Alfred University News

Summer Arts Program highlights creative spirit of Alfred University

More than 100 people participated in activities offered during the 2023 Alfred Summer Arts Programs, offered by Alfred University’s School of Art & Design + Performing Arts Division in June and July.

From June 26-July 21, The School of Art & Design + Performing Arts Division welcomed students to one-day, one-, two- and four-week workshops in a variety of media. Over 100 participants from around the world joined the Alfred Summer Arts Programs. The largest program, Summer Ceramics, welcomed nearly 30 students from Hongik University, Ceramics and Glass (HU) in Seoul, South Korea with their professor Youngmi Lee, and assistant Ara Koh (MFA ’20). The partnership between Alfred University and Hongik University provides a foundation for promoting international and intercultural understanding between the two institutions, and collaborative academic activities including educational, creative and research activities. 

Thirty additional participants joined the students from South Korea for the four-week “Open Studio Intensive” led by Lee and Walter McConnell, professor of ceramic art at Alfred University, and resident artists Elsa Sahal and Michael Eden.

Walter McConnell giving summer arts workshop
Walter McConnell (center), professor of ceramic art at Alfred University, talks to participants in the four-week “Open Studio Intensive” workshop he taught during the 2023 Alfred Summer Arts program.

Participants benefitted from weekly one-day workshops and daily lectures and demonstrations given by visiting artists, and also worked semi-independently and focus on their individual studio practice with guidance and advice from Alfred’s Ceramic Art faculty, resident artists, and Ceramic Art graduate students. Resident artists and faculty work alongside participants in the studios, with participants connecting with resident artists in one-on-one interactions and group discussions throughout the session.

Summer Ceramics also offered two, sold out two-week workshops in wood firing with Matt Kelleher, associate professor of ceramic art, and digital ceramics with Johnathan Hopp, assistant professor of ceramic art, and Del Harrow (MFA ’05). Workshops in experimental printmaking and natural dyes were offered in the last week of workshops in late July.

Alfred Summer Arts Programs began in early June when seven artists were selected by faculty to participate in a three-week residency in Düsseldorf, Germany. Emerging and established artists were selected from a pool of applicants to make independent studio work in the studios used by the Alfred University MFA Program in Painting, led by Professor of Painting, Stephanie McMahon.

The summer culminated in a one-week workshop in coastal Maine led by Colleen Wahl. Six participants joined Wahl for “Body, Landscape, and Creative Process", in Harrington, ME, on an idyllic strip of land, with cottages and other outbuildings along the rocky Maine coast. The property is located approximately halfway between Bar Harbor and Lubec, on the Maine coast.

Additionally, Alfred University hosted two workshops in the Miller Performing Arts Center. Integrated Movement Studies (IMS) held a summer immersion graduate level certification program workshop in Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies. The workshop was brought to Alfred University campus by Colleen Wahl, assistant professor of dance, and director and faculty member of the IMS. The Linklater Teacher Training held a one-week designation workshop at Alfred University in late June. The Linklater Voice Method certification workshop was brought to campus by Chrissy Ziese, special programs coordinator for the Arts.

Sixty-four high school students from around the country attended a variety of arts institutes held July 10-14 and July 17-21. The institutes give participants opportunities to learn more about specific career fields, to sample life on a college campus and to meet other students with similar interests. Alfred University faculty and alumni led institutes which includes “Acting Studio: Audition Clinic,” “From Concept to Content: Online Creations in Music and Sound,” “Painting and Nature,” “Visual Art Portfolio,” “Beginning 3D Printing for Artists and Engineers,” “High School Portfolio,” and “Vocal Performance.”

Alfred University welcomes visitors to campus for the MostArts Festival, which was held July 23-29. The event included performances of classical music by talented musicians from around the globe, a daily chamber music series, evening concert, arts-related events, and the popular Young Pianist Competition.

Plans are underway for next year’s Alfred Summer Arts program, with works set to be offered June 24-July 19, 2024.