Category: Arts

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.

Welcoming a New Class: Orientation is Under Way

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It’s a beautiful summer morning here at the University of Georgia.  Some students are on their way to summer classes, but some of the newest class of Bulldawgs is on campus for orientation.  Sessions are held all summer long, and this Monday marks the second group of students welcomed onto campus in the UGA tradition. The orientation experience provides a foundational memory, as students plan for the future, make friends and take in the beauty of the UGA campus. 

A team of outstanding orientation leaders mentors these new students as they embark on their academic paths.  Franklin College is well represented in this leadership group, as you can see here, with orientation leaders pursuing degrees in communication studies, English, sociology and psychology.  They advise on campus traditions, choosing a major, and getting to know the town of Athens. We commend these student leaders for imparting their wisdom and inspiring the incoming class.  

Congratulations and welcome to the incoming class of UGA students! Have fun at orientation!

Research Magazine Highlights Franklin Contributions

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UGAresearchmag.jpgAs a research institution, the University of Georgia is host to a bevy of researchers from all areas of academics--the arts, humanities and sciences.  Franklin College, a collection of 30 departments and an additional 30 institutes and centers, is the proud home of many of those research projects.  Each semester, the University’s research achievements and narratives are told via the campus publication Research Magazine.  The Spring/Summer 2014 issue has just been released and it’s  full of research from departments in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

This issue serves to highlight just what a vast impact the arts and sciences has on the University at large.  Research on dementia and the origin of the thymus gland, books on Chilean politics and modern architecture and so much more are highlighted in the most recently released edition.  Don’t miss the feature on a unique project combining the art of dance, physics and animation or the opinion piece from UGA history professor James Cobb. There’s even an interview with Franklin College Associate Dean Noel Fallows on the sport of jousting.  

Each issue serves to highlight the importance of academic research on campus, but without the contributions of Franklin College researchers, the pool of research would be much smaller. Kudos to all who contribute to the large pool of research, but especially to the Franklin College researchers highlighted in this issue.  Congratulations are also in order to the magazine’s editorial team.  Campus research writers, graphic designers and host of others contribute to this magazine to make it happen each semester and the results are always worthwhile.  Take a look at the issue here.

Photo: The most recent cover of Research Magazine.  Courtesy of UGA Research Magazine.

Author to discuss music legend, Georgian, Johnny Mercer

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Moon RiverThe Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries will present a special event next week on May 28 at 4 p.m. on an extraodrinary Georgian, composer Johnny Mercer:

Glenn T. Eskew, author of "Johnny Mercer, Southern Songwriter for the World," will discuss the popular lyricist in a multimedia presentation May 28 at 4 p.m. in the auditorium of the University of Georgia Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.

Eskew's book is researched examination of the musician and was published by the University of Georgia Press, which is co-sponsoring the event with the UGA Libraries.

Mercer, who died in 1976, is known for songs including "Jeepers Creepers," "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Sante Fe" and "Moon River." He wrote at least 1,400 songs, was nominated for 19 Academy Awards and won four. Additionally, he was a co-founder of Capitol Records, through which he is credited with reviving the careers of such stars as Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and Duke Ellington.

I had no idea that Mercer was a co-founder of Capitol Records, though I am very familiar with Moon River - the inlet and the tune. Eskew is sure to share many more interesting stories about this legendary musician and native of Savannah.

Art Rox at LDSOA

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TwoWomenThreeQuilts.jpgBeginning May 23, 2014,  the Lamar Dodd School of Art will host a retrospective exhibition of art from the period 1975-85, presented by the Art Rocks Athens Foundation:

Athens, Georgia is well known for its vibrant music scene. What is less known, however, is that artists from the era of 1975-85 gave rise to the music, and then their music went on to influence the art. Art Rocks Athens Foundation, a non-profit organization, was formed to explore and document that time period, and to present a retrospective of the work of artists who were living and making art in the vortex of creativity that centered on Athens. Through the conservation of both artworks and music-related artifacts, Art Rocks Athens Foundation seeks to make a verifiable record of this history and its lasting importance to the town so many people love.

To bring in the wider world, he invited nationally known artists like Elaine de Kooning, and Phillip Guston who became artists in residence. They brought not just knowledge, but also a willingness to share their experiences, that only became more precious over time. When the Art Department began teeming with students, Lamar Dodd persuaded downtown business people to rent the empty spaces above their shops for use as artists’ studios. Thus, town united with gown, and from this atmosphere where innovation and collaboration were the order of the day, the Athens artists gave form and substance to the Athens music scene.

Many campus entities - the Special Collections Librairies, Willson Center, many Franklin College departments and individual faculty members - have been doing yoeman work to re-assemble many of the principles and tell the stories of the Athens music scene. As this picture takes shape, we re-affirm what's been obvious all along - that the art scene and the music scene continue to be mutially informing, supporting and essential to each other and the wonderful musical and visual art that gives this little town its flavor. This exhibition at Lamar Dodd should be great. Support the Art Rocks Athens. And don't forget to enjoy the show.

Image: "Two Women Three Quilts," 1975, 66" X 88", Oil on canvas, Neill Slaughter.