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NIU Artists. Never. Quit. – Kaisa Holmstrom

NIU Artists. Never. Quit. – Kaisa Holmstrom

As NIU and the world around us deals with a global pandemic, artists continue to find ways to express themselves. In the College of Visual and Performing arts the learning and teaching hasn’t stopped, it’s simply evolved to meet the needs and limitations of the situation. Over the coming days, we’ll be featuring how NIU students, alumni and faculty in the arts are continuing to do what they love.

Kaisa Holmstrom
Major: Business
Hometown: Hancock, Mich.

“Here’s video of some art I made yesterday.”

@hikaisapracticing with some pop art. part 2. ##distancedance ##foryou ##fyp ##foryoupage ##art ##imbored ##fun♬ Something For Your M.I.N.D. – Superorganism

 

Are you a student, alumni or faculty member in the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts with video of yourself performing or creating, or photos of a finished product? Use this form to share it with us. 

NIU Artists. Never. Quit. – Veronica Storc

NIU Artists. Never. Quit. – Veronica Storc

As NIU and the world around us deals with a global pandemic, artists continue to find ways to express themselves. In the College of Visual and Performing arts the learning and teaching hasn’t stopped, it’s simply evolved to meet the needs and limitations of the situation. Over the coming days, we’ll be featuring how NIU students, alumni and faculty in the arts are continuing to do what they love.

Veronica Storc
Major: 
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Sculpture
Hometown: Naperville, Ill.
“Creatively, I am adapting my sculptural work to find projects I can complete at home. 3-D art has been my main focus at school so it’s been interesting to continue that body of work without studio access.  I’ve also been allowing myself  time to follow pursuits that I don’t typically have as much time for such as cooking, drawing, and keeping up with media (shows, music, YouTube etc). Everyday has been a little different but I’m trying to find a balance between projects for school and calming creative activities.”

Veronica Storc 3

Veronica Storc 2

See more of Veronica’s work at her website.

Are you a student, alumni or faculty member in the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts with video of yourself performing or creating, or photos of a finished product? Use this form to share it with us. 

NIU Artists. Never. Quit. – Troy Nussbaum

NIU Artists. Never. Quit. – Troy Nussbaum

As NIU and the world around us deals with a global pandemic, artists continue to find ways to express themselves. In the College of Visual and Performing arts the learning and teaching hasn’t stopped, it’s simply evolved to meet the needs and limitations of the situation. Over the coming days, we’ll be featuring how NIU students, alumni and faculty in the arts are continuing to do what they love.

Troy Nussbaum
Major: Master of Arts – Jazz Guitar Performance
Hometown: Bloomington, Ill.

“I have been holed up inside during this pandemic and have taken the opportunity to not only try and make progress with my jazz guitar playing but also learn a new and fun way to notate the recorded solos I have been learning from. I am having a lot of fun learning this musical programming language called Lilypond and just wanted to give my fellow musicians a heads up to its existence!”

An easy and free way to notate and transcribe

 

Are you a student, alumni or faculty member in the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts with video of yourself performing or creating, or photos of a finished product? Use this form to share it with us. 

Huskie Spotlight – Mark Macaranas, School of Theatre and Dance

Huskie Spotlight – Mark Macaranas, School of Theatre and Dance

Marc Macaranas

Assistant Professor of Dance

Marc MacaranasWhere is your hometown, and where do you reside now?
I’m from a little farm town in California called the Delano, in central California just outside of Bakersfield. I did my undergrad in Southern California at UC Irvine. I guess I consider myself more a Chicagoan now, since I’ve been in Chicago since ’05. But I’m still a Californian at heart, I suppose.

Where did you attend college and what degree(s) have you earned?
I did my undergrad at University of California-Irvine.

I recently earned my MFA from University of Iowa in dance with a focus in choreography. Prior to that I worked as the director for a company in Chicago called Cerqua Rivera Dance Theater, and another company, Lucky Plush Productions, where I was a dancer and the marketing and communications manager.

Were you ever undecided, and/or did you change majors?
I knew that I was going to college, I just didn’t know what it was for, or what I was going to college for. I think my senior year I applied to 10 schools. Each of them for essentially a different major. But I’d always dance. I’ve been dancing since I was five, and in high school it became really important to me. I applied to one school as a dance major, which was UC Irvine. When I went to campus for the audition, I really fell in love with the campus itself, and the department. It was probably in high school that I knew I was going to dance. I didn’t know in what capacity that was going to be.

I thought I was going to be a commercial dancer, and that I would be in LA being in music videos and that sort of thing. It wasn’t until college that I discovered concert dance. I’ve really just been centered around that for the last 20 years or so. I moved to Chicago two weeks after I graduated from UC Irvine, and it’s where most of my professional work has been, though I’ve done some international work too. More than anything I’ve been based in Chicago where there’s so much access to world class dance, and collaborators from virtually every field.

