College of Fine Arts News

Dr. Brant Pope Appointed Chair of Department of Theatre and Dance

Sunday, June 6, 2010   |  Deprtment of Theatre and Dance

Dr. Brant Pope, currently head of the Department of Theatre at The University of Illinois, has been appointed chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin, effective June 1, 2010.

Two Art and Art History Faculty Members Named 2010 Guggenheim Fellows

Wednesday, April 28, 2010   |  Department of Art and Art History

Two faculty members in the Department of Art and Art History, Lawrence McFarland and Troy Brauntuch, have each been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in New York City. The prestigious fellowships are granted annually, based on demonstrated achievement and exceptional promise for productive scholarship and creative ability.

The Maya Meetings

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The 2010 Maya Meetings will take place at UT-Austin’s new academic and conference center for Mesoamerican studies, the Casa Herrera, a beautifully restored 17th-century mansion located near the center of Antigua, Guatemala’s colonial capital. The Casa Herrera is a new research, conference and teaching facility operated by the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin in collaboration with the Fundacin Pantalen. The Maya Meetings will offer a combination of learning workshops and academic lectures. Three workshops focusing on hieroglyphs and iconography will run for four days from March 16 through 19, accompanied by two courtyard lectures during each evening. The topic of the 2010 Maya Meetings will focus on new developments in the study of early Maya iconography and writing, focusing on the sites of Kaminaljuyu, Takalik Abaj, Izapa, San Bartolo and others.

Anne Akiko Meyers and Anton Nel to perform Recital

Thursday, February 4, 2010   |

Meyers has commissioned Jakub Ciupinski to write, ‘The Wreck of the Umbria’ for violin and electronics.
Meyers and Nel will perform Beethoven, Schnittke, Duke, Gershwin and others at Bates Recital Hall on February 7th at 4 PM.

Violinist, Anne Akiko Meyers Tours with Jazz Trumpeter, Chris Botti

Wednesday, January 27, 2010   |  Interchanging Idioms

This month the versatile and innovative violinist Anne Akiko Meyers goes on tour with the worlds most celebrated jazz trumpeter, Chris Botti. The first concerts took places earlier in January in Greensville (SC), Morristown (NJ) and Portland (ME) with future dates in Durham (NC) on January 25th and 26th and West Palm Beach on January 28th with more to be announced in the spring. On the program Meyers joins Chris Botti in his GRAMMY-nominated Emmanuel from Bottis latest recording project Chris Botti in Boston.

Professor Emeritus Oscar Brockett Publishes New Book

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

“Making the Scene: A History of Stage Design and Technology in Europe and the United States”

The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance announces the publication of Professor Emeritus Oscar G. Brockett’s, new book, Making the Scene: A History of Stage Design and Technology in Europe and the United States. Co-authored by Margaret A. Mitchell, professor of Theatre Arts at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas, Making the Scene offers an unprecedented survey of the evolving context, theory and practice of scene design from ancient Greek times to the present. The work is enhanced by 350 full-color illustrations edited by Linda Hardberger, founding curator of the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts at the Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas.

Brockett began teaching in university theatre programs in 1949 and is widely considered to be the world’s foremost theatre historian. His book, History of the Theatre, is the top-ranked and highest-selling theatre history text of the 20th century. He joined The University of Texas at Austin in 1978 as dean of the College of Fine Arts, and in 1980 was appointed head of the Ph.D. in Theatre History program in the Department of Theatre and Dance until his retirement in 2006. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and Fulbright Award, he is a Fellow of the American Theatre at the Kennedy Center and has been honored with multiple Career Achievement Awards including the Texas Educational Theatre Association 2008 Emeritus Award and the 2009 USITT Award from the US Institute for Theatre Technology. He and Making the Scene collaborators will be presented with the USITT Golden Pen award at their annual conference this spring.

Landmarks Commissions Artist David Ellis for Video to Premiere at Inauguration of New Visual Arts Center

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

AUSTIN, TexasThe Landmarks public art program at The University of Texas at Austin has commissioned New York artist David Ellis, known for his stunning motion paintings, to create an original video for the university.

The unveiling will coincide with the opening of the Department of Art & Art Historys new Visual Arts Center (VAC) in September 2010.

The VAC is a spectacular venue for showcasing new work by our faculty, students, alumni and emerging artists like David Ellis, said Doug Dempster, dean of the College of Fine Arts. It provides an ideal collaborative context for Art & Art History and the Landmarks public art program to host artist residencies that enrich the universitys public art collection.

The Landmarks commission represents the first work of video art to be acquired by the universitys growing public art collection and will initiate the only ongoing presentation of artists videos on campus. This project also presents the first opportunity for Landmarks and the Department of Art & Art History to work closely together. The VAC will provide workspace to Ellis over a four-week period this spring, and the residency will create opportunities for the artist to engage with students, faculty and the public.

The partnership between the Department of Art & Art History and Landmarks is the perfect way to foster the type of dialogue and interaction that are central to our program, said Jade Walker, director of the VAC. Students who connect with Ellis will have the opportunity to experience his entire process and relate to him on a personal level.

