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See You at Art on the Mall July 28

Art on the Mall will return to The University of Toledo’s Centennial Mall Sunday, July 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This summer marks the free, public event’s 27th year of showcasing a variety of art on Main Campus. Attendees will have the opportunity to view and purchase all kinds of art, including acrylic, glass, pen and ink, oil, mixed media, metals, photography, ceramics, textiles, watercolor, woodwork, jewelry and more.

“This year we have invited more artists to participate in the show than we have in the past,” said Ansley Abrams-Frederick, director of alumni programming in the UToledo Office of Alumni and Annual Engagement.

A total of 115 artists are expected to bring their creations to Art on the Mall.

“People can expect a lovely setting, a very comfortable, walkable show that has amazingly talented artists displaying beautiful works of art,” Abrams-Frederick said.

All pieces of art are for sale. Guests can pay cash or with a credit card at the artist’s booth or in the Thompson Student Union.

During the event, there will be food, music, kids’ activities, free parking and golf cart shuttle service from the lots.

In addition, Art on the Mall offers a young artist area for children to try their hands at creating their own masterpieces, a music tent featuring jazz throughout the day, a beer garden, and a food court.

More than 13,000 people attended last year’s show.

“I think the community really supports this event,” Abrams-Frederick said. “The event attendees know that this is a one-day show, so they buy, knowing that it might not be there after they walk away.”

Art on the Mall is supported by community sponsors 13abc, The Blade, Mail It and 101.5 The River.

“The artists love the show because of our supportive and receptive community,” Abrams-Frederick added. “They love our volunteers and know that the people attending the show really appreciate their work. It’s a great show with wonderfully talented artists in a beautiful setting. What more could you ask for?”

For more information, contact Abrams-Fredericks at 419.530.4316 or ansley.abrams@utoledo.edu.

UToledo students’ winning biodesign projects to compete in New York

Two groups of UToledo students will compete against more than 30 teams from around the world Thursday and Friday, June 20 and 21, at the Biodesign Challenge Summit at the Parsons School of Design and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The two teams, PlastiGrow and btilix, won the chance to travel to the Big Apple at the UToledo competition this spring at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion.

Btilix team members are, from left, Tyler Saner, Sarah Mattei, Courtney Kinzel, Timothy Wolf and Sherin Aburidi.

Presented by The University of Toledo, the Biodesign Challenge offers art and design, bioengineering, and environmental sciences students the opportunity to envision future applications of biotechnology and biomaterials that address complex global challenges. Students are connected with community experts to develop innovative solutions through interdisciplinary research and iterative prototyping.

“Normally, our jurors award one team with the honor of competing in New York, but this year we have the opportunity to award not just one team — a team that will compete against all schools — but we are also putting up for consideration another team for a special prize, so we are happy to announce our two winning teams, btilix and PlastiGrow,” Eric Zeigler, assistant professor of art, said.

Students on the PlastiGrow team are, from left, McKenzie Dunwald, Michael Socha, Colin Chalmers and Ysabelle Yrad.

The overall winner of the UToledo competition was btilix. This team developed a disinfectant spray for combating antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The students on the btilix team are Tyler Saner, art; Sarah Mattei, environmental science; Courtney Kinzel, environmental science; Timothy Wolf, bioengineering; and Sherin Aburidi, bioengineering.

The UToledo team, PlastiGrow, is applying to compete in New York for the ORTA Sustainability in Textiles Prize. The team engineered a biodegradable plastic material that can be used in the creation of everyday products to greatly reduce the cost and energy spent on waste and recycling efforts. Team members are McKenzie Dunwald, art; Michael Socha, bioengineering; Colin Chalmers, art; and Ysabelle Yrad, environmental science.

For more information on the competition, visit the Biodesign Challenge website.

Art faculty member awarded Ohio Arts Council grant

Deborah Orloff, professor of photography and associate chair of The University of Toledo Department of Art, has received an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council for her body of work, “Elusive Memory.”

According to the Ohio Arts Council website, the excellence awards “are peer recognition of artists for the exceptional merit of a body of their work that advances or exemplifies the discipline and the larger artistic community. These awards support artists’ growth and development and recognize their work in Ohio and beyond.”

Orloff

Orloff said the $5,000 grant will be used to expand her “Elusive Memory” series and to exhibit it nationally.

