KU alumni return to recognize The New Arts Program

By Viviana Vidal

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The Marlin and Regina Miller Gallery announce “Shifting Paradigms” presented by KU’s The New Arts Program on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015 from 3-5 p.m.

Serving as one of the opening events of the season for KU’s Sesquicentennial celebration, founder and director James Carroll, alongside five alumni from the 1970s art program, will return to introduce audiences to the influences that inspired them as a direct result of The New Arts Program visitor series in the early 70s.

Associate professor of art history Dr. Daniel Haxall, wrote in an essay that, “These artists have earned international recognition in diverse mediums of painting, sculpture, photography and performance. Their careers represent the excellence of KU, as well as the impact of The New Arts Program in shaping creative professionals.”

Unsatisfied with the traditional practices of education, James Carroll challenged the status quo of learning through The New Arts Program. For over 40 years, he has witnessed over 700 artists, dancers, musicians and composers cultivate their creative skills within the halls of KU.

The idea was simple yet revolutionary: bring in artists and create a dialogue between them and the students.

Caroll said, “I created the program because I wanted someone to talk to. Artists from around the world were invited in to talk individually; that’s the residency. I always had the idea of inviting people. I chose not to invite people I already knew because I’m already conversing with them. And so consequently, I went beyond what’s here.”

Each alumnus clearly understood the power of conversation and how those interactions shaped their perceptions and works.

1976 graduate Paul Harryn, producer of “Shifting Paradigms,” said, “I’ve experienced the benefits of remaining receptive to new ideas. Whenever I recognize the formation of patterns or habits, I now understand the importance of ‘shifting paradigms’ by becoming engaged in activities with different people, cultures and art. Though change is often difficult, it is an essential attribute for the creative spirit to thrive and to remain vital.”

The New Arts Program improved the learning process for students, according to 1977 alumna Barbara Kilpatrick. She said, “We were witness to some of the most forward-thinking artists, musicians, composers and choreographers of our time. The two most important figures for me were Yvonne Rainer (choreographer/filmmaker) and Trisha Brown (dancer/choreographer), and what I learned most from their work was that art making could expand beyond narrow boundaries to include multiple disciplines.”

Carroll vows that, “the essence of education is conversation.”

“Shifting Paradigms” will transcend expectations through the power of dialogue and art.

The exhibition will run through Oct. 11.

Following its opening reception, The New Arts Program and KU’s Fine Arts program will host a special benefit performance by composer Philip Glass and Jon Gibson. Advance tickets for general seating are $35, tickets at the door will be $40 and student tickets with proper ID are $15 in person or at the door.



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