Deans' Awards celebrate undergraduate achievements

Ten Arts Division students have been selected to receive the 2007-08 Deans’ Award for outstanding undergraduate achievement. The winners will be recognized at the Undergraduate Student Achievement Awards Ceremony and Reception on Friday, June 6.

This year’s winners are:

Mari Corpus (sponsor: Lewis Watts, Porter) for Shades of Yellow - Portraits of Asians in America photography series
Nolan Plant (sponsor: Elizabeth Stephens, College Eight) for The Fix performative video installation

Film and Digital Media
Catherine Gutierrez (sponsor: Christina McPhee, Kresge) for Ideological Activism and Ownership of Space research paper
Samantha Yu (sponsor: Eli Hollander, Porter) for short film Dust to Dust

History of Art and Visual Culture
Eleanore Hopper (sponsor: Martin Berger, Porter) for research paper She Is For Sale: An Analysis of the Flower Girls by Charles Cromwell Ingham
Alicia Marian (sponsor: Maria Evangelatou, Kresge) for essay The Archiepiscopal Chapel in Ravenna

Claire Gendler (sponsor: Brian Staufenbiel, Merrill) for Senior Recital in Voice, Bachelor of Music
Jason Johnston (sponsor: Mesut Ozgen, Porter) for senior recital of classical guitar, Nature

Theater Arts Department
Kaileen Aikawa (sponsor: Patricia Gallagher, Crown) for Direction of theater production [sic] by Melissa James Gibson
Wan-Yin Tang (sponsor: David Cuthbert, Merrill) for Direction of Carry the Tiger To the Mountain by Cherylene Lee

For more information about the Deans' Awards, please contact Acting Dean Margaret Morse at

Search for Arts Dean continues

The search for a permanent Arts Division Dean continued with campus visits by four finalists. Each finalist presented a scholarly/professional talk and a Dean’s vision talk to members of the campus community this spring.

Members of the search committee include Linda Burman-Hall, Music; Sharon Daniel, Film and Digital Media; Carolyn Dean, History of Art and Visual Culture; Patricia Gallagher, Theater Arts; Norman Locks, Art; Renee Tajima-Pena, Community Studies; and Georges Van Den Abbeele Dean, Humanities.

Margaret Morse, a professor of Film and Digital Media, has been providing interim leadership, first as Associate Dean and then as Acting Dean of the Arts Division, since the retirement of longtime Arts Dean Edward Houghton. A previous Dean search closed last spring without a selected candidate.

For more information about the Arts Dean search, please visit

VPS faculty research group announces UCHRI Grant,
visiting Fulbright Scholar


The Visual and Performance Studies (VPS) faculty research group has received a major conference grant from the University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) and will host the Visualities and Performativities: Crossing the Divides conference at UCSC in Spring 2009.

The conference will assemble scholars and artists who either in their scholarship or creative productions have worked toward the convergences of the visual arts and culture with performance. This includes those who have either refused to acknowledge the limitations imposed by separating sound, vision, and act into disciplinary entities or who have forged combinatory methods for addressing visualities and performativities together. Whether the “divides” have been departmental or professional, institutional or national, historical or methodological, this conference proposes to see through them in order to understand the power of performance in the visual sphere in both the past and in the present global culture. Professor and UC Presidential Chair Catherine Soussloff will serve as the PI for this conference.

VPS, along with Cowell College, will also be welcoming Professor Alena Smieskova from Constantine the Philosopher University in Slovakia. Through a generous Fulbright Award for Research, Professor Smieskova will be at UC Santa Cruz as a post-doctoral research fellow in American art and culture. She will be joining the VPS group during Winter and Spring 2009, when she will work closely with colleagues in the departments of History of Art and Visual Culture, Theater Arts, Literature, and Anthropology.

For more information about the VPS research group, please contact Trevor Sangrey at or Catherine Soussloff at 831-459-4660.

UCSC festival celebrates new music

Composers from California, New York, Korea, and Indonesia were featured at UCSC's annual celebration of new music, held in April at the Music Center Recital Hall.

April in Santa Cruz Contemporary Music Festival 2008 fetured music by female composers, Korean P'ansori (story-singing), and Indonesian Gamelan-inspired works. The month-long series of concerts was also a showcase for new original works by UCSC faculty and graduate students, as well as a number of Bay Area composers.

Guest performers included internationally known Korean P'ansori singer Chan E. Park—who performed solo on the Buk (Korean barrel drum); visiting West Javanese composer Nano S; and New York clarinetist/composer Daniel Goode.

The festival kicked off with a concert titled The 51% Majority: Modern Works by Female Composers, performed by UC Davis's Empyrean Ensemble. Another concert featured UCSC music professor Nicole Paiement conducting the Bay Area's Ensemble Parallèle and UCSC's Ensemble Nova. Chan E. Park also performed traditional Korean P'ansori vocal music, followed by a free workshop for those interested in learning about how to compose or sing in that style.

World premier compositions by UCSC faculty were unleashed in a concert titled Wet Ink: The Newest from UCSC. That evening included a new piece created by music professor Hi Kyung Kim for Bay Area percussionist Ward Spangler, as well as Cubist Staircase, the latest from David Evan Jones.

April in Santa Cruz closed with Imagining Gamelan, featuring performances by members of the UCSC Gamelan program led by professor Linda Burman-Hall and lecturer Undang Sumarna; and the UCSC Percussion Ensemble, directed by William Winant in collaboration with the UCSC Contemporary Music Ensemble.

For more information about April in Santa Cruz, please contact David Evan Jones, director of the 2008 festival, at

Rodriguez organizes Art Walks for Watsonville students

Gaby Rodriguez, the 2007-2008 Chancellors Undergraduate Internship Program (CUIP) Educational Outreach Coordinator for the Sesnon Art Gallery, has organized two Art Walks designed to bring Watsonville High School students to the UCSC campus.

