Kevin Vanek

School of Art Has New Foundry Director

College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the appointment of Kevin Vanek to the position of Foundry Director in the School of Art.

Vanek comes to UNC Greensboro from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) where he was the Studio Technician and an adjunct faculty member in 3D Design, Sculpture, and Foundry. Prior to teaching at USM, Vanek was a Master Fabrication Specialist for Bennett Forgeworks in Ridgeway, Colorado and a Visiting Artist at Colorado Mesa University.

Vanek describes himself as a dedicated Foundryman who crafts one-of-a-kind reliquaries using metal as an intuitive attempt to create physical objects that represent mental health and other societal issues. He has exhibited throughout the South and the East Coast at galleries including Artfields 2019 in Lake City, SC; Art on the Atlanta Beltline in GA; Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, OH; the National Ornamental Metals Museum in Memphis, TN; and Wiregrass Museum of Art, Dothan, AL. He has also had solo shows at several American university galleries.

From 2017 to 2019, Vanek co-chaired Demonstrations as a member of the Steering Committee for the National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices. In 2018 he was a Hot Metal Artist in Residence at Franconia Sculpture Park, and he is a 2020 recipient of a Visual Artist Fellowship from the Mississippi Artist Commission.

Kevin Vanek holds an MFA in Sculpture from East Carolina University and a BFA in 3-D Studio Art: Sculpture and Glass from Bowling Green State University.

Please join us in welcoming Kevin Vanek to the CVPA faculty!
About CVPA
The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) at UNC Greensboro is the premier and most comprehensive set of visual and performing arts programs in North Carolina with Schools of Art, Dance, Music, and Theatre. CVPA has been designated by the UNC System Board of Governors as an “area of distinction.” CVPA transforms lives by providing exceptional artistic and academic experiences. www.vpa.uncg

CVPA Welcomes New Faculty and Staff

Welcome New Faculty and Staff!
During the spring and summer of 2020, CVPA added ten (10) full-time faculty members and two (2) new staff members. We officially welcomed (pictured L to R)

(Top Row)
Tannis Boyajian (Scene Shop Supervisor)
Mya Brown (Assistant Professor of Theatre–Theatre Generalist in Acting/Directing)
Tori Foster (Assistant Professor of New Media & Design)
Dan Hale (Visiting Assistant Professor of Animation)

(Middle Row)
April Hill (Lecturer in Musical Theatre–Voice)
Catrina Kim (Assistant Professor of Music Theory)
Garrett Klein (Assistant Professor of Trumpet)
Kelley O’Brien (Assistant Professor of New Media & Design)

(Bottom Row)
Matthew Reese (Graduate Student Services – School of Music)
Natalie Sowell (Director of the School of Theatre and Associate Professor of Theatre)
Emily Voelker (Assistant Professor of Art History)
Tara Webb (Lecturer in Costume Technology)

Art in Motion: The Future of Animation

Visiting Artist working with student
Pixar Art Director Dan Holland working with an art student during a 2019 workshop
The art of animation involves motion and movement. The very definition of the word animation means liveliness, energy, and vigor. Animation at CVPA is all of that and on the verge of taking off in a very big way.

But let’s rewind the reel for a little history. Associate Professor of Art History Dr. Heather Holian taught a class on “The Art of Disney” when she was in graduate school at Indiana University. She brought that idea to UNC Greensboro, where she expanded the course to include Pixar. Over the years, she has arranged visits from Pixar artists to campus for lectures and workshops. The School of Art also has a number of dedicated animation courses in its New Media & Design curriculum, as well as three Art History courses focused on the art and artists of Disney and Pixar, all taught by Holian. In December of 2019, the School of Art, with the support of Dean bruce mcclung, held a visioning retreat. Holian wasn’t shy about her dreams for animation:

“I spoke up at that meeting and said that I wanted UNCG’s School of Art to be known nationally for recruiting and graduating a highly diverse pool of talented young animators prepared to tell new and different stories in this medium. I think it’s eminently reasonable to set our sights on being the state school of choice for training and empowering new, diverse voices in animation.”

Holian says animation programs are an asset to any art school:

“Animation is an art form in its own regard and it draws upon a range of creative visual and technical skills, some of them quite specific to this field, while others are intertwined with more traditional art forms like drawing, design, photography, and even sculpture and painting. Animation in a School of Art is a perfect marriage of traditional and still relatively new media.”

New this year to CVPA is Dan Hale, Visiting Assistant Professor of Animation, who has experience in the area of 3D animation, the practice of which requires multiple phases to take a project from start to finish. His experience with the full pipeline process will enable him to give insight and direction on each of the phases as well as guide the senior capstone production. Hale agrees that animation will play an important role in the School of Art:

“The field of animation continues to grow, and while in years past one would almost have to commit to moving to the West Coast to gain employment after graduation, a shifting landscape is producing more opportunities closer to home. The rapidly expanding number of streaming platforms as well as online staples like YouTube and Vimeo offer no shortage of ways to reach an audience. Our area is also home to a multitude of video game companies who are always on the lookout for talented digital 3D artists, so to be able to show students practical employment outcomes here in North Carolina is a real benefit.”

