Visual and Performing Arts | UToledo News







Visual and Performing Arts

Collage, patterns collide, question reality in exhibit

“PANORAMA,” an installation by Natalie Lanese, combines collage and pop patterns to set up narratives that address, oftentimes humorously, the more serious realities of American culture.

“In the Mountains” is part of Natalie Lanese’s “PANORAMA” exhibit on display in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery through Saturday, Sept. 28.

“In the Mountains” is part of Natalie Lanese’s “PANORAMA” exhibit on display in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery through Saturday, Sept. 28.

Her massive scale patterns transform into a geometric landscape in which the collaged elements create conceptual spaces and confront ideas of image vs. reality, depth and depthlessness.

The exhibition is on display through Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery on the UT Toledo Museum of Art Campus.

“Natalie Lanese’s ‘PANORAMA’ is really something to behold,” said Ben Pond, UT art lecturer and director of the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery. “This painting and collage installation, created particularly for our gallery, has completely transformed the space. The work itself is contained along three walls; however, it alters the gallery in such a significant manner with vibrant color, bold three-dimensional pattern, and both humorous and appetizing collage elements.”

Lanese, a Toledo resident, is an assistant professor of art and gallery director at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Mich.

She recently has exhibited at Jack the Pelican Presents in Brooklyn, N.Y.; the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Mass.; Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Mass.; and the Scope International Art Fair in Basel, Switzerland.

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

For more information on the free, public exhibition, contact Pond at or 419.530.8346.

Students’ art part of ‘Grossology’ at Imagination Station

“More Eyeballs,” “Section of the Neck” and “Relax” are a few of the 11 works of art by UT students on display in “Grossology” at Imagination Station, the hands-on science center in downtown Toledo.

Art by UT students is on display at Imagination Station as part of the “Grossology” exhibit, which continues through Monday, Sept. 2.

Art by UT students is on display at Imagination Station as part of the “Grossology” exhibit, which continues through Monday, Sept. 2.

Using the book Gray’s Anatomy as inspiration, students in the Lithography class taught by Arturo Rodriguez, associate professor of art, and the Anatomy class taught by Ben Pond, art lecturer and director of the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery, collaborated on a large, bound book project called Gross Anatomy.

Students used lithography as the basis for their initial drawings and then embellished the pages with additional drawing media.

Two copies of the large book were created, and another series of prints was made for display. One book was donated to Mulford Library on UT’s Health Science Campus, and the other was given to the Toledo Museum of Art library, where it is on view. The project was completed last fall.

Works on display at Imagination Station were created by Alyssa Brown, Stacey Cruzado, Sarah Emch, David Folck, Lisa Franko, Wes Rucker, Dylan Gallagher, Katie Heft, Dingzhong Hu, Josh Klein and Shirley Mei.

The artwork by UT students can be seen in “Grossology” through Monday, Sept. 2.

For more information about admission and hours of operation, visit

Theatre auditions slated for Aug. 26-27

The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film will hold auditions for its fall plays Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 26 and 27, in the Center for Performing Arts Studio Theatre.

The department will be casting for:

• “Fox Hunt” and “Strip Tease,” two one-act political satires from Polish playwright Slawomir Mrozek. The plays will be performed back to back in the same performance Friday through Sunday, Oct. 11-13, and Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 17-20.

• “Out to Lunch,” a comedy written by Joseph Langham. This play will be performed Friday through Sunday, Nov. 15-17, and Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 21-24.

Auditions are open to all.

Sign-up sheets are posted outside the Theatre and Film Department office, located in Center for Performing Arts Room 1030.

Audition preparation information can be found at

For more information, call the Department of Theatre and Film at 419.530.2202.

End of Summer Research Symposium to be held July 31

Undergraduate students will have the opportunity to present their work at the End of the Summer Research Symposium Wednesday, July 31.

Students will give oral and poster presentations at the program, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. in Sullivan Hall on Main Campus.

The presentations will be based on what the undergraduates have learned in their summer seminar class, which met every Thursday May 30 through July 25.

The Office of Undergraduate Research provides funding for undergraduates interested in the three months of summer research.

