Showing posts from 2012

Art Professor Wins Two Noted Awards

 Point of View, 2012, 18 x 24
We're very pleased to announce that Harry Wirth, professor in the NIU School of Art, has won two awards at the 46th annual "Watercolor Wisconsin" exhibition. Harry's work "Point of View" won both awards.

"Point of View" won first place, and then won the Barry Nielsen Purchase Award to have the work placed in the permanent collection of the Racine Art Museum.

Congratulations, Harry - well done!

Orange Bowl Announces Art Contest!

Now that the NIU Huskies football team will be appearing in the Discover Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida on January 1, 2013, the folks at the Orange Bowl have announced an art contest!

The contest will award $1500.00 to the winner, and the artwork must be a 16" x 20" poster. The contest is looking for artwork that showcases "...the grandness of this world class sports-entertainment event and the explosive face-off between the Florida State Seminoles and the Northern Illinois Huskies."

Complete details and specifications may be found on the Discover Orange Bowl Art Contest web site.

Good Luck!

NIU Traveling Exhibit on Display in Elgin

Over the past few years students in the NIU Museum Studies program have developed some traveling exhibits after achieving great success - and earned state-wide awards - with those exhibits here on campus.

One such traveling exhibit is "The Green Scale," an exhibit that examines the successes, shortcomings and impact of the green movement. We're happy to announce that "The Green Scale" is now on display at the Gail Borden Public Library District in Elgin. The exhibit is on display now through December 30.

For more details, visit the Borden Library site here.

Art Student Wins Award

Kasia Stachowiak with juror Ed Kalke, professor at Carthage College

We are pleased to announce that our student Kasia Stachowiak of the NIU School of Art (printmaking major) has done it again! She won an award in a juried art exhibition in Wisconsin.

Kasia entered two artworks and both were accepted. "Hands," intaglio on found material, and her second entry, "Berlin," another intaglio, was also selected for the exhibit. "Hands" was given the special award.

Kasia's award was the honor to have a solo exhibition at the Anderson Arts Center of Kenosha, Wisconsin in August, 2013. Only 5 artists were selected for this special award.

Congratulations, Kasia!

NIUkelele Ensemble Debuts!

The NIUkulele Ensemble made its debut performance at a Hawaiian lunch at Ellington's on November 7. Pictured here from left to right are: Sophia Varcados, Tom Kapraun, Scott Bellis, Jake Henert, and Taylor Atkins. The NIUkulele Ensemble is the latest addition to the offerings of the NIU Community School of the Arts.

For anyone interested in joining, spring rehearsals begin on January 28. The ensemble is directed by Eric Schroeder and meets on Monday evenings in the Music Building. Anyone can join! For information about becoming a member in spring, contact the NIU Community School of the Arts at (815) 753-1450 or see our web site.

Modern Graffiti Exhibition Opens

The NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts is pleased to announce that "Tagged," an exhibition exploring modern graffiti, opens tonight, November 7, and continues through November 18 in Gallery 214 in the NIU School of Art.This exhibit is curated by the students in the Museum Studies program.

Please read a nice article about the exhibition over at NIU Today - the article is here.

Several Alumni Accomplishments to Brag About!

The NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts is very proud of our alumni and we're happy to bring you some good news about several alums:

Pedro Wiliis-Barbosa, tenor, graduate of the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, is taking a graduate degree at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He has been accepted into the Young Artists Program at Cedar Rapids Opera, and will premier the leading role in the commissioned opera "Frankenboy!" by Robert Lindsay-Nassif as part of the Iowa elementary and middle school tour.

James Stevko, graduate of the dance performance program in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, is dancing in Verdi's "Un Ballo in Maschera" at the Metropolitan Opera this month. He will return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the new year to dance in their production of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von N├╝rnberg."

David Govertson, bass, NIU School of Music graduate and current participant in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Young Arti…

NIU Traveling Art Exhibits Becoming Popular

"Green Scale" at Elgin Public Museum
"Tattoo" at Central Michigan University
The NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts began an initiative two years ago, to turn popular exhibits curated by the students in our Museum Studies program into traveling exhibits, when appropriate. The fruits of those labors are paying off, with two such exhibitions having been picked up by other museums.

