College of Visual and Performing Arts
College of Visual and Performing Arts

John O'Connell,  Dean

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
2101 E. Coliseum Boulevard
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499

  • Office: Visual Arts Building
  • Room: VA102
  • Hours: Mon-Fri, 8 am-5 pm

  • Phone: 260-481-6977
  • Fax: 260-481-6707
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Expressions Archive: November 2011

VPA Expressions newsletter masthead


Expressing ourselves. That’s what artists do, and the IPFW College of Visual and Performing Arts does it exceptionally well. Our musicians, actors, and artists are a talented group of individuals, from the most accomplished professor to the newest incoming freshman, brimming with performances yet to give, music yet to write, and likenesses yet to sculpt. 

Continually engaged with the community, we not only invite the public in to view our works of art, but we take that message to all of northeast Indiana, Ohio, and beyond. Whether it’s the touring production of Brush Up Your Shakespeare, award-winning artwork featured in national exhibitions, or global musicians working with young people right here in Fort Wayne to foster their love of music, we are out there. We are the energy of the arts.

Our hope is that Expressions, our new electronic newsletter, will keep you connected to our exciting journey, propel you to be involved in our programs, and celebrate the potential and accomplishments we see everyday in the arts at IPFW.

Expressing ourselves. It’s what we do best. 

Chuck O’Connor, Dean

Galloping Across the Pond

The beautiful Isle of Man, the jewel of the Irish Sea, midway between Dublin and Liverpool, is the setting for associate faculty Sayaka Ganz’s most recent commissioned installation, titled “Confluence.” Amid the rolling hills and the incredible ocean view will live four impressive horse sculptures, crafted using the sculptor’s signature style of reclaiming lost and forgotten objects.

"Confluence" by Sayaka Ganz

Ganz creates her artwork from discarded objects, such as kitchen utensils, toys, and more.  Inspired by the Shinto religion that teaches her that everything (even an inanimate object) has a spirit, Ganz’s goal is for each discarded item to go beyond its original use by being integrated into one of her sculptures.

"Confluence" is a work in progress as Ganz creates four horse sculptures emerging from a wall in a private residence on the Isle of Man. From October 6–November 14, she will be creating the private commission at the client’s home, which is adjacent to their horse stables.

Her client, an investment banker, became familiar with her work after reading an article in the Telegraph, a British news site that interviewed Ganz. “After exchanging several emails, I suggested to him that it might be more economical for me to travel to where he lives and create sculptures there, rather than ship the existing pair internationally,” she explains.

Reminiscent of her celebrated work “Emergence,” these sculptures will be attached to recesses on a curved wall, so that the sculptures are all facing the center of the room.  They will look as if the horses are racing with varying body lengths. Ganz will be using black, white, gray, and clear reclaimed plastic objects. The materials and the armatures were shipped in advance so that they were waiting for her arrival. Expressions will feature photos of the finished commission in the December issue.

The Drums Still Echo

The Visiting Artist Forum, featuring master drummer and folklorist Moussa Bolokada Condé, was a great success. Condé was in residency in Fort Wayne October 22–31, during which time more than 1,000 people experienced his style of music, up-close and personal. The Three Rivers Institute of Afrikan Art & Culture (TRIAAC), in collaboration with IPFW’s College of Visual and Performing Arts and Office of Diversity and Multicultural Services, sponsored his visit.

Condé, internationally recognized as a master of jenbé ensemble music and Mandé cultural folklore, brought his unique gifts to Fort Wayne, where he taught classes and workshops with the IPFW Department of Music Percussion Ensemble, IPFW World Music students, other IPFW students, St. Joseph Center Elementary School, Peace Montessori School, Oak Farm Montessori School, and at TRIAAC, where workshops and private instruction were open to the public.

The nine-day Visiting Artist Forum culminated with a free concert for more than 600 people, featuring the Three Rivers Jenbé Ensemble and The Summit City Afro Pop Sextet, which included musicians Bolokada Condé, Malinké drummer; Abass Camara, Afrikan percussion; Matt Cashdollar, saxophone; Byran Derek, bass; Phil Shurger, guitar; Jim Steele, keyboard; and Clif Wallace, drums.

The nine-day residency was co-sponsored by the Downtown Improvement District, ProFed, AEP, Blue Marble Inc., Community Care Pharmacy–V E Butler & Assoc. PC, the IPFW College of Visual & Performing Arts and Office of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs, and was made possible in part with funding from Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne. 

“Fire and Water” Featured at Continuum Art Gallery

The crackled intensity of Ned Krouse’s raku pottery firings and Xuzheng He’s delicate and suggestive watercolor paintings will make for an exciting combination during the next opening at the Continuum Art Gallery. Opening night on Friday, November 18 will feature an artist’s reception from 7 to 9 p.m., with the exhibition on display through December 10.

Krouse specializes in colorful raku pottery that allows him to combine copper glazes that blacken the clay during the post-firing reduction. He creates forms that are related to the vessel, while others are more sculptural or architectural in nature. “Sometimes I throw and alter a form by making figurative movements,” Krouse explains, “or gestures with my hands or with paddles.” He also incorporates his love of figure drawing into the clay after he carves and molds the piece into the desired shape. These modifications give Krouse's work the appearance of having a cubist, hard edge while still retaining figurative elements. Krouse earned an M.F.A. at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and has a studio in Haslett, Mich.

Although Xuzheng He has been away from his homeland, China, for a very long time, his deep love of the Chinese culture is the inspiration for his watercolor paintings and the poetry that accompanies them. He feels that being an artist is like the ancient Chinese legend of Kua Fu, who chased the sun to his death. “The ideal state of art and the perfect style seem to be the sun in the sky,” explains He. “So brilliant! So beautiful! You pursue them all your life, but the light is still far, far away in the horizon. You will never be able to reach it. The only thing you get, is that long line of footprints behind your own body.” He currently resides in Arizona where he creates his artwork.

The Continuum Art Gallery is located at 125 West Wayne Street and is open Wednesday–Friday, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.; Friday, 4–8p.m.; Saturday, 12–8p.m., and also by appointment. Call 260-399-3843 or visit for more information.

Theatre, Art, and Architecture of London and Paris

London and Paris await you during an exciting university sponsored tour from May 9–21, 2012. Travelers, along with IPFW Associate Professors Craig Humphrey and Mark Ridgeway, will explore theatre practices in London and Paris and research opportunities in the art and architecture of these two cities as they relate to the theatre. Travelers will spend time in each city on individual exploration of the rich historical and cultural opportunities of two of Europe's most prized capitals.

Tour Highlights:

  • Roundtrip international airfare and travel insurance
  • Hotel accommodations and in-country transportation
  • Two IPFW faculty experts and in-country dedicated tour director
  • Access to sightseeing, tours, museums, and theatres
  • Academic credit (3 credit hours) in THTR 470

Travel Fee Does Not Include:

  • Transportation between Fort Wayne and Indianapolis
  • Some meals
  • Passport/visa
  • Personal items (hotel extras, laundry, phone calls, etc.)
  • Gratuities to tour guides and drivers


  • $4630 + tuition if seeking 3 credits of THTR 390
  • $5100 for community travelers
  • Travel fees subject to change until ticketing
  • A $500 deposit (applied to the fee) is required by December 30, with the balance due by March 1, 2012

Call 260-481-6619 to register. All travelers must submit a completed IPFW Travel Application found at and provide a copy of their passport to register. Applications are to be submitted to Continuing Studies.

Expressions Archive


Student composer Justin Zych recently enjoyed the power of social networking. Zych was contacted by another university student in California who was interested in performing one of his guitar compositions after seeing the performance from the Department of Music posted on YouTube.

During July, John O’Connell continued his professional directing career with a production of Barefoot in the Park for American Stage Theatre Company (ASC) in St. Petersburg, Fla. This production garnered a nomination for a Jeff Norton Award for Best Direction, and in September, ASTC management notified O’Connell that Barefoot broke their 30-year attendance record, making it the highest attended play in ASTC history

Visual Communication and Design Assistant Professor Alma Hoffmann was recently presented with the 2011 American Graphic Design Award by Graphic Design USA, a news magazine for graphic designers and other creative professionals. Each year, roughly 1,000 pieces representing all media appear in the competition.

IPFW student winners in the Third Annual Roanoke Arts Council College Art Competition included Nicholas Klein, first place, and Ajna Lorae Wegenfeld, people's choice. Winners were announced during A Renaissance in Roanoke October 8. Photographs by 10 IPFW students were accepted into the competition. Wegenfeld also won first and third place in the recent Grabill Gallery Black and White Photography Exhibit.

More Successes…

Fine Arts Associate Faculty Sara Nordling recently showed her weaving and fiber art works at the Continuum Art Gallery from September 16 through October 1. Nordling teaches fiber arts and its various aspects at IPFW.

Music Therapist Lora (Ormiston) Barthelman (’11), who works with Chris Ashworth, a 29-year-old autistic resident of Souix Falls, S.D., was featured in the October electronic issue of Society for the Arts in Healthcare.

Senior Molly Oliver, mezzo-soprano, was a featured soloist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic October 21, performing operatic excerpts. In December, sophomore Brianna Gamble, soprano, will be the featured soloist performing in eight "Holiday Pops Concerts" with The Phil.

Professor Emeriti Norm Bradley’s article A Few Brief Comments on Mexican Art was featured in VISION, an annual alumni publication by La Universidad de Las Americas, his alma mater. Several of his paintings, along with details from Plumed Serpent and Sacred Island, were featured.

Continuing Lecturer Jim Gabbard’s photograph entitled "Those Eyes" received first place in the portrait category, along with special recognition, in the Wassenberg Art Center's 34th Annual Photography Exhibit.

Assistant Professor Sam Savage, tenor, was featured in performances of Turridu from Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana with the Cape Cod Opera in July and August.

Norman Bradley, Department of Fine Arts professor emeriti, received the Dr. David Regan Purchase Award for his painting "Shaman" in the 33rd Elkhart Juried Regional at the Midwest Museum of American Art. The exhibition will run through December 4.