Briefly in the arts

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TWU professor honored by photography society

The Society for Photographic Education has recognized Texas Woman’s University professor Susan kae Grant with its highest honor, the 2014 Honored Educator Award.

Grant, head of the university’s photography program, is being recognized for her influence in the photographic community, her career of teaching, mentoring, creating art and exhibiting.

The award will be presented during the society’s 51st national conference, “Collaborative Exchanges: Photography in Dialogue,” in March in Baltimore.

“This is an incredible honor,” Grant said. “This is a real acknowledgement of hard work and a validation of why we as artists and educators do what we do.”

Grant has been a faculty member at TWU since 1981. Many of her students have gone on to national recognition and success in their fields. Grant also co-conducts a seminar with Mary Virginia Swanson each year for the photographic society conference volunteers and student award winners.

Grant has lectured at museums and galleries internationally and has exhibited her work throughout the United States and in Canada, Europe, Australia, Africa and Japan. She is represented in numerous collections, including the George Eastman House, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the New York Public Library and the Victoria and Albert Museum National