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Duke University Arts

Arts Journal Posts: Eric Ferreri

Jul 11, 2013 | 4:14 pm

A laser created initially to fight melanoma is also being used to analyze works of art.

Duke Professor Warren S. Warren and others in the Center for Molecular and Biomedical Imaging are using the laser to create three-dimensional cross-sections of works of art to better analyze them.

Read more here.

Dec 4, 2012 | 4:31 pm

The architectural history faculties at Duke and the University of North Carolina have long worked together. But the relationship was largely informal, which meant students didn't always realize the resources available to them.

A new consortium aims to formalize that relationship and make the access to those resources more easily available.

Read more on Duke Today.

Nov 8, 2012 | 4:14 pm

Bryan Unkeless has some pretty good stories to tell, like the time he drove all over Los Angeles looking for clothes that fit a pickle.

The 2004 Duke graduate, now a film producer who co-produced, among other things, The Hunger Games, told some of his stories in the keynote speech for Duke's recent Duke Entertainment Media and Arts Network (DEMAN) Weekend. It was such a compelling speech that we decided to post it here for folks to read.



Hi everyone. Welcome to the DEMAN Weekend Career Workshop. I want to thank Grace Taylor, Will Evans, Grace Kohut, Angela Karl, Scott Lindroth, and Sterly Wilder for coordinating this event and inviting me to speak today. It’s a real honor to be here with all of you. It’s been a while since I’ve been here in the Bryan Center — when I think back upon this place the first thing that comes to mind is the Dillo. And when I think about the Dillo the first thing that comes to mind, is that they serve beer on points. That was probably the best thing that happened to me in college, when they decided to do that. After that I really started flying through the points on my meal plan. And now, well that’s actually one of the weirdest things about coming back here. I bought breakfast earlier and I actually had to pay for it. With real dollars. It was terrible.

It’s been an interesting experience, writing this speech, because it’s forced me to actually stop and think about what I’ve learned since I’ve left Duke. What lessons I’ve picked up that may be of value to others. It’s strange because it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long since I’ve been in school and in many ways I still feel like I’m figuring everything out. Truth is I’m not sure you ever really do figure it all out. If I’m lucky maybe I’ll come back here in five or ten years and I’ll STILL be figuring everything out.

But I have picked up a few things since I’ve graduated. Mostly by making mistakes. I’ve made A LOT of mistakes. I once crashed my boss’s car on my way to driving toward the wrong set location. Another time I told a different boss she looked just like Kirstie Alley. When she asked if she looked like skinny Kirstie Alley or fat Kirstie Alley I told her fat Kirstie Alley. The correct answer was skinny Kirstie Alley but I was being honest.

I’ve missed meetings because I’ve gone to the wrong restaurant, I’ve walked right into one of the best takes we had in Hunger Games, I once accidentally sent a weepy romance script instead of an action script to Bruce Willis…

Don’t you guys want to keep listening to me? I’ll give you some great advice! You can leave now if you want, no harm no foul. My feelings won’t be hurt. But if you do want to stay, my advice… you can take it or leave it. And if you take it, take it with a big grain of salt. Because there’s no one right way. And if all goes well, you’ll leave here and set off and go make your own mistakes… Here it goes…

May 21, 2012 | 1:41 pm

Monica Hogan, a new Duke graduate, is an accomplished dancer and choreographer. In a column on Duke's admissions website, she talks about her love of Duke, the whirlwind nature of her last few weeks as a college student, and her hopes for her life ahead.

Have a read here.

May 4, 2012 | 1:54 pm

The first year of Duke's first Master's in Fine Arts program concludes soon, with a new batch of students headed to Durham in the fall. But first, on Monday, May 7, there's a "Wang Dang Doodle" — an experimental art show with an experimental name.

Read about the program and the show on Duke Today.

The sex worker's haunting blue eyes practically leap off the page as Laurenn McCubbin brings them to life -- one careful brush stroke at a time.

Crouched low on a chair, McCubbin leans and carefully adds details: The cherry red gloss of her lipstick; the auburn waves of her hair. The woman's name is Maxine, and McCubbin, a documentarian, wants to tell her story.

MFA Wang Dang Doodle
Monday, May 7, reception and gallery viewing at 6:30 p.m.; outdoor screenings at 8:30 p.m.
Duke School at Hull Street
1517 Hull Street, Durham, North Carolina
Parking available on-site

View map.

Mar 8, 2012 | 11:30 am

Sophomore music major Jameson Kuang has won this year's Student Concerto Competition and will play during the Duke Symphony Orchestra's next performance, Wednesday, March 14.

Kuang will perform Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor.

Kuang has played piano since he was seven years old. In this video, he talks about his music experience at Duke.

Feb 21, 2012 | 11:52 am

By Thea Neal

Kianga Ford often ponders where she's from. Despite originally hailing from Florida, her roots have spread all over the world, influencing her art installations that ask "what narrative space lies between people."

"I don’t think I'm really from anywhere anymore," she said. "But I spend a lot of time thinking about that question."

The first of her family to finish college, Ford says she brings "both the hustle and the sensitivity" — qualities she shares with her family members — to her art. Her work creates unusual spaces that often comment on society and economy. She intertwines dance and music within her performance installations. Recently, she created a space in Toronto which encouraged people to dance with strangers.

Ford attended Georgetown University and has done residencies from China to Nevada. She'll be a visiting artist at Duke from Feb 28-March 1. She recently spoke with Duke Today's Thea Neal about her work.
What should students expect out of your talk at Duke?

