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Super Creature at Commotion Festival

July 2012 


Groundbreaking Public Art Project Connects Faculty, Students, Alumni with Local Community   


The University of the Arts, in partnership with energy company PECO and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, has just wrapped up the first-ever Commotion Festival, a two-week long public art event held June 16 - 30 in various South Philadelphia neighborhoods. Led by UArts faculty member John JH Phillips, Commotion began in January 2012 with a series of hands-on workshops that invited the community to interact and explore their neighborhoods in new and unexpected ways. "Getting people involved in this process, they realize it's not just being plopped down in their neighborhood. They had some relationship to it," Phillips told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Commotion featured current and past students from a variety of disciplines, including 2012 Sculpture grads Olivia Diehl, Trey Dunlap and Aimee Goldsmith, who helped to erect a 20-foot tall Frankenstein-like sculpture called the "Super Creature of Energy and Power" (pictured top). Other Commotion participants included Liberal Arts Senior Lecturer Tim Fitts, Tyler Bailey BFA '12 (Multidisciplinary Fine Arts) Derek Scull '13 (Communications), Dejha Ti BFA '08 (Multimedia), Maxwell VanHook BFA '12 (Multimedia) and Andrew Zahn BFA '11 (Multimedia).




Read The Philadelphia Inquirer feature story >> 


Alumnus-Led Draw-A-Thon Raises Money for Children's Charity 


Christian Patchell at the Draw-A-ThonThe first Philly Draw-A-Thon, a 24-hour sketching marathon held June 9 - 10, raised money for the children's charity Child's Play to benefit the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The brainchild of University of the Arts grad Tom Panico BFA '11 (Illustration), with the help of friends Caroline Boyd BFA '11 (Film), Caroline Scavuzzo BFA '11 (Graphic Design) and Heather Vaughan '13 (Illustration), this unique event featured some 35 local artists, including Illustration Professor and fellow UArts alum Christian "Patch" Patchell BFA '95 (Illustration) [above], sketching comic book, cartoon, movie and video game characters for pledging sponsors for a straight 24 hours in the University's Solmssen Court.  




Watch Patchell's Draw-A-Thon interview >>

Philadelphia Named One of the '15 Hottest Cities of the Future'
Philly has named Philadelphia as one of the "15 Hottest American Cities of the Future," calling it a "dynamic arts destination." Included on the list as part of the business site's Great Debate feature "Where Will Americans Be Living in 20 Years?," the City of Brotherly Love was cited for having a "cool arts scene" and "some of the best public art in the country." Philly also topped the list of the "10 Cities with the Fastest-Growing Wages in America."

Photo of Philly skyline by B. Krist for GPTMC. 
Illustration Alum's Taco-Loving Dragons Praised in 'New York Times,' 'Publisher's Weekly'
Dragons Love Tacos book cover

Dragons Love Tacos, a new children's book illustrated by University of the Arts alumnus Daniel Salmieri BFA '06 (Illustration), has been receiving high praise since its release last month. The "irresistible story" was featured in the June 15, 2012, issue of The New York Times Sunday Book Review, which calls the Brooklyn-based illustrator's pencil-and-watercolor drawings "a wacky delight" and "strangely beautiful." Written by Those Darn Squirrels! collaborator Adam Rubin, the book also earned a starred review in Publisher's Weekly, with illustrations by Salmieri that "set a benchmark for oddball observational humor." Other favorable reviews can be found in the School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews and on's GeekMom blog.

Theater Grad Gives Shout-Out to UArts in 'Playbill'

UArts banners/City Hall by Billy BustamenteBilly Bustamante BFA '04 (Musical Theater), who just ended his role as the Waiter in Arden Theatre Company's production of "Tulipomania: The Musical," took Playbill readers on a behind-the-scenes photo tour of the show - and of Philadelphia (and UArts) in the process. One of the slideshow images (right) features the University's signature red and white banners with City Hall as a backdrop and the caption, "Quick shout out to my alma mater, the University of the Arts. Half of the Tulipomania company are U. Arts grads!" Those grads are Ben Dibble BFA '00 (Musical Theater) and Alex Keiper BFA '07 (Musical Theater), who starred in the musical as the Painter and the Young Woman, respectively. 

Alumni and Parent Relations Kicks Off Summer Send-Off Events

Summer Send-OffThe Office of Alumni and Parent Relations invites the class of 2016 and their families to attend a Summer Send-Off event. Students can connect with other members of the UArts community, including other new students and parents, local alumni and staff members, and get all of their last-minute questions about life at UArts answered.  

More info >> 


UArts alumni, students, parents and staff gather at the home of Mary Dembo BFA '85 (Graphic Design) at a 2011 Summer Send-Off in California. 

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