Dear Arizona Arts colleagues and friends:
We all know that maintaining routines can be an important way of coping with anxiety and stress, particularly in times of uncertainty. I would argue that this principle is as true for organizations as it is for individuals. In that spirit, I am pleased to share with you this latest edition of our Arizona Arts Monthly Update.
Although we face significant challenges of all kinds, both individually and collectively, I have been heartened to hear about the imaginative strategies our students, staff and faculty have used to continue our work, and to deepen its impact during this time of social distancing. Here are just a few examples:
And one very significant bright spot is the recent U.S. News and World Report rankings for programs in the visual arts, which place our the School of Art’s MFA in Photography as THIRD in the NATION.
I look forward to seeing you in person when the time is right, and we are able to gather once again to experience and celebrate the transformative power of live arts and the interpersonal connections they engender.
In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out about any matter; I would love to hear how you are. And remember take care of yourselves, each other, and your loved ones.
Dean, College of Fine Arts
Vice President for the Arts
Chad Herzog, executive director of UA Presents, contemplates investing in the arts for a talk with CreativeMornings. “The arts invite us to look at our fellow humans with generosity and curiosity. If we’ve ever needed that capacity in history, we need it now. We need it today. Investing in the arts empowers people.”
Master of Fine Arts theatre students Rachel Wilkins, Elizabeth Eaton and Ryan B. Moore are working on the initiative alongside Maryan Trombino-Arthur, manager of the school’s Costume Shop, to address the shortage of masks for health care workers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the need for solutions to global challenges grows, interdisciplinary graduate degrees are increasingly important. Applied Intercultural Arts Research (AIAR) is the newest GIDP and the first to focus on collaborations with the College of Fine Arts. The program is chaired by PhD ethnomusicologist, violinist, and visual ethnographer, Dr. Jennie Gubner.
The School of Art’s photography graduate program was ranked No. 3 in the nation by the U.S. News and World Report. The program moved up six spots in the publication’s peer assessment survey, taken every four years. The school’s MFA program overall jumped from No. 55 to No. 32. In a separate ranking, the School of Art’s Illustration + Design program ranked No. 9 nationally for public universities.
Professor/artist Sama Alshaibi brings elements from “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” together to comment on current sociopolitical realities in her sculptural installation “The Cessation” for the State of the Art 2020 exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Rebecca Senf, chief curator at the Center for Creative Photography, pitched and wrote the first Arizona Arts’ article for the media outlet, The Conversation, “The surprising source of Ansel Adams’ signature style,” which was republished on sfgate.com, the San Francisco Chronicle website.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of The Laramie Project, the groundbreaking play examining reactions to the murder of Matthew Shepard. The play has been seen onstage by 10 million people in 20 countries, and a further 20 million people have watched the HBO film adaptation. American Theatre Magazine honored the anniversary and those who conducted the interviews, including TFTV Assistant Professor Greg Pierotti.
The artworks from over 80 students are featured in the 2020 Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition, displayed online. Students submitted a fully-realized student statement along with six works. Faculty selected the works for the exhibition, which includes Illustration + Design, 2D, Photo, 3D Extended Media and art and Visual Culture Education students.
The TURN UP Distributed Concert 2020 is available to view on the TURN UP website. Launched on March 27, music professor Kay He and organizers hope the concert will be a special and hopeful substitute in the given situation, to celebrate art and technology.
“This sense of belonging and connection is where the mission of TURN UP Multimedia Festival came from,” He wrote. “Art has no boundaries, as artists we all belong to the same art community. Let’s go beyond the ‘border’ of a computer screen, free our creativity, and bring true equality to art and technology, and ALL feel connected by art.”
Tucson Cine Mexico film festival, the signature program of the Hanson FilmTV Institute, has been postponed until the fall. New dates to be announced.