School of Visual and Performing Arts


National Association of Schools of Art and Design
National Association of Schools of Music 



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Sullivan Hall
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2801 West Bancroft
Toledo, Ohio 43606

fax. 419.530.7359

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University Hall, Room 3000



UT alumni with professor emerita, Diana Attie
Mary Gaynier, Hannah Lehmann, Elyse Simpko, Diana Attie, Danielle Rante, Leslie Adams, Helen Grubb, Deb Davis,
Mysoon Rizk,  Julie Draeger, and Lisa Kroupa

Professor Emerita, Diana Attie Honored 
Congratulations to professor emerita, Diana Attie, the 2017 YWCA Milestones Award recipient for the arts. Diana was honored at a luncheon held March 29th, at the Seagate Convention Center. Diana taught at the Toledo Museum of Art and the University of Toledo for over 50 years. She has affected many students' lives throughout her career and received the "Teacher of the Year", while at UT. Diana is a consummate supporter of the arts and her passion is ever-lasting. Her colleagues and former students applaud her as she receives this honor from the Northwest Ohio community. A three-minute video introduction, highlights Diana and her career.

New Director of Humanities Institute Named
Congratulations to Dr. Mysoon Rizk on her appointment as director of the Humanities Institute in the College of Arts and Letters. Mysoon is an associate professor of art history in the School of Visual and Performing Arts in the College of Arts and Letters.

2017 SVPA Arts Symposium: The Role of the Arts in Today's America
The February 20th symposium was a success, bringing together community members, artists, educators, students, and arts administrators together to discuss timely topics affecting the arts. Topics focused on “Our Current Artistic Moment,” a timely subject exploring concerns about artistic responses to the current social and political moment; “Programming the Arts Across a Divide,” which looked at the challenges of creating meaningful arts events across a range of divides — urban, rural, cultural, ethnic, economic and others; “Arts in Education,” which examined how to ensure that the arts continue to occupy a valued place in the curriculum along with other disciplines; and “Arts and Community,” which considered what is needed to sustain the organizations and projects that provide arts experiences and services to diverse communities.

New Organizational Structure for the Arts at the University of Toledo - SVPA - ON TARGET
In our first semester as a newly formed School of Visual and Performing Arts in the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Toledo, we continue our forward movement, beginning with the Presidential Collection Reception and culminating in our multitude of musical, seasonal offerings for the UT community and the broader public.

Throughout the semester, we have visited The Imaginary Invalid, reminded ourselves of The Importance of Being Earnest, while reveling in The Merry Widow and showcasing our sleek new Steinway at The All-Steinway Gala. We traveled down memory lane with jazz favorites by the Jazz Ensemble and FOCUS(ed) on NW Ohio high school visual arts achievements.

Our choirs spent a great deal of time learning new vocal material in a host of foreign languages, while the Latin Jazz Ensemble and GuitArkestra concerts kept us on beat. Film goers were offered a variety of cinematic screenings at Fridays on Film that entertained and engaged the growing audiences. Our First Year Experience students enjoyed the SVPA Kick-Off Party and were treated to a special performance by the Rocket Marching Band on their way to the Homecoming game. We offered a “Celluloid Politico” trio of films in collaboration with the Toledo Museum of Art and challenged viewers to ask the tough questions during a contentious national election.

More to come from the SVPA as we sponsor the 2017 SVPA Arts Symposium: The Role of the Arts in Today’s America an arts advocacy symposium to build awareness and support arts education at all levels on February 20.

Our students and faculty have been busy performing, creating, writing and researching. The SVPA continues to be an ACTIVE place where students, faculty, and staff express themselves and engage with others. We are proud to be a safe place where openness of thought and being are honored and respected.

Assistant professor of art history, Thor Mednick received a grant from the Danish Ministry of Culture and gave an invited lecture at the Institute for Baltic Studies at the University of Greifswald. Thor also completed chapter for the edited volume, The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Nineteenth-Century Art History (Wiley-Blackwell) and a chapter for the edited volume, Depicting Nordic Landscapes in the Anthropocene Era (Routledge). He was a guest professor/visiting curator, for the Fuglsang Museum of Art and also the Faaborg Museum.

Jerod Christy and Barry Whittaker were awarded $5,000 each for their Arts Commission proposals for highly interactive, community-driven, collaborative works of art that are accessible to the public and civic in scope. Out of 16 submissions, four projects were selected, two of which are from
UT applicants. The Art in Public Places Art Loop Inter/Active Projects  is being funded by the City of Toledo’s 1% for Art Program.

Jason Cox presented at the European University in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the Social Studies of Live-Action Role-Playing Games conference and also at the Ohio Art Education Association conference.

Caroline Jardine, art education major, helped plan the River Centre's Clinic's eating disorder recovery walk at Harroun Park in Sylvania. Caroline also was commissioned to paint a mural at Oakdale elementary in Toledo with alum Reem Barakat, and assisted Detroit muralist, Ouizi, on her mural at
Handmade Toledo.

Simone Tilmon has recently completed a conservation, paint touchup and repair of the Rand McNally globe in Carlson Library.

2D BFA Student Anastasia Wagner is included in a juried exhibition at Scene Metrospace in Lancing MI. Anastasia is also currently working on a mural for the Toledo Lucas County Public Library.

Angela Metcalf, who is nearing completion of her Art Education license, has been teaching a number of art programs for Metroparks, including: Mansion Masterpieces, Earth Sculpture, and Photography.

