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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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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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Each year, Utah’s governor honors three visual artists and three performance artists with the Governor's Mansion Artist Award. The College of Fine Arts is elated to share that V. Kim Martinez, Department of Art & Art History Chair, is one of the selected artists for 2021. Awardees were selected by Governor Spencer Cox and First Lady Abby Cox, from a group of nominees submitted by the Governor’s Mansion Artist Awards Committee. 


“Receiving The Utah Governor’s Mansion Visual Artist Award is a reinforcement of my ideals of art as a vehicle for social change. Art has massive power to incite people to find connections to act on the challenges we face by identifying with one another across social, political, gender, and racial lines.” 
-V. Kim Martinez

The 2021 award winners include: 

  • Ta’u Pupu’a, opera tenor
  • Elsie Holiday, master Navajo basket weaver.
  • Diane Stewart, owner of Modern West Fine Art, benefactor
  • V. Kim Martinez, muralist, professor and community activist
  • Jack Ashton, violinist, director of Young Artist Chamber Players, educator
  • Camille and Alicia Washington, founders of Good Company Theatre
  • Fidalis Beuhler, painter, professor

PBS Utah is producing a documentary series about the honored artists to air in the spring of 2022. 

Here is a bit more about V. Kim Martinez, shared from the Governor's Mansion Artist Awards program: 
martinez MansionProgram

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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

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The Masters of Arts in Teaching Fine Arts (MAT-FA) program at the University of Utah continues to draw accolades nationally as a top online program. 

A recent ranking from Online Schools Report identified the program as #3 in the 10 Best Online Master's in Art and Art History Programs. The ranking considered department size, median debt, department popularity, online presence, admission rate, and student satisfaction. 

Additionally, EducationDegree.com ranked the MAT-FA program #17 of Best Online Master’s Degrees in Education for 2021.

"The two-year program prepares educators to provide a high-quality education in all sorts of arts, including both performing and visual. Courses focus on building skills such as methods-based arts teaching, curriculum planning, and art teaching theory." EducationDegree.com wrote. 

They went on to say: "The University of Utah online program combines traditional learning online learning, which allows students to study at their own pace, with an interactive online experience, including group projects, discussion forums, and peer reviews. Online students also have access to the same instructors and academic advising resources as in-person students."

Learn more about the program here! 

Masters of Arts in Teaching Fine Arts 
University of Utah 

#3 in 10 Best Online Master's in Art & Art History Programs 
Online Schools Report 

#17 Best Online Master's Degrees in Education 2021

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Each fall, the University of Utah community buzzes with energy – students move in to dorms and fill the sidewalks with excited conversation, plans begin for upcoming performances and exhibitions, the beautiful mountain backdrop changes color, and fans anxiously await football’s opening day in Rice Eccles Stadium.

Perhaps this year, more than before (we missed it all so much!) being on campus feels special.

One building in particular is showing off a fresh new coat of paint: the Einar Nielsen Fieldhouse. 

Originally opened in 1939, the Einar Nielsen Fieldhouse has been central in the memories of U students, and acted as home for U athletes for decades. From 1939 to 1969, the Runnin’ Utes basketball team played there to adoring crowds. Students took physical education within its walls. It was even retrofitted to hold soldiers during WWII. Einar Nielsen Field HouseEinar Nielsen Field House, Courtesy Marriott Library Digital Collections

Many will remember in 2015 when the rooftop of the Fieldhouse was first painted in proud block letters reading “UTAH,” the result of an enthusiastic crowdfunding campaign. Recently, the roof was repainted after major seismic renovations to the building.

In just a few short weeks, fans will enjoy these familiar rooftop letters as they cheer on the Utah Utes.  What is perhaps lesser-known is what is happening inside the historic structure.

A new space for the arts. 

The College of Fine Arts is hard at work regenerating the beloved Einar Nielsen Fieldhouse into a new, state-of-the-art, 375-seat theatre. Thanks to a landmark gift from the Meldrum Foundation, this long-awaited space will be home to both the Department of Theatre and Pioneer Theatre Company productions. Providing a much-needed proscenium performance venue for the Department of Theatre and a suitable space for Pioneer Theatre Company’s contemporary plays that require a more intimate audience, the project brings new life to a historic structure while meeting central needs.

As an added bonus, the theatre will encourage consistent collaboration between students and professional working artists.

So, as you make your way to a game, stroll through lower campus on your way to class, or wave as you drive by the old Fieldhouse, know that this long-standing landmark is newly thriving, ushering in a bright new chapter for the arts in Utah.  

Meldrum Theatre Rendering 1Rendering, new theatre at the Einar Nielsen Fieldhouse

Those interested in touring the project or learning more can contact Devon Barnes at .

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In anticipation of the opening of Utah Museum of Fine Art's "Space Maker" on August 21st, we caught up with Department of Art & Art History alumna Nancy Rivera, curator of the exhibition which features 33 artists from the department's faculty. 

As UMFA describes, " 'Space Maker' explores the tensions, histories, and myths that shape our experiences of the world. These works, created by a variety of artists in a dynamic range of media, question the bonds between place and identity, reflect on our relationships to the land, and explore the realities that emerge when an imaginary world is created."

Let's take a closer look at the show. 

After a year of isolation, what was it like to come back together on a group show of this size? 

What was really cool about curating the exhibition was that when I started looking at the work that the artists produced over the last year or so, it was apparent that everyone was impacted and influenced by some of the same issues. Even though their work is created in such different ways – the materials they use are so different –  the ideas and concepts that you see throughout the work started to become a narrative that you could connect to and say, “I felt that same way during the pandemic."
It was interesting to see that in some ways, even though we are isolated, those communal experiences are still very present. We all see the things that we experience in a similar manner. 

It’s amazing to see that your professors, the people you are learning from and interacting with now in such a big way, are creating such elevated work. It’s something that they should feel inspired by and really proud of – that we have this type of talent within the University of Utah. I really hope students will go and see the show.

How did the "Space Maker" theme emerge and what do those words mean to you?

A lot of the work the artists created very much explored the idea of place – how we relate to it, how we engage with it, how we perceive it. We were forced to be confined in our homes, and were hyper-aware of the things that surround us – and as artists you tend to look at things through a different lens. So they created, in their own way, an interpretation of the spaces they were in, or really thinking about, or even missing and grieving throughout this pandemic. I think it's something you can apply to a lot of the work.

I also wanted to create an idea to view the show in a way that was broad enough that you could find different types of interpretations, because we have 33 artists. The work that they produce is so varied in process and concept.  Looking at it through this lens of thinking about space, and their creation of it, is something that everybody can say they think about through their work. Every one of the artists is working with very specific ideas and themes their work is connected to, but in the end, I think there is an overarching idea of a sensibility towards space that connects them all.

What was the logistical process like? 

Coordinating all of this is such a big team project, and I could not have done any of this without the UMFA’s amazing staff support. They have this down. All of the artists were invited to submit up to three works, and then I selected the ones I wanted to include in the exhibition.  And there were discussions around “how does this fit the theme?” Nancy Rivera headshotNancy Rivera, "Space Maker" curator and U alum

When I first started selecting works, I wasn’t thinking about an overall theme. The theme came to me as the work was selected and I was looking through artist statements and titles, and information about each of the works. It was more about selecting the best works aesthetically – the craft and the concept. Everybody is so talented. In the end, the decision of what works were included was very intuitive, selecting work that was representative of each of those artist’s careers but that also spoke to a sensibility for the times that we are living in.

There are some great moments in the exhibition of really unexpected materials. And, also how artists took this moment of being isolated, not being able to enter certain spaces, and took that as an inspiration to create. Sometimes I think that without having had something so profound happen to us, some of those ideas would not have emerged. Much of the work was made in the past year or two, and a majority was created during the pandemic. To see the way that they were inspired to create in that period of time was amazing. These are artists whose work I am really familiar with from my time being their student and even before that. So it's been great to see how their work continues to grow.

What is it like to work with the faculty, now as an alum?

It's such a different dynamic. I still look up to a lot of them, and I am so honored to be able to work with them as a curator, in a way that i never expected. I am grateful for the way that they have embraced my role in the exhibition. It has been great to have one-on-one conversations and brainstorms with them about their work. 

And why should students go to "Space Maker?"

It’s amazing to see that your professors, the people you are learning from and interacting with now in such a big way, are creating such elevated work. It’s something that they should feel inspired by and really proud of – that we have this type of talent within the University of Utah. I really hope students will go and see the show.

