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College of Visual and Performing Arts

John O'Connell,  Dean

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
2101 E. Coliseum Boulevard
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499

  • Office: Visual Arts Building
  • Room: VA102
  • Hours: Mon-Fri, 8 am-5 pm

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April  2017

Strasburg’s “Adopt-a-Bow” Wins Big

VCD graphic design student Bethany Strasburg received second place honors ($200) in the undergraduate division at the 20th Annual Student Research and Creative Endeavor Symposium on Wednesday, March 29, in Walb Union for her Adopt-a-Bow project. Through her research and project, she examined the options of adoption and educating the viewer on the benefits and expenses that adoption has for interested people. To assist with the high cost of adopting, Strasburg created a not-for-profit organization to help relieve the financial stress on adopting parents. The products created and funds raised through the Adopt-a-Bow organization will be given to couples who demonstrate a financial need and a desire to adopt. Each student participant prepared an abstract and poster about their research project and remained on hand to answer questions from the judges. Strasburg’s faculty mentor for the project was James Gabbard.

A complete list of VCD student participants included:
Joshua Ainsworth
Quinn Collar
Sarah Daubenspeck
Avery Fiant
Jessica Field
Cassandra Harter
Amanda Howell
Aidan Kiraly
Amanda Meadows
Maria Mohan
Elizabeth Moser
Paige Pelkington
Bailey Rassavong
Daphne Reicher
Veronica Rice
Kaleb Robertson
Paige Robertson
Abeer Saeed
Molly Schenkel
Matt Spieth
Bethany Strasburg
Stacie Trahin
Tabitha Vachon
Jacienda Walter
Emily Wendel
Kaci Whitehead

Top 50 Students Awarded for Their Achievements

Visual and Performing Arts was proud to once again have five students acknowledged for their academic achievements during the Top 50 Dinner on Saturday, April 22 in the Walb Union International Ballroom. One of those students, Sean O’Leary was also awarded in the exemplary category by VPA Dean John O’Connell. “These individuals are not only highly engaged on the IPFW campus in their academics and co-curricular activities, they also make significant impacts in their own communities,” explained O’Connell. “We have more exceptional students coming up the ranks and we look forward to celebrating them next year.”

Angela Barbour, Art Education
Nominated by Associate Professor Laurel Campbell and the Fine Arts faculty

Angela Barbour, a first-generation college graduate, is considered to be the top art education student in the program as well as in the Department of Fine Arts. According to Campbell, she is highly organized, motivated, consistently produces excellent work, and is committed to teaching art to children. As a single mother, she chose to attend college to be an example of ambition and self-sufficiency for her children. As a fine arts student, she discovered artistic talents she did not know she had, but also enjoyed the intellectual stimulation derived from her non-art classes. She found the topic of women’s studies extremely relevant to her life experience, and those classes made her feel empowered and inspired. She is looking forward to working with the students who will one day be in her classroom.

Joshua Hettinger, Music Education, Music Performance
Nominated by Assistant Professor John Okley Egger

Josh Hettinger’s work in his classes demonstrates careful planning, attention to detail, ability to synthesize information, and ability of thoughtful reflection according to John Egger. With a strong GPA of 3.95 and his involvement in over four different music ensembles, Hettinger takes great pride in his determination and work ethic. And it shows. During his college career he has traveled to Carnegie Hall in New York City with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and served as the Vice President of the Wind Band Council and Secretary of the collegiate chapter of the National Association for Music Education. He also volunteers with Faith Baptist Church and their Upward Basketball program. Knowing he wants to teach music, he teaches private lessons to students locally, and works with both DeKalb and Woodlan High Schools during the marching band seasons in order to gain experience working with students.

Moriah Landon, Music Therapy
Self-nominated and supported by Associate Professor Nancy Jackson

Honors student Moriah Landon is extremely active and passionate about her studies, having already received her Honors Pin and is working to receive her Honors Medal. She is an active member of the Symphonic Band, University Singers, Choral Union, Mastodon Pep Band, Campus Ministry, Music Therapy Club, American Choral Directors Association IPFW Student Chapter, all while being a top employee in the IPFW Department of Theatre scene shop. Her greatest passion and dream is to be a music therapist, in order to bring about an improved quality of life for her clients and to empower them to achieve their highest potential. She believes that education is a privilege and blessing, not to be taken for granted. For that reason, she has attempted to experience her college career to its fullest.

Haleigh Mann, Music Education
Self-nominated and supported by Assistant Professor John Egger

Haleigh Mann faced a good deal of adversity before and during her time at IPFW. Early in her college career her mother unexpectedly passed away of a brain aneurysm. Her mother was an organ donor and saved three lives when she passed away. Faltering in her studies, she withdrew from school after that tragedy, realizing that her passion for life and learning had dissipated. Eventually she chose to return to school at IPFW where she not only regained her composure, but flourished. Going against the odds she has maintained good grades, was actively involved on campus, and held a part-time job. She found a home at IPFW and wants to share her success story so other students are inspired and remember to never give up. Click to watch a video of Haleigh’s story and how she continues to advocate for organ donation.

