UToledo School of Visual and Performing Arts

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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.


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


UT Art BFA Students Create Mural in Carlson Library

A few years ago, The University of Toledo’s Carlson Library took delivery of a special piece of campus history — a set of hands from the University Hall clock tower.

Now those brass hands are the focal point of a two-sided mural being painted near the library’s circulation desk by two students in UT’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Program as part of the library’s experiential learning initiative.

“We always wanted to display…” (Click link to read more.)

Timeless art: Pair of UT fine arts students incorporate old clock tower hands into mural at Carlson Library


Congratulations UT BioDesign Challenge Team of 2018

 

Photo of UT students who participated on the BioDesign Challenge 2018 UT TeamAnnouncing the The UT Biodesign Challenge Team, Madeline Tomczak, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree in environmental science in May; Domenic Pennetta, a sophomore majoring in art; Jesse Grumelot, who graduated in May with a bachelor of science degree in bioengineering; and Lucya Keune, a senior studying visual arts. The team competed on June 21 and 22, 2018 and are the winners of the Outstanding Field Research Award at the 2018 International Biodesign Challenge Summit in NYC. The Biodesign Challenge course was taught by Department of Art, assistant professors, Eric Zeigler and Brian Carpenter Read more…


2018 MOMENTUM – FREE 3-DAY ARTS & MUSIC FESTIVAL

SEPTEMBER 13-15

DOWNTOWN TOLEDO (PROMENADE PARK, IMAGINATION STATION OUTDOOR AREAS)

Momentum photo of event with title

University of Toledo School of Visual and Performing Arts faculty and students are involved in the festival in a BIG way! We are presenting several attractions this year. Look for us on Saturday afternoon at the Mini Maker Faire (Noon-6 p.m.).  The Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning. Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.

UT ATTRACTIONS AT MOMENTUM

Image of faces made on 3d printerALL TOGETHER NOW

JULIA LABAY DARRAH + YUSUF LATEEF (ALUMNA AND UT PART-TIME FACULTY)

All Together Now combines aspects of play, sculpture, and installation using interchangeable life-size forms. These lightweight sculptures will feature a conglomerate of images of the human body and will be placed on a stage, inviting participants to interact with the forms to create a “family photo”.

Image of flags with fish drawings on them, in preparation for the Dialogue with the River interactive art projectDIALOGUE WITH THE RIVER

BARBARA MINER (UT PROFESSOR OF ART, CHAIR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ART)

Dialogue With The River will be a group completed project, enabling hundreds of people to participate in the creation of an aesthetically engaging, temporary work of art. Based on Tibetan Prayer Flags, hand silk-screened flags with environmental information about the Maumee River and Lake Erie printed on the colorful fabric will be created. The flags will be available for individuals to write on and create “dialogues”, “wishes” or “pledges” for the health of the river and the lake. The customized flags will then be strung on the tent like uprights, creating a moving wind-driven sculpture. The idea is that the wind will carry the good wishes and the promises out into the world in hopes that the newly gained awareness of the river’s plight will influence the choices each of us makes. Didactic materials from regional and national groups such as Partners for Clean Streams, The Black Swamp Conservancy, and the Nature Conservancy will be available for visitors.

Assistant professor of theatre, Matt Foss, prepares part of a large scale puppet for the Eco Parade at MomentumECO PARADE

MATT FOSS (ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF THEATRE, UT DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE AND FILM)

Eco Parade showcases our community water source biodiversity, ecological need, and health with aims at improving our collective relationship and stewardship of the system as a whole. The parade will feature large format puppets and performance, live music, and community created objects; everyone will be invited to participate in the processional.

Graphic image demonstrating how the bubble butt game worksBUBBLE BUTT

SABA: SAM SHEFFIELD + BARRY WHITTAKER
(SHEFFIELD – BALTIMORE ARTIST, WHITTAKER – ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ART, UT DEPARTMENT OF ART)

Players will work as a team to explore a surreal and humorous landscape as a pair of sentient pants. Players must work together by bouncing on a convoluted, two-person, human-powered interface to control each leg of the pants avatar as it journeys through a series of ridiculous obstacles and distractions. Enjoy this work on Saturday, September 15th at the Toledo Mini Maker Faire.

Image of a person at recording consoleSTEM

MATTHEW DANSACK + SEBASTIEN SCHOHN (UT ART ALUMNI)

Stem is a digital interactive media project using multiple song stems (tracks of one or two instruments used to make a song) to allow participants a chance to create new song compositions. By interacting with an installation of amps, record crates, and digital technology, users can arrange the stems to create and download a song. Special thank you to Vincent Chiaverini for guitar samples.

UT BIODESIGN CHALLENGE PROJECTS AND BIOMATERIAL DEMONSTRATIONS

Professors Brian Carpenter and Eric Zeigler, along with UT students, will present Biodesign Projects by student teams that will engage with the greater public in a dialogue about real-world issues and potential solutions through biotechnology. Students will exhibit their prototypes along with their research.  Many of the prototypes made use of a 3D printer, CNC lasers, and CNC routers.  Additionally, UT faculty Brian Carpenter and Eric Zeigler will be performing simple biomaterial demonstrations. These demonstrations explore low-tech methods and materials that encourage playful interactions, to stimulate creativity, enabling the end user to tinker, design and build their own devices and realize the potential of imagination.


UT art therapy students put their learning into action!

Learning by Doing & Pouring (from April JJC Newsletter)

The basement of the Juvenile Justice Center served as an art studio for University of Toledo students enrolled in the “Media and Methods in Therapeutic Art” course, on Monday, April 2.