"The Green Scale: Weighing in on the Green Movement" recently closed at the Elgin Public Museum of Natural History, where it was on view from mid-July through mid-September.

"Tattoo: An American Evolution" recently closed at Central Michigan University (Park Library). The exhibition was on view August 13-Sept. 21.

Congratulations to our students, as well as Peter Van Ael, Olson Gallery Director, who oversees these projects.

Gallery Director's Work to Appear in Noted Museum


Peter Van Ael, Director of the Jack Olson Gallery in the NIU School of Art, has had one of his works accepted for inclusion in an upcoming exhibition.

Peter's reduction woodcut print "Swarm" was selected for inclusion in The 2012 Harnett Biennial of American Prints exhibition at the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, University of Richmond Museums. Carl Solway, President of the Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio, selected prints by 47 artists to be in the exhibition.

Congratulations, Peter!

NIU Jazz Ensemble Wows in Columbus Day Parade

The award-winning NIU Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Professor Ron Carter, performed on a float during Chicago's very popular Columbus Day Parade.

A video of the band in the parade is available here, and the band appears at the 14:20 mark (it is possible to skip ahead to that point). We're thinking the announcer had Columbus on his mind when he announced the band as being from Northern Italian University...but otherwise, the band played as spectacularly as usual to great crowd response.

Trumpet Professor Earns Fine Review

Mark Ponzo

Mark Ponzo, professor of trumpet in the NIU School of Music, performs frequently with the New Sousa Band under the direction of noted Sousa expert Keith Brion. Mark has performed throughout the world as a member of this ensemble.

A recent performance of the New Sousa Band in Green Bay, Wisconsin, earned a fine review from critic Warren Gerds. Mr. Gerds particularly pointed out Mark's playing, by saying "As a reminder of how Brion draws from the ranks of top band players in the country, Mark Ponzo was featured on cornet in a showcase written by Sousa cornetist Herbert L. Clarke. Ponzo expressed every tricky nuance of From the Shores of the Mighty Pacific.”

Congratulations, Mark!

New Media Concerts Announced

Jim Phelps

Jim Phelps, professor of electronic and computer music in the NIU School of Music, announces a series of three concerts entitled "ALWAYS COMING: a culture war in three short nights." The concerts will be October 22, 23 and 24, all beginning at 8:00 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall.

These concerts, featuring experimental and mixed-media works, consist entirely of music composed and performed by Dr. Phelps, with the assistance of three guest artists: Husain Abdulaziz (passionate observationist - Oct. 22), Patrik Windsor (composer/guitarist - Oct. 23) and Michael Taylor (musician/audio technology specialist - Oct. 24). Phelps will present fixed-media computer music components and will also perform with electric guitars, electric violin and piano.

Jim tells us: "ALWAYS COMING: a culture war in three short nights" presents a personification of "confused metaphor" on both micro and macro strata. The three-movement (three-night) work metaph…

Dance Faculty Garner Excellent Review in NYC

 Collective Body/Dancelab
 Danszloop Chicago
NIU School of Theatre and Dance faculty members Paula Frasz and Brian Carey Chung recently collaborated on a performance with their respective professional dance companies, Danszloop Chicago and Collective Body/Dancelab. Following performances in Chicago and New York City, they received a terrific review of their New York performance by Matthew Donnell in

Brian Chung's choreography was featured in two works by Collective Body/Dancelab, Let's Pretend We're All Wearing Sunglasses, and Bloom. About Bloom, Mr. Donnell writes "The dancers in the piece were as strong technically as they had been theatrically in the first piece of the evening. Dancing both on flat and en pointe in a series of group sections, duos, and trios, the ladies lines were clean and beautiful, and the men expertly achieved Chung’s demanding movement."

