Showing posts from February, 2010

Painting Professor's Works in Tokyo Exhibit

Frank Trankina, "The Dance," 2008

Several works by NIU School of Art faculty member Frank Trankina are appearing in the latest show at the Megumi Ogita Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. The show is entitled "Toy Show," and features the works of eight artists. Of the show, the gallery explains "The associate artists are inspired by the theme "toy" and produced the works with the related ideas and motifs, although each of them has a different and unique approach to the project. This exhibition would prove that the true creativity is born from the pure joy of playing."

For more information about the show, you can go here and here.

Art Professor's Design Aids Doctors in Guatemala

Harry Wirth, professor of art and design at NIU, recently designed a portable demountable patient privacy screen system for doctors of LAMP, the Latin American Medical Providers. Six of the units were built this month on site in Guatemala using plans and details provided by Professor Wirth. The design utilized commonly available PVC plumbing parts and pipe. The units had to be able to provide visual privacy for a hospital 'bed' in the field. It also had to be able to be taken apart in component parts and transported in duffle bags.

The 2010 LAMP Mission to Jalapa, Guatemala was a great success. By the numbers, over 2400 patients were seen, at least 90 surgical procedures, over 7000 prescriptions and hundreds of ultrasounds and lab tests performed.

Liam Teague Earns Excellent Review

Liam Teague, Professor of Steel Pan at NIU, recently performed as soloist with the Akron Symphony Orchestra (see this post). Of the performance, Daniel Hathaway, editor and publisher of, had this to say: "In Jan Bach's Concerto for Steelpan and Orchestra that followed, Liam Teague showed himself to be a first-class musician. Not only is he in complete control of his instrument and its many possible effects, but he has a quietly elegant way of playing it that belies the obvious difficulty of the concerto's solo line."

The full review may be read here.

Art Students Create Sculpture for Haiti Relief

NIU art students in two sections of 3-Dimensional Foundations, under the guidance of instructor Benjamin Stone, have designed and created a sculpture which is currently being auctioned here on ebay - all proceeds will benefit the earthquake victims in Haiti. The piece is entitled "Parcelles d'espoir," or "Pieces of Hope."

The piece has already received press in The Courier-News and the Daily Chronicle. On Tuesday, February 23, the students and the piece will appear on the morning show of WGN-TV.

According to Stone, "This piece was created to exemplify the importance of solidarity in a time of crisis. Our project does not shrink from the grim reality of the tragic earthquake that ravaged Haiti but instead engages it as a powerful reminder that the day-to-day lives we all take for granted are ultimately fragile. Built on a steel assembly formed in the shape of the hope and awareness ribbon, it was intended to represent the positive opportunities provided by re…

NIU Steel Pan Students Perform via Internet2 for Haiti Relief Efforts

The Mid-Atlantic Gigapop for Internet2 (MAGPI) contacted the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) to ask if they would participate in an Internet2 event with a World music performance to support Haitian relief. CIM explained that for World music and Internet2 capabilities, they should contact the NIU School of Music, and thus MAGPI invited NIU to particpate. Ten steelpan music majors from the NIU Steelband will be performing on the MAGPI International Webcast on Friday, February 19 (scheduled 9:55-10:06 am CST) via Internet2 from the Music Building Recital Hall. The general public can view the MAGPI live webstream from home/office computers via RealPlayer. The live webstream will be viewable here:

Here is a website with more background information for the performers.

Avalon Quartet Garners More Great Reviews

The Avalon String Quartet, in residence at the NIU School of Music, performed the second of it's Chicago Series concerts on Wednesday, February 10. Joining the quartet was noted cellist Yehuda Hanani, for a rare performance of Anton Arensky's String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 35 (1894), for violin, viola and two cellos.

The quartet has earned two excellent reviews from this performance - from Chicago Classical Review, in which reviewer Wynn Delacoma remarked, "The Avalon expertly caught the score’s unsettling mix of jaunty high spirits and off-kilter harmonies and rhythms. In the first bars of the Adagio, Lee’s richly textured cello set out a haunted song while the other instruments hovered above it like solicitous angels. In the final movement, Magnière’s violin took center stage with an exotic melody that was both wary and firmly carved." You can read the entire review here.

