As another academic year draws to a close, I want to wish our students the very best as they wrap up the spring semester. And to those who are graduating, CONGRATULATIONS on achieving this life milestone! We are excited to watch you head out into the world and transform it, equipped with the knowledge you have acquired and the talent you have honed at the College of Fine Arts. Read on to find out more about three students who are doing exactly that – next month Design Technology graduate students from our School of Theatre, Film & Television will present at the Prague Quadrennial. Their contemporary take on a theatre classic was just one of three U.S.-based college group projects selected to participate at the most influential theatre design festival in the world.
In other news, I’m pleased to welcome three new members to our leadership team.
As many of you will know, in January of this year I took on an additional, campus-wide role as the inaugural Vice President for the Arts at the University of Arizona. In the coming months, we plan to launch UA Arts, a new division that will house the College of Fine Arts as well as our arts presenting and engagement units, including UA Presents, the Center for Creative Photography, the UA Museum of Art, the Hanson FilmTV Institute, and UA Arts in Schools. This new configuration will enable us to continue to provide world-class professional training in our disciplines while also integrating the arts across campus and throughout our region. We’ve already started work on an Arts District Master Plan that will transform the arts into the new “front door” of the university. I invite you to read more about the Arts District Master Plan below, and head over to UA News to learn more about our university’s goal to become a pre-eminent international arts destination.
I wish you a great Summer, and as always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me for any reason.
Dean, College of Fine Arts
Vice President for the Arts
In his new role as Vice President for the Arts, one of Dean Schulz’s core goals is to implement a new Arts District on the UA campus, and the Master Plan is taking shape. “Knowing that our current facilities have served us well, but that we are outgrowing them, we aim to envision and build UA Arts facilities for the 21st century – facilities that match our outstanding faculty, staff and students. We also have an opportunity here to open up the Arts District and make it more accessible and welcoming to the public – a true gateway to campus,” says Dean Schulz.
Working in coordination with UA Planning Design and Construction, and with significant input from College of Fine Arts faculty and staff, Dean Schulz enlisted Phoenix-based architectural firm DLR Group | Westlake Reed Leskosky to lead the planning effort. Lead architect Peter Rutti, a UA alumnus, gives his take:
Peter Rutti: The Arts District Master Plan looks at the entirety of the Fine Arts Program at the University and how it supports the UA Strategic Plan initiative to “establish UA as an arts destination and to integrate arts & culture throughout the UA experience.” It is the intent of the Master Plan to make connections and intersections across the disparately located College of Fine Arts departments and centers to read as a coherent sum, aligning with the UA Strategic Plan which calls for Arts Everywhere.
DLR Group | Westlake Reed Leskosky has been asked to lead a master planning effort to define how the College of Fine Arts achieves the goals of the University of Arizona Strategic Plan. We are studying the existing Arts campus to better position the College of Fine Arts to enhance its programs, create more interdisciplinary educational opportunities, and look for stronger community outreach within an identifiable district for the Arts.
We were selected by the University based on our experience successfully completing similar university Arts Master plans across the country. Some of our studies include the Ohio State University Arts District Master Plan, Penn State University College of Arts & Architecture Master Plan and the University of California Berkeley Theater Dance & Performance Master Plan.
It is an honor to be asked to help the University with such a pivotal project on the campus, especially given how highly the University values the Arts as a core element in its educational experience. This project truly has an opportunity to be transformational for the College and University. One of the challenges the team is focused on is how to better connect programs like the School of Dance, Graduate Art Labs, Centennial Hall, and Theatre, Film & Television back to the Fine Arts Campus core located along Olive Avenue. Some of the other challenges include: how to create an ‘Arts’ front door to the community, how to expose the Arts on campus, and ways to establish a Regional Arts destination. A practical challenge would be the replacement costs of existing University structures that would need to be selectively demolished to create a unifying Arts District.
I am a Wildcat. I graduated from the College of Architecture in 1995. GO CATS!
More than 30 years after it was cut from its frame, ripped from its backing, rolled up and stolen from the University of Arizona Museum of Art, Willem de Kooning’s 1955 painting Woman-Ochre is being prepared for conservation.