An honest conversation. I've made a lot of work in a relatively short career. I enjoy the occasion of these talks to string together different constellations of projects and think about how they fit together, to see what kind of sense I’m trying to make. These talks are really important for me as part of reflecting on and evolving the work. The questions that people ask are really vital, so maybe students should expect that I am inviting them to participate in the process.
Who or what inspires your work?

Short answer: everything. I'm not selective; I'm a synthesist. It's a good day when I can see the relationship between, say, Jennifer Hudson and the price of sugar.  It's a better day when I can make work that reflects those connections in a way that is engaging.
How did you come into the art world?

Almost by accident. I can't paint, and I don't draw, so this isn't really where I saw myself. I was working on a Ph.D. and realized that my argument was spatial as much at it was textual, so I went rogue and went to art school. Working in installation and site-specific experience, I am able to show people what I'm thinking about things like intimacy and community formation, rather than just telling them. I really enjoy being able to create conditions for collective analysis that are more than just my conclusions.
What's important for student artists to consider when trying to follow their dreams?

That, for a long time, you will be the only one who understands your practice, and you just have to tough it out through that desert and make what you feel inclined to make and look regularly back, with rigor, at the work that you've made. Whether you're getting a lot of attention or no attention, you are solely responsible for guiding your vision. Even if you're on the cover of ArtForum, you are still alone in your investment in and understanding of this work. Having more stakeholders can even make it harder to understand this condition. So, if you are actually alone for a while, with no critical feedback or market or whatever else you imagine comes with success, see this as a gift, as an honest reflection of the path that you have chosen and an unencumbered opportunity for you to continue to define your vision. And use your peers for communion rather than to measure yourself against. This is a long-distance race if you're lucky, so it doesn’t matter who looks like they are winning today or next year; if you stay with your practice over time, there is a success in that all its own.
What's the most interesting thing you've experienced lately?

I got an e-mail, out of the blue, from a student in Brazil who had read about a dance project I did in Toronto in 2010 (Dances with Strangers) and really connected with it.  She told me a story about her life, one of nomadism and living in between places - Europe, the U.S., Brazil. And she had a level of understanding of her movement that to me seemed quite extraordinary. To meet people that understand more than you do about what you’re trying to say and to be able to engage them in dialogue, that is one of the most incredible gifts of art.

Feb 7, 2012 | 1:05 pm

The CHAT Festival is underway and runs through Thursday at several locations across Duke's campus.

This festival is a celebration of work in progress, where artists, humanists and technologists get together to talk about all the ways they're pushing the boundaries of their work.

The four-day festival includes exhibits and panel discussions on Duke's East and West campuses and at Smith Warehouse.

For more information, check out this Duke Today story.

Jan 30, 2012 | 9:55 am

By Thea Neal

His work creates striking, bold movement that is hard to look away from. Jeffrey Page, 32, has choreographed for the biggest names in the business, including Beyonce, R. Kelly and Will Smith. His work is a fusion of African, hip hop and funk styles.

But Page says that it was at the age of 10 when he was “tricked” into dancing.
Growing up in Indianapolis, IN, Page said he saw flyers for hip hop group around town.

“It was actually African dance, and (the dance teacher) kind of tricked all the kids into coming. I was the only boy, and I liked it, so I stayed,” Page said.

An artist in residence at Duke this week, Page has already taught a master class and is now choreographing dances for Duke's African Repertory Ensemble, a group of 10 advanced dancers. The dance he creates will premiere April 21 at 8 p.m. and April 22 at 3 p.m. at Reynolds Theater.

Here, Page talks about his work and visit to Duke.

Who are your favorite people to work with?

I enjoy working with artists who have become master craftsmen at their particular art. Not one particular style or person. I just really enjoy working with the person who has time to polish their art. From modern dance to African to hip hop, to the celebrity, I really enjoy working with all kinds of things from the entertainment field to the very "artsy fartsy" field. It's a real joy. I enjoy working with students a lot because they have less baggage that they carry along the way. But then again, I also like working with really seasoned folks who have years of experiences, and lots and lots of bags to grab material from to color the execution with their past experience.

How would you describe your work?

I would describe my work as for and about the people. It's what art is. Art exists to reflect the people. If you want some type of picture of how the people are doing and how they're living, just look at their art. Look at their music, look at their dance. Listen to their literature. Listen to their dialect. I find that my research with African dance and my research with vernacular jazz dance gives me a better block on how to explain those things visually in terms of art. I think that's my texture, that's my hue.

What upcoming projects are you working on?

I'm working on developing a Broadway show called "The Hole in the Wall," and as artists we're always looking for funding to make the art happen. I'm looking for investors, and I've been working on that for a few years now. I produced it in LA in 2008. The show was very beautiful on a commercial stage. I'm working on that with a writing partner, and I'm really looking forward to making that happen.

What should Duke students look forward to with your visit?

I never try to expect anything. I get into a situation and then figure out what the situation is, and then I move forward to the best of my ability. What could be expected is for some great art to happen, and for some moments of reflecting the common man's language. I'm really pushing what it means to be a creative person in this world. But I'm not really sure. The artist part of me wants to make it big, but the really human part of me says I'll figure it out when I get there!

Nov 30, 2011 | 10:56 am

Since she was 4, Meridith Pingree knew she wanted to be an artist. But a robotic artist? Robots and electronics? No, that realization came later. Pingree speaks at Duke Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. at Smith Warehouse.

She spoke with Duke Today's Thea Neal about her life and work. You can read more here.


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