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Showing posts from September, 2013

Percussion Professor Earns Excellent Performance Review

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Greg Beyer 

Greg Beyer, Professor of Percussion in the NIU School of Music, performed composer Steve Reich's Nagoya Marimbas as part of the recent collaborative performance between Thodos Dance Chicago and Fulcrum Point New Music Project.

The performance took place at the University of Chicago's Logan Center for the Arts on September 20.

Of the performance, reviewer Ginger Lane called the work "a show stopper," and named Greg and his colleague Doug Perkins as "virtuosi percussionists." The entire review is available here.

Congratulations, Greg!

Painting Professor's Work in New York Juried Exhibition

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Charlotte Rollman, Professor of Painting in the NIU School of Art, is honored to have one of her works in the noteworthy 117th Annual Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club Annual Open Juried Exhibition.

Charlotte's piece, from this past summer, was painted at the Rocky Mountain National Park before the floods devastated the west side of the park and the Big
Thompson River Canyon where Charlotte stayed and fell in love with the mountains.

Charlotte's work, "Sprague Lake Morning," is a 22"x 30" watercolor on 300 lbs Arches aquatelle.

School of Art to Host Regional Conference

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We're pleased to announce that the NIU School of Art will be hosting a regional FATE/ITI regional catalyst on Saturday, October 5.

School of Art faculty members Cindy Hellyer-Heinz and Richard Siegesmund are working with colleagues from the College of DuPage and Columbia College to present "The Digital Dilemma/Low Tech High Tech Experience."

The focus of this important regional event will be the struggle between the anticipation of all incoming students' ability to negotiate the digital Adobe landscape and our students' overwhelming requirement for making, expressing and thinking.


This think tank-style dialogue will address learning projections, particular to the contemporary student, which are essential for their success.


Those interested in registering may contact Cindy Hellyer-Heinz via email by October 1, 2013. Registration cost is $25.00.



Gallery Director's Works on Exhibition

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Peter Van Ael, Director of the Olson Gallery in the NIU School of Art and the Coordinator of the Museum Studies Program, has his works currently on exhibition at the Elgin Public Museum.

The exhibition is entitled "Informed by Nature: Reduction Woodcuts by Peter Van Ael," and features works that are inspired by nature and which feature insects and fish.

Art History Professor Presents Lecture: "Circus Maximus"

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Sinclair Bell is a Classical Archaeologist and Associate Professor of Art History in the Northern Illinois University School of Art, where he teaches courses on Greek, Roman and Egyptian art and architecture. On October 3, Sinclair will present a lecture entitled "Circus Maximus: Sport, Spectacle and Society in Ancient Rome" at the Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago. Many misperceptions surround the spectacles held in ancient Rome, especially as a result of contemporary film and television. For instance, there is the popular belief that gladiatorial combats were the premiere spectacle at Rome: that they attracted the biggest audiences and the most partisan fans. In fact, neither assumption is true. The Circus Maximus in Rome – the original and largest venue for chariot-racing – was many centuries older and considerably larger than the Colosseum. In addition, chariot-races drew the largest crowds and most fervent fans in Rome and throughout the Roman empire, and continued t…

Dance Professor's Troupe in Major Festival

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Danszloop Chicago

Paula Frasz, Professor of Dance in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, along with her professional dance company Danszloop Chicago, are appearing this weekend in the noted Princetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival on Cape Cod.

Paula explains her company's participation in an interview with writer Robert Israel, available here. Danszloop Chicago will perform "The Chorus Girl Plays," a world-premiere production of Curtains for the Gentleman, which was written when Tennessee Williams was still known as Tom Williams.

Printmaking Program Impresses Internationally

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As many readers know, the printmaking program in the NIU School of Art is ranked in the Top 20 by U.S. News and World Report.

The international exhibition known as Global Print 2013, held in Douro, Portugal, featured the work of 390 artists from all over the world. We're pleased to tell you that NIU faculty member Michael Barnes' work was included, as were works by two NIU printmaking alumni - Kyle Turner (MFA 2012) and Aaron Coleman (MFA 2013).



Douro is a UNESCO-designation World Heritage site, and won the rights to have the Center for Printmaking located there. Our printmakers can indeed be proud of their inclusion in this exhibition and the accompanying catalog.

Congratulations to Michael, Kyle and Aaron!

Jazz Saxophone Professor Earns Great Reviews

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Geof Bradfield
Congratulations to Geof Bradfield, assistant professor of jazz saxophone in the NIU School of Music. Fresh off his noteworthy set at the Chicago Jazz Festival, there are now two reviews of recordings that he's on that are both terrific.

The reviews appear in the Chicago Tribune, courtesy of reviewer Howard Reich. One of the recordings that earns Reich's praise is Ryan Cohan's "The River," and the second recording is Clark Sommers' "Ba(SH)."