The work was inspired by an experience she had following the death of her father in 2007 when she was preparing a eulogy for his funeral. While drawing upon specific memories, she realized all of them were directly connected to photographs, causing her to wonder if she remembered the moments, or if the pictures had created false memories.

“I wanted to make work about this phenomenon, but the project didn’t actually take form until many years later,” Orloff said.

“About five years ago, I inherited thousands of neglected prints and slides that had been in my father’s basement, where they were damaged by flooding. I started photographing them in the studio, not knowing what I would do with the images, but hoping to salvage some of the family pictures for posterity,” she said. “It wasn’t until I saw them enlarged on a computer screen that I recognized their poignancy and greater relevance: I saw metaphors for loss and the fragmentary, ephemeral nature of memory.”

“My Favorite Dress” from “Elusive Memory,” color photograph on rag paper, by Deborah Orloff

Her new work utilizes the severely damage photos.

“‘Elusive Memory’ explores the significance of vernacular photographs as aesthetic objects and cultural artifacts. The resulting large-scale photographs make commonplace objects monumental and emphasize their unique details,” Orloff said.

The exhibition is on display at Workspace Gallery in Lincoln, Neb. Upcoming exhibitions include Youngstown State University’s Solomon Gallery, Vincennes University’s Shircliff Gallery in Indiana, and Anna Maria College’s Art Center Gallery in Massachusetts.

In addition, Orloff’s project was featured recently online at “Aint — Bad,” an independent publisher of new photographic art.

Samples of Orloff’s work can be seen on her website at deborahorloff.com.

Creativity blossoms with University’s Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition

A small flock of enigmatic birds intently gaze across Centennial Mall. A wayward sea turtle suns itself near the southwest corner of Bowman-Oddy Laboratories. And a wave rolls between UToledo Medical Center and Mulford Library.

“Birdzels” by Mark Chatterley, “Turtle” by Jonathan Bowling and “Blue Wave” by Mike Sohikian are three of the 10 new works installed for The University of Toledo’s 14th annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.

Mark Chatterley’s “Birdzels” are perched on the west side of Centennial Mall.

“For me, ‘Birdzels’ were meant to be fun. They are a cross between anime, emojis and Angry Birds — with a little Snoop Dog mixed in,” Chatterley said and laughed. “They are made from high-fired clay with a crater glaze on the outside. I feel I am pushing the material to make it unrecognizable as clay.”

Bowling’s recycled reptile features a dredge scoop, railroad spikes, horseshoes and stove grates.

“Being able to make something from nothing is what I like to do,” Bowling said. “It’s economical, too.”

Thanks to the President’s Commission on Campus Design and Environment, new sculptures sprout up each spring.

“Big Blue X” by Brian Ferriby sits atop the hill west of University Hall, and Glenn Zweygardt’s stainless steel work titled “New Mexico Passage” shines on the west side of the Student Recreation Center.

Bernie Dominique’s geometric work “Four Square” can be found by the northeast side of Wolfe Hall, and Beau Bilenki’s engineering feat “Hole in One” is between Nitschke and Palmer halls.

A 250-pound fish flies near the University Parks Trail and Ottawa House with Michael Angelo Magnotta’s “Above the Waves.”

“My sculptures typically begin with a trip to the metal yard,” Magnotta said. “From the shapes and textures I rescue, a conversation takes place — a visual conversation — that results in my sculptures.”

“Turtle” by Jonathan Bowling sits near the southwest corner of Bowman-Oddy Laboratories.

Gregory Mendez’s forceful “Kometes” is located north of Ritter Planetarium, and Kenneth M. Thompson’s intricate “Laminated Stack, Triangle” sits on the east side of the Health and Human Services Building.

More than 180 artists submitted proposals to the Midwest Sculpture Initiative, and the President’s Commission on Campus Design and Environment reviewed the entries and selected pieces for this year’s exhibit.

Since the exhibition began, more than 130 sculptures have rotated through the display on UToledo campuses, and several have become part of the University’s collection courtesy of campus benefactors, colleges and departments.

Those wishing to make a gift to support the exhibition are encouraged to contact the UT Foundation at utfoundation@utoledo.edu or 419.530.7730.

UToledo to present summer workshops in the arts

The University of Toledo School of Visual and Performing Arts will host several workshops and camps in the arts this summer.

