Dear Arizona Arts community and friends,
As we bring the 2019-20 academic year to a close, I am proud to share with you the latest Arizona Arts Monthly Update with contributions from over 30 students, faculty, and staff. It features stories from across our academic and presenting units, which include the four schools of the College of Fine Arts, the Center for Creative Photography, Museum of Art, UA Presents, and Arizona Arts in Schools.
As was true across higher education, the global health crisis caused by COVID-19 forced us to make a quick pivot to delivering our courses at a distance and to work remotely. Nonetheless, the imagination and grit of our students, faculty, and staff ensured that remarkable accomplishments, events, and initiatives continued—and often took new and innovative forms. These pages detail just some of the highlights from the past month.
I am particularly proud to celebrate our students who will be graduating, and I invite you to join us for our virtual commencement ceremony tomorrow, described in the lead story. Not to be missed is a special showcase performance by the students in our School of Theatre, Film & Television highly-ranked program in Acting and Musical Theatre.
Wherever you may be reading this, I hope you are staying healthy and safe, and that you have found solace in the arts during this challenging and unprecedented time.
Dean, College of Fine Arts
Vice President for the Arts
While COVID-19 has halted many events, it will not stop the College of Fine Arts from celebrating our graduates. We will be hosting a virtual CFA Graduation celebration on May 15 at 4p MST/PDT on our new CFA Graduation website. All are welcome to join for this prerecorded ceremony which will feature student and staff addresses, College of Fine Arts showcase pieces, and much more! Join us in rallying around the Class of 2020!CFA Virtual Graduation Convocation
The 2020 College of Fine Arts and the School of Dance “Outstanding Senior” is Delphine Chang, who will be graduating summa cum laude. “Delphine has beautifully illustrated what is possible in terms of balancing her life in the performing arts while also delving deeply into scholarly research in the arts,” said Jory Hancock, Director of the School of Dance.Outstanding Senior
President Robert C. Robbins discusses the university’s effort to analyze blood samples to determine who has been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 and welcoming students back to campus in the fall with Erin Burnett on CNN’s “OutFront.”Watch the Interview
The College of Fine Arts is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Lori Wiest as the next Director of the Fred Fox School of Music, beginning on July 1. For Dr. Wiest, this is a homecoming, as she received her doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Arizona School of Music 30 years ago this spring under the guidance of Dr. Maurice Skones.
Since 1991, Dr. Wiest has served on faculty in the School of Music at Washington State University (WSU). From 2004 to 2018, she held a series of major leadership positions at WSU, including Associate Dean of the Graduate School, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Interim Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Interim Chair of the Department of Fine Arts, and Coordinator of the WSU Individual Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program.New Music Director
At the invitation of the New York Philharmonic Archives, several music graduate students — Olman Alfaro Portuguez, Donté Ford, Grant Knox, Tad Biggs, Eloy Ramirez, Charles du Preez, and Mariana Mevans Vidal — researched the Austrian composer and conductor Gustav Mahler (1860–1911), who spent his final years in New York City. The students looked into Mahler’s connection with the city, identifying locations, dates, and facts that would help the Philharmonic curate a successful virtual walking tour. The tour, part of the Philharmonic’s two-week digital festival, “Mahler’s New York,” is presented on Google Arts & Culture.First-Person Account
Led by Joe Klug, the School of Theatre, Film & Television faculty has taken to Zoom to teach seminars on such classes as scenic design, speaking with a British accent, technical direction, sound design, costume design and voice. The free seminars were attended by 150 Southern Arizona students.Arizona Daily Star article
The Center for Creative Photography has launched its first-ever mobile app, CCP Interactive. Audiences can listen to commentary about art and archival collections, enjoy unique digitally-designed photography viewings, and have immersive experiences with current CCP gallery exhibitions, like “Ansel Adams: Signature Style” and “The Qualities of LIGHT.” And much more.Download the App!
