Kofi Opoku

WVU graphic design professor Kofi Opoku was recently in Ghana, West Africa, on a three-week visit, and gave a presentation about the design process to a digital and software development firm known as DreamOval. The one-hour session, which took place on June 11, covered several topics including: Content Strategy, Wire Framing, Mock-ups, Prototyping and User Testing, just to name a few. He also spoke about how to foster better relationships with clients, and streamline the workflow between designers and developers. DreamOval is a leading software development firm focused on “Making-Life Simple’ by creating and selling relevant innovations. They are located at Accra, Ghana. See the website at http://www.dreamoval.com

Kofi Opoku 2
Kofi Opoku, center, with designers and software developers at DreamOval

Visual arts therapy, a field that is growing rapidly across the country, uses the creative process of making art to enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages, especially children and adolescents.

The School of Art and Design in the College of Creative Arts is now offering a Graduate Certificate in Visual Arts Therapy. The new certificate will be available to students beginning in the summer of 2015, through the Art Education program.

The program integrates face-to-face and online learning, making it accessible to students not only across the state and the nation, but globally as well.

“As an interdisciplinary program, Visual Arts Therapy will help art teachers encourage emotional growth and enhance relationships with their students,” said Dr. Terese Giobbia, who is coordinator of the Art Education program at WVU.

Visual Arts Therapy is useful to many people, but it is especially valuable to children and adolescents,” she said. “By employing a variety of art media and resulting artwork, the program helps adults, adolescents and children to explore their feelings, reconcile conflict, manage their behavior, reduce anxiety and develop social skills.”

Individuals certified to teach art in the PreK-21 classrooms and who currently hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree are eligible to apply for the VAT certificate program without applying to the Master of Arts degree program.

Students may also earn the Graduate Certificate in Visual Arts Therapy in conjunction with a Master of Arts degree in Art Education.

Requirements for the graduate certificate include 15 credit hours of online coursework and hands-on art-making activities and participation in on-campus workshops.

Students must also complete approximately 100 hours of observation within a practical setting, culminating in an individual research project. They are expected to maintain a GPA of 3.0.

“The foundation of Visual Arts Therapy is the belief that art-making and works of art have the capacity to offer hope, usher in calm, dignify sorrow, expand one’s imagination, and stretch one’s powers of empathy to lead to greater self-awareness,” Giobbia said.

“This new program is designed to provide art teachers with a foundation of the healing dimension of the creative process.

Students who pursue this certification can also go on to earn the credentials and licensure to become professionals in Visual Arts Therapy.

For more information about the Graduate Certificate in Visual Arts Therapy or the Art Education program at WVU, go to http://artanddesign.wvu.edu or contact Dr. Teri Giobbia, at tegiobbia@mail.wvu.edu.


The Art Museum of WVU is scheduled to open to the public in late August with a number of programs and activities planned for the campus and community during a week-long celebration.

Designed by Stanley, Beaman & Sears of Atlanta, the building is located next door to the Creative Arts Center, facing Patteson Drive.

It will be home to WVU’s collection of nearly 3,000 works of art, as well as visiting exhibitions—all open to the public with free admission.

The building has two galleries totaling 5,400 square feet, a classroom seating 25 students, collection storage, and a collection research room.

“The Art Museum is a beautiful place for people to see and experience art,” said Director Joyce Ice.

The WVU art collection has been assembled for more than 40 years and includes everything from Korean pottery of the Silla Dynasty to 19th- and early 20th-century landscapes and prints, African masks and sculpture, to works of art created just recently by contemporary artists.

The collection has strong Appalachian roots with works by West Virginians such as woodblock artists Blanche Lazzell and Grace Martin Taylor, and gifts from the Appalachian collection of Ramona Lampell, which highlights self-taught artists throughout the region.

But the collection also houses works by names almost everyone is familiar with, including Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Ansel Adams. And there is a substantial collection of African art of more than 300 pieces.

See the schedule of events for the opening of the Art Museum below. All events are free and open to the public!

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 1 p.m. – Dedication ceremony at the Museum Education Center. Reception following.

Tuesday, Aug. 25 – The inaugural exhibition opens. Titled “Visual Conversations: Looking and Listening,” it highlights connections among the works of art in the WVU collection and presents the work of dozens of different artists.

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., “WVU Student Evening at the Art Museum,” with music, food, games and tours for WVU students.

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 5 p.m., Bloch Hall (Room 200A), Creative Arts Center – Dan & Betsy Brown Lecture by Sean O’Harrow, Director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art: “What does an Art Museum have to do with University Education?”

Thursday, Aug. 27, 7 p.m., Bloch Hall (Room 200A), Creative Arts Center – J. Bernard Schultz Lecture by Roger J. Crum, Professor of Art History at the University of Dayton: “Renaissance Florence as Prequel to the Art Museum of West Virginia University.”

Friday, Aug. 28, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Opening Party with tours, live music and DJ, food, door prizes and art activities.

Saturday, Aug. 29, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., “Family & Community Day at the Art Museum” with hands-on art activities, tours, music and refreshments.

