Skip Navigation

Duke University Arts

Mar 20, 2012

Graduation With Distinction Projects in the Arts

The Graduation with Distinction program in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences allows students to pursue individual research and creative projects at the culmination of their undergraduate studies. The projects can be within their major or outside of it. This year, as always, there is a diverse array of distinction projects in the arts, including original creative work in many genres as well as productions and performances and works of scholarship.

Projects are listed below by department or program. Click on a link to jump to the appropriate section:

  • Arts of the Moving Image (student-made films)
  • Creative Writing (novels, short stories, and a screenplay);
  • Dance (original choreography and classic ballet)
  • Theater (productions of classic plays and a medieval pageant)
  • Music (a study of gospel and a composition for carillon)
  • Art, Art History & Visual Studies (original artwork and documentary photography, art historical studies, a graphic novel and an interdisciplinary exploration of biological boundaries)

Many of the projects include a performance or exhibition. Here are some of the events that we are aware of. Please consider attending — these students have worked very hard and deserve our support.

Mar 19, 2012

New Work By Duke University Graduate Student David Kirkland Garner To Be Performed This Sunday


David Garner by Casey Elia of Elia Photography.

David Garner by Casey Elia of Elia Photography.
< >

Duke University graduate student David Kirkland Garner is the 2012 winner of the Mallarmé Chamber Players Edging the Cut composition contest. In addition to a $500 prize, the 10-minute composition will be performed by Mallarmé on their upcoming concert on May 6, 2012. The contest was opened to any Duke University student to compose a work,no more than 10 minutes in length, with specific parameters of instrumentation. Mallarmé is passionate about commissioning new music, developing community partnerships and providing educational opportunities,and this project, in cooperation with Duke University and their outstanding music composition department,ties in well with organizational priorities.

Garner’s work “the machine without horses” will be on the concert program Edging the Cut along with works by Duke professors Scott Lindroth and John Supko as well as works by David Stock, Judd Greenstein and Louis Andriessen. The concert will be held at Motorco Music Hall in Durham (NC) on Sunday,May 6, 2012,at 7:00 PM. Performers include keyboard player Eric Hirsh (Orquesta GarDal and The Beast) and violinist Karen Strittmatter Galvin(NC Symphony, New Music Raleigh)and percussionist Shawn Galvin (New Music Raleigh), bassist Craig Brown (NC Symphony), guitarist Marc Faris and saxophonist William Robin.

Garner remarked, “I am thrilled to be able to hear a new work come to life at the hands of the outstanding Mallarmé Chamber Players. It is a special treat to work with a local ensemble committed to new music.”  From the forward of Garner’s piece: “‘the machine without horses’ is taken from a traditional Scottish fiddle tune and set dance of the same name.… The musical language throughout seeks to combine contemporary compositional approaches with pop music, folk music and jazz, all with a sense of humor and a touch of whimsy.” The instrumentation with non-typical chamber music instruments such as electric guitar, saxophone and percussion helps give this work a contemporary feel.

WHAT:               Edging the Cut

WHEN:               Sunday, May 6, 2012, 7:00 PM

WHERE:             Motorco Music Hall, 723 Rigsbee Avenue, Durham NC

TICKET INFO:  $18 in advance | $20 door; $15 K-12 Educators | $ Students at the door w/ valid ID (subject to availability)

  To purchase tickets or for more information go to or call 919-560-2788.

Mar 15, 2012

Optical Installation by Visiting Artist Ethan Jackson


Yuma Crossing, Anamorphic Video, Detail, from Orbis Viridis Obscurus, 2008.

Childress House, 2007. Optical Installation. Photo: Ethan Jackson
< >

See optical installation by visiting artist Ethan Jackson in the Divinity School Cloister Walk.

Visiting artist Ethan Jackson is a visual artist working in optical installation, lens-based imagery, and photographic media.  He is one of nine artists at Duke this year as part of the Immersed in Every Sense lecture series presented by Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies.

Light, vision, image and imagination are the basis for Jackson’s projects that range across perceptual, spatial, documentary and experiential territory.  His current projects are camera obscura-based transformations of architectural space into illuminated, contemplative environments.  Other works deal with aspects of landscape representation and the notion of place; illusions of space from painting to lens-based representation; themes of violence, mortality and morality in vernacular imagery.  Jackson attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and Williams College.  He is currently working in Portland, Oregon.

Specific dates, times, and programming for each visiting artist are posted to the Duke University Events calendar (, the Duke Arts website (, and the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies website ( Please contact Merrill Shatzman, Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies,, for additional information.

Learn more about Ethan Jackson on his website.

The installation a the Divinity School is co-sponsored by Information Science + Information Studiesand supported by the Arts and Aesthetics Committee of the Divinity School.

This project was supported by the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts and Council for the Arts Visiting Artist Program of Duke University.

Mar 15, 2012

Duke Composer Jaffe Elected To American Academy of Arts and Letters


< >

Tune in to "The State of Things" on WUNC 91.5 FM (Tuesday, March 27) at noon to hear an interview with Stephen Jaffe, the Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Professor of Music at Duke University, who has been named to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

See the featured story at the link below from the NY Times ArtsBeat section published on Friday, March 9, 2012 and read about it in Duke Today or in The Chronicle.

Learn more about Professor Jaffe here:

Mar 8, 2012

Sophomore to Play with Duke Symphony Orchestra

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 23, 2012

Stranger: A Festival in Search of Hospitable Acts


Stranger: A Festival in Search of Hospitable Acts

Photo by Elysia Su
< >

The Duke University Department of Theater Studies and Sojourn Theatre of Portland (OR) present The Stranger Festival all day Friday, February 24, 2012 in locations throughout Durham.

The Festival is the culmination of a year of conversations and meditations about the dynamics of hospitality in Durham, from tiny daily acts of civility to the impacts of rapidly changing public policy.  Duke students, faculty, Durham citizens, and guest artists from Sojourn Theatre will host a series of micro-events throughout Durham that intersect with and explore the daily patterns of the city.

According to Sojourn Theatre artistic director Michael Rohd, “We’ve taken on lots of projects that have some kind of bridge impulse in them. We want to bring people into contact who aren’t generally connected with each other.”

“Duke and Durham are geographically linked, but we felt there were plenty of bridges to be built between the two,” says Torry Bend, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Theater Studies at Duke and chief collaborator with Sojourn.

"This Sojourn residency created a forum in which Duke students and the Durham community could engage in the act of creation under the advisement of Sojourn Theatre – a nationally-known company noted for its ability to pair civic engagement with performance.

“In the act of producing The Stranger Festival, the collaborating students, faculty and Durham residents have defined the important subjects that affect their shared community and have created specially for that community.”

Events will take place on Friday, February 24 around Durham and are free and open to the public. 

For more information go the The Stranger Festival website.

Read about it in today's Chronicle.


Browse by Tag