We can't wait to see the work from these 33 wonderful artists: 

Edward Bateman
Simon Blundell
Laurel Caryn 
Erika Cespedes
Lewis J. Crawford
Al Denyer
Elizabeth DeWitte
John Erickson 
Haynes Goodsell
Joshua Graham
Michael Hirshon
Trishelle Jeffery
Lenka Konopasek
Beth Krensky
Naomi Marine
V. Kim Martinez 
Kylie Millward
Martin Novak 
Marnie Powers-Torrey
Andrew Rice
Vanessa Romo
Sylvia Ramachandran Skeen
Brian Snapp 
Carol Sogard
Paul Stout
Natalie Oliver Strathman
Amy Thompson
Emily Tipps
Maureen O’Hara Ure
Adam Watkins
Moses Williams
Wendy Wischer
Jaclyn Wright

"Space Maker" runs from August 21 to December 5, 2021. For more information, please visit https://umfa.utah.edu/space-maker.
Remember, students get in FREE thanks to Arts Pass! 

ArtsPass Logo

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On Monday, February 15, the Department of Theatre hosts its first "Wellness Day" as part of a long-term initiative to encourage individual and collective well-being. These monthly events draw on resources within our community, giving participants a closer look at the relationship between wellness and the arts.  

The Department of Theatre will offer workshops, classes, and seminars to encourage physical and mental/spiritual self-care, while promoting connection and engagement through Community Wellness Conversations.  Wellness Days will continue through Spring Semester, with events currently scheduled for March 5 and April 5. For instructor and panelist bios, click here. For questions, information, or if you’d like to suggest or teach a future wellness event, contact .

To register, check out the schedule of events below. Advance registration is required and space is limited, so sign up early!

Events for Monday, February 15:

10:00 am to 11:00 am - Meditation Practice with Jerry Gardner

Department of Theatre Associate Professor Jerry Gardner will lead participants through a three-step process—Explanation, Movement, and Practice—to help them incorporate meditation into their wellness regimen. 
Register here for Meditation Practice

11:30 am to 12:15 pm - Yoga for Every Body with Aria Klein 

CorePower Yoga instructor and Musical Theatre Program student Aria Klein presents this specially designed session of her popular online class, designed to help you connect your mind, body, and breath, and re-center yourself for clarity and creativity.
Register here for Yoga for Every Body

1:00 pm to 2:30 pm - Roundtable/Q&A: Representation in Theatre Casting

Panelists (alphabetical by given/affirmed name): Alicia Washington (Artistic Director, Good Company Theatre), Brian Vaughn (Artistic Director, Utah Shakespeare Festival), Jerry Rapier (Artistic Director, Plan-B Theatre), Penelope Caywood (Artistic Director, Youth Theatre at the U), Shelby Noelle Gist (Co-Artistic Director, An Other Theater Company)

Moderator/Facilitator: Yolanda Stange (Actor/Producer)

An invited panel of Artistic Directors from theatre companies throughout Utah joins us for our first Community Wellness Conversation*. This hour-long roundtable, followed by a half-hour Q&A session, invites participants to enter and reflect on a crucial, ongoing discussion about the bodies we see—and don’t see—onstage, and the stories they tell.
Register here for Representation in Theatre Casting


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It's hard to believe that the year 2020 is coming to a close.

A year with more adaptation, collaboration, flexibility, and innovation than any of us can remember — this one will not soon be forgotten. 

At the College of Fine Arts, 2020 was a year of immense achievement in spite of rising challenges. Let's look back: at how we came together, the new discoveries we made, the milestones we crossed, and the highlights we shared. 

Department of Art & Art History 

  • Student work was shared at the MFA Interim Show "Mixed Bag," Photo and Sculpture Clubs' group show "Things & Pictures of Things," the Valentine's Print Sale, BFA Show "Social Distance (online), Capstone Exhibitions (online), Interdisciplinary Capstone Exhbition (online), the Juried Student Art Exhibition 2020 (online), Contemporary Photography Projects Exhibition (online), Open Studio showings, and more. 
  • The department hosted fantastic guest artists Bryan Czibesz, Tanja Softić, Anna Hansen, Brad Evan Taylor, John F. Simon Jr., Jeannette Ehlers, and Michelle Bowers. 
  • Advanced Digital Imaging students, under the guidance of associate professor Ed Bateman, responded to current events in a "New Decameron," a collection of original photography. 
  • In the fall, the department began offering a brand new illustration emphasis, and a new Illustration 1 course with Professor Michael Hirshon. 
  • Students had the opportunity to learn from artist Kei Ito, Marva & John Warnock Artist-In-Residence. 
  • Graduate student Bryce Billings, with a team of undergraduate students, created a 151' work in the Art & Art History building, titled "The Remains of a Dream." 