On September 28, donors and supporters of the arts joined President Gaber and Director of the School of Visual and Performing Arts, Debra Davis in a celebration of the the newly established school and the 2016-2017 Presidential Collection. Beginning last year, artworks from the faculty, alumni and students of the UT Department of Art have been installed in the president's home. The UT Alumni Association featured the Department of Art faculty and alumni in the recent edition of the UT Alumni eMagazine. You can read the full story about The Presidential Collection project and it's focus on highlighting the quality and caliber of the visual arts at the University of Toledo.

Collage of PC artworks Cover of the Presidential Collection catalog collage of PC artworks

Congratulations to Art Department faculty member and gallery director, Brian Carpenter. He and the University of Toledo Department of Art were recognized by Detroit Art Review.

"There are exciting things happening at the Toledo Art Museum, the University of Toledo, and the gestating organization that will soon be on everyone’s radar, Contemporary Art Toledo, this September. Contemporary Art Toledo, the brainchild of Brian Carpenter (lecturer and gallery director at the University of Toledo) and Paula Baldoni (director of River House Arts Space) is currently based in the gorgeous River House Arts Gallery in downtown Toledo. Hush.ex features the work of four artists whose common thread begins with the historically and regionally loaded medium of glass." Read more...

Robert Ballinger and Olman E. Piedra were featured performers in the October Festival of New Music, conceived and organized by music Alumni Dr. Aaron and Janet Brehm Ziegler, on Saturday, October 8 in the Recital Hall. The program, consisting entirely of new music, highlighted the music of current, active composers from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Iowa, North Carolina, and Illinois. As well, one piece was composed by a former UT Music Major, Sarah Modene.

Denise Bernardini was awarded a Kohler Grant to participate in a voice symposium in Stockholm, Sweden. The symposium is based on research with Dr. Scott McCoy, head of the Swank Voice Laboratory at OSU.

Timothy Brakel received the John C. Maxwell Leadership Certification, recognized by INC magazine as the #1 Rated Author and Speaker on Leadership. Tim is recognized as a John Maxwell certified trainer, coach, and speaker.

Professor, David Jex wrote re-arrangements for the Toledo Repertoire Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol, revised by David Jex, Debra Ross Calabrese, and James M. Norman. David Jex’s Chorale and Fugue: Variations on “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” were premiered and performed by the Southview High School Orchestra, the Start HS Orchestra, and the Toledo International Youth Orchestra.

Senior lecturer, David Mariasy recently completed a recording project at Audiomatrix Recording Studios with Mary Martin and the Tuna Band from Cleveland. He also produced and mastered the latest "Sounds of the Stadium" show which was recorded at the Valentine Theatre.

Wesley Forney presented his research titled Schumann Fantasy in C, Op. 17 at the UT Scholars’ Celebration Undergraduate Research Showcase in Carlson Library.

Vocalist, Meridian Prall won first place in the UT concerto competition and First Place at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Auditions.

Elizabeth Hood is currently Artist in Residence with the Toledo Opera.

Behind the Scenes at The Arts Commission

The Arts Comission announced that Tanasio Loudermill has joined the staff as a LISC Americorps Community Engagement Specialist. Loudermill will provide support for the Old West End Neighborhood Initiatives (OWENI) by developing creative programming with the goals of beautification, increased safety, and resident engagement in the neighborhood. Loudermill is an alumnus of the Young Artists At Work program (2010, 2011).

A documentary filmmaker, Tanasio earned a BA in Film and Video from the University of Toledo in 2016. With strong passions for promoting equality and community building, he hopes to use his skills "as a form of activism to build strong relationships with people and help promote positive social change in the community”.

Associate professor, Holly Hey and professor, Debra Davis completed edits for a book chapter in Beyond Graduate Attributes: Embedding Work Integrated Learning into Undergraduate Degrees.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, hosted the launch reception for the current issue of (T)here art journal. Two members of the UT faculty, professor Tammy Kinsey (Theatre and Film) and lecturer, Dr. Jeanne Kusina (Women’s and Gender Studies), known collectively as The Kinsinas, have work featured in the journal. The Kinsinas were awarded the much coveted cover spot, in addition to a six page spread of digitally collaged photographs. The New York based production chose to partner with MOCAD for the release of this special issue, which focuses on Detroit,
because they wanted local citizens to have the first glimpse of the various artists’ response to their city. (T)here is also appearing at Art Basel-Miami, Aqua, and Art Context, and is included in the gift bags for donors attending the 2016 fundraiser for the New York Academy of Art. Releases in Asia are being scheduled for 2017. The award-winning journal has previously published work by Patti Smith, Mick Rock, and Bill Plympton, among others.

Film major, Ryeon Wedley participated in the new UT campaign, To A Greater Degree. Ryeon talks about how much the professors here at UT have encouraged him to pursue his dreams and how being around hardworking people makes you work harder.

Edmund Lingan published an article in the September 2016 issue of PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art and finished edits on a chapter for The Routledge International Handbook of Spirituality in Society. Lingan co-founded a new open-access journal, Performance, Religion, and Spirituality with colleagues from Europe and Asia. His docudrama Masks, played at the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference in Toledo.

Christina Pinciotti and Nolan Thomaswick performed an interpretation of two visual poetry works by Professor emeritus, Joel Lipman at the Presidential Collection Reception.

Chirstina Pinciotti and Nolan Thomaswick perform.

Theatre major, Nolan Thomaswick also participated in the new UT campaign, To A Greater Degree. Nolan talks about choosing UT as a transfer student and the impact the theatre program has made on his career path.

Debra A. Davis

Interim Assistant Director
Edmund Lingan

Associate Dean
Holly Monsos

Outreach and Retention Specialist
Kate Abu-Absi

Executive Secretary
Angela DeAngelo

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Last Updated: 8/8/17