The Place of Choice.
We’re the only arts university in the U.S. that allows our students to collaborate across traditional lines. Painters can minor in piano, dancers can study film, guitarists can take classes in screenwriting.
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.
We are more because you are more.
Deadline reported that UArts alum Darnell Brown ’10 (Writing for Film and TV) is one of only eight 2019 HBOAccess fellows, who were chosen from among 3,000 applicants. Also the 2019 winner of the ABFF/Turner TV Writing Contest, Brown will work on a pilot for HBO or Cinemax during his fellowship.
The HBOAccess Writing Fellowship began in 2014 in order to diversify writers’ rooms across the nation. New fellows are selected every other year and are mentored by HBO executives for eight months as they develop their scripts.
“Way beyond excited and legit still freaking out to be one of this year’s HBOAccess Writing Fellows!” he tweeted on May 23. “Can’t wait to get to work!”
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)
News & Events
Often these works that are made from an impulse can actually influence the larger trajectory of an artist’s work, or establish collaborations that spark new pathways.
– Miwa Matreyek
Otherworldly multimedia artist Miwa Matreyek brought her live performances, which combine her own shadow silhouette in interaction with her own animations, to University of the Arts March 27 and 28. She also led a masterclass, presented a demo and delivered an artist’s talk.
This World Made Itself—staged with Myth and Infrastructure in the Arts Bank the evening of March 27—is a visually and musically rich journey through the history of Earth, from the universe’s epic beginnings to the complex world of humanity. Matreyek’s animation is colorful and bright, and her performance evokes harmony with the natural world. She is excited by the various forms of new life emerging from Earth’s depths and the center of the universe. Point-of-view shots of feet walking on a beach immerses viewers in the scene, making them feel as compelled and exhilarated as she is. This connection makes the struggle between nature and humanity all the more haunting, as it destructively creeps its way into the performance later on.
In Myth and Infrastructure, Matreyek traverses ocean-scapes and cityscapes as she explores the creativity and the dreaming we can find in our own domestic spaces. It evokes a sense of ethereal weightlessness: Matreyek crafts her performance to reflect the act of flying or swimming, which could be interpreted as a form of imagination. She becomes a part of her detailed landscapes, using dual projection to weave in and out of scenes, threading herself between buildings in the city, and interacting with creatures of the sea.
Numerous influences had an impact on Matreyek’s artistic approach. As an MFA student at Cal Arts, she began the Experimental Animation program thinking she would work in animation after graduation. Instead, the inspiration Matreyek found in numerous media sparked work that encompasses interactive performance: puppetry, theater, multimedia, music and even critical perspectives of her films from artists in other disciplines pushed her art in a more varied direction.
“I feel it’s important to also have a way to show work that allows for work-in-progress and one-off experimentation,” she says. “Often these works that are made from an impulse can actually influence the larger trajectory of an artist’s work, or establish collaborations that spark new pathways.”
Her student workshops continue providing inspiration, both to Matreyek and participants. “These workshops try to foster impromptu problem-solving, play and experimentation,” she says. “The groups present their performances, and we discuss what kinds of discoveries were made in the process and what future avenues of inquiry they might pursue to expand upon their work.”
Impromptu problem-solving, play and experimentation were exactly what happened during her masterclass. Students were split up into small groups comprising a variety of majors—Animation, Dance and Theater, for example—and were given white fabric, paper, cardboard boxes and projectors. The rest was up to their imaginations. They had only an hour and a half in which to create performances. An ad-libbed performance utilizing projection as a transportation to space kicked off the presentations at the end of the class. One group crafted an immersive projection box, in which viewers could lay down and stargaze as the silhouettes of hands made the sun rise and shooting stars dart across the sky. The last group combined experimental animation, dance and layers of fabrics and textures to tell a story through movement. At the end of the day, the students were excited to continue experimenting and utilizing projection and performance in the future.
“I am interested in making students engage physically with media with their bodies and materials, to find moments of storytelling and transformations that can be investigated and pushed further,” she explains. “There is a sense of ‘you won’t know until you try’ that leap-frogs out to ‘what if I try this … or this?’ [That sense] engages students in playful experimentation and cross-disciplinary collaboration.”
Matrayek’s visit was a part of a series of pop-up events staged over two weeks by UArts’ forthcoming Center for Immersive Media, or CIM, which will be dedicated to exploring the fields of virtual and mixed reality, performance motion-capture and human-computer interaction. Further funding was provided by the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy.
Alex Da Corte BFA ’04 (Printmaking & Book Arts), widely recognized as a rising star in the art world, has been selected to participate in the 2019 edition of the prestigious Venice Biennale.
The theme of the world’s oldest biennial is "May You Live in Interesting Times," curated by Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery in London. It will feature work from 91 countries in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the historic city center of Venice. Five countries will be participating for the first time: Algeria, Ghana, Madagascar, Malaysia and Pakistan.
Da Corte is a conceptual artist who works in painting, sculpture, installation, and video. He uses surreal imagery and everyday objects in his practice and explores ideas of consumerism, pop culture, mythology, and literature.His work often involves bright colors and crisp advertising imagery, and cameos by pop-culture figures like a fake version of Eminem played by the artist himself. His exhibitions have been staged in top New York galleries and museums across the globe.
Da Corte has worked on a number of collaborative projects with other visual artists, writers, and musicians including fellow UArts alum Jayson Musson BFA ’02 (Photography).
This year’s Venice Biennale, according to its curator, Rugoff, "will no doubt include works that reflect upon precarious aspects of today’s existence, including different threats to key traditions, institutions and relationships of the 'post-war order.' But let us acknowledge at the outset that art does not exercise its forces in the domain of politics."
Rugoff also says the exhibition will be immersive and interactive, "engaging visitors in a series of encounters that are essentially playful, taking into account that it is when we play that we are most fully 'human.'"
#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.