Clare Croft (Ph.D., Theatre, 2010) has been awarded the 2020 Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize for excellence in dance research from the Dance Studies Association, the leading organization in dance studies research. Croft’s work, “Queer Dance: Meanings and Makings,” was commended by the award committee for its boldness in demonstrating and embodying the generative potential of coalitional and collaborative Dance Studies work on queer dance.
Jocelyn Chambers (B.M., Composition, 2017) composed the music for Mama Gloria, a documentary directed by Luchina Fisher. The film premiered on Oct. 14 in partnership with the Chicago International Film Festival. Chambers also spoke on a panel run by the Association of Music Producers focusing on "African American Composers in Advertisement Music."
Barbara Zabel continues to teach and curate exhibitions in retirement
Barbara Zabel (M.A., Art, 1971) continues to teach courses at museums in Connecticut, despite retiring 10 years ago. She also curates exhibitions, most recently "Art of the Anthropocene" at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum and the exhibition "Fire and Ice," co-curated with artist Timothy McDowell for the Art Department at Connecticut College.
Carlos Rosales (B.F.A., Studio Art, 2017) was named an artist in residence for 2020-2021 at the Abrons Arts Center in New York City.
Michael Benson (D.M.A., Piano, 2008, M.M., Piano, 1995) began his tenth year serving as an Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at Malone University in Canton, Ohio and his sixth year serving as chair for the Department of Music. Benson continues to serve as the Ohio Music Teachers Association's state chair for the Buckeye Auditions and was recently elected to serve on the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) Board of Directors.
Miguel Aragon (M.F.A., Studio Art, 2012) has been awarded the 2020 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in the category of Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts by The New York Foundation for the Arts. In addition, Aragon has also been named a New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Fellow. Photo by Xavier Minguella
Luis Rodriguez (B.M., Voice and Opera, 2010) was recently appointed operations manager for the Plano Symphony Orchestra in Plano, Texas. He continues to work as librarian and cover conductor for the Plano Symphony, as well as librarian for Irving Symphony Orchestra. Photo by Michal Dembinski
Audrey Bounds (B.A., Music, 2015) has joined Austin FC, The 27th Club in Major League Soccer, as the Director of Event Booking. Photo by Anne Claire Patterson
Midori Samson (M.M., Bassoon Performance, 2016) is participating in the Peace Studio's 100 Offerings of Peace campaign with a musical arts piece entitled "Crystals (On Peace)."
Joni Zavitsanos (B.F.A., Studio Art, 1986) is creating an art memorial for the City of Houston, depicting more than 160 lives lost due to COVID-19. Photo by Diamantis Zavitsanos
Writer Andrew Hinderaker’s (M.F.A., Playwriting, 2013) new series, Away, is now streaming on Netflix. The space drama follows a woman on the first human-led mission to Mars after leaving behind her husband and daughter. Photo courtesy of Netflix
In January 2021, Dallas Contemporary will open a newly created video by Ariel René Jackson (M.F.A., Studio Art, 2019. Ariel René Jackson: Doubt & Imagination was commissioned by the show's curator, Emily Edwards (B.A., Art History, 2015). The video debuts a lyrical film essay, combining poetry, memoir and research overlaid with in-camera effects. Film still courtesy of Ariel René Jackson
A group of alumni from the Department of Theatre and Dance collaborated recently on a new radio play. The creative team for Passage, a radio play by The Heartland Theatre Collective, includes Nicole Oglesby (B.A., Theatre, 2016), playwright and producer, directors Marian Kansas (B.A., Theatre, 2016) and Rosalind Faires (B.A., Theatre, 2015) and writer/performer Will Douglas.
Veronica Boccardo (B.F.A., Dance, 2017) was cast as the lead actress in her first debut acting work in the short dance film, Ms. Anita. The film has been selected to be streamed as part of the Amazon Prime video platform this year and has won awards at the Accolade Global Film Competition, The IndieFest Film Awards, the 53rd World-fest Houston International Film Festival and the Lift-off Global Network in London and Sydney. The film has been selected for the Lake Travis Film Festival. Photo by Aditya Ali
Gennifer Joe (B.F.A., Dance, 2019) was contracted as a paid dance artist with Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, Texas for their 2020-2021 season. Photo by Bianca Buentello
Gay Gaddis (B.F.A., Studio Art, 1977 ) has been inducted into the 2020 McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame. The award is the highest honor given by the McCombs School of Business recognizing individuals for their outstanding work and contributions to the business and educational community. Gaddis is the founder of The Think Tank (T3), an Austin-based advertising agency and marketing consultancy, which grew to be the largest advertising agency in the country owned by a woman.
Gay Gaddis (B.F.A., Studio Art, 1977) is hosting a series of live leadership webinars between July 15 and Aug. 12. The series, “Eating Risk for Breakfast” includes advice found in Gaddis' book, Cowgirl Power: How to Kick Ass in Business & Life. Gaddis is the founder and CEO of T3, an Austin-based advertising agency.
Sean Meyers (A.D., Woodwinds, 2020) alongside Vanguard Reed Quintet, release a debut album in June. The full-length album, Red Leaf Collection, features six world-premiere recordings of compositions for reed quintet. The ensemble has won Silver Medal at the 2018 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Second Prize at the 2017 Briggs Chamber Music Competition and Honorable Mention at the 2019 Plowman Chamber Music Competition. Photo by Curtis Noborikawa III
Constance Cortez (M.A., Art History, 1986) received a 2020 Digital Extension Grant from the American Council of Learned Societies for her work "Generative Rhizomes: Extending Digital Discovery of Mexican American Art,” the first national-level digital portal focusing on Mexican American Art.
Tamara Johnson (B.F.A., Studio Art, 2007) is set to present the Nasher Sculpture Center's Nasher Windows exhibition, a new series sited within the Nasher’s entrance vestibule on Flora Street, from May 22 through May 27. As an homage to the Nasher collection, Johnson created a piece titled "Deviled Egg and Okra Column.” The work is a nod to Brancusi’s "Endless Column,” and features a mirroring tower of stacked deviled eggs and pickled okra, cast in resin and spanning the height of the vestibule space. Photo by Trey Burns