The UF Alumni Association will recognize SoM alumnus Matthew Wardell (MM Music, 2010) as the College of Fine Arts’ 2014 Outstanding Young Alumni during the Outstanding Young Alumni Awards Breakfast on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at Emerson Alumni Hall in Gainesville, Fla. Wardell, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., is Music Director and Conductor of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, Ocala, Fla.
The UF Alumni Association established the Outstanding Young Alumni Award to recognize alumni who are 35 years of age or younger and have distinguished themselves in their profession and community.
SA+AH alum (BFA 2013) and current MFA candidate at University of Georgia Heather Foster has been working on a mural project with fellow artist Michael Ross. After finding two ruby-throated hummingbirds, a Tennessee warbler, a northern cardinal, an American goldfinch and awood thrush on the ground outside large windows where they work, the artists started Big Bird, Little Bird.
SoTD alum Danny Sharron (BA, 2008) was recently offered a directing assistantship at the prestigious Williamstown Theatre Festival. He will be assisting Broadway director Kathleen Marshall. You can find information about the Williamstown Theatre Festival Directing Assistantship here.
SoTD alum Usman Ally won Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in The Jungle Book at Huntington Theatre Company. The awards, which were given out by the Independent Reviewers of New England, were presented on April 7, 2014 at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts. You can read about the 18th Annual Independent Reviewers of New England Awards and Ally’s award here.
In addition, Ally and his performance in Let Me Down Easy, which deals with illness and loss, was written about in an article by Chris Jones in the Chicago Tribune. Ally will be playing all 19 characters in the Chicago premiere of Anna Deavere Smith’s 2009 work Let Me Down Easy, an interview-based meditation on health and the human body.
Art and Technology alum Patrick LeMieux recently published a piece titled “Nexus X: An Alternate Archive" with Katherine Hayles and Patrick Jagoda in Critical Inquiry. Nexus X is an easier, single-player version of Speculation, the alternate reality game (ARG) that LeMieux has been working on since 2012. You can read about their game and find links to play it here.
Chisum Justus, Grade A American, 2013
SA+AH MFA alum Chisum Justus (2011) has a solo exhibition titled Meaty opening April 19, 2014 in Dallas, Texas at the Cohn Drennan Contemporary Gallery. The opening reception will take place April 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. and the exhibition will be on view through May 31, 2014. Justus’ current series of paintings is titled Meaty and addresses the concepts and symbolism of meat as subject and signifier in relation to art and society. This series addresses meat’s cultural importance as a representation of the domination we seek over culture – not as individuals, but as members of a society that places value on that power.
“Meat presents itself as a sign of both strength and mortality, displaying the dominance of one living creature over another, namely, mankind over nature,” says Justus. “The primal act of killing, gutting, slaughtering and preparing raw animal flesh for consumption is brutal. The juxtaposition between this inherent brutality, related to the image and the vivid application of media results in a painting that is equally alluring and unsettling in its lusciousness.”
Museum Studies alum Ethel Villafranca recently sat down with Contemporary Art Philippines to discuss her exhibition, Trajectories, along with an educational program and lecture series, Understanding Philippine Visual Art through the Collections of Ateneo Art Gallery and Lopez Museum and Library. This collaborative series between the two institutions was designed to address the different periods and movements in Philippine art history.
Villafranca, now the head of education and administration at the Lopez Museum and Library, graduated from the Museum Studies program in 2010. Congratulations on your continued success, Ethel!
SA+AH alum Maria Cristina Trujillo wrote art historical fiction novel titled Lost in the City of Flowers. The story centers around Viola who has always felt like she doesn’t belong. With her mother halfway around the world, her sister away at school, and her father as her only friend, she keeps to herself and only dreams of becoming an artist. The last thing a lonely fourteen-year-old girl wants for her birthday is to spend time with an old woman she doesn’t even know. And she certainly doesn’t want to travel 544 years back in time.
SA+AH alum Leslie Anderson-Perkins (Art History, MA 2006) has been appointed Curatorial Assistant, European and American Painting, Sculpture, and Works on Paper at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, where she previously served as Samuel H. Kress Interpretive Fellow. In addition, Anderson-Perkins, a PhD Candidate in Art History at CUNY Graduate Center, published the article “The Forgotten Pendant of Christian August Lorentzen’s Model School at the Academy" in the Spring 2014 issue of Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide.
UF School of Theatre and Dance alum George Salazar (BFA 2008) was in the Rob Schneider-directed Twisted in Concert, an abridged version of Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier, which is an original musical comedy parody from the creative team behind A Very Potter Musical. The production came from the YouTube sensation Team Starkid and premiered March 17 at 54 Below.
Image from Dance Magazine; taken by Bill Cameron; courtesy BLM
UF School of Theatre and Dance alumna Crystal Edwards (BFA dance 2009) soars to new heights in a Dance Magazine article as part of the Black Label Movement, a dance company directed by Carl Flink.
School of Theatre and Dance alum Jonathan D. Lovitz will present the keynote address at the opening ceremonies of Pride Awareness Month at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 17, 2014 in Emerson Alumni Hall. Pride Awareness Month, otherwise known as “PAM,” is an annual monthlong series of events focused on highlighting the culture and lives of the individuals who make up the LGBT community at the University of Florida. Lovitz will also be honored by PAM as a distinguished alumni.
You’re invited to the SA+AH New York Trip Reunion on Tuesday, March 20, 2014. The reunion will be held at Ruth and Bill Beesch’s home in New York. Ms. Beesch is a UF Fine Arts alumna and is currently the Deputy Director for Programs at The Jewish Museum.