When it comes to the College of the Arts, all the world’s a stage. During spring and summer breaks, as students take a timeout to recharge, many of our arts faculty pack up and journey to all corners of the world to fuel their ongoing quest for academic growth and excellence. These international engagements run the gamut from research and artist residencies to concert performances, faculty-led cultural programs and much more. It’s this passion for enlightenment that motivates our faculty to be arts ambassadors for Georgia State while building global networks, connections and long-lasting relationships.
“It’s impressive to see so many of our faculty extend their research and practice beyond Atlanta and connect on the global stage,” said Wade Weast, dean of the College of the Arts. “In doing so, they accelerate their careers, gain international exposure and help students around the world develop their own artistic voices.”
Here’s a satellite view of our arts faculty’s recent whereabouts:
Dr. Robert Ambrose, director of bands in the School of Music, continues to build his strong ties throughout Taiwan where he served as a clinician and guest conductor at National Chiayi University and was a guest clinician for several public school band programs in the greater Chiayi area. In May, Dr. Ambrose founded and served as co-faculty member of the Inaugural Kokkola Wind Conducting Workshop.
Darien Arikoski-Johnson, associate professor of ceramics in the School of Art & Design, presented an artist talk and conducted demos at the Ceramics Ireland International Festival in Kilkenny, Ireland. Darien’s ceramic sculpture was also the featured cover image of the festival’s programme.
Dr. Raffi Besalyan, School of Music’s associate professor of piano, performed two solo recitals last spring in Waterloo, Canada at the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society and at the University of Waterloo. Two weeks later, he hopped on a plane to Nagoya, Japan where he performed to a sold-out solo recital at Munetsugu Hall followed by a master class for the International Chopin Competition in Tokyo.
Kathryn Hartgrove, School of Music’s associate professor of voice, traveled in late August to be the Artist in Residence working alongside young artists at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She later traveled to neighboring Brazil to stage Suor Angelica in Uberlândia.
Dr. Gordon Vernick, a jazz studies professor from the School of Music, traveled twice to South Africa. In May, he visited Cape Town with a jam-packed schedule of student clinics, workshops and master classes, along with recording sessions and live performances with the Alumni Band at the University of Cape Town. Weeks later, Dr. Gordon attended the Cultural Arts Festival in Grahamstown to direct the prestigious National Youth Schools Jazz Band while performing two concerts: one a collaboration with Swiss and South African musicians and the other with the Dan Shout Quintet.
The Ionian Center in Kefalonia, Greece hosted Art & Design’s Pam Longobardi, Distinguished University Professor and professor of drawing, painting and printmaking, for the eighth year in residency continuing her artistic research/performance action work for the Drifters Project. This year, professor Longobardi assembled a team of Italian, French and Egyptian curators to explore, document and clean the remote parts of Lixouri, the earthquake damaged portion of the island, and held a public forum and film screening with the mayor of Lixouri. Additionally, professor Longobardi returned to Lesvos, and through a major acquisition by Agnes Scott College of her work “Flag of Lesvos,” she delivered a sizable donation to the refugee aid of Lesvos Solidarity.
Dr. Patrick Freer, School of Music’s professor of music education, presented the opening address at the inaugural meeting of the Singing in Music Education Research Forum, which took place at the European Association for Music in Schools / ISME European Regional Conference in Jelgava, Latvia.
Ruth Stanford, Art & Design’s associate professor of sculpture, spent the month of June in Zambia for a creative artist residency at the Wayi Wayi Art Gallery while maintaining a studio practice in Livingstone. In addition, professor Stanford gave artist talks at the Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre in Lusaka.
Dr. Martin Norgaard, an associate professor of music education in the School of Music, accompanied graduate students from music education, occupational therapy, neuroscience and psychology to the Center for Music in the Brain in Aarhus, Denmark, as well as other sites in Copenhagen during spring break of 2018. In a reflection paper, one of the students praised the impressive learning experience as “a life-changing journey.”
School of Art & Design’s Dr. Kevin Hsieh, an associate professor of art education, led the annual Maymester study abroad program to China which featured full cultural and educational immersion. The program included formal lectures discussing Chinese art and history, and it enabled students to take in world famous sites such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and Shanghai’s contemporary architectural wonders.
Dr. Chester Phillips, an associate professor and associate director of bands in the School of Music, continued a six-year partnership with Rauman Poikasoittokunnan in Rauma, Finland to develop custom marching band routines and conduct at rehearsals and concerts.
Professor Craig Dongoski in the School of Art & Design engaged students and alumni on his third annual Greece trip on the island of Kefalonia in a master class in art and technology as a continuation of his Radiopolis course. Professor Dongoski led the multidisciplinary program giving artists the opportunity to collaborate and work on individual pursuits, perform and exhibit at the Ionian Center, as well as contribute to a permanent mural painting.
School of Art & Design’s Dr. Melanie Davenport, associate professor of art education, continues her research rooted in comparative international educational perspectives, from her inquiry into Japanese Middle School art programs to her animation work with indigenous youth in Mexico, as well as a recent inquiry into the role of art education in the lives of refugees and immigrants closer to home. Dr. Davenport has served on the World Council for the International Society for Education through Art (INSEA), and has presented at 13 international conferences.
(Lead Image: Courtesy of Professor Ruth Stanford during her artist residency with the Wayi Wayi Art Gallery in Zambia)