Ellis is the perfect choice, said Andre Bober, Landmarks founding director. We searched broadly and deliberated with faculty and students. The enthusiasm for his work was decisive.

In planning a public art installation for the Art building, Landmarks sought a commission that would resonate with faculty and student artists.

We hooked into this idea that if the work was about process, then everyone could relate to it, Bober said. Elliss work embodies process, from conception through creation and even in his presentation.

Walker envisions the new galleries as a platform for engagement that reaches far beyond the university community.

The VAC will be a centralized space in which to share the work of the departments renowned faculty and highlight the accomplishments of our students, Walker said. It will serve as a catalyst for new projects and collaborations with contemporary artists and leading scholars.”

Ellis is a New York-based artist who creates paintings, prints, videos and installations that draw upon popular references and captivate audiences with insouciant energy. His work has been included in exhibitions at the Mattress Factory, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, ICA Philadelphia and his motion painting Paint on Trucks in a World in Need of Love exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He also created a site-specific installation at the Rice University Gallery in Houston in 2006 entitled Conversation.

For more information about Landmarks visit

For more information about the Visual Arts Center visit

Butler School of Music Faculty Donates $25,000 To Establish Student Scholarship

Sunday, December 20, 2009

AUSTIN, TexasFaculty in the Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin have donated $25,000 to establish a new endowed scholarship in music.

The initiative was a grassroots effort on the part of the faculty that began in summer 2009, when Sarah and Ernest Butler, in their continued support of the Butler School, announced an initiative to provide matching funds for any scholarship gifts between $25,000 and $50,000 through the end of 2009. Several members of the faculty saw the announcement as an opportunity to help provide much-needed student aid, and began talking with their colleagues about donating to the effort.

The resulting $50,000 endowed scholarship in music, when matched by the Butlers in January 2010, will support undergraduate and graduate students in music.

I am particularly moved by the fact that in a year in which the faculty received no merit raises, they would voluntarily donate funds in an amount sufficient to establish an endowed scholarship, said B. Glenn Chandler, director of the Butler School of Music. This is just another example of the unwavering dedication our faculty have to the education of their students.

The matching funds provided by the Butlers are part of their latest endeavor in what has been nearly 30 years of support of the School of Music, including a $55 million gift in 2008 that resulted in the renaming of the school in their honor. To date, the dollar-for-dollar matching program has resulted in seven new scholarships for music, and Chandler said he anticipates that three additional scholarships in progress will also be matched.

For more information about the Ernest and Sarah Butler School of Music, visit the Web site at


The Trojan Women Reviews

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Department of Theatre and Dance Production Receives Accolades

Produced by the Department of Theatre and Dance, and staged by director Halena Kays, The Trojan Women received a great review by Austin American Statesman arts writer, Jeanne Claire van Ryzin.
Read Jeanne Claire van Ryzin’s review.

Theatre and Dance Alumna Marcia Gay Harden is Commencement Speaker for The University of Texas at Austin's May Ceremony

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tony Award-Winning Actress Addresses Spring Graduates on May 22, 2010

Alumna Marcia Gay HardenAlumna Marcia Gay HardenAUSTIN, Texas Marcia Gay Harden, a University of Texas at Austin graduate who has received an Oscar, a Best Actress Tony Award and numerous other honors throughout her career, will be the speaker for the 127th Spring Commencement at The University of Texas at Austin on May 22, 2010.

Her speech will be presented on the university’s Main Mall in front of the Tower during a festive ceremony that traditionally draws thousands of students, their parents and guests to the campus.

“I’m thrilled and honored to speak to these bright young minds, ready to go out and improve our world,” said Harden. “They are the new philosophers, scientists, artists and economists, and it will be exciting to watch them discover their gifts.”

Harden received her bachelor of arts degree in theatre from The University of Texas at Austin and her master of fine arts degree from the graduate acting program at New York University. She lives in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City with her husband and three children.

“We are very proud of Marcia and the many awards and honors she has earned throughout her very distinguished acting career,” said William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin. “Her amazing ability to transform words on a script into the role of a believable character is truly remarkable, and her tenacious spirit that has brought her this far makes us proud to say she is one of our own.”

Harden’s character portraits have been described by critics as searing, heartbreaking, inventive, pure and profane simultaneously, astonishing, authentic and sensuous. From the glamorous Ava Gardner in “Sinatra,” to the artist Lee Krasner in “Pollock” (for which she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar), to the down and out Cecelia in “Mystic River” (for which she received another Academy Award nomination) Harden has created a signature style based in character transformation. Her versatility and wide range have been praised in such films as “Millers Crossing,” “The First Wives Club,” “Meet Joe Black,” “Mona Lisa Smile,” “The Hoax” and “Used People.”

Harden recently garnered a Best Actress Tony Award for her starring role in the Tony Award-winning Broadway play “God of Carnage.” She received an Outer Circle Critics Award for her performance, as well as nominations from the Drama Desk and Drama League. She was recently nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her role in “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler.” Other nominations include a Tony Award nomination for Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America” (for which she won the Drama Desk and Theatre World Awards), an Emmy nomination for her guest appearance on “Law and Order: SVU” and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for “American Gun.”