Artists’ palette, 2012–2013

 

Why Arts? Why Indy?

See page 30 for details of this discussion among arts leaders, hosted by UIndy, of the challenges facing the Indianapolis cultural scene.

Faculty Artist Concert Series: Maestro Leppard celebrates 85th birthday at UIndy

Lepperd_DTMThe renowned Faculty Artist Concert Series, a jewel in the crown of the University’s arts programming, saw yet another successful season—complete with 18 concerts. UIndy’s longtime artist-in-residence, the internationally acclaimed Maestro Raymond Leppard, kicked off the concert series again with an opening gala celebrating his 85th birthday. The series continued with strong performances in genres ranging from classical to jazz by more than 60 faculty members and friends. A number of renowned local ensembles graced the stage, including Echoing Air, 3rd Man, Solaire Quartet, and the Ronen Chamber Ensemble.

Other series highlights: faculty performed music from the highly acclaimed 1961 studio album Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley. Rebecca Sorley, Tamara Thweatt, and Mitzi Westra evoked the beauty of birdsong, offering their “Fine Feathered Friends: Music Inspired by Birds.” Thomas Gerber offered a lesson in Indiana history, performing pieces that exemplified European music at the time of the state’s admittance into the union as well as popular tunes from the 13 original colonies.

The season wrapped with a whirlwind tour of the 19th through 21st centuries, covering pieces by Marc Mellit, Eric Whitacre, and György Ligeti.

Jazz: Midcoast Swing Orchestra headlines Jazz Week

Wade-BakerThe Jazz Concert Series continued to welcome local and regional artists to campus throughout the year. Notable performers at these free concerts included the Wade Baker Quartet and the Ron Jones Quartet. Baker—a 2006 UIndy graduate and already a fixture on the Cincinnati jazz scene—performed pieces that ranged from traditional jazz to contemporary, pop-influenced sounds. Jones is a highly acclaimed alto saxophonist who has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in jazz including Dianne Reeves, Wycliffe Gordon, Rufus Reid, and Jamey Aebersold.

Jazz Week celebrated its sixth season, packing the second week of April full of energizing performances. UIndy student ensembles kicked off the week, followed by Steve Allee, Dick Sisto, Danny Walsh, and Steve Davis. The week concluded with a performance by the Midcoast Swing Orchestra, an authentic 1930s/1940s swing band.

Theatre: A little shop, a hatred for Hamlet, and more

The Department of Theatre opened its season with Little Shop of Horrors, the popular musical production that focuses on a down-and-out skid row floral assistant who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for blood. The next production, Stop Kiss, explored a blossoming love and the aftermaths of a hate crime. Continuing its tradition of an annual dinner theatre production, the department produced I Hate Hamlet, a performance centered on an actor forced to play a part he hates. Student-directed productions closed out the year.

Art: Graffiti goes mainstream

FAB-CrewThe Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center Gallery showcased an eclectic mix of exhibitions. The gallery opened its season with FAB Crew: City Walls to Gallery Walls, an exploration into the evolution of the graffiti art form from a clandestine activity to the world of mainstream exhibitions in commercial galleries and on museum walls. The FAB (Fantastic Aerosol Brothers) Crew created the exhibition’s centerpiece on Smith Mall while a live audience looked on.

Other exhibitions included Only the Essentials, Jonpaul Smith’s exploration of systems and patterns in various media; a UIndy Department of Art & Design Faculty Exhibition; the work of alumna Donna Maureen Stader in A Retrospective; Formal/Informal Conversations, sculpture and monoprints by Garry Bibbs; and the photography of Thomas Mueller in Seduced by Color: Flags, Art, and the Midway. During the winter, a new sculpture, created by Garry Bibbs, was added to UIndy’s Fifth Third Bank Campus Sculpture Walk, which includes more than 20 pieces. “On a Worldly Roll,” visible in front of the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center on Hanna Avenue, is a 22-foot stainless steel sculpture. (Want to take the full sculpture tour? A map of the Fifth Third Sculpture Walk is available at http://www.uindy.edu/arts/sculpture-walk.)

Medley: Defying categorization

Flying-Past-the-MoonThere are many arts events on campus each year that don’t fit neatly into the established categories, including concerts of works by student composers as well as guest composers, various types of master classes, and much more. Here are a few highlights from the 2012–13 calendar:

The men of Wabash College Glee Club joined UIndy’s Women’s Chorus for a 15th annual collaborative concert. UIndy’s Spring Choral Concert was also popular for its inclusion of Haydn’s “Nelson” Mass.

Poets and novelists shared their works with the UIndy community as part of the Kellogg Writers Series. Visiting writers included Heid E. Erdrich, Matt Bell, Stuart Dybek, and Quann Barry.

The dynamic period-instrument ensemble Echoing Air celebrated Halloween on campus with “Echoing Scare,” a performance featuring the music of the 17th and 18th centuries and popular Halloween favorites.

Several composers visited campus to share their work, including William Bolcom, Joan Morris, and Carter Pann. Schoolchildren and UIndy students also shared their original works at performances throughout the year.