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UT music graduates to share talents in ‘Alumni Sing for Alma Mater’

The University of Toledo Alumni Association and the Richard R. and Barbara R. Perry Program Excellence Fund are co-sponsoring “Alumni Sing for Alma Mater” Sunday, April 26, at 3 p.m. in Doermann Theater.

Alumni Sing_Poster FinalThe free afternoon music performance will be followed by a reception in the lobby outside the theater.

“Alumni Sing for Alma Mater” will feature singers who are graduates of the University and have achieved success in opera, stage performance and through the teaching of classical, Broadway and jazz.

Michele Fredericks, Jo-Anne Chrysochoos, Jodi Jobuck, Joyce Rush, Kim Buehler, Sam Mason, Kevin Foos, Chris Jakutowicz, Janet Ziegler and Emily Holsclaw will entertain and educate with their vocal repertoire.

Robert Ballinger, UT associate lecturer in the Department of Music, will serve as accompanist.

Parking is free in the lots nearest University Hall: areas 2, 13, 1N and 1S. A shuttle bus will transport guests from area 17 outside the Driscoll Alumni Center to Doermann Theater.

While the event is free, reservations are encouraged online at toledoalumni.org or by calling the Office of Alumni Relations at 419.530.2586 or 800.235.6766.

Artwork on exhibit at UT thanks to Michigan entrepreneur; RSVP for April 28 reception

The fifth floor of Mulford Library at The University of Toledo is a bit brighter these days.

This work by Paul Collins is part of the John W. & Betty Jane Barfield Exhibit.

This work by Paul Collins is part of the John W. & Betty Jane Barfield Exhibit.

That’s because nearly every wall is covered with the John W. & Betty Jane Barfield Exhibit, featuring artwork by Paul Collins. Pieces inspired by people from all over the world give a glimpse into the different cultures reflected in the University’s community.

“We embrace diversity here at UT, and this exhibit complements that philosophy,” said Marcie Ferguson, director of corporate relations, operations and initiatives, who organized the installation efforts for the collection.

To understand the exhibit, you first have to understand John Barfield and Paul Collins.

Barfield, the son of two field hands, was born in Tuscaloosa, Ala., before moving to Washington, Pa., and later Ypsilanti, Mich. In 1947, he began working as a custodian for the University of Michigan, later cleaning newly constructed houses on the side for additional income.

After his side job became more lucrative than his full-time job, he quit his UM job and began the Barfield Cleaning Co. After several acquisitions and transitions, Barfield founded the Barfield Manufacturing Co., now called The Bartech Group, which he has since turned over to his son, Jon.

This sketch by Paul Collins also is featured in the John W. & Betty Jane Barfield Exhibit.

This sketch by Paul Collins also is featured in the John W. & Betty Jane Barfield Exhibit.

The staffing and human resources company based in Southfield, Mich., employs and manages the daily work assignments for more than 35,000 associates and more than $3 billion in contingent labor for major employers around the world.

“The life story of John Barfield is inspiring to all,” said Chuck Lehnert, UT vice president for corporate relations. “And he always remembers to keep the important things first and in order: faith, family and friends.”

In 1975 when Barfield was refurbishing one of his company’s offices, he commissioned Collins to create some art for the space.

Collins is a well-known artist from Grand Rapids, Mich., recognized for his portraits depicting all ages, races and cultures that define humanity. He is credited with more than 100 exhibitions around the world, including “Great Beautiful Black Women,” recognizing history makers such as Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks, and “America at Work,” showcasing the American worker’s contributions to the country and its success.

Collins’ mural of President Gerald R. Ford is on display in the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, and he also created the Ford Museum commemorative poster for the opening of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

This painting by Paul Collins also is included in the John W. & Betty Jane Barfield Exhibit.

This painting by Paul Collins also is included in the John W. & Betty Jane Barfield Exhibit.

For Barfield’s offices, Collins was sent to Harlem and returned with 19 sketches that blew Barfield away — sketches that now are part of the collection he donated to UT.

It was the shared passion for showcasing culture and humanity that led to Barfield sponsoring Collins’ trip to Kenya and Tanzania to paint the Maasai people and preserve a dying culture. These paintings are some of the most vibrant pieces included in the collection in Mulford Library

Barfield collected many of Collins’ other works over the years, amassing a collection worth more than $230,000 that includes the works from Harlem and Africa, as well as pieces inspired by Japan and Native Americans in South Dakota.

