In September, our community will experience a new energy and excitement for the visual arts at the University of Kentucky, with the completion of the Art and Visual Studies Building.
A sprawling, brick building located on Bolivar Street immediately adjacent to the UK campus, the new facility has been transformed from a loft-style apartment building into art studios, classrooms and gallery space for the University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies in the UK College of Fine Arts.
It’s one part of UK’s rich variety of academic programs, performances and exhibitions that highlight our faculty and students’ boundless creativity and talent. I am astounded and incredibly proud of the success of the UK family has achieved.
After competing against eight other vocalists, alumnus Reginald Smith Jr. took one of the five winning spots in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions this March. He is the second UK vocalist to win the prestigious opera competition.
Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, Alumni Endowed Professor of Art at the UK School of Art and Visual Studies, had his work “Confluence River Reflections” featured in the new Owensboro Convention Center. His artwork, inspired by morning and evening sky palettes and the permutation of clouds of light and pattern, envisions the movement of a slow river.
Under the direction of Jefferson Johnson, director of Choral Activities at UK School of Music, the UK Men’s Chorus performed at the prestigious ACDA National Conference in February alongside many of the world’s most revered choral musicians and conductors. The UK Men’s Chorus was one of only two all-male collegiate choirs selected to perform at this year’s ACDA conference.
Ebony G. Patterson, an associate professor in painting at in the School of Art and Visual Studies, was one of approximately 60 artists who had artwork featured at “Prospect.3” art exhibition in New Orleans. She was named to “David Ebony’s Top 10 Most Memorable Artworks of 2014,” and Ebony called her “one of the bright new stars showcased in ‘Prospect.3.’” She was also recently featured at the 12th Havana Biennial.
Our dance minor in the Department of Theatre at the University of Kentucky continues to grow in popularity. At its inception, the dance minor had six students and in less than three years has grown to more than 50 students.
The UK School of Music offers that state’s first and only graduate degree program in Music Therapy. Blending academics and health care, clinical training opportunities in physical and mental health are available within the UK HealthCare system and the Lexington community.
These are a few examples, among many, that illustrate the impressive achievements of artists at the University of Kentucky. Their work reminds us that in addition to our role as educators, researchers and care providers, we are also creators, expressionists and artists. The creative scholarship across our campus celebrates all disciplines and exposes students and those we touch in the community to different cultures, styles and perspectives.
It’s one part of our role as a University for Kentucky.