Celebrate 50 Years
College of Visual and Performing Arts

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Susan Domer, Marketing
and Public Relations Specialist

Office: Visual Arts, Rm 102C
Phone: 260-481-6025
E-mail: domers@ipfw.edu

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Department of Visual Communication and Design

The Department of Visual Communication and Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Haig David-West,
Department Chair and Professor

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
2101 E. Coliseum Boulevard
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499

Office: Visual Arts Building
Room: VA213
Hours: Mon - Fri 8 am - 5 pm

Phone: 260-481-6709
Fax: 260-481-6707
Email: warfield@ipfw.edu


Fine Arts | Music | Theatre | VCD

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December 2014

Full Accreditation Milestone for VPA

The College of Visual and Performing Arts has reached a milestone moment, having received notification in November of their first ever associate level membership accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Now all of the departments in the College of Visual and Performing Arts are fully accredited by their respective national organizations, continuing to offer students the same academic rigor and artistic opportunities available at more than 300 accredited colleges and universities across the nation.

The IPFW NASAD steering committee was responsible for preparing a 300-page self-study and hundreds of examples of student work for review. The self-study and site visit resulted in full accreditation through 2020.

The driving forces behind this effort are VPA Dean John O’Connell; John Hrehov, chair of Fine Arts; Haig David-West, chair of Visual Communication and Design (VCD); Suining Ding, associate professor of interior design and coordinator of the Interior Design Program, and the faculty and staff in the Departments of Fine Arts and Visual Communication and Design.

The following programs have been accredited by NASAD:
Bachelor of Arts – 4 years: Fine Art, Art Education
Bachelor of Science – 4 years: Interior Design
Bachelor of Fine Arts – 4 years: Art (Ceramics, Drawing, Metalsmithing, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture);
                Visual Communication and Design (Graphic Design, Imaging and Photography, Modeling and Animation)

Interior Design Joins College of VPA

The Interior Design program at IPFW has found a new home and has enhanced resources for students studying in this exciting area of design. During the recent NASAD accreditation process administrators learned that Interior Design would need to be accredited in the process along with Fine Arts and Visual Communication and Design.  “At that point we realized that the most appropriate college for the Interior Design program to be affiliated with was the College of Visual and Performing Art,” said Dean John O’Connell.

VPA administrators, along with Manufacturing and Construction Engineering Technology and the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, worked to make the transition possible in July 2014. The program is now part of the Department of Visual Communication and Design (VCD), chaired by Professor Haig David-West.

“I’ve always held the position that Interior Design is a cognate discipline to VCD,” said David-West. “I consider the migration of Interior Design into VCD a logical one. In addition to increasing our student enrollment, the Interior Design program brings with it faculty with impressive academic and professional credentials to improve VCD’s intellectual diversity.”

The program has new office and classroom space beginning spring 2015 dedicated to Interior Design in the Modular Classroom Building on the north end of main campus that will house 25 new computers in the computer lab as well as the materials library.

“We are thrilled to be part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts,” said Suining Ding, associate professor of interior design and coordinator of the Interior Design program. “With the new computer lab, we will be in close proximity to the other college departments where students will have access to required drawing and design classes, making their educational experience more enriched by connecting them with more student artists.”

Theatre Alumni Celebrate 50 Years

More than 140 theatre alumni and friends gathered on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, prior to the opening night of The Imaginary Invalid to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Department of Theatre. During remarks by College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean John O’Connell, forefathers of the Department of Theatre were honored during the event for their contributions to a department that has grown significantly over the years. Robert Tolan claimed basement space in the new Kettler Hall in 1964 for the fledgling program, which now includes Williams Theatre on the north end of main campus, with 11 faculty and staff serving more than 45 students. Other leaders in the Department of Theatre who were honored included Daniel Cashman, O. Franklin Kenworthy, Larry L. Life, Steven T. Sarratore and Craig A. Humphrey. A commemorative book also was produced and shared with alumni that evening. Anyone who would like to have a free copy of this book mailed to their home, please contact Susan Domer at 260-481-6025 or domers@ipfw.edu.

