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Each year, many fine arts students immerse themselves in exciting research, leaving a mark on their disciplines.
The College of Fine Arts is excited to celebrate the exciting work of two finalists for Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher 2022.

F22 Outstanding Seniors v210

Brynn Staker St. Clair collaborated with Dr. Elizabeth Craft in the musicology department in the U School of Music on her research on early American musical theatre. Staker catalogued and organized clips from Illinois newspapers that provided much-needed information on George M. Cohan and early American musical theater, as well as examined Utah newspapers from Cohan's time to better understand his national reach. She presented the research findings alongside Dr. Craft at "Fridays with Faculty." Staker was also employed by the University of Utah History Project, working to build a comprehensive history of the School of Music, spending signifiant library hours cataloguing programs and other historical university resources. 

In Their Own Words

"I began my research because I took a class from Dr. Elizabeth Craft. I discovered a fascination with American music. It’s always been my favorite to sing, as I consider myself a poetry nerd. Dr. Craft talked about the book she was writing, and that immediately caught my attention. I credit her with inspiring my interest in research. 

This semester I have expanded my research to focus on local performances. I have loved familiarizing myself with Utah performance history: the significant players, the vast appreciation, and the general response. I feel like this branch of my research has helped me connect very personally with the material. 

My research last semester was all about race in American musical theater. This was a fascinating project for me and allowed me to look more deeply at the prejudices embedded in the performances this country has come to love. It certainly taught me to look closer and to examine art through different perspectives."


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Serena Collins saw her original, full-length play entitled "Sympathizer" through all of its writing and production stages over the span of nearly two years and four academic semesters. Her research culminated in an off-campus production of the play, as well as a staged reading on campus as part of the Department of Theatre's New Plays Workshop, April 25-27 at PAB 115. 

"Sympathizer" centers around main character Calla, who finds herself in uncharted territory when her oldest and closest friend does something bad. With strong opinions on all sides, Calla tries to figure out what is right in the #metoo era. The script lives in the aftermath of sexual assault and begs the question, how do we begin to heal?

In Their Own Words

"One of my favorite discoveries came from an audience member at the production of "Sympathizer." They were a [sexual assault] survivor themselves and after the performance we had a long conversation about the difficulty of a survivor seeing their perpetrator go on to live a normal life. In that conversation, I realized an important nuance that the script was missing. I realized that, as important as it was to highlight empathy as an agent of change, it was equally important to validate the fact that no one owes a perpetrator a second chance. Full stop. That conversation added a whole scene to the current draft of the script!

When I started thinking about these issues, I was afraid to share my questions and thoughts with the people in my life because it was taboo to question the logic of my political group.  Questioning meant disloyalty—it was equated to being what my peer group called an “abuser sympathizer.” Now, I am less afraid of social repercussions because I feel so passionate about the conclusions that my research has brought me—human beings are complicated. Shame doesn’t work. Empathy does. 

Professors in the Actor Training Program would often ask us to identify our artistic voices by asking ourselves the question: 'as an artist, what do you need to say?' Through my research, I have found my artistic voice. What I believe I have to offer to the world is my passion about and belief in the power of empathy."

Published in Finer Points Blog

The College of Fine Arts is delighted to present the 2022 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher award to Comstock from the Department of Art & Art History.

In 2015, The Office of Undergraduate Research established the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award to recognize an outstanding undergraduate researcher from each college. Faculty mentors are invited to nominate students, and awardees are selected by committee. The criteria for the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award include: a record of sustained commitment to developing research skills and knowledge under the supervision of a faculty mentor, evidence of independent and critical thinking, active participation in research-related activities on campus, and positive contributions to the research culture of the department, college, and university.

Comstock’s impressive accomplishments as an undergraduate researcher in the College of Fine Arts center around a commitment to creation of a body of work investigating applications of new materialism to contemporary ceramics.

