Associate Provost Tunks To Step Down

April 5, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

By Andy Garcia

Associate Provost Tom Tunks is stepping down from his position after twelve years of service in the provost’s office.

Tunks will leave his current position at the end of this semester to take on the duties of Associate Provost Ellen Pryor, while she is away at Pepperdine University during the fall semester. In January 2011 Tunks will then take a yearlong leave before he will return to SMU, to teach music in the Meadows School.

Among his accomplishments as associate provost, Tunks co-chaired the committee that developed the proposal for the new General Education Requirements. The new curriculum will go into effect for the fall semester of 2012.

Campus News Blog: Meadows Museum to Debut New Sculpture Plaza

October 6, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Elisabeth Brubaker

Wednesday, October 7 marks the debut of the brand new Meadows Museum Sculpture Plaza. The plaza has been under construction since the end of the school year to make the plaza more inviting with more gardens and sculptures.

At six p.m. Wednesday the SMU Board of Trustees and President R. Gerald Turner will celebrate the dedication of the new sculpture plaza. They will also unveil a “major acquisition,” a “monumental sculpture” by Spanish contemporary artist Jaume Plensa.

SMU-TV’s Hayley Nelson got footage of the sculpture as it was unloaded behind the Meadows Museum.  The video can be seen approximately 11 minutes and 32 seconds into the Tuesday, September 29th Daily Update.

After the dedication of the sculpture plaza there will be an all-campus Celebration of the Arts with MAPS (Meadows Ambassadors for Prospective Students) and MUSE student docents. The museum will also debut it’s new exhibition Face and Form: Modern and Contemporary Sculpture in the Meadows Collection.

The University expects approximately 900 people on campus and thus Bishop Boulevard both northbound and southbound will be closed from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Arts Beat: Prophetic Twist On Art

April 27, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Prophetic art can be described through pictures of animals, decapitation, and all other types of Etruscan Art? that can be? seen in the Meadows Museum.? Nancy De Grummond? spoke to art enthusiasts? Thursday, April 23, about how art can be portrayed prophetically. The Meadows Museum lecture was not the most popular amongst SMU students,? however approximately 45 people attended the lecture.

De Grummond spoke to her audience about her focus on the exclusive collection which includes convex canvases and shiny surfaces, including mirrors. Her lecture focused on the ability to distort the reflection of art. Not only has De Grummond wrote “A Guide to Etruscan Mirrors,” but she recently published two related books, (The Religion of the Etruscans and Etruscan Mythology, Sacred History, and Legend.)

I found the lecture to be interesting because prophecy is a difficult idea to illustrate. I was taken aback? by the images she showed by numerous artists who have cullminated a vast array of convex artistry.

Although this research by De Grummond is not for everyone, the basic understanding of various art forms in important to observe throughout life. And because I am studying in Italy during the upcoming summer, I was happy to know that De Grummond has taken her worldview of Hellenistic and Roman Archeology abroad.

–Posted by Christina Murphy

Art Beat: Meadows Museum In Bloom

April 16, 2009 by · Comments Off 


The Founders Garden Club of Dallas on April 16 will showcase a flower show with more than 20 floral arrangements on display.

The exhibit called “The Splendor of Spain: the Meadows in Bloom” will place floral arrays next to the museums collection of Spanish artists.

Besides the blooms in the galleries, Jones Great Hall will showcase horticultural display.

The exhibit is free with admission, which costs $8 for adults, Free for students, faculty, and staff.

Arts Beat: Meadows Spring Dance Concert has a different beat for all

April 6, 2009 by · Comments Off 

This spring’s dance concert was a little unexpected. There were three parts to the concert and two intermissions, and you needed the intermissions to prepare yourself for the next performance.

The dances were executed with grace and power. The choreography is what captured my attention the most. In the first part of the three-part concert, the dancing was all over the place and it was very different. I didn’t understand it, and I really do not know how to explain to those who choose not to go. The dance is called “Cloven Kingdom,” and in the program there is a quote that says, “Man is a social animal.”

The choreography, by Paul Taylor, was a mixture of dancing like animals and civilized human beings. The male dancers were dressed in black and white formal suits, but dancing and behaving like animals. They moved around like rabbits and monkeys, but then quickly would switch to a more civilized humane dance. The women were dressed in long dresses, and they moved eloquently. They too would burst into random animal-like dances.

I also cannot forget to mention the dancers who wore objects on their heads. The objects were mirrors, that reflected the light into the audience. One dancer had a box on her head, and it became very distracting. I do not have an opinion about this piece because it was very confusing, it cannot be explain adequately enough, it is something people will have to see to try to understand it.

The other parts to the concert were what I expected a ballet recital to be. Ballerinas tip-toed there way along the stage and graced the air with their leaps. It was beautiful to watch, and it was nothing like the first performances.

The third part of the concert was fun and energetic. It was the “Swing Concerto” choreographed by Danny Buraczeski. The swing dancing got my feet tapping, and the crowd yelling. The dancers reminded me of sock hops in cafes. The female dancers were tossed in the air like rag dolls, and the men powerfully lifted their partners with ease. I was impressed.

It was an interesting mix and the Meadows Spring Dance Concert, but I wouldn’t mind going again.

The concert is running through April 5. Information is at the Meadows Ticket Office 214.768.ARTS

–Posted by Laura Vasquez

Campus News Blog: Music Director Robert Dodson Brings Enthusiasm to Meadows Administration

March 31, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Rachel Orr

The Meadows School of the Arts has seen a lot a administrative changes in the past few years, but it looks as if new SMU’s division of music director Robert Dodson, who came here last June, is here to stay. To say the least, the SMU faculty is filled with cheers and could not be happier.

