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Arts Community Toasts Its Best and Brightest

April 14, 1997

Partnerships between the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the UW–Madison Consortium for the Arts and private donors will be celebrated this year through a number of awards for faculty and staff specializing in the arts.

Recipients of the Gerald A. Bartell Award in the Arts, the Faculty Development Award in the Creative Arts, the Emily Mead Baldwin Bell-Bascom Professorships in the Creative Arts and the Edna Weichers Arts in Wisconsin Fund Award will be honored guests at a special reception April 18.

Joining those winners will be Professors Stephen Dembski, music, and Truman Lowe, art, 1997 recipients of the UW Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Mid-Career Awards; Kelly Cherry, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Eudora Welty Professor of English; and Brian Hyer, associate professor of music, and Claudia Melrose, professor of dance, Faculty Professional Development Grant recipients.

The celebration also will recognize the achievements of students Moira Kelley, a senior majoring in music, winner of the Lyman S.V. Judson and Ellen Mackecknie Student Award in the Creative Arts; and Jennifer Mahlman, working toward a master’s degree in art, recipient of the David and Edith Sinaiko Frank Graduate Fellowship for a Woman in the Arts.

Emily K. Auerbach
Professor of English and Liberal Studies
Gerald A. Bartell Award in the Arts
Whether the subject is Charlotte Brontë, Mark Twain or Phillis Wheatley (America’s first African-American poet); and whether the setting is a campus lecture hall, small town library, retirement center, newspaper column, television station, middle school or prison, Auerbach has dedicated her career — perhaps even her life — to bringing the joys of great literature to readers across Wisconsin.

Through weekly statewide broadcasts on Wisconsin Public Radio and internationally distributed radio series on women writers, Auerbach has reached hundreds of thousands of adults. This spring, stations from Maine to California will air a new series on Jane Austen, featuring interviews with humorists Dave Barry and Andy Rooney, columnists Ellen Goodwin and Mary McGrory, and novelists Fay Weldon and Margaret Drabble, as well as distinguished Austen scholars.

Auerbach’s innovative work has earned both teaching and broadcasting excellence awards. A Madison native, she earned her B.A. from UW–Madison, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

The Bartell Award is given annually to a faculty or staff member whose professional activities support and encourage enjoyment of the arts.

Phillip B. Zarrilli
Professor of Theatre and Drama
Faculty Development Award in the Creative Arts
Long a student of Asian theater, Zarrilli has examined such forms as Indian kathakali and Japanese Noh. Director of the Department of Theatre and Drama’s Asian/Experimental Theatre program since 1979, Zarrilli is the author or editor of numerous books on the subject. Among his titles are Acting Reconsidered: Theories and Practices, ‘When the Body Becomes All Eyes’: Paradigms, Discourses, and Practices of Power in Kalarippayatte and Marital Arts In Actor Training.

According to Zarrilli, training in the marital arts benefits actors by allowing them to develop the intense, focused concentration necessary to interpret roles. It also makes it easier to stay in the here-and-now, he says.

The Faculty Development Award in the Creative Arts allows professors to pursue projects that encourage and support creative development. Zarrilli says he will use his grant to complete a series of intercultural performance projects.

A native of Akron, Zarrilli earned his B.A. at Ohio University, his M.Div. at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Javier Calderon
Professor of Music
Emily Mead Baldwin Bell-Bascom Professorship in the Creative Arts
Calderon arrived on the School of Music faculty in 1988 to inaugurate the school’s professorship of, and program in, classical guitar. In the intervening years, Calderon has continued a distinguished career that began at age 17 in his native La Paz, Bolivia.

His formal schooling took place at the North Carolina School of the Arts (bachelor of music), University of North Carolina-Greensboro (M.M.) and Indiana University-Bloomington (artist diploma-doctoral level). Calderon studied with the legendary master of classical guitar Andre Segovia.

Calderon has performed on concert stages all over the world including China, Germany, Mexico, Korea and the United States. His next appearance will be June 18 at the Chicago Cultural Center-Bradley Hall as part of the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts Series.

The Emily Mead Baldwin Bell-Bascom Professorship is open to tenured faculty in art, communication arts, dance, design, music or theater. Recipients have distinguished themselves as professors, performers or creators.

Thomas Loeser
Associate Professor of Art
Emily Mead Baldwin Bell-Bascom Professorship in the Creative Arts
Loeser, a furniture maker and wood sculptor, used a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1994 to get ready for a solo show that opened last year at the Peter Joseph Gallery in New York. Among Loeser’s works were the wittily titled, “2D or Not 2D,” an edition of 50 woodblock and silk-screen prints produced at Tandem Press in Madison. With “2D,” he explored the dialog between the two-dimensional prints and the three-dimensional objects derived from them.

In addition to the Peter Joseph exhibition, he also has shown his pieces at the Smithsonian, Cooper Hewett, Elvehjem and Milwaukee Art Museum; the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Rhode Island School of Design and many others across the country. His work has been part of international shows in Paris, Lisbon, Helsinki, Frankfurt, Warsaw, Ankara, Oslo, Athens and other European cities. Specializing in the use of color and pattern to elucidate shape, Loeser says his pieces draw upon traditional furniture construction techniques to create functional one-of-a-kind objects that invite viewer interaction and exploration.

On the UW–Madison faculty since 1991, Loeser teaches woodworking, interdisciplinary critique, research-sculpture courses and more. Originally from Boston, Loeser received his B.A. from Haverford College. His B.F.A. is from Boston University, and his M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts.

J.J. Murphy
Professor of Communication Arts
Emily Mead Baldwin Bell-Bascom Professorship in the Creative Arts
From “The Night Belongs to the Police” (1980-82) to his most recent films “Horicon” (1993) and “Frame of Mind” (1985), J.J. Murphy has been casting a longer and longer filmmaking shadow since he arrived on campus in 1980.

In addition to exercising his own creativity and teaching many of his department’s film production classes, Murphy has served as a judge at a number of independent film festivals. He also is responsible for bringing working filmmakers to campus as part of several residency/lecture series.

Murphy’s films, some shot on location in rural Wisconsin, have been screened at international film festivals in Edinburgh, New Zealand, Germany, Belgium and across the U.S. Currently at work on a new feature-length screenplay, Murphy also is looking into the possibility of developing a curriculum for a film and video production major.

Born in Bayonne, N.J., Murphy holds a B.S. cum laude from the University of Scranton and an M.A. from the University of Iowa-Iowa City.

Stephen Lorson
Associate Instrument Specialist
Department of Art
Edna Weichers Arts in Wisconsin Fund Award
Lorson’s title, 3-D technician, requires exacting knowledge of such media as glass, ceramics, woodworking, metals and sculpture, as well as the equipment necessary to turn the raw materials into art.

Lorson also assumes teaching duties, instructing undergraduate and graduate students in the safe and effective use of equipment and technical processes.

On the art staff for two years, Lorson previously served as a studio coordinator at the Creative Glass Center of America in Millville, N.J. Born in Robbinsdale, Minn., Lorson received his B.S. in art from UW–Madison and his M.F.A. from Alfred University in New York.

The Edna Weichers Award, new this year, goes to faculty or academic staff whose work in the arts embodies the Wisconsin Idea.