High School Students Compete and Win

The Visual Arts Building was teeming with talented high school student artists and their families on Nov. 20 as they celebrated having their work included in the recent IPFW High School Art and Design Competition and Exhibition. Seven cash awards and six honorable mentions were presented in Auer Performance Hall at 6 p.m., including Best in Show, chosen by Sachi Yanari-Rizzo, Fort Wayne Museum of Art curator of prints and drawings. The awards were followed by an open house featuring studio and lab demonstrations, along with viewing the artwork.

Designed as a recruiting initiative to identify promising high school art students and connect them with IPFW, 1,700 high schools and individual art teachers in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan were invited to compete. One hundred forty-three students entered for Fine Arts and 102 students for Visual Communication and Design, with more than 700 individual pieces of art submitted. Selected works will be exhibited through Dec. 14, 2014, in the Visual Arts Gallery.

Fine Arts Winners

First Place - $200
          Renee Malomboza, Jefferson High School
          Blue Daisies, oil on canvas

Second Place - $150
          Aaliyah Miller, Carroll High School
          Forbidden, wood sculpture

Third Place - $100
Savannah Swan, Mississinewa High School
           Vagabond, oil on canvas

Honorable Mention
          Rebecca Clay, Northrop High School
          Music of the Heart, jewelry making

Honorable Mention
          Lauren Haag, William Henry Harrison High School
          Home of the Brave, soft pastel

Honorable Mention
           Lillian Sprinkle, Huntington North High School
           Love Affair, altered book/mixed media

Visual Communication and Design Winners

VCD First Place - $200
          Taylor Terrell, Carroll High School
          Twisted, photography

VCD Second Place - $150
          Miranda Reagan, Jefferson High School
          Convinced I’m Coming Clean, digital photography

VCD Third Place - $100
          Erin Zehr, Carroll High School
          Alzheimer’s: A Timeline, darkroom photography

VCD Honorable Mention
          Madeline Barry, Bishop Dwenger High School
          Generations, photography

VCD Honorable Mention
          Joseph David Horn, Chesterton High School
          Hagia Sophia-Church of Holy Wisdom, drawn on Autocad-3D Print

VCD Honorable Mention
          Audrey Ottenweller, Carroll High School
          Soiled, photography

Best in Show - $500
          Emily Vandervate, Jefferson High School
          Saving Grace, inkjet print

Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s Sachi Yanari-Rizzo had the following remarks regarding the exhibition and the quality of work presented by the students, “I am always impressed with the technical skill and craftsmanship as well as the diverse ideas that high school students dare to create these days. It was a challenge to single out an overall award winner because the quality of the work was so high.  I responded to pieces that possessed technical skillfulness, strong composition and compelling content and imagery.”

“However, the work that kept drawing me back was Emily Vandervate’s inkjet print entitled Saving Grace which seemed to possess a spiritual quality. Intimate in scale, the subject is of a young woman—ironically a child herself—cradling a young child. Wax on the surface created a more diffused effect, but reminded me of old Christian cathedrals. In this pose, particularly with the tender reaching gesture of the young child, it called to my mind a reference to Madonna and Child paintings.”

The event committee included Mikhael Antone, assistant professor of imaging and photography; Suining Ding, associate professor of interior design; Susan Domer, marketing and public relations specialist; James Gabbard, continuing lecturer in photography; Christopher Ganz, associate professor of drawing and printmaking; and Dana Goodman, professor of sculpture.

Garcia’s Work Celebrated

On Oct. 7, 2014, as part of IPFW’s 50th Celebration, the Department of Fine Arts revealed seven sculptures in the Auer Lobby of the Rhinehart Music Center. These sculptures were created by Associate Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts Hector Garcia. Professor and chair of the Department of Fine Arts John Hrehov and Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts John O'Connell, worked with the Allen County Public Library to acquire and display this series of historic sculptural busts begun in 1968. The artworks are on loan from the Allen County Public Library and the collaborative installation was made possible through a generous donation from Herbert and Lorraine Weier.