In Comstock’s personal statement, they write about the impact research has had on their work as an artist, “As I was collecting my ideas and scholarly research in my thesis, every new piece I generated picked up a conceptual thread and grew upon it. I’ve found increased independence moving through my degree as a result, finding an ever-increasing clarity around a theoretical cache that all my work pulls from regardless of medium…. Everything has all become fodder within a holistic and immersive creative research process.”

Comstock presented their research titled “A Balmy Elsewhere: Manifesto for Restorative Materialism” at the 2022 Undergraduate Research Symposium, and is submitting their Honors thesis in full to the Undergraduate Research Journal. Their work will also be exhibited Friday, April 22, 2022 at Studio Elevn in Salt Lake City. This summer, with support from the College of Fine Arts Dean’s Travel Fund, Comstock will present a performance piece in Berlin, Germany with artist collective Aktionskunst Park Gruppe.

In Their Own Words

Name: E.C. Comstock
Pronouns: Any Pronoun
Majors and minors: Art--Ceramics emphasis, Sculpture minor, Honors
Hometown: Boise, ID
Three words that describe you: amorphous, inquisitive, fraught
Most impactful class or professor: The most impactful class I had was Ceramic Surfaces, the level of experimentation Brian Snapp encouraged in Surfaces hugely expanded my practice and entirely shifted my approach to a far more holistic conception of form and surface. This class also introduced me to Skin: Surface, Substance + Design by Ellen Lupton which became a vital text in my thesis, and served as a formative period of bonding with my clay cohort.
A CFA moment you’ll never forget: I will never forget my first wood-firing, which was the first time I felt like I was part of something larger than myself in my program. The exchange and passing down of technical knowledge is so visible and tangible during the two-day long firing, and the sharing of food and music cements the community building that occurs while firing. 
What inspires you: I'm inspired by fringes and edges, the generative friction found when rich, differing substances meet one another or theoretical and practical approaches butt up. Bringing a lens of relational aesthetics to my everyday life has been a major source of inspiration, considering every action I make an art action and every material I handle a potential collaborator.
Summary of major accomplishments on or off campus: Outstanding Sculpture Student nomination, International Sculpture Center; Eccles Scholar (received Eccles full tuition scholarship through Honors College); Emma Eccles Jones Fine Arts Housing Scholarship, exhibited in Paper and Clay juried exhibition at Utah State University, Statewide Annual at the Rio Gallery, Aktionskunst Park Gruppe in Berlin, Germany; received Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program funding and a Small Grant from the Office of Undergraduate Research. 

"As I was collecting my ideas and scholarly research in my thesis, every new piece I generated picked up a conceptual thread and grew upon it. I’ve found increased independence moving through my degree as a result, finding an ever-increasing clarity around a theoretical cache that all my work pulls from regardless of medium…. Everything has all become fodder within a holistic and immersive creative research process."

Published in Finer Points Blog

 The College of Fine Arts is delighted to present the 2022 Outstanding Seniors from each of our five academic units. These individuals were nominated for their academic achievements, artistic and scholarly accomplishments, and ongoing commitment to their craft. We are inspired by each of them, and look forward to witnessing the ways they continue to contribute to our community. We are honored to have shared their time here as students.

F22 Outstanding Seniors v22Alexandria Jensen
Department of Art & Art History

Pronouns: She/Her
Majored in: Art Teaching with K-12 Licensure
Hometown: Salt Lake City
Three words that describe you: Kind, Passionate, Creative
Most impactful class or professor: Beth Krensky really encouraged and inspired me throughout my time in the College of Fine Arts. The kindness and care that she radiates to all of her students is so important, and her passion for art education further reinforced my choice to be an art educator.
A CFA moment you’ll never forget: I really loved all of my studio courses throughout my time at the CFA. I was able to learn about and explore so many different mediums and develop a newfound passion for ceramics. I am really grateful to all my professors who encouraged me!
What inspires you: My students inspire me. Seeing them make discoveries and breakthroughs when exploring different artistic processes always inspires me to create and explore with my own artwork. 
Summary of major accomplishments on or off campus: I have accepted a position as the ceramics teacher at a school in the community I have been working with youth in for five years.

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Fiona Thomas

School of Dance

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Majored in: BFA in Modern Dance, Minor in Entrepreneurship 
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Three words that describe you: passionate, curious, tenderhearted
Most impactful class or professor: It feels impossible to choose the most impactful class or professor because each one has been such a tremendous part of my journey. I will say that Contemporary Views was the first class that helped me acknowledge my fears and accomplishments simultaneously. Understanding my worth and passion as an artist is the most valuable thing I have gained as a student. 
A CFA moment you’ll never forget: When I sang for Satu and Daniel's piece in the Fall Show, called 'remember everything that spring can bring (2020 Ballads)'
What inspires you: Being around others that care deeply about something, and knowing that art can make change. 
Summary of major accomplishments on or off campus:

  • Volunteered with Healing in Motion Dance in 2018 and 2019
  • Taught creative dance to youth at the Utah Refugee Center at the Meadowbrook Campus site in 2019 and 2020
  • During Covid, Fiona was based in Seattle and taught a variety of classes remotely at All That Dance and at Olympic Hills, a local elementary school
  • Fiona has been a part of faculty works with Eric Handman and Daniel Clifton as well as Graduate Thesis works with Alexandra Barbier and Jessica Boone"
  • Created a collaborative work with Lia Wong to be premiered at the Spring Student Concert in February of 2020
  • Fiona has been in numerous works by fellow peers and classmates in Senior shows, Student Concerts, and Graduate shows
  • Served on student concert committee in 2020 and 2021
  • Choreographed and performed a solo this spring that her and Daniel Clifton co-created the music for, titled 'To wonder is to live. And I am the wolf'
  • This semester, Fiona is interning with Heartland, a collective directed by Molly Heller

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Yein Ji
Department of Film & Media Arts

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Majored in: Film & Media Arts BFA
Hometown: North Salt Lake
Three words that describe you: Dependable, Intuitive, Ambitious
Most impactful class or professor: Sonia & Miriam Albert-Sobrino. They are always full of energy and passion for filmmaking. They always make me laugh and they’re incredibly knowledgeable. Everyone in the film department knows how amazing these women are. They inspire me to work harder and create beautiful art.
A CFA moment you’ll never forget: The F&MAD Festival last spring. I got to watch and celebrate the films made by me and my talented friends. 
What inspires you: My family. They’ve always been supportive of everything I do. They’ve starred in some of my film projects and are always excited for my next creation. 
Summary of major accomplishments on or off-campus:

  • Vice President of Film Production Club
  • 2021 Queer Spectra Arts Festival Intern
  • 2 Semesters of Undergraduate Research
  • Pretty Girl film published in Undergraduate Literary Magazine
  • Cheers films showcased at Utah Arts Festival
  • Helped create 34 films
  • Directed 8 films

F22 Outstanding Seniors v25

Merinda Christensen
School of Music

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Majored in: Instrumental Performance - Harp
Hometown: West Bountiful, UT
Three words that describe you: Outgoing, Ambitious, Compassionate
Most impactful class or professor: Dr. Cathy Clayton. Cathy has been my private harp instructor over the last 4 years and welcomed me with open arms when I made my transfer from the University of Arizona to Utah. She has always been so supportive as I have found my career path and I’m grateful for the time I’ve been able to spend studying under her while here at the U. 
A CFA moment you’ll never forget: I had the most amazing opportunity to be an Emerging Leaders Intern for ArtsForce in the CFA that has really prepared and paved a path for me as I continue on with my career after graduation. The friendships and connections made while a part of ArtsForce is something I will always cherish after leaving the College of Fine Arts. 
What inspires you: I’m inspired by people that are passionate about what they do and work hard to accomplish their goals. 
Summary of major accomplishments on or off campus:

  • President for the School of Music Harp Ensemble: Harps at the U of U 2019 - 2022
  • ArtsForce intern for the CFA 2020 - 2021
  • Awarded Internship of the Year with ArtsForce from the Career and Professional Development Center 2021
  • First recipient of the Music Entrepreneurship Certificate from the University of Utah School of Music 2022
  • Marketing and Communications intern for UtahPresents at Kingsbury Hall 2021 - 2022
  • Event Chair and summer intern for Women’s Artistic Leadership Initiative 2020 - 2021
  • Crimson Mentor for transfer students at the University of Utah 2020 - 2021
  • Carmen Morton Christensen scholarship recipient 2018 - 2022
  • Program Assistant for THE BLOCKS: organization under the Downtown Alliance and SLC Chamber of Commerce, offered through my internship with ArtsForce
  • Director of Development for Opera Mississippi, offered through connections made while completing the Music Entrepreneurship Certificate

F22 Outstanding Seniors v26

Danny Borba
Department of Theatre​​

Pronouns: he/him/el
Majored in: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Emphasis: Actor Training Program; Minor: Ethnic Studies
Hometown: Orem, Ut
Three words that describe you: Respectful, Determined, Outgoing
Most impactful class or professor :  This one is a hard one! So I am mentioning a couple of things: 
Andra Harbold and her wisdom regarding directing has been something that continues to bring so much joy and light into my journey as an artist and a human.
Robert Scott Smith always pushes me to be better and innovate with the art.
Nathan Brian’s belief in me as a vocalist and an artist has helped me push through tough times.
Jerry Gardner has brought me peace and inspiration through Butoh and through my interactions with him.
Sarah Shippobotham amazes me continuously with the knowledge she imparts through Shakespeare or Dialects or text work. 
All of these professors and mentors (and plenty more) have pushed me to better, while also believed in me as an individual, and have encouraged me to make the theatre arts a place of inclusion and innovation. I will forever be grateful.
A CFA moment you’ll never forget: My first ArtsBash, about 4 years ago. It was the first time performing as a U of U students, and also the first time seeing how wonderfully diverse and big the College is!
What inspires you: In a specific example, Viola Davis’ journey as an artist and a human has always given comfort and inspiration. But I also want to think about my family and God. Their support and their own stories have been critical in my growth as an artist, but also as a human being. Without them, and I mean ALL of them, I would not be who I am today, or doing what I do.
Summary of major accomplishments on or off campus: Not going to lie, being a part of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series was pretty amazing, and being able to intern at Pioneer Theatre was a major goal accomplished, but one thing that stands out was being able to create a BIPOC community with my friends and establish that we belong here and aren’t going anywhere has been a very important thing for me. 

Published in Finer Points Blog

College of Fine Arts Internship Coordinator Kate Wolsey has been named one of 2022's Career Champions of the Year by the University of Utah Career & Professional Development Center!

Awardees are faculty and staff who have gone above and beyond to support students in their career development. As Internship Coordinator, Kate helps connect CFA students to valuable experiential learning opportunities in the community, and career resources that will help them reach their goals. She also leads the team of ArtsForce Emerging Leaders Interns as they help students articulate the value of their degrees and transition from college to the workforce. 

One nominator wrote: 

"I have seen Kate champion each of the students she comes into contact with – providing professional connections, taking extra time to address students' specific concerns, and following up with them to see how they are progressing with their goals. Once a student has met with Kate, she is invested in their success. She still stays touch with students who have gone on to exciting professional opportunities post-graduation, continuing to cheer them on and offer lasting mentorship." 

Thank you Kate, for all you do for our students! 

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Performing Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” with the University of Utah opera program has been a long-held aspiration for director Robert Breault. Beyond its cultural popularity, moody environment, and complex characters, the show allows for broad collaboration and interdisciplinary participation.

“I always try to choose pieces that will allow [U Opera] to include as many students as we can. ‘Sweeney’ has a lot of ensemble work that allows more performers to be part of the storytelling – there are about 40 of us involved,” Breault said.  

