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Japan House will celebrate the change of seasons with an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 9 that will feature the art of making traditional Japanese sweets, known as wagashi.

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INSIDE ILLINOIS, April 7, 2011

IN THIS ISSUE: Open House features art of making Japanese sweets |  IGPA panel to discuss Illinois pension issues | Summer academies highlight UI units, leadership | Register now for June workshop | Health Fair is April 20 | Multidisciplinary conference is April 7-9 | Blog features news on water quality | National Volunteer Week is April 10-16 | Donate to Vintage Vinyl through April 22 | GSLIS hosts research showcase April 8 | Biofuels Conference is April 22 | Foreign language courses to be May 16-27 | Library offers new collection of digital resources | Meeting to foster interdisciplinary learning | Expert on Islam to speak April 14 | UC @ Illinois Program Office established | Asian carp controversy discussed April 8 | CTE needs presenters, facilitators | Host families needed for Japanese exchange | Lecture on ethics and leadership is April 11 | Figure One to feature art by undergraduates

Japan House

Open house features art of making japanese sweets

Japan House will celebrate the change of seasons with an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 9 that will feature the art of making traditional Japanese sweets, known as wagashi.

Boston-based Glenn A. Sorei Pereira will give presentations on wagashi at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. A professor of tea since 2002, after training at the famed Urasenke School of Tea, Pereira teaches the arts associated with the Japanese tea ceremony – tea, flower arranging and sweet-making.

Tea ceremonies will be performed throughout the day by members of the  Urbana-Champaign Association of Chado Urasenke Tankokai. James Bier, the designer and builder of the Japan House gardens, will guide tours at 1 and 3 p.m., and Japanese floral arrangements created by UI students in their art and design classes will be on display.

“With a bean base, Japanese sweets never sound great to most Americans, but once people try them, they’re quite amazed,” Pereira said.

Pereira, who is of Portuguese descent, had only a “vague, general interest” in Japanese culture when he first took lessons at a Boston-area Japanese tea house in 1981. But he was immediately hooked. Within a year, he was in Kyoto, Japan, enrolled in intensive tea study (on scholarship) at the Urasenke School of Tea.

 “I think of tea as finding me, as opposed to me finding it,” Pereira said.

On his first trip to Japan, Pereira realized that his heritage gave him a connection to the country. “Portuguese were the first foreigners in Japan,” he said, referring to explorers who landed there in the mid-1500s. “They introduced Japan to sugar and tobacco.”

A self-described “missionary of chado” (the way of tea), Pereira said this discipline is similar to others, such as calligraphy (shodo), flower arranging (kado), and martial arts (judo). “Through discipline, one can better one’s life and surroundings,” he said.

Explaining how that happens through the simple act of preparing and sharing tea isn’t easy, even for Pereira. “Sen no Rikyu, who was the founder of tea the way it’s done today, said tea was nothing more than hot water and tea. But it is, oh dear, so complicated,” Pereira said. “It’s sharing a moment in time. And through that, there’s a better understanding of each other, and a better understanding of our surroundings and of nature.

“There’s something about tea that just changes everything,” he said.

The open house is free.


IGPA panel to discuss

Illinois pension issues

The Institute of Government and Public Affairs will host a series of panel discussions to provide faculty and staff members with information about the economic and legal impacts of pension reform measures on the UI and on the state.

The discussions are scheduled at noon April 11 at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center in Urbana; at 4 p.m. April 11 at the Sangamon Auditorium Lobby at UIS; and at 2 p.m. April 12 at the UIC Forum.

These discussions will include IGPA faculty members David Merriman and Darren Lubotsky, who have compiled a primer on the pension reform question. The primer is expected to be available soon. Also, IGPA faculty member and economist J. Fred Giertz will be a panel member in his role as a member of the State University Retirement System board. Law professor Laurie Reynolds will provide legal analysis. 

Illini Summer Academies

Program highlights UI units, leadership

Illinois high school students can explore the UI, college majors and future careers at the 2011 Illini Summer Academies June 27-29. Registration is under way for the program, which offers youths an in-depth, hands-on look at one of seven colleges and departments across campus, or a three-day focus on teen leadership training.

2011 academies are offered in the areas of aerospace engineering, agricultural and biological engineering, art and design, crop sciences, food science and human nutrition, leadership, physics and veterinary medicine.