The University Museum of Art is bringing Art Sprouts Home Edition to your house, hosted by Chelsea Farrar, the Museum’s Curator of Community Engagement. Follow along with our video to learn how to create your own drawing robot by following five simple steps. A very popular activity for kids. Batteries not included.Make Your Own Robot
Sophomore Levi Powe performed on the NPR show, “From the Top,” which aired on April 26, across the country. Levi, 19, studies cello with Dr. Theodore Buchholz at the Fred Fox School of Music.Listen to Levi
Ellen McMahon, the Associate Dean of Research in the Arts, is often asked what arts research actually is. Turns out that it’s complicated. In 2018, the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities published 444 answers to that question. McMahon writes that the answer is “not simple or even possible to answer conclusively, but there’s a lot to be gained in the trying.”Intro to Arts Research
Tom Peterson’s new composition, “Quintetto Profano,” a piano quintet for five quarantined musicians, had its world premiere streamed April 30, performed by Fred Fox School of Music graduate students, including members of the Arizona Graduate String Quartet. As part of Dr. Matthew Mugmon’s undergraduate music history course, “Quintetto Profano” brings together music composition, performance, and scholarship to offer the opportunity to explore the meaning of art in a time of crisis. Made possible with support of the Arizona Center for University Education Scholarship.Watch the Premiere
Hosted by Arizona Arts in Schools’ Brad Richter, the Lead Guitar Virtual Showcase featured three guitar heroes, Alex de Grassi, Sergio Vallín and Sergio Assad, who gave advice, told stories and played their guitars for student guitarists around the world. Students submitted their own guitar playing for a very special virtual group performance of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and Carlos Santana’s “Oye Como Va.” You can watch the five-minute highlight video.
Due to an overwhelming amount of video submissions, a second showcase is scheduled with Zach Filkins of OneRepublic on May 23. Group songs for that showcase will include OneRepublic’s smash hit, “Counting Stars.” Guitarists are invited to submit videos for this showcase.
Brad Richter appeared on the NPR classical music program, “Performance Today” on May 5. Richter and cellist Viktor Uzur, in their last recorded concert, performed Brad’s piece, “Bitter the Laughter, Sweet the Tears.” The performance can be found at the 19-minute mark of Hour One.Performance Today
The Fred Fox School of Music is sad to share that dear friend, Peter Coogan, passed away on April 9, 2020. Thanks to the generosity of Peter and his wife, Debbie, the school was recently able to acquire two new Steinway grand pianos for Holsclaw Hall and Crowder Hall. We are truly grateful to Peter and Debbie, both members of the Music Advisory Board, for their support.In Memoriam
This year’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, one of the School of Theatre, Film & Television’s marquee events, took place online. Research papers by BA and BFA students were presented by theme, “The Savage Domestic,” “Violence & Entertainment,” “Making a Movement,” and “Resistances.” Students were recognized with an awards ceremony, hosted by Dr. Anna Cooper and Dr. Jessica Maerz.Watch the URS Panels
School of Art’s Tamrin Ingram is one of nine graduating MFA candidates from around the globe selected by Lenscratch to participate in “Thesis Project,” a feature series that allows Tamrin to share her thesis project as well as her thoughts on the photo community and navigating the art world during the pandemic and beyond.Visit Tamrin’s website
UArizona takes theatre classes to Tucson teens
Arizona Daily Star | 05.09
Changing perceptions of dementia through music film
WileyLibrary | 05.06
UA undergraduate research symposium goes virtual
Daily Wildcat | 05.06
How teachers are using Soundslice (Arizona Arts in Schools mentioned)
Soundslice | 04.30
Participants mourn cancelation of Tucson mariachi conference
Arizona Daily Star | 04.28
Arts Foundation names new boss (Adriana Gallego, BFA ’97)
Arizona Daily Star | 04.25
Incarcerated artists adapt to changes amidst cancellations
Daily Wildcat | 04.24
UAMA selects HS students from Tucson, Marana with top honors
KOLD13 | 04.24
Venture out into the art world from the confines of your home
Arizona Daily Star | 04.23
Buchholz offers virtual cello lessons to Tucson’s young musicians
Arizona Daily Star | 04.23
Theatre’s Dermot Louchart one of 12 Flinn Scholar’s to choose Arizona
UA News | 04.23
The Art of the Steal (de Kooning mentioned)
Wall Street Journal | 04.18
State of the Arts: Relief funds are going fast
Tucson Weekly | 04.16
University of Arizona graduate programs earn top marks
Arizona Daily Star | 04.14
Teaching sciences, fine arts during COVID-19 (Dean Schulz quoted)
Inside Higher Ed | 04.14
UA music professor to serve on National Council for the Arts
Daily Wildcat | 04.08