For more information, see the Art Museum website at http://artmuseum.wvu.edu or call 304-293-7790.

Mellert gift

Thanks to a gift of more artworks by West Virginia artist Grace Martin Taylor, presented by her daughter, Lucie Mellert, the new Art Museum of WVU now has an example of each of the prints Taylor created in her lifetime.

Mellert recently donated an additional 78 small prints created by her mother, as well as the blocks that were carved by Taylor to create those prints, to WVU’s permanent art collection, to be housed in the new Art Museum that officially opens on Aug. 25.

According to Robert Bridges, curator of the Art Museum of WVU, Mellert has made several donations of her mother’s works in the past.

“Lucie has been actively working with me on building a one-of-a-kind collection that shows all facets of Grace Martin Taylor’s art,” he said.

The recent gift adds to the complete collection of Taylor’s white-line prints donated by Mellert in 2011 and the 49 additional works she donated last year.

“Within this new group is an example of each of the other prints Taylor created in her lifetime—small linoleum and woodcuts printed in black and white, as well as a rare small color white-line woodblock print,” Bridges said.

“We are very grateful to Lucie Mellert for her generosity and dedication to preserving her mother’s artistic legacy.”

Grace Martin Taylor was born in Morgantown in 1903 and graduated from WVU in 1928 before embarking on her career in art, becoming one of America’s innovative printmakers of the second quarter of the 20th century. She also studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts with American Modernist Arthur Carles in the 1920s and received her master’s degree in Art from WVU in 1949. She continued post-graduate study at a number of prestigious art schools and was particularly known for her white-line, color woodblock prints.

Taylor worked in Provincetown, Massachusetts, for 28 summers and also dedicated her life to teaching art in West Virginia, where she is credited with perpetuating modern art and abstraction. She was head of the art department and also president (1955-56) of the Mason College of Music and Fine Arts in Charleston, West Virginia. In 1956 Mason College joined with Morris Harvey College, which is now the University of Charleston.

Since her death in 1995, Taylor’s art has been exhibited throughout the United States, most notably at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Academy of Design, the Smithsonian Institution, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, ACME Fine Art in Boston and the British Museum.

Lucie Mellert is a photographer whose work appeared for many years in “On the Town,” a regular column of the Sunday Charleston Gazette-Mail in Charleston, West Virginia.

Mellert’s gift to the Art Museum of WVU was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $1 billion comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.

For more information about the opening of the Art Museum of WVU in August, see the website: http://artmuseum.wvu.edu/

Four new faculty members will join the WVU College of Creative Arts in August 2015, in the areas of voice, music theory & composition, music education and the new music therapy program. In addition, two interim music faculty members will also be returning next year.

“I am excited about our newest crop of faculty in the College of Creative Arts,” said Dean Paul Kreider. “They bring an extensive array of professional and academic credentials that will most assuredly contribute to the excellence that exists among our faculty ranks. We are extremely proud to have recruited this group of outstanding talent to WVU.”

Robert Chafin

Tenor Robert Chafin will join the School of Music as assistant professor of voice. A native of Virginia, Chafin has garnered accolades for his dramatic interpretation and versatile creativity on the international opera, concert and recital stages. He has more than 70 operas in his repertoire and has performed as a guest artist at New York City Opera and at Carnegie Hall. He has performed internationally in Berlin (the Deutsche Oper and Philharmonie), Paris, Salzburg Summer Festival, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Vienna, Frankfurt, Brussels, Madrid, Milan, Leipzig and in Israel (Tel Aviv and Jerusalem). He has critically acclaimed recordings of the operas of Franz Schreker (“Flammen” and “Christophorus”), Richard Strauss (“Die Liebe der Danae”), Leonard Bernstein (“Candide”), and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Upcoming engagements include concerts in France and Germany. In March, Chafin sang “Das Lied von der Erde” with the Ensemble du Monde in New York. He will be returning to the faculty of the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh and also the international Napa Opera Festival in Napa, California, this summer.

Dena Register

Dena Register, formerly of the University of Kansas, will join the School of Music as coordinator of the new Music Therapy program in Music Education. Register earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the Florida State University and previously worked as a private practice music therapist in Florida, providing services to early intervention programs, students with special education needs, bereaved children and battered women and children. Her research interests include music therapy in early intervention and literacy skill development, as well as working with early childhood educators on incorporating music in their classrooms. In 2009, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach and conduct research at Mahidol University, Thailand. She has trained more than 100 professionals, initiated numerous clinical sites and offerings and consulted on research projects across Thailand. She continues her work there as a consultant for the first music therapy training program in the country.

Matthew Heap

Matthew Heap, who is joining the School of Music as assistant professor of Music Theory and Composition, is an internationally performed composer whose music has been featured in several American and English cities and on WQED and WCLV radio. He is also very involved in the theater community as an actor, director, and writer. Matthew received his BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, MMus from the Royal College of Music in London, and doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. His theory interests center around the analysis of mid- and late-20th century works. Recent projects include a full analysis of Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia with a focus on the narrative function of various elements within the work. Currently, he is researching how theories of perception can be applied to works of current composers such as Matthias Pintscher. His compositions range dramatically from completely atonal concert music to musical theater. One of his most recent works, “Loki,” for orchestra, was selected by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for a reading.