Danszloop Chicago presented three works, Old Woman of Wexford, Entertainment, and Eater o…

Graduate Student Earns First-Ever Statewide Award

l to r: David Becker, IAM President, Agnes Ma, Donna Sack, IAM Executive Director

It gives us great pleasure to announce that NIU School of Art graduate student Agnes Ma is the recipient of the first-ever Illinois Association of Museums (IAM) Museum Studies Student of the Year Award.

Agnes has been an outstanding student and natural leader in the NIU's museum studies graduate certificate program, and currently serves as a graduate assistant in the Jack Olson Gallery. In that capacity, she participates in all aspects of gallery programming, and she co-curated the award-winning exhibition Inked: Tattoo Imagery in Contemporary Art.

Peter Van Ael, Director of the Jack Olson Gallery and Coordinator of the museum studies program, tells us "Agnes Ma is one of those rare individuals that take full advantage of the opportunities available to her. During her time at NIU, she has complemented her strengths as a scientist and designer with her interest in museology and curatorial work by…

Music Faculty Earn Fine Review

 Gregory Barrett, John Floeter, Paul Bauer

Three NIU School of Music faculty members perform with the noted Ars Viva Symphony, and they received an excellent review for this past Sunday's performance.

Faculty members Gregory Barrett, clarinet, Paul Bauer, bass trombone, and John Floeter, double bass, are members of this award-winning ensemble.

Of the performance, critic Lawrence A. Johnson of Chicago Classical Review says "Despite its chamber-orchestra dimensions, Ars Viva produces a robust symphonic sound and its weighty textures were eminently well suited to Khachaturian's brawny populist style. (Conductor Alan) Heatherington led a brash and exuberant performance that skirt the music's vulgarity, bringing martial swagger to the Waltz and frenzied satirical insistence to the concluding Galop."

Illinois Association of Museums Bestows Awards on NIU


Time Arts Professor Presents at Major Conference

Bart Woodstrup, Assistant Professor in the NIU School of Art (Time Arts) will be presenting his piece "Climate Control" at the 2012 International Symposium of Electronic Art in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Climate Control: Weather Damage Modification Program is an interactive video installation that uses a control panel as an interface to hypothetically control the weather. Climate Control allows the viewer the experience of physically placing their hand on the controls of climate to manipulate a representation of it. The naming of the controls and the visual effect they produced was inspired by actual parameters associated with weather events.

Bart's work investigates the relationship between environmental issues and new technology - specifically, the cultural integration of these issues and technologies as well as the increasing desire for technology to solve the culminating problems of overpopulation, pollution, global warming, etc. Through this artwork, he attem…

Art Alums Featured During Chicago Artists Month 2012

Andrew Arvanetes Sergio Gomez We're proud to announce that two alumni of the NIU School of Art are featured for Chicago Artists Month 2012.

Andrew Arvanetes earned both his BFA and MFA in sculpture from NIU. While he currently lives in and is originally from the Chicago area, Andrew spent several years owning and operating sculpture studios in Michigan, Ohio and Texas. He is a frequent lecturer at colleges and universities and his works appear in numerous private, public and corporate collections.

Sergio Gomez earned his MFA from NIU in 2005. Active in many roles, Sergio teaches at South Suburban College in South Holland, Illinois. He is the owner of 33 Contemporary Gallery, co-founder of 3C Wear, and Curator and Director of Exhibitions at the Zhou B. Art Center.

Congratulations, Andrew and Sergio!

Jazz Professor Earns Terrific Reviews

As noted in recent posts (here and here), Geof Bradfield, assistant professor of jazz studies in the NIU School of Music has been receiving wide acclaim for his playing as well as for his composing. Now, two noted jazz critics have weighed in with their own rave reviews.

In the Chicago Tribune, Howard Reich's review discusses Geof's recent work Melba!. Among his remarks are "The long lines, complex themes and meticulous structuring of this score pointed to the high craft of Bradfield's writing..." and "...Bradfield penned an intricate work cast in several musical episodes. The syncopated, Latin-tinged motif that launched the piece soon made way for uptempo trumpet solos, three-horn choirs, radiant passages for the entire septet and so on." Reich concludes by noting that Geof's writing is "...a sure sign that the art of jazz composition still flourishes in Chicago."

Geof also received numerous glowing remarks in a recent ChicagoMusic.orgre…

Music Alumna Wins Coveted Vocal Award

We've just learned that Cheryl Porter, alumna of the NIU School of Music, has won the coveted Lucio Battisti Music Award in Nardo, Italy. Cheryl is the first African-American to win this award.

Lucio Battisti was a renowned and beloved Italian singer and composer who passed away in 1998 at the age of 55. He worked with numerous noted music artists, record producers and record labels during the course of his career, and this award is in honor of his contributions to the musical life of Italy.

Here's a video clip of Cheryl singing:

Congratulations, Cheryl!

Art History Professor's Book Earning Kudos

Mary Quinlan-McGrath, professor of art history in the NIU School of Art, will have her latest book published this fall by the University of Chicago Press. Titled Influences: Art, Optics, and Astrology in the Italian Renaissance, Mary's book is garnering pre-press raves from around the world.

From the jacket cover of Influences comes this description:

"Today few would think of astronomy and astrology as fields related to theology. Fewer still would know that physically absorbing planetary rays was once considered to have medical and psychological effects. But this was the understanding of light radiation held by certain natural philosophers of early modern Europe, and that, argues Mary Quinlan-McGrath, was why educated people of the Renaissance commissioned artworks centered on astrological themes and practices.

Influences is the first book to reveal how many Renaissance artworks were designed to be not only beautiful but also—perhaps even primarily—functional. From the fresco c…

Art MFA Candidate Stars on Danish TV!

“What I Did on my Summer Vacation” took on new meaning for painter Katy Bisby this year. In what is likely a first for an NIU student, her response would be that she starred in a new television show on Danish television.

Katy, a 3rd-year MFA student in the NIU School of Art, is one of 14 American contestants featured on the new Danish show “Alt for Danmark” (Everything for Denmark). This is a reality-TV show, with the intent of featuring Danish heritage and culture. The contestants, all of whom have Danish heritage, were divided into two teams. For each installment of the 12-episode series, one team was declared the winner, and those contestants would then do something fun that was related to Danish heritage. The losing team members then competed against each other, and one member of that team was then sent back to the United States.

When asked how she came to be on the show, Katy says she responded to a posting on Craigslist. “My husband is a documentary film maker,” she says, “so I …

The Arts Converge!

The NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts is proud to present The Arts Converge: Contemporary Art and Asian Music Traditions, an exhibition with accompanying music performances from September 4 through October 12. The Arts Converge will feature an exhibition curated by NIU School of Art faculty member Helen Nagata, with a slate of internationally-recognized guest speakers, artists and performers. Among those guests appearing will be Chee Wang Ng, Koji Nakano, Brenda Louie, Chinary Ung, Tatsu Aoki, Akemi Naito, and Curtis Bahn.

The arts give us an arena where the past and present can converge, sight and sound can converse, and individual experience can speak for a universal experience. We will celebrate interactions between cultural traditions and the individual modern artist, and between music and the visual arts by presenting a variety of contemporary artists' reactions to traditional music sounds or traditional cultural soundscapes. This exhibition will form a contemporary …

Steel Pan Professor Earns Honor From Trinidad and Tobago

Liam Teague, associate professor of steel pan in the NIU School of Music, learned today that he's been awarded the prestigious Silver Hummingbird Award from his native Trinidad and Tobago. This award is one of the National Awards of Trinidad and Tobago and recognizes the contributions of citizens and non-nationals who have had a significant impact on the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Our friends at NIU Today have written a fine report about Liam and this award - please read the article here.

Congratulations, Liam!

Art History Division Continues Making International Impact

The faculty members of the Art History Division of the NIU School of Art have been quite busy this past summer, with numerous activities on the docket for this fall, too.

Sinclair Bell gave a lecture on ancient sports fans at the Hudson Library and Historical Society in Hudson, Ohio in July, and will be speaking at numerous Archeological Institute and Classical Association events across the country this fall. 

Rebecca Houze spent much of the summer researching architecture in Acadia, Theodore Roosevelt, and Yellowstone National Parks, as well as in the Adirondacks.  Her most recent article, “Home as a Living Museum:  Ethnographic Display and the 1896 Millennial Exhibition in Budapest,” was published in CENTROPA, Journal of Central European Architecture and Related Arts (2012).  She will travel to Sun Valley, Idaho and Brighton, UK, to present talks this fall on topics ranging from Viennese fashion design to the Native American in sports team logos.

Ann van Dijk served as a peer reviewer…

Dance Professors' Companies Make Front Page

We frequently count ourselves as fortunate that two of our dance faculty members in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance have their own well-respected dance companies. Now, both companies are featured on the front page of the noted dance website

DanszLoop Chicago features our own Paula Frasz as artistic director, and Collective Body features our newest faculty member Brian Carey Chung as its artistic director. Together, the two companies are producing "Strings and Stones," first here in Chicago and then in Manhattan.

For more information about the Chicago performances on September 14 and 15, go here.

Art Professor's Work in Solo Exhibition


We're pleased to announce that several new works of NIU School of Art professor Harry Wirth will be displayed in a solo exhibition entitled "Imaginary Spaces." The exhibition will be held at the Delafield Arts Center in Delafield, Wisconsin, October 2 through December 30.

This exhibition will feature a body of new work of more than 15 watercolors as completed during his research sabbatical of 2011-2012. During that time Harry created approximately 100 new works on paper.

The exhibition's opening will take place October 6 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., and Harry will provide an artist's lecture at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 1.

Jazz Professor Making National Headlines

Geof Bradfield, Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies and Saxophone in the NIU School of Music, recently premiered his extended work "Melba!" to great acclaim in the Chicago press and jazz community. "Melba!" is in honor of jazz trombonist, composer and arranger Melba Liston (1926-1999).

Now, Geof is taking his work on the road and is making news wherever he performs "Melba!" He recently was interviewed for The Jazz Line by Veronica Grandison. The interview gives great insight into Geof's process of understanding her work and the creation of his tribute to her. The interview may be found here.

Steel Pan Professor Appears as Soloist

Liam Teague, Associate Professor of Steel Pan in the NIU School of Music, will appear in concert as soloist with the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra on September 16. Liam will perform J.S. Bach's Concerto in A minor as well as an orchestral version of Tico Tico no Fuba. The concert is titled "The Symphony Goes to the Movies."

The Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra is under the direction of NIU School of Music faculty member Lucia Matos, who is starting her third season with the IVSO.

For more information about this concert and to purchase tickets, go here.

Art Museum Earns Local Kudos

The NIU Art Museum was recently chosen as "One of the Best" art galleries in DeKalb County by the Daily Chronicle via a reader's choice poll. This local newspaper has been an important conduit through which to communicate the exhibitions and programs of the museum, and this award is evidence of the community's support.  

The museum staff has been hard at work of late, preparing new exhibitions for the beginning of Fall Semester. Music for the Divine will showcase musical instruments and related material from the NIU Burma Art collection. Current Views and Actions will feature the photographs and performance documentation of young Cambodian artists. These exhibitions will be augmented by black and white photographs by New York artist Robert Gerhardt in an exhibit called Karen: A People on the Border, referring to the Karen tribe currently living on the border of Burma and Thailand.

Three Art Students' Works Selected for Noted Exhibition

Karen Murphy, Untitled

Three students in the NIU School of Art have had their work chosen to be part of the Chicago exhibition Inspired By: Celebrating Illinois Women Artists, which will be presented by the Woman Made Gallery. This exhibition is in honor of the gallery's 20th anniversary.

Our students whose works were chosen are Maria Dimanshtein (undergraduate, painting major), Karen Murphy (graduate student in ceramics), and Kasia Stachowiak (undergraduate, printmaking major).

