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Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
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Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499

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Fine Arts | Music | Theatre | VCD

Expressions Archive: October 2012

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Theatre Gains National Accreditation

The National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) has granted accreditation and membership to the Department of Theatre at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) and its Bachelor of Arts: Theatre (acting, design/technology, directing). This is the first time the department has received NAST accreditation.

Chair and Professor of Theatre John O’Connell, who also serves as interim dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, is pleased with the accreditation. “Being recognized by the national accrediting agency confirms that the IPFW Department of Theatre maintains a program of the highest quality, producing theatre students ready and equipped to compete with students from any other program in the country,” said O’Connell.

Steven T. Sarratore, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and a professor of theatre, echoed O’Connell’s sentiments. “We are delighted that the Department of Theatre has joined the ranks of our other accredited programs on campus.”

NAST was founded in 1965 and is made up of approximately 178 schools, conservatories, colleges and universities. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials.

To learn more about NAST, go to For more information about IPFW’s Department of Theatre, go to, or contact O’Connell at 260-481-6550 or

Campbell Recently Published

Campbell Recently Published

Assistant Professor of Art Education and Director of Art Education Laurel H. Campbell has published a book along with Seymour Simmons III, associate professor of art and design at Winthrop University in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Heart of Art Education: Holistic Approaches to Creativity, Integration and Transformation has been published by the National Art Education Association. Campbell’s book is an anthology showcasing an array of philosophies, lessons and methods learned as teachers strive to meet the needs of children and young adults in the classroom. The book, released in September 2012, provides insights for educators at all levels of education.  You can learn more at

Medieval Encounters Broaden Horizons

Magnificent Medieval Encounters

In recent years, medieval times have been digitized into video games, spun into action figures and referenced in cheap restaurant façades.  The ghosts of the medieval crusades could even be traced stretching into the 20th century where Indiana Jones met a knight standing guard over the Holy Grail.  For most of us our understanding of medieval times, which stretched from the 300s to the 1500s, is Disney-esque at best, but a group of IPFW professors are working to change that.

According to Carl Drummond, dean of the IPFW College of Arts and Sciences, there are a surprising number of medievalists among the IPFW faculty for a campus our size.  Inspired, Drummond contacted the IPFW medievalists and suggested that they meet. He suggested that the group “consider if and how they might conspire to combine their expertise into some meaningful collaboration.”

And from there the Medieval Studies minor at IPFW was born.  The class Medieval Encounters was created to serve as the introductory course for the new minor. The class is divided into four sections each covering a specific chronological period, with four professors teaching 1-2 classes per section.

Medieval Encounters is taught by four IPFW faculty members, class coordinator Suzanne LaVere, assistant professor of history, Kirsten Ataoguz assistant professor of art history, Ana Benito, associate professor of Spanish, Department of International Language and Culture Studies and Erik S. Ohlander, associate professor of religious studies. 

Each of these faculty members is an accomplished medievalist. They have published work relating to the Middle Ages and they have all been recognized by their peers in the form of grants, fellowships and awards.    

Ataoguz began her academic journey as student of politics, but after spending a summer as an intern on Capitol Hill, she lost her appetite for politics. She changed her field of study to religion, receiving a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Religion at Princeton University. While studying religion, the religious art of the Middle Ages captured her attention. She continued her studies and received her Ph.D. in Art History and History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. After graduation Ataoguz spent a year studying the church of the monastery of John the Baptist in Müstair, Switzerland and plans to return to Switzerland this summer to study one of its manuscripts.

“The study of medieval art,” said Ataoguz, “is the study of the history of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The research that I do has a meditative quality which is, for me, a kind of refuge.”

The art of the middle ages includes metalsmithing, tapestry, manuscripts, frescos, paintings and architecture. As an art historian and an instructor working closely with fine art students Ataoguz believes the art of the middle ages can be highly instructive. “It’s so important that artists understand the historical basis for the work they do. For people with concentrations in metalsmithing, textiles or manuscript, it’s especially essential that they study medieval art. There isn’t anything in those areas that can compare with the work that was done in the Middle Ages.” 

Ataoguz believes that computer design students would greatly benefit from studying the Middle Ages, as there are many jobs in the gaming industry for designers who can replicate medieval landscapes, architecture and interiors. Additionally, many medieval churches have hired digital artists to create virtual tours for online visitors and researchers. Often they are asked to virtually restore structures, which have been damaged and recreate lost interiors.

“I think this is an important field of study because of the commonality our cultures share. The middle ages were a time of great change, socially, culturally and technologically,” explains Drummond. “There were vast inequities in the distribution of wealth and there was enormous poverty. There are many lessons we could learn from the Middle Ages and here, through some amazing happenstance, we have this excellent young faculty, full of passion, energy and enthusiasm who have created this wonderful program.”