Lindsey Williams headshot

Lindsey Williams joins the Music Education faculty as associate professor. Williams earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Kansas and his doctoral degree from Florida State University. His public school teaching has included experiences in elementary, junior high, and high school instrumental and choral music in Kansas, Florida, and Georgia, and he has served in various leadership roles within professional music organizations. Williams is an active performer, conductor and clinician for music educators and young musicians throughout the United States and Southeast Asia. In 2012, he was named a Fulbright Scholar and he continued his work with music educators in Thailand in spring 2013. His research interests include musicians’ focus of attention, musical complexity, life-long learning and music teacher training. He is a founding co-editor for the ASEAN Music Journal and is on the editorial boards for the International Journal of Music Education and the Missouri Journal of Research in Music Education.

In addition to the four new music faculty members, two other interim faculty members will be returning to the School of Music next year.

Kym Scott

Kym Scott, interim director of the Choral Program, graduated from Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 1997 and was a member of the state committee of the Australian National Choral Association, and on the organizing committee of a national male voice festival. She also worked with Stephen Leek and The Australian Voices, facilitating both national and international tours. In 2010, she received a Master of Music degree from the University of Queensland and taught choral music at the Brisbane Girls Grammar School and contemporary music and theory at the Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE. Scott is currently completing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Music at the University of Southern California. While at USC she conducted the USC Thornton Oriana Women’s Chorus. In 2013, she conducted members of the USC choirs in several performances with The Rolling Stones during their “50 and counting” world tour. She also went to China and South Korea in 2014, performing with the USC Thornton Chamber Singers.

Robert Lauver

Robert Lauver, who came to the School of Music as visiting professor of horn last year after the death of long-time Horn Professor Virginia Thompson, will continue as interim horn professor for the next two years. Lauver received a bachelor’s degree from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and studied at Northwestern University. He has performed professionally with the Chicago Chamber Brass and the Austin, Alabama, Columbus and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras. In 2000 he began his tenure with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, where he is currently second horn. He has toured worldwide in South Africa, Europe and Asia, including a special performance at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II. Since 2000, he has spent his summers performing in the Grand Teton Music Festival, and occasionally the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. He also teaches privately at his home in Pittsburgh and has taught at Southern Illinois University, the University of Missouri, Carnegie Mellon University and The Barry Tuckwell Institute.

What's Your Story?

Charlene | June 1, 2015

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Dan Fisher (MFA, Technical Theatre, 1986)

Dan Fisher, a graduate of the School of Theatre and Dance, who is currently a property master for some of today’s best-known films and television shows, visited the Creative Arts Center in April to speak to students about his career.
The talk was part of the College of Creative Arts Alumni-in-Residence Series, in which outstanding alumni of the College return to work with students.

Dan attended WVU from 1982 to 1986, graduating with a BFA in Technical Theatre. After graduation, while living in Beckley, West Virginia, he was hired to work as a Set Dresser on the John Sayles film “Matewan” and soon afterward moved to New York City to continue working in film and television production. For almost 30 years, Dan has been involved in props and set decoration on productions including “Mississippi Burning,” “The Adventures of Pete & Pete,” “Men in Black,” and “Law & Order.” In recent years, he has worked exclusively as a Property Master on feature films including “Black Swan” and “American Hustle” and on television productions including Season One of HBO’s “Girls” and TNT’s upcoming “Public Morals.” Dan has been married to Helene Eisman Fisher for more than 20 years and they have two teenage children, Augustus and Phoebe Fisher. He said his children are his proudest accomplishment.

“I grew up in Middlebourne, West Virginia, population around 800,” Dan said. “From an early age, I was enamored with movies, TV, and comic books. I decided to go to WVU when I was offered a full academic scholarship. My dad was not thrilled that I chose Theatre as my major, but since my tuition was free, he felt that I had earned the right to study whatever I wanted.”

Some of the professors who were most influential to Dan when he was a student at the CAC from 1982-86 included Jon Whitty, Angela D’Ambrosia, and Frank Gagliano.

“I came in believing I would emerge as an intense method actor, but by my senior year, I felt more encouraged to write and stage plays, courtesy of Frank Gagliano,” Dan says. “But I would also say that my peers in my classes were as influential as anybody. We had a very talented, interesting class. I felt competitive with them, but also inspired by them.”

Dan’s most memorable experience at the CAC was being part of the cast of Harold Pinter’s “The Homecoming,” playing the part of Joey, a boxer.

“For that part, I had to lose 15 pounds, adding muscle as I learned how to box, perfect a Liverpool accent, and be part of a steamy, controversial sex scene,” he said.

“The big thing I would like all WVU Theatre students to be aware of is how many opportunities are out there for them in the ever-expanding world of show business.

“With a gazillion TV channels, streaming-only films and shows, and an international appetite for all American entertainment, there are more opportunities than ever before for people with a background in the creative arts.

