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Showing posts from 2010

Community School of the Arts Receives Support

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Presidential Research Professor Makes Several Presentations

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Jeff Karl Kowalski, Professor of Art History at NIU and a 2010 recipient of NIU's distinguished Presidential Research Professor Award, presented the paper "Expressions of 'Maya Identity' in Contemporary Artworks from Yucatán to Guatamala," at the second triennial conference of the Association for Latin American Art, held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art November 12-14. The paper was co-written by former NIU art history graduate student Mary Katherine Scott and by NIU Art Education Associate Professor Kryssi Staikidis.

Jeff also delivered a lecture entitled "Art versus Artifact: Great Divide, Cultural Continuum, or Institutional Category?" on November 5 at Trinity University in San Antonio in conjunction with the exhibition "Crafting Maya Identity: Contemporary Maya Wood Sculptures from the Puuc Region, Yucatán, Mexico," which was shown at the Michael and Noemi Neidorff Art Gallery of the Dicke Art Building from October 14 - November 20.

NIU Music Alum's Recording Earns #1 Ranking

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Greg Ward, who earned his B.M degree from the NIU School of Music in 2004, has been making headlines with his recent CD release entitled "South Side Story," under the name Greg Ward's Fitted Shards.

Howard Reich, the noted jazz critic of the Chicago Tribune, named Greg's recording the #1 most memorable jazz recording of 2010! You can read Howard's full listing here.

Ben Ratliff, reviewer for the New York Times, called Greg's playing "...one of the best things I've heard on record this year."

Neil Tesser, jazz critic for Playboy magazine, Jazziz magazine, and contributor to Jazz Times, said "Ward has moved from talented newbie to forceful younger statesman as his mercurial styles goes from liquid to edgy."

Congratulations, Greg!

Art History Division Head Makes Presentations

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Rebecca Houze, Associate Professor of Art History at NIU and Head of the NIU Art History Division, presented the paper, “Ethnography, Art History, and the Design Reform Movement in Habsburg Central Europe. The Case of A Magyar Háziipar Díszítményei [Ornaments of the Domestic Industry of Hungary], 1878,” for the conference, The History of Art History in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, in Torún, Poland this past September. Additionally, Rebecca presented on the topic “Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse in Berwyn, Illinois,” for the INTBAU (International Organization for Traditional Building and Urbanism) at the Traditional Building Expo, held in Chicago October 22, 2010.

Art History Professor Staying Very Busy

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In October, Sinclair Bell, NIU Assistant Professor of Art History,co-organized and spoke at “Celebration of the Achievements of Richard De Puma,” which was held at the School of Art & Art History of the University of Iowa. In addition, in November Sinclair presented “Fans, Fame and the Roman Circus,” at the Archaeological Institute of America, Rockford Society, and at the Department of Classical Studies at Loyola University.

Recently Sinclair was elected by Prof. Brian Rose, President of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), to serve as a delegate to represent the AIA Members-at-Large population at the 2011 Annual Meeting. The Archaeological Institute of America is North America's oldest and largest organization devoted to the world of archaeology. The Institute is a nonprofit group founded in 1879 and chartered by the United States Congress in 1906. Today, the AIA has nearly 250,000 Members belonging to more than 100 Local Societies in the United States, Canada, and o…

Theatre Professor Discusses Fight Scenes

Stanton Davis, professor in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, is featured in a new video in which he discusses the fight scenes in the recent NIU production of William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." The video provides terrific insights into staging fight scenes and consists of some really terrific footage from rehearsals as well as the production.

Manny Hernandez Continues to Save Lives

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Manny, right, helping to construct the kiln in Burkina Faso

The completed kiln in Burkina Faso

Water filter production facility in Ghana


Manny Hernandez, Professor Emeritus from the NIU School of Art, is busier than ever working with local residents throughout the world to provide potable water to their communities. As frequent readers of this blog know, Manny developed an inexpensive ceramic water filter that costs approximately $30.00 to make and will last a family of five for five years.

In the past two months Manny has been in Burkina Faso, Ghana, the Dominican Republic and Haiti building kilns and filter production facilities. One of Manny's former students, Lisa Ballantine, who owns and operates a non-profit organization devoted to producing these filters, just opened a filter production facility in Haiti with Manny's help. Manny will return to Haiti in 2011 following trips back to Ghana and the Dominican Republic. While in Haiti this next time, Manny will work on opening an…

"Tattoo" at School of Art's Gallery 214

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The NIU Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies Program and ART 655 Curatorial Practice course members invite you to “Tattoo: An American Evolution.” The exhibition runs from November 8 through November 19, 2010 in Gallery 214 in the Visual Arts Building. The gallery is open M-TH 10:00-4:00 and F 10:00-12:00.

NIU a Big Winner at Annual Museum Awards Ceremony

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The Northern Illinois University College of Visual and Performing Arts was a big winner at the recent 2010 awards ceremony of the Illinois Association of Museums. Congratulations go to the NIU Museum Studies graduate certificate program, the NIU Art Museum, and the Jack Olson Gallery in the NIU School of Art. While there were numerous NIU faculty, staff and students engaged in curatorial, authoring and editing work in order for our exhibits to earn these awards, in particular, Kudos go to Peter Van Ael, director of the Olson Gallery and coordinator of the Museum Studies certificate program, Jo Burke, Director of the NIU Art Museum, and art history Professor Jeff Kowalski.

Awards received include: