Category: art

Uma Nagendra Dances her Ph.D.

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This is a quite visionary joining of art and science:

University of Georgia doctoral student Uma Nagendra flipped and twisted her way to the top prize in the seventh annual Dance Your Ph.D. contest for her video explaining biology research through an aerial dance performance.

The contest, sponsored by Science Magazine, the Association of the Advancement of Science and HighWire Press, challenged scientists around the world to explain their Ph.D. research through the art form of dance. Nagendra's video was chosen from 12 finalists as the overall winner by an expert panel of scientists and artists. Her video also won first place in the biology category.

Nagendra, a student in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of plant biology, studies how forests regenerate after severe disturbances like tornadoes.

n 2005, Nagendra's home city of New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. This piqued her interest in studying how the natural world recovers from disasters. Nagendra began her doctorate at UGA in 2011 and set out to research tornadoes, a more readily occurring disaster.

Nagendra attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts part time as a high school student but later shifted her attention to science as an undergraduate at Swarthmore College.

"From the moment I first saw a Dance Your Ph.D. video, I knew I would enter the contest someday," she said. "I really think that art can help communicate scientific ideas and fuel creative thinking."

Negritud in Latin American Art

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Solis.jpgGreat panel discussion on tap tonight in the Lamar Dodd School of Art:

 The Dodd Galleries present a panel discussion on the exhibition "Negritud in Latin American Art" this evening in Gallery 101, 6-7pm.

Join Dodd art instructor Stanley Bermudez discuss his curated exhibition "Negritud in Latin American Art" with Lesley Feracho, associate professor in the department of romance languages and the Institute of African-American Studies and Ximena González-Parada, a PhD candidate in romance languages.​

That's tonight, in Gallery 101. 6-7pm. The exhibition features art from members of the Atlanta art collective Contrapunto and several New York artists, the works in this exhibition exemplify the often over-looked but integral influence of African culture on art of Latin America and the Caribbean. Artists featured in the exhibit include Dio-genes Abreu, Jorge Arcos, Stanley Bermúdez, Ismael Checo, Pedro Fuertes, Dora López, Alexis Mendoza, José Peña, Carlos Solis, Luis Stephenberg, Juana Valdes, & Reinaldo Vargas. Curated by Dodd art professor Stanley Bermudez and Atlanta artist Carlos Solis.

Study Abroad Fair Oct. 9-10

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In 1970, there were two study abroad programs at UGA - the Classics program in Rome and Lamar Dodd School of Art program in Cortona. Now, there are programs in [at least] 27 different locations around the world. Students can explore these opportunities for the next two days at the Study Abroad Fair in the Tate Center:

Organized by the Office of International Education, the fair will feature opportunities for students to study, intern, travel or volunteer abroad. Some 80 exhibitors will showcase programs led by UGA faculty, at UGA residential centers, at international partner universities and those offered by both external providers and other organizations involved in international education.

The fair will provide students with the opportunity to explore multiple program options, pre-departure preparation, dates and costs as well as practical information about pursuing academic or work experiences abroad. It is open free to the public.

"The Study Abroad Fair is a unique two-day event designed to help students get a feel for various global opportunities available to them during their time at UGA by simply browsing various tables and speaking with exhibitors," said Yana Cornish, director of education abroad in the Office of International Education. "I hope many will take advantage of this event."

In 2013, the fair attracted 85 program exhibitors representing all regions of the world and was visited by nearly 1,500 attendees.

Here's a short video of a longer documentary celebrating the Classics Program in Rome. Looks like fun.

 

 

 

Heart, mind, and eye — the art of Lamar Dodd

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venice-reflection-rain_dodd.jpgTerrific appreciation of Lamar Dodd by Jamil Zainaldin at the Saporta Report:

Life in Depression-era New York was hard for Dodd, as well as for his family back home in LaGrange. He and his new wife, also of LaGrange, decided in 1933, against the advice of his teachers, to return to the South, where he took a position in a Birmingham art store. He continued painting with heart, mind, and eye, honoring the humble and dignifying the ordinary in settings that he seemed to understand in his deepest being. His reputation continued to grow, inside and outside the South.

At the age of 28, he received a summons out of the blue from the head of the University of Georgia’s fine arts division, who urged him to come to Athens as the university’s artist-in-residence. They were looking for “a live, recognized artist doing actual creative work” who would not only serve students but act as a cultural influence on “the people of our state.” If this agreed with him, then the university would up the visual arts budget from $50 to $5,000.

As we say whenever anyone asks, Dodd was a real ambassador for the arts, who believed with conviction in the importance of a cultivated citizenry. Let us resolve to never be shy about that, and that his legacy remains alive and well on campus.

Image: Venice Reflection, Rain (1958) by Lamar Dodd. Credit: Georgia’s State Art Collection, Georgia Council for the Arts

New LDSOA director Chris Garvin

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garvin_chris.jpgEach fall brings many new faces to campus, but this semsester marks the beginning of a new era at the Lamar Dodd School of Art with the arrival of its new director, Chris Garvin. Learn more about Garvin, his background and vision for the school in this extended Q&A (an abridged version appeared in the Sept. 2 Columns):

Chris Garvin comes to UGA from The University for the Arts in Philadelphia, where he served as program director. An interactive designer and creative director in the private sector for many years, Garvin has written and spoken extensively on the complexity of contemporary design and business practice, and its implications on the future of design and education. He spoke with Columns upon his arrival to UGA this summer.