How did you know you wanted to teach?
I started teaching company classes for the companies that I was dancing in, and that’s really where I got my start teaching. I’d taught kids before, like junior high and high school students at various studios. When the opportunity came for me to teach company class, I jumped on it because I knew what the dancers needed in order to get through their day. It was fun to prepare classes that were geared towards the needs of professional dancer.

I started teaching company classes there. I got asked to teach open classes, professional studios, and then summer intensives, and various programs all over the country while I was dancing with Lucky Plush. We toured quite frequently. I would teach master classes for the various universities that we were performing at, some of our residency activities. That was really my first introduction to teaching in a higher ed type of setting.


Marc Macaranas is an assistant professor of dance in the School of Theatre and Dance.

NIU Artists. Never. Quit. – Paolo Colombo

NIU Artists. Never. Quit. – Paolo Colombo

As NIU and the world around us deals with a global pandemic, artists continue to find ways to express themselves. In the College of Visual and Performing arts the learning and teaching hasn’t stopped, it’s simply evolved to meet the needs and limitations of the situation. Over the coming days, we’ll be featuring how NIU students, alumni and faculty in the arts are continuing to do what they love.

Paolo Colombo
Major: Master of Art, 1983
Hometown: Athens, Greece

Photo credits: Boris Kir

This artwork was part of Paolo’s exhibition at Bernier Eliades Gallery in Athens, Greece form January 16 through February 15, 2020.

A recent exhibition, Of Birds and Monkeys, with Kiki Smith ran from February 14 through March 20 at Tristan Hoare Gallery in London, England. 

Paolo Colombo is an Italian artist and curator. Born in 1949 in Turin, Italy, Colombo lives and works in Athens, Greece, and is the Art Advisor for the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (2008 to present). He earned his Master of Art degree from the NIU School of Art and Design in 1983. 

In 2017, Colombo curated the Iraqi Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Between 2001 – 2007, Colombo was the curator of the Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo in Rome, and the director of the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva between 1989 – 2000. In 1999, Colombo curated the 6th Istanbul Biennale. In 1977, Colombo was the first European artist to exhibit at PS1, New York.

After a 25 year hiatus, Colombo took up his personal work as an artist again, coinciding with his move to Athens, Greece. “I just picked up a pencil and my old box of watercolors…and started as if one day had not gone by. I have only used watercolour and paper during my whole life because think it is easily transportable and because it is a technique that does not allow for corrections.”

Colombo works exclusively with watercolors and pencil, “a strictly intimate practice which demands to be seen one on one, like one would read a book…it is fundamentally lyrical”. Colombo’s drawings are dream-like meditations, which include poetry, animals, soft washes of color and his signature checkered squares and fine lines.

Are you a student, alumni or faculty member in the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts with video of yourself performing or creating, or photos of a finished product? Use this form to share it with us. 

NIU Artists. Never. Quit. – Rick LoPresto

NIU Artists. Never. Quit. – Rick LoPresto

School of Music alumnus Rick LoPresto, who teaches instrumental music at Bernotas Middle School in Crystal Lake, Ill. and directs the Seventh Grade Band, Jazz Lab Band and Jazz Ensemble, is part of a group of music educators who have created a virtual jazz ensemble to share music with the online community and their students during the “shelter in place” time in Illinois.

Here they are, performing “The Jazz Police.” Rick’s in the NIU School of Music shirt (third trumpet.)

Rick LoPresto teaches instrumental music at Bernotas Middle School in Crystal Lake, Ill., where he directs the Seventh Grade Band, Jazz Lab Band, and Jazz Ensemble. He also co-directs the Sixth Grade Band and teaches group lessons to Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Bands.  His bands consistently earn high ratings at IGSMA Contest and his students have consistently earned placement in the ILMEA District VII Junior Jazz Bands. The Bernotas Jazz Ensemble has also earned consistent high marks at Music In The Parks Festivals, including caption awards for Outstanding Jazz Soloist in 2009 and in 2015. He started his teaching career in the Waukegan, IL schools, where he taught elementary through high school band and elementary orchestra.

Rick has been an active adjudicator with several music organizations, including the Illinois Grade School Music Association, Illinois High School Association, and several regional elementary, middle, and high school districts. He has served multiple terms as the ILMEA District 7 Junior Jazz Representative and as the District 7 Junior Band Representative.  He is part of the ILMEA professional development network of teachers. He has presented at the Texas Music Educators Association conference, the Midwest Clinic, and three times at the Illinois Music Education Conference. He plays trumpet with the Palatine Concert Band and serves on the board and as the band’s librarian. He earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill, where he studied trumpet with Mark Ponzo and conducting with Fusao Kajima and Stephen Squires. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (professional music fraternity), National Association for Music Education, and Jazz Education Network.

Are you a student in the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts with video of yourself performing or creating, or photos of a finished product? Use this form to share it with us.