CFA is Heart of Oakland’s Cultural District
By Eric Sloss, The Piper, September 2010

Millery Gallery, Credit: Ken AndreyoEach year, the College of Fine Arts (CFA) hosts approximately 250 concerts, 50 performances, 40 lectures, 30 exhibitions and 10 symposiums and conferences. Many of the events are free or at a minimal cost and open to the campus community, making Carnegie Mellon the heart of Oakland’s cultural district. This year promises to be another exceptional year on the Pittsburgh campus, with everything from an exhibition celebrating Steelers Nation to a memorial concert honoring the great CMU pianist Earl Wild.

Here’s a look around the galleries, stages, concert halls and studios of CFA.

The Miller Gallery
The academic year begins in tandem with the gridiron season in Pittsburgh and the Miller Gallery is taking notice by presenting an exhibition celebrating the collections, rituals and obsessions of Steelers Nation. The exhibit, which features tattoos, fan memorabilia and a complete Steelers Room, examines the unique nature of Steelers fans and their tendencies to construct personal and social identities in relation to the team.

“WHATEVER IT TAKES: Steelers Fan Collections, Rituals, and Obsessions” is curated by Jon Rubin, associate professor of art, and Astria Suparak, director of the Miller Gallery. At 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 10, there will be a tour of the “Steelers Room” by Danny DeLuca. The “Immaculate Reception” will follow from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit runs through Jan. 30, 2011.

On Stage
The School of Drama is preparing for an exciting 2010-2011 season, featuring Leonid Andreyev’s “He Who Gets Slapped”; “Vanishing Point,” a new musical by Rob Hartmann and Liv Cummins; a new adaptation of Garcia Lorca’s “Barbarous Nights”; William Finn’s musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”; “Lulu,” a 1895 banned German play by Frank Wedekind; and “The Alice Project,” which will be developed through a yearlong interdisciplinary collaboration.

“I am delighted that the plays chosen for the season offer a fascinating range of writing styles and theatrical forms that in turn reflect the myriad talents of our faculty, staff, visiting directors and the student body,” said Peter Cooke, head of the School of Drama. “If drama is the prism through which we view our world, then what a wonderful world we have to share with the public in 2010-11.”

Subscription packages and tickets to the School of Drama season can be purchased by calling the box office at 412-268-2407.

Listen to the Music
The School of Music season boasts two fall and spring operas and a full season of Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic concerts, in addition to student and faculty recitals. At 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 9 in the Kresge Theatre, the School of Music will celebrate the life and musical contributions of Earl Wild (BFA ’37), an internationally acclaimed virtuosic pianist and educator. The event will include performances by CMU piano faculty, students and alumni.

The School of Music will launch Piano Month with a fantastic two-day extravaganza showcasing masterworks by Frederic Chopin. “200 Hands, 100 Pieces: Celebrating Chopin’s Bicentennial, Music by Frederic Chopin and his Contemporaries” will be held from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 31 in the Kresge Theatre and Alumni Concert Hall. Free and open to the public, the performances will feature faculty members, piano performance majors and Music Preparatory School (K-12) students.

In what has become a Pittsburgh tradition, the School of Music combines the forces of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, Concert Choir and Repertory Chorus to present Carnegie Mellon’s Holiday Concert at noon, Dec. 3 in Rangos Ballroom in the University Center.

The Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, Carnegie Mellon’s flagship performing ensemble, will take on Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 in A minor under the direction of Maestro Ronald Zollman in its opening concerts. The program, which will be presented twice, will be performed at 8 p.m. Sept. 15 in Oakland’s Carnegie Music Hall and again at 8 p.m. Sept. 16 at Upper St. Clair High School.

Tickets to the School of Music’s concerts can be purchased at the box office the day of the event or online at Tickets are often free for students and between $8 and $12 for adults.

Visual Concepts Abound
The schools of Art, Architecture and Design all host extensive lecture series featuring experts and leaders in their fields.

The School of Architecture will host the annual Jill Watson Festival Across the Arts, commonly known as Wats:on? The event honors the late Jill Watson’s commitment to an interdisciplinary philosophy as an artist and celebrates her accomplishments and reputation as an architect. Watson was a Carnegie Mellon alumna, adjunct faculty member and acclaimed Pittsburgh architect who died in the TWA Flight 800 plane crash on July 17, 1996.

The School of Art presents student exhibitions in the Frame Gallery, and the BFA and MFA final exhibitions in the Miller Gallery. Seniors will open their studios in December for an art sale and other public performances and exhibitions throughout the year. The Waffle Shop, the site of a late-night reality talk show that also serves waffles, is an off-campus classroom for School of Art students and faculty in East Liberty that is always buzzing with activity.

Each year School of Design students and faculty present work in the annual AIGA exhibition, the professional association for design’s annual juried showcase of work titled “Context.” And each year faculty are well represented in the Industrial Design Society of America’s “Merit Awards” presentation. The BXA interdisciplinary program hosts its annual “Kaleidoscope” student exhibition of artwork and performance at 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 12 at the Frame Gallery.

The Center for the Arts in Society (CAS), a joint center between CFA and the College of the Humanities & Social Sciences, co-sponsors activities and presents events periodically throughout the academic year. This year CAS is supporting a Latino youth project to paint a public mural on the Latino Community Center at 2215 Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill. The project will be unveiled Thursday, Sept. 16, Mexico’s national independence holiday. The group, Jovenes Sin Nombres (Youths Without Names), will reveal “Pintando para un sueño” or “Painting For a Dream,” to draw attention to the emergent Latino community in Pittsburgh.

Future Tenant, a multidisciplinary creative space in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, managed by Masters of Arts Management students, stages a full year of performances, exhibitions and installation art in its storefront window. “Eat Me,” a group exhibition exploring food, art and temptation curated by Jill Larson, will open Friday, Sept. 17 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. The exhibition will run through Oct. 9. In conjunction with Pittsburgh Fashion Week, Future Tenant will put on the “Eat Me Fashion Show: An amazing feast of food art to wear” at 10 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 30.