The exhibition will take place from August 24 through September 27, with the opening reception being held August 24 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. The Woman Made Gallery is located at 685 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago.

Congratulations Maria, Karen and Kasia!

Art Professor's Work Selected for State-Wide Exhibition

Harry Wirth with "Respite II"

Harry Wirth, Professor in the NIU School of Art, was recently notified that his 18" x 24" watercolor work "Respite II" has been selected for inclusion in a state-wide exhibition known as "Visual Art Wisconsin 2012."

Visual Art Wisconsin 2012 features the work of 51 artists, and will be held at UW-Parkside (900 Wood Road, Kenosha, WI) from September 5 through October 13. The opening reception will be September 8 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Congratulations, Harry!

Percussion Professor Wins International Award

Greg Beyer, Professor of Percussion in the NIU School of Music, is a core member of noted Chicago-based new music ensemble Dal Niente. Greg shared with us the good news that Dal Niente was awarded the coveted Kranichsteiner Prize at this year's International MusikFereinkurse Darmstadt (IMD). Among the  two week-long activities were a rehearsal with renowned composer Brian Ferneyhough and a very successful performance of his work "La Chute d'Icare."

As winners of this international prize, Dal Niente will be invited to perform at IMD in 2014.

Also of note, NIU School of Music alumna Mabel Kwan serves as the pianist in Dal Niente. Congratulations Greg and Mabel!

Music Alum Earns Noted Position

Guitarist, composer and educator Nick Fryer, who earned his MM degree from the NIU School of Music, has been appointed Associate Director of the Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

Nick tells us "I am very excited to be a part of the team at the Brubeck Institute! The students at the Brubeck Institute are playing at a very high level and to be involved teaching and mentoring them is very inspiring."

Prior to his appointment at the Brubeck Institute, Nick was a faculty member at Minnesota State University - Moorhead, where he taught guitar, jazz history and improvisation, and directed jazz combos and the guitar ensemble.

Simon Rowe, Executive Director of the Brubeck Institute stated "We are thrilled to welcome Nick to our Brubeck team as an artist, educator and music industry professional." Nick's duties at the Brubeck Institute include assisting with programming while teaching at the University and the Institute.


Sculpture Professor Participates in Two New Shows

Michael Rea, assistant professor of sculpture in the NIU School of Art, has curated a show entitled "My Idea of Fun" at the Ebersmoore Gallery in Chicago. The show features the work of  seven artists, and will run from July 20 through August 31.

In addition, Michael's works have been chosen to appear in a show entitled "Where My Cones At?" This show features small black and white pieces by 122 artists and will open July 27 at the Double Break Gallery in San Diego. When that exhibition concludes, the show will be traveling to galleries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Chicago. "Where My Cones At?" is curated by NIU School of Art alumnus Ryan Travis Christian.

Art Education Faculty Present at International Conferences

Kerry Freedman
Doug Boughton

Doug Boughton, Director of the NIU School of Art and noted art educator, and Kerry Freedman, Head of the Division of Art+Design Education at NIU, presented papers as part of an invited panel at the 11th International Society for Education through Art (InSEA) European Regional Conference in Limassol, Cyprus on June 27. The panel theme was Curriculum Connections with Visual Culture: Meaningful Interactive and Contextual Learning in Art Education. Kerry also attended the InSEA World council meeting in Limassol as one of three elected world council members representing the North American region.

On June 28-29 Kerry chaired a research meeting at Cambridge University (UK). The meeting, comprised of co-researchers from the UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Hungary, Canada, and the United States, finalized the analysis and report of the first stage of an international research project that is examining the character of auto-didactic learning employed by variou…

Director of Jazz Studies Featured on Jazz at Lincoln Center Video

Ron Carter, Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies in the NIU School of Music, has a long relationship with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Ron is now featured in a video, produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center.

World Premiere to be Presented by Saxophone Professor

Geof Bradfield, our newly-hired assistant professor of Jazz Saxophone and Jazz Studies in the NIU School of Music, has completed composing his work "Melba!," which was a commission from Chamber Music America.

