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News from the Dean: September 2016

One of the goals in the College of Arts and Architecture’s strategic plan is to make the arts and design central to life at Penn State, and to ensure that all students, regardless of major, experience the arts in a meaningful way throughout their lives. A number of events this fall have gone a long way in demonstrating the significance of the arts both to life on campus, and in the surrounding community.

We recently launched increased public programming in the Woskob Family Gallery, located in the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center. The gallery has teamed up with the State College Downtown Improvement District to participate in the First Friday festivities each month, in addition to presenting other events. On campus, the Palmer Museum of Art and the School of Visual Arts partnered to offer “Films En Plein Air” on Saturdays in September. With the warm temperatures over the past month and the promise of free popcorn, the films have attracted a large crowd. Another example of our outreach efforts is Graphic Design faculty member Peter Lusch’s mobile exhibition about the history of voter legislation, which he has used as an opportunity to encourage students to register to vote.

On the research front, we are proud of School of Visual Arts undergraduate Christina Dietz, whose multimedia project, “Honeybees and Homemakers: Pollination and Gendered Labor,” has gained a lot of visibility. Christina produced a video comparing the labor of honeybees with domestic work traditionally done by women, and built a “Bee House,” where viewers can get a glimpse of what goes on inside an active beehive. The project was shown at The Great Insect Fair, an annual event at University Park, in addition to being set up near the Arts Cottage.

Looking ahead, we are excited about the Penn State premiere of “FaceAge,” an award-winning multimedia installation directed by Andrew Belser, professor of theatre and director of the Arts and Design Research Incubator. A collaboration with the colleges of Health and Human Development and Nursing, as well as the Department of Film Studies at the University of North Carolina–Wilmington, “FaceAge” is an immersive three-screen visual and audio installation conveying cross-generational encounters. It will be on display in the HUB-Robeson Center September 30–December 9, after which it will tour to museums, arts and film festivals, universities, and health care centers, both nationally and internationally. Be sure to check it out the next time you are on campus!

If you’re the parent of a high school student interested in studying the arts and design, we encourage you to participate in our annual Fall Visit Day on October 10 (register here). And if you’re the parent of a current Penn State student, we hope to see you during the University’s annual Parents and Families Weekend, October 14–16. College of Arts and Architecture performances that weekend include the musical Be More Chill and the School of Music’s popular Choral Collage concert. For a full calendar of College of Arts and Architecture events, check out our Arts Showcase publication.

Please feel free to follow me on Twitter (@psu_aadean) or connect with us through any of our college social media sites. Thanks, as always, for your support, and we hope to see you on campus soon!