Interdisciplinary Arts at Columbia College Celebrates its Thirty-Fifth Anniversary

This fall marks the 35th anniversary the Graduate Program in Interdisciplinary Arts at Columbia College Chicago. As part of the celebration, faculty and students are welcoming back a number of artists who have worked in the department, either in residence or as visiting lecturers and scholars, over the past 35 years.

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First in the series or returning guest artists was Internationally acclaimed artist Pamela Z, who first came to the InterArts department ten years ago.

During her visit she spent time meeting with MFA candidates for studio visits and critiques, including Megan Pitcher. “It was a treat to sit down with Pamela Z and have a free-flowing conversation about art making and producing. She shared personal experiences as examples to help me better understand and navigate the still fluctuating dynamics of digital sound creation, and production and artists’ rights,” said Megan. “We had the kind of interaction that one would enjoy with a trusted, esteemed colleague; she gave me her honest reflections with a warm generosity!”

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Her 2-hour public performance of excerpts from a number of her pieces included selections from Baggage Allowance, Badagada, and Birdvoice, among many others, for an enthusiastic audience of over 75 people in the Raw Space Black Box theater at 1104 South Wabash Avenue. “It was great seeing her live performance in such a small, intimate venue, as opposed to the much larger spaces where she usually performs,” said first year MFA candidate Scott Dickens. “Her ability to use her natural talents in combination with new media and technology was inspiring.” Added Dennis Burke (also first year MFA candidate), “Her performance aesthetics are seamless, and she is completely in control of her space and tools. She integrates challenging technology with such graceitI was amazing watching her incorporate the few minor technical issues that came up directly into the performance piece. To me that’s the essence of interdisciplinary art.”

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Pamela Z returned to Columbia College’s Interdisciplinary Arts Department on its 35th year anniversary as a Rubin Visiting Artist, with funding support by a generous gift of Ms. Roberta Rubin.

Photos © 2011 Ahmed Ali Hamad