College of the Arts News

  • Grant Park will be the setting for a new, reimagined Flux Night 2018
    Deanna Sirlin - Sep 24, 2018

    Grant Park will be the setting for a new, reimagined Flux Night 2018.

    This weekend, four artists — all Atlanta-based women — will unveil a new vision for one of the city’s most popular art events, Flux Night. Rachel K. Garceau, Rebecca M.K. Makus, Iman Person and Lauri Stallings (along with their respective collaborators) will present four large-scale public works in Atlanta’s Grant Park for Flux 2018, which for the first time takes place across an entire weekend, September 27–30.

    “It’s a way of surveying our environment and its various emotions and needs with this very powerful feminine presence in a very masculine environment,” says Stallings of her work in process. “Our bodies work this way, our bodies have something to say, through no muscular force, just the force of empathy.”

    Atlanta-based artists Rebecca M.K. Makus, Lauri Stallings, Iman Person and Rachel K. Garceau will premiere new work as part of a reimagined Flux event.

    Flux Night debuted in 2010 as a free, one-night exhibition of public art in Castleberry Hill. The combination of engaging contemporary works and an art-filled outdoor environment proved enormously popular, and the annual event grew faster and larger than Flux Projects, the small nonprofit that produces it, could reasonably manage. The event went on hiatus in 2014 and again in 2016 and 2017 as the organization considered new approaches.

    The new Flux will extend over four days with special focus times on each day, and the event will culminate on Saturday night with a participatory, light-based happening. Although Flux Projects previously sought to bring in public artists from outside the city for the event, this year, all the artists are Atlanta-based.

    The placement of the reimagined event in Grant Park is significant, says Flux Projects executive director Anne Archer Dennington, with this year marking the 135th anniversary of Atlanta’s oldest city park. “When we announced the artists for Flux 2018, I was still looking for a fifth one,” she says, “but along the way I came to realize that the park is the fifth creator in this work.”

    Each of the artists will situate the content and form of her work in relation to the history of the site. In 1883, Lemuel Grant, a businessman who owned over 600 acres in Atlanta, gave the city the land for the park because he wanted residents to have a place of refuge where they could experience nature close to the city. Designed by the Olmstead Brothers (the sons of Frederick Law Olmstead, who designed Piedmont Park), the park originally had a lake, which was drained for the zoo expansion; its creeks and runoffs have since disappeared. Across its long history, parts of the park have been neglected. The Grant Park Conservancy, founded in 1996, seeks to rectify problems. Construction and environmental planning projects are currently underway in the ever-evolving urban space.

    An installation by Iman Person on Ossabaw Island. Person’s upcoming work in Grant Park will involve iridescent fabric tracing the park’s old waterways.

    Iman Person’s Waterlust will trace and recreate the lost waterways of the park with iridescent flowing fabric hovering over the ground. Originally there were five springs in the park, with only one now remaining. “For me, water holds qualities that move beyond the material,” says Person, an artist who has worked across drawing, installation and performance. “It is an activator, a soother of energies and also a conduit for the subconscious. The little water left acts as a thin veil between Atlanta’s past and also its deciding future.” The installation will have three totems that emit sounds of nature. As a viewer follows the banners that stretch and flow across the park, the new path will simultaneously reintroduce the landscape and remind participants of the site’s history. 

    Following and moving are also central to the work of Rachel K. Garceau, a ceramic artist who works in porcelain. Garceau’s installation Passage will be a labyrinth set in the landscape with a series of handmade slip-cast porcelain stones. Participants will be invited to carry pebble-like sculptures made by dozens of other artists on their journey. “Working with porcelain requires a certain sensitivity and tenderness,” she says. “Placing this fragile work in a public space is an exercise in trust and also an invitation for visitors to reconsider places and objects in a new light. It also speaks to the delicate nature of the park itself and of the flora and fauna who call this place home.”

    Lauri Stallings’ glo performed in North Georgia in 2017.

    Movement, strength and fragility are also aspects of Lauri Stallings’ performance work, Land Trees and Women. Viewers will be able to experience the work from sunrise to twilight as Stallings’ group of eight female movement artists, glo, will “move, lean, swarm and push” to convey the natural topography of the land. As viewers follow these artists on their migrations, Stallings says, light will change, weather shift and movements bend. For the first time, Stallings’ work will incorporate four modular sculptures. “Encounter of the audience is unregulated,” says Stallings. “Social performance belongs to a place and a people, relying on the transference from one body to another, a symbol of sorts, a lost democracy. I don’t expect people to follow us for hours. I recognize the endurance ritual here. We touched each other for a moment.”

    Rebecca M.K. Makus and her collaborators Peter Torpey and Elly Jessop Nattinger will be building a series of events titled Toolbox. Each day, the team will enter the park with a wheelbarrow filled with a toolbox and simple materials such as batteries, LEDs, clear tape, water, string and a clock. They will select a location, start the timer on the clock and create a temporary performance/installation that they will also document. The works are “sympathetic interventions into the landscape,” Markus says. “The park has a really loud voice,” she explains. “We are transforming echoes of that voice into materiality. Our installations mold themselves to the skin of the park highlighting how the history of the park is written on its body.”

    Describing the way artists respond to the natural world, Cézanne once said, “Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realizing one’s sensations.” The artists of Flux similarly aim to make visitors see how Grant Park is integral to the history, landscape and life of the city as they overlay the natural landscape, intersect with it and respond to it. As Stallings says: “The nature space is where I belong.” As the artists embrace Grant Park, viewers also may encounter a new vision of a place where they belong.

  • Arts visionary will bring leadership, passion

    Ivan Pulinkala appointed interim dean of College of the Arts

    Kennesaw, GA (July 1, 2018)
    –– Kennesaw State University has appointed Ivan Pulinkala as interim dean of the College of the Arts, effective July 1.

    Pulinkala founded the Dance program at KSU in 2005 and, under his leadership, it has flourished into the largest collegiate dance program in Georgia. He was instrumental in the development of the Dance Theater on the Marietta campus, Atlanta’s first theater designed specifically for dance.

    “Ivan continues to distinguish himself as a visionary with strong ties to the arts community. I am confident that his leadership and passion will serve the faculty, staff, and students of the College of the Arts well, and I look forward to working with him,” said Linda Noble, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.

    “The arts at KSU are vital to the ecology of our campus and the Atlanta community, providing opportunities to enrich people’s lives and engage in critical discourse, while advancing the mission of our student-centered public institution. I am deeply honored to be chosen to serve as the College’s interim dean,” said Pulinkala.

    Originally from New Delhi, India, Pulinkala moved to the United States in 1998 to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance and received his doctorate in higher education administration in 2012 from the University of Alabama.

    In 2005, he received the Board of Regents award for Teaching Excellence from Murray State University. He received a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in 2010 and the Shusterman Visiting Artist Grant from the Israeli Foundation in 2016, to bring internationally ranked guest artists to KSU Dance. Pulinkala has also received the KSU Foundation Award for his creative scholarship, and the KSU Clendenin Graduate Fellowship for his doctoral studies.

    The KSU Department of Dance has received regional and national attention for Pulinkala’s choreographic work at the American College Dance Festival, and Pulinkala is the only choreographer in the history of the American College Dance Festival to have work selected for three successive national festivals. His choreographic commissions have been presented in Israel, Spain, China, and India, in addition to commissions in the United States. Pulinkala also helped launch the first study abroad program in Israel for KSU in May 2016.

    Pulinkala was selected by the University System of Georgia to be a part of the Executive Leadership Institute in 2013 and the Accelerated Leadership Academy in 2017. He has served on the advisory boards of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta (Arts Fund and Community Committee), the Cobb Energy Center ArtsBridge Education Foundation, the American College Dance Association, and ArtsAtl.

    The strong relationships and partnerships Pulinkala has developed over the past decade with organizations such as the Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta Ballet, Consulate General of Israel, ArtsBridge Foundation, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, and the Rialto Center for the Arts will undoubtedly serve the College of the Arts at KSU during his tenure as interim dean.

