January 2008

Doug Dempster Named Dean of College

William Powers Jr., president of the university, said, “I am excited about the appointment of Doug Dempster as dean of the College of Fine Arts because of the dynamic and energetic leadership he brings to the college. Doug has a keen understanding of the value and importance of the arts on our campus and their vital connection to our local community and the larger society. His unparalleled and broad-ranging knowledge of the arts enables him to bring an exciting new vision to the College of Fine Arts.”

New Museum Studies Portfolio Program

The College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin will offer next fall a new graduate program, the Portfolio in Museum Studies, that will allow master’s and doctoral students enrolled in any school or college at the university to develop a concentration related to the practices and cultural significance of museums.

Musical Theatre Pilot Project

Launched in the fall of 2007, the Department of Theatre and Dance’s Musical Theatre Pilot Project aims to provide students with the opportunity to transfer their love of music, lyrics and dance from the classroom to the stage. Newly offered courses such as “Singing for the Stage” and “The Broadway Musical: Survey of Broadway Choreography Pre-1970,” provide the foundation students need not only to perform in the department’s musical productions, but aid in the discovery of their place in the world of musical theatre. Students will showcase their talents this spring in Stephen Sondheim’s bold and thought-provoking musical Assassins, which runs April 11th-13th and 17th-20th.

New School of Music Faculty

The School of Music announces five exciting new additions to the faculty for the fall of 2007. From world renowned double bass soloist DaXun Zhang to award winning Texas button accordion artist Joel Guzman, the UT School of Music continues to build upon its already stellar faculty, adding both depth and breadth to this comprehensive program.

Second Appearance of UT Faculty in Whitney Biennial

The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City has selected Michael Smith, assistant professor of transmedia and performance in the Department of Art & Art History, to be one of 81 artists featured in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, the museum’s signature exhibition and most important survey of the state of contemporary art in the United States today.

To be chosen for this exhibition recognizes Smith’s established importance and influence on younger artists. Smith’s 30-year artistic career includes live performance, video works, commercial and cable television skits, puppet shows, exhibition installations, comic publications, and drawings.

The 2008 Whitney Biennial begins March 6 and runs through June 1, 2008.

Create Your Own Career Path

Are you searching for career satisfaction? Perhaps you are considering embarking on an entrepreneurial endeavor or seeking a new career direction. No matter how you describe your current career situation, you can benefit from the insight of arts entrepreneur Lisa Canning as she helps you explore how valuable your creativity is to you and the economy through a keynote address and workshop on February 6 and 7, 2008. Lisa will help you take your artistic talents, practical skills, and personal goals and mold them into a creative career path.

As a professional musician and 20-year-serial-artistic entrepreneur, Lisa Canning has performed alongside, worked with, sold to, taught and hired thousands of creative types, while building 4 multi-million dollar profitable creative ventures, starting from the first in her dorm room in college at Northwestern University. Join her and your fellow Fine Arts alumni and current students for these energizing sessions. You can check out her blog at http://entrepreneurthearts.wordpress.com/

A search committee has been formed for the next director of the Blanton Museum of Art. Ken Hale, associate dean of the College and former chair of the Department of Art & Art History, has agreed to serve as the committee’s chair.

This is an extraordinarily able and expert group that well represents the broad patronage and diverse mission of the Blanton Museum. The committee is in the process of engaging a leading search firm with expertise in placing art museum professionals. University President Bill Powers has committed funding necessary to hire one of the top firms in hopes of attracting the strongest possible candidates.

The current director, Jessie Otto Hite, plans to retire effective March 2008 after 30 years at The University of Texas at Austin. Click here to read more about her distinguished career.

New York Alumni Coffee Hour

Living in New York or surrounding areas? Join FACS on Thursday, March 13 in the evening from 5-7 to catch up with other NY-area alumni and enjoy a cup of coffee on us. Location: Think Coffee at 248 Mercer Street.