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Showing posts from October, 2009

Art Foundations' Coordinator Exhibits in Wisconsin

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Cynthia Hellyer-Heinz, Coordinator of the Foundations program for the NIU School of Art, had an exhibit of her work open on Friday, October 30, in Gallery 450 of the Helen Connor Laird Fine Arts Building at the University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County. The show is entitled "Surrealist Narratives: Drawings by Cynthia Hellyer-Heinz" and will run through December 18.

Cindy's drawings are done in a variety of colored pencils, creating layers of light and dark until the form emerges into saturated color.

Cindy notes that the nature that surrounds her art studio as well as her family provide the inspiration for her visual vocabulary. She is inspired by the continuous changes and metamorphosis of both spirit and body, and she believes that in nature it is possible to see the full potential of life.

A gallery of Hellyer-Heinz's work can be found at her website.

Art Professor's Works on Exhibit in Texas

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Yih-Wen Kuo, an Associate Professor in the NIU School of Art, will have several of his works on exhibit at the Martin Museum of Art at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. His work has evolved out of the traditional concept of the vessel, but he is not interested in making functional pots. He tends to produce simple, universal forms because they evoke multi-dimensional meaning.

Art Professor Becoming Incredibly Busy Saving Lives

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NIU School of Art Professor Manny Hernandez is staying incredibly busy with his ceramic water filters that make potable water for millions of people around the world. For those of you not familiar with Manny's work, there are previous posts on this blog and an excellent article here.

These are some of Manny's recent activities:

- a pediatrician based in Baltimore and who is working with a medical group that has been going to Honduras for 10 years will be purchasing ceramic filters manufactured in a different region of Honduras. The manufacturing facility and the filters they make were created under Manny's direction, and will now have significant impact in an additional area.

- a professor of civil engineering from Texas A&M University will be using Manny's filters in Nigeria. Manny successfully set up a filter manufacturing plant in Nigeria during the summer and now will have impact in a second region in that country.

- the Sycamore (IL) Rotary Club has been working …

Music Professor to Perform as Soloist with Panama National Symphony

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Liam Teague, assistant professor in the NIU School of Music and co-director of the NIU Steel Band, was recently lauded in the Trinidad Guardian (that nation's most read newspaper). Liam, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, will appear as soloist with the Panama National Symphony on October 27. The Guardian press release reads as follows:


Liam plays Four Seasons

T&T ambassador of pan Liam Teague continues to excel and soar to higher heights as he plies his trade abroad. The gifted and brainy south pannist will be the guest soloist with the Panama National Symphony on Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. The concert is scheduled for October 27 at the National Concert Theater of Panama in Panama City. In addition, Liam will be presenting a clinic on October 30 to the Danilo Perez Foundation. Danilo Perez is considered one of the greatest living jazz pianists in the world and his foundation is dedicated towards the musical development of the Panamanian young people. There are a numb…

NIU Performing at SuperComputing Conference via Internet2

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Elaine Lauerman, Internet2 Program Manager for Events and The Commons, has contacted the NIU School of Music to provide a demonstration of Internet2 video technologies for the 21st Annual SuperComputing Conference (SC09) in Portland, Oregon, on Monday, November 16, 2009. Recognized globally as the premier international conference on High Performance Computing (HPC), networking, storage and analysis, SC09 will feature the most interesting and innovative HPC scientific and technical applications from around the world.

Lauerman explained, "Internet2 has demonstrated at the Supercomputing Conference for 10 years now, and each year it is a challenge to come up with compelling demonstrations." Ann Doyle, Manager of Internet2 Arts and Humanities Initiatives, recommended Lauerman contact NIU. NIU's demonstration will be the live concert performance of the NIU Jazz Lab Band, directed by Assistant Professor Rodrigo Villanueva, performing from the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in th…

NIU Composer's Works Receive Notable Performances

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Robert Fleisher, Coordinator of Composition and Theory for the School of Music at NIU, was a participating composer in the first-ever SoundCrawl:Nashville on October 3. His composition, Loretto Alfresco, was among three dozen electroacoustic works chosen from nearly 250 submissions received from more than a dozen countries. These "fixed-media" works were heard several times, in multiple venues, including galleries in the Arcade building and at the Downtown Presbyterian Church.