Barfield donated his collection to the Charles H. Wright African American Museum in Detroit. When Barfield showed the collection to then UT President Lloyd Jacobs, whom he was introduced to by Dr. Nina McClelland, former dean of the UT College of Arts and Sciences, they discussed putting it on display at the University.

Juanita Moore, president and CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American Museum, agreed to permanently loan the collection to UT.

A ribbon-cutting and reception for the collection on the fifth floor of the Mulford Library will take place Tuesday, April 28, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Barfield, Jacobs and Interim President Nagi Naganathan will offer remarks, and Collins will be in attendance.

During the reception, Barfield will sign copies of his autobiography, Starting From Scratch: The Humble Beginnings of a Two Billion Dollar Enterprise.

“I’m glad that we were able to keep this art intact, first by giving it to the museum and now by having it at the University,” Barfield said. “We’re very excited to see the unveiling of it.”

To attend, RSVP before Wednesday, April 22, to the Office of Special Events at 419.530.2200 or specialevents@utoledo.edu,/a>.

Spotlight to shine on poetry set to music April 19

The University of Toledo Department of Music will present Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” Sunday, April 19, at 3 p.m. in Doermann Theater.

CarminaThe name “Carmina Burana” refers to a large body of poems written in the Middle Ages as a form of rebellion against religion and social mores. Some poems mock the clergy, while others celebrate love and the return of spring, as well as drinking, gambling and other forms of mischief. The surviving manuscript contains more than 200 poems. Orff collected 24 of the poems and set them to music.

Taking the stage will be the University Concert Chorale and Community Chorus, and members of the Whiteford Agricultural High School Choir.

Soloists Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini (soprano), Ryan de Ryke (baritone) and Eric Smith (tenor) also will perform. Bernardini, UT assistant professor of music, is director of the UT Opera Ensemble; de Ryke appears often the Chamber Opera Chicago; and Smith is a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University where he is studying choral music.

For the show, the arrangement for piano and percussion will be used. The music will be performed on two pianos by Christina Montri, UT graduate student in piano performance, and Phil Clark, who earned his master’s degree in piano from the UT Department of Music.

Dr. Olman Piedra, UT assistant professor of music, and the UT Percussion Ensemble will accompany.

Tickets are available in advance or at the door for $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors 60 and older. Visit utoledo.tix.com or call 419.530.2375

Exhibit showcases talent of graduating students

Works by graduating students are on display in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery on the UT Toledo Museum of Art Campus.

See artwork by Veronica Bialecki, Matt Dangler, Khrystyne Dewey, Kayla Dopfer, Sarah Emch, Jared Geisman, Nate Perez and Courtney Stahl.

The free, public exhibit will be open through Sunday, May 10.

Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Art imitates space: Exhibit to open this week in Ritter Planetarium

The University of Toledo Department of Art will be among the stars beginning Tuesday, April 14, in Ritter Planetarium.

UT student Xueling Zhao made this image for the exhibit.

UT student Xueling Zhao made this image for the exhibit.

As part of the planetarium program titled “Stars: Powerhouses of the Universe,” photographs made by students will be on display in the lobby gallery and on the dome as well.

A screening of the program will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and be followed by a reception with the artists. Seating is limited at the free, public program.

The exhibition titled “Faux Space” is the third photo show at the planetarium. The images on display were made in the Department of Art’s fall 2014 introductory photo course taught by Professor Deborah Orloff.

Students were challenged to create photos that evoke a sense of space in the extraterrestrial sense. They used a diverse range of materials to create their images — food, toys, pots, glitter, fire, lasers, smoke and oils.

All images were made with a digital single-lens reflex camera; they are not computer-generated or taken from space.

Student artists featured in the exhibition are Shalissa Bailey, Jamie Campbell, Andrea Fackelman, Emily Frank, June Galvin, Danielle Hedger, Qiong Jia, Leanne Jones, Chariti Lockhard, Nicelle McCuchen, Kathlynn Meyer, Kayla Perez, Alexandra Ray, Daniel Rivera, Madison Roy, Jamie Snyder, Drew Tansel, Chelsea Thompson, Xueling Zhao and Yue Zhao.