“I want them to know that, at age 51, I am still learning, still trying to figure out how to do what I do better than I did it the last time. I have experienced success, but I have also made plenty of mistakes along the way. I get up every day and I go out there hoping I will have learned from the mistakes and to not linger too lovingly on memories of success. Every day is, and always will be, an opportunity to prove myself.”

Commencement 2015 Highlights

Charlene | May 29, 2015

The beautiful voice of music student Faith Snyderman singing “Simple Gifts” was one of the highlights of the College of Creative Arts Commencement on Saturday, May 16, as 115 graduates of the College of Creative Arts received their diplomas during a special ceremony featuring School of Art and Design alumnus Jacob Lewis, director of Jacob Lewis Gallery in New York City, as guest speaker.

Student Marshals, who led the procession of graduates, were undergraduates in the College who have achieved the highest cumulative grade point average in their division. The Student Marshals for 2015 were: Lindsay May Dieffenbauch, School of Art and Design; Ashley Ruth Elliott, School of Music; and Lauren Kimberly Waldron, School of Theatre and Dance.

Outstanding Graduating Senior awards for the three Schools included: Emily J. Hersman, School of Art and Design; James David Conkle, School of Music; and Rachael Anne Cowne, School of Theatre and Dance.

Rachael Anne Cowne was also named the College of Creative Arts Outstanding Graduating Senior for 2014-2015. The award was announced by Dean Paul Kreider during the Commencement ceremony.

Faculty Award Winners

From left: WVU Provost Joyce McConnell, Joseph Lupo, Travis Stimeling, Steven Neuenschwander, Michael Ibrahim, Rhonda Reymond, Kristina Olson and Dean Paul Kreider.

In addition to the student awards, the College of Creative Arts also presented Outstanding Faculty Awards for 2015 during the ceremony. These included Award for Adjunct Faculty Excellence: Maureen Kaddar of the School of Theatre and Dance; Outstanding Advising Award: Kristina Olson of the School of Art and Design; Excellence in Internationalizing the College Award: Rhonda Reymond of the School of Art and Design; Outstanding Teaching with Technology: Michael Ibrahim of the School of Music; Outstanding Service Award: Steven Neuenschwander of the School of Theatre and Dance; Excellence in Research and Creative Activity: Travis Stimeling of the School of Music; and Outstanding Teacher Award: Joseph Lupo of the School of Art and Design.

Jacob Lewis

Guest Speaker Jacob Lewis was born in Huntington, West Virginia. In 2001, he received a Bachelor of Arts with a focus in painting and printmaking from West Virginia University. Upon graduation, Lewis moved to New York City, where he began a 13-year career with Pace Prints. In 2007, he was instrumental in inaugurating Pace Prints’ Chelsea gallery as its first director.

During his seven years as director, Lewis developed many personal and professional relationships with the artists whose work he has championed. With their encouragement and support, he opened Jacob Lewis Gallery to present a breadth of imagery and artistic mediums that resonate with the aesthetics of the Millennial generation.

Last January, Lewis brought the New York artists How and Nosm to the WVU Creative Arts Center, where they showed their works in the Mesaros Galleries, presented the Deem Distinguished Artist Lecture in the School of Art and Design, and created a special mural that will be unveiled at the dedication for the new Art Museum of WVU in August 2015.

“It is a huge honor to be back here,” Lewis told the audience at Commencement.

He talked about his days as a student in the School of Art and Design, where he studied printmaking. When he graduated in 2001, he said, all he knew was that he wanted to go to New York City. Internships helped integrate him into the life of the city and he was lucky enough to join Pace Prints during his first few years in New York. He worked his way up and in 2007 was tapped to open Pace Prints Chelsea.

Now he said he works to show people that printmaking is as important as painting and sculpture.

“This all started in my very first class in freshman year,” he said.

He urged the graduates to come back and share their stories and experiences with the next generation of students.

“Thanks to WVU for everything you have done for me,” he said in conclusion. “I can’t tell you how much I love this school.”

Outstanding Seniors

Rachel Cowne

Rachael Cowne
Outstanding Graduate, WVU College of Creative Arts
Outstanding Graduate, WVU School of Theatre and Dance

Rachel is from the small town of Warrenton, Virginia. She began dancing at the age of three when she started her first ballet class. As she grew older, she continued to study tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, and contemporary dance, as she became a member in the company. At the age of 14, she then became an elite company member at Stage Door Dance Studio and traveled with the company to numerous local and national competitions. When she began high school, she realized that dance was what she really wanted to do with her life after she graduated. During the summer of 2007 she attended Point Park’s Conservatory of the Arts Summer Intensive and during her junior year of high school she was awarded the opportunity to work with the owners of Pushing Progress in New York and received a scholarship to their summer program. She began her first year at WVU in the fall of 2010 with intent of majoring in business and minoring in dance, but in her junior year WVU created a dance major and she immediately switched her major over to dance and was accepted into the program. At WVU she has had the opportunity to perform in three of the annual “Dance Now!” concerts, worked with Pilobolus Dance Theatre, and got accepted into guest artist Adam Barruch’s dance piece that was presented in the 2015 “Dance Now!” concert. She traveled with the Dance Program to the West Virginia Dance Festival and the American College Dance Association conferences and she will be teaching this summer at the WVU Summer Dance Academy. Rachael has been accepted into the training program at Broadway Dance Center in New York City, where she will receive training from elite artists and choreographers who will help her accomplish her dream of becoming a Radio City Rockette.

Let's Go

James Conkle
Outstanding Graduate, WVU School of Music

James Conkle is a percussionist from Washington, Pennsylvania. While growing up, he was influenced musically by his parents and experienced music through community groups and church. While attending Washington High School James studied with Bill Galvin and Jack DiIanni and performed in school ensembles and various state and national groups. He also performed with the Washington Symphony Orchestra as a percussionist and soloist. James came to West Virginia University in 2011 as a Music Education major and began studying percussion with Professor George Willis. While at WVU, James was a member of the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, Steel Drum Band, and Percussion Ensemble. This past semester, James was a student teacher with John Brosky at South Middle School in Morgantown, and with Mark Santore at Laurel Highlands High School in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. This fall, James will be attending Duquesne University to pursue a M.M. in Percussion Performance.

Emily Hersman

Emily Hersman
Outstanding Graduate, WVU School of Art and Design

Emily Hersman is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Student Award from the School of Art and Design. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, she graduated in the Sycamore High School Class of 2010. Throughout her high school and college career Emily was an active member of the marching band, playing a variety of instruments ranging from piccolo to tuba. Emily completed both a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography while at West Virginia University. She is a member of Phi Sigma Theta, Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. Emily’s diverse interests serve as inspiration for her art. She is always interested in exploring new mediums and materials for expression and pushing the boundaries of art as a whole. After graduation, Emily will be returning to Cincinnati where she will work as an intern alongside the Art Conservation professionals of the Cincinnati Art Museum in the Works on Paper Department. She plans to continue her education at the graduate level, pursuing a Master’s degree in Art Conservation.

Congratulatons Graduates!

Following the conferring of degrees, there was a reception in the Douglas O. Blaney Lobby of the Creative Arts Center for the graduates, their families and friends, as well as College of Creative Arts faculty and staff.

View a video capturing the thoughts, emotions and images of WVU Commencement Weekend 2015: Sights and Sounds Video

Commencement photo

Hope and student in hallway

Joseph Jefferson DMA

Congrats to Connor Haupt and family

Yoav and student

Let's Go

WVU School of Art and Design alumnus Jacob Lewis, the director of Jacob Lewis Gallery in New York City, will be the guest speaker for the College of Creative Arts Commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 16.

The ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre of the Creative Arts Center and is open to the public.

Jacob Lewis was born in Huntington, West Virginia. In 2001, he received a Bachelor of Arts with a focus in painting and printmaking from West Virginia University. Upon graduation, Lewis moved to New York City, where he began a 13-year career with Pace Prints. In 2007, he was instrumental in inaugurating Pace Prints’ Chelsea gallery as its first director.

During his seven years as director, Lewis developed many personal and professional relationships with the artists whose work he has championed. With their encouragement and support, he opened Jacob Lewis Gallery to present a breadth of imagery and artistic mediums that resonate with the aesthetics of the Millennial generation.

In January, Lewis brought the New York artists How and Nosm to the WVU Creative Arts Center, where they showed their works in the Mesaros Galleries, presented the Deem Distinguished Artist Lecture in the School of Art and Design, and created a special mural that will be unveiled at the dedication for the new Art Museum of WVU in August 2015.

For more information, see the Jacob Lewis Gallery website:

Commencement Details
During the May 16 Commencement ceremony, the College of Creative Arts will individually recognize approximately 100 graduates, including those who completed their requirements in August or December of 2014. Alison Helm, director of the School of Art and Design, Keith Jackson, director of the School of Music, and Joshua Williamson, director of the School of Theatre and Dance, will recognize each of the degree candidates by name and they will receive congratulations from Dean Paul Kreider, Associate Dean William Winsor, and Assistant Dean John Hendricks.

There will also be several special presentations, including awards to outstanding students in Art & Design, Music, and Theatre & Dance.

Student Marshals, who lead the procession of graduates, are undergraduates in the College who have achieved the highest cumulative grade point average in their division. The Student Marshals for 2015 are: Lindsay May Dieffenbaugh, School of Art and Design; Ashley Elliott, School of Music; and Lauren Kimberly Waldron, School of Theatre and Dance.

Outstanding Graduating Senior awards for the three divisions include: Emily J. Hersman, School of Art and Design; James David Conkle, School of Music; and Rachael Anne Cowne, School of Theatre and Dance.

The College of Creative Arts Outstanding Graduating Senior for 2014-2015 will be announced by Dean Kreider during the Commencement.

