The School of the Arts Advantage
The School of the Arts has a distinct advantage. Students can readily develop their full 360-degree artistic potential by cross enrolling in our different programs. The possibilities are too numerous to detail, but a few include poets taking acting, actors taking screenwriting, scene designers taking sculpture, graphic designers taking creative nonfiction, and on and on. Faculty discuss options with each other so they can guide each individual student to the best opportunities suited to their needs and interests.
There are also an increasing number of special collaborations across the School’s different programs.
Concurrence, a 2019 collaboration between the MFA in Writing program and Art & Art History. Faculty coordinator of the MFAW, Kevin Clouther, served as editor, helping 14 graduating students in creative writing pick and submit a short sample of their best work. Students, alumni, and faculty in design and studio art picked one of those pieces that spoke to them most deeply and interpreted it through typography and visual imagery. Recently retired Professor of Book Arts, Bonnie O’Connell, served as the Production Coordinator, and with three students from an advanced studio art class (Eric Jokerst, Charlotte Berryman, and Zoie Dvorak) hand-produced the final work. The result was a stunning case bound portfolio of 14 unique pieces printed with letterpress on high quality paper. The School now plans on repeating this success each year in order to continue fostering the intersection of writing, design, and studio art.
Watie White's "100 PEOPLE" and UNO Theatre’s production of Blood at the Root, in a co-production with Omaha Union for Contemporary Art. In January and February of 2020, the Weber Art Gallery and Criss Library Osborne Family Gallery showcased White’s public art project, in which he is creating woodblock prints of 100 unsung heroes in the arts and nonprofit sector of Omaha. Given this exhibition’s focus on diversity and inclusion, and its spotlight on important people of color in our community, the artist agreed to create 6 prints of characters, also exhibited in the Gallery, drawn from the UNO Theatre and Union for Contemporary Art production. Talkbacks after theatre performances will happen in the gallery, so that audience may begin to see how the different art forms respond to similar issues.
David Helm’s 3D Sculpture class in Art & Art History helped design and create scenery for the 2017 UNO Theatre production of Constance Congdon’s Tale of the Lost Formicans. Theatre faculty designer Steven Williams had conceived of a set inspired by the art work of Louise Nevelson, an American sculptor known for her monumental, monochromatic, wooden wall pieces and outdoor sculptures. Helm’s art students studied her work and then created a series of boxes with found objects that became the a monolithic wall and the primary visual field in the theatre.