Biology, history, chemistry, bioengineering, fine arts, environmental science, pharmacology and civil engineering are some of the topics to be presented at the symposium.

“It is a multidisciplinary, eclectic mixture of different domains,” said Jamie Teeple, a graduate assistant in the Office of Undergraduate Research. “We also want to make sure students in the humanities have a voice, as these students represent an integral source of the University’s rigorous research initiatives.”

Taking part will be 37 Undergraduate Summer Research and Creative Activity Program students, 11 First-Year Summer Research Experience students, three UT-City of Toledo Internship Program students, and 12 Research Experiences for Undergraduate Physics students. They will present with their advisers.

“Last year was almost standing room only,” Teeple said of the event.

Teeple has worked closely with Dr. Tom Kvale, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, to plan the symposium. Kvale will emcee the event. Dr. James Trempe, vice president for research, will speak at 11 a.m.

All UT students, faculty and staff are invited to the symposium.

UT film student to show documentary in California [video]

Lydia Kane, a senior majoring in film and video production at The University of Toledo, is looking forward to screening her documentary at a film festival in Santa Monica, Calif.

“I am beyond excited!” Kane said. “It’s a great opportunity for this film to spread to other people and hopefully inspire them to volunteer some of their time to helping others.”

Her documentary, “Learning Through Service,” is about helping people who are homeless, and it will be shown at the fourth annual Awareness Film Festival Sunday, July 28, at the Promenade Playhouse.

The festival was created to bring awareness to the ecological, political and well-being of the world.

In 2012, Kane traveled with 35 students on an alternative spring break service project to New York City and volunteered at a homeless shelter and soup kitchen.

“While I knew that the problem of hunger and homelessness existed, it didn’t actually hit me until I traveled to New York City with the learning leadership through service community,” Kane said. “I was able to see the hundreds of people that lined up for food and their eyes light up to have a warm meal and to have someone to have a conversation with.”

Kane was asked by Dr. Sammy Spann, assistant provost for international studies and programs, and Sara Clark, assistant director of the Center for International Studies and Programs, to document the experience.

“Here at UT, we are very proud of Lydia for exploring her world, going beyond the boundaries of normal academic experiences, and showing that UT is more than just a part of Ohio but a part of the world,” Spann said. “We like creating these opportunities for our student populace.”

Kane submitted her documentary for inclusion in the festival and it will be shown as part of the Student Shorts Block with other short documentaries. Kane’s film is about 10 minutes.


For more information about the Awareness Film Festival, go to

View some of Kane’s other films here.

Glacity Theatre Collective to present ‘Hunting Cockroaches’

It’s the 1980s, New York City, middle of the night. Two people can’t sleep: a writer with writer’s block and an actress with a thick foreign accent and no equity card.

Cornel Gabara, UT associate professor of theatre, plays Jan, and Jennifer Lake is Anka in this scene from the Glacity Theatre Collective’s production of “Hunting Cockroaches.”

Cornel Gabara, UT associate professor of theatre, plays Jan, and Jennifer Lake is Anka in this scene from the Glacity Theatre Collective’s production of “Hunting Cockroaches.”

Successful artists Jan and Anka Krupinski fled Communist-occupied Poland for the freedom of New York, but how can they pursue their vocations in a new language and a new culture when it seems that no one wants to hear what they have to say?

In Janusz Glowacki’s black comedy “Hunting Cockroaches,” a series of “visitors” in the form of nightmares, memories and worries arrive as Jan and Anka wrestle with insomnia, paranoia and a future that doesn’t look like anything they ever planned for back in Poland.

“Throughout this play, the political situation in Poland is referenced, but the characters still long for their homeland because they can’t seem to find a way to fit in in the United States. So they are caught between a rock and a hard place,” said Dr. Edmund Lingan, UT associate professor of theatre and artistic director of the Glacity Theatre Collective, who is directing the production.

“With ‘Hunting Cockroaches,’ playwright Glowacki has managed to honor the true pain of Jan and Anka’s situation and, at the same time, to create a comic world that includes ludicrous and fantastical elements,” he said. “Anyone who has ever felt out of place and longed for a lost past will identify with the plight of the two main characters in ‘Hunting Cockroaches.’”

