News Items from UNC Greensboro

portrait of dancer
Dancer Jasmine Hearn, photography by Scott Shaw
Dancer Jasmine Hearn, photography by Scott Shaw

The College of Visual and Performing Arts continues the 2020-2021 Virtual Master Class Series in February with Jasmine Hearn, a Bessie-Award winning dancer, choreographer, and director, as well as Joseph Alessi, principal trombonist with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

In March, the series will feature playwright and screenwriter Lynn Nottage and visual artist Ann Hamilton. In April, art historian Darby English will give the last master class currently scheduled this year.

All CVPA Virtual Masterclass events are free and open to all UNC Greensboro students, faculty, and staff, as well as to community members.

Registration for the free events is required in advance at these links: Jasmine Hearn Master Class, Jasmine Hearn conversation for students, Joseph Alessi Master Class, Lynn Nottage Master Class, Ann Hamilton Master Class, Darby English Master Class.

Jasmine Hearn is from the land of the Karankawa and Atapake people, in Houston, TX. A performer, director, choreographer, organizer, teaching artist, and a 2017 Bessie award winning performer with the collective, Skeleton Architecture, their commitment to dance is an expansive practice that includes performance, collaboration, sound, memory-keeping, and garmentry. They are currently a company member with Urban Bush Women and a 2019 Jerome Foundation Jerome Hill Fellow.

Hearn has collaborated with multidisciplinary artists Solange Knowles, Alisha B. Wormsley, Vanessa German, Ayanah Moor, Staycee Pearl, Holly Bass, slowdanger, BANDPortier, and Jennifer Nagle Myers, which have produced solo and collective dance choreography or performances at the Guggenheim Museum, The Getty Center, Venice Biennale 2019, the Ford Foundation, New York Live Arts, and the Houston Arts Alliance.

Hearn’s master class will be Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. and is open to the community; register here.

Students are invited to to a conversation on Feb. 15 at 1 p.m., and they may register here.

Trombonist Joseph Alessi, photography by S.E. Shires
Trombonist Joseph Alessi, photography by S.E. Shires

Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic, is an active soloist, recitalist, and chamber music performer.

He is currently on the faculty of The Juilliard School and as a clinician for the Eastman-Shires Instrument Co., he has also given master classes throughout the world and has toured Europe extensively as a master teacher and recitalist. In June of 2021 he will give the world premiere of the Chick Corea Trombone Concerto.

Alessi’s discography includes many releases on the Summit record label, including the Trombonastics, and a disc with New York Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Philip Smith entitled Fandango; he also recorded New York Legends on the Cala label. His live recording of the Rouse Concerto with the New York Philharmonic can be heard on Volume II of the recent release, An American Celebration, on New York Philharmonic Special Editions, the Orchestra’s own recording label.

Alessi’s master class will be Feb. 22, at 4 p.m. Register here.

Playwright and screenwriter Lynn Nottage, photograph by Lynn Savarese
Playwright and screenwriter Lynn Nottage, photograph by Lynn Savarese

Lynn Nottage is a playwright and a screenwriter. She is the first, and remains the only, woman to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world.

In the spring of 2017, her play “Sweat”(Pulitzer Prize, Obie Award, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Tony Nomination, Drama Desk Nomination) moved to Broadway after a sold-out run at The Public Theater. 

Nottage recently wrote the book for the world premiere musical adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd’s novel “The Secret Life of Bees,” and it premiered at the Atlantic Theatre Company in May 2019. She is the co-founder of the production company Market Road Films, and she has developed original projects for HBO, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Showtime, This is That and Harpo. She was a writer/producer on the Netflix series “She’s Gotta Have It,” directed by Spike Lee.

Nottage is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, Steinberg “Mimi” Distinguished Playwright Award, PEN/Laura Pels Master Playwright Award, and the Merit and Literature Award from The Academy of Arts and Letters among other honors. She is an associate professor in the Theatre Department at Columbia School of the Arts. 

Lynn Nottage’s master class will be March 3, at 3 p.m. Register here.

Visual artist Ann Hamilton, photo by Gerardo Gaetani
Visual artist Ann Hamilton, photo by Gerardo Gaetani

Ann Hamilton (b. Lima Ohio, 1956) is a visual artist known for her site responsive large scale installations, public projects, and performance collaborations.  Her ephemeral projects are based in her career-long interest in felt experience as the basis for recognition and knowledge and in the relationships between written language and tactile experience, cloth and body, motion and stillness. 

Hamilton has received the National Medal of Arts, MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, the Heinz Award, and was selected to represent the United States at the 1991 Sao Paulo Biennial and the 1999 Venice Biennale. 

She received a BFA in textile design from the University of Kansas in 1979 and an MFA in Sculpture from the Yale University School of Art in 1985. Hamilton currently lives in Columbus, Ohio where she is Distinguished University Professor of Art at The Ohio State University. 

Hamilton’s master class will be on March 25 at 7 p.m. Register here.

Hamilton is a Falk Visiting Artist, and her appearance is a partnership between the School of Art and Weatherspoon Art Museum.

Art historian Darby English
Art historian Darby English

Darby English’s work focuses on cultural studies as well as modern and contemporary American and European art produced since the First World War. His scholarship explores the roles of art and art writing in the process and redescription, enablement and foreclosure of cultural change. His current research centers on the era of integration in the United States, and particularly ways in which fine art and popular culture produced since 1954 have prepared us to welcome—or reject—the passing of difference as we knew it. 

English is the Carl Darling Buck Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago and associate faculty in both the University’s Department of Visual Arts and its Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. From 2014 to 2020, he served as adjunct curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. 

He is the author of “To Describe a Life: Notes from the Intersection of Art and Race Terror”(Yale, 2019), “1971: A Year in the Life of Color”(University of Chicago, 2016),and “How to See a Work of Art in Total Darkness”(MIT, 2007).

Darby English’s master class will be April 12, 6 p.m. Register here.


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