The program is open to any Illinois resident 14-18 years old by Sept. 1, 2011. Some academies have age or grade restrictions. Participants stay in college residence halls and walk to class during their stay. Joint evening activities are planned.

The program is coordinated by UI Extension State 4-H in collaboration with the colleges of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Engineering; Fine and Applied Arts; Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Veterinary Medicine.

Fees vary according to academy.  Early registration discounts are offered until April 15; after that, full registration fees go into effect. Registration is open until academies are full or May 25. For full information on academies, fees and registration requirements, visit or contact Deb Stocker,


Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory

Register now for June workshop

The Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory will host the fifth annual Advanced Materials Characterization Workshop June 8-9. The workshop, in Room 190 of the Engineering Sciences Building, will provide a critical, comparative and condensed overview of mainstream analytical techniques for materials characterization with emphasis on practical applications. The workshop will benefit students, and faculty and staff members from the UI and other campuses who need to make use of materials analysis for their research.

The workshop also will include a vendor show. Product specialists will showcase their products and discuss applications and technologies.

Laboratory tours showing the main instruments available at the lab will be given during the workshop.

The deadline for required registration is May 20. For a full list of techniques included in the workshop and to register, visit Email questions to Mauro Sardela,, or Julie ten Have,

‘Don’t Gamble With Your Health’

Health Fair is April 20

Faculty and staff members, students and the community are invited to a Health Fair from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. April 20 in Illini Rooms A, B and C at the Illini Union.

Sponsored by the McKinley Health Center’s Special Populations’ Student Health Concerns Committee, the event’s theme is “Don’t Gamble With Your Health.” Entertainment will include a DJ, games and door prizes. Free health services and screenings also will be available. Featured: blood pressure screenings, cholesterol screenings, spinal checks, massages, manicures, nutrition education, sexual health information, stress management, eye care, chiropractic services, skin care consultancy, emergency medical information, and drug and alcohol awareness information.

This is the group’s 18th annual health fair. The event is free and open to campus and community members.

Participants include Campus Recreation, Carle Clinic, Champaign Urbana Public Health District, Christie Clinic,  McKinley Health Center and Provena Covenant Medical Center. The event is sponsored by the Student Affairs Program Coordinating Council, the Student Cultural Program Fee and the Student Organization Resource Fee.

For more information, call 217-333-2714 or visit

Special Populations Student Health Concerns Committee is a registered student organization at the McKinley Health Center. The group aims to increase health awareness in an effort to promote a positive and healthy lifestyle within the campus and the community. The group serves the general campus student population with particular attention to the health needs of underrepresented groups on campus and in the community, including international students, ethnic/racial minorities, women, disability groups, the LGBT community, and physically challenged groups.


Language and colonial culture

Multidisciplinary conference is April 7-9

Scholars from multiple disciplines will meet on the UI campus April 7-9, for an international conference that will address the relationship between language and cultural identity in former colonial areas.

 “New Francophonies and Colonial Languages in a Global World” will consider the ways in which French and other former colonial language communities “imagine themselves through culture – where culture is a means of expressing identity in and through spoken and written discourse, literature, drama, speech, and music,” according to conference co-organizer Adlai Murdoch, a professor of French and of Francophone literature at the UI.

The conference begins April 7 with a UI Center for Advanced Studies MillerComm lecture by Albert Valdman, a professor emeritus of the Creole Institute at Indiana University. “Local Cultures, Global Inequalities: Is Haiti Poor Because of its Language?” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Knight Auditorium at Spurlock Museum.

Panel discussions on a range of topics will take place on April 8, between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., in Rooms 211 and 215 of the Illini Union. Sylvie Dubois, the Gabriel Muir Professor and the director of the Center for French and Francophone Studies at Louisiana State University, will deliver a keynote address, “Distinctive Paths of Linguistic and Cultural Resistance: The Case of Local Vernaculars in Louisiana,” at 3:30 p.m. in Room 314A of the Illini Union.

Panel discussions will continue that day in Room 215 Illini Union, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Françoise Lionnet, a professor of comparative literature at the University of California at Los Angeles, will give a keynote talk, “World Literature, Francophonies and Globalized Oceans,” at 10:30 a.m. in Room 314A of the Illini Union.

