Faculty find time to create, thanks to fellowships from the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts

2019 IAA Faculty Fellows, from left, Lari Gibbons, Fabiana Claure, Panayiotis Kokoras, Corey Marks
2019 IAA Faculty Fellows, from left, Lari Gibbons, Fabiana Claure, Panayiotis Kokoras, Corey Marks

Oct. 16, 2019

Fabiana Claure, assistant professor and director of music business and entrepreneurship in the College of Music, became inspired while learning about female concert pianists of the past and their entrepreneurial careers. She says as a pianist, entrepreneur and mother herself, the lives of artists such as Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn and Teresa Carreño truly resonate with her.

As 19th-century pianists and composers, the three women managed careers while also running households, raising children and facing the gender discrimination of their times.

“This motivated me to want to dive deeper into their lives, in order to perform their music and highlight the entrepreneurial side of their stories,” Claure says. “I also wanted to create a multimedia cross-disciplinary experience that, in addition to live performances and commentary, would incorporate film, thus enhancing the overall story and message.”

Claure will be presenting that program, chosen from more than 400 submissions, at the 2019 College Music Society’s national conference Oct. 24 in Louisville, Kentucky. She had time to work on the project thanks to a faculty fellowship from UNT’s Institute for the Advancement of the Arts, which allows UNT faculty members to take a semester off from teaching to pursue creative research in the arts. The IAA serves to promote artistic and creative expression at UNT.

“The fellowship has allowed me to become fully immersed in my research in order to create an artistic project that connects my music entrepreneurship and women’s studies interests with my performing side as a concert pianist,” Claure says.

The October presentation will include her performance and discussion of works by Schumann and Mendelssohn, followed by the multimedia presentation she created with Tania Khalaf, associate professor in the Department of Media Arts. She says she was thrilled to collaborate with the award-winning documentary filmmaker and fellow mother.

Claure's final project, which she will be presenting in the spring at locations including UNT and Southern Methodist University, also will feature a performance and discussion of Carreño's work.

“My goal is to share the music and lives of these remarkable women artists,” Claure says, “while also inspiring the audience to see entrepreneurship as both a mindset and a discipline that can help them create human connection, become empowered, design their lives and pursue their own definition of success.”

Other 2019 IAA Faculty Fellows are creating a new method of printmaking, developing a multisensory performance and writing poetry.

Lari Gibbonsprofessor of art, is producing and exhibiting a series of artworks exploring how the language of print shapes the understanding of the natural world. The series is being circulated in the United States and the United Kingdom during the fellowship, with the goal of presenting the work at the 2020 International Mokuhanga Conference in Japan.

Gibbons is meshing non-toxic water-based printmaking methods with computer-numerically-controlled etched plates to update time-honored, non-toxic printing techniques with the contemporary attributes of efficiency, accessibility and scalability. This new approach is being shared in publications, conferences and visiting artist workshops.

Panayiotis Kokoras, associate professor of composition and director of the UNT Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia, is working on 3D Ambisonics with an immersive lab research team at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology in Zurich.

He is creating a proposed immersive multisensory intermedia work called “Zoomusicology.” The 45-minute, three-part intermedia performance will feature electroacoustic music, visual designs for video mapping, 10 to 20 micro-robotic sound installations, aromatic diffusers and synchronized audio, video, lights and robotics. Special equipment will create 360-degree sound.

The premiere of "Zoology" in fall 2020 is projected to coincide with the completion of a renovation of the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater.

Corey Marks, Distinguished Teaching Professor and director of creative writing, is working on finishing a poetry manuscript titled My Satellite that explores the natural world, a theme that runs through all of his previous works.

Marks says growing up in the rural Michigan countryside heavily influenced his writing, and his new work started with a cloudless summer night on the shores of Lake Superior. As he sat watching the stars, a satellite streaked across the sky, inspiring a series of new poems focused on the relationships among nature, technology, history and politics and how those relationships shape experience and identity. 

This marks the 10th year that IAA faculty fellowships have been awarded.