    A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 35,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. A Carnegie-designated doctoral institution, it is one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit For more information on the College of the Arts, visit

  • NAfME names Harry E. Price recipient of Senior Researcher Award

    KENNESAW, Ga. (Apr 25, 2018) — Kennesaw State University’s Harry E. Price, professor of music and music education in the School of Music in the College of the Arts, has been honored by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) as the 2018 recipient of the Senior Researcher Award.

    The award, which recognizes significant, long-term scholarship in music education, was given to Price at the recent NAfME’s Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference in Atlanta.

    “Harry joins a distinguished group of leaders in music education — leaders who produced, and in most cases continue to produce, significant scholarship over long periods of time,” said James L. Byo, Carl Prince Matthies Professor of Music at Louisiana State University. “Harry’s record, spanning four decades, features research that is both rigorous and focused. It also features important service to the music education discipline that, if not unparalleled, is likely unsurpassed.”

    NAfME names Harry E. Price recipient of Senior Researcher Award

    For the past 35 years, Price’s research has been published in the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Psychology of Music, International Journal of Music Education and many others. He has introduced his research more than 100 times in various venues, from NAfME’s Music Research and Teacher Education National Conferences to the International Symposium for Research in Music Behavior.

    “Price’s writings span a range of research questions, yet never lose their focus on aiming to contribute to the improvement of teachers and teacher education,” said Michael J. Blakeslee, NAfME’s executive director and CEO.

    Price, who previously served as professor of music and head of music education at the University of Oregon and University of Alabama, served as interim associate dean in Oregon and was the director of KSU’s School of Music. He is currently working on the new journal development board for the Jazz Education Network.

    The National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME hosts professional development events and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. With more than 60,000 members, the organization is the national voice of music education in the United States.

    – Robert S. Godlewski

    Photos by Lauren Kress

  • Dr. John Gentile To Receive NCA’s Heston AwardDr. John Gentile, Professor of Performance Studies in Kennesaw State’s Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, will receive the National Communication Association’s Lilla A. Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Interpretation and Performance Studies. NCA will present Gentile with the award during its 103rd annual convention in Dallas, Texas this November.

    The Heston award, which recognizes excellence in published research and creative scholarship, comes on the basis of Gentile’s essay, “Shape-Shifter in the Green: Performing Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” (published in Storytelling, Self, Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Storytelling Studies). “Shape-Shifter in the Green…” builds on Gentile’s three decades of scholarship in arguing an inextricable link between the seemingly disparate tasks of performance and scholarship. To hear Gentile explain it, his goal is to illuminate the work of what he calls, the ‘scholar-artist,’ thereby, “show[ing] the work in scholarship that inevitably takes place behind the scenes in preparing a performance of a canonical text like Sir Gawain.”

    Gentile has always been attracted to what he refers to as, “masterworks,” those canonical texts that are ultimately handed down and rediscovered across the distance of centuries. As a result, much of his work as a scholar and artist has centered on the concept of adapting and staging canonical works like Sir Gawain, Moby-Dick, and The Scarlet Letter for contemporary audiences. “I often wonder about the future of great works,” Gentile explains. “If they are not embedded in our education experience, when will people come upon them? And so I almost have a quest to ‘salvage’ works from a sense of loss, whereby a work of true power and significance is reduced— to contemporary students— to only a title they may have heard of.” According to Gentile, it is this task of cultural curation that ultimately necessitates a link between scholarship and performance. “Assuming the artist creating the adaptation of a major literary text for the stage has done his or her work in analysis and in research,” the professor explains, “and brings to it an effective vision, and makes it vital in the theatrical experience, then that performance can lead audiences back to the original text itself -- as readers, and that to me is the real benefit of doing the work I do.”

    Given Gentile’s track record of both penning and staging engaging performances of famous texts, and his impeccable ability to articulate the theory behind this process in his work, it’s no surprise that Emerson College’s John Dennis Anderson called him, “the preeminent exemplar… of the scholar artist [in the field of performance studies]” in a nomination letter for the 2017 Lilla A. Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Interpretation and Performance Studies.

    Gentile’s celebrated scholarship and artistry will be on display on November 11, at the Jung Society of Atlanta’s, “The Green Knight and Other Stories of Magic and Transformation: A Storytelling Program with Music

  • The COTA Special Edition of the Kennesaw Journal of Undergraduate Research (KJUR) welcomes articles and reviews that meet the criteria for undergraduate research. 