To find out more about the Medieval Studies minor and classes offered in this area of study, visit

New Neighbors

Mikautadze Dance Theatre (MTD)

The IPFW College of Visual and Performing Arts is pleased to announce that the Mikautadze Dance Theatre (MDT) is the newest company-in-residence on the IPFW campus. MDT strives to bring the art of professional modern and contemporary dance to Fort Wayne and surrounding communities through dance performance and the advancement of creative movement and dance education.

MDT works to create a  unique theatrical experience by producing work that is a synthesis of many art forms. “We strive to reach this goal through collaborative efforts both within the company and with other artists,” said Elizabeth Mikautadze, MTD’s artistic director.

A unique aspect of the group is the husband and wife team who take the lead. David Mikautadze, Elizabeth’s husband, serves as the musical director for MTD and composes much of the music they use in their choreography. “It has been our dream since we met to one day have this company!” explains Elizabeth.

MTD’s spring concert at IPFW is scheduled for May 17 and 18 in Williams Theatre on the IPFW campus. The company of dancers includes Lin Daffron, Emily Keisler, Kater Majorins, Jonathan Meader, Nina Shaw, Tracy Tritz and Corty Waite. For more on times, tickets and information about their company, visit them at

New Huntington Theatre - Business of the Year

New Huntington Theatre Accolades

Associate Faculty of Theatre Joel Froomkin and his partner Rich Najuch, owners of The New Huntington Theatre were honored by Indiana Main Street with the 2012 Business of the Year Award. Indiana Main Street, a program operated by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, presented the award on Oct. 11, 2012 during the statewide Indiana Main Street Conference in Kokomo.

Both owners have been dedicated to the revitalization of the downtown district. Najuch is a founding member of the Main Street Huntington program and has been active in fundraising, advertising and promotion since the beginning.

“Downtown districts are the heart of Hoosier cities and towns, and they are a key component of any community’s economic success,” said Lt. Governor Skillman. “Each of this year’s Indiana Main Street award winners has made a lasting impact by demonstrating their commitment to their local community.”

Originally from New York Froomkin, who teaches performance classes for the IPFW Department of Theatre, and Najuch began to resurrect the once-vacant theatre after they purchased it in 2007.  They then began restoration efforts to transform the entire theatre and bring new life back to the building. While restoring the theatre, they offer professional cabaret-style shows in the lobby area now known as The Huntington Supper Club.

Although their dream of staging live shows in the theater's main stage remains strong, the auditorium actually sat untouched until early this year. "We spend so much time doing other things," Najuch said, not the least of which is writing, casting, rehearsing and staging the supper club shows several times a year.

The target date for opening the auditorium has not been set, however the all-new Holiday Show is scheduled for Nov. 28 – Dec. 22, 2012. A trio of NYC songbirds featuring supper club favorite Elizabeth Urbanczyk will be in town to celebrate the season. To book your seats call 260-454-0603 or visit

Trip to Italy

Trip to Italy

The IPFW Department of Fine Arts is excited to announce its 2013 Study Abroad travel program, The Art of Italy, from June 9 – 26, 2013. On this art-centric trip, that also can be taken for credit, travelers will visit Rome, Venice, Padua and Florence, Italy. The extensive itinerary will be led by IPFW Department of Fine Arts professors Dana Goodman, head of sculpture, and Chris Ganz, head of printmaking, both experienced in coordinating our Study Abroad program. For complete cost and itinerary visit and select the Study Abroad button on the right.

Students Repair Emmy Awards

Metalsmithing students and their faculty in the Department of Fine Arts traveled to participate in Repair Days, hosted by the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tenn. The interactive, hands-on workshop intensive was held October 4 - 7, 2012 and provided more than 200 students and faculty from 12 major universities access to some of the most prominent experts in the field of metalsmithing. Featured master metalsmith Eleanor Moty had a retrospective exhibition of her work in the museum and worked directly with the students as they examined metal objects and repaired them for the general public. The most unique items examined and repaired were four Emmy Award statuettes.

Students Repair Emmy AwardsStudents had the opportunity to talk with experts in the field and actively work with professors who have taught at university programs such as University of Wisconsin, Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, Memphis College of Art  and Kansas State University. Many others instructed students on proper repair techniques. Blacksmithing demonstrations and iron-casting events were held, allowing students to participate and learn the processes with an emphasis on safety in all studio situations.

The event provided students with opportunities to network with other artists, students and professors, while receiving hands-on instruction with noted and renowned experts in the metalsmithing field, which they would not otherwise encounter during their college experience. IPFW participants included Robert F. Schroeder, IPFW instructor of metalsmithing, Dana Goodman, professor of sculpture, and students Terri Fuller-O'Brien, Louise Haines, Jeremy Stroup, Lauren Hughey and Robert Borger.

The National Ornamental Metal Museum


IPFW Ceramics ClubAs she has done in the past, Nancy McCroskey, associate professor of ceramics and advisor to the IPFW Ceramics Club conducted an impromptu Bowl-a-thon in her class to benefit the Interfaith Network of Fort Wayne (INFW). On Friday, September 14, each student created several bowls for donation to the INFW’s annual fund raiser, Empty Bowls. INFW is an emergency homeless shelter serving families in the greater Fort Wayne area. The INFW is the only shelter in Fort Wayne that keeps an entire family intact, including both parents, as they manage the crisis of homelessness. The bowls auctioned at Empty Bowls are expected to raise $8,000 dollars for the shelter with 100% of the proceeds going directly into the operating fund.

