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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Fine Arts | Music | Theatre | VCD

Expressions Archive: May 2012

VPA Expressions newsletter

Gabbard Captures Images of Dominican Republic

Photography instructor Jim Gabbard spent spring break in March 2012 documenting what many of us only have heard about in exotic tales or seen on television programs: sheer abject poverty, the lack of even the basic comforts most of us enjoy every day, while completely surrounded by the lush beauty and rain forests of the Dominican Republic.Photography instructor Jim Gabbard  photography

Gabbard was asked by the IPFW nursing and dental hygiene programs to do both still photography and video documenting of the work being done by IPFW students and faculty in conjunction with the Barnabas task group and the University in Santiago-Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM).  Dean Charles O’Connor and VCD chair Haig David-West supported the trip with faculty development funds.

“It was great to see the students’ interaction with these people in a situation where accessing simple dental and health services is a desperate situation,” explained Gabbard. “It can be shocking to see people bathing, going to the bathroom and drinking from the same small river.”

The purpose of the trip was to provide medical and dental services to an area in the Dominican Republic called Cien Fuegos. Much of Cien Fuegos is without running water and electricity and basic medical attention is scarce. IPFW has teamed up with the Barnabas Task and PUCMM to provide care in the region and future projects are already planned.

Gabbard’s task was to provide a visual record of the work being done and to initiate contact with Barnabas Task and PUCMM in an effort to further collaborate with these groups. IPFW photography senior Katrina McKay also went on the trip to further document the efforts. 

Gabbard has had three photographs accepted in the 2012 National Juried Art Exhibition at the Great Frame Up Gallery in Longmont, Colorado. Two of the images were taken during the trip to Cien Fuegos in the Dominican Republic. The juror was Nicholas Arnold, an artist and teacher who holds a B.F.A. from Wright State University and an M.F.A. from Syracuse University. 

Renowned Pianist to Perform

Michael GurtThe First Annual Gene Marcus Piano Competition will feature talented area piano students on June 16 and 17, and an exciting solo recital from Michael Gurt on Monday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m. Gurt, having trained at the Juilliard School, is the Paula Garvey Manship Distinguished Professor of Piano at Louisiana State University and will serve as an adjudicator for the competition as well.  His recital program will be comprised of Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Sonata No. 8, Op. 84 by Sergei Prokofieff. 

An incredibly accomplished musician, Gurt has performed as soloist with the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Utah Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Capetown Symphony, the China National Symphony Orchestra and the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban, South Africa.

“Throughout the evening there was never a blurred or awkward phrase, and Mr. Gurt displayed an almost superhuman command of the keyboard.”  - New York Times

“Friday’s soloist [with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra], Michael Gurt, galloped from one end of the keyboard to the other with plenty of power and panache. . . shaping the phrases of the Andante with real refinement. Here is a young pianist one would greatly enjoy hearing again.”   - Chicago Tribune

VCD graduating graphic design senior Ana Myers

Graphic Design Student’s Path to Success

VCD graduating graphic design senior Ana Myers was featured in the May 9, 2012, issue of The Journal Gazette as one of IPFW’s success stories highlighting this year’s commencement. Ana's thesis project, I Am Not My Skin, was featured in the Spring 2012 BFA Exhibition where it was awarded second place in graphic design by the external juror Professor Michelle Nelson of Youngstown State University.  The entire story appears online.

VCD photography student Lucas Carter

Student Photographer Honored for Second Year

VCD photography student Lucas Carter received an honorable mention in the 32nd Annual College Photography Contest in Photographer's Forum Magazine. The contest features students from all over the world and more than 9,000 entries were received this year from 1,351 colleges and universities. Honorable mentions were awarded to only 100 student photographs. This is the third year in a row that an IPFW photography student has received special distinction in this international competition, and the second year in a row that Carter has received special distinction.

Expressions Archive


Sophomore piano performance student Jason Simon was the first place winner at the statewide competition for the Indiana Music Teachers Association Hoosier Auditions, Collegiate Division (ages 19-22) held at Butler University on Saturday, May 19. As winner of this competition, he will be performing at the Indiana Music Teachers Association state conference in the fall. Simon is from the studio of assistant professor of piano Hamilton Tescarollo and has completed his second year at IPFW. Simon also studied with Tescarollo through the Community Arts Academy during high school. For more information about the Community Arts Academy private music instruction call Melinda Haines at 260-481-6025.

Assistant professor of music therapy Linda M. Wright-Bower is the 2012 recipient of the Friends of the University Outstanding Teacher Award. The award carries a stipend of $1,500. Ms. Wright-Bower has taught at IPFW for 25 years. Her philosophy of teaching encompasses the idea that students learn best when they first experience music before learning musical concepts such as pitch and rhythm, and that the teacher’s role is to constantly look for ways in which the students can actively work with concepts to deepen their understanding.

Over the years, Wright-Bower’s introductory music therapy course has become less about careers in music and more about using music to promote health and wellness. Students now create their own CD covers, make mandalas, write songs, study guided imagery, meditate with music and write critical thinking journals. Linda is a founding CELT advisory board member and recipient of the CELT Luminary Award.

Assistant Professor of acting, movement and voice Jeffrey Casazza received a $1,000 Grant-in-Aid from Office of Research and External Support (ORES) to support his work in Spain with Kristin Linklater during June.  Kristin Linklater is a Scottish vocal coach, dialect coach, acting teacher, actor, theatre director, and author. She is currently Head of Acting in the Theatre Arts Division of Columbia University.   Linklater has trained many well-known actors, including Patrick Stewart, Donald Sutherland, Alfre Woodard, Mary Tyler Moore, Bill Murray, Angela Bassett, Sigourney Weaver and Bernadette Peters.

The New York Times (NYT) has published a photograph by VCD imaging and photography student Swikar Patel.  An employee of the The Journal Gazette, Patel was covering the recent win by Richard Mourdock in defeating incumbent Indiana Republican U.S. Senator Richard Lugar in the recent primary election. The photograph was accessed by NYT via the Associated Press (AP).  The photograph can be seen at online.

More Successes

Victoria Adams-Zischke is currently, performing through June in Vanishing Point, for American Stage Theatre Company (ASC) in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Agatha Christie vanished for eleven days in 1926. That same year, evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson vanished for three weeks. Amelia Earhart disappeared during her 1937 around-the-world flight and never was seen again. Agatha and Aimee never spoke of what happened during their disappearances. Vanishing Point, a musical fantasy, brings these three women together on a road trip through time and space as they recall their past and explore their future, stepping in and out of one another’s lives.

VCD alumna Libby Huffer (’09, photography) has been appointed to a full-time photography position at Sweetwater Sound, Inc.  Her body of work was awarded Best in Show at the Fall 2009 B.F.A. Exhibition adjudicated by Professor Daniel Pocock of Indiana Wesleyan University.

The art work of VCD associate faculty Jim Martin will be featured at Fort Wayne Cinema Center from June 15 – 19, 2012 during the run of Stephen Spielberg's War of the Worlds. Martin is a local industrial designer and concept artist and the display will feature more than 30 works done in a variety of mediums. The exhibition will launch with a short reception from 8 – 9 p.m. on Friday, June 15, prior to the showing of the film.