Sean O’Leary, Exemplar, Visual Communication and Design
Nominated by Dean John O’Connell

Sean O’Leary, (’16, B.F.A. graphic design) is currently a junior art director for the Asher Agency in Fort Wayne. O’Leary’s senior thesis project featured Trail Mix, a magazine, web site and printed collateral highlighting the hidden gems within the Indiana State Parks. His exemplary college career is highlighted by his internship with the IPFW Small Business Development Center, participation in the IPFW Social Media campaign facilitated by his student colleague Danielle Doepke, one of last year’s Top 50; and serving as the IPFW student representative for the American Advertising Federation of Fort Wayne.

March 2017

Magnificent New Steinway Delivered

Few things are more exciting or more dramatic for a Department of Music than watching a brand new Steinway piano being delivered from New York and assembled on the IPFW Auer Performance Hall stage. This exceptional and expensive instrument was delivered Feb. 24 and “flipped” into place in time for concerts being presented in March. The hand-crafted piano, selected by Associate Professor Hamilton Tescarollo on a buying trip to New York City in January, will help attract and retain talented music students and inspire distinguished artists to consider working in residence at IPFW.

Although the Rhinehart Music Center was opened in 2007, the Department of Music was still using a 9-foot Steinway grand piano bought in 1982. It was the only full-size concert piano on campus and after 35 years of use it was in desperate need of restoration. It became evident that a brand new, hand-crafted concert Steinway was in order and identifying funding became a top priority.

The Indiana-Purdue Student Government Association (IPSGA) and Auer Foundation, along with numerous individual donors, combined forces last year to fund the purchase of the new Steinway that will benefit 175 IPFW student musicians, guest artists, and audiences at more than 90 concerts every year.

Once the money was secured, only one thing remained: going for a test drive to select the perfect instrument. On Jan. 28, Tescarollo and Department of Music Chair Greg Jones traveled to Steinway & Sons New York Factory to put six of the fabled pianos through their paces. Once there, they were joined by Dr. Caio Pagano, Regents’ Professor of Piano, Arizona State University, whose opinion Tescarollo highly values since the attributes and nuances of each piano are unique.

Now that it is gracing the stage in its permanent home at the Auer Performance Hall, the magnificent new Steinway grand is the primary instrument for high-level concerts, such as the IPFW Community Orchestra, the annual student concerto and aria competition, and of the IPFW Gene Marcus Piano Camp and Competition. To complement the Steinway purchase, all 12,116 parts of the 1982 Steinway have been fully restored and now it has a full dose of the internal magic that makes it a Steinway.

New API 1608 Wows Students


What do IPFW, Berklee College of Music in Boston, and the Tisch School of the Arts in New York have in common? A top-of-the-line, API recording console for their students to replicate the professional recording studio experience! The IPFW/Sweetwater Music Technology Program now offers the only API console in the region and it promises to raise the Department of Music’s recording capability in Rhinehart Music Center, and their ability to effectively teach students to a standard that compares to other similar music school programs throughout the country.

Director of Music Technology John Fishell recommended the purchase of a new API 1608 console by Automated Processes, Inc. (API), as part of a plan to update the music technology equipment needed to more fully prepare our students for professional recording studio opportunities. VPA Dean John O’Connell was able to secure funding through the university, along with IPFW’s ongoing endowment from Sweetwater to make the purchase, along with expert installation.

The API 1608 console was made-to-order for IPFW in Jessup, Maryland, and arrived in July 2017. Local studio owner and engineer Dan Middleton was contracted to physically wire the Rhinehart Music Center for the new equipment.  Hundreds of individual audio cables were installed and terminated, one at a time, in order to maintain the highest audio quality throughout the system.  The wiring component of the installation was about 30% of the entire cost, with installation and testing completed in time for the spring 2017 semester.

What makes the API 1608 so special? Traditionally, the output from API consoles are well known for having a characteristic “punchy yet warm” sound, as well as a “glow,” which is difficult to define. API audio electronics are sought out by engineers, producers, and musicians due to the favorable “coloration” they impart to recordings. A quick look on eBay will show that today even pieces and parts of API consoles from the ’60s and ’70s have financially appreciated, and are very much in demand.

Other high quality items that were part of the upgrade included reference quality microphones, an excellent live sound reinforcement system, and exceptional quality musical instruments (such as a high-end Gretsch drum set) that are typical of a professional recording studio. 


Boarding the Shanghai Express

Brady Shrock (’16, B.A. theatre) has been working as an entertainer at the Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida, since graduating from IPFW last May. He has recently been offered and has accepted an exciting transfer to work at the Shanghai Disneyland Resort.

Taking Home the Gold

VCD students took home 32 of the student awards presented at the annual American Advertising Federation (Ad Fed) of Fort Wayne Advertising Honors on February 27, 2017. Ad Fed, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and improving the advertising industry, fostering higher standards of practice in advertising, expanding recognition of advertising, and cultivating a better understanding of the economic and social values of advertising to all people. Their award ceremony is designed to support that mission. Our students won 17 gold awards and 14 silver honors along with Danielle Doepke winning the Judges Choice Student Award.


Amanda Meadows: Holga Number Two
Danielle Doepke: The Birth of Aphrodite
Danielle Doepke: Glamour and Allure Magazine Project

Logo/Icon Design:
Caleb Fairres: South by Southwest Logo Redesign
Amanda Meadows: Internship Engraving Logo

Michael A. Smith II: The Phoeni
Dustin Keeslar: Nether

Aurbie Lamb: Self-Promo Kit

Internet Commercial:
Sean O’Leary: IPFW-Fort Wayne’s University

Sean O’Leary: Women’s Bureau Video Campaign

Non Traditional Advertising:
Sabrina Medert: Joseph Decuis Menu

Display Design:
Ashley Eppinger: Starwood Festival Poster

Publication Design:
Elijah Van Dine: Popular Science Cover and Article

Cross Media Campaign:
Sabrina Medert: Freshii Rebrand



Danielle Doepke: Beauty in Colo
Elijah Van Dine: DO317 Internship Concert Photos
Kayla Bell: Natural Healing Photography Set
Amanda Meadows: Holga Number One
Danielle Doepke: Exposure: Exposing the Myths and Realities of Living with a Mental Illness

Logo/Icon Design:
Ashley Eppinger: Old Crown Logo

Sean O’Leary: Off Magazine Ad

Special Events Advertising:
Narcisa Cruz: IPFW Fall 2016 BFA Exhibition
Spencer Passwater: Fan Club Promotion CD

Publication Design:
Ashley Eppinger: Visual Guidelines, Old Crown
Danielle Doepke: Exposure: Exposing the Myths and Realities of Living with a Mental Illness

Publication Design
Sean O’Leary: Trail Mix Indiana Magazine

Cross Media Campaign:
Dustin Keeslar: 105.1 ROCK WKDC Radio Station
Rachel Miller: Choc. & Bee Chocolate Bar Packaging
Sean O’Leary: station campaign

Cassandra Harter: Plain Electronics Packaging
Elijah VanDine: Google Chromecast Redesign

Judges Choice

Student Publication Design:
Danielle Doepke: Exposure


Spiritual and Symbolic Influence

The ceramic work of Assistant Professor Seth Green was featured in a solo exhibition entitled Ritual from Jan. 22 – Mar. 3 in the Doris Ullman Galleries at Berea College in Berea, KY. According to the artist, his ceramic vessels portray spirituality and are influenced by symbols in religious architecture. Inspirations include Islamic temples and mosques and architecture of the Czech Republic that are topped with domes, spires, and finials. Luxury or ceremonial wares that originally were made to reside in holy or other culturally significant edifices are also an influence.

Photographic Quilts Draw You In

The “photographic quilts” of Joanne R. Schultz, secretary in the Department of Theatre, were featured in a one-woman show at the Garrett Art Museum in February. Her photographs feature natural elements and objects taken at her summer home on Long Island, as well as the Indiana landscape. Having practiced the art of quilting, she integrates these natural elements into her work; making“quilts” using digital photography. Her works After the Rain, Washed Ashore, There is Beauty in Death, and Solitude also were featured in the Fall 2016 issue of Confluence magazine. Confluence literary journal is a student-run publication housed on the campus of IPFW. She has two more exhibitions of her work scheduled in 2017: Old Crown Coffee Roasters in August and the Fort Wayne Allen County Library in November.

Theatre Alum’s Wedding Ministry

Heather (Moser) Krempel (’13, B.A., theatre) has started a new business with her mother that helps plan special events on a very limited budget called From This Day Forward: A Wedding and Special Events Ministry. The non-profit organization caters to those who are challenged with limited funds and yet still desire the opportunity to celebrate. The volunteer - and donation - centered enterprise has a studio in Huntertown thst offers coordinating and planning assistance, as well as decorating and decor usage from an overflowing supply acquired from thrift stores, clearance, garage sales, wedding groups, and donations. Everything is available in exchange for a suggested donation to their ministry. To schedule an appointment or for more information please contact Heather at 260-415-0839 or at     Visit their Facebook page.

Expressions Archive


2016-17 Subscription Season


Spring 2017 Concert Season 


Visual Arts Gallery - Fine Arts

Visual Arts Gallery - VCD


In Memorium

Norman W. Bradley, 80, Associate Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts, died Saturday, July 23, 2016. Bradley began teaching at IPFW and retired in 1999. He received degrees from Mexico City College (B.F.A., 1959) and University of the Americas in Mexico (M.F.A., 1964). He is survived by his wife Dixie (Landis) Bradley, their daughter and numerous relatives. “Norm was a wonderful and dependable colleague teaching painting and art history,” explained John Hrehov, chair of the IPFW Department of Fine Arts. “He will always be remembered for his love of Mexico and Pre-Columbian Art, which he taught for us over many years. As a painter, he was superb. I always considered Norm one of the best painters in Fort Wayne. Read full obituary.


Have you ever wondered what the VPA Community Arts Academy is all about? Did you know that adults can sign up for private music instruction? Wouldn’t it be nice to see a quick overview of the types of classes we offer for students in grades Pre-K – 12? Now you can thanks to IN Fort Wayne. Click Here.

Greg Jones, chair and professor in the Department of Music, co-authored an article in the latest issue of the Journal of the International Trumpet Guild. The article, titled, The Master: The Story of Chinese Trumpet Professor Ji Ruikai, is about the life of the legendary professor.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette recently threw the spotlight on theatre major Freddy Fuelling for a little Q&A in regard to his lead role in Stupid F*@%ing Bird. Learn more about Freddy here.

Bobby Rue-Wilder, (’12, B.S. music and an outside field) has been offered the position of choral director at Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio. Rue-Wilder is currently completing his master’s thesis in musicology from Bowling Green State University, where he graduates in May 2017. Bobby prepared and conducted BGSU’s early music ensemble, a group that was invited to the prestigious Early Music America Young Performers Festival in Berkeley, CA (June 2016). While at IPFW Rue-Wilder studied with Associate professors Melanie Bookout and Sam Savage.

Associate Professor of Music Melanie Kronick Bookout spoke about “Frances Macbeth Glessner, the Fortnightly, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra” at the Allen County Library for Women's History Month on March 25, 2017.

A ceramic tile and stained glass piece entitled Change by Jan Krist-Finkbeiner (’15, B.F.A., ceramics) was accepted into the 92 County Art Show at the Honeywell Center in Wabash, Ind. The exhibition was on display at the Honeywell Center Clark Gallery from January 19 February 27, 2017. The 92 County Art Show is an annual competition open to artists residing in all 92 counties in the state of Indiana.

Brianna Gamble was a semi-finalist at the Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition sponsored by the Jackson Symphony Orchestra in Jackson, Mich. The finals for this competition in which operatically trained singers prove they can entertain were held on March 4, 2017.

“Norman Bradley and Friends,” a retrospective of IPFW professor emeritus Norman Bradley’s work, will be exhibited from Saturday, April 22–May 20 at Crestwoods Gallery. The opening reception at the gallery is Saturday, April 22 from 2-5 p.m. and is located at 314 N. Main St., Roanoke, Ind.

Assistant Professor of Music Therapy Linda Wright-Bower and Dina Mansour-Cole presented a workshop at the Higher Education Pedagogy Conference at Virginia Tech University entitled “Let Every Voice be Heard: Strategies for Engaging Deep Learning via Discussions in General Education Capstone Courses.” The workshop talked about getting students to read the textbook and prepare for class without the threat and anxiety of pop quizzes or tests. Linda’s methods are used in face-to-face classes and Dina uses a similar process for online discussion work. The conference held February 15 – 17, 2017, focused on higher education teaching excellence and the scholarship of teaching and learning. The conference showcases the best pedagogical practice and research in higher education today. Wright-Bower also presented a solo version of this same workshop at the T3 Conference on Teaching, Techniques and Technology at University of Cincinnati Clemont College on Friday March 17, 2017.

Jason Stopa (20’12, B.F.A. painting) has curated his first traveling museum exhibition, titled “A New Subjectivity: Figurative Painting after 2000.”  The exhibition is composed entirely of paintings by women that attempt to categorize Expressionism in new terms. Referencing cartoons, fashion spreads, and personal narratives, the artists address the fragmentation of individual subjectivity in a technological world. The artists include Gina Beavers, Katherine Bernhardt, Katherine Bradford, Jackie Gendel, Liz Markus, and Rose Wylie. This exhibit will be on view at Pratt Manhattan Gallery through April 12, 2017 and then move to the Fine Arts Center Gallery at the University of Arkansas August 16 - September 22, 2017. Reece Museum at East Tennessee State University is the final leg of this traveling exhibition and will be featured there from October 16 - December 15, 2017. A full color catalog accompanies the exhibition.