Instructor Renée Obrock had her students convene at the Juvenile Court, meeting up with court-involved youth and Probation staff Tim Bauerschmidt, Bill Weis, Lisa Demko, Kristen McClain, Angie Morgan, Elizabeth Sepeda, Kineka Wallace, and Ed Cox, and East Toledo Family Center staff, Makayla King, Onna Moore, and two interns.

The group activity involved a combination paint and resin pour on top of wood plaques. Over 60 wood plaques were prepared for the two different art sessions. The work space was broken up into stations for each of the precise steps involved: from mixing the paint, combining the components for the resin, to selecting paint colors and creating.

The UT students, whose majors ranged from Psychology to Disability Studies to Women & Gender Studies worked alongside youth and staff.
  Therapeutic Art Workshop, students creating.   Students working

Ms. Obrock, who has a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts and a Masters of Art Education, said class, “Media and Methods in Therapeutic Art,” hadn’t met the minimum number of registrants in a while, so she created a flier to drum up participation. The flier, circulated beyond the Art Education department to the Psychology department, helped promote the class beyond the usual majors. In short order the class filled, resulting in an opportunity for expanding the teaching of therapeutic art to non-art majors. She first became aware of the Juvenile Court’s Positive Youth Justice focus in probation through Joe Szafarowicz.

While waiting, the UT students shared the stories of the paths that brought them to this particular class and inspired their career choice. One of the students shared that while on a mission trip to Central America a language barrier was easily hurdled by “communicating through doing,”
-Marty McIntyre, JJC


Roger Ray Humanities Institute – “I Got a Lust for Life”

A one-day public program that began in Detroit and finished in Toledo explored the impact of the African-American Great Migration on literary and musical expression in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

The program, “I Got a Lust for Life: The Unique Words and Sounds of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan,” included panel discussions, poetry readings and musical performances on Saturday, Jan. 20, in Detroit at Wayne State University and in Toledo at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library and Toledo Museum of Art.

The program began in Detroit with panel discussion at Wayne State University’s Schaver Music Recital Hall. The panel included Ben Blackwell, co-founder of Third Man Records and official archivist for the White Stripes; John Gibbs Rockwood, Toledo author of the 2014 book “Can I Get a Witness” that features his photographs of iconic rock, pop, blues and folk musicians performing in the region during the early 1970s through the 2000s; Ramona Collins, Toledo-based popular jazz singer; and Oliver Ragsdale Jr., president of the Carr Center, a community hub for African-American artistic expression in Detroit.

Roger Ray Humanities I Got a Lust for Life
Detroit morning event (Schaver Music Recital Hall, Old Main, Wayne State University)

“I Got a Lust for Life” then moved to Toledo, where Tyehimba Jess performed a poetry reading and held a book signing at the McMaster Center of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library. Jess is a 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning poet from Detroit whose work has focused on music, biography and African-American history. He read read from “Olio,” his award-winning collection of poetry that weaves together sonnet, song and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded, African-American performers from the Civil War to World War I.


McMaster Center, Main Library, Toledo Lucas County Public Library
McMaster Center, Main Library, Toledo Lucas County Public Library

The program  concluded with a panel discussion in the Glass Pavilion of the Toledo Museum of Art with Jess; M.L. Liebler, a Detroit-based, award-winning poet and editor of the anthology “Heaven Was Detroit: From Jazz to Hip-Hop and Beyond”; Frances Brockington, associate professor of voice at Wayne State University; and Dr. Lee Ellen Martin, jazz vocalist and Jon Hendricks scholar.  Mack and Duchan moderated the discussion, which was followed by a musical performance  by UT Jazz students an alumni.

Audience inthe TMA Glass Pavilion
“I
Got a Lust for Life” in the TMA Glass Pavilion.

“I Got a Lust for Life: The Unique Words and Sounds of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan” was sponsored by the Roger Ray Institute for the Humanities at The University of Toledo, which advocates for and supports the study of human culture — from a great variety of fields — at all levels of learning and scholarship. Additional support for the program was provided by UT, WSU, the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, Toledo.com and the Toledo Museum of Art.


UT Art Alumna Ani Avanian is interviewed by Boston Voyager

Boston Voyager found my work on Instagram a few weeks ago and we ended up doing an interview. It was a good opportunity to reflect on years of decisions that led me to where I am today. Read all about the hustle.  Ani Avanian's website

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ani Avanian.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My drawing professor and mentor in college, Diana Attie, once told me, “Keep doing what you love and keep your eyes open for opportunities. Good things will definitely happen.” I don’t even know if she remembers telling me this, but it was Diana’s response to my “What do I do now that I have an art degree?” In 2006 I was graduating from the University of Toledo with my Bachelors of Fine Arts, proud, but terribly stressed out about getting my first job out of college. How would I become financially self-sufficient and yet do what I love every day? It sounded very abstract at the time, but it all came together in a very unexpected way. Read more…


University of Toledo’s art foundry fires up imagination

Artist Chad Rimer remembers the electricity he felt working in the foundry at the University of Toledo’s art department like it was yesterday.

“I miss the rush, the excitement, the glowing metal, the heat,” he said recently from Brooklyn, where he works as production manager for internationally known sculptor Tom Otterness. “You don’t know how your casting is going to turn out. It was fascinating to see what happened; did you do everything right, did it turn out well? It’s like opening a Christmas present.”Photo of metal pouring at UT

(Read full article – Toledo Blade online)


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