Alan Flurry: You are a professor and an artist, how do those two fit together?

Chris Garvin: There are parts of my life that I act as a designer, as an artist, an educator, an entrepreneur, and I embrace them all. I’m never scared to be a hybrid, to have ‘and’ be in there. Part of my experience is writing curriculum and programs at universities and getting them off the ground, building coalitions and curriculums so that things can happen. I’ve done that looking at those projects as a designer, and I’ve used those designer skills to help me become a better educator.

The thing that makes them part of me is that I use the same thinking processes in all of them. I think about audience differently in each, and I think about the group and the collaborations differently.

AF: That takes a lot of confidence, but also a lot of humility – it can seem like a contradiction.

CG: It can, and I have often said, “I have just enough ego to try this, but not so much ego that I need to own it.” And it’s helped me a lot in building things; many times in academia, the ownership is what can kill interesting projects and keep them from getting off the ground.

AF: You come to UGA from a big city setting, how is that related to your vision for the school of art?

CG: So I grew up in a formerly big city, Buffalo. I went to grad school at Ohio State, then I lived in New York City for ten years, and that’s an education in itself, then in Philadelphia. And those are two very different American metropolises, and they work very differently.

I moved to New York to be a designer, with a painting degree, so some of my vision comes out of my own experience. I was trained in a great art school in a large research university, where I gained the confidence to use those skills in a variety of different ways.

For example, I could talk to computer scientists; I borrowed projectors for my thesis exhibit from the football team; I had an office in a center shared between the art school and the computer science school, all very formative experiences. Being a painter and working in those critiques, I learned the idea of abstracting things, moving across disciplines, across mediums, and in a contemporary business world that would be called ‘knowledge transfer.’ It’s incredibly marketable. So I like to say I was accidentally marketable because of my education, but it wasn’t so much an accident as that academic environment.

For me, the most exciting thing about UGA is that the pieces of that same ecosystem are here. Helping to build those connections where our graduate and undergraduate students can excel in whatever they want to do, that their vision of success is not just the gallery show, not just working at a design firm, but it’s a variety of different things that they choose, we have the ability to do that here. Few places in the world have the academic ecosystem available to make that kind of malleable, exciting graduate that can go out into the world and do whatever they want.

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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Museum_Mix_DJ_Michael_Lachowski_in_1983.jpg

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.

Microscopic photos spotlight the art of science

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thale cressWhile they are often identified as poles, a spectrum or even a line of demarcation from one kind of investigation into another, science and art can and occasionally do cohabitate, as in the case of UGA research scientist Stefan Eberhard, who utilizes scientific instrumentation for creative purposes:

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.

Creative Curricula

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Costumes_du_ballet_Parade.jpgThe future of higher education is always a hot topic - though it can be difficult to predict from this side of the arch, front-loaded as we are with the present, if not the past. That being said, there are important elements of what we do and teach that, if arranged differently, could re-inforce traditional disiciplines and provide next-generation skills in the context in which they will be needed.

For example, this Baltimore Magazine article highlights a ground-breaking new partnership between the Maryland Institute College of Art and John Hopkins University Carey Business School. Right in the middle of it, of course, is a former UGA undergrad:

“I was looking for a mix of MBA and design,” says first-year Design Leadership student Julie Buisson, a native of France who has lived in the U.S. for the past 10 years. Buisson moved from Athens, GA, to Baltimore for the Design Leadership program after discovering it through a Google search. Dressed in a bulky, mustard-yellow sweater and holding a mug of coffee and a well-loved Moleskin journal, Buisson fits the picture of an art student, though she earned her undergraduate degree—in marketing, with an emphasis in sales—at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

“At Georgia, all of my friends were art students,” she says. “They showed me a different way of working. I took some art classes, and I realized that creativity is something you work on just like anything else.”

With the Design Leadership program, she’s filling a gap in her education. It’s the same for her classmates, who come from varied backgrounds, including architecture, nonprofits, photography, and even the oil industry. “There is something more that’s driving us,” says Buisson. “We all believe we should be trained as creatives—it’s just as important as being trained in analytics.”

Read the whole thing. The 'business model to bridge different worlds,' as construed in the article, cuts in many different directions, far beyond just business. When one of the architects of the new program says

“The business person who’s got that more humanistic platform is going to be less brittle than someone who’s just trained in business.” 

it is not to take anything away from business - rather it is to add to it. We must be sufficiently secure in our disciplines to consider expanding them, joining them, disrupting them, in the common parlance. To enhance our graduates' skills and abilities is the key. The academic capacity is here - a large liberal arts learning environment has everything. Let's encourage people - faculty, students, staff - to discover new ways to integrate our strengths and leverage our collaborative capacity.

Image: Costumes for the Ballet russes Parade, 1917. Répertoire de la compagnie des Ballets russes directed by Serge Diaghilev; Argument : Jean Cocteau, Musique : Eric Satie. Décors et costumes : Pablo Picasso. Chorégraphie originale : Léonide Massine. via Wikimedia Commons.