TAMU art academy funds faculty projects for artistic enrichment

Weiling He

To promote the arts at Texas A&M and beyond, the university’s [Academy for the Visual & Performing Arts] (http://academyarts.tamu.edu/) awarded more than $23,000 to university faculty for five art initiatives supporting exhibits, new classes and a book, announced Weiling He, AVPA director and associate professor of architecture.

One of three arts enhancement grant awardees, Gabriel Esquivel, an associate professor of architecture, will research and fabricate “Rough and Saturated,” an art exhibit exploring the intersection of architecture aesthetics, technology and theory via six large-scale 3-D printed models.

“The project will exemplify the constant evolution of aesthetics mediated by technology,” Esquivel said. “The research will focus on the importance of aesthetic theory and technology and the role it will play in the future.”

His exhibit and associated round table discussion will take place in May 2018.

Andrea Alvarez, an instructional assistant professor of health and kinesiology, will spearhead a “Dance Science Guest Instruction Initiative” to bring in guest educators to the Texas A&M Dance Science Program to supplement student instruction in the areas of dance wellness, pedagogy and technique.

“The guests reinforce our mission by focusing on topics that supplement and support the goal of our courses and integrate the creative art of dance with the theory and practice of a sound application of kinesiology,” said Alvarez. “Lecture and instruction topics will focus on healthy physical dance practice with an emphasis on applying the principles of kinesiology to teaching and to one’s own physical and artistic dance practice.”

The final arts enhancement grant, to pen a book manuscript and present at an international conference, was awarded to James Ball, assistant professor of performance studies for his “Staging Spectatorship” project.

Ball will investigate how immersive theatre has changed how audience members relate to each other and the world.

AVPA also gave two course development grants, the first to another dance-related initiative by Alexandra Pooley, instructional assistant professor of health and kinesiology.

Pooley’s program, “Dance Pedagogy,” will provide students with the tools to design and teach a dance technique class by learning theory and practice of dance education.

“The students will get an opportunity to physically embody the performances they have seen and learn how to teach elements of action, space and dynamics and choreography to middle and/or high school students,” Pooley said.

A course grant was also given to Daniel Bowen, assistant professor of educational administration and human resource development, and Leonardo Cardoso, assistant professor of performance studies, to develop an undergraduate research  course to aid students considering careers in arts organization leadership and administration with the skills they need to secure arts funding.

“Few artists know the AVPA has an annual budget to bring experimental work, especially education-related work, to Texas A&M,” said He.

The next round of faculty grant application will open on March 7, to be due on April 1, 2018. The AVPA offers Student Travel Grants to aid undergraduate and graduate students’ participation in arts related conferences, workshops, presentations, performances, and exhibitions. Student Travel Grant applications are available on a rotating basis.

Sarah Wilson

posted December 8, 2017