In particular, Reich has these wonderful remarks about Geof's playing: "...it's Bradfield who probably will capture most listeners' ears (and hearts). The depth, urgency and intensity of Bradfield's sound on "Garrison" and the profundity and idiosyncrasy of his expression on "Quanah," both by Sommers, as well as the serene poetry of Bradfield's solos on Billy Higgins' "Inga" and the searching, questing character of his tone on Sommers&…

Percussion Professor and Piano Alumna Earn Great Reviews

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Greg Beyer
Greg Beyer, professor of percussion in the NIU School of Music, is a member of the noted music group Ensemble Dal Niente. Alumna Mabel Kwan is also a member of this esteemed group.

Mabel Kwan (photo by Nelson Fitch)
Last week, Dal Niente performed as part of Chicago's "Beethoven Festival" - which actually presents music from several genres. Greg and Mabel performed Karlheinz Stockhausen's "Kontakte" for percussion, piano and electronica, and received two noteworthy reviews.

In the Chicago Tribune, reviewer John von Rhein stated ""Dal Niente remains an always-welcome visitor to the festival, and a potent account of Stockhausen's "Kontakte" ("Contacts") by members Greg Beyer (percussion) and Mabel Kwan (piano and percussion) reminded one why this total-serialist fusion of synthesized and live instrumental sounds has attained classic status amid the avant-garde canon of the late 1950s."

In Chicago Classical Revi…

Illustration Professors Win Book Award

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Congratulations are in order for NIU School of Art professors Todd Buck and Kim Martens - Todd and Kim provided the medical illustrations for a recent book (surgical atlas) entitled "Aesthetic Reconstruction of the Child's Nose," authored by Dr. Gary Burget.



The book features over 120 illustrations by Todd and several chapter's worth of illustrations by Kim.



The book was entered into the exhibit at the recent national conference of the Association of Medical Illustrators, and won an Award of Excellence. Congratulations Todd and Kim!




Four Art Professors' Works Featured in Fermilab Series

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We're pleased to announce that the works of four professors from the NIU School of Art will constitute the next exhibition, entitled "Views," at the Fermilab Art Gallery in Batavia.

Works presented will be from Charlotte Rollman (painting), Ashley Nason (printmaking), Harry Wirth (emeritus professor, painting), and Yih-Wen Kuo (ceramics).

The exhibition opens on September 17 and runs through November 12. There will be an artists' reception on Friday, September 20, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The Fermilab Art Gallery is located at Kirk Road and Pine Street in Batavia.

Alumni Professional Choir Seeks Your Help with First Commercial Recording

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The NIU School of Music is proud to be associated with Cor Cantiamo, a professional choir that consists of overwhelmingly NIU School of Music alums and is now an Ensemble in Residence in the School of Music. Created and directed by Eric Johnson, Director of Choral Activities in the NIU School of Music, Cor Cantiamo has quickly earned a spot among the most respected professional choirs in the United States.

Recently, Cor Cantiamo was approached by Centaur Records to produce a recording of the music of noted Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi. Because of the strong relationship that professor Johnson had already developed with Mäntyjärvi, this is a natural fit.

Eric Johnson with Jaakko Mäntyjärvi
The recording sessions are complete, and the project is in it's final stage. As a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Cor Cantiamo is seeking your help with bringing this project to its conclusion. Cor Cantiamo has a Kickstarter campaign underway, and they are on their way to real…

Art Students Create Series of Exhibitions

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Luis Sahagun. The work and shadows created were incredible!
Headed by NIU School of Art students Luis Sahagun and Stephanie Chambers, "Ten Rounds" is a series of exhibitions of the work of School of Art students, designed to promote the sense of community that art work can easily evoke. Not only does the series create a community by engaging ten student artists who work together on the series, but the works themselves are pieces that represent what a community could come together to create.

Each week's new piece(s) will be celebrated on Thursdays at 4:30, in Gallery 214 in the Jack Arends Building (Visual Art Building) on the NIU campus.

For more of an idea about how art can be used to develop a sense of community, feel free to check out the videos on Luis' website here.


Saxophone Professor Opens Chicago Jazz Festival

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Geof Bradfield on the big screen at Pritzker Pavilion
Geof Bradfield, assistant professor of jazz saxophone in the NIU School of Music, had the honor of opening the Chicago Jazz Festival on Friday, August 30, at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

Geof presented his heralded suite "Melba!" in its entirety, and then brought out the legendary Randy Weston to perform Mr. Weston's "African Sunrise."

About the performance, Howard Reich in the Chicago Tribunestated "...Bradfield, who with this performance placed himself among this city's leading composer-bandleaders."

Geof's band includes NIU music alums trumpeter Victor Garcia and guitarist Mike Allemana.

Congratulations Geof, Victor and Mike!