Season’s Greetings from the College of Visual and Performing Arts

Season’s Greetings from the College of Visual and Performing Arts

Season’s greetings from everyone in the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts, including the School of Art and Design, School of Music, School of Theatre and Dance, Community School of the Arts and the NIU Art Museum.

You can make a difference

The annual financial support of NIU alumni and friends helps the College of Visual and Performing Arts provide critical support for student and faculty travel, visiting artists and experiential learning opportunities.

Please consider a year-end gift to help fuel the dreams of students like the: 

From $5 to $5,000, every gift matters.

Congratulations to the 2018 Student Holiday Card Contest winners

Congratulations to the 2018 Student Holiday Card Contest winners

Three students from the School of Art and Design were the finalists in this year’s Student Holiday Card Contest.  The winners were selected by NIU President Lisa Freeman to “showcase the incredible talent that NIU students possess.”

The artists behind the winning artwork will all receive scholarships for their designs.  The first place entry will be featured as the official university holiday card.

First prize

Warm NIU Wishes

Amber Naskrent is a junior visual communications major from Belvidere, Ill.

“For my submission, I wanted to create a bright and festive image in a simple and clean way utilizing the techniques I’ve learned as a designer,” said Naskrent.

She hopes to combine her passion for graphic design with her love of Japanese culture by working as a designer for an international company in Chicago.

“I’m excited to see where the skills I’ve learned at NIU will lead me,” she said. 

Second prize

A Romp in the Snow with Some Geese

Oona Holtane is a junior illustration major from Sycamore, Ill.

Holtane’s holiday card artwork features a digitally-created collage illustration. “[This is] what I imagine goes on during winter break on campus,” she said.

Her career goals include directing an animated film, writing and illustrating her own book and growing her business.

“I want to inspire as many people as possible and help others find the silver lining to life’s negative events,” said Holtane. 

Third prize

Skating on the Lagoon

Natalie Pivoney is a graduate student pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in painting from Des Plaines, Ill.

Pivoney’s work features an image of an oil painting with ice skaters on the East Lagoon and NIU’s Altgeld Hall in the background.

“NIU is not just a school, it’s a place where fond memories are created. I enjoyed painting in red details throughout the piece and reflecting the sky in the iced lagoon,” she said.

Pivoney plans to pursue her art practice full-time while teaching studio art at the college level.

Art and Design’s Sinclair Bell to lecture at Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago

Art and Design’s Sinclair Bell to lecture at Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago

Sinclair Bell, Assistant Professor of Art History will present the lecture, “Spectacles of Death: Gladiatorial Combats and Naval Battles in the Roman Arena,” at the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago, Tuesday, January 8 at 6 p.m.  The lecture is open to the public and free of charge.

Sinclair Bell
Sinclair Bell

In this series of lectures entitled, “Sport, Spectacle, and Games under the Roman Empire,” Bell will look at the different ways in which sport and spectacle permeated the society and culture of the ancient Roman Empire (ca. 1-200 CE).

The lectures investigate several different forms of public entertainment and leisure – gladiatorial combats and naval battles, athletics and bathing, and chariot-racing – and the respective monumental spaces in which they took place. Drawing on artistic, architectural, and archaeological evidence as well as contemporary literary sources, these lectures will wrestle with the problematic nature of their classification as sport vs. spectacle.

The following lectures will be presented as part of this series:

February 5: Athletics and Leisure: Greek Games and Roman Baths

March 5: The Greatest Race: Chariot-Racing in the Roman Circus

Sinclair Bell is a classical archaeologist and art historian who specializes in the art and archaeology of ancient Italy. 

School of Music’s Tom Bough to present at the world’s largest band and orchestra clinic

School of Music’s Tom Bough to present at the world’s largest band and orchestra clinic

NIU School of Music faculty member Tom Bough has been chosen to present at the 72nd annual Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago.  It is the largest band and orchestra clinic in the world.

Bough is the director of athletic bands and wind symphony conductor at NIU and has served on the faculty since 2005.  His presentation, “Just Intonation: Help Your Ensemble HEAR and PLAY Better In Tune” will be held at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, December 19.  It’s a tight turn-around for Bough, as his Huskie Marching Band will be playing at the Boca Raton Bowl, in Boca Raton, Fla. the night before, as NIU takes on the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

His session at the conference is presented by Yamaha Corporation of America, and is described as:

Playing perfectly in tune requires more than just a tuner! Setting the length of the tuning slide, neck or mouthpiece or string simply minimizes the amount of adjustments the students need to make. However, literally every note they play will need to be adjusted to some degree. The skill of LISTENING and ADJUSTING while playing is the mark of all great musicians, and can be developed and improved by of any age by tuning against a drone. The ability of the drone to switch between equal temperament and just intonation provides a listening environment more applicable to ensemble performance for the students. Attendees will witness the demonstration of seven different exercises to help their students develop their listening skills while matching pitch with the drone.

Bough says that both ensembles that he conducts (the marching band and the wind symphony) utilize the Harmony Director as part of their regular rehearsal process.  “Basically, I am doing a presentation that describes the great work we are already doing at NIU!”

Value of versatile design skills a key message at 2018 Seek Conference

Value of versatile design skills a key message at 2018 Seek Conference

Advice, inspiration and humor were in large supply as a group of about 190, including 45 current NIU School of Art and Design students and a large number of young alumni attended the 2018 Seek Conference, November 12 at Morningstar in Chicago.  Attendees were treated to short presentations and panel discussions from 11 School of Art and Design alumni at various stages of their successful design careers. (more…)