    The definition of undergraduate research is: “An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline (”

    Undergraduate arts research and scholarship includes: traditional papers (manuscripts) in each COTA discipline; musical scores; video art and video documentaries/narratives/histories/choreography; graphic novels; audio files; digital photo files.  Non-manuscript submissions must be coupled with a theoretical contextualization of the project and an artistic statement.

    • Manuscripts authored by a single student or by a team of students will be considered.
    • Please be sure to include your faculty advisor, necessary for the application process.

    Please consult the Policies of the KJUR at: regarding submission rules, rights of authors, and attribution and usage policies.

    When preparing your manuscript for submission, be sure to consult the KJUR Formatting Requirements at as well as the “Cover Letter Guidelines and Manuscript Guidelines” at:

    In addition to your adherence to your department/school submission guidelines, please follow the following COTA Special Edition Manuscript Guidelines:

    • Research manuscripts should fall within the 3,000 – 8, 000 word range.
    • Reviews of performances or exhibitions should be up to 1,500 words.

    *With regard to formatting and citation style, the writer should defer to the recommended style for their particular area of research. Chicago (Turabian), MLA, and APA styles are supported by KJUR. Authors should consult with a faculty mentor in their area to determine the recommended style for their manuscript.

    * Submit manuscripts via the Submit Article tab at

    * DEADLINE EXTENDED! The new deadline for paper submission is May 30, 2017, by 5pm.

  • Get out of the house and join us for these events that will warm your heart and engage your senses. Many of them are free!

    7 Winter Arts Events at KSU

    1. Visions’ 34th Annual Juried Student Exhibition, January 19-February 19, 2017. Open Tuesday - Thursday, 10 to 5 in the Fine Arts Gallery in the Wilson Building on the Kennesaw campus. FREE. Reception January 18, 5 to 7 p.m.

    2. Trey Wright - Some of my Best Friends are Saxophonists. Jan 23, 2017, 8 p.m. FREE; no tickets required. Bailey Performance Center, Morgan Hall.

    3. Wind Ensemble, Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017, 8 p.m. FREE; no tickets required.
    Bailey Performance Center, Morgan Hall.

    4. Charae Krueger, cello and Robert Henry, piano. Monday, Jan 30, 2017, 8 p.m. FREE; no tickets required. Bailey Performance Center, Morgan Hall.

    5. 2017 Collage Concert, Saturday, February 4, 2017, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. An exciting highlight each season, the Collage Concert is the signature production of the School of Music. The fundraising event features soloists, chamber groups and ensembles totaling almost 300 student and faculty performances. A truly memorable experience. Buy tickets.

    6. Stories for a Winter Night: c.c. collins, Animal Rites. January 26-28, 8 p.m., Stillwell Theater. Animal Rites is a one-man show that puts relations between human and nonhuman animals front and center. Artist and scholar c.c. collins performs as the Animal Parade Krewe, who’s gathered to celebrate and question the future of animal life on the planet. Buy tickets.

    7. Peter and the Starcatcher, Feb. 7-12. Tues-Sat 8 p.m., Sat-Sun 2 p.m.  Orphan boys and pirates at sea, a flying cat, an exotic island, two trunks, and stardust. This charming and rambunctious prequel to Peter Pan will capture your hearts and imagination. Buy tickets.

  • Looking for something to do this season? Enjoy art exhibitions, theatre and dance performances, and musical concerts, all at Kennesaw State College of the Arts. Here are our top five that you should not miss: 

    1. MELD Nov. 9-12. An evening of innovative classical and contemporary dance, including choreography by Israeli artist Ella Ben-Aharon. Get your tickets early! Read more.

    2. K.I.S.S Showcase: Nov. 11-12. FREE; Onyx Theater, 8 p.m. Improv Dangerously, the mantra of ensemble, and popularly known as “Kennesaw Improv Society, Stupid!”  Enjoy unscripted, spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment tomfoolery that is a new show every time. 