Geoff's new work will receive its world premiere performance at the Chicago Jazz Festival's Neighborhood Nights Series on Saturday, July 21, at 1:00 p.m. in the Woodson Regional Library, 9525 South Halsted in Chicago. Admission is free of charge.

Geoff will perform the work with his group consisting of several notable Chicago jazz artists. Please come out to support Geoff and jazz in Chicago!

New Sculpture Professor Having Exciting Summer

We are pleased to announce that sculptor Michael Rea will join the faculty of the NIU School of Art this fall. Michael holds degrees from NIU and the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and has been at Northwestern University for several years prior to his appointment here at NIU.

Michael's work has been receiving great notice this summer. From May 4 to June 16 his work was part of an exhibition in Omaha, Nebraska, entitled "Material Matters," at the Peerless Art Gallery. From May 16 through the end of September his work is on display at the Kunstmuseum in Thurgau, Switzerland. And, Michael and his work are featured in the May online issue of Cool Entrepreneurs - where you will find several terrific photos of his work.

Now, Michael's work is part of the exhibition entitled "Odie Off" at the Three Walls gallery which is located  at 119 North Peoria, #2c, in Chicago and which runs through August 4.

Congratulations, Michael!

Art Professor Creates Electric Sculpture for DeKalb Library

Bart Woodstrup, assistant professor of Time Arts in the NIU School of Art, was recently commissioned by the DeKalb Public Library as part of a grant project to create a sculpture. The project was part of the "Bright Futures: Electric Art Fair" sponsored by the library and NIU Stem Outreach.

Bart created a plexiglass "book" sculpture with etchings that lights up via the use of LED lights.

Check out Bart's webpage for more photos and a great video explaining the project.

Dance Professor's Work Earns Rave Review

Paula Frasz, professor of Dance in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, has choreographed a new piece entitled "Frida" for the current season of Aerial Dance Chicago.

In the Chicago Tribune, critic Sid Smith noted "One decidedly welcome addition is "Frida," by veteran area dance maker Paula Frasz. Frasz offers an intricate, elaborate work that slyly doesn't belabor the aerial aspects, but turns instead on standard choreography that here and there finds its way into a hanging, trapeze-like circle." Smith later states "In a piece abstractly about artist Frida Kahlo's struggles and pains, the image is a haunting one, part of a piece that eventually makes rushing use of its corps and nicely plays off its music by Alfredo Rolando Ortiz and Rodrigo Y Gabriela."

This year's Aerial Dance Chicago show is called "Garden of Souls" and can be seen through June 10 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, Chicago.


Two Painting Professors Have Show in Tokyo

Frank Trankina, Malin Kong Cinema
 Nina Rizzo, Niagara - Illuminated Falls
We are pleased to announce that NIU School of Art painting professors Frank Trankina and Nina Rizzo are part of a show entitled "Malin Kong" at the Megumi Ogita Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. The show runs from May 11 to May 26.

Congratulations Frank and Nina!

Clarinet Professor Had Exciting Spring Semester

Gregory Barrett, Professor of Clarinet in the NIU School of Music, has had a very productive and exciting spring 2012 semester.

Here at NIU Greg hosted Burt Hara, principal clarinetist of the Minnesota Orchestra for the annual NIU Clarinet Cornucopia. Greg also hosted Gabor Varga, prinicpal clarinetist of the Hungarian Radio Orchestra, who presented a master class and performed Greg's concert etude "Tiszan Innen Dunantul," which is based on a Hungarian folk song.

Greg performed with the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, gave both a performance and a master class at the Reykjavik College of Music in Rekjavik, Iceland, and performed two chamber music works with the Slee Sinfonietta in residence at the Center for 21st Century Music at SUNY-Buffalo.

Also active as a composer and arranger, Greg's "24 Clarinet Etudes From the World" have been published by Gerard Billaudot Editeur, Paris. In addition, his publ…