Library staff news: Mike Sgier wins City Paper comics contest

A panel from Mike's winning comic. Courtesy of Mike Sgier Illustration.

We feel very proud of UArts Libraries staff member Mike Sgier (Greenfield Evening Circulation & Course Reserves) for winning the City Paper 2011 Comics Issue contest. A brief interview with Mike appeared along with the announcement of the winner. The contest judge remarked that “Mike Sgier’s monster strip was clearly the cream that rose to the top of the submission stack. This comic really shines, from the beautiful brush line work in his depiction of the old-school monsters to the melancholy mood of alienation many experience in the yuletide season.” You can see more of Mike’s work on his web site. Mike has an MFA in Visual Studies (to him it’s an MFA in illustration) and is hard at work on his career when he’s not providing excellent service in the Greenfield Library. Congratulations, Mike!

New exhibition catalog features UArts artists

The 29th Annual Exhibition of
the Emirates Fine Arts Society

Curated by Layla Juma Rashid
Greenfield Open Stacks 709.05 Em48 2011

The University Libraries has recently acquired the exhibition catalog for
the 29th Annual Exhibition of the Emirates Fine Arts Society.

Curated by Layla Juma Rashid, the exhibition includes the works of 12 artists from the University of the Arts MFA Program in Studio Art: Eric Abaka, AJ Bredensteiner, Kris Strawser, Harry Hukkinen, Guy Loraine, David Chatfield, Lauren McCarty, Marge Renno, Michele Kishita, Carrice McKinstry, Tae Gyun Yoon, and Andrew Walker.

As well as artists’ works and statements (in both English and Arabic), Joe Girandola, director of the MFA program, has an essay entitled Still Melting…

Congratulations to the students and Professor Girandola on a wonderful exhibition!

Welcome Back!

The University Libraries staff extends a special welcome to new students and faculty and is, of course, pleased to welcome back those who are returning from their summer break. We are ready to assist you with finding materials for your courses or for any other kind of research need and look forward to seeing you all in the libraries. Don’t hesitate to contact anyone on the library staff about making recommendations for the library collections or to request assistance for anything from finding books, recordings, images, etc., to planning library instructional sessions for your class.

Those of you who are returning will notice some changes to the library facilities. The Music Library has added new shelving to the listening area and the entrance to the Music Library has been reconfigured and improved. Work on the doorway is continuing but should be completed within the next week or so. Carrels have been placed on the lower level of the Greenfield Library for individual study areas. We invite you to stop by and take a look at these improvements.

Please also take a few moments to view an exhibit of books from the Libraries’ Special Collections located in the first floor hallway of Anderson Hall. All books in Special Collections, including those in the exhibit, are listed in the Libraries’ online catalog and can be used in the library; just ask for them at the circulation desks.

Watch this space for information about library tours (participate and you may win a $100 prize!), workshops, online resources, staff recommendations, and other news and information about library activities. If you have suggestions for additional news entries, let us know. The library staff is here to assist you so don’t hesitate to contact us. Best wishes for a productive and successful semester!

Digital Resources of the Week: PhilaPlace

PhilaPlace: Sharing Stories from the City of Neighborhoods, created by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (our neighbor, at 13th & Locust), tells the stories of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. The interactive website focuses on particularly on two neighborhoods whose immigrants and working class citizens have dramatically shaped the history of the city: Old Southwark and the Greater Northern Liberties. On the PhilaPlace Map you’ll discover local items like The Clef Club at 738 South Broad Street and photographs of South Street contributed by Philadelphia College of Art (now UArts) alumna Peggy Hartzell.

"13th n' South - That's Us" - 1969 photography by Peggy Hartzell
"13th n' South - That's Us" - 1969 photography by Peggy Hartzell

There is a lot of Philadelphia culture and history to explore on the Topics page and an informative blog. This is a terrific way to learn about your new home and all the arts, culture, and history it has to offer. Perhaps as you spend more time here in Philadelphia, you’ll want to share your story too!

Want to know more about Philadelphia and the history of UArts? Head over to the library. We have a great illustrated book on The University of the Arts co-authored by Sara MacDonald, one of our reference librarians, and Eugene Bolt (find in in the Greenfield or Music Libraries). You’ll find books on the Philadelphia murals, Philadelphia architecture, the Mutter Museum and we’re working right now on digitizing the University Archives. Want to know more? Check out our Philadelphia subject guide.