Doors to the Lyell B. Clay Theatre will open at 5 p.m. Tickets are not required for admission and seating is open except where reserved for degree candidates. The academic procession begins sharply at 5:30 p.m. Parking is available at various locations near the Creative Arts Center. Families and friends of graduates are welcome to take photos during the ceremony.

Following the ceremony, there will be a reception in the lobby of the Creative Arts Center for the graduates, their families and friends, and College of Creative Arts faculty and staff.

A group of WVU School of Art & Design students, led by professors Janet Snyder and Rhonda Reymond of the Art History program, traveled to France during Spring Break, where they studied some of the world’s greatest museums, churches, cathedrals and historic sites.

The course was part of the School of Art & Design’s Global Positioning Studies (GPS) program, an interdisciplinary initiative that helps students understand their local sense of place and also develop a global understanding of that place in the world. Through direct experience, students are encouraged to engage the world as a fertile ground for art making and critical research.

Dr. Snyder taught a section of the course on Medieval Painted Stained Glass and Dr. Reymond led the 19th Century Landscape Painting and Photography section. The students took a course in either Medieval or 19th Century Art History to be eligible for the GPS course and they also researched projects to present while in France.

The students in the class were: art history majors Amanda Rogers, Lizzie Fitzgerald and Fran Pagano; painting major/art history minor Sarah Shoemaker; and graphic design major Lindsay Dieffenbach.

Also accompanying the group were chaperones and professors, including Dr. Mark Sperow, Associate Professor Agricultural and Resource Economics in the Davis College, Dr. Tim Warner, Professor of Geography and Geology in the Eberly College, and Paula Hunt of the U.S. Geological Survey.

The students studied paintings, photography, Medieval stained glass, and sculpture, as well as a wide variety of landscapes, artistic schools, and artists.

Sites the Medieval Stained Glass section visited included the royal abbey church of Saint-Denis, Chartres Cathedral, Notre-Dame of Paris, Bourges Cathedral, Troyes Cathedral, Saint-Urbain in Troyes, The church of the Madeleine in Troyes; the Centre international du Vitrail in Chartres, Musée du Louvre, the Palais Royale, the Musée d’Orsay, Musée national de l’Orangerie, Saint-Germain-des-Pres, Saint-Sulpice (to see the Delacroix paintings), Saint-Martin-des Champs (Musée des arts et métiers), the Medieval castle under construction at Guédelon, The church of the Madeleine in Vézelay, and the Musée Cluny and La Sainte-Chapelle.

For the course section on 19th Century Landscape Painting and Photography one segment was on “Experiencing Haussmann’s Changing Urban Landscape of 19th Century Paris” and they visited Avenue de l’Opéra; Blvd. des Capucines; Place de la Madeleine; Blvd. Malesherbes; Arc de Triomphe; Champs Elysées; Place de la Concorde; Jardin des Tuileries; Bois de Boulogne; Gare Saint-Lazare; and Pont de l’Europe.

Additional museums and sites in Paris included: Palais Garnier: National Opéra of Paris; Petit Palais; Eiffel tower; Musée Marmottan; Musée du Louvre; the Musée d’Orsay; and Musée national de l’Orangerie.

Sites they visited outside of Paris where artists of the 19th century painted and photographed included: Barbizon and the Forest of Fontainebleau (Barbizon Painters—Jean François Millet, Théodore Rousseau, Camille Corot, Barbizon Photographers—Eugène Cuvelier, Gustave le Gray, and other artists including Gustave Courbet, Claude Monet); Auberge Ganne (Museum and former inn where the Barbizon painters stayed; Jean François Millet’s atelier (studio); towns along the Seine including Marly-le-Roi, Louveciennes, Bougival, Croissy-sur-Seine, and Chatou (Impressionists—Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir); Auvers-sur-Oise (landscape painters and Post-Impressionist artists Paul Cézanne and Vincent Van Gogh); Town/church/wheat fields/cemetery; Auberge Ravoux/Maison de Van Gogh (where Van Gogh died).

The School of Art & Design and the students who attended the GPS course in France would like to thank their patrons whose generosity helped make this enriching study abroad GPS France experience possible: the Colonel Eugene Myers Foundation, as well as the Margaret Tavenner Rajam Art History Endowment and the the Valerie Canady Charitable Trust Foundation which both supported students through scholarships.

Snyder & Reymond with all GPS
Drs. Snyder and Reymond with all the GPS: France students at the Louvre. From left to right: Lindsay Diffenbauch, Sarah Shoemaker, Amanda Rogers, Dr. Rhonda Reymond, Dr. Janet Snyder, Fran Pagano, and Lizzie Fitzgerald.

Vanessa's photo
Graphic Design major Lindsay Dieffenbach in La Sainte-Chapelle.

Palais Royale
Lindsay Diffenbauch, Lizzie Fitzgerald, and Fran Pagano at the Palais Royale.

Amanda presented research
While in Auvers-sur-Oise, art history major Amanda Rogers presented her research on the landscape paintings Vincent Van Gogh completed in the town during the final 70 days before he died. Here’s Amanda a few minutes later by his graveside in the nearby fields.

