Showing posts from January, 2012

Professor of Art History Featured at DePaul University Art Museum

The History of Art and Architecture Department at DePaul University presents a lecture by Dr. Sinclair Bell, professor of art history at Northern Illinois University. How did ancient Romans understand other peoples, especially Africans? This talk surveys the evidence of Roman literature, inscriptions and especially works of art, including unpublished material from current excavations. Dr. Bell investigates the creative forms of artistic expression that Africans inspired across the empire, and suggests some possible motives for their creation.

Dr. Bell's lecture will take place on Tuesday, February 7, at 5:30 p.m.

Dance Alum On This Year's Top 25 List

Micah Moch, graduate of the dance program in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, has been working professionally since his graduation as, among other appearances, a member of the Lulu Washington Dance Theatre.

His talent and work are now recognized internationally, as Micah's been cited as one of 2012's "25 to Watch" by Dance Magazine.

Of Micah, Dance Magazine says "His kung-fu leaps froze in midair; his duck walks scrambled impossibly low to the ground...But what elevates Moch from good to great is his way of assembling steps while rendering transitions invisible."

Micah was also one of the dancers for Avatar the movie, creating motion capture in order to animate the tribesmen.

Congratulations, Micah!

Painting Professor's Works in State of Illinois Exhibition

Frank Trankina, professor of painting in the NIU School of Art, will have his work represented in the upcoming exhibition entitled "Figurism: Narrative and Fantastic Figurative Art from the State of Illinois Museum Permanent Collection." "Figurism" will be on display at the State of Illinois Museum Chicago Gallery from January 30 through May 25, 2012.

The gallery is located on the second floor of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph, in Chicago, and they will be open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. You can find a map here.

The opening reception is Friday, February 3, 2012, from 5:00-7:00 pm.

Congratulations, Frank!

Art Education Professor Earns National Award

Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of the Division of Art and Design Education in the NIU School of Art, was just notified that she is the 2012 recipient of the Manuel Barkan Memorial Award from the National Art Education Association. The Barkan Award selection is determined by a vote by NAEA peers, and based upon the candidates' scholarly contributions to the field. Kerry's article about leadership, which appeared during 2011 in the NAEA Journal Art Education, was her work that brought her the nomination.

Deborah B. Reeve, Executive Director of the NAEA, had this to say: "There is no greater testament of your exemplary contributions to the field of visual arts education than being chosen for this prestigious award. Your colleagues throughout the United States and abroad join the NAEA Board of Directors in applauding your leadership, commitment and service to the profession."

Congratulations, Kerry!

Music Professor Earns High Praise on New Recording

NIU School of Music Professor Rodrigo Villanueva plays drums on the recent jazz release "Analea." "Analea" is the latest recording by jazz luminaries Eddie Gomez (bass) and Frank Caruso (piano). The recording has earned high praise from many noted jazz critics.

Reviewer Ignacio Will stated "One of the most influential, inspiring albums I have heard for years. "Analea" is an awesome waterfall of virtuosic sounds that leave the listener wanting to hear it all over again."

The album is receiving steady airplay in major markets throughout the United States - Congratulations, Rodrigo!

Music Alum's Composing Career Flying High

NIU School of Music alum Brent Michael Davids shared some exciting news with us. Brent has been commissioned to compose two new works for band, recently finished a new film score to an animated film, and completed work on his mini opera. We are particularly happy to hear that Brent recently accepted his invitation to join the Mankato Symphony Orchestra as their Composer In Residence.

The Minnesota Band Directors Association (MBDA) has asked for two new works to be composed for junior high school and high school bands, respectively. An educational curriculum will accompany the works, and the works are intended to help school bands fulfill the MN state educational guidelines for learning more about American Indian history and culture.

Fresh from winning a Silver Medal at the Park City Film Music Festival for his orchestra score to "Valor's Kids," Brent was asked to compose the orchestral score to a new animated film. Contracts are still in negotiation, but once completed m…

Self Employment in the Arts Club - Upcoming Meetings

The NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts' Self Employment in the Arts club will have its next meeting this Thursday, January 19, at 6:00 p.m. in the O'Connell Theater in the Stevens Building. The club's trip to the SEA conference in Lisle will be organized - those in attendance may get to go to the conference for free!

ALSO - of interest to many of our students, is Coleman Foundation guest speaker Kimo Williams. Kimo is the guitarist and a vocalist with Gary Sinise's Lt. Dan Band, a faculty member at Columbia College in Chicago, and an independent music success story. Kimo will speak at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, February 6, in the Music Building (room TBD). All are welcome!

CVPA to Host New Art Examiner Symposium

"Re-Examining the New Art Examiner" is a symposium exploring the controversial history and unsettled significance of the most widely-read art magazine ever published in Chicago. Born out of seismic cultural shifts in the early 1970s, coming of age in the hyper-inflated art world of the 1980s, and embracing its role as part of the global re-theorization of art practices in the 1990s, the New Art Examiner was an independent magazine of art and cultural criticism that focused relentlessly on enlarging the debate and raising the stakes for art and artists in the Midwest.

The NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts is proud to present this symposium on Saturday, January 28, featuring several of the New Art Examiner's leading editors and writers, and in particular featuring its founder, Derek Guthrie.


10:00 – 10:15 a.m. Welcome: “Redefining Regionalism,” Barbara Jaffee
10:15 – 10:45 a.m. The Essential New Art Examiner, Kathryn Born
10:45 – 12:00 noon Derek …

Music Alum Scores for Major Film

Jermaine Stegall, a 2000 graduate of the NIU School of Music, has scored the music for the film "Breathless" by Voltage Pictures/Anchor Bay Films. The film is a dark comedy and stars Gina Gershon, Kelli Giddish, Val Kilmer and Ray Liotta. "Breathless" is scheduled for a 2012 release.

Congratulations, Jermaine!

Painting Alum Gains National Exposure

Tom Thayer's Nature Scene

Tom Thayer, who earned both his BFA and MFA degrees from the NIU School of Art, has been recognized in an article in the Huffington Post entitled "12 Painters to Watch in 2012." In addition to painting, Tom is a mixed-media and multi-media artist, and this recognition follows his strong recognition earlier this year in The L Magazine (see here for that article).

Congratulations, Tom!