William Shakespeare, the first in the series, was commissioned by Allen County Public Librarian Emeritus Rex M. Potterf. Over the next two decades, 20 historic figures were completed. The busts are surprisingly lightweight, made of plastic, and weigh only two pounds each. At the time they were created the polyester resin fiber and fiberglass he chose for his work was relatively modern.

The sculptures will rotate through the display, giving patrons the opportunity to view all of the busts over time. The first seven sculptures on display are Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Johannes Brahms, Richard Wagner, George Washington Carver, Edith Hamilton, and Albert Einstein. The Rhinehart Music Center is open to visitors every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and attendance at a concert is not required to enjoy these wonderfully reclaimed works of art.

Garcia and his wife, Carol, also donated a bronze sculpture titled The Good Shepherd to the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission. The sculpture, which depicts Jesus Christ as The Good Shepherd, was placed in the Rescue Mission's main entrance so clients and visitors will pass it as they enter and leave the building. The mission held a dedication and unveiling Tuesday, August 26, 2014. “We are beyond honored that Mr. Garcia has chosen our ministry to receive this beautiful, one of a kind piece,” said Mission Chief Development Officer Richard Cummins.

Garcia has completed hundreds of sculptures and commissioned works during his prolific career. He has produced medals and medallions for award ceremonies in Helsinki, Finland; Takaoka, Japan; Gera, Germany; Plosk, Poland; and London, England. Collections of his work are owned by notable individuals throughout the country including Ted Turner, Ray Bradbury, Herbie Hancock, Chris Schenkel, Bob Knight, Gene Keady, Richard Lugar, and Lance Armstrong.

Narayan Paints a Multi-Cultural Story

On Wednesday, Nov. 12, during IPFW’s largest-ever Diversity Showcase in the Walb Classic Ballroom, the painting Harmony in Diversity by Janak Narayan was unveiled. Narayan is a returning student from India and a senior majoring in Fine Arts. The painting was commissioned by John O’Connell, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The painting is a rich representation of the myriad diversity we have here on campus. Six hundred and seventy people from both the campus and the community attended the event, exploring displays from 48 departments and student organizations.

Relationships on Canvas

Nothing gets the buzz going like an interactive public project by Professor Audrey Ushenko. Her most recent project, which has taken nearly two years to complete, has been received with open arms by the city of Chicago. She finally added the finishing touches to her painting in the atrium of the State of Illinois James R. Thompson Center from Nov. 3 – 7, 2014 during the third phase of the project.

Over the past two years, Ushenko has been sketching the building and documenting the people who go through the building each day. During the week-long interactive project the first week of November, she engaged the public in the creative process with her painting and public discussion.

In an article in artdaily.org Ushenko was quoted as saying, “I love working in public venues, where I can be inspired by the stream of life surrounding me,” said Ushenko. “I am fascinated by the web of relationships I see, and capturing the diversity of people coexisting in the same space, each bringing a sense of individual history and cultural identity. Juxtaposing the geometry of the Thompson Center’s post-modern architecture against this microcosm of individuals has been fascinating and inspiring.”

The James R. Thompson Center project was sponsored by the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery and featured on-line in Hyperallergenic and Half Stack Magazine. In addition to the support of the Illinois State Museum, Ushenko received an Individual Artist Development Grant from the Illinois Arts Council and materials and logistics support from Dean O’Connell.

Ushenko also participated in the Fourth Annual Art for Heart Exhibition that ran Oct. 4 – 11, 014

The juried exhibition features 15 artists selected through a competition and is presented by the Polish Museum of America, Chicago, in their Great Hall to benefit the Gift of Heart Foundation.

Expressions Archive


2014-15 Subscription Season


Spring 2014 Concert Season 


2013-2014 Visual Arts Gallery Season


Alumni Successes


Several professors affiliated with the College of Visual and Performing Arts will retire on Dec. 31, 2014.  Their service to VPA has been invaluable over the years and they have made a lasting impression on students, faculty and staff.  We wish them great success in their future endeavors and if you would like to congratulate them before the end of the semester, here is an opportunity to do so. Click the professor’s name and you will go directly to their faculty page for contact information.