The cast features Cornel Gabara, UT associate professor of theatre, reprising his role as Jan for the Glacity Theatre Collective production. Jennifer Nagy Lake also returns to play Anka. Dr. Ben Pryor, UT vice provost for academic program development, and Pamela Tomassetti play the six remaining characters.

James S. Hill, UT professor and chair of theatre and film, designed the set, and Holly Monsos, UT associate dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, designed the costumes.

“Hunting Cockroaches” will open Friday, July 12, at 8 p.m. in the newly renovated Ohio Theatre, 2915 Lagrange St. in Toledo. The play will be produced in association with the Lagrange Street Polish Festival; for more information on the festival, go to

The show will continue with performances Saturday, July 13, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 14, at 2 p.m. Doors open one half hour prior to curtain.

Tickets are $16 and are available at and, as available, at the door.

For more information, go to

Art faculty members win Blackboard Catalyst Award for innovative online class

Seder Burns and Phoebe Ballard, faculty members in the UT Department of Art, won a Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course Program, which honors the design and development of innovative classes that represent the best in technology and learning.

Seder Burns and Phoebe Ballard, who received a Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course Program for their digital media class, stand outside the Center for the Visual Arts.

Seder Burns and Phoebe Ballard, who received a Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course Program for their digital media class, stand outside the Center for the Visual Arts.

Their online course, Fundamentals of Digital Media, also was one of 10 exemplary course winners recognized as Directors’ Choice for Courses With Distinction.

Part of the annual Blackboard Catalyst Awards Program since 2000, the Exemplary Course Program Award highlights technologically rich, engaging, well-designed and pedagogically sound courses that showcase best practices for the user community. More than 160 entries were evaluated in a peer-review process by more than 300 faculty and instructional designers. Submissions were judged on course design, interaction, collaboration, assessment and learner support.

“The Exemplary Course Program gives faculty of online and blended courses the opportunity to reflect on their own course design and to gain new insights about best practices in online instruction,” said Ballard, UT instructor of art, senior instructional designer in UT Learning Ventures, and University alumna. “Using the Exemplary Course Rubric, we were able to identify unique and exemplary design elements that make Fundamentals of Digital Media a high-quality, interactive and engaging learning experience for our online students.”

The Blackboard Catalyst Awards annually recognizes innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice, where teachers and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology.

“Catalyst Award winners represent some of today’s finest examples of leveraging technology to improve the education experience,” said Ray Henderson, chief technology officer and president of academic platforms at Blackboard. “Each winner has established best-in-field approaches in critical areas, including online learning, course development, school communication and mobile education. We congratulate the winners on their vision and their excellent work.” 

Burns, lecturer in the Art Department, and Ballard will be honored alongside other Blackboard Catalyst Award winners during BbWorld, Blackboard’s annual user conference, in July in Las Vegas. Additionally, their course will be highlighted on the Blackboard Catalyst Award website at

To learn more about UT’s online degree and certificate programs, visit, email or call 419.530.8835.

Art Song Festival and Workshop to present concerts, master classes

Several concerts and master classes will be held this week as part of the Art Song Festival and Workshop at The University of Toledo’s Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

04EventImagesartsong“These concerts provide artists attending the festival with the opportunity to perform while presenting the public with world-class concerts of outstanding music not often available locally in live performance,” said Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini, UT assistant professor of music.

The Art Song Festival and Workshop is dedicated to promoting recital performances as well as to training singers and collaborative pianists in the art of recital planning and performance. This festival features master classes, voice lessons, coaching sessions and recital performances, as well as classes geared for the student and emerging professional singer and pianist.

Listed by date, the concerts that will take place in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall are:

• Wednesday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m. Program: A Celebration of German, Italian and American composers: Robert Schumann, Gian Carlo Menotti, Norman Dello Joio, Steven Mark Kohn. Metropolitan Opera tenor Michael Sylvester will perform.