School of Dance 

  • School of Dance faculty and students kept moving no matter what, adjusting to technique class via video, rehearsing outside, and learning choreography from guest artists over Zoom. 
  • Students showcased their work in Spring Utah Ballet, Fall Utah Ballet, Performing Dance Company, the Gala performance, and in the student led concerts including the Modern Senior Concert, Graduate Thesis Concert, and Ballet Showcases. 
  • The school hosted guest artists Heather Gray, Katlyn Addison, Melanie George, Darrel Grand Moultrie, and Penny Saunders. 
  • The annual Utah Ballet Summer Intensive was held for the first time entirely online, bringing together world renowned faculty, including current artists, ballet masters, and Artistic Directors. 

Department of Film & Media Arts 

  • Students started the Film Production Club who, in their first few months of meeting, hosted film discussions, script competitions, and screenwriting workshops!  
  • MFA alumna Lee Isaac Chung swept top honors at Sundance with his film "Minari," which earned both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. 
  • Producer-in-Residence Emelie Mahdavian was awarded both a Peabody Award and an Emmy for her film "Midnight Traveler." 
  • Assistant professors Miriam and Sonia Albert-Sobrino, started the "Alone Together" online film festival as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting cancellations that eliminated public screening opportunities for emerging filmmakers.
  • Assistant professor Sarah Sinwell released a new book, "Indie Cinema Online," exploring emerging trends in indie cinema and streaming services.
  • To accommodate social distance while still sharing student films, the department hosted its first ever drive-in F&MAD Fest, where viewers were able to enjoy films from the safety of their cars. 

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 Student Success Initiative allowed special events for students focused on wellness, including panel discussions, Alexander Technique workshops, discussions on diversity, and masterclasses. 
  • Celebrating the end of the academic year with an online watch party, the virtual 2020 Student Showcase highlighted student performances from each area. 
  • The Michie Jazz Quintet recorded an exciting EP, capturing the unique blend the group had honed over years of practicing and performing together. 
  • The Jed Moss Memorial Concert, not only celebrated the life of a beloved member of the Utah music community, it helped establish an endowed scholarship in collaborative piano. 
  • The online Camerata Awards Gala, hosted by Kirsten Chavez, featured video performances from all of the School of Music ensembles and honored this year's award recipients, Roger H. and Colleen K. Thompson. 

Department of Theatre 

College of Fine Arts

Here's to celebrating where we have been, and looking forward to all that is sure to come.
From all of us at the CFA — Happy New Year, indeed! 

Published in Finer Points Blog

By Laura Decker 

I decided to apply to the Master of Arts in Teaching - Fine Arts (MAT-FA) program because I was interested in deepening my development as a fine arts educator. The program's hybrid online/in-person structure was a perfect fit because I worked on a public school schedule. I also knew that taking classes as a cohort is a lot about developing relationships. It was important for me to get to know my classmates during the summer intensive before starting the program's online component.

Through the MAT-FA, I learned how to implement community building strategies and design participant-centered, art-making educational experiences.

Through the MAT-FA, I learned how to implement community building strategies and design participant-centered, art-making educational experiences. Before I was a student in the program, I saw art education as black and white--either teaching art skills or using art to integrate other subjects. The MAT-FA transformed my thinking from that rigid lens into more of a prism in which all of these moving parts (art forms, curriculum design, and the participants themselves) work together to make something beautiful.

Now, my visual art lessons are more interactive, collaborative, and, most importantly, student-driven. Just this week, I was teaching an introduction to perspective drawing, which can be pretty formulaic and boring. Still, I hooked my students by drawing from their interests to determine the scene we would do for our initial draw-along. The result was a crazy combination of the Wild West, a giant city, mountains, the beach, and a castle. It was the most fun I've ever had teaching perspective drawing, and every single student loved it. In some ways, I feel like this lesson encapsulates the MAT-FA program--it's lots of fun, makes you think outside the box, and changes the way you think about teaching.

Applications for MAT-FA Summer 2021 are now open!  

Calling all Arts Educators! Complete your degree at the University of Utah while continuing to work full-time.

The Master of Arts in Teaching with an emphasis in Fine Arts (MAT-FA) is a two-year, primarily online program, with a short on-campus residency. Our program focuses on the development of rigorous pedagogical expertise required to improve the delivery of high-quality arts experiences. The MAT-FA is for teaching artists seeking a graduate-level degree that emphasizes advanced coursework and pedagogy related to teaching in and across the arts.

Click here to learn more and apply. 

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