To pull off the mighty production that runs this weekend (April 15-16) at Kingsbury Hall, collaborators from all corners of the U’s performing arts units have come together, embracing the idea that “it takes a village.” 

The cast is made up of not just opera students, but those in musical theatre and dance as well. Logistics will be run by Stage Management students in Department of Theatre, led by Amber Bielinski. Music director Jeffrey Price also directed the music in the first Utah production of Sweeney 40 years ago – and was the first to plant the idea of doing the production at the U. The Utah Philharmonia, conducted by School of Music professor Robert Baldwin, provides the score.

It is especially exciting to see faculty from each of the performing arts units lending their particular expertise to elevate the production. School of Dance’s Melissa Bobick brings her ballet eye as choreographer. Department of Theatre’s Sarah Shippobotham serves as both Intimacy Director and as a dialogue coach.

"The idea that we can have this interdisciplinary cooperation in one production mirrors the way it will be in the real world. Stage management, singers, dancers…we all get to know each other, and realize how it all works together."

After an already extensive singing career, James Bobick, who plays the titular role, is pursuing his MM in the School of Music. Working in this way, he says, is an authentic glimpse at how the professional world operates.

“This is about training young musicians, singers, and performers. Whether they become professionals or not, they can use this skill set as they move on in their life and in their careers," he said. “The idea that we can have this interdisciplinary cooperation in one production mirrors the way it will be in the real world. Stage management, singers, dancers…we all get to know each other, and realize how it all works together.”

Although musical theatre and opera often vary quite a bit stylistically, “Sweeney Todd” has been an opportunity for the two disciplines to learn from one another, and get stronger as a result. “The musical theatre students are getting a chance to hear how we sing, and we are learning from their acting,” Breault explained. “We’re singing with mics for the first time, and we aren’t using supertitles. I did this purposely to put the pressure on all of us to improve our diction.”

Undergraduate senior Brynn Staker, who plays Beggar Woman, also spoke to how the character’s dramatic needs were affecting her singing approach. “The accent work has been tricky,” she said. A lot of times when you are singing, your vowels tend to sit in the same place. In this, it’s been different because accents communicate class differences. We’ve had to work to get a brighter sound to convey the same things the accent would convey while we sing.”

There is quite a bit of character work necessary to bring this dramatic tale of revenge home. 

“Sweeney is, like the great operatic characters, complicated, and has more levels of his personality than most people give him credit for,” Bobick said. “This is a real man, with real problems, and real conflict. And as he seeks to resolve them, it’s not a spontaneous impulse – this is fifteen years of brooding over injustice. Fifteen years he has tried to figure out how he can avenge the wrong done to him and his family.”

Staker agreed that the story allows for deeper performance. “I feel like in opera we put on a mask a lot – we sing big words with big sound,” she said.” This show gives us a chance to portray real people in real situations, and allow the audience to connect with them on a vulnerable and intimate level."

Ultimately for Breault, the best thing about "Sweeney Todd" is coming back together after two full years of missing the stage – another reason to more fully embrace collaboration. 

"It’s been over two years since we have had the family feeling in the Voice Box that we had before the pandemic. To have everybody hanging out, to see people spontaneously dancing while working on scenes – I see the joy of finally coming together again. This has been so fun for me as a director."

Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd! 
Tickets on sale now
U Students free with Arts Pass

Apr 15 @ 7:30 pm
Apr 16 @ 7:30 pm
Kingsbury Hall 

Published in Finer Points Blog

College of Fine Arts Academic Advisor Samuel Banford is winning accolades for his exceptional work! Last month, Samuel was awarded Advisor of the Month by the University of Utah Academic Advising Center. 

Advisor of the Month is an award in which staff on campus who have academic advising roles can give their advising peers recognition for their ability to go above and beyond in their roles and with students. 

