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Art Thu Oct 31 2013

UIC Welcomes New Dean of Architecture, Design & Arts, Resets College's Mission

At a reception held recently, the University of Illinois at Chicago introduced its new dean of the College of Architecture, Design and the Arts to the local arts community.

steve everett-UIC-GB.jpg Steve Everett, a musician, composer and educator who earned his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, becomes dean just at the time the college is being reconstituted into four separate schools: architecture, design, theater and music, and art and art history.

Everett comes to Chicago after 22 years at Emory University in Atlanta; most recently, he was professor of music and Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. His interests include electronic music, cross-cultural influences in music, and the philosophy of technology in art.

Provost Lon S. Kaufman opened the event by noting that UIC students look like Chicago and America. "We are of the city and reflect the city," he said. His comments suggested the mission of the new college, which Everett later expanded upon.

In the UIC announcement of his appointment, Everett says he was drawn to the university for opportunities in cross-disciplinary research. "You don't find many places with these four schools under one academic unit. Much of my life has been working with multimedia -- experimental music, dance, theatre, and opera. I think of the arts as a broad means of human expression, how we create physical, visual and aural spaces and relate to them to create community," he said. "The university is set up with all the requisite ingredients to be one of the top schools in the country for urban interdisciplinary research, and it's embedded in one of the most interesting cities in the world."

Everett told reception guests that the college wants to "be a transformative agent for the city of Chicago," to be "an outward-facing" institution, and to break down boundaries among the schools and the arts. One example he noted is the UIC Innovation Center, a collaboration with the colleges of engineering and business. The center's goal is to create innovative products and services, and determine how to produce and monetize them.

CADA-UIC_fullcolor_logo-GB.jpgThe four directors of the new schools made brief remarks describing their programs and new focus on interdisciplinary work and "outward-facing" approaches. The new directors are: Robert E. Somol, architecture; Marcia Lausen, design; Lisa Yun Lee, art and art history; and Christine Mary Dunford, theater and music.

Lee's comments reflected her department's interests in "moving beyond making beautiful objects" to considering "who gets to make art" and the importance of visual literacy and socially engaged art. Hip-hop poet Kevin Coval punctuated her remarks with excerpts from his poetry.

The Jane Addams Hull House Museum, a National Historic Landmark, and Gallery 400, a contemporary art gallery, are also part of the School of Art and Art History.

The UIC event appropriately was held at the Arts Club of Chicago, site of the iconic staircase designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. In 1951, Mies van der Rohe designed the interior space of the club. The famous staircase was moved to the current building on Ontario Street for its 1997 opening.

The UIC College of Architecture, Design and the Arts offers public exhibits, performances and other events in all disciplines. For more information, visit the college website or call 312-996-3351.

Steve Everett photo and CADA logo courtesy of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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