Christal Brown teaching
Picture of Kyrese Washington BM Performance: Woodwinds

Commencement Profile Kyrese Washington BM Performance: Woodwinds

Kyrese Washington has played a number of instruments but has always come back to the flute:

“From the minute I picked up a flute in sixth grade band class, it just seemed easy for me to make music with it.”

Throughout middle and high school in their hometown of Raleigh, Washington played through the woodwind section—flute, oboe, clarinet—switching instruments with ease, depending on what the band needed. In eighth grade, they started taking flute lessons at the Community Music School. Even then, Washington was ready and able to play anything they were handed:

“I just wanted to play music all the time. I played saxophone with the Community Music School’s jazz band. I played at their donor events. Anytime there was a performance opportunity, I jumped on it.” (more…)

Picture of Chelsea Hilding '22 MFA Dance: Choreography Teaching

Commencement Profile Chelsea Hilding MFA Dance: Choreography

Chelsea Hilding is determined to break through the barrier of body image to make ballet more accessible:

“We’re told ballet is for very thin, young girls, and women. Ballet studios are so often decorated with gendered photos of girls in pink tutus. But I believe ballet is personal, and it’s for everyone. Ballet is the love of my life. I was always told I don’t have a body for it. And it got to the point where it was like she’s never going to have a career in this. Find something else. Well, look at me now—I’m still here!”

Hilding’s dance journey began in Vermont when she was just three years old. Her parents put her into a ballet class as an activity, not realizing that they’d enrolled her in what was actually a top-rate studio. It turned out to be exactly the right place for her:

“The studio was run very much like a conservatory. I had incredible training with ballet celebrities coming in for masterclasses. I latched on hard. By the time I was five, I knew I wanted to be a ballet instructor. That was the dream—not to be a dancer, but to be a teacher. I had this VHS tape of Barishnikov, which I studied until it wore out. I wrote dance combinations on the bus on the way to and from the studio.” (more…)

A Growing Art Form: Painting with Bacteria

Karen Ingram (’96 Studio Art, Concentration in Painting) shines ultraviolet light on a petri dish to reveal a design made by painting with bacteria.
Karen Ingram (’96 Studio Art, Concentration in Painting) shines ultraviolet light on a petri dish to reveal a design made by painting with bacteria.

Peanut butter and jelly…spaghetti and meatballs…painting and bacteria. Wait, what?

It may sound like the most impossible combination, but it’s just the kind of art + science mashup that Karen Ingram (’96 BFA Studio Art, Concentration in Painting) loves to explore:

“I think there’s a real overlap, and I think that the more conscious we are as artists about that overlap, the more we can work with things like bacteria as a material. Art and Science are closer than you think. I’m interested in the idea of using bacteria as a medium but also conceptually what that means for the future of technology and biotechnology.”

Ingram is an artist, graphic designer, and creative director who focuses on science communications. She does work for  government entities, and higher education. She got interested in bio-art after co-organizing a speaker series called the Empiricist League which is described by the science, politics, and tech outlet FiveThirtyEight as an

“ad-hoc, small scale TED Talk for scientists and the New Yorkers who adore them.”  (more…)

Photograph of Hugh Hysell ('88 BFA Acting) and members of The Broadway COVID Safety Team

Spartan Leads Broadway COVID Safety Team

After a dark winter of shutdowns caused by COVID breakthrough cases and the widespread Omicron variant, audiences are cautiously returning to theaters, and as they do, safety is top priority for School of Theatre Alumnus Hugh Hysell.

Hysell (‘88 BFA Acting) leads The Broadway COVID Safety Team, which celebrated a record setting milestone this week, facilitating COVID compliance safety support for its 2000th Broadway performance in NYC.

“It’s really great to be part of the reopening of Broadway. We’re the gateway to the building. We have to make sure COVID doesn’t enter the building. That’s the bottom line.”

In addition to checking proof of vaccination and photo ID of every ticket holder, the safety team also provides manpower backstage, providing support for the cast, crew, ushers, concessions vendors, and anyone who comes into the theater.

“Vaccination is so important to stopping the spread of this virus, and making sure everyone has one is crucial. We can’t rely on social distancing and we can’t really even do social distancing here because the breakeven point is so high on Broadway shows that we need at least 80% capacity at full-price to keep going.” (more…)

Photo of artist Sherrill Roland

Sherrill Roland exhibits at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

Sherrill Roland (MFA 2017/BFA 2009) exhibits his drawings, and multimedia sculptures reflecting his life experiences after a wrongful incarceration in the exhibition Hindsight Bias at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York. This exhibition follows up from his “Jumpsuit Project” in which he wore an orange jumpsuit and encouraged dialog with the community about what it means to be incarcerated. To read more about Roland’s story and his reflections on his experience with the American criminal justice system see the January 20, 2022 Guardian Article by David Smith.

sculpture installation
Sherrill Roland “Home & Away” 2021 – 2022

Hindsight Bias can be viewed at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York from January 8 – February 5, 2022