Studio Art MFA Food for Thought Lecture Series: Matthew Higgs

Photograph of a Book (John Currin)
Photograph of a Book (John Currin)

Curator and artist Matthew Higgs will discuss his work as director of White Columns as well as his artwork this Wednesday, July 6, 2011, at 6pm in Hamilton Hall’s CBS Auditorium. Mr. Higgs has been director and chief curator of White Columns, an alternative art space in New York City, since 2004. He has also internationally exhibited his own artwork and is represented by Murray Guy in New York City.

Read his introduction to Elizabeth Peyton (New York: Rizzoli, 2005) in Greenfield Library, call number 759.1 P468h. Also, search “Matthew Higgs” as a keyword phrase in the UArts Libraries’ catalog to find more books to which he has contributed.

“Matthew Higgs: The Director of White Columns in New York”  in Modern Painters v. 23, no. 1 (February 2011) is a brief interview with the curator. The full text of this article is available in WilsonWeb (you will have to login first, if you are off campus).

In “Matthew Higgs” in Art Papers v. 30, no. 5 (September/October 2006), Adam Thompson reviews Higgs’ exhibition What Goes Around Comes Around at Murray Guy. The full text of this article is also available in WilsonWeb.

New Book Edited by UArts Professor Virginia Bower

Jingdezhen ware porcelain vase from the Ming dynasty before 1585
Jingdezhen ware porcelain vase from the Ming dynasty before 1585

The UArts Libraries is proud to add Chinese Ceramics: From the Paleolithic Period through the Qing Dynasty (Greenfield Open Stacks 738.0951 C441li) to its collection. Virgina L. Bower, an adjunct associate professor at the University of the Arts, is one of the editors of this beautifully illustrated book on the history Chinese ceramics from Yale University Press.

To create such an in-depth catalogue of one of China’s most celebrated artistic forms took ten years of collaboration among Chinese, American, and Japanese scholars, including Professor Bower. She says of the project:

“Editing Chinese Ceramics was among the most challenging tasks I’ve ever undertaken, but it was also among the most rewarding. All the scholars—from China, Japan and the United States worked hard to fully discuss and illustrate the best works from all over the world; it really was a global team effort.”

Chinese Ceramics will be on display in the Greenfield Library until the end of the semester. Congratulations, Professor Bower!

Book Published by UArts Foundation Professor Buy Shaver

Buy Shaver, a 2D Foundation professor, has had a book published by The University of Chicago press. Titled Moving the Eye Through 2-D Design, Professor Shaver’s book is a step-by-step approach to the basic elements of successful two-dimensional art. To achieve this, Professor Shaver writes in the book’s introduction that “an artist must firstly get the viewer’s attention and secondly must control how the viewer perceives a composition.” This is accomplished though “visual dynamics – contrast, motion, and noise.”

This is a terrific resource for both faculty and students. Moving the Eye Through 2-D Design will take the reader through line, shape, value, color, and, of course, feeling. You’ll learn why “sex, death, food, and all things cuddly” are so important to good artwork!

The Foundation Department is sponsoring a lecture by Professor Shaver on Wednesday, February 26. Join him as he discusses his book and his approach to teaching two-dimensional design. The lecture will be held in CBS Auditorium in Hamilton Hall at 12:00 p.m.

from Buy Shaver's 2006 installation at the Philadelphia Art Alliance
from Buy Shaver's 2006 installation at the Philadelphia Art Alliance

Music Library Survey

Please assist the University Libraries in its continuing efforts to assess and improve library effectiveness by completing a survey about Music Library services and collections. We greatly appreciate and value your input and encourage you to take a few minutes to complete the survey available at

Please contact Carol Graney, Director of Libraries, if you have any questions about the survey, difficulty with the online survey, or if you prefer to complete a paper survey.

Thank you in advance for your participation!

Visual Music: Mary Greenewalt at HSP

A University of the Arts alumna’s work is at the center of a Historical Society of Pennsylvania event on Thursday, January 27, 2011. Mary Elizabeth Hallock Greenewalt, an 1893 graduate of the Philadelphia Musical Academy (today’s UArts School of Music), was known for her invention of the nourathar, an organ that displayed color scored to music (she also invented the rheostat, or light dimmer!). The Historical Society event will feature composers performing their own work inspired by Greenewalt and her papers, now available to researchers at the Historical Society and on exhibit for the event. One of the composers is UArts faculty member Andrea Clearfield.

Greenewalt seated at one of her inventions. This image taken from

Intrigued by the nourathar? To find out more you can read UArts Music Librarian Mark Germer’s essay on Greenewalt, published in an earlier library newsletter.