verge logo
Neil Gaiman Commencement 2012

June 2012 


Author Neil Gaiman's Keynote Address at 134th Commencement Is Social Media Sensation 


Award-winning author and graphic novelist Neil Gaiman (top) delivered the keynote address and received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts (HDFA) at the University of the Arts' 134th Commencement, held May 17 at the Academy of Music on Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts. The video of his inspirational speech urging graduates to "make good art" has gone viral, with more than 360,000 views and thousands of re-tweets of the link.   


Watch Gaiman's address >>  


More about Gaiman's address >> 


The ceremony also honored longtime Philadelphia Inquirer editorial cartoonist Tony Auth with an HDFA, while alumnae Hilary Clark BFA '98 (Modern Dance) and Alina Wheeler BFA '70 (Illustration) each received the Silver Star Alumni Award.  


More about the 134th Commencement ceremony >>

Borowsky Donation Supports Glass Arts at the University of the Arts
Irving BorowskyA $500,000 gift from University of the Arts Trustee Irvin J. Borowsky (right) and his wife, Laurie Wagman, will enable the University to establish the Irvin Borowsky Prize in Glass Arts, which will be given annually to an artist whose vision and skills are advancing contemporary glass art. The gift will also create the Irvin Borowsky Center for Glass Arts, greatly expanding the University's glass facilities and contributing to a new Crafts center.

Read more >>  
Alumnus and Noted Illustrator Jerry Pinkney Named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry PinkneyAward-winning illustrator and 1992 Silver Star Alumni Award recipient Jerry Pinkney '60 (Advertising Design) has been named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies. The Academy's new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 6 at its headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

A native of Philadelphia, Pinkney has been illustrating beloved children's books since 1964 and is the recipient of the 2010 Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished illustrated children's book for The Lion & the Mouse (cover art pictured above right). Other accolades include five Caldecott honors, five "Best Illustrated Books" awards from The New York Times and five Coretta Scott King Awards for outstanding children's books on the African-American experience.

Read more >> 
AlumniFaculty Selected for West Collection

Stuffed by Kay HealyTwo UArts alumni and two UArts faculty were among 30 artists selected from an international field for the West Collection of Contemporary Art. Work from Kay Healy MFA '08 (Book Arts/Printmaking) and Tyler Held BFA '11 (Sculpture) and faculty members Joe Girandola and Astrid Bowlby will be included in the West Collects 2012 exhibition this fall. Healy, Girandola and Bowlby will exhibit at Philadelphia's City Hall in a show celebrating Philly-based artists, while Held's work will be included with the national and international finalists at the Collection's corporate headquarters and new warehouse space in Oaks, Pa.


The West Collection was established by Alfred P. West, founder and CEO of SEI Investments, and his daughter, Paige, with the goal of meeting young artists who are creating challenging and inventive work and presenting an experience of this new art to the public. More than 2,600 artists working in painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video and installation submitted work to the 2012 West Collects competition.

Above: Kay Healy's "Stuffed," screenprinted, stuffed and sewn fabric, 2010.
UArts' Initiatives Awarded Coveted Grants

DesignPhiladelphia logoTwo UArts initiatives - DesignPhiladelphia's "Something from Nothing: Eco-Ventions for Urban Landscapes" and the School of Film series "At the Helm: Women Filmmakers" - received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, respectively. The grants will fund innovative new projects.  


"Something from Nothing" will sponsor a national design/build competition that will kick off the annual DesignPhiladelphia celebration in 2013 and model the ways in which designers can revitalize and re-imagine underutilized public spaces. The competition will be open to emerging designers no more than five years out of school. 


"At the Helm" will support a special topics course in the University's School of Film in the spring of 2013. Open to students from all disciplines and led by Academy Award-nominated faculty member Wendy Weinberg, the course will be accompanied by an evening film screening series open to the public. A visiting lecture series will bring prominent female filmmakers to campus for master classes, screenings and forums.
Releases from UArts Big Band and Transfusion Ensemble Win Raves
UArts Transfusion EnsembleAll About Jazz praised the "exuberant virtuosity" and "intricate musical ambiances" of releases from two celebrated School of Music ensembles: the UArts Big Band and Transfusion Ensemble (right). Trumpeter and faculty member Matt Gallagher directed the "Z" Big Band in covers of eight Count Basie tunes on the CD titled "University of the Arts Big Band," while professor and saxophonist Ron Kerber led the Transfusion Ensemble through nine compositions by Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea on its self-titled disc. The review concludes by saying, "...with educational institutions like the University of the Arts School of Music and its gifted students and faculty, the future of jazz is quite bright."

Read the review >> 
Give to the Annual Fund Before June 30

Have you given your annual gift to the Fund for UArts? Gifts to the Annual Fund provide unrestricted support for our students and faculty and are a critical part of supporting our vibrant artistic and academic environment. This past year, the University of the Arts distributed over $700,000 in private funding for named and endowed scholarships to assist the 95 percent of our student body who require financial help. UArts is committed to inspiring, educating and preparing innovative artists and creative leaders for the 21st century. Please consider a gift to the Annual Fund today.  


Give online >> 

Contact UArts
Join our mailing list
Support UArts
Contact | Subscribe | RSS | Support | Facebook | Twitter