Through an agreement with UA, Woman-Ochre is now in Los Angeles where paintings conservators at the J. Paul Getty Museum and research scientists at the Getty Conservation Institute will undertake technical study and conservation treatment. They will work together to examine, clean, conserve, document and repair the painting – including reuniting it with its original frame, left behind after the theft.
“At the Getty we were thrilled to learn that this once-lost painting – a remarkable de Kooning – was returned to its rightful place in the collection of the University of Arizona Museum of Art,” said James Cuno, President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust. “We are deeply honored to lend our expertise in conservation to bring this painting back to its best state and on view for the public once more, and to use this as an opportunity to advance the field of conservation.”
The university and the Getty will use the project as a teaching tool, providing access to students such as a UA Ph.D. candidate in chemistry who has experience in materials analysis on paintings. The process will take approximately a year beginning in April 2019. In summer of 2020, the painting will go on view at the Getty Museum before returning to UAMA.
Read more in The New York Times.
Dr. John Milbauer, Professor of Piano, has been awarded a John F. Kennedy Fellowship to pursue a Mid-Career Master in Public Administration degree at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. HKS is a renowned school for public policy and leadership that asks—as John F. Kennedy asked—what each of us can do to benefit society. In his application essays, Milbauer framed the arts in terms of access, ethics, education policy, diversity, community engagement, and the public good in general. The Kennedy Fellowship he received was awarded to recognize “exceptional academic ability and professional distinction.”
HKS students come from a multiplicity of fields within the public, private, and non-profit sectors, and hail from all over the world. Milbauer says that he is “excited and honored to join such a robust group of problem solvers from around the globe,” noting that HKS often includes artists among its student cohorts to enhance the mission of the School: “to educate exceptional public leaders and generate ideas that help solve public problems.” Graduates of HKS include many current heads of state, former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and the recently-appointed President of the Juilliard School, Damian Woetzel, longtime Principal Dancer of New York City Ballet.
“This is a tremendous opportunity that should yield great benefits to the College of Fine Arts and UA,” Milbauer said. “In the long run, I’m looking to make more great art more meaningful to more people, and HKS will help me acquire and refine the skills to do that.” He added that the one-year research leave enthusiastically supported by Dean Andy Schulz and Director Ed Reid was an essential part of the puzzle. “I’m so pleased to have such support from CFA and the Fred Fox School of Music. They recognized the opportunity and made sure that it could happen.”
A project by three Design Technology graduate students has been selected for showcase at the 2019 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space (PQ), the largest festival of theatre and performance design in the world.
Responding to an open call, Rebekah Clark (MFA Candidate Scenic Design), Ryan B. Moore (MFA Candidate Costume Design) and Victoria Mays (MFA Candidate Lighting Design) collaborated on a production design of Alfred Jarry’s 19th century absurdist classic Ubu Roi. Their project – one of just 12 selected from 60 entrants – focused on a design that would be meaningful for a contemporary audience.
In their design, the students created an environment where modern excess and waste are directly confronted as the play unfolds around the audience. The scenic design explores the juxtaposition of waste against a high-gloss world of wealth. The costume design upcycles modern waste to create a variety of silhouettes that are reflective of fashion from the 1400s to the modern day. The lighting design explores the audience’s discomfort and disconnection from their expectations through the use of vibrant colors and stark fluorescent beams as the story spirals into chaos and madness.
On arriving in Prague in June, the students will present their work for private feedback and a critique from four internationally known scenographers. They will then present their work to the public and engage in a talkback discussion. School of Theatre, Film & Television Assistant Professor of Scenic Design Joe Klug, himself a former PQ participant, was the students’ faculty advisor: “Being selected to participate at the PQ is significant. It will offer the students an opportunity to engage in a larger conversation happening across the globe. They will meet and engage with both leading and emerging designers about the future of design aesthetic for theatre. And the event is attended by roughly 180,000 people from around 80 countries, so their work as artists will be on display for the world to see in a very tangible and literal way.”
“I think the focus and discourse of theatre tends to lean towards directors and writers and their vision,” Rebekah Clark said. “So being in this environment where designers are all talking about how to push themselves forward is really exciting.”
School of Art student and former gymnast Kennady Schneider uses art to explore race and sports. Read more in the Arizona Daily Star.