Bonjour, Hola, Ahoj, Guten Tag…greetings from Europe! After a two-year pandemic pause of travel bans and restrictions, our College of the Arts faculty and students resumed travel to Europe energized and excited! Their missions ranged from scholarly research, study abroad programming, performance tours, residencies and fellowships, filming, exhibitions and more! Here’s a sampling of what took place from across the pond.
Research, Fellowships and Residencies
Assistant Professor Grace Harpster – I Tatti Fellowship
In June, Grace Harpster, art history assistant professor at the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design, embarked on a prestigious I Tatti residential fellowship just outside Florence, Italy. The year-long program is at the I Tatti Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. Dr. Harpster is one of fifteen fellows selected from all disciplines in the field of Italian Renaissance studies, broadly defined as 14th-17th c. Italy.
Professor Harpster will use the fellowship period to draft her book manuscript, tentatively titled “A Reformer’s Itinerary: The Power of Images after Trent.” The project follows the movements of the austere Catholic reformer Carlo Borromeo (1538-84) across the Italian peninsula, examining his relations with sacred images to better understand the impact of Catholic reform on art after the close of the Council of Trent in 1563.
Professor Harpster said, ”I chose to pursue this fellowship because the I Tatti Center is the ideal retreat for a scholar. The center has an amazing library, first of all, and it also allows me, as an Italianist, to be near the sites and objects important to my research. The fellowship provides a great atmosphere in which to write and think, especially because of the opportunity to have frequent conversations with the other fellows.” Read more here.
Brahms, Books and Vienna with Associate Professor Marie Sumner Lott
A grant recipient from the American Philosophical Society, the award afforded Dr. Marie Sumner Lott of the School of Music with travel to Vienna, Austria, for archival research at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Society for Friends of Music) to examine books formerly owned by nineteenth-century composer Johannes Brahms. The exploration allowed her to connect his music to innovative literary and artistic trends in the later nineteenth century.
Dr. Summer-Lott shares, ”He (Brahms) was an avid reader and left many physical traces in his books: he scratched marks with his fingernail on the pages, leaving permanent indentations and holes to mark passages that sparked his interest, as well as pencil marks and notes in the margins. Handling these books in the building where Brahms conducted concerts of his own music, hearing the church bells toll the hours just as they had when he lived here 150 years ago, was a transformative and inspiring experience. While gaining new knowledge about Brahms’s artistic values to share in future publications, I also developed a deeper appreciation for what life was like for him and his contemporaries in this legendary city.”
Associate Professor Ruth Stanford, Obama Fellowship, Mainz Germany
Sculpture Associate Professor Ruth Stanford of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design traveled to Mainz, Germany, for an Obama Fellowship program awarded by The Obama Institute for Transitional American Studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University. Professor Stanford’s research project centered on “Post Meets Present Meets Future: Learning from Colonial Monuments.” Professor Stanford participated in the “Africans, American and Colonial Germany” symposium as a keynote on “Memorials of Germany’s Colonial History in Namibia and the Federal Republic: An Artist’s Investigation.” According to Stanford, “Having a fellowship at the Obama Institute was an amazing opportunity to pursue my research and interact with colleagues from abroad.”
European Connections with Kathryn Hartgrove, Associate Professor of Voice
Professor Kathryn Hartgrove of the School of Music was invited to the Czech Republic by the Honorary Consul General and spent ten days connecting with diplomats, regional governors, mayors, musicians and artists from around the country from June 9-20. During the trip, Dr. Hartgrove promoted the College of the Arts and School of Music’s students and faculty by establishing a pipeline of connections for future collaborations between the School of Music and the music and arts institutions.
The highlights included: teaching a masterclass with voice students at the Janáček Academy in Brno and working with high school students; honored with a reception by Pavol Foltin, the representative from the International Affairs Office of the South Moravian Government at the newly-renovated Havlíček Villa; met the internationally respected Czech mezzo-soprano, Ester Pavlů, confirming plans for her fall concert at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta; exploring potential partnerships with the Puppet Theater in Brno; met with Czech National Opera for a private tour and behind-the-scenes inner workings, and visited the Sister City organization Nuremberg Hochschüle.
In July, Dr. Hartgrove attended the FIO ITALIA, the summer opera program in Urbania, Italy. Dr. Hartgrove is the artistic director and one of the voice teachers and stage directors.
Also of note…
At the start of the summer break, School of Music Director Dr. Chester Phillips returned to Helsinki, Finland and worked with Rauman Poikasoittokunta at the National Finnish Band Contest.
In Madrid, Principal Senior Lecturer Francisco Albo of the School of Music conducted online summer classes from Madrid, Spain, while researching and making connections for the Spain ’23 Study Abroad Program.
And, with an ambitious film project ahead, Professor Philip Lewis of the School of Film, Media & Theatre traveled to Budapest and Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic and Scotland to research for a “massive five-year project” in the making. Dr. Lewis plans to shoot in 37 countries to produce an extensive film database made providing a comprehensive understanding of the mind and life of the ex-pat.
