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Arts Focus On Technology: Visiting Artists To Share Innovative Techniques And Sound

Oct. 18, 1999 -- From video painters to computer musicians, "e-artists" booked for a year-long celebration of technology in the arts at the University of Virginia are sharing some cutting-edge techniques that are transforming traditional artistic processes. The visiting artists will work with students and faculty, as well as put on exhibits and performances.

In a continuing effort to strengthen ties among the arts, the McIntire Department of Music, the McIntire Department of Art, the Department of Drama and the Bayly Art Museum have joined in the collaborative effort with arts enhancement support from the Office of the Vice President and Provost.

Arts Enhancement Funding, started in 1995 to increase awareness and student participation in cultural events, has helped stimulate a renaissance in the arts on Grounds while advancing arts progress.

"The Provost’s Arts Enhancement Funds are essential to the Bayly Art Museum for three reasons," said museum director Jill Hartz. "They stimulate our thinking outside the box and encourage us to venture into new public program territory. Second, these funds enable us to mount an exhibitions program that brings exciting new artists as well as major works of art to the museum, which strengthens both our academic resource commitment and our mission to serve the general public. Finally, they inspire others – individuals as well as corporations and foundations – to support our programs."

"Arts Enhancement Funds have made a world of difference to the Music Department, quite literally enabling us to bring performers from a variety of cultures, and performers exploring futuristic sounds as well as [those] who draw on traditional practices," said Judith Shatin, chair of the Music Department and director of the Virginia Center for Computer Music.

Adds Lawrence Goedde, Art Department chair: "Arts Enhancement Funds enable us to bring significant visual artists into the department to work with students, critique their art and provide them with access to the larger art world."

A multisensory experience

An exhibition of video and multimedia artist Daniel Reeves, "Above Memory and Transformation," opened at the Bayly Art Museum Oct. 9 and runs through Dec. 22. Reeves’s technically layered works, which explore and resolve his personal experience with violence in a multisensory experience, are exhibited in collaboration with the Virginia Film Festival, "TechnoVisions," taking place through Oct. 24. The festival also will premiere two of his films along with his video art.

While in residency in the Art Department, Reeves will work with advanced digital media students to produce an artist’s book combining his images and text. Reeves also will participate in a collaborative event in the spring, "Hindsight-Foresight: Art for the New Millennium," which will include eight to 10 internationally known artists working with community groups on environmental art projects. Other participants include Ann Hamilton, Agnes Denes, Suzanne Helmuth, Mel Chin, Dennis Oppenheim, Bill Viola, Jock Reynolds, Michael Mercil, Zucco Possi, Martha Jackson-Jarvis and U.Va.’s Bill Bennett and Rosemarie Fiore.

Digital illustration

Another innovative artist coming to the Grounds, Randy Bolton will exhibit his digital print works at the Fayerweather Gallery in November. Bolton uses images reminiscent of children’s storybook illustrations, but turning the safe and innocent familiarity of those images into what he describes as "metaphors of a troubled world that is threatened by forces beyond our true comprehension and control."

During a week-long residency, Bolton will work with advanced printmaking students in the Art Department. Employing a host of techniques – visual software, 19th-century color separations, a 16th-century etching press and a 20th-century inkjet printer – students will assist Bolton in the creation of a color polymer photogravure.


The McIntire Department of Music’s "TechnoSonics" program will bring together Nov. 11-13 several musicians and composers who combine electronic equipment with traditional instruments. The first performance will feature F. Gerard Errante, an internationally acclaimed clarinetist, playing Shatin’s "Sea of Reeds" for clarinet and live electronics on Nov. 11.

Violinist Mari Kimura, who uses interactive computer music along with violin, will join Shatin and U.Va. colleague and fellow composer Alicyn Warren for a colloquium on Nov. 12. Kimura, who teachers at the Julliard School of Music, will perform her own works, as well as others composed for her Nov. 13.

Also playing the same evening will be composer and performer Bruce Mahin. One of the works he will perform is an original piece, "Galileo," for electronic wind instrument, interactive computer and synthesizer. The work was inspired by the life of Galileo and his enterprise of exploration and discovery.

Behind the scenes

"This Arts Enhancement Fund has been invaluable to us as it allows our students to connect year-in, year-out with the professional world of theater," said Robert Chapel, chair of the Drama Department. "Our guest artists have spent a varied amount of time with us – from one weekend to six weeks, depending on what they are working on. In all cases, they work with our students – from analyzing their work to actually working side by side with them on our shows."

David Weiss, retired U.Va. faculty member and the force behind the building of Culbreth Theatre, returned to design the sets for the season’s opening production, "Marisol." He now works as a designer and theater building/design consultant.

Looking toward spring

Documentary film and video artist Susan Lutz will conduct seminars in February with photography, anthropology and independent film students during her residency. Lutz uses memories and rituals associated with preparing a Southern Sunday dinner as the thesis of her most recent work, aptly titled "Sunday Dinner." Students will be able to participate in the filming of "Sunday Dinner."

In the Drama Department, guest director Doug Sprigg, an expert in Shakespeare and Chekhov, will direct graduate and undergraduate actors in "Uncle Vanya." Alumnus and New York scenic designer William Clark will arrive in April to work with students to design the sets for "A Streetcar Named Desire."

The Music Department will present the University of Richmond’s Virginia Currents, who will perform works by U.Va.’s Warren, Shatin and five other Virginia composers. The Paul Dresher Ensemble, known for its experimental opera, chamber composition, and live instrumental electro-acoustic chamber music, also will perform in the spring.

Contact: Jane Ford, (804) 924-4298

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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