Showing posts from February, 2012

Coordinator of Jazz Studies Selected to National Board

The NIU School of Music is proud to announce that Professor Ron Carter, Coordinator of Jazz Studies, has been selected to serve as a board member for the Jaris Reed Group.

The Jaris Reed Group (JRG) is a non-profit organization whose mission is dedicated to the preservation of jazz. JRG produces documentary films in a program called "Jazz Backstage" which feature major jazz artists and then utilizes those films to educate children about jazz in schools throughout the United States. The project has gained excellent notice from actors, directors and producers in the motion picture industry as well as from members of the U.S. Congress.

Congratulations, Ron!

School of Art Hosts Viewings of "Art21," Season Six

The NIU School of Art is pleased to host an exclusive sneak preview of the PBS series "Art21," season six.

"Art in the Twenty-First Century" season six includes profiles of 13 artists from five continents gathered into four, one-hour thematic episodes: Change, Balance, History and Boundaries. Spanning the globe from Nigeria to New York City, from Beijing to Brazil, the programs reveal the artists at work and speaking in their own words as they demonstrate the power of art to alter perception, challenge convention, and change how we see the world around us.

The screenings of ART 21/season six are free and open to the public. There will be a Tuesday and Wednesday viewing of each of the four episodes, with the screenings of episodes 3 and 4 combined. All previews will be shown in the Art Building (Arends Hall) room 103, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on the following dates:

Tuesday, March 6 and Wednesday, March 7: Episode One - CHANGE
Catherine Opie, E…

New York Critics Have High Praise for Theatre Alums

Two alumni of the NIU School of Theatre and Dance are appearing in a play in New York City, and the reviews have been terrific. Melissa Lorraine Hawkins appears as "Bernadette" and Andrew Hampton Livingston appears as "Clip" in the production of "I Killed My Mother" at the La MaMa First Floor Theater.

In the New York Times, reviewer Ben Brantley says "Much of the play occurs during Bernadette’s early years at the orphanage, which means that the two adult performers here have the unenviable assignment of portraying little children. Fortunately, Ms. Hawkins and Mr. Livingston forestall the expected whimsy and exaggerated pathos that usually accompany such performances by investing their characters with an immediate and feral fierceness." Mr. Brantley's entire review can be found here.

In Andy Buck's review in Theater Mania, he states "Hawkins is an actor of great vocal, emotional, and physical power who makes us care about her character…

Theatre Alums Shine in Chicago Shakespeare Production

Tracy Michelle Arnold and Timothy Edward Kane

NIU School of Theatre and Dance alums Tracy Michelle Arnold and Timothy Edward Kane star in the current production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," produced by Chicago Shakespeare Theater and being presented at Navy Pier. The show, and in particular the work of Tracy and Tim, has received excellent reviews in several publications.

From the review in the Northwest Indiana Times, reviewer Philip Potempa says "Kane exudes his character, whether in the guise of Duke Theseus or the entrancing King of the Fairies Oberon. He is ideally matched with Arnold as his female force counterpart. Every turn of their heads to the raise of an eyebrow, conveys more than anything that could ever be possible with just words." Mr. Potempa's entire review may be read here.

Katy Walsh, in, says "Kane plays it deliciously arrogant and manipulative. The duo is a vaudevillian-style hoot...The target of Kane’s prank…

Community School of the Arts plans 10th annual Performathon

Somonauk artist Anna Kennedy and her daughter Sophie with the painted violin created for Performathon

The NIU Music Building will resound with music and excitement on Saturday, March 10, as the NIU Community School of the Arts presents its tenth Performathon. All funds raised are used for arts scholarships for young people in the community.

Featuring approximately 75 musicians of all ages, the Performathon is the Community School’s major fundraising event. Students collect pledges from family and friends who support their playing, singing or artwork. Local businesses also support the Performathon through advertising in the event’s program booklet and by donating prizes for the raffle.

Since 1993, nearly $85,000 has been raised and more than 700 scholarships awarded to deserving local students. The NIU Community School of the Arts offers year-round private lessons, music ensembles, and group classes in music, art and theatre for children and adults.

New in 2012 is a chance to win a stunnin…

Art Professor's Works Selected for 2 Major Shows



Harry Wirth, Professor in the NIU School of Art, has recently had two of his watercolor paintings selected for major shows.

"Verge" was selected as one of 60 works (from among over 400 entrants) to appear in the upcoming exhibition entitled "Forward: A Survey of Wisconsin Art 2012," which will be on display at the Charles Allis Museum of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from March 2 through June 3, with the opening reception scheduled for Friday, March 2, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Harry's work "Awakening" was also recently selected by a jury to be included in the exhibition "Watercolor Wisconsin" at the Wustum Museum of Art in Racine, Wisconsin. The exhibition runs now through April.

Both paintings are among the many that Harry created during his sabbatical of 2011/2012. Congratulations, Harry!

Art History Professor Publishes Book on Ancient Roman Ex-Slaves

Sinclair Bell, Assistant Professor of Art History in the NIU School of Art, has co-edited a volume on freed slaves in ancient Rome that was published this week. Free at Last! The Impact of Freed Slaves on the Roman Empire, which is co-edited with Teresa Ramsby, was published by Bloomsbury Press in London, and will become available in the United States next month.

The book builds on recent dynamic work on Roman freedmen. The contributors draw upon a rich and varied body of evidence – visual, literary, epigraphic and archaeological – to elucidate the impact of freed slaves on Roman society and culture amid the shadow of their former servitude. The contributions span the period between the first century BCE and the early third century CE and survey the territories of the Roman Republic and Empire, while focusing on Italy and Rome.

Advance notice of the book has been highly positive. Glenys Davies, Senior Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh,…

Jazz Studies Coordinator Featured on SiriusXM Radio

Professor Ron Carter, head of jazz studies in the NIU School of Music, is being featured on SiriusXM Radio. The program that features Ron is part of a four-week series, hosted by Wynton Marsalis, highlighting the wonderful work of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington program. For many years Ron has served as a faculty member for the Essentially Ellington Band Director Academy during the summer months.

The entire radio show, lasting one hour, may be heard here. Ron enters the conversation at the 34:45 minute mark. Earlier in the program, Ron's former student from East St. Louis High School, Delano Redmond, who now serves as the jazz director at East St. Louis High School, may be heard making several poignant remarks.

CVPA Mourns Loss of Professor Emeritus

1986 Art Faculty Meeting by Richard Beard

The NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts is saddened to learn of the passing of revered professor emeritus Richard (Dick) Beard. Dr. Beard spent the last 30 years of his notable career as a painting professor in the NIU School of Art. As a professional painter, Dick won many juried competitions throughout the United States. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Dorathea, also an emeritus faculty member of the NIU School of Art, and their three children, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The NIU School of Art owns several works by Dr. Beard, many of which will be displayed in Gallery 214 in Arends Hall (the art building) on the NIU campus during the week of February 6.

A complete obituary may be found here.

Noted Tenor Returns to NIU to Present Masterclasses

Renowned operatic tenor Frank Lopardo will return to the NIU School of Music to present two master classes to vocal majors.

Mr. Lopardo has performed major roles several times at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, Chicago's Lyric Opera, and with numerous other noted opera companies throughout the world.

Mr. Lopardo's master classes are free of charge and open to the public, and will take place Friday, February 17 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. and also on Saturday, February 18, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. NIU School of Music piano professor William Koehler will accompany Mr. Lopardo.