietta Catherine Cholmley and Son by Sir Joshua Reynolds

“Henrietta Catherine Cholmley and Son,” 1761, oil on canvas, by Sir Joshua Reynolds is included in “An Inspired Age” exhibit curated by UToledo students.

(Re-posted from UToledo News)

“An Inspired Age: Selections of 18th-Century European Art From the Collection” will open Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Toledo Museum of Art in Gallery 18.

“An Inspired Age” is organized by The University of Toledo Department of Art students in Art Museum Practices Exhibition and New Media Design Practices courses under the direction of Dr. Thor J. Mednick, UToledo associate professor of art history, and Dr. Lawrence W. Nichols, the William Hutton Senior Curator, European and American Painting and Sculpture before 1900 at the Toledo Museum of Art.

 

The temporary exhibition, running through Jan. 5, features 13 paintings and three sculptures.

The exhibition course, which is the last of three classes in the art museum practices curriculum, offers students the opportunity to work with a Toledo Museum of Art curator to develop an exhibition using works of art from the museum’s permanent collection. The purpose is to give students a hands-on understanding of the workings of a fine arts museum and to prepare them for a career in this field.

“The Toledo Museum of Art has a vast collection, and this allows visitors to see some of the art that has been off view while providing students real-life experience in many aspects of curating an exhibition,” Nichols said. “It has been rewarding to see the next generation of museum professionals use their education to develop this exhibition.”

The opportunity has been invaluable for the students, Mednick explained.

“Working with a world-class, private museum is a rare opportunity in museum studies courses,” Mednick said. “And to have the thoughtful and generous help of a senior curator is extraordinary.”

“An Inspired Age: Selections of 18th-Century European Art From the Collection” is sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council with additional support from 2019 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica.

Admission to the Toledo Museum of Art is free. The museum is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; and is closed Monday and major holidays. Thursday evening hours are sponsored by Huntington Private Client Group.

The museum is located at 2445 Monroe St. at Scottwood Avenue. It is by the Center for the Visual Arts on the University’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus.

For general information, call 419.255.8000 or 800.644.6862, or visit the Toledo Museum of Art website.

Toledo Blade article about the exhibition


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