Ailyn Pitt '22 BFA Studio Arts

Ailyn Pitt BFA Studio Arts

Ailyn Pitt believes in the healing power of art both through creating it and by experiencing it.

Pitt is the mastermind behind “Art’s Way Out,” a YouTube channel that provides a space for artists to talk about their purpose and their motivation behind the art form they are representing:

“When you look at a painting or sculpture or listen to music or see a play, we see the work but we don’t always know the artists’ motivations. There’s a whole person with feelings behind the work. I wanted to get to know the people.”

From early on, Pitt loved to draw, and during high school, she discovered an interest in psychology. She had been accepted into several universities, but finances were a real issue. UNCG offered her a Guarantee Scholarship, a selective scholarship for high-achieving, low-income students:

“I really wanted to come to UNCG, but I knew that for my parents, for my family, I really needed to go where I was offered the most scholarship support. I was excited and honored when the UNCG Guarantee came through. And, it wasn’t just financial aid—the Guarantee doesn’t just give you the funding and walk away. There’s a whole support system with retreats, workshops, and job opportunities.”

Pitt entered UNCG as a psychology major but in her sophomore year, she knew she needed to listen to her heart:  (more…)

Emilee Fann '22 BA Arts Administration

Emilee Fann ’22 BA Arts Administration

Emilee Fann saw herself living a life in the arts but wasn’t quite sure what form that would take until she got to UNCG:

“I’d heard that UNCG had a great Theatre Education program, so I transferred here and that’s where I started. From that point, it was a matter of trial and error to find my exact place in the arts. I tried a lot of different things. I worked backstage. I did costuming and props. I took some acting classes.”

She was talking with another student about all the things she loved to do, and he pointed her in the direction of Arts Administration:

“The Arts Administration program has a huge variety of class offerings. Because it’s a program with such a wide range, everyone is required to have a minor. And this is where it gets really interesting. You have people who are minoring in the arts, but there are also people who are minoring in areas from across the University, so you get this great, big perspective outside of your own.The whole program is like an open conversation, and it opens doors to learning so many things.”

Fann says it was that 30,000 feet view of the arts with the ability to personalize her experience that made Arts Administration the right degree track for her:   (more…)

Photo of Brianca Robinson '22 BFA Drama: Design and Technical Production

Brianca Robinson ’22 BFA – Drama: Design and Technical Production

Brianca Robinson has a style that she is ready to share with the world. While earning a BFA in Drama: Design and Technical Production at UNCG, Robinson focused on costume design:

“Creating costumes is a big part of helping an actor create a role. It’s the clothing and those nuances like accessories and hairstyles that allow the actor to develop the character further. An actor finally feels like they’re becoming the character once they put on that costume.”

Robinson started out studying filmmaking but decided that wasn’t exactly the path she wanted to pursue, so she transferred to CVPA’s School of Theatre. She had performed in shows during high school and decided to try her hand at production:

“The program here allowed me to combine different aspects of who I am, which was gratifying. I was able to use my acting, my drawing, and my directing. I really love the costuming process, but I still want to act and direct at some point. The classes I have taken have set me up to do all of that. Classes like Acting I, Directing, and Play Analysis helped shape me and prepared me for doing a lot of things because now my viewpoint and experience are so wide.”

Robinson credits the faculty with teaching her more than stagecrafts:

“I feel like the professors here were just what I needed. They allowed me to be a student first, and they really nurtured my ability to grow and develop then allowed me to become the professional I knew I could be. Professor Clare Parker teaches costuming, and she really helped me hone in and get detailed on my craft. Even when my class with her was over, she was happy to look over my portfolio. Josh Purvis’s acting class really helped me understand the actor’s perspective and that of the playwright. A script is the blueprint, and it’s important to treat the playwright’s intention with such care.”  (more…)

Meet Maureen Shyu – New Media and Design

Tell us about yourself?
I am 21 and a recent graduate from UNCG
Major in New Media and Design
I am from a Taiwanese family and born in Michigan
I have a dog named Akali, a conure named Floofy, and a parakeet named Shiro.
Hobbies and interests include drawing, painting, making props, fashion, photography, dance, computer building, video games, houseplants, and reading.

Was there a moment or time in your life when you realized you wanted to be an artist?
The moment I realized I wanted to be an artist was when I took a random summer art camp during middle school. The teacher was incredibly nice to me and introduced all sorts of materials and resources for me to try. I remember going to an art store after the camp ended and was extremely excited to buy a watercolor palette and a book about fashion illustration.

What discipline or medium do make most of you work in?
In terms of my professional work, I work with digital media. This includes illustration, design, and some photography and motion graphics. I decided on digital media because it is increasingly becoming more relevant in our daily lives, and we are always surrounded by results of technology combined with art. As hobbies, I am interested in all kinds of art forms. I love making sculptures and 3D objects, painting with acrylic, oil, and watercolor, drawing with charcoal, oil pastels, markers, and colored pencils, making collages, and more.

 

 

Currently, what is your art practice about?
My art somewhat stems from watching and playing video games ever since I was young. I was drawn to those unimaginable worlds and the stories being told. I love creating peaceful and serene works that can range from fantastical worlds to romanticized aspects of mundane life. I think my art describes the outlook on life that I strive to have. I also really like incorporating nature into my art.

Why do you make art?
I make art because I always wish to be in a perfect, exaggerated, and ethereal version of our reality. I always imagine immersing myself in a different world. Art provides the full freedom to create a unique universe, and the process of inventing it is a positive response and refutation of my stress and anxiety. My goal is to share my imagination and invite viewers into places I find comfort in.

What kind of experiences did you have in the School of Art that you found memorable and valuable to you as an artist?
I honestly can’t pinpoint anything that wasn’t a good experience or valuable to me as an artist. Every instructor is incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. There are infinite resources openly available, and students are encouraged to use them. I have not personally participated in any events, but I have seen many interesting ones being hosted and clubs that seem great to be a part of. It has been really encouraging to be surrounded by people who are just as passionate about art as I am, and I never felt out of place.

What would you say to someone who wants to pursue a creative life but on the fence about a degree path in Art at UNCG?
If art is truly what you are passionate about, then definitely go for it. I think it is important to know what you are getting yourself into though, and always do your research to make sure you have no regrets. The students and staff at UNCG have been incredibly kind and understanding, and I am sure that new students will have a great experience here. For those who love art, but do not have the opportunity to earn an art degree due to other circumstances, I want to encourage them to always continue being an artist. You can always keep building your portfolio and continue enjoying art.

How can we all connect with you and learn more about your art?
Instagram – @king.arisa
Portfolio – https://maureenshyu.crevado.com/

photo of James Goins and Scott Garrison

Behind the Curtain: A Top-to-Bottom Tour of the UNCG Auditorium

Walk into the UNCG Auditorium and you will likely be struck by the beauty of the Art Deco interior—the red-and-gold color scheme and the reconstructed original chandelier. You might enjoy a performance of music or theater or perhaps a lecture by a luminary of the stage or screen. But there is so much more to the Auditorium than what meets the eye. To see it all, you must travel two stories down to the basement and more than 60 feet up to the attic, and for that, you will need a tour guide. Enter stage left: Auditorium Production Manager James Goins and Technical Director Scott Garrison.

We start in the basement.

Garrison: This is what we call “chairage” (like steerage). That’s because there’s a metric ton of chairs down here: extra seating for the Auditorium and chairs from the orchestra pit. If it’s a chair, it lives down here. (Garrison leads us through a sea of chairs and

Below the stage in UNCG Auditorium is the mechanism that raises and lowers the orchestra pit.
Below the stage in UNCG Auditorium is the mechanism that raises and lowers the orchestra pit.

work carts and boxes full of tools and casters and lighting gels). And through this door is the monstrous mechanism that raises and lowers the orchestra pit. Don’t worry, you’d have to work really hard to get squashed, because there are all kinds of safety measures in place.

One floor up are the dressing rooms. Garrison’s office is there, too, where he shows us a row of original seats and a desk piled with old lighting plots. Then we head to the main level and onto the stage.

Goins (pointing upward at the flyspace): Everything runs on a counterweight system: it’s how we raise and lower curtains and lights and backdrops. You’ll notice there are a lot of ropes back here.

Technical Director Scott Garrison on the fly rail demonstrating the counterweight system
Technical Director Scott Garrison on the fly rail demonstrating the counterweight system

Back in the 1600s, the theater season coincided with the time of year when sailors had time off from ships and were hired to do backstage work because they had extensive knowledge of ropes, rigging, and knots.

In 2017 some of that rigging and the main curtain had to be replaced because a hot stage light caused it to catch fire.

Garrison: It was during the final dress rehearsal for the UNCG opera. My wife and I had just gotten home from dinner, and I had just popped open a beer when I received the phone call. I tossed that beer at my wife and said “I gotta go, baby, my building’s on fire!” (more…)