Liza Sylvestre

For our last interview of the academic year, Dean Hamilton speaks with Liza Sylvestre, Coordinator of the Giertz Education Center at the Krannert Art Museum, and a 2019 alumna of our MFA program in Studio Art. They discuss an ambitious project Liza began earlier this year as part of her time as a Kate Neal Kinley Fellow – an effort that has taken on new life and significance during this time of growing reliance on technologies of telepresence.

Their discussion centers on “Inaccessibilty as Material,” a recent interview conducted by Liza and her collaborator Christopher Jones with artist Alison O’Daniel, and posted this week on the arts publication Sixty Inches from Center.

As part of a larger curatorial project in planning with University of Illinois-Chicago’s Gallery 400 and the University of Chicago, Liza and Christopher talk with O’Daniel about her work The Tuba Thieves. You can find our audio interview with Liza as well as a transcript below, following two film stills from O’Daniel’s project.

Still image from Alison O'Daniel's The Tuba Thieves

Still image from Alison O'Daniel's The Tuba Thieves

Link to a transcript of our conversation with Liza here.

Professor Endalyn Taylor

For this conversation, Endalyn Taylor of our Department of Dance shares about her life at home with a sculpture by glass artist Milon Townsend. Listen below to a conversation about how an artwork’s meaning changes over time, and how Professor Taylor draws from her rich experiences to support her students, reminding them of their own inner strength. (You may also read a transcript of the conversation at this link.)

Here’s a picture of the Townsend sculpture, which has been part of Professor Taylor’s home for many years:

Milon Townsend glass sculpture

Professor Jorge Lucero

Dean Hamilton caught up this week with Jorge Lucero, a professor of Art Education in the School of Art and Design. Their discussion covered many aspects of life under quarantine, and especially the ways in which time and schedules have changed for those of us who can work from home.

As in each week’s conversation, this one began with an example of an artwork that has been of help to our guest during this time of disruption and unease. Jorge shared with us Twenty Four, an album by musician Jonathan Ogden, which you can listen to at this link.

album cover art for twenty-four, by Jonathan Ogden

Listen to our interview below, or follow the transcript at this link.


Professor Lisa Gaye Dixon

This week Dean Kevin Hamilton talks with Professor Lisa Gaye Dixon,  Producer and Chair of the Acting Program in the Department of Theatre. Asked about what work she’s been drawing inspiration from lately, Lisa shared two examples – the 1977 song “Nantucket Island” from singer-songwriter Willie Wright, and the poem “When Death Comes” by Mary Oliver.

Listen to the interview below, or follow the transcript here.

Willie Wright and Mary Oliver

    • Poet Mary Oliver passed just last year; you can read her poem “When Death Comes” in the memorial at this link.
    • You can listen to the Willie Wright song we discussed here, courtesy of Chicago’s Numero Group.

Dr. Ollie Watts Davis

For this first in our series, Dean Kevin Hamilton interviews Dr. Ollie Watts Davis, Suzanne and William Allen Professor of Music in our School of Music, and Director of the university’s historic Black Chorus. You can listen below, or read the transcript at this link.

When asked about a work of art that has sustained her through this time, Dr. Watts Davis shared this video of the Black Chorus’ final rehearsal of the gospel song “Precious Lord” before the state shelter-in-place order prohibited further gatherings: