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With more than 30 majors, 30 minors and 13 graduate programs in visual arts, performing arts, design and liberal studies, UArts develops alumni who are not only leaders in their disciplines, but also creative thinkers able to succeed in any path they choose.
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University of the Arts and International House Philadelphia (IHP) have announced that the two institutions will ensure the continuation of Philadelphia’s premier year-round exhibitor of film and moving image art by transferring the Lightbox Film Center program from IHP to UArts, beginning in January 2020.
The transfer will allow Lightbox to continue to present an unparalleled slate of repertory, nonfiction, experimental and international film while drawing upon UArts’ School of Film and its artistic community. Lightbox Chief Curator Jesse Pires will be the founding director and curator of Lightbox Film Center at University of the Arts. When screenings conclude at IHP’s Ibrahim Theater at the end of the year, Lightbox will relaunch in February 2020 with regular screenings on the university’s campus.
“The addition of the Lightbox program offers unrivaled alignment with UArts’ strategic vision and mission to advance human creativity,” said UArts President and CEO David Yager. “As a universitywide center, Lightbox will foster collaboration across the university’s seven schools and more than 40 programs, while continuing to engage the broader public.”
UArts is already committed to building a purpose-designed screening room on Broad Street, which will become the primary home of Lightbox Film Center at University of the Arts. The screening room will be housed in the lower level of 401 S. Broad St., which is currently being transformed into a comprehensive student center.
Thanks to the generosity of the Hamilton Family Charitable Trust, UArts has designated $1.5 million for a multiuse center and screening room on the lower level. In the interim, the Lightbox program will operate out of Levitt Auditorium, also located at 401 S. Broad St.
“I am extremely excited to be part of this new era for Lightbox at University of the Arts,” said Lightbox Chief Curator Jesse Pires. “This is a unique opportunity to build upon the rich foundation established over the past 40 years of film at IHP, and UArts offers a perfect new home to continue to expand our ambitious and thought-provoking programming.”
While Lightbox has thrived for 40 years, UArts’ Film program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this fall. Together, the two bring 90 years of film experience to the Avenue of the Arts, and build upon two legacies that already share significant overlap and influence. UArts’ own Wendy Weinberg, the current Dean of the School of Film and Associate Professor, formerly served as the workshop coordinator for the Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association as well as pre-screener and committee member of the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema in the 1990s, both of which were initiatives founded as a part of Lightbox, then known as the Neighborhood Film/Video Project.
“I’m particularly delighted that our students will have the opportunity to not only view exceptional work but also to be engaged in the curatorial process,” said Dean of the School of Film at University of the Arts, Wendy Weinberg. “Broad Street is the perfect place to expand our film community, with students and enthusiastic local cinephiles in close contact. The eclectic mix of programming will reach diverse audiences and the collaborations we can only begin to imagine will benefit all the arts up and down the Avenue. I can’t wait!”
The partnership was announced just prior to the opening of Dream Dance: The Art of Ed Emshwiller, the first major monographic exhibition of the artist’s groundbreaking work in film, video and visual art. Funded by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Emshwiller retrospective will run from Oct. 18 to Dec. 7 and include a series of screenings at IHP and an exhibition of the artist’s paintings, illustrations and archival material at the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery.
The opening reception for the retrospective will take place Friday, Oct. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, 333 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. It is free and open to the public.
Beginning Oct. 4, the University of the Arts community gathered to celebrate its third UArts Day and its eighth UArts Weekend, a campus-wide celebration that builds community, strengthens connections to Philadelphia, and expands the creative and professional skills of our students through scores of creative activities on and off campus. This year, students completed over 1,600 activities in just six hours. These ranged from making Kokedamas (the Japanese art of growing plants in a moss-covered ball of soil wrapped with string) at the Horticulture Therapy workshop, to creating set pieces for the performance and immersive visual art installation at Crane Arts for Killjoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House, to customizing UArts Day T-shirts with pictures of the university’s new mascot, Arty the Unicorn, at the Makerspace.
The party continued as UArts shut down Pine Street for an annual UArts Day block party. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and families filled the street, and the School of Music performed everything from jazz to beatboxing. Some of Philadelphia’s most popular food trucks—The Cow and the Curd, Fat Belly BBQ, Nick’s Roast Beef, and others—served more than 3,500 meals to attendees. The day wrapped up with an Open Mic Night featuring performances by students and even some family duets!
Alumni and families travelled to campus to celebrate UArts Weekend, which kicked off on Saturday with a Family and Faculty Brunch and campus updates from President Yager. Guests got a sneak peek at photos of campus renovations; learned about plans for upcoming projects; and heard about the progress of the UArts capital campaign, Uniquely UArts. After brunch, families and alumni went on a campus Gallery Crawl and visited the UArts block (13th & Chestnut streets) at the Midtown Village Fall Festival.
This year, the UArts festival stage featured performances from the School of Music’s “Z” Big Band, Transfusion Ensemble and DANGERBOY; alumni Hannah Lorimer, Keely Sibilia and DeShana Wooden; and the School of Dance.
The school store hosted a pop-up shop and sold first-edition UArts Unicorn T-shirts; Illustration students Julia Davis, Sophia Lane and Shawnee Sinex provided free face-painting and caricatures to attendees; and alumni Anuja Kapri, Alex Lozier and Lorenzo Buffa sold their crafts.
The weekend wound down in the evening at the Family BBQ, where families enjoyed BBQ, beer and wine. Little Baby’s Ice Cream—a Philadelphia-based company owned by Martin Brown ’04—treated everyone to dessert. On Sunday morning, guests gathered for a Farewell Brunch.
Next year’s events will be held Oct. 2–4, 2020.
A UArts Dance alum and a faculty member have been recognized as 2019 winners of the prestigious Princess Grace Award. Stanley Glover BFA ’16 (left) and School of Dance assistant professor Tommie-Waheed Evans (right) were honored by the Princess Grace Foundation–USA, Glover in the dance category and Evans for choreography.
The organization works to continue the legacy of Princess Grace of Monaco (formerly the Oscar-winning actress Grace Kelly) by elevating extraordinary artists in theater, dance, and film via awards in the form of grants, scholarships and fellowships.
The Foundation was created in 1982 by Prince Rainier III of Monaco to honor the legacy of his wife, Princess Grace, after her tragic death. Her family wanted to create an organization that reflected the native Philadelphian’s love for the U.S., and her dedication to the arts. During her reign, Princess Grace significantly enhanced arts and culture institutions in Monaco, while quietly supporting a number of American performing and film artists.
In 2016, UArts alum Marc Crousillat BFA ’16 (Dance) was also honored with a Princess Grace Award in the dance category. He currently performs with the Trisha Brown Dance Company and Netta Yerushalmy.
Robert Battle, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the 2014 recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from UArts, was a Princess Grace Award winner in 1993.
BFA '18 (Illustration)
News & Events
BEIJING – On Friday, August 30, 2019 the Special Exhibition of the United States at the 8th Beijing International Art Biennale officially opened at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, curated by University of the Arts.
UArts President and CEO David Yager and Vice President Rick Longo served as curators for the special exhibition, the sole representative of the United States at the major international art event.
Hundreds gathered for the private opening of the Biennale, and and more than a million visitors were expected to attend over the event's 20-day run.
“It is a great honor for the University of the Arts to be selected to curate the United States pavilion at this global art exhibition,” said Yager. “It’s also an exceptional opportunity to showcase the extraordinary artist/educators from the University of the Arts, and the university’s history of developing creative leaders for over a century.”
President Yager was interviewed on several national television networks in China, including Beijing TV and China Central TV (CCTV), which together reach more than 500 million viewers across China.
Since its inception in 2002, the Beijing International Art Biennale has featured more than 4,000 artists from over 100 countries.
The American Special Exhibition showcased UArts’ 142-year legacy of arts leadership and spotlighted the University’s mission of advancing human creativity. Twenty-one artworks by 10 teaching artists and alumni of the University were presented. The artworks spoke to the unique culture of creativity education that the University instills in its students. Teaching artists and alumni included:
- Mark Campbell ‘74
- Daniel Clayman
- Matt Curtius and Gina Triplett
- Shawn Faust ‘18
- Laura Frazure ‘86
- Michael Grothusen
- Mi-Kyoung Lee ‘96
- Alan Price
- Rebecca Sack
- Loveis Wise ‘18
Watch President Yager's interview with Beijing TV here.
The Hamilton Family Charitable Trust has made an extraordinary contribution to the Uniquely UArts campaign, designating $1.5 million to create a new multi-use center as a part of the University’s current project to construct a student center.
The new space will be designed to be utilized as an auditorium for screening films, a lecture hall for visiting artists, a classroom space for large presentations and more. It will be used by a variety of academic programs across the University, and also potentially by external groups from the Philadelphia community.
“This project is very exciting,” said Nat Hamilton BFA ’07 (Photography), a UArts trustee and a member of the trust’s board. “The new center will make it possible to offer a wide range of activities to enhance students’ artistic educations and the range of their creative experiences.”
UArts President and CEO David Yager expressed his thanks for the foundation’s generosity and for the impact the new space will have on UArts’ students.
“The Hamilton Family Charitable Trust’s generosity continues the remarkable impact of the Hamilton family on UArts and its students,” Yager said. “I’m especially gratified that the younger generation has joined the longer-serving members of the trust’s board in supporting our young artists, performers, designers and writers.”
The multipurpose hall is a part of a five-year project to create the University’s first student center, proposals for which also include a café, a gallery and community spaces for student interaction.
A University of the Arts Animation student and two UArts alumni earned awards at the 50th ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation) East Film Festival in May 2019. Bethie Kazanjian ’19 (Animation) won first place in the “Student Film” category for The Pigeon.
Another first place winner—in the “Commissioned Film Under 2 Minutes” category—was Morgan Miller BFA ’00 (Film) for Big Jim, created by J.J. Sedelmaier Productions for Progressive. Bryan Brinkman BFA ’07 (Animation) came in second place in the same category for Voting Avenue, which was created for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Winners were voted on by ASIFA members, who hail from more than 50 countries and represent the field of animation. ASIFA East represents the eastern U.S.
View the winning UArts films below.
Bethie Kazanjian ’19 (Animation)
Morgan Miller BFA ’00 (Film)
Bryan Brinkman BFA ’07 (Animation)
The University of the Arts’ Makerspace is a digital and traditional fabrication studio that is a major opportunity for the entire UArts community.
#uartist is a celebration of the boundless creativity of the UArts community. Students, faculty, staff and alumni are welcome to share their work with us via Instagram by including #uartist.
Calendar of Events
See upcoming events in UArts galleries, performance spaces and around campus in Philadelphia.