On-site registration for students and non-full-time academic participants costs $35 and begins at 8 a.m. April 8 at the conference registration desk on the second floor of the Illini Union. A valid student ID is required. All conference presentations are free for UI students.

A limited number of additional tickets for the 7 p.m. April 9 reception and dinner ($45) can be reserved in advance by emailing

For more information or to register online, go to or contact Zsuzsanna Fagyal, or Adlai Murdoch,

Illinois State Water Survey

Blog features news on water quality

Keeping up with the latest issues on water quality is now easy with the Illinois State Water Survey’s newest blog, “Focus on Illinois Water Quality,” written by Walt Kelly, a groundwater geochemist.

Writing about a range of topics from bottled water safety and viruses in deep groundwater to fluoride in drinking water, Kelly provides information and insight into the water quality issues that affect human and ecosystem health. The blog is designed to educate on topics in the news today while providing a forum for discussing ideas.

Some of Kelly’s future blogs may be tied to his past and current research on nitrates from agriculture in surface water, antibiotics and personal care products in the environment, and wastewater used for crop irrigation.

The blog is at

In another water survey blog, Jim Angel, state climatologist, writes about news and climate and weather events as they happen at


Office of Volunteer Programs

National Volunteer Week is April 10-16

National Volunteer Week – April 10-16 – is a time for individuals, groups and families to give back to their communities through service. The Illini Union Office of Volunteer Programs will celebrate the week by sponsoring and promoting several service- and philanthropy-related events in partnership with local community and student organizations. 

Days of the week will feature events highlighting that day’s theme: Hunger and Homelessness (Monday), Disabilities (Tuesday), Service Recognition (Wednesday), Environment (Thursday), Animals (Friday) and Youth (Saturday).

For more information, call 217-333-2474, email, or stop by Room 228 in the Illini Union. More information also is online at

The Illini Union Office of Volunteer Programs, a division of Student Affairs at the UI, exists to promote community service and to enhance and expand meaningful student involvement in community service as well as in public engagement. The goal is to enrich the educational experience of students and faculty and staff members at the UI by fostering collaborative relationships and partnerships within the community.

Vintage Vinyl

Donations accepted through April 22

The Vintage Vinyl used record sale is accepting donations of records, CDs, DVDs, video games and players, stereo equipment, speakers, and CD and DVD players. Donations can be taken to Busey Bank locations in Champaign, Urbana, Savoy and Mahomet during business hours through April 22. Donations should be delivered in sturdy containers or boxes.

The sale is set for April 30, at the former Altman’s Billiards and Patio Supply, 301 W. Marketview Drive, Champaign. Proceeds will benefit Illinois Radio Reader, a service of Illinois Public Media that provides news and information to blind and print-handicapped audiences in East Central Illinois.

For more information or to volunteer before or during the sale, contact Deane Geiken, the director of Illinois Radio Reader, at 217-333-6503.

Library and information science

GSLIS hosts research showcase April 8

Faculty members and doctoral students from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science highlight their scholarly work from 1:30-4:30 p.m. April 8.  Poster and presentation topics include text mining, data curation, social media and online communities, information retrieval, metadata, community informatics, children’s literature, personal information organization and archiving, facet analysis, e-science and information behavior. 

Events will be in the East Foyer and Rooms 126 and 131 in the GSLIS Building. More information can be found at


Energy Biosciences Institute

Biofuels Conference is April 22

The push toward increased renewable energy use requires laws that best facilitate this transition. The UI Energy Biosciences Institute will host the Biofuels Law and Regulation Conference, “Exploring Cutting Edge Legal Issues at the Nexus of Bioenergy,” April 22 at the Illini Union. The conference will provide a forum to discuss and debate potential policies. 

This third annual conference will focus on cross-cutting legal and regulatory issues relating to biofuels and bioenergy production. These issues include how to best achieve sustainability goals balancing economic, environmental and social considerations through standard setting and modeling; how to address invasiveness concerns through improved regulatory frameworks; how to design supply chain contracts; and an analysis of the Renewable Fuels Standard program.

Each session will allow for question-and-answer sessions as well as brainstorming opportunities with renowned international and national experts in biofuels law and regulation.