Held March 7, the first Art Walk brought a dozen Watsonville students to campus for the winter exhibition Gabriela León: Sunday Walk to the Zócalo of Oaxaca. The students visited the Sesnon Art Gallery, Bridge Gallery, Eduardo Carrillo Senior Art Gallery, and toured the Art Department.

Rodriguez collaborated with Barbara Castro, her former Watsonville High School teacher, to organize the event.

“The best part of the trip for me was that it gave my students a view of college as something more than math and science -- something more than books and numbers,” said teacher Randy Alaga. “Many creative, artist-like students don't feel they belong at a college. Your tour showed them an aspect of college they have never considered. In addition to that, the artwork was cool.”

Rodriguez's second Art Walk coincided with the Sesnon’s spring exhibit, Interruption of Hierarchies, which ran through May 17.

Both events were funded by a grant from the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA).

For more information about her Winter and Spring quarter Art Walks, please contact Gaby Rodriguez at or visit the gallery’s website at

Top Indonesian Diva Euis Komaria visits UCSC

Euis Komaria, a top Indonesian singer, gave a lecture and demonstration in the UCSC gamelan room during her recent U.S. tour. Komaria is a major singer of the repertoire of Pasindhan accompanied by gamelan and kecapi-suling (a chamber music accompanied by zither and flute). The event was sponsored by the Theater Arts and Music Departments, and Porter College.

For more information, please contact Theater Arts professor Kathy Foley at

Filmaker follows Sundance premiere
with UCSC screening

Isaac Julien Photo
Isaac Julien

On January 24, the Film and Digital Media Department, along with Community Studies professor B. Ruby Rich, showcased Isaac Julien’s new film Derek.  British filmmaker Julien arrived in Santa Cruz for the screening fresh from the film’s world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

Julien introduced the film, which reflects on the career of noted New Queer Cinema director Derek Jarman, to a “sell-out” crowd in the Film and Digital Media department’s Studio C screening and lecture hall. Derek was followed by a discussion with the filmmaker and then an additional screening of Julien’s other recent projects. 

For more information, please visit  and

DANM welcomes visiting speakers

In late April, the Digital Arts and New Media program welcomed Judith Faifman and David Merrill to campus to discuss their current projects and research.

On April 23, Faifman presented Transmedializations: Reflections on the opportunities and risks for the implementation of the OLPC (One Laptop per Child) Project in Argentina. Faifman, an educator concerned with Critical Digital Pedagogies, is co-director of the Digital Cultures Research and Design Group ( Founded in 1997, the organization seeks to integrate new digital cultures into existing educational environments.

In his April 25 talk, Novel Tools for Gestural Expression, Merrill outlined a number of his projects that seek to expand people's abilities for creative expression. Merrill is a PhD candidate in the Ambient Intelligence group at the MIT Media Lab. His long-term goal is to fundamentally change our interactions with computational systems, making our existing skills more useful in the creative, expressive manipulation of digital media.

For more information about the Digital Arts and New Media Program, please contact Felicia Rice at


UCIRA Grant helps student bridge artist communities
in Santa Cruz County

Artists in Santa Cruz County have a new opportunity to collaborate and exhibit their work, thanks to the efforts of UCSC Art student Levi Goldman and the Student Art Movement.

Collision by Levi Goldman

Collision: An Intersection of the Arts in Santa Cruz County opened May 2 at Mill Gallery in downtown Santa Cruz

In March, Goldman received a University of California's Institute for Research in the Arts Undergraduate Action Research Grant to fund a juried show, showcasing the varied artwork that is produced by students and working artists in Santa Cruz County. The intent of the show – Collision: An Intersection of the Arts in Santa Cruz County is to foster communication and to break down some of the barriers between these groups of diverse artists. The exhibition opened on May 2 at the Mill Gallery in downtown Santa Cruz.

The idea for this project came from Goldman’s own experience as a transfer student from Cabrillo College to UCSC, and his perception of differences in how art is taught and approached by these institutions.

“The exhibition seeks to bring different art communities together for conversation, and dissolve negative perceptions and stereotypes," Goldman said. “Collision creates space for further understanding and growth, and acts as a call for a celebration of our differences.”

The Undergraduate Action Research Grants, which range from $500 to $2,000, support student-led arts initiatives. The awards are aimed at supporting arts and cultural projects with the capacity to have a significant impact on campus or community life.

For more information, please visit, or contact

UCSC lecturer inspires students to reach across cultures and ages through dance

Theater Arts lecturer and renowned choreographer Tandy Beal mentored 30 UCSC students in her recent Art, Education and Community class who taught dance to 150 elementary school children in the Santa Cruz community.

That effort culminated on March 1 at UCSC's Porter College with Dance Around the World, a live show featuring dances from Africa, Polynesia, India, the Philippines, Mexico, Greece, Scotland, and Brazil — performed by a cast of hundreds — including students from Live Oak, Bay View, Del Mar and Delaveaga Elementary Schools, plus a number of local professional dance troupes.

The focus of the project was to reach across cultures and ages through the medium of dance and arts education. One of Beal's goals for the class was to open UCSC students up to the possibility of considering a career teaching in the schools.

"I hope my students see that when one weaves the arts into the curriculum, every child's imagination expands, and thus their possibilities in life increase," said Beal. "I also want the UCSC kids to know they can make a difference in this world — even before they get their degree, before they have an income, and before they even know what they 'really' want to do in their lives."

Please contact Theater Arts lecturer Tandy Beal at to learn more about her Art, Education and Community class project.



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Spring 2008