The gallery images will be on display throughout the summer during regular business hours and when there are shows at Ritter Planetarium.

Original puppet theatre production ‘The Immortals’ to open April 10

The UT Department of Theatre and Film will close out its 2014-15 season with a work of puppet theatre created by Lecturer Erica Frank, a costume designer of theatre, film and commercial production, with a specialization in mask and puppetry.

Students rehearsed a scene from “The Immortals,” which will feature puppetry and masks created by Erica Frank, UT lecturer in theatre.

Students rehearsed a scene from “The Immortals,” which will feature puppetry and masks created by Erica Frank, UT lecturer in theatre.

“The Immortals” is a play that uses poetry, utopian myth and fantasy to craft a universe in which forces are bringing to rapid decay a world once bright, colorful and full of promise. But all is not lost; “The Immortals” is ultimately a story of hope.

The UT production brings together a talented team of students, faculty and local professionals — composing the music score, creating the voices of the creatures, bringing them to life on stage as puppeteers, and developing and building the puppets and the stage world they inhabit.

“In all of my years here in the UT Department of Theatre and Film, I have to say that this is one of the most ambitiously creative and adventurous productions we have ever produced,” said Dr. Edmund Lingan, associate professor and chair of theatre and film.
“This is a breathtakingly beautiful, amazing piece of theatre art and finely crafted storytelling.”

Frank’s poetic script tells the tale of Chang E, a pale, luminescent immortal of the moon. Displaced by the chaos that has dislodged her from her lunar home, she bemoans the unnatural terrestrial decay: “Your life is scarcely shown and withered, from the sky I’ve been delivered, from moon to shadow in the day, where sun should be to light the way. On this island, once spring eternal, dark north wind has come infernal, price of freedom, dreams will cease, when poisons from planets increase.”

“The Immortals” will open Friday, April 10, and run through Sunday, April 12, and Friday, April 17, through Sunday, April 19, in the Center for Performing Arts Center Theatre. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

On opening night, the department will hold a free pre-show panel discussion, “Challenges and Hope: Theatre and Positive Change in the Age of Global Warming” at 5:30 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall. Four speakers will make brief presentations, and there will be a talkback session with the audience. The speakers will be Frank; Dr. Andy Jorgensen, UT associate professor of chemistry; Dr. Patrick Lawrence, UT professor and chair of geography and planning; and Dr. Mike Weintraub, UT associate professor of environmental sciences.

Tickets to “The Immortals” range from $7 to $12 and will be available at the door or in advance from the UT Center for Performing Arts Box Office, by calling 419.530.2375, and online at utoledo.tix.com.

Art, fashion collide in ‘Wearable Conditions’

Art Lecturer Brian Carpenter’s 3D Concepts: Mixed Media class will present “Wearable Conditions,” a fashion show, Thursday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in the Toledo Museum of Art Green Room.

Using a variety of mediums and technologies, students in the class have been working all semester to design and create wearable art based on diseases, viruses and disorders, Carpenter said.

For more information on the free, public show, contact Carpenter at brian.carpenter@utoledo.edu.

This head piece created by student Mark Why will be featured during “Wearable Conditions.”

This head piece created by student Mark Why will be featured during “Wearable Conditions.”

Lecturer shows how mindfulness practices increase creativity, productivity

At The University of Toledo, students are gaining a skill that’s unique in many ways — how to tap into their creativity using mindfulness practices.

Jay Rinsen Weik, UT lecturer in the Department of Music and Zen teacher, got comfortable for a segment for his online class Mindfulness and Creativity.

Jay Rinsen Weik, UT lecturer in the Department of Music and Zen teacher, got comfortable for a segment for his online class Mindfulness and Creativity.

The Mindfulness and Creativity Initiative, led by UT Senior Lecturer Jay Rinsen Weik, is relatively new at the University but growing rapidly. It involves using mindfulness — the ability to be in the moment, focused and aware — to be more creative and innovative.

“The best creativity comes from a mind that is clear,” Weik said. “What I’m doing is taking these two different fields and showing that they are integrated.”

This initiative allows Weik to combine two of his passions. A senior lecturer in the Department of Music, Weik teaches musical improvisation and jazz, but he also is a recognized American Zen teacher.

