January 2011

Texas Medal of Arts Awards Recognizes Barbara Conrad, Marcia Gay Harden, and Sarah and Ernest Butler

When The Texas Cultural Trust recognizes its 2011 Texas Medal of Arts Awards this March, it will count among its recipients Sarah and Ernest Butler, Butler School alumna Barbara Smith Conrad and Theatre and Dance alumna Marcia Gay Harden.

Conrad will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in opera and the civil rights movement. Conrad, an internationally-acclaimed mezzo-soprano, earned her B.M. at UT in 1959. Conrad rose to international stardom in the world of opera, performing with The New York Metropolitan Opera for 8 years, and leading roles in opera productions around the globe. In 1985 the Texas Exes named her a Distinguished Alumnus.

Sarah and Ernest Butler will be honored as Patrons of the Arts, for their significant contributions to organizations such as The Austin Symphony Orchestra, Blanton Museum of Art, Long Center for the Performing Arts, Ballet Austin, Austin Lyric Opera, and the Butler School of Music.

Harden, a Tony and Oscar award winning actress, graduated from UT with her B.A. in Drama. She has received praise for her acting in films such as Miller’s Crossing, The First Wives Club, Pollack (for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress), and Mystic River (another Oscar nomination). In 2009, Harden won a Tony Award for Best Actress in God of Carnage. She also received the Texas Exes Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2008 and the Texas Exes Outstanding Young Texas Ex award in 1996.

Art History Ph.D. Student and VAC Curatorial Fellow, Noah Simblist, Curates Show

Out of Place, an exhibition curated by Art History Ph.D. Student and VAC Curatorial Fellow Noah Simblist opens at Lora Reynolds Gallery on Jan 15, 2011. The exhibition, which runs through March 5, 2011, includes six international artists, many of whom rarely exhibit their work in the U.S., more often showing in Europe or the Middle East: Yael Bartana, Oded Hirsch, Tom Molloy, Nida Sinnokrot, Jan Tichy and Eric Van Hove. The premise of the exhibition is related to Edward Said’s description of his memoir Out of Place (the namesake of the show) as “a record of a lost or forgotten world.” He was referring to the Palestinian condition of exile- a displacement that creates a gap between both physical spaces and states of mind. But this notion can be thought of in more general terms, serving as the starting point for a group of artists who explore placelessness as it manifests in Israel-Palestine. Being in one place, but consumed by the memory of another, produces works that are uncanny, combining familiar and unfamiliar contexts into something strange.

Former Longhorn Band Director Vince DiNino Named 2011 Texas Bandmaster of the Year

The Texas Bandmasters Association (TBA) has named Vincent DiNino, director emeritus of The University of Texas Bands, as the 2011 Bandmaster of the Year.

DiNino became the first full-time director of the Longhorn Band in 1955 and made significant changes that gained the band national prominence and transformed it into the Showband of the Southwest. Under DiNino’s direction, the band began admitting women and people of color, band members were held to higher standards of musicianship and marching technique, and the Longhorn Band uniform changed to the cowboy style that is still used today.

Fine Arts Students Prepare for the Job Search

Twenty-five fine arts students nearing graduation attended Fine Arts Career Services’ Job Search Crash Course on Friday, January 14. In addition to identifying possible career paths and discussing aspects of the job search unique to fine arts students, participants strategized ways to market their degrees, developed and practiced their personal pitch, identified job search strategies, and created new resumes or had their resume reviewed as part of the four hour interactive session. Maggie Bang, Texas Performing Arts Student Development Specialist; Kristen Henn, Move Your Tale Artistic Director; Nisa Mason, Landmarks Internal Affairs Coordinator; and Suzy Moore, Blanton University Programs Coordinator provided essential professional insight through individual resume reviews with the students. Students concluded the session by setting goals for themselves ranging from updating their resume to identifying potential employers. This workshop will be repeated again in May.

The Texas Debut of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Award-Winning Production of Black Watch

Texas Performing Arts presents the Texas premiere of the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Black Watch, February 16-20 at Bass Concert Hall. Black Watch stops in Austin following a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, performances around the globe, and unanimous critical and popular acclaim. For this groundbreaking presentation, all seating will be on the Bass Concert Hall stage in a rare and intimate configuration.

UT Theatre and Dance Community Shines in The Austin Chronicle’s “Top 10 of 2010”

In the annual list of theatrical favorites named by The Austin Chronicle’s Robert Faires, UT Theatre and Dance productions, students, faculty, alumni and friends are among the top picks of 2010.

W Austin Hotel to Exhibit Selected Contemporary Art Works from the Visual Arts Center

The Visual Arts Center (VAC) in the Department of Art and Art History, Stratus Properties and the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund II announced a new contemporary art partnership. Under this partnership, selected contemporary art exhibitions from the VAC’s Vaulted Gallery, as well as works by faculty and alumni affiliated with the department, will be displayed in the recently opened W Austin Hotel.

A $20,000 annual sponsorship will facilitate this innovative collaboration to fuse the distinctive and eclectic culture of Austin with the signature modern luxury of W Hotels.

VAC selected exhibitions will highlight Austin’s place as a center for contemporary art to guests from around the world and will introduce them to the unique cultural character of the city, as soon as they arrive, by placing the new W Austin Hotel at the center of Austin’s dynamic visual arts scene. The first exhibit which opened on January 8, 2011, features an installation by VAC fall 2010 Artist-in-Residence Ry Rocklen, and Austin-based photographer and Department of Art and Art History lecturer Mike Osborne.

Landmarks Video Presents Hand Catching Lead by Richard Serra

Richard Serra is best known for his towering site-specific sculptures, but he also makes films that are analogous to his creative process. In Hand Catching Lead, Serra’s soiled hand tries to catch and release small sheets of lead that are continuously dropped from somewhere off-camera. The hand misses more often than it manages to catch and, like his sculptures, is straightforward and austere.

To learn more about Landmarks Video, please visit click here.

Harry Ransom Center Honors Oscar Brockett

The Harry Ransom Center on the UT campus has dedicated the exhibition, Becoming Tennessee Williams in memory of theatre historian and Theatre and Dance faculty member, Oscar G. Brockett. The exhibit runs from February 1 – July 31, 2011.

Dance Professor Holly Williams Receives Fulbright Specialists Award

Holly Williams, professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, has been selected by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to receive a Fulbright Specialists grant for a project in Finland at the Turun Ammattikorkeakoulu Taideakatemia, the Turku University of Applied Sciences Arts Academy (TUAS).