    3. ASO at KSU Nov. 1.  Featuring Robert Spano, conductor and David Coucheron, violin. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra returns to KSU for an exciting and fiery program. Stravinsky’s magical Firebird Suite launched his career composing ballets and is one of the Orchestra’s signature pieces, recorded under Robert Shaw in 1979. Concertmaster David Coucheron plays the romantic Violin Concerto No. 1 by Prokofiev and Robert Spano, Music Director, conducts.Pieces to be performed include: Knussen - Flourish with Fireworks; Scriabin/kurth - Symphony No. 5, “Prometheus, Poem of Fire”l Prokofiev - Violin Concerto No. 1; and Stravinsky - The Firebird Suite (1919).

    4. School of Music Holiday Concert Dec. 2. Join the School of Music for this special, family-friendly program featuring the best of holiday selections.

    5. KSU Tellers Showcase: Dec. 2-3. Join the KSU Tellers for a one-of-a-kind night of their best stories from the fall semester. 

    6. ASO at KSU Holiday Family Concert Dec. 15. Enjoy music from The Nutcracker, join in a festive sing-along, and have a holly jolly Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the whole family in Morgan Concert Hall. And, if you’re good, Santa Claus himself just might make an appearance!

    To see all of our upcoming performances, please visit

  • It’s rad…it’s College of the Arts’ RadnoculUR Series!

    The Urban Dictionary defines radnocular as being, “The state of being extremely cool to an almost supernatural level; something unbelievably fantastic until seen; almost impossible yet awesome.

    The Radnocular Series features FREE undergraduate research presentations from each department. You will enjoy free drinks and snacks…and mind-blowing presentations of super cool stuff! Here’s the 2017 schedule:

    Department of Dance:
    January 30, 3:30-4:30pm, Chastain Pointe Dance Studios

    School of Music:
    February 24, 12:30-1:30pm, Wilson Building, Room 117

    Please join us in this rad series “RadnoculUR!” Watch the video

  • Are you an arts alum?The College of the Arts is participating in the 2016 Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) – a one-of-a-kind survey that explores the lives of arts alumni nationwide.

    This Fall, all arts graduates of Kennesaw State University will receive an email invitation to participate in the on-line survey. By verifying that our alumni office has a current email address, alumni can be sure not to miss their chance to share their experiences and help shape the future of arts education across the country and at the College of the Arts. Update your information here.

    After completing the survey, alumni will have access to a site where they can see how their experience compares with those of other arts graduates across North America. They can see where arts graduates live, where they work, what they earn and how their arts educations have influenced their lives.

    The time our alumni spend sharing their experiences will help the College of the Arts, along with many other participating institutions across the country, better prepare students for success, whether they stay in the arts or use what they’ve learned in other professional fields.

  • Highlights-of-Fall-Arts-Events-1

    The College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University has a full schedule of events planned for the fall of 2016, including dance, music, theatre, and visual arts. 

    In a uniquely collaborative event, the School of Music and KSU Dance Co. have gathered forces with the Zuckerman Museum of Art to host Interchange II: Transitions on September 20th at 8 p.m. Free and open to the public, this collaborative Recital features musical works and dance specifically selected to accompany exhibitions currently on display in the Zuckerman Museum of Art.

    Highlights of Fall Arts Events 2

    Explore more visual art at Paying It Forward: KSU Artists and Their Protégés exhibition II with a free reception on September 26 from 5-7 p.m in the Fine Arts Gallery of the Wilson Building. For this series of exhibitions, faculty and staff members from the School of Art and Design were asked to invite the students who became some of their protégés to show their work alongside that of the teacher.

    Highlights of Fall Arts Events 3

    Don’t miss In the Red and Brown Water at the Onyx Theater September 20-25. Playwright Tarrel Alvin McCraney kicks off his multi-award winning brother/sister trilogy with this moving and tragic coming-of-age story that nestles itself within the choice between safe love and destructive passion.

    Highlights of Fall Arts Events

    The Department of Dance will present MELD at the Stillwell Theatre on Nov. 9-12 at 8 p.m. Get your tickets early, because these evenings of innovative classical and contemporary dance sell out quickly.

    To see the complete 2016-2017 schedule of events, please visit