Expressions Archive


Sam Savage, assistant professor and coordinator of studio voice, performed the leading role of Ciano in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci in June at the Western Plains Opera in Minot, North Dakota. In June, Savage taught and performed at The Art Song Festival in Toledo, Ohio, and served on the faculty for the Operafestival di Roma and covered all of the tenor rolls in The Magic Flute in July.

The work of Sayaka Ganz has been featured in High Touch: Tactile Design and Visual Explorations, a new 224-page book released in August 2012. High Touch is a powerful tactile design collection that examines the three-dimensional look of today’s visual culture being shaped by techniques and styles from fine art and handicraft. High Touch documents an inspiring range of material objects and spatial orchestrations that meld craft and fine art with techniques of more traditional art forms such as installation, sculpture, collage, photography, and illustration. The examples featured in the book prove that the scope for this trailblazing work is enormous. An associate faculty member in the Department of Fine Arts, Ganz is currently on hiatus from teaching to more fully explore her work as an independent artist and complete a number of upcoming commissions.

Music therapist Allison Hamman, (B.S.M.T. ’12) is now both the proprietor of and a music therapist at Mainstay Music Therapy. Mainstay provides music therapy services under Indiana’s Medicaid Waiver Program to those with intellectual and physical disabilities in Fort Wayne and surrounding areas. They also provide music therapy services to businesses and individuals not part of the Medicaid program. Kim Yoder (B.S.M.T.’12) also works as an independent contractor for Mainstay Music Therapy.

The Women’s Bureau is on a mission to educate the public on issues regarding sexual assault They have asked students in the Department of Visual Communication and Design (VCD) to help them accomplish that goal. Students from the Photography V Special Projects course, taught by continuing lecturer Jim Gabbard and students from Graphic Design III Publication Design, taught by continuing lecturer John Motz, have teamed up to create an educational brochure. Photographs generated by the students were given to student designers to create a brochure designed to educate the public about sexual assault and the effect it has on individuals. Staff members from the Women’s Bureau attended a critique on October12 to evaluate the samples created by the students.

Theatre major Amber Klinker spent her summer working as a costume stitcher for the Theater at Monmouth in Monmouth, Maine. Her job included patterning, hat construction, cutting and alterations among other duties. Their summer productions included Moliere's Tartuffe, Shakespeare's Henry IV Part 1, Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. For more information on the Theatre at Monmouth  

The following alumni have been hired for music teaching positions: Stephanie Reimer (B.M.E. 12) at Cedar Canyon Elementary School, Laura Tomlinson (B.M.E., ’12) at Central Noble High School, Emily Franz (B.M.E. ’12) at Lane Middle School and Brandon Eiler (B.M.E. ’10) at Concordia High School.

Rachael Parker, (B.S.M.T. ‘12) is currently employed by Meaningful Day Services.

The Fort Wayne Youtheatre Sarah Shroyer-Smith Scholarship for 2012-13 has been awarded to IPFW theatre major Halee Bandt. Sarah Shroyer-Smith was a teacher who volunteered with Youtheatre for 55 years, serving as both board president and treasurer. Shroyer-Smith endowed a $1,000 scholarship for former Youtheatre students pursuing theatre arts in post secondary school. Bandt debuted on the Youtheatre stage 17 years ago playing the Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. Her other Youtheatre credits include Grease, High School Musical, and Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Bandt currently is serving as a classroom and production assistant for their 2012-13 season.

Chalk it up to Alan Etter, visiting instructor of video and media, as he continues his journey in sidewalk art. Etter was featured as a guest artist at the Hancock County Arts and Cultural Council’s 4th Annual Chalk Fest hosted by the Creative Arts and Event Center in Greenfield, Ind. Etter’s contribution to the chalk art extravaganza was a portrait of author James Whitcomb Riley, a Greenfield native and the author of Little Orphan Annie. You can learn more about this annual event and chalk art contest at http://www.greenfieldarts

IPFW alumna Elizabeth Burris (’12 ) is settling in to her new job as an assistant to the director at the National Theater in Mannheim, Germany. Burris is currently working on Soul City, an experimental art theater project new to the National Theater, with director Lajos Talamonti. Known as one of the most prestigious theatres in Europe the National Theater began in 1779. Friedrich Schiller’s first major drama, The Robbers, was performed at the original theatre in 1782. The theatre’s current home in Manheim, Germany, opened in 1957. The National Theatre features opera, ballet and a wide variety of programs for all ages.  

Alumna Kate Mall (VCD ’11) is now a graphic designer for Ad Lab in Fort Wayne. Specializing in graphic design, Ad Lab produces ads for radio and television production, media placement, training and sales videos, marketing, public relations, printing, business-to-consumer and business-to-business advertising.