Our Work

MyHome by Ben Minard, BFA Exhibition 2017

We bring the arts to children. We take the arts to the streets. We restore and reimagine ancient texts. We meld science with sculpture. We reimagine our surroundings. We get crowds on their feet.

We are FAA.

The Marching Illini—the Best Band in the Land since 1867—rouses the crowds at Memorial Stadium with long-standing traditions like the Three-in-One and keeps the entertainment during football games current with arrangements of hit singles. When the Chicago Cubs finally (finally, finally) broke that losing streak and brought home the World Series trophy, the band's halftime show included a tribute to that historic win.

A new translation in verse of The Play of Adam by Illinois Theatre's Carol Symes was staged at the Chapel of St. John the Divine in January 2017. This is the first version that fully translates the entire 12th-century work—written in Anglo-Norman French with Latin chants based on biblical texts—into English. Directing the production was Kyle A. Thomas, a doctoral student specializing in medieval plays, and actors from the department learned appropriate staging and techniques in an attempt to authentically represent what period audiences would have seen onstage.

The Umfundalai technique incorporates African and its diasporic dance movements and combines them into a stylized organicism. A master teacher of the form, C. Kemal Nance of Dance at Illinois uses it when choreographing works such as hmu. In addition to the original version featuring seven women that was produced for February Dance in 2016, he created a variation for a duo that extends his research focus on representing black men in dance.

Through its collection of more than 10,000 pieces, Krannert Art Museum showcases the cultures of peoples from around the planet over 3,000 years. In addition to paintings, media installations, drawings, sculpture, prints, artifacts, and photography, decorative items including plates, vases, pottery, and other items for the home are on display. Louis Sullivan—most often identified as founding the Chicago School of architecture—designed building elements such as elaborate light fixtures, door hardware, radiator grills, and screens like a geometrically patterned and unusually spare one for an elevator in the Chicago Stock Exchange, which is part of the museum's permanent decorative arts collection.

FAA alumni such as Bill Browne spread the values and share the training gained during their Illinois educations on a global scale. As the founding principal and president of RATIO, he has led his firm on projects ranging from Qingdao Technology Park in China to Huff Hall's Khan Annex on campus to the renovation and preservation of the President Benjamin Harrison Home to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis and its inquisitive pair of brontosauruses.

Children's Museum of Indianapolis Designed by RATIO

The members of the Student Planning Organization forge connections with staff and faculty members, organize workshops, set up trips to midwestern cities to sightsee and visit firms—like the October 2016 excursion to Cincinnati with a tour of the streetcar system—socialize weekly, and participate in events with a focus on community and urban living. The third Friday in September is Park(ing) Day, an international call to take back urban space dedicated to cars and devote it to humans—at least temporarily. In September 2016, Illinois students made art with tarps, set up astroturf and fencing, and gave concerts in the commandeered parking spaces.

What do thousands of enraptured kids sitting in Urbana have in common? If it's a weekday morning during the school year, it could be a performance in the Krannert Center Youth Series. Youngsters from preschool age through high school attend events that encourage them to be curious, explore a different art form or culture, and expand their own creativity through linked classroom activities. The youngest kids might join in a short interactive work by Compagnia TPO, while the oldest could experience a complete Shakespearean play presented by Illinois Theatre. Girls, boys, and young men and women were all captivated by the moving and decidedly funk-infused music of Black Violin.

Black Violin at Krannert Center, September 2016

Now entering its fourth year, the Designer-in-Residence Program in the Department of Landscape Architecture offers researchers and educators early in their careers an opportunity to hone their course plans, try new approaches to teaching, continue their projects, and engage with students. These designers have brought expertise from studying and working in locations such as Seoul, Toronto, and Mumbai and institutions including the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Years of data fuel the work of Stephen Cartwright, who is the chair of the Painting and Sculpture Program in the School of Art and Design. By tracking miles run, geographic coordinates, waking times, or temperatures, he generates the underpinning and variables that manifest in physical materials. Acrylic, aluminum, LED lights, motors, and electronics display the daily temperature in Urbana in Kinetic Frequency.