Robert D. Bean, professor of music
Barbara Resch, professor of music and chair of the Department of Music
Steven T. Sarratore, professor of theatre and associate vice chancellor of academic programs

Andres Montenegro, assistant professor of computer animation, was a selected artist in the IDEAS 2014 Digital Art Exhibition, and International Digital Media Arts Association Conference, on November 5-7, at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. His piece, The Phenomenological Targets, is an installation based on interactive animations developed through augmented reality and mobile technology. He also presented an artist talk about his work in animation and interactive immersive environment based on his awarded-winning animation The Little Quest of Petrovsky as the creative focus. He also participated in the International Digital Media Arts Association Conference at Utah Valley University with a research paper titled “Two Phenomenological Notions Expressed in the Interactive Art of Jeffrey Shaw and Myron Krueger,” to be published in the International Digital Media Art Journal.

Several IPFW music majors walked away with honors at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Indiana State Competition Nov. 1, 2014, at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana. NATS is the largest organization of teachers of singing in the world. Twenty-one IPFW music majors were among more than 350 vocalists in this year’s competition. Students study with individual voice instructors Sam Savage, assistant professor of voice, and associate music faculty members Ashlee Bickley , Julie Donnell, and Mark Stachofsky and were accompanied on the piano by Donna Hartleroad, Elena Bardi, and Jodi Thomas. The winners included:

Kristopher Andorfer - 1st Place Sophomore Men
De'Andre Martin - 3rd Place, Sophomore Men
Okara Imani - 2nd Place, Senior Women
Megan Derbyshire - 2nd Place, Senior Women
Jonathan Warner - 2nd Place, Freshman Men
Brandon Melia - 3rd Place, Freshman Men
Community Arts Academy Student Kate Toenges - 1st Place, High School Women

One of Sara Nordling’s fiber works was included in The Red and the Black, a group exhibition at the World of Threads Festival in November, along with a solo exhibition of her work at another location. The shows ran the month of November at various locations in Oakville, Ontario. The festival examines traditional and contemporary art approaches to fiber arts, crafts and textiles.

Blane Pressler (’04, theatre) recently appeared in his one-man show It Will Never Happen at Ozark Actors Theatre, developed with NYC music director David Maglione. Late this year Pressler will go back to redevelop his one-man show for its NYC debut in early 2015. In November, he starred in a new musical, Wendy's Shadow, presented at the Irvington Town Hall Theatre’s New Work Series in Irvington, New York. The musical has been in development for more than a year and Pressler was featured on the YouTube channel Famous in New York singing “My Name is Hook,” a number from the show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpLf5-vx4c4

Stephanie Lochbihler (’12) graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and also performed on the Williams Theatre stage in 2010 in the comedy Noises Off! She is currently working on a Ph.D. in psychology at Indiana University Bloomington and was featured in a Compound W commercial on the company's web site. Enoy!

Ron Lewis, associate faculty member in VCD, has been appointed Digital Media Assistant in IPFW’s Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT). This new opportunity gives Lewis an opportunity to use his numerous talents in design and computer graphics and technology to help instructors across campus create a more contemporary learning environment for their students.

Paintings by Jason Stopa (‘05, painting) were part of Junction, a group exhibition at the Edward Thorp Gallery in New York City from Sept. 12 – Oct. 25, 2014. Other painters featured in the exhibition included Mark De Long, Sarah Faux, Kurt Lightner and Russell Tyler.

Kari Larsen (’13, painting) has started a fashion design business with her design partner Ron Ostlund Jr, called Ostari Couture.

Artworks by senior fine arts major Andrew Dubache and alumnus Jeremy Stroup (’13, sculpture) are currently featured in the 10th Regional Exhibition at Artlink from Dec. 12 – Jan. 14, 2014.