Category Archives: University of Pennsylvania

Warbler Migration

Deirdre Murphy and Scott White

Deirdre Murphy and Scott White, Warbler Migration

Wife-husband collaborators and UPenn School of Design faculty Deirdre Murphy
and Scott White recently completed a 5 by 25 foot sculpture that was installed last month in the burgeoning Silicon Valley city of Dublin, CA.

The project, which took nearly two years to complete, combines Murphy’s fine arts expertise and climate science research with White’s unique knowledge of digital modeling and 1930’s car design. Murphy and White will be discussing the groundbreaking project at UArts’ Design Philadelphia event this October, detailing their unusual design and build process—an integration of traditional and digital fabrication techniques.

Warbler Migration was inspired by a shy species that resides in the Dublin ecosystem, and one which Murphy developed a particular fondness for in the course of her research. She has been researching the effects of global warming on bird migration for several years, using the visual data that scientists share with her to conceptualize and execute her paintings. The couple sees the opportunity to create environmentally-aware public art as an especially fulfilling one because of the potential to touch so many lives.

“Climate change has created new flight patterns; birds are staying in their summer homes longer, depleting the food supply they rely on to fuel their autumn journey,” says Murphy. “As educators, it’s important for us to share this knowledge. Embedding information about climate change in our art is a softer way to reach a broader audience.”

It was White’s task to take Murphy’s mesmerizing depictions of flocking birds and activate them into 3D space, which he did by digitally designing, then hand cutting and assembling more than 500 aluminum plates into a handcrafted hyperbolic curve.

Murphy’s and White’s presentation will take place Monday, October 9 at 6.30 at 211 South Broad Street, Terra Hall, room 511/513. Process art from Warbler Migration will be on display, along with the Industrial Design NOW exhibition prior to the presentation, from 5:00-6:30. The event is free and open to the public.

Deirdre Murphy and Scott White

Deirdre Murphy is an adjunct professor of fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, at institutions including the Philadelphia International Airport, New Bedford Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowship and a Leeway Foundation award, and is represented by the Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia; her work can be viewed at www.deirdremurphyart.com.

Scott White is a senior lecturer in animation at the University of Pennsylvania. His sculpture, animation, and designs have been shown nationally and internationally at venues including Design Philadelphia, Philly Works, Woodmere Art Museum, Gross McCleaf Gallery, and the Abington Art Center. Scott has been a visiting artist at institutions such as Philadelphia University, Moore College, and Wilmington University, Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum and is the owner and operator of Preservation Coachworks LLC.

Thank you to Christina Cook, Media Relations, Deirdre Murphy Art for the content of this post.

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Innovation

Keith & Kathy Sachs, Howard HodgkinHoward Hogkin, Portrait of Keith and Kathy Sachs, 1988 – 1991, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Penn Announces Sachs Program for Arts Innovation

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price have announced the creation of the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation.

Founded with a commitment of $15 million from alumni Keith L. Sachs and Katherine Sachs, this transformative gift – the largest gift ever made across the arts at Penn – will establish the Sachs Arts Innovation Hub and closely link arts education to the Penn Compact 2020’s goal of advancing innovation across the University.

“Creativity is the very soul of innovation, and what is art but creativity made manifest?” Gutmann said. “Keith and Kathy are among the undisputed patron saints of the arts at Penn, and their latest extraordinary generosity will transform how we understand, teach and break new ground in the arts. The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation promises to empower a new wave of artistic and ingenious creation at Penn.”

The new Sachs Arts Innovation Hub, to be located in the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, will aim to visibly energize the arts and arts innovation at Penn. It will integrate research, teaching and practice, working collaboratively with faculty, students, arts and culture leaders and the Provost’s Arts Advisory Council, while building on the highly successful initiatives of the three-year Art and Culture Initiative sponsored by the provost and the School of Arts & Sciences.

“This tremendous gift comes at an especially exciting time for the arts at Penn,” Price said. “It allows us to integrate and amplify the wide range of activity already underway in our world-leading arts institutions and academic departments – and in a city bursting with unrivaled arts opportunities – creating a whole decidedly greater than the sum of its parts. The longtime leadership of Keith and Kathy Sachs across the ICA, Penn Design and the School of Arts & Sciences has set the stage for this new era, and we are all indebted to their generosity and vision.”

Led by an executive director, to be appointed through a national search, the Sachs Program will expand sustainable curricular innovation in the arts across the University, including grants to develop courses, workshops, master classes and other learning opportunities; encourage hands-on artistic production and public art spaces; foster cross-campus collaborations, especially between arts centers and academic programs; appoint artists in residence and other new faculty members; and build community and new audiences for the arts at Penn.

The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation culminates more than a decade of support for the arts at Penn from Keith and Katherine Sachs. These major gifts, which have transformed the landscape of arts education on campus, include the Sachs Guest Curator Program at the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Sachs Professorship in Contemporary Art in the Department of History of Art in the School of Arts & Sciences and the Fine Arts Program Fund and Visiting Professorship in the Department of Fine Arts in the School of Design. The Sachs’ vision has been to expand arts programs across the University by integrating the ICA, the Department of Fine Arts and the Department of History of Art and bringing outstanding artists to teach on campus.

“We believe strongly that the arts are essential to the core mission of education,” Keith Sachs said. “The very best students seek out a university with a vital arts program. At the same time, the arts are central to advancing key Penn values, such as diversity, innovation and integrating knowledge.”

“We are especially pleased,” Katherine Sachs said, “that our gifts to the arts create synergies and new ideas across campus. These connections foster the creativity and imagination that our students need to become the leaders of an ever-changing world.”

Keith Sachs is former CEO of Saxco International, member and former chair of the School of Design Board of Overseers and a trustee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He is a longtime leader of the Class of 1967 Gift Committee, which he is chairing during its 50th-reunion year. Katherine Sachs, an adjunct curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for many years, is an emeritus member of the University Board of Trustees, a member of the University’s Design Review Committee and a member of the ICA Board of Overseers, which she formerly chaired.

Thank you to Penn News Service for the content of this post.

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