Study Abroad in Ireland
M.F.A. Group Residency
As part of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design M.F.A. program, the third-year candidates traveled to Burren, Ireland for a three-week group residency at Burren College of Art. The students broadened their international horizons while taking inspiration from the local landscape and engaging with the local artists.
Faculty members Director Joseph Peragine and Associate Professor Darien Arikoski-Johnson led the residency. The group visited the epic Poulnabrone portal tomb, Aran Islands shipwreck, The Old Library at Trinity College and the National Gallery of Ireland, among others. The residency culminated with an informal exhibition. See photos from their trip here.
According to Professor Peragine, “Ireland’s rich history of music, poetry and art made it a perfect destination for professional residency experience. All participants were provided studio space at the Burren College of Art where they were able to create work and share ideas with other artists from around the world. The highlight however was the myriad of excursions that allowed the group to explore the country’s wild, rugged and beautiful landscape.”
Art and Conflict: Filmmaking in Ireland from Acting to Editing
Students traveled on-location to Dublin, Ireland, for a filmmaking experience of writing, directing, acting, shooting and producing short films. Professor of Practice Susan G. Reid of the School of Film, Media & Theatre and Dr. Maria Gindhart, Associate Dean of the College of the Arts, led the program with the students working in small collaborative groups.
Dr. Gindhart and Professor Reid shared, “Art and Conflict: Filmmaking in Ireland was an amazing opportunity for 17 students to make five short films while based at Dublin City University for three weeks in June. The students worked with Laurence McKeown, an Irish playwright, author, screenwriter, and former volunteer in the Irish Republican Army, and Juanita Wilson, an Irish independent filmmaker and Academy Award-nominated director, and collaborated in a variety of roles, from actor to director and producer. In addition to honing their filmmaking skills, the students participated in day trips to Galway, Howth, Malahide, Belfast, and Dunluce Castle/Giant’s Causeway/Game of Thrones Studio Tour, which allowed them to explore different facets of Ireland.” Here’s a sample film short, “Her and Him” from the trip.
Concert Tours and Performances!
Percussionist Professor Stuart Gerber in Germany
In July, percussionist Dr. Stuart Gerber, Professor of Music performed “Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Himmels-Tür (Heaven’s Door)” at the Karlheinz Stockhausen Courses in Kürten, Germany. This 30-minute piece was written for Stuart and is played on a specifically designed instrument; a large wooden door measuring 6.5 feet wide and 8 ft. high.
The captivating performance was included in an article from Cologne’s largest newspaper, the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, with a lead photo of Dr. Gerber captioned: “Gerber plays with a sensational virtuosity.” Click here for the PDF.
Thereafter, Dr. Gerber remained in Europe to support The Pantera Trio who competed in the International Percussion Trio Competition Luxembourg. The trio, comprised of graduate assistants Khesner Oliveira and Noah Samuelson and artist affiliate, Georgia State alumnus Victor Pons, was among the 24 groups selected to compete in this prestigious event. According to Dr. Gerber, “There are very few music competitions that focus primarily on percussion, and to be chosen in this elite competition is very exciting.”
Assistant Professor Alexander Freund and the M5 Mexican Brass Quintet
After being postponed three times since 2020, Alexander Freund, Assistant Professor of Trumpet at the School of Music, and his quintet M5 Mexican Brass toured Europe in May to Austria, Poland and Germany.
The venues included; Hall of the Akademia Muzyczna in Łodz, the Akademia Muzyczna in Wrozlaw (Brahms wrote his Akademische Festovertüre for this Akademy, formerly University Breslau), the Baroque Church in Bad Homburg and the neoclassic concert hall in Wiesbaden, etc.
Prof. Freund stated, ”It was a very rewarding tour with 15 concerts in three countries, after two years of watching a postponed and dying tour revive and become so dynamic! All concerts in Poland sold out, and we premiered two works written for M5 by Mexican composer Antonio Santoyo. And, as ‘side effects,’ we could listen to Wagner’s opera “Lohengrin” at the Berlin State Opera, Bruckner’s 6th Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience: Wagner’s opera “Der Tannhäuser” at the medieval castle Wartburg in Eisenach (where Martin Luther translated the bible) in the same hall, which is the venue of its content, and performed by the Theatre Meiningen, which Wagner himself had conducted back in time.”
The Latin Sounds of Artist in Residence, David Sanchez
Throughout June and July, GRAMMY® award-winner David Sánchez entertained European audiences with his tenor sax flare and Latin jazz music at numerous venues throughout the continent. The School of Music Artist in Residence performed at the LOTOS Jazz Festival Bielska Zadymka Jazzowa, Katowice, POL; Bratislava Castle, Bratislava, SVK; Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, Budapest, HUN; Barbican Centre, London, UK; Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Hamburg, GER; La Villette Cité de la Musique, Paris, FRA; and the Canary Islands Jazz Festival, Canary Islands, Spain.