Hale holds a degree in Media Studies from UNC Greensboro, and he’s excited to be back:

“It would not be a stretch to say that if I had been asked upon entering graduate school to draw up my dream job, this would have been it. The diversity and immense talent of the students here at UNC Greensboro, coupled with the commitment to the arts by the community at large, makes Greensboro a great incubator of ideas and culture, and an ideal place to be.”

Holian says she’s already thinking about what’s next:

“The addition of Dan to our team enables us to start thinking more expansively about what animation can be at UNC Greensboro! We are excited about the possibility of new, additional curriculum in the area and especially excited about the development of a BFA Animation–a degree track that we expect to add to the School very soon.”

Sounds like animation at CVPA is heading, in the words of Pixar character Buzz Lightyear, “to infinity and beyond!”

Graduate Dance Programs Now Accepting Applications

The UNCG School of Dance invites applications for our resident MFA and MA programs to begin in Fall 2021.

The MFA in Choreography is a three-year program designed to help students develop and clarify their choreographic voices. The MA in Theories & Practices can be completed with 36 hours and focuses on the investigation of dance through a wide range of areas such as bodily training and cultural and social critique. MA and MFA dance students work as graduate assistants in a wide variety of roles and teach their own classes as instructors of record in their second and third years. MFA students also receive support for a fully produced concert in the Dance Theater in their third year.

UNCG School of Dance faculty is comprised of accomplished, internationally recognized artists and dance scholars; our MFA alumni teach at various university dance programs throughout the United States, and our MA alumni have gone on to Ph.D. programs at prestigious universities. The School of Dance prides itself on its diverse faculty and student body; we welcome applications from underrepresented groups, including non-traditional applicants.

Applications for the MA and MFA programs are now open at under the “Graduate” tab. The deadline to apply is November 15, 2020. Auditions in January 2021 will be virtual. The GRE is not required for entry into these programs.

For more information, visit You can also contact us at

Music Students Participate in Webinar Series

As part of the hybrid course offerings with the large instrumental ensembles this semester, the Bands and Orchestras have organized a series of panel discussions on current issues in music with compelling guests from around the country. These sessions are intended to stimulate meaningful reflection and dialogue within the School of Music.

The first in our three-part series on Music and Social Justice took place on the evening of Thursday, August 27, and was attended by more than 240 students and faculty. The panelists for our first webinar were:

Andre Dowell – Chief of Artist Engagement, The Sphinx Organization
William Lake, Jr. – Associate Director of Bands, Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam (DMA ’18)
Albert Lee – Assistant Professor of Voice and Director of Nevada Chamber Opera, University of Nevada, Reno

Upcoming Fall 2020 Panels

Issues in Music Education 1: September 8

Cecil Adderley – Chair of Music Education, Berklee School of Music (UNCG alumnus)
Sommer Forrester – Assistant Professor of Music Education, University of Massachusetts–Boston
Scott Laird – Orchestra Director, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

The Performer’s Experience (UNCG Alumni): September 21

Samantha Frenduto – clarinet, United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own”
Andy Hall – saxophone, The Moanin’ Frogs
Ian Mayton – horn, Houston Symphony Orchestra
Laura Poe – music assistant, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Dusseldorf, Germany, and San Francisco Opera
Kit Polen – double bass, Quad City Symphony, regular performer with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Music and Social Justice 2: October 6

William Lake, Jr. – Associate Director of Bands, Crane School of Music
Eugene Rogers – Director of Choral Activities, University of Michigan
Joel Thompson – composer, Seven Last Words of the Unarmed

Issues in Music Education 2: October 19

Kiyoshi Carter – Band Director, Northern Guilford High School and Governor’s School of North Carolina (UNCG alumnus)
Colleen Conway – Professor of Music Education, University of Michigan
David Eccles – Orchestra Director, The Lovett School, former Director of String Music Education, VanderCook College of Music
Scott Rush – Author, Habits series (GIA Publication) former Fine Arts Chair, Dorchester District 2 (SC), former Band Director, Wando High School

Teaching at the University Level (UNCG Alumni): October 22

Andrea Brown – Associate Director of Bands, University of Maryland
Justin Bunting – Assistant Professor of Percussion, University of Arkansas–Little Rock
Shawn Copeland – Associate Professor of Clarinet, University of Idaho
Xin Gao – Assistant Professor of Saxophone, Truman State University
Melody Causby – Assistant Professor of Music Education, University of Southern Mississippi

Perspectives on Arts Administration (UNCG Alumni): November 4

Sara Gibson – Operations Manager, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
Carrie Graham – Manager of Artistic Planning, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
Armand Hall – ROCmusic Collaborative (Eastman School of Music); Vice-Chair, El Sistema USA; Education Director, Archipelago Project
Anna Justice – Director of Development, Oregon State University Foundation
Harry Mullins – Manager of Orchestra Operations, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Paul Pietrowski – Director of Orchestra Personnel, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Music and Social Justice 3: November 18

Damien Crutcher – Founder, Crescendo Detroit; music faculty, Wayne State University
Tonya Mitchell-Spradlin – Director of Bands, Pennsylvania State University
William Lake, Jr. – Associate Director of Bands, Crane School of Music (UNCG alumnus)
Bethany Uhler – former director, Chatham Youth Detention Center String Program (UNCG alumnus)