• Thursday, June 27, at 7:30 p.m. Program: Within Spanish Borders: Diverse Treasures of Language and Song, featuring art song competition Winner Dr. Jessica Bachicha, soprano.

• Friday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m. Program: An Evening of Songs by American Composers, including Aaron Copland, Richard Hunley, Samuel Barber, Celius Dougherty, Dominick Argento and Lee Hoiby.

• Saturday, June 29, at 7:30 p.m. Program: Do You Know the Land Where the Citrus Trees Bloom? Works by German and Italian composers, including Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Hugo Wolf, Ermanno Wolf Ferrari and Reynaldo Hahn, will be featured.

• Sunday, June 30, at 5 p.m. Program: Art Song Festival Concert that will showcase where all participants will perform; Dr. Michael Boyd, UT professor of music, will play piano.
Master classes also will take place: Thursday, June 27, from 10 a.m. to noon; Friday, June 28, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.; Saturday, June 29, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, June 30, from noon to 2 p.m.

An art song festival ticket is $60 for all concerts and master classes. Concert tickets are $10, and master class tickets are $10.

Tickets are available at the door or in advance in the Music Department Office, located in the Center for Performing Arts Room 1030.

For more information go to the UT Department of Music website at

UT art project wins national award for local billboard displays

Several University of Toledo art students recently were recognized on a national scale for bringing their art to the city.

Artwork by April VanSlambrouck and other UT students was featured on digital billboards in Toledo last fall.

Artwork by April VanSlambrouck and other UT students was featured on digital billboards in Toledo last fall.

The project, “Stories From Toledo,” developed by art students from the Time, Motion, Space class and others representing the Department of Art, was selected as the winner of the 2012 Achievement in Digital Art & Design Award by the International Digital Media and Arts Association.

UT art students had their work displayed on 20 digital billboards throughout Toledo from October through December last year thanks to a collaborative effort with Lamar Outdoor Advertising.

“It’s very exciting to have student work seen locally and recognized nationally,” said Barry Whittaker, assistant professor of art and coordinator of new media design practices, who directed the students on the project. “It was a unique opportunity to get the art out of the classroom and into the city.”

For the project, students were told to create fictional film stills that represented a larger story that was connected to the Toledo community.

“This posed an interesting challenge for a time-based media class. They had to create a still image that would suggest something before and after,” Whittaker said.

The student artists who participated in the project were Clinton Bales, Alyssa Brown, Kasia Gacek, Yang Gao, Morgan Hayward, Philip Herman, Thomas Johnson, Marko Milliken, Halah Mohamed, Jessica Ostrander, Jeremy Pellington, Noah Roszczipka, Austin Tuttle, April VanSlambrouck, Jon Wittes and Mark Yappueying.

Click here to view the pieces used in the project.

CVA brighter, greener with lighting system overhaul

The Center for the Visual Arts building has received a $15,000 overhaul of its lighting system, illuminating not only the facility but also meeting goals of energy efficiency at The University of Toledo.

“The Center for the Visual Arts is burning brighter thanks to the comprehensive fluorescent light retrofit project. Not only do we see better, but we appreciate the energy savings with the more efficient use of electricity,” said Chris Burnett, associate professor and chair of art.

The center expects savings of 30 percent as a result of this project, which was completed in March. On top of these savings, the project will bring in a $11,000 rebate for the energy upgrade, and all refuse from this project was recycled, according to the project leader Sandrine Mubenga, UT manager of electrical engineering.

Funding for this project would not have been possible without the help of Jim Graff, director of facilities operations, who volunteered $12,000 from his budget. The remaining $3,000 was supplied by SEED (Sustainability, Energy Efficiency and Design), UT’s sustainability initiative.

The majority of the work was completed in-house by Facilities. However, some areas of the center are structured with high ceilings and called for independent contractors. Mubenga kept the University’s mission in mind and partnered with a minority business enterprise, Bryson/Tucker Electric LLC.

“Overall, this project modeled goal orientation and the breaking down of silos between different areas and trades within the University,” said Brooke Mason, UT interim sustainability specialist. “It’s more efficient and better for everyone if the university operates in this manner.”