Mark Sperow and Sarah
After a wonderful day of exploring places where the Impressionist painters, Pissarro, Sisley, Monet, and Renoir painted along the Seine, Amanda Rogers, Dr. Mark Sperow, and Sarah Shoemaker enjoy dinner at the Maison Fournaise—the same restaurant Renoir featured in his famous Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880-1881).

Sarah Shoemaker spending time by herself looking and thinking about Claude Monet’s masterful Nympheas (waterlilies) at the Musee de L’Orangerie.

Medieval construction site
Enjoying lunch at a Medieval construction site Guédelon.

Musee d'Orsay
Dr. Reymond and students at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris.

Royal Portal Chartres
Lizzie Fitzgerald, Dr. Janet Snyder and Amanda Rogers examining column figures on the Royal Portal at Chartres Cathedral.

The College of Creative Arts is offering a wide variety of camps and workshops during the summer of 2015 for students of all ages. Offerings include:

• Community Music Program (classes for all ages, including babies)
• Dance Academy (for ages 5 to adult, as well as for teachers)
• Teacher’s Institute: Smithsonian Certification Folkways Course in world music pedagogy (for K-12 teachers)
• Viola Boot Camp (ages 15 to adult)
• Percussion Camp (ages 14 to 18)
• Acting Academy (ages 10-17)
• Mountaineer Music Leadership Academy (high school students in grades 10-12)
• Piano Festival and Competition (for artists and students of all ages, as well as teachers)
• International Flute Symposium (featuring Junior High and High School Flute Camps, as well as a Collegiate/Amateur/Professional Category)
• Mountaineer Drawing Academy (ages 14 to 17)

See more information, in order by date:

Community Music Program – June-August, 2015

The WVU School of Music’s Community Music Program provides a comprehensive program of musical training for students of all ages and experience levels. The summer program features many different kinds of classes for children and adults, as well as private music lessons. Some popular classes returning this summer include: Piano For Fun For Adults, Eurhythmics For Children, Music For Babies, Explore & Enjoy for Toddlers, and Harp On It! New offerings include Vocal Choirs, Violin Camp, and more children’s classes and activities. See the entire schedule of classes, coming to the website soon.
Website: http://music.wvu.edu/cmp
Registration: Registration begins Tuesday, May 26 and classes begin June 1. To register, see the website or contact Karen Taddie, director, at Karen.Taddie@mail.wvu.edu, phone 304-293-6946.

Summer Dance Academy – June 13-20, 2015

Join us for another exciting and danced-filled week of technique classes and special workshops taught by WVU Dance faculty and special guest faculty. The programs include a Young Academy for children ages 5-10 years old, to be held June 15-19; a Teen Academy for ages 12-18 with at least 3 years of previous dance experience, to be held June 14-20; and a Teachers Academy for dance educators K-16, to be held June 14-20. In addition, this year there will be a one-day K-12 Dance Professional Development Intensive on Saturday June 13 (no registration fee). For questions or further information please see the website or contact the Dance Office at (304) 293-8623.
Website: http://theatre.wvu.edu/summerdance
Times: All day; Young Academy daily 9 a.m. to 1 pm.
Registration: For registration information, email theatre@mail.wvu.edu or call 304-293-2020. On campus room and board is available. A special tuition discount is offered to teachers who register their students.
Deadline: May 30 for early bird registration. Registration fee on or before May 30 is waived. After May 30 the registration fee is $30.

WVU Teacher Institute: Smithsonian Folkways Certification Course in World Music Pedagogy – June 14-20, 2015

West Virginia University’s School of Music will host its first Smithsonian Folkways Certification Course in World Music Pedagogy (WMP), June 14-20, 2015. Teachers will engage with world music in daily workshops featuring the musical cultures of West Africa, Brazil, and Central Appalachia led by WVU faculty and guest artists. Through this partnership with Smithsonian Folkways, teachers will develop a foundation in world music pedagogy and will have access to the rich ethnographic audio, film, and print resources of Smithsonian Folkways. This course is intended to help teachers build innovative curricula that connect K-12 music programs with local and global musical cultures. Teachers successfully completing the course will receive certification from the Smithsonian Institute documenting specialization in world music pedagogy. A limited number of scholarships are available for WV teachers.
Credits: 3 CEU or graduate credits
Registration: For information contact Dr. Janet Robbins at janet.robbins@mail.wvu.edu

Viola Boot Camp – June 15-18, 2015

Viola Boot Camp is a four-day intensive event is for violists, ages 15 to adult. All ability levels are welcome! The founder and director of the camp is Andrea Priester Houde, who is Assistant Professor of Viola in the WVU School of Music. The camp includes daily lessons, master classes, technique classes, lectures and ensembles.
Times: all day
Registration: Registration includes tuition and campus housing. Hotel accommodations are also available for adult participants. To register, contact Andrea Priester Houde, WVU Assistant Professor of Viola, at andrea.houde@mail.wvu.edu or call 304-293-5777.
Deadline: Students may register up until the first day of Boot Camp.

