Uncommon collage

Collaborative concert fuses best of KU's School of Fine Arts


Brett Garland/Journal-World Photo Illustration

"School of Fine Arts" is an institutional name.

It denotes campus buildings, administrators and academic departments. It sounds lofty ... and lifeless.

But that's just the facade.

The Kansas University school's real face shows itself when dancers leap, jazz ensembles flash their brass, ceramists mold sculptures from hunks of clay and painters animate blank canvases with color.

Compress the student and faculty artists and performers and their diverse works into one hall for 90 minutes, and a dynamic picture begins to form.

The school calls it a Collage Concert -- an artistic composition formed from an amalgam of media and genres.

It's the only time all year the art, design, music and dance departments collaborate for one show.

"You really get a sense of who makes up the fine arts school and what they're doing, how they're touching lives through the arts, through the whole array of the arts," said Diana Carlin, Fine Arts Advisory Board member and dean of KU's graduate school and international programs.

"You come to realize what wonderful artists we have over in that school. It's a wonderful showcase -- a very good recruiting device also."

The fast-paced concert, which coincides with KU's Open House weekend, is at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Lied Center. Proceeds benefit the School of Fine Arts.

A pre-concert reception and silent auction precede the show at 5:30 p.m. Artwork and collages by area artists, members of the Fine Arts Advisory Board and notable Lawrence figures, including regional artists Louis Copt and Jane Pronko; Lawrence Arts Center director Ann Evans; KU men's basketball coach Bill Self; and former KU sports standouts Danny Manning, Gale Sayers and Kevin Pritchard will be auctioned to raise money for the Fine Arts Educational Enhancement Fund.

Sum of its parts

Former KU fine arts dean Toni-Marie Montgomery dreamed up the Collage Concert four years ago.

"The School of Fine Arts is divided among three academic departments in four separate buildings. I saw a need for bringing together the faculty and staff or the three departments and in showcasing the many talents of these individuals for the community," Montgomery said in an e-mail from Northwestern University, where she's beginning her stint as dean of the music school.

"The Collage Concert was a huge success. I remember sitting in the audience during the first concert, which took place on a glorious and sunny Sunday afternoon. We had barely 100 in the audience. The numbers have increased to nearly 1,000 during the second and third years."

Steven Hedden, KU's new fine arts dean, happily inherited the tradition.

"The Collage Concert works particularly well to get people aware of the multiple aspects of the School of Fine Arts," he said. "It is important that we present the totality of the school because we have quite a remarkable reach."

Not only do the concert and silent auction highlight student talents, but they also help them develop those talents. Funds raised for the school go toward scholarships, and money raised for the enhancement fund sends students to competitions and exhibitions off campus.

"It allows them to participate," said Barbara Nash, co-chairwoman of the board's special events committee. "You sit in a room for so long, it really helps you to get out and see the world."

Last year's auction raised $9,000.

Past Event

4th annual Collage Concert

  • Friday, September 19, 2003, 5:30 p.m.
  • Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive, KU campus, Lawrence
  • All ages / $5 - $60


Little bit of everything

"The first Collage Concert ran too long," said board member and artist Barbara Nordling. "Now they make it 90 minutes, and a smattering of everything is covered. I just find it real exciting because it's just a showcase of the very best that we have and how broad a scope we cover."

Here's a look at the lineup:

  • "Pegasus" from The Spirit Sleeping by John Gibson, featuring the KU Wind Ensemble, conducted by John Lynch, director of bands.
  • "Quartet in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1" by Beethoven, performed by the KU String Quartet.
  • "Dormiva Dolcemente" by Giovanni Gabrieli, performed by the KU Chamber Choir, led by John Paul Johnson, director of choral activities.
  • "So I'll Sing With My Voice," a spiritual arranged by Dominick Argento, performed by the KU Chamber Choir, led by Johnson.
  • The University Symphony Orchestra, led by Nicholas Uljanov, KU's new director of orchestral activities.
  • "Whistle, Maggie, Whistle," an American folk song arranged by D. Stocker, performed by the KU Men's Glee Club, directed by Hugo A. Vera, with S'ng Oh, assistant conductor.
  • A performance by KU Jazz Combo I, conducted by Dan Gailey, director of jazz studies.
  • A special video from the design department featuring images of students' work from special topics in animation for illustration.
  • "Sonata for Piano, Op. 26, I, Fuga" by Samuel Barber, performed by Lori Dunn, piano.
  • Ballet performance: An excerpt from "Pas de Trois" from Swan Lake, Act I, choreographed after Marius Petip, with music by Tchaikovsky, performed by dancers Rachel Moses, Lauren McKim, and Jeff Potter.
  • "Queen of the Night" from "The Magic Flute" by Mozart, featuring Mark Ferrell, associate professor of voice, on piano, vocalist to be announced.
  • A second video from the design department featuring images of students' work from special topics in animation for illustration.
  • "Xylophonia," by Joe Green, arranged by Bob Becker, performed by the KU Percussion Ensemble I.
  • "By Friday," a special performance piece by former and current art department students, produced and directed by Maria Velasco, associate professor of installation art.
  • Classical East Indian dance (Bharata Natyam) titled "Muruga Kautuvam" with choreography of the Bharata Natyam tradition, featuring dancer Patrick Suzeau.
  • "Roger Shimomura: A Legacy in Art," a special video documentary produced by Jim Jewell and Velasco.
  • A modern dance piece excerpt from "Missa Brevis in Tempore Belli," choreographed by Jose Limón, with music by Zoltan Kodaly, featuring the University Dance Company.
  • KU Marching Jayhawks, with special excerpts from the 2003 season, led by Jim Hudson, KU's new associate director of bands.


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