These are day-camp only, no overnight stays. Parking during these events is free.

Workshops, dates and times are:

Students created masterpieces during Art Camp last summer.

Art Camps — June 3 through 7. There will be two weeklong camps available — a camp for ages 7 to 10 and a camp for ages 11 to 13. Each camp offers a morning workshop (9 a.m. to noon) and an afternoon session (1 to 4 p.m.). There will be a break between the morning and afternoon sessions, with supervision of students who stay for both workshops. Projects for the younger camp center on dinosaurs in the morning and sci-fi adventures in the afternoon. In the morning, the older student camp will present literary journeys in which projects are related to famous youth novels, and in the afternoon cosplay in which students design and sew a costume. Students staying all day are encouraged to bring a lunch and beverage; lunch is not provided. The workshops will be held in the Center for the Visual Arts on the University’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus. Cost: $60 for each workshop, $105 for both, and includes all tools, materials and supplies needed. Deadline to register: Friday, May 31.

Theatre Camp — June 3 through July 14. The Department of Theatre and Film will host the Children’s Theatre Workshop of Toledo as it presents a workshop culminating in the performance of the teen musical, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” The Children’s Theatre Workshop will prep students ages 13-18 to host auditions, cast the show, and rehearse the musical for a weekend of public performances. Rehearsals and performances will take place in the Center for Performing Arts. Cost: $180. Deadline to register: Saturday, June 1.

Flute Camp — June 17 through 21. Toledo Symphony flutists Joel Tse and Amy Heritage will lead classes in all aspects of flute playing and performance. The three tracks available include a morning-only session for first- and second-year beginners, a full-day track for students with at least two years’ experience, and another program for adults. Extras included in the camp fee: guest instructor-led sessions in yoga, drumming, eurhythmics and music theory, plus chamber and solo performance opportunities, a piccolo workshop, flute-care instruction and more. Flute Camp will be held at the Center for Performing Arts. Cost: Track one $150, tracks two and three $300; daily rate $65 for those who cannot attend all days of the workshop. Deadline to register: Monday, June 10.

Students played during last summer’s Jazz Jam Camp.

Jazz Jam Camp — June 23 through 28. The Jazz Jam Camp will be held at the Center for Performing Arts. It offers all levels of jazz instruction by master jazz musicians/educators, as well as performance opportunities and a recording session. The camp is open to all people ages 12 and older. All levels of jazz students can discover and achieve their jazz potential through one of four program tracks: instrumental jazz, vocal jazz, teacher training (continuing education credit available) and jazz appreciation. Cost: $500 ($50 nonrefundable deposit plus $450 camp fee). Daily lunch is included in the fees. Teachers participating in the camp can reduce their own fees by $100 for each student from their school who participates. Deadline to register: Saturday, June 1.

Choral Conducting Workshop – July 23 through 25. This workshop is a comprehensive and immersive choral conducting workshop. It is designed to serve and educate individuals as conductor, teacher, leader, scholar and performer. The workshop will be led by Dr. Brad Pierson, UToledo assistant professor of music and director of choral activities. Conductors will engage in sessions covering a wide variety of topics. Conductors may choose from either a three-day immersion workshop (July 23-25), or a one-day workshop (July 25). Coffee and a light breakfast will be provided in the mornings. The workshop will provide 18 contact hours of professional development for Ohio teachers. Please provide any required paperwork as needed. Cost: $300 for the three-day option; $100 for the one-day option if registered by Monday, July 1. After July 1, fees increase by $25. Fees are due upon registration. This workshop will be held in the Center for Performing Arts. Deadline to register: Saturday, July 20.

For more information and to register, visit the summer workshops’ website, or call the UToledo School of Visual and Performing Arts at 419.530.2452.

Theatre faculty member wins national award at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

Dr. Matt Foss, assistant professor in The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film, has won a national playwrighting award. His adaptation of “All Quiet on the Western Front” is the recipient of the Kennedy Center’s David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award.

The play was performed at the University last November.

Foss

The award includes a cash prize, membership in the Dramatists Guild and the Playwrights’ Center of Minneapolis, and a professional development residency during summer 2019.

Foss accepted his award last week during the National Festival at the Kennedy Center.

