The College of Fine Arts at Wichita State University is one of the most respected
colleges of digital, visual, and performing arts in the nation. The CFA Newsletter
is here to bring you the latest news and updates from each school within the college.
Update on our 2020-2021 Season
The College has always been committed to providing the highest quality in arts programming.
We recognize, however, that current circumstances necessitate changes in the presentation
of this programming. Some may be live with limited audience participation, and some
will be totally presented on virtual platforms.
Our promise is to keep you informed of these changes as we navigate this situation
together – through our website, newsletters and social media. We appreciate your continued
support and feedback.
Celebrating 125 Years of Wichita State
In September 1895, Fairmount College, the forerunner of Wichita State University,
held its first classes just northeast of 17th Street and Hillside. Now, 125 years
later, we celebrate the ever-expanding role of our institution as a pillar of cultural
and academic excellence, a vital engine of economic growth and a positive force in
the lives of millions.
Wichita State will celebrate the Quasquicentennial with a host of events, activities,
stories and history.
"Dr. M" shows how to pronounce "Quasquicentennial"--just in time for WSU's 125th celebration
Students found creative ways to install and share their work this spring, as the Kansas
stay-at-home order derailed thesis exhibition plans.
Graduates of the graphic design program in the School of Art, Design and Creative
Industries (ADCI) pivoted to an online format and Zoom-based reception for their BFA
show. Read more about how the students adapted, and view their virtual exhibition at wsudesignzoo.com
MFA graduates Amy Huser and Chuck Purviance each installed their work and then conducted
their oral defenses via Zoom. The shows are still on view at ShiftSpace and the Clayton
Wichita State galleries will continue to exhibit the work of students and visiting
artists despite the challenges presented by social distancing. The number of people
permitted in each gallery will be limited, and visitors will be required to wear masks.
“If we’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that our students and faculty
are incredibly capable,” said Jeff Pulaski, ADCI director. “I’m confident that as
we move forward, we’ll continue to show art in innovative ways.”
School of Music Assistant Professor composes piece on social distancing
David MacDonald, Assistant Professor of Music, wrote Music for Social Distancing during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
"During this time, musicians are struggling to find ways to perform music together
while also respecting the critical importance of remaining in their separate physical
places. Limitations of the available technology (and physics) currently prevent us
from performing together, listening to one another, and responding with care and immediacy
in the ways that we are used to," MacDonald says.
MacDonald's piece has been performed by three groups (one high school string quartet,
one university orchestra, and one professional chamber ensemble.
"...(V)ideoconferencing platforms have quickly become socially ubiquitous. Music for Social Distancing is intended for performance over a remote videoconference and adapts to some of the
unique challenges of that performance environment. Players still listen carefully
and react to one another, but in a different way than they would in a traditional
You can find Music for Social Distancing on MacDonald's website.
Dance Seniors create a virtual Capstone Showcase
When COVID-19 caused the world to implement social distancing, the Dance Seniors had
to get creative to bring their research, choreography, and performances to the public.
Seniors Natalie Ashbrook, Aviance Battles, Summer Brandley, Haydee Carlson, Audrey
Dimitt, Elleigh McClelland, Megan Pierson, Randi Reinert, Abby Tyson, and Coral Weis
each filmed their research or original choreographed performances, which were combined
into one video for their virtual debut.
Under the direction of Cheyla Clawson Chandler, Assistant Professor of Dance and the
School of Performing Arts Coordinator of Assessment and Research, the Dance Seniors
were able to showcase the culmination of their undergraduate work to thousands of
The Senior Capstone can be found on the School of Performing Arts YouTube Channel.
College of Fine Arts commencement motorcade a success
With the University commencement ceremony moved to a virtual format, the College of
Fine Arts devised a plan to congratulate and celebrate 2020 graduates in a safe, socially-distanced
Faculty, staff, students, friends, and family alike decorated their vehicles with
positive messages for recent graduates, and took part in the first ever commencement
motorcade on campus. This video, taken by the Ulrich Museum of Art, shows the long
line of students and their supporters as they paraded down Perimeter Road on an overcast
Congratulations again to the Class of 2020, whose resilience allowed them to accomplish
their goals, even in these challenging times.
College of Fine Arts | (316) 978-3389