Fall Arts Preview

UC Santa Barbara’s fall arts season spotlights new talent and alumni who return to inspire the next generation of creators and performers

Promising both familiar faces and exciting new talent, a fresh season of arts events at UC Santa Barbara — both entertaining and scholarly — will feature an array of performances, film screenings, concerts, exhibitions and lectures

The lineup includes UCSB alumnus and Academy Award-winning makeup artist Michael Westmore, who created the iconic character looks in “Star Trek,” “Raging Bull,” “Rocky” and “Mask.” Highlighted across multiple platforms, Westmore and his innovative makeup work are the subject of a museum exhibition as well as a Q&A in Pollock Theater following a 20th anniversary screening of “Star Trek: First Contact.”

Local Legends

The Department of Music showcases its own faculty talent this season, starting with chair and flutist Jill Felber in a free concert of original contemporary pieces and classics from the chamber music repertoire. For “Jill and Friends,” Felber will be joined by pianist Dianne Frazer and flutist Claudia Anderson, as well as UCSB faculty members Robert Koenig and Jennifer Kloetzel on the piano and cello, respectively. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State St. in Santa Barbara. Admission is free.

“I am fortunate to be surrounded by world class artists and colleagues, and to collaborate with them on a regular basis,” Felber said. “I am looking forward to working with multiple faculty members on this concert, and to presenting some of my favorite commissioned works with two of my dearest friends. The UCSB Department of Music is moving forward in exciting ways, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this growth than with a truly collaborative program in one of Santa Barbara’s most beautiful venues, Trinity Episcopal Church.”

Next up, Grammy-winning soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, assistant professor of voice at UCSB, will host a master class at Hahn Hall at the Music Academy of the West. Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “a supremely elegant singer with lyric agility and dramatic warmth,” Bayrakdarian has performed in opera houses and concert halls across the globe. She is the winner of numerous prestigious competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition. The master class, which is open to the public, will take place Oct. 29 from 2 to 4 p.m.

More information about musical performances is available at http://www.music.ucsb.edu.

Timeless Tales

The performance group Naked Shakes returns in September to take on the beloved Shakespeare crowd pleaser, “Much Ado About Nothing.” This witty story of two of literature’s greatest lovers, Beatrice and Benedick, is considered by many to be Shakespeare’s best comedy. Directed by Irwin Appel, it will be performed in the Studio Theater, a small venue suited to the verbal sparring for which the play is known. The curtain will rise at 8 p.m. Sept. 30 and at 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 1 and 2. Tickets for Naked Shakes are $10.

Following the Shakespeare classic is this year’s LAUNCH PAD production, “Bernhard,” written by Lynn Rosen and directed by Anne Torsiglieri. Set during wartime, the play finds its eponymous hero searching for his estranged mother as he tries to keep a promise to his grandmother to stay alive. Loosely inspired by the harrowing life of Austrian author Thomas Bernhard, as well as today’s headlines, “Bernhard” is about survival and the paths we choose to travel. Performances will be Nov. 4 and 5 and 8-12 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 6, 12 and 13 at 2 p.m. in the Performing Arts Theater.

This year’s Fall Dance Concert features the Pupil Suite, choreographed by Gallim Dance Artistic Director and Guggenheim Fellow Andrea Miller. Senior bachelor of fine arts dance students will also present new works in collaboration with student lighting and costume designers. In addition, the UCSB Dance Company will perform a selection from their 2016-17 repertory. Performances, under the direction of Christina McCarthy and Brandon Whited, will be in Hatlen Theater Dec. 2 and 3 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.

Unless otherwise noted, tickets for performances are $17 for general admission and $13 for students, faculty, staff and alumni. More information about theater and dance events is available at http://www.theaterdance.ucsb.edu/

Form and Function

The Art, Design & Architecture Museum (AD&AM) has three new exhibitions, each continuing through Dec. 1.

“This Fall the Museum will be highlighting a series of shows that we hope will change the way audiences think about their everyday, from the architecture and furniture they encounter to the unforgettable science fiction characters they see on television and in films,” said Elyse A. Gonzales, the museum’s acting director.  

“Irving Gill’s extraordinary designs for homes in the 1920s and 30s laid the basis for the look and feel of many contemporary buildings today,” she continued, “while another exhibition related the chair demonstrates how this modest piece of furniture has been transformed over time as a result of changing sensibilities and technological advances. Michael Westmore’s prolific and innovative designs for makeup on the ‘Star Trek’ television series, helped create iconic characters that remain immediately recognizable today.”  

“LIFEFORMS: The Makeup Art of Michael Westmore,” explores the legendary makeup artist’s process of creating film and television characters and creatures. The exhibition uses sketches, masks and prosthetics to display the work of UCSB alumnus Westmore (‘61), who has won multiple awards for shattering the boundaries of the human form with designs for a diverse, multicultural, multispecies universe. The show’s opening reception Sept. 23 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. will feature the UCSB Pops Orchestra playing music from “Star Trek.” 

“Westmore’s inventive designs for ‘Star Trek’ are elegant and anatomically intelligent, inspired by art history, fashion and the natural world,” said Rebecca Harlow, AD&AM assistant curator.  “The series is a pop culture phenomenon, with instantly recognizable characters, and we are excited to introduce students and museum visitors to the man whose hard work and skill as a designer, sculptor and painter brought these characters to life.”

(See below for information about a film screening at UCSB’s Pollock Theater featuring Westmore. )

“Irving J. Gill: Simplicity and Reform” will feature examples of Gill’s architectural language and his experiments with materials and construction. He is known for creating a distinctive architecture in Southern California, using a refined and abstracted architectural vocabulary that focused on the straight line, the cube, the arch and the circle. The roots of his idealistic achievement are traced to the social concerns of the Progressive era and the influence of Chicago architect Louis Sullivan, who argued for a “new architecture in America,” based on a transcendental view of nature.

“Done. Undone. Redone. The Chair” takes a closer look at an everyday object. The evolution of the chair has depended upon the human body and the history of previous designs, balancing form and function. This exhibition explores the morphology of chair design and the ‘object-ness’ of the chair as a sculptural statement. The show will include works from the eighteenth century to present day, including modern icons by Eames, Rietveld, Schindler and Weber.

The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. and Thursday until 8 p.m. Admission is free. More information about the exhibitions is available at http://www.museum.ucsb.edu/

The Graduates

A pair of screenings at UCSB’s Pollock Theater will highlight the talents of two UCSB alumni Film director Roxanne Frias’s compelling new documentary “Latino: The Changing Face of America” will show at Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. The film explores how the growth of the U.S. Latino population will influence the country’s political future. A post-screening discussion and Q&A will be moderated by UCSB faculty members Mario Garcia, a professor of Chicano/a studies and Cristina Venegas, an associate professor of film and media studies.

At 7 p.m. the following day, Oct. 6, the theater will present a retrospective look at the career of Michael Westmore. The evening will begin with a 20th anniversary screening of Star Trek: First Contact,” followed by a post-screening conversation between Pollock Theater Director Matt Ryan and Westmore that will delve into Westmore’s entire career and his current role as a mentor on the SyFy Channel show “Face Off.”

More information on upcoming screenings can be found at http://www.carseywolf.ucsb.edu/pollock.

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