Category: Arts

2nd Thursday Scholarship Concert Series

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UGASO_11_0.jpgThe Hugh Hodgson School of Music revs up the fall semester with the first concert in the 2nd Thursday Scholarship Concert Series on Thursday Sept. 11, with a new start time at 7:30 p.m.:

Pianist Damon Denton will appear as featured soloist with the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra on Sept. 11 in Hodgson Concert Hall.

In addition to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major “Eroica,” one of the most beloved compositions in the Western music canon, the UGA Symphony Orchestra—directed by Mark Cedel—will showcase Denton during its performance of George Gershwin’s “Concerto in F.”

“One of the reasons I love this composition is because it highlights the piano and orchestra in equal measure,” said Denton, a faculty accompanist in the Hodgson School, speaking of “Concerto in F.” “It gives the entire orchestra—not just the piano, but all the wonderful musicians onstage—a chance to shine.”

As one of the country’s most celebrated composers, Gershwin had an affinity for combining distinctly American idioms, including jazz, the blues and ragtime, into his compositions. “Concerto in F,” while more closely tied to classical concerto tradition than “Rhapsody in Blue,” incorporates many of the sounds, textures and harmonies for which Gershwin is known.

“The concerto is all about real life,” Denton said. “It mirrors the street—cars honking, crowds cheering, dirty streets and bright lights. Gershwin’s work is distinctly American music that joyously reflects American life as opposed to abstract melody.”

We know the semester is fully geared up when the Symphony orchestra opens the 2nd Thursday season. Take advantage of these wonderful cultural offerings all year long and help support our students in the Hodgson School by purchasing season tickets. Great concerts and wonderful musical experiences await. See you at Hodgson Hall.

2014-15 Dodd Professorial Chair: Zoe Strauss

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Strauss2_380_255auto.jpgThe Lamar Dodd School of Art welcomes Philadelphia-based photographer Zoe Strauss to campus as this year's Dodd Professorial Chair:

For a decade between 2001 and 2010, Philadelphia photographer Zoe Strauss (b. 1970) showed her photographic works once a year in a public space beneath an I-95 highway overpass in South Philadelphia. In these annual one-day exhibitions, Strauss mounted her color photographs to the concrete bridge supports and viewers could buy photocopies for five dollars. Through portraits and documents of houses and signage, Strauss looked unflinchingly at the economic struggles and hardscrabble lives of residents in her own community and other parts of the United States. She describes her work as "an epic narrative about the beauty and struggle of everyday life." Strauss, a self-taught photographer and political activist, sees her work as a type of social intervention, and she has often used billboards and public meetings as venues. This exhibition is a mid-career retrospective and the first critical assessment of her decade-long project.

Strauss' Dodd Chair lecture is on Tuesday September 2 at 5:30 p.m. in room S151 of the school of art. The lecture is free and the public is invited to attend.

Image: Zoe Strauss, Mattress Flip Front, 2001. Courtesy International Center of Photography.

2014-15 University Theatre Season

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Fine_Arts.jpgThe richness of cultural choices - programming, in the common parlance - in our campus community instills a great sense of contact, exploration and inspiration. The new University Theatre season is an extraordinarily thoughtful repertoire of new and old that promises many great nights on its venerable stages:

[The] 2014-2015 lineup, which includes the 2012 Tony Award Winning "Raisin in the Sun" spinoff "Clybourne Park," a stage adaptation of literary and film classic "The Great Gatsby" presented as part of the UGA Spotlight on the Arts Festival, Shakespeare's classic comedy "Much Ado About Nothing" and the biting satire "Mein Kampf."

This year's season offers new and old classics, from Shakespeare to Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" and adaptations and spin-offs of classic literature. It also contains new offerings, such as Catherine Trieschmann's "Hot Georgia Sunday" and George Tabori's "Mein Kampf," a satirical sendup of Adolf Hitler's failure as an artist that led him to pursue his other dream—of taking over the world. "A Lesson Before Dying," based on the Ernest Gaines novel examining the life of an innocent man on death row in 1948 Louisiana

The literary sensibililty of this roster alone has tremendous appeal. I already have my favorites. Get your season tickets today.

Image: Fine Arts Theatre by Cassandra Wright.

LDSOA alums in residence at Bemis Center

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Plakas1.jpgCongratulations to Rachel Dubuque (MFA '13) and Justin Plakas (MFA '12) who were selected to live and work at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NB this summer:

The two are part of an international group of 18 artists who were selected out of a pool of 800, working on individual projects for a funded cycle of three months.

"It has been an amazingly transformative experience," Plakas said.

GMOA Museum Mix features Pylon, Athens cultural scene exhibits

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A late-night art party at the Georgia Museum of Art this Thursday night from 8- midnight will harken back to the 1970s and 1980s music and art scene here in Athens and is surely not to be missed.  Known as Museum Mix, this free event will feature snacks and refreshments, access to all of the museum’s galleries until midnight and a DJ set by Michael Lachowski, co-founder of and bass player for the seminal athens band Pylon.

The summer Museum Mix is inspired by the exhibition "Shapes That Talk to Me: The Athens Scene, 1975-85." The DJ will be Michael Lachowski, co-founder of and bass player for the seminal Athens band Pylon. Lachowski will play records that Pylon members and others listened to during the early years of the Athens music scene, including music by Pere Ubu, The Ramones, Public Image Ltd, Talking Heads, Cabaret Voltaire, Elvis Costello, Suicide, Kraftwerk and many more.

Lachowski, who also handles public relations for the museum and helped organize "Shapes That Talk to Me," said, "The social scene that the early Athens music scene came out of was based around art students, art faculty and visual art itself-but our parties were also fueled by new music from outside Athens. Because access to new music was always a challenge, the communal sharing of new acquisitions in social contexts was taken seriously. While we were dancing and cavorting, we were absorbing an education in music-the influences that shaped Pylon and other bands-and that's the music I want to revisit at this hot summer Museum Mix."

The “Shapes That Talk to Me” exhibit and the Museum Mix event are being held in conjunction with Art Rocks Athens, a festival exploring the works of art and music that established Athens as a cultural center.  Art Rocks Athens and the accompanying exhibits and events is continuing the tradition of UGA and the Athens cultural scene influencing each other. Through December, venues across Athens are taking part in the collaborative celebration with exhibitions, films, lectures and more.  View more about Art Rocks Athens here.

'Mafia on Prozac' production begins July 23

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An unusual summer theatre production begins its international run at the university next week:

"Mafia on Prozac," the hit off-Broadway comedy by Edward Allan Baker, July 23-25 at 8 p.m. in the Cellar Theatre of the Fine Arts Building.

The company will move to Atlanta's Hangar Theatre for a performance July 26 from 8:50-9:35 p.m. and then on to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland Aug. 1-2 and 4-9.

The production is a collaboration between two long-time colleagues at separate universities: Ray Paolino, UGA's director of theatre, and Barry Pearson, provost of the State University of New York Purchase College. The two pooled resources to bring a professional-level production to the Edinburgh Festival with Pearson serving as the play's director and Paolino as a lead actor in the role of Tee.

Also on board from UGA is department of theatre and film studies faculty member T. Anthony Marotta in the lead role of Jay; master of fine arts in theatre graduate student Zack Byrd as the stage manager; and alumnus Michael Stille in the role of Matt. The production and tour are funded by the Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, the President's Venture Fund, a Provost's Summer Research Grant and the Purchase College Foundation.

A late July treat that is not to be missed. Get your tickets the evening of each performance at the Fine Arts Theatre box office.

Art Maymester in NYC

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NYCCOMBO.jpgMore on this soon, but 30 students (graduate and undergraduate) in the Lamar Dodd School of Art enjoyed a great experience on a new Maymester program in the spring - a field study in New York City. Students had the opportunity to visit all the big museums plus a number of galleries throughout the city, interact with many UGA alumni as well as incoming LDSOA director Chris Garvin. Now that's a fun way to learn.

Image collage courtesy of Marni Shindelman.

Art Rocks Athens

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SeansArt2.jpgAthens and the University of Georgia enjoy a world-renown that far outstrips the dimensions of the Northeast Georgia town itself or even a major American university. Why is that? How is it possible that this local symbiosis produces acknowledgement and acclaim from every corner on the globe? Artists ansd supporters have been unpacking this question in a series of arts shows that continues through July 26.

Flutissimo 2014

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flute trill.jpgThe Hugh Hodgson School of Music will hold an intensive flute workshop that includes three recital concerts in Ramsey Concert Hall beginning Monday June 23 at 7:15 pm:

Each concert features members of the Flutissimo! faculty:

Carol Wincenc, Professor of Flute - The Juilliard School
Nicole Esposito, Professor of Flute - University of Iowa
Angela Jones-Reus, Professor of Flute - University of Georgia
Katherine Isbill, DMA - University of Washington, MM & BM - University of Georgia
Victor Asuncion, Professor of Piano - University of Memphis)
Akiko Aguchi, Pianist - Athens, GA

Sounds like great fun - and beautiful music. Jones-Reus is a wonderful performer and teacher who attracts some of the best flute students in the country to UGA. Come find out why. The recitals are free and open to the public

REFOCUS program benefits students, scientists

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Projectfocuslogo2_000.jpgMore great news today for the future of STEM-related careers. Veteran scientists and engineers will share their love of science and math with the next generation through a program known as REFOCUS.  The program will train professionals to work with teachers in Clarke and six surrounding counties to provide regular science and math enrichment activities to students. 

The program is meant to help students in K-12 understand math and science concepts and expose them to new STEM career choices for the future. The program is based on a program that’s been in place at UGA for the past 12 years.  David Knauft, a professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, began a program called FOCUS in which UGA students studying STEM subjects were paired with elementary and middle school teachers in Clarke County.

REFOCUS will expand on the Project FOCUS framework, allowing science, technology, engineering and math mentors to be in even more Clarke County classrooms and in classrooms in surrounding counties.

"For quite some time, we have wanted to expand Project FOCUS to include graduate students, postdocs, faculty and retired scientists," said David Knauft, professor of horticulture in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and STEM education advocate. "Thanks to this AAAS funding, we will be able to do so.

"Also, because these individuals have more flexible schedules, we hope to bring REFOCUS to nearby counties, something we haven't been able to do with Project FOCUS."

Another great example of collaboration, between disciplines at UGA and between UGA and area school systems.  Knauft worked with the Clarke County School District; Julie Luft, the Athletic Association Professor of Mathematics and Science Education in the UGA College of Education; and Chuck Kutal, associate dean of the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, to secure a $14,800 grant from American Association for the Advancement of Science to help develop the REFOCUS program.  

The REFOCUS project will start recruiting its first class of STEM mentors this summer and debut the program in Clarke County classrooms this fall.

To get involved in Project REFOCUS, contact Knauft atdknauft@uga.edu.  For more information on Project FOCUS, see www.focus.uga.edu.