Supported by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and the Dramatic Publishing Co., the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award is presented in an effort to promote the writing and production of new plays. Developed by the Playwriting Program of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the National Playwriting Program of Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival, the award is intended to provide incentive to college and university theatre production departments to foster the growth and development of playwrights through the public presentations of unpublished full-length plays or a collection of shorter works for the stage that have not received a professional production.

In 2016, Foss’ touring production of “The Glass Menagerie” was performed at Russia’s Moscow Art Theatre. He adapted and directed Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” for Oracle Productions in Chicago in 2014. The production received Chicago Jeff Award nominations for outstanding production, director, ensemble, and won for best new adaptation.

In 2012 his production of “Six Characters” at Iowa State University received the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival’s National Award for Outstanding Production of a Play and Outstanding Director of a Play. He was a recipient of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education/Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival’s Prize for Innovative Teaching in 2013.

Foss received a master of fine arts degree in acting from Chicago’s Roosevelt University and doctorate in theatre studies and directing from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Recent professional credits include Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Oracle Theatre, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, American Blues Theatre, the Jewish Ensemble Theatre and Tipping Point Theatre.

Best works to screen in 2019 University of Toledo Student Filmmakers’ Showcase April 26

The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film will present a public screening of its film students’ best work. The 2019 University of Toledo Student Filmmakers’ Showcase will take place Friday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre.

The event is a sensory experience filled with artistry and variety, a film lover’s annual favorite. Chosen in juried competition, the 20 entries scheduled to be shown include film, video and animation shorts created by University film students.

“Summer” by Ali Moussa, a junior majoring in film, is among the works to be screened in the 2019 Student Filmmakers’ Showcase.

The adjudicators for this year’s competition were Charlene Gilbert, dean of the College of Arts and Letters; Dr. Jeanne Kusina, associate lecturer of women’s and gender studies; and Barry Whittaker, associate professor of art.

The University of Toledo Film Curators Club and the UToledo Department of Theatre and Film co-host the event. The Film Curators Club is providing free concessions during the screening and hosting a Stanley Kubrick-themed after-party following the showcase. All are welcome.

Tickets to the showcase are $12 general admission and $8 for University employees, students, alumni, seniors 60 and older, children and military members.

Advance tickets are available through the Center for Performing Arts Box, by calling 419.530.2787, or online through the School of Visual and Performing Arts website. Tickets also will be sold the night of the showcase.

Students compete for chance to travel to NYC for Biodesign Challenge

On Wednesday, April 17, four groups of University of Toledo students will vie for the chance to compete at the International Biodesign Challenge in June in New York City.

Each group will go head to head at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion, where they will present their projects focusing on biotechnology and biomaterials that address complex global challenges.

The event will start at 6 p.m. with a preview of the students’ work, followed by group presentations at 7 p.m. A reception will start at 8 p.m., and the winner will be announced at 8:30 p.m.

The first group consists of art students Colin Chalmers and McKenzie Dunwald; bioengineering student Michael Socha; and environmental science student Ysabelle Yrad. Together, with assistance from Tamara Phares, instructional laboratory coordinator in the Bioengineering Department, they created an innovative solution to the problem of microplastics in the environment, working on a genetically modified plant that allows for an increased production of specific proteins.

Group two — art students Tyler Dominguez and Andrea Price; environmental science student Anna Pauken; and bioengineering student David Swain — are collaborating with Dr. John Gray, professor of biological sciences, to design a genetically modified plant with enhanced carbon sequestration, while improving soil quality and rainwater infiltration.

The third group is composed of art student Valerie White; bioengineering students Adam Kemp and Anthony Shaffer; and environmental science student Michala Burke. The four are creating a biological solution to indoor air quality issues utilizing emerging knowledge about the microbiome — micro-organisms in a particular environment.

Group four — bioengineering students Sherin Aburidi and Timothy Wolf; environmental science students Courtney Kinzel and Sarah Mattei; and art student Tyler Saner — is working with Dr. Von Sigler, professor of environmental sciences, to create a non-antibacterial resistant treatment for MRSA and other superbugs.

“The UToledo Biodesign Challenge Course offers students firsthand experience in interdisciplinary research and innovative prototype solutions to real-world issues,” said Brian Carpenter, assistant professor of art.

The class is offered to students majoring in art and design; bioengineering; and environmental science. It is taught by Carpenter and Eric Zeigler, assistant professor of art.

“By crossing philosophy, science, technology, art and design, students explore real-world problems and imagine alternative presentations of space, place, body and environment through interdisciplinary research,” Zeigler said.

Carpenter added, “We really want students to be inspired. We want students to think creatively about the solutions that are required to solve the pressing issues of our time.”

Zooming in on nature: Winners of Lake Erie Photo Contest announced

A total of 161 eye-catching entries vyed for top honors in the ninth annual Lake Erie Photo Contest.

Photographers of all ages were invited to submit up to three shots that fit the theme, “The Nature of Our Region, From Oak Openings to Maumee Bay.”

All entries are on display in the Lake Erie Center Lobby, 6200 Bayshore Road, Oregon.

“We love this contest; we love seeing the fantastic photographs that are submitted every year, and we love that everyone is out enjoying nature,” said Rachel Lohner, education program manager for the Lake Erie Center.

Winners took home cash prizes. Listed by category, they are:

• Best of Show — Michael Henningsen;

• Adult — Henningsen;

• Teen (13 to 18 years old) — Bekah McVicker; and

• Youth (7 to 12 years old) — Natalie Gibbons.

Lohner said the photo contest is designed to inspire camera enthusiasts and others to explore nature in the Lake Erie region.

Visit the Lake Erie Center’s Facebook page to see more photos from the contest.

Michael Henningsen took home the overall top prize for this photo of raccoons.

Michael Henningsen also won first place in the adult category for his photo of foxes.

Bekah McVicker placed first in the teen category with this shot of a hummingbird.

Natalie Gibbons received top honors in the youth category for her photo of a praying mantis.

Detroit theater company to present ‘Lysistrata’ April 12

The Black and Brown Theater of Detroit will give a staged reading of “Lysistrata” with a discussion with the audience after the show Friday, April 12, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Savage Arena Joe Grogan Room.

The free, public event is sponsored by the Program in Law and Social Thought; the School for Interdisciplinary Studies; the Inside-Prison Exchange Program; the Jesup Scott College of Honors; the Office for Multicultural Student Success; and the Department of Political Science.

Dr. Renee Heberle, professor of political science and co-director of the Program in Law and Social Thought, hopes students, faculty and staff will join in this opportunity to engage with performers who are re-creating the classics of Western theater in the voices of people of color.

“The work done by the Black and Brown Theater bring contemporary questions about social justice to the interpretation of these works,” Heberle said. “Ideas we rarely thought of as relevant to understanding and learning from the classics of Western drama are brought to the surface.”

Black and Brown Theatre’s Classics in Color Series takes well-known stories and incorporates a cast composed entirely of people of color. The series aims to enable people of color and students of color to see themselves in the classic narratives that they were exposed to in the classroom setting. The casting of these shows encourages theater directors to rethink how they cast plays.

“When you see Black and Brown present ‘Frankenstein’ or Black and Brown present ‘Scarlet Letter,’ you know it is something different, it’s something great,” said Jonathan Curry, actor and Black and Brown Theatre board member. “When we see people of color play kings and queens on stage, our communities can see themselves as such and people outside of our communities can see us in a new light.

Black and Brown Theatre of Detroit

“Classics in Color has been a way for actors like myself to access new worlds and different variations on the English language, which creates empathy and understanding for us as actors and for the audience as well.”

“The performance of ‘Lysistrata,’ a classic Greek comedy about war and sex, is entirely relevant to the contemporary moment in which we are living,” Heberle said. “The staged reading and talk-back will give us the time and space to reflect on what exactly it means to have a voice in our noisy political environment and what it might take to really be heard on issues of social justice that impact the public good.”

“Classics in Color is important because it creates access into the theatrical canon, a place that rarely sees people of color as significant figures in classical stories,” said Amber Nicole Price, actress, director and Black and Brown Theatre board member. “It expands representation from beyond the conversations of the present, and allows space for diversity in our history.”

Following the reading, audience members will be able to share their reactions to the text and the ways in which they can connect the story.

“Sometimes with classics plays, students and community members can both ask the question, ‘Why does this matter to me?’” said Emilio Rodriguez, Black and Brown Theatre artistic director. “But when they see the story told by people who look like them, they are able to hear it in new ways, which foster discussions and reflections that would have otherwise been dormant.”

For more information on the staged presentation, contact Heberle at renee.heberle@utoledo.edu. For more information on the Black and Brown Theatre, visit the company’s website.