Percussion Camp – June 15-19, 2015

This popular week-long event is for young percussionists, ages 14 to 18. The founder and director of the camp is George Willis, who is also director of the Percussion Program at WVU. The camp includes daily workshops and clinics, solo performances, public percussion ensemble performances, and much more. Students will perform with and learn from some incredible guest artists. The camp will educate every level of percussionist and all of the students will perform in a percussion ensemble that will present a public concert at the end of the week.
Website: http://music.wvu.edu/summer-programs/percussion-camp
Times: all day
Registration: To register, contact George Willis at George.Willis@mail.wvu.edu or phone 304-293-5274. In addition to the registration fee, there is a housing fee that includes all meals. The fees will be paid upon checking into camp.
Deadline: Students may register right up until the beginning of camp.

Summer Acting Academy – June 22-26, 2015

A one-week professional theater training program for youth, ages 10 to 17, who wish to explore and develop the actor in themselves. Open to students of all levels of theater experience, the academy includes classes in acting, movement, monologues, voice & speech, character masks, improvisation, stage combat and rehearsal/production. All classes will be led by WVU School of Theatre and Dance faculty, and guest artists. Enrollment is limited, so that each student will receive training specifically geared to their experience level. The program culminates in a student presentation at the Creative Arts Center on June 26.
Website: http://theatre.wvu.edu/summeracting
Times: Monday – Friday 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Registration: Please contact theatre@mail.wvu.edu or call 304-293-2020. A copy of the registration form is also available on the website.
Deadline: Register by June 8 to guarantee enrollment.

The Mountaineer Music Leadership Academy – June 22-26, 2015

The Mountaineer Music Leadership Academy provides the finest experiential musical leadership training for all interested high school instrumental and vocal/choral students entering grades 10-12. All students attending, especially section leaders and drum majors, will be given increased musical skill and methods and materials for instructing and leading their peers. Our goal is to certify that every student attending leaves with a depth of knowledge and skill previously unknown to them that will provide greater enjoyment in the musical arts and a basis for lifetime accomplishment in leadership, regardless of the chosen field of professional endeavor.
Website: http://music.wvu.edu/summer-programs/mountaineer-music-leadership-academy
Times: all day
Registration: Applications are available on the website or by calling 302-293-3097. Students should return the application via postal mail with deposit. Entire fee schedule includes instruction, meals and board. Commuter packages available.
Deadline: Reduced fees for early applications until April 30, 2015. Applications and payments in full due by June 8, 2015.

Intersection of Jazz & Classical Music Piano Festival and Competition
June 28-July 1, 2015

During this four-day celebration of the piano, set in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia, students, teachers and audience members explore how both jazz and classical styles inform, inspire and enliven the great art of playing the piano. This festival– the only one of its kind – offers outstanding artists, teachers, workshops, concerts, panel discussions, competitions and more. Guest artists for 2015 will be Ann Schein and Stefan Karlsson, as well as invited presenters from across the United States, and WVU faculty.
Website: http://music.wvu.edu/summer-programs/keyboard-festival-and-competitions
Times: all day
Registration: For registration information, contact Peter Amstutz at Peter.Amstutz@mail.wvu.edu or call 304-293-4532. Registration fee required. Participants may also register for a Day Pass.
Deadline to register for competitions: May 20, 2015
Deadline for general registration: Attendees may register up until the day the festival begins.

International Flute Symposium – July 15-19, 2015

The WVU International Flute Symposium offers the widest variety of performances, workshops, and masterclasses as well as the largest roster of world-renowned flutists and university professors from the orchestral, classical and jazz fields of any university flute symposium in the United States. IFS is open to flutists of all abilities, ages 12 through adult. Events include daily flute masterclasses, flute choirs, and gala concerts as well as body mapping and flute repair workshops, high school and young artist competitions, and private lessons.
Website: http://ifs.wvu.edu/
Times: 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, except July 15, which begins with a 7:30 pm concert, and July 19, which ends with a 1 pm concert.
Registration: Register online at the website for the Junior High/High School Camp or the Collegiate/Amateur/Professional Category. Registration fee, plus tuition, housing costs and meals required. Participants may also register for a Day Pass.
Deadline: July 15, 2015 (Discounts apply if register before May 30)

Mountaineer Summer Drawing Academy – July 22-25, 2015

Mountaineer Summer Drawing Academy provides West Virginia youth, ages 14 to 17, with experiences in art, so that they will have improved observational abilities and an understanding of how artistic skills activate an understanding of space, place, perspective, and structure. Campers will participate in workshops that will enhance their personal understanding and artistic skills. Guest speakers and assemblies will emphasize daily themes and field trips will provide the opportunity for artistic exploration inspired by interacting with the landscape and our natural environment. The camp closes with a Student Showcase and Reception on July 25.
Website: http://4-hyd.ext.wvu.edu/events_forms/mountaineer-summer-drawing-academy
Times: all day
Registration: Registration is available on-line at the website. Scholarships are available to those who register by July 1. Registration includes tuition and campus housing.
Deadline: July 22, 2015 (pre-registration deadline). Camp registration is 12:30-1:00 p.m. on July 22.