The second review appears in SteadyStyle Chicago. Reviewer Alan Bresloff had this to say :…

NIU Alums in World Premiere Play

Melissa Hawkins, who earned her BFA in Acting from the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, is now the Artistic Director of Chicago’s Theatre Y. Following several years of successful touring in Theatre Y’s production of “Juliet” throughout the world, Melissa and Theatre Y are proud to present the world-premiere of “I Killed My Mother,” a fictional play based on a true story of a Romanian orphan, one of thousands who resulted from the neo-Stalinist economic and control policies of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu. Written by Romanian playwright András Visky and directed by Karin Coonrod, the show opens on February 19 at the Greenhouse Theater in Chicago.

Set in Romania, “I Killed My Mother” tells the story of Bernadette, a Romanian teenage girl abandoned after birth by her mother, a Roma (Gypsy) woman, and thus grows up in a series of Romanian orphanages. She forges a relationship with her soul-mate, Clip, who teaches her how to excise parasitic relationships, to "kill" or tur…

Guerradelapaz in Residence at NIU

Guerradelapaz, the artist duo of Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz, will be in residence at the NIU School of Art February 15-27. The duo is known for using discarded clothing to "create lyrical yet sobering commentary on consumption, the environment, and social conflict." On Tuesday, February 16, at 5:00 p.m. in room 100 of the NIU Art Building (Arends Hall), Guerradelapaz will present a seminar to construct a "global village" using locally collected repurposed materials. This event is sponsored by NIU's ARTLab.

Music Professor Earns Honor, Performs Concerto

Liam Teague, professor of Steel Pan in the NIU School of Music, was honored this past weekend at Trinidad and Tobago's National Junior Panorama, that country's most significant competition for solo and ensemble steel pan performances by school-aged players. Liam has been honored the world over, and this honor is particularly noteworthy as Liam is a Trinidad native and former winner of this competition.

In addition, Liam will be performing as soloist with the Akron Symphony Orchestra on February 20. Liam will be performing "Steelpan Concerto" by NIU Emeritus Professor Jan Bach, which was expressly written for Liam and has received rave reviews the world over.

NIU Music Professor Myron Myers Announces Summer 2010 Course in Chicago

Myron Myers, Professor of Voice in the NIU School of Music, announces his upcoming course entitled "Voices of the Millennium," which is designed for both singers and pianists. The course will be presented in Chicago this coming summer. For all pertinent details, visit the website here.

NIU Alumna Earns 2009 Outstanding Teacher Award

Carrie Provost, an alumna of the NIU School of Music, has been teaching in the public schools for 30 years and is no stranger to awards. In 1999 she was a finalist for the Golden Apple Award. This year, however, she earned the top award as Outstanding School Orchestra Teacher from the Illinois chapter of the American String Teachers Association.

Carrie teaches at Franklin Middle School and four feeder elementary schools in the Wheaton-Warrenville (IL) school district, CUSD 200. This award is presented to "a teacher in a school orchestra setting who has achieved or maintained excellence" in the school's program. Carrie does not know who nominated her, but she is honored to be included among the awards recipients, each of whom may only win the award one time.

Congratulations, Carrie!

Renowned Vocal Teacher Presents Master Class at NIU

Noted vocal teacher Cynthia Hoffman will present a master class featuring several NIU student performers on Monday, February 8. The master class will be held in the School of Music's Recital Hall from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. The public is invited to attend and you are free to come and go as your schedule allows.

Cynthia Hoffmann is a member of the voice faculties of The Juilliard School, where she served as Chair from 1995-2006, and the Manhattan School of Music, where she also teaches a class in Vocal Performance.She has been an Adjunct Voice Faculty memberof the Curtis Institute of Music as well. Ms. Hoffmann has been a voice faculty member of summer programs including the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria; the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy; the Yong Pyong Music Festival in Korea; the Centro Studi Italiani program in Urbania, Italy; the University of Miami School of Music summer program in Salzburg, Austria, The Amalfi Coast…

ARTLab Salon Series Continues February 5

"Globalism in Classical Antiquity," the next presentation in the 2009-2010 ARTLab Salon Series, will feature Sinclair Bell, professor of Art History, and Lucinda Alwa and Antoinette Brazouski of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Their presentation takes place Friday, February 5th, 1:00pm, in the Jack Olson Gallery in the NIU Art Building (Arends Hall). Refreshments will be served.

ARTLab Salon is an open forum for conversation and collaboration around issues relating to the current annual theme of globalism and cultural identity. ARTLab is an extension of Northern Illinois University's School of Art with a focus on the collaborative: working across disciplines to investigate contemporary currents in - and intersections between - art and culture.
As an active think-tank or incubator, ARTLab builds research, dialogue, programming, and pedagogy around an annual theme, working towards public presentations of collective research across the NIU campus…