From the nomination: 

"Samuel Banford is a dedicated senior academic advisor in the College of Fine Arts. Students consistently praise him for the strong support he provides as they work toward their educational goals.  Samuel is detail-oriented and thorough in his advising practice.  As a team, when we are discussing students' academic situations, Samuel often anticipates problems with students' records and takes the initiative to solve them quickly - sometimes before students are aware that there has been a problem." 

Students echoed their appreciation. Here are a few comments they made after meeting with Samuel: 

  • "This was my first meeting with a CFA advisor as I am in the process of switching majors. It was a great meeting and I was able to get all of my questions answered to get started with the process of switching to the BFA in Graphic Design major.""Lovely meeting! I came into it somewhat nervous but it was quite nice. Thank you!"
  • "Love Samuel!!! I got so much help and feel reassured and prepared for this semester."
  • "I need help with one thing and he had already solved the problem before I even joined the meeting."
  • "WONDERFUL!!! Samuel is a very good advisor!!!" 

We join the UAAC in applauding Samuel for his commitment to our students. Bravo!

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When asked what students are thinking when it comes to life after college, ArtsForce Emerging Leaders interns shared valuable insight.

“I know a lot of people are scared about the exact path they are going down, and if it is the right one,” U Department of Film & Media Arts student Cayden Turnbow explained. “You have this idea of what it’s going to be and if it doesn’t exactly go that way it can feel like failure.”

School of Dance student Celine David has a similar thought. “It’s intimidating going into such an unknown world when you have been a student your whole life,” she said. “This is such a big shift – from working on your art every day to a path that isn’t so set for you.” 

“I think students are worried about finding a position they will enjoy, and that will make all the time and money they invested in their college education worth it,” Duke Ross, also pursuing film, said.networking7

But here’s the good news. They have planned an event to help students navigate these very concerns – and make valuable community connections along the way.

This Saturday, March 26th, ArtsForce will host their annual networking event, (in person!) at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Students will definitely not want to miss this chance to gain insight from a panel of fine arts professionals, meet local employers, network with alumni, and more.

“I’m excited for students to see all the opportunities there are. I think when you are getting ready to graduate, it can feel like there is nothing out there. But you just need to be made aware of the opportunities,” David said.

Intern Kaitlin Kerr-Osman chimed in: “I’m excited to have the opportunity to connect with people in the local arts world. In college, it’s so easy to get all your time sucked up by projects. It’s nice to take a step away and focus on something that will be very important for your future.”

Attendees will hear from panelists Allison DeBona (Owner & Artistic Director of artÉmotion and Ballet West soloist) Arthur Veneema (Director, Screenwriter & Producer), and Nancy Rivera (Visual Artist, Curator & Administrator), then enjoy free lunch and a friendly networking hour.

Scared of the idea of networking? It’s not as bad as you think. And there is so much to gain.

“Talking to professionals in different areas other than your own can give you so much value and understanding of the experiences we will all have to face. People really do have so much depth and insight into things you wouldn’t have considered,” intern Pablo Cruz-Ayala asserted.

“I’ve learned what communities I do and don’t want to be a part of,” Ross added. “There are some situations I have vibed with, and others that were less in line with my values and needs. It reinforces some things, and makes me question other things.”

There’s still time to join in the fun. So gather your burning questions, a couple friends, and an open mind. You won’t be sorry.

The First Step: Launching your Career in the Arts 
ArtsForce Annual Networking Event

10AM – 1PM
Utah Museum of Fine Arts

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December 20 2021

We made our mark on 2021

It's the time of year for reflection, appreciation, and celebration of all that has been accomplished during the past year. 2021 was filled with highlights in the University of Utah College of Fine Arts and its five academic units. Between performances, exhibitions, guest artists, and special anniversaries, one thing is for sure – we made our mark. 

Let's take a look at the recent news and accolades! 