Part of the initiative involves hosting symposia, workshops and panels. Weik will host a free, public panel discussion on the initiative and its future at UT Tuesday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

The panel discussion, called Mindfulness, Creativity and the Zen Arts Ensemble, will feature Dr. Wesley Bullock, UT associate professor of psychology; Irene Alby, UT lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Film; and Michael Leizerman, attorney.

Weik will give an overview of the initiative at UT, and each panelist will discuss its application to his or her field.

Another part of the initiative is a course that Weik teaches on Mindfulness and Creativity, which focuses on introducing mindfulness through meditation and breathing methods. Though the practices are based on Eastern traditions, the class does not have a religious connotation.

The class is housed in the Department of Music and offered in the summer, but beginning next fall it will be a general education course. It also may become the first of a few courses offered within a mindfulness and creativity minor available to all majors that would include other relevant curriculum and a capstone class.

“This is a multidisciplinary effort with very enthusiastic support across different colleges,” Weik said. “I think that’s significant.”

Those who wish to take the course, which is worth three credit hours and offered entirely online, can sign up for it this summer using CRN 42452 or email jay.weik@utoledo.edu for more information.

During Tuesday’s panel discussion, Weik also will discuss the Zen Arts Ensemble, a professional music group he put together with some of his colleagues. The ensemble plays entirely in the moment using mindfulness, with very little guidance.

“It’s an incredible manifestation of the creative process,” Weik said. “The music just kind of arrives.”

UT, Toledo Symphony to present ‘Midsummer Night Mysteries’

The University of Toledo College of Communication and the Arts celebrates its annual Arts & Humanities Festival in collaboration with the Toledo Symphony and its production of “Midsummer Night Mysteries,” Friday and Saturday, March 27-28.

UT students and faculty will take part in the symphony production at the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle, and the college will present a related lecture on Main Campus.

Stephan Sanderling will conduct the Toledo Symphony, and Cornel Gabara, UT associate professor of theatre, will direct as well as portray the dual character Egeus/Bottom in “Midsummer Night Mysteries.”

Irene Alby, UT lecturer in theatre and film, will play Hippolyta/Titania, and UT theatre students in the cast are Ian Davis as Demetrius, Jeffrey Burden as Oberon/Theseus, Nolan Thomaswick as Lysander, Victoria Zajac as Hermia, Keely-Rain Battle as Puck, Elif Ertürk as Helena. The students will double up and play other roles, such as the mechanicals and fairies.

For the production, Daniel Thobias, UT assistant professor of theatre, designed costumes; lighting is by James S. Hill, UT professor emeritus of theatre; and set design is by Gabara.

Tickets range from $36 to $55 and are available at tickets.toledosymphony.com. Student rush tickets are $5 at the door; cash preferred, $3 fee for credit/debit cards.

In addition to the performances, Dr. Matthew Wikander, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of English, will give a free, public talk titled “Mendelssohn’s Music, Reinhardt’s Diaphanous Damsels, Shakespeare’s Fairies” Wednesday March 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Libbey Hall.

Exhibit spotlights top student artwork

The 2015 Juried Student Exhibition is on display in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery on UT’s Toledo Museum of Art Campus through Wednesday, April 1.

A wide range of media is included in the free, public exhibit.

Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Students with works selected for the juried event are Reem Barakat, Samantha Bell-Koch, Aaron Brandt, Mike Budyka, Tara Byczynski, Matt Dangler, Kayla Dopfer, Sarah Emch, Nikka Geiermann, Faith Goodman, Katelyn Greenhill, Samantha Heinze, Nicole Hinson, Victor Lewis, Cameron McLeod, Abhishek Mutha, Joseph Okoyomo, Sara Orzechowski, Grace Parr, Brandy Save, Kelsey Telquist, Crystal Terry, Michelle Trivisonno, Janelle Watkins and Mark Yappueying.

“Fragile,” acrylic on board, by Samantha Bell-Koch

“Fragile,” acrylic on board, by Samantha Bell-Koch

“Jerry and Sandra,” acrylic, by Grace Parr

“Jerry and Sandra,” acrylic, by Grace Parr

“Forlorn,” bronze, wood and acrylic, by Janelle Watkins

“Forlorn,” bronze, wood and acrylic, by Janelle Watkins