From October 8-10, Dr. Fleisher participated in the region V conference of the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI) at Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa. Two of his works were included: Five Songs from Carl Sandburg's "Prairie" for soprano voice and piano, which received a performance by NIU alum Dr. Emily Truckenbrod (currently on the faculty of Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville), accompanied by NIU's Dr. William Koehler; and NIU School of Music professors Stephen Duke and Gregory …

Music Professor Greg Beyer earns ASCAP Award

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ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, has bestowed their annual ASCAPLUS Award on NIU School of Music faculty member Greg Beyer. This is the fifth consecutive year that Greg has won this prestigious award.

Greg has been receiving recognition for his ground-breaking compositions involving the Brazilian instrument known as the berimbau. For 2009, Greg composed for two projects that included the berimbau and the use of max/MSP (a visual programming language for music and real-time digital audio signal processor). These works were performed at New York City’s The Stone, one of the most significant venues for experimental and avant-garde music in the United States.

Greg’s two compositions are “My One and Only Loop” for percussion, piano and interactive electronics, and “The Northern Wind” for solo percussion, berimbau and interactive electronics.

Congratulations, Greg!

Cello Professor to Perform on Famed Chicago Concert Series

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Cheng-Hou Lee, assistant professor of cello in the NIU School of Music, will perform on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago. The performance in slated for October 28 at 12:00 noon in Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center.

The program will include the Francis Poulenc "Sonata" and "Le Grand Tango" by Astor Piazzolla. Accompanying Cheng-Hou will be Kuang-Hao Huang on piano.

For those who are interested but unable to make the performance, it will be broadcast live on WFMT radio (98.7).

Drew Carey Purchases Work by NIU Art Professor

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Daddy's Boy

Michael Barnes, an associate professor of printmaking in the NIU School of Art, has works featured in numerous galleries, exhibitions and museum collections throughout the world. Famed actor/comedian/game show host Drew Carey recently purchased one of Michael's works, "Daddy's Boy," from a gallery in Seattle. In addition to the Seattle gallery and other locations in the United States, Michael has works in several international exhibitions, including the International Graphic Triennial at the National Institute and Museum in Bitola, Republic of Macedonia; the International Print Triennial-Kraków at the Contemporary Art Gallery Bunkier Sztuki in Kraków, Poland; and the International Print Triennial PrintArt Kraków-Katowice at the Rondo Sztuki Gallery in Katowice, Poland. It should be noted that the International Triennial-Krakow is one of the most important print exhibitions in the world. Congratulations, Michael!

NIU Art Museum and Museum Studies Program Earn Top Awards

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NIU's Peter Van Ael accepting award from IAM President David Oberg

We are very pleased to report that the NIU Art Museum and the NIU Interdisciplinary Certificate of Graduate Study in Museum Studies continue to receive external critical acclaim.

At the annual conference of the Illinois Association of Museums (IAM) held the first week of October in Bloomington-Normal, the organization announced the winners of their 2009 awards for the state’s cultural institutions.

The NIU Art Museum received an IAM Award of Excellence in the Exhibits Category for “Moonlight Cocktails are the Thing.” The exhibition was the third in an ongoing annual collaborative effort between the NIU Art Museum, the NIU Museum Studies Program, and Peter Van Ael's ART 656 Museum Exhibitions and Interpretation class. IAM defines the Award of Excellence as recognizing work of excellent quality that uses available resources well, is creative, and meets professional standards. The awards committee indicated it was du…

Dean Rich Holly Publishes Latest Article

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Rich Holly, Dean of the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts, had his most recent article published by The Instrumentalist, the most respected and widely-read journal for band and orchestra directors in the U.S. Rich's article, "Advice for Future Music Educators," appears in the October 2009 issue, and is based on his popular book, "Majoring in Music: All the Stuff You Need to Know."

NIU Jazz Ensemble to Appear at Noted Venues

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The NIU Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of professor Ronald Carter, will perform at the renowned Jazz Showcase in Chicago on December 16, 2009, with shows at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.. The following day the group appears on the program of the world's largest music educators' convention, the MidWest Clinic. All NIU jazz faculty members will appear as guests during the performances, and the December 16 program will begin with special guests the Warren Township High School Band (who are appearing at the Midwest Clinic as well).

The December 16 performance will be a CD Release Party for both the NIU Jazz Ensemble as well as NIU's Liberace Jazztet, who are just back from a successful tour of Colombia.

If you'll be at the Midwest Clinic, please make plans to attend the NIU performances!

Professor Robert Sims Garners Outstanding Review

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Robert Sims, professor of voice in the NIU School of Music, received a tremendous review of his recent performance for the recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Howard Reich, the noted jazz critic of the Chicago Tribune, heaped praise on Robert and also made note of his upcoming performance with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. You can read the review here.