Department of Art & Art History

  • "Space Maker," a group exhibition at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, featured 33 faculty artists and was curated by alumna Nancy Rivera. 
  • Michelle Peterein (Assistant Professor in Graphic Design), Moses Williams (Assistant Professor in Sculpture Intermedia), and Meekyung MacMurdie (Assistant Professor in Art History) joined the faculty.
  • The Department hosted renowned visiting artists Rick Griffith, Amy Cutler, Maria Theresa Elves, and Del Harrow. 
  • Graphic Design students, led by faculty mentor Carol Sogard, hosted the Worn Again Clothing Exchange, encouraging all of campus to consider fast fashion, sustainability, and the global impacts of consumption. 
  • The Department hosted PaperWest – the 3rd National Works on Paper Juried Exhibition, showcasing contemporary works on paper by 63 artists from throughout the country.
  • Exhibitions in the Gittins Gallery, featuring student and faculty work, included: Sam Wilson's "Face It...I seem to be drawing a crowd," Sandy Brunvand's "It's Not Always Black and White," the Painting and Drawing Exhibition, Holiday Art Sale, and more. 

School of Dance 

  • In September, the College of Fine Arts celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Alice Sheets Marriott Center for Dance alongside many esteemed friends, including the Marriott family. 
  • The School welcomed new faculty members, Alexandra Barbier (Morales Fellow), Joselli Deans (Visiting Associate Professor), Cherylyn Lavagnino (Visiting Professor), and Monica Stephenson (Adjunct Assistant Professor). 
  • Students showcased their work in Fall Dance 1, Modern Student Concert, Fall Dance 2, Ballet Showcase, and the MFA candidates' production of "Coddiwomple."
  • The School of Dance hosted guest artists Dean Vollick, Ephrat Asherie, and Bashaun Williams. 

Department of Film & Media Arts

  • The Department of Film & Media Arts welcomed two new screenwriters to the faculty: Hubbel Palmer and Max Adams.
  • Students participated in the annual Pitch Competition, presenting not only ideas but also budgets, casting processes, and production plans. 
  • The second drive-in F&MAD Festival shared student films with a public audience who tuned in from their individual vehicles. 
  • Award-winning filmmaker and photographer Robert Machoian visited campus. 

School of Music 

  • Dozens of recitals were livestreamed via Live at Libby, the School's YouTube channel, showcasing the work of undergraduate and graduate musicians. 
  • The School of Music welcomed Dr. Rebekah Daniel as Visiting Director of Wind Ensemble, and Dr. Stephanie DeLuca as Assistant Director of Athletic Bands. 
  • Students had the opportunity to work with guest artists Vadim Guzman, Kyle Johnson, Boris Berman, Lauren Hunt, Tyler Nelson, Cecily Ward, and more. 
  • The new Electroacoustic Ensemble was formed. 
  • The School established a new Certificate of Entrepreneurship for Musicians, to prepare students with critical skills in finance, management, and entrepreneurship. 

Department of Theatre

College of Fine Arts

  • Arts Pass Dash gave University of Utah students the opportunity to learn about the arts on campus (and the Arts Pass program!) at 16 selected locations, where they could enter to win wonderful prizes! 
  • The annual CFA Gala 2021 showcased student work, celebrated scholarship recipients, honored Distinguished Alumni Tina Misaka, Tyler Nelson, and Lee Isaac Chung.  
  • ArtsForce provided opportunities for students to gain insight into the professional world: Career Treks, conversations with alumni on Instagram Live, interviews with professionals on ArtsForce Asks, and more!
  • The College welcomed 3 student representatives on the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee in an effort to further serve and provide important perspectives to the student population. 

Here's to a fantastic 2022!

Published in Finer Points Blog

The School of Dance at the University of Utah presents a dance concert of thesis works from Modern Dance MFA candidates Jessica Boone, Virginia Broyles, and Austin Hardy. 

“We have been working hard alongside our casts of performers to create an evening of energetic ensembles, shifting images, and whimsical curiosities that will linger after you’ve left the theater,” said Broyles.

Something Whole and Unfinished is a collaborative work of dance and art directed by Jessica Boone. The performers shape a new piece during each performance. A colorful world is crafted on stage where impulse leads dancers through choreography and where the performers leave their mark on stage and on each other. 