Speakers will represent a variety of law and regulatory fields encompassing government, academia, industry and non-governmental organizations. Among the speakers are Daniel de la Torre Ugarte, of the University of Tennessee; Bruce McCarl, from Texas A & M University; and Chris Dionigi, assistant director for domestic policy for the National Invasive Species Council.

The EBI Biofuels Law and Regulation Program, the Institute for Genomic Biology and the European Union Center are sponsoring this event. 

Detailed information and registration can be found at Attendance is free; registration is required. For registration questions, contact Rebecca Heid,


Foreign language courses to be May 16-27

The School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics has scheduled its Intensive Foreign Language Instruction Program for summer 2011.

Classes will meet for two weeks, from 9 a.m.-noon or 5-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, May 16-27. Registration is due no later than April 15.

Classes are taught by advanced graduate students or faculty members. Courses focus on conversational skills, travel preparation and language survival skills.  There is minimal homework, no attendance policy and no academic credit.  Each class must have a minimum of 10 participants. Classes that do not meet the minimum enrollment by April 15 are subject to cancellation. 

Instruction will be offered in the following languages from 9 a.m. to noon unless otherwise noted:

Elementary instruction (for those with no prior experience or formal training in the language) will be offered in Chinese, French (9 a.m.-noon and 5-8 p.m.), German, Modern Greek (5-8 p.m.), Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish (9 a.m.-noon and 5-8 p.m.).

Intermediate instruction (for those with the equivalent of one year of college-level instruction in the language) will be offered in French and Spanish.

Advanced Spanish will be offered for those with the equivalent of two or more years of college-level instruction in the language.

The cost for UI students is $100; for UI faculty and staff members and retirees, $125; and for the public, $150.  Payments must be made at the time of registration.

Cancellations after April 15 will be assessed a $25 fee.  There will be no refunds after May 16.

For online registration and payment, visit For more information, email


University Library

New collection of digital resources available

The University Library is offering a new collection of digital resources. The streaming media include almost 800 titles, including all of William Shakespeare’s plays presented by the BBC (unabridged with closed captioning).

The initial acquisition of this digital media was supported by the Library/IT Fee, giving faculty and staff members, and students at Illinois improved access to digital media – all through password-protected access. Content is licensed for educational use, so classrooms, groups and course reserves will all benefit.

“Digital media makes sense,” said Mary Laskowski, head of information processing and management.  “For example, the library could purchase a standalone DVD which one person could check out at a time or it could put the DVD content online where multiple users can view it simultaneously.”

Digital resources for the campus, and other resources available to the general public, are located at A variety of other technical services are available through the Library’s information processing and management department at

This project is being made possible with the assistance of Applied Technologies for Learning in the Arts and Sciences. ATLAS provides information technology services that support and enhance the educational, research, and administrative activities of students, faculty and staff members in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the UI. For more information, visit

Innovation Summit

Meeting to foster interdisciplinary learning

A two-day meeting will aim to foster a campus dialogue on interdisciplinary research and education for faculty and staff members and students that will support and sustain Illinois as a leading institution of higher education.

“Innovation Summit: Building Bridges to Interdisciplinary Learning at Illinois Integrating Education and Research” will be April 13-14 at the Beckman Institute Auditorium. Organizers say the meeting will ask what it means today and into the future to provide students with an exceptional education, including global knowledge and experience, which will enable them to be innovative leaders in interdisciplinary education and research.

The meeting will be organized to generate concrete proposals for innovation in campus teaching and research.

For a complete list of workshops and registration information, go to the meeting website at The meeting is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research with support from the Office of the Chancellor and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.


Annual Thulin lecture

Expert on Islam to speak April 14

John L. Esposito, the author of more than 30 books on the politics of Islam, will speak on “The Future of Islam and Muslim-West Relations” at the annual Marjorie Hall Thulin Lecture in Religion at the UI.

The lecture will begin at 8 p.m. April 14 in the Knight Auditorium of Spurlock Museum. It is free and open to the public.

Esposito said that his lecture will explore the major questions and issues facing Islam and Muslim-West relations: “Who are the reformers in Islam and what are the issues they address? What are issues that have affected and will affect future relations between the West and the Muslim world? How significant is the pro-democracy movement in the Arab world? How representative and widespread are religious extremism and the threat of global terrorism?”

Esposito is the founding director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he is a professor of religion and international affairs and of Islamic studies. He has served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of State, the Center for Foreign Affairs and corporations, universities and the news media.

He is the editor-in-chief of the four-volume “Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World,” “The Oxford History of Islam” and “The Oxford Dictionary of Islam.” His latest books are “The Future of Islam” and “Islamophobia: The Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century.”

Esposito – born and raised in Brooklyn, New York – is Catholic. He attended parochial school, served as an altar boy, and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Catholic universities (in philosophy and theology, respectively). He earned his doctorate in Islamic studies, with a minor in comparative religions, at Temple University, in 1974.

He was one of the first Westerners to focus on the political aspects of Islam, and has been in demand as an expert and consultant ever since the Shah of Iran was overthrown in 1979.

The UI lecture is endowed by a fund established by Marjorie Hall Thulin (1910-2009), who graduated from Illinois in 1931 and had a successful career in advertising. She endowed the lecture fund with the goal of helping students understand how religion functions in a complex society, especially Christianity in America.

Esposito will be interviewed on “Focus” on WILL-AM (580) at 11:06 a.m. on April 14. Listeners can call in questions or comments.

For more information, contact David Price, the head of the department of religion, at

Unified Communications initiative

UC @ Illinois Program Office established

In order to provide a focused program management and communications structure for development and deployment of the campus Unified Communications initiative, now called UC @ Illinois, Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services has established a UC @ Illinois Program Office. The office is managed by Greg Gulick, the director of Application Services at CITES. Tony Rimovsky, the associate director of Enterprise Infrastructure at CITES, continues as executive sponsor.

Gulick is responsible for overall management of the program schedule, scope and cost. Rimovsky is responsible for the overall technical scope and direction of the program, as he has been since UC @ Illinois began last summer. He also will continue as the primary liaison with campus stakeholders and the UC @ Illinois governance committees, such as the Academic Telecommunications Advisory Group.

The first phase of UC @ Illinois – moving faculty and staff members off of current email systems to Exchange 2010 for email and calendaring – is in progress. The College of Engineering and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences were selected by ATAG to be the first to work with CITES on this transition. The schedule for other college transitions will be announced soon.

Planning for the second phase of UC @ Illinois – the telephone and voice mail transition – is under way. CITES expects to have 3,000 users using the full service by this summer.

For more information about UC @ Illinois visit Questions about the program can be emailed to


Department of urban and regional planning

Asian carp controversy discussed April 8

The controversy about Asian carp will be the subject of a symposium hosted by the department of urban and regional planning on April 8. “The Challenge of Asian Carp: A Symposium” will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in Plym Auditorium, 134 Temple Buell Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Asian carp are large, invasive fish that have rapidly spread upstream through the Illinois River since the 1990s. Their recent arrival in Chicago-area canals have sparked concerns that the fish might invade the Great Lakes and damage the region’s multi-billion-dollar fisheries.

Four speakers prominent in the controversy will present their perspectives on Asian carp. The presenters: Shamel Abou-el-Seoud (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), Mark Biel (Unlock Our Jobs), Josh Ellis (Metropolitan Planning Council) and Reuben Keller (University of Chicago). Writer Glenn Sandiford, from the department of urban and regional planning, will serve as moderator.

Center for Teaching Excellence

Presenters, facilitators needed

The Center for Teaching Excellence offers an opportunity for faculty members, academic professionals and veteran teaching assistants to share their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for teaching by being presenters at the 2011 Graduate Academy for College Teaching on Aug. 16-17, and/or the 2011 Graduate Symposium on Grading and Office Hours on Aug. 17.

The Graduate Academy for College Teaching is a required pre-semester conference for TAs who have classroom responsibilities (teaching lecture, discussion, laboratory or studio sections). It includes large-group presentations on teaching and grading concepts; small-group sessions on questioning strategies and lesson planning; concurrent sessions that offer choices on diverse teaching topics; and microteaching sessions in which TAs practice teaching and receive feedback (held on Aug. 18-20). The Graduate Symposium on Grading and Office Hours is a shorter program for those TAs who do not have classroom responsibilities. Both programs include sessions about cultural issues related to teaching that are required for international TAs.

Faculty members, APs and veteran TAs are invited to design engaging concurrent sessions about teaching, including sessions on culture and diversity; to facilitate small-group sessions on foundational teaching topics; and/or to facilitate microteaching sessions. Details about the sessions, times and expectations can be found online at

The website includes a form for submissions as well as links to draft programs of the Graduate Academy and Grading Symposium. Deadline for submissions is June 10. Contact Sandy Finley,, with questions.


4-H Japanese Exchange

Host families needed

Despite the tragedy in Japan, Illinois 4-H will continue its long-standing tradition of providing home-stay opportunities for Japanese youths and their adult chaperones this summer through the 4-H Japanese Exchange.

This year, the 4-H Japanese Summer Exchange will provide a language-immersion experience for 57 Japanese students, ages 12 to 15, to experience an English-speaking culture on a daily basis. They are members of Labo and LEX language acquisition programs in Japan where English is studied and practiced.

Illinois 4-H is looking for families with children between the ages of 11 and 16 to host a Japanese child for four weeks this summer. Interested families do not have to be involved in 4-H to host, but should be willing to open their homes to a visiting child.

One Japanese visitor will be matched to a family based on the host sibling’s gender, age and interests.

There also are opportunities to host adult chaperones for two to four weeks. Families who host chaperones are not required to have children in the home.

Japanese families involved in the language programs recognize the value such programs offer their children. Like American families, Japanese families see our world becoming more global and look for ways to expose their children to different cultures.

The 4-H Japanese exchange is scheduled for July 21 to Aug. 19. Illinois 4-H hopes to have all participants placed by April 15.

Families interested in hosting can contact Miriam Rosenbohm at, Sue Herren at or their local UI Extension office. Host family application materials are available at

College of Business

Lecture on ethics and leadership is April 11

The College of Business will host the Leighton Lecture on Ethics and Leadership on April 11. Bart M. Schwartz, chairman and CEO of SolutionPoint International LLC and a member of the board of HMS Holdings Corp., will speak at 4 p.m. at Deloitte Auditorium in the Business Instructional Facility.

For more than 30 years, Schwartz has managed complex investigations, prosecutions and security assessments, and provided sophisticated investigative services to a wide array of private and government clients. He has been appointed by various courts to monitor high-profile cases including BP, Deutsche Bank AG, Hewlett-Packard, Merkin-Madoff and others. His extensive experience as a trial lawyer, corporate adviser and private company CEO pervade his insights and tactical client solutions.

The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society in the College of Business. For more information, email


Figure One

Art of five undergraduates featured

For the first time, undergraduate artists will take over Figure One – the downtown Champaign exhibition space for the UI School of Art and Design – with work that examines the Internet’s effect on real life.

The exhibition opens April 8 in conjunction with the Boneyard Arts Festival.

Titled “Everything is Anything Else,” the exhibition will feature work from five graduating seniors, all women, who have lived together since their freshman year. They won the opportunity to show their art at Figure One by answering a call for proposals with a written plan to “engage the community in a critical discourse … with those ideas central to the Internet – dissemination of knowledge, shared experience and public space.”

Lindsey Snell, who is in the crafts program focusing on metals, said the exhibition will open with a traditional display of current work. The content will continually evolve during the five weeks that she and her roommates occupy Figure One.

“We’re really trying to use the space for what it was intended,” she said, referring to the work-in-progress ethos that sets Figure One apart from most art galleries. “It’s supposed to be a laboratory. I think we’re really interested in how our work is going to change in the space.”

Ria Roberts, one of two new-media artists in the group, said the public will be invited to participate through a series of events that will involve exchanging objects or information. At one event, participants will share and swap drawings; at another, they will share and swap USB drives. The artists also plan to host a “PowerPoint Night” – similar to an open-mic night for musicians, only with high-tech presentations.

“We’re thinking metaphorically about exchanges we have on the Internet, and then making them very tangible iterations,” she said.

Each Thursday, they will present a guest artist sharing a lecture or performance by way of Skype. All events will be digitally documented and archived through a blog.

The five artists – Roberts, Snell, Tara Jaggers (new media), Aleia Murawski (painting) and Jillian Rahn (graphic design) – will be working at Figure One noon to 5 p.m. Sundays and Thursdays, and 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, through May 13.

Figure One is at 116 N. Walnut St. For more information, visit




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