Showing posts from May, 2011

Music Alum on Tour with Sting

(photo by Dave Ryan)

Chelsea Tipton, a graduate of the NIU School of Music where he earned his M.M. degree in conducting in 1989, will be touring Europe this summer with Sting on the "Symphonicity" tour.

This tour involves Sting's band playing his music along with major symphony orchestras in cities throughout Europe. Chelsea's role is to prepare each orchestra through a series of rehearsals a few days before Sting arrives in each city. While the concerts in each city are being presented (and conducted by Minnesota Orchestra conductor Sarah Hicks), Chelsea will be in the next city, getting that city's orchestra ready.

Each performance will feature 30 selections from Sting's career, from his days with The Police through his successful solo career.

Art Professor's Works in Exhibition at Fermilab

Karen Brown, associate professor of drawing in the NIU School of Art, will have several of her works featured in an upcoming exhibition at the noted Art Gallery at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois. The exhibition is entitled "Natural Elements," and features Karen's drawings along with ceramics by artist Roberta Polfus.

The exhibition runs from June 9 through August 24, with an artist's reception being held June 24 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. For more information, you may contact

Theatre Professor Directs at Noted Summer Festival


Time Arts Alum Making Mark in Field

Caius Wong, who earned his BFA degree in Time Arts from the NIU School of Art in 2002, has been building a solid career as an animator and director. Caius recently served as the Technical Director and 3D Lead Animator for the current Fuze® beverage TV commercials.

Here is one of the commercials:

Art and Design Professor's Home Featured in Article

(all photos by Ernie Mastroianni)

Harry Wirth, Professor of Art and Design in the NIU School of Art, is featured along with his wife, Kathy Sawicki, in an article about their amazing home that Harry designed.

The home boasts several atypical features: it is taller than it is wide, it's total square footage is only 700, and it baffled their insurance agent when it came time to purchase homeowner's insurance, due to it's fascinating design and layout.

The article appears in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel online - be sure to read the entire article and click on the slide show of photos - what a fabulous home!

School of Art Alums Garner Illinois Arts Council Grants

Kimberly Fredricks

John Fraser

We've recently learned that two NIU School of Art alumni have been awarded grants this year from the Illinois Arts Council.

John Fraser earned his MFA degree in 1989 and works in drawing, painting and sculpture. His works are represented in galleries in Chicago, Munich, San Diego, Nashville and Fort Worth, and his works are held in both public and private collections in 9 countries. John was awarded the top award for an Individual Artist Projects Grant.

Kimberly Fredricks earned her BFA degree in 2010 and specializes in hand-pulled printmaking techniques, and currently serves as an intern at Water Street Studios in Batavia, Illinois. Kim was awarded the Individual Artist Professional Development Grant.

Congratulations John and Kimberly!

Steel Pan Professor Impresses in the UK

Liam Teague, associate professor and the Head of Steelpan Studies in the NIU School of Music, appeared this past weekend at the popular Pan Jazz UK festival in London, England. Liam performed as the featured soloist with the house band known as "The Engine Room."

The performance was reviewed by Robbie Joseph of the British publication Pan Podium. Of several noteworthy statements made about Liam's performance, Mr. Joseph said "His lightning hands drifted over the face of the tenor pan like a hummingbird in flight, floating around the radiant flower (his tenor pan) so fast that at times you just saw a blur around the notes extracting its sweet musical nectar in harmonious melodies."

The entire review may be read here. Congratulations, Liam!