Virginia Broyles immerses you into mischievous surrealism, dream logic, and playfully uncanny moments in Hand-stitched Electric. Made in collaboration with the performers and an 8-foot white box, this work is best when taken with a side of “Why not?”. 

Austin Hardy and dancers present Cyber Synesthesia, a piece that examines digital social platforms in which metaphysical spaces have real life consequences. This work aims to reflect on being an individual in a group and the connectivity and isolation we experience from social platforms. #viral #dance #goodsoup 

Coddiwomple takes the stage Dec. 2nd at 5:30pm, Dec. 3rd & 4th at 7:30pm

See it in-person at the Marriott Center for Dance, Hayes Christensen Theater
330 South 1500 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 
Free admission at the door with limited seating.

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Graphic Design students in the Sustainable Design Practice led by faculty advisor Carol Sogard, are learning about the environmental impacts of design practice and the problems that arise from manufacturing, consumption, and disposal. They address sustainability-focused societal challenges by applying their creative skills to community-based projects.

On December 8, at the Worn Again Clothing Exchange, they are encouraging the entire campus to join them in taking action.

The Worn Again Clothing Exchange offers all participants an alternative to buying new clothing. Participants can exchange their unwanted clothing items with other donated pre-loved items at this event. Bring clothes, take clothes – it’s all free! The result? Limit fast fashion, extend the lives of great clothing items, and build awareness about the global environmental impacts of the fashion industry. For those that want to participate but not exchange, clothing donation bins are located around campus to accept contributions prior to the event. After the exchange is over, the remaining clothing will be donated to various local charities. 


“We decided the best way to get people thinking about how they consume their fashion is to rethink the whole process of purchasing. That led us to this event where no money would be exchanged, and everything will be reused. In the end, when you talk about what you can do as a consumer, the best thing is to slow down your consumption.”

Students began the Worn Again project by researching fashionrevolution.org, a non-profit that investigates environmental, social, and ethical issues in the fashion industry. After reflecting on their fashion consumption habits, and learning about the environmental impacts of fast fashion, many realized that they often purchased much more than they needed, wore, or loved. This experience served as the inspiration for the creation of a used clothing exchange for the campus community.

“This project is entirely student-run,” Sogard said. “They take full ownership of the event and determine how it is designed and executed.”

Student designers were divided into teams to develop the event concept and name, brand identity and guidelines, public relations, advertising, event signage/design, social media marketing, and affiliated educational exhibit designs.  “The students have designed cases in the Marriott Library to create awareness around the dangers associated with the way we consume our fashion,” Sogard explained. These exhibits will be open for public viewing on December 1st on the 1st and 2nd floors of the Marriott Library. 

“We decided the best way to get people thinking about how they consume their fashion is to rethink the whole process of purchasing,” Sogard said. “That led us to this event where no money would be exchanged, and everything will be reused. In the end, when you talk about what you can do as a consumer, the best thing is to slow down your consumption.”

For many students on a limited budget, thrifting is not only wallet-friendly, but it is also a sustainable choice. And at this event, they might just find a totally new wardrobe without spending a dime.

“The big thing with sustainable design practice is to get students to connect with a subject they are passionate about, and for a lot of them, that is fashion.”

Worn Again
December 8, 2021
10 AM – 4 PM Gould Auditorium, Marriott Library
+ more locations!

Stay up to date and get educated!
Follow @uofu_wornagain on Instagram.

Student Designers:
Piper Armstrong, Jessica Allred, James Carlson, Sydney Figgat, Derek Gardiner, Mina Gedeon, Alexa Jones, Grey Larson, Deana Melchior, Jasmin Nguyen, Taylor Schwendiman, Neil Sodja, Morgan Talbot, Karly Tingey

Campus Partner:
Marriott Library, Ian Godfrey, Michael Bigler

Published in Finer Points Blog
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