Dodson, who is 67, might be on the mature side to receive such a new position but his résumé spans the globe with administrative positions from Toronto’s Royal Conservatory to, just before coming to SMU, the New England Conservatory of Music.

According to Larry Palmer, professor of harpsichord and organ, the SMU faculty appreciates and admires Dodson’s perfect balance of enthusiasm and decency coupled with his genuine concern for and interest in the faculty’s own thoughts and opinions. Palmer alluded that this was not always the case.

“I already note a renewed sense of collegiality among my colleagues,” he said.

Dodson’s enthusiasm for SMU’s music division. is quite evident when he referred to it as “one of SMU’s and Dallas’ best-kept secrets.”

This Wednesday, Dodson hopes to make his great enthusiasm for SMU music no longer his own at SMU’s annual Meadows at the Meyerson, which will feature the Meadows Symphony Orchestra, the Meadows Chorale and the Meadows Concert Choir.

Meadows at the Meyerson promises to showcase some of the best student and faculty talent and, along with the help of Dodson, a new enthusiasm.

Arts Blog: Throat Singing Attracts Crowd

March 18, 2009 by · Comments Off 

When I first heard that “Alash,” a Tuvan throat singing group from Central Asia, was coming to SMU, I thought instantly about “The Simpsons Movie” and Homer’s encounter with an Eskimo woman who initiates the throat singing. Of course, “The Simpsons Movie” was presented to be humorous, but throat singing is actually very beautiful and interesting.

The group Alash made a stop at SMU on March 18 before going to Austin for their appearance at the 2009 SXSW festival. I’m glad I did not miss this experience because it is indescribable.

The music was peaceful and reflected much on nature. The instruments were made of wood and emphasized the precense of nature in the Owen Arts Center lobby.

When the four men sang, it sounded as if the instrument took on a human-form. It was unreal and it seemed impossible. It sounded like whistling simultaneously from multiple throats, and it sounded painful. According to the group’s translator, it is not painful because the technique allows them to make multiple pitches simultaneously by relaxing the throat muscles.

Experiencing this interesting performance made me want to learn about other cultures, made me want to discover new music, and made me want to expand my horizon beyond the popular culture in the United States.

–Posted by Laura Vasquez

Arts Beat: Intimate Apparel Draws You In

March 5, 2009 by · Comments Off 

The performance of Intimate Apparel was probably on the most engaging plays I’ve ever been to. The acting really drew me in. Bianca Denis, who played the lead role as Esther Williams, was amazing.

She really understood the character she was portraying. She came off as this shy, insecure person, who was cut off from the world. But as the play progresses, she learns what’s it like to open up to people and come out of her shell. While doing this she also learns the meaning of heartbreak when she discovers that her husband George was cheating on her with her best friend. The anger and hurt that Denis brings out is amazing. It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat.

I honestly didn’t think that I would enjoy this play. But to my surprise I was never bored.

Campus News Blog: You Know It’s Brown Bag When…

March 4, 2009 by · Comments Off 

posted by Lisa Rodriguez

SMU dancers have been sacrificing sleep, schoolwork, and social lives for the last month and a half. Why? To entertain you. The Brown Bag Dance Concert began Monday at the Lobby of The Owens Fine Arts Center. And continues for the remainder of the week.
To a non-dancer, Brown Bag means an hour of lunchtime entertainment, but to those who participate, it means dedicating endless hours of time and energy to rehearsal. Here’s a little glance into the minds of the dancers when they hear the words Brown Bag:

You know its Brown Bag when…

“…when your body wants to shoot you”

“…when dancers get locked in the dance studios at night”
Morgana Phlaum, junior

“…when a song comes on the radio and people say ‘that’s MY song!’”
Marielle Perrault, senior

“…when you don’t sleep.”
Christine Harris, sophomore

“…when I wake up Monday morning and actually put on make up.”

“…when I walk onto the stage and see all the faces right in front of you.”
Leah Mitchell, freshman

“…when you don’t sleep and you skip at least one class a day.”
Page Leahy

Brown Bag continues in the lobby of the Owens Arts Center Wednesday and Friday at noon and Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

Arts Beat: Etruscan Jewelry Demonstrated

February 23, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Ellen Buie Niewyk demonstrated how the Etruscans made jewelry out of a small silver ingot at the Meadows Museum at SMU. The Thursday night lecture, “Taking the mystery out of ancient metal techniques,” was presented in synergy with the current exhibit From the Temple and the Tomb: Etruscan Treasures from Tuscany sheets

From an anthropological perspective, it was something interesting to witness. Niewyk showed her audience how to form silver ingots into flat sheets with different techniques. She also explained the intricate techniques of granulation, which is a process used by metalsmiths to decorate a base of metal by attaching small metal spheres to the surface.

The demonstration was interesting, and I have never seen someone make jewelry before, but what intrigued me the most was the way she presented everything.

“We are going high-tech to showing low-tech techniques,” Niewyk said.

They were streaming live videos of the demonstration, providing pictures, and showing a PowerPoint presentation.

Everyone, including the people in the back row, was able to see every move Niewyk made with the thin wires. She showed the audience how to make the Etruscan braid out of wire, which turns out to be just an illusion.

Her high-tech ways provided new ways of presenting art. It was worth seeing, even if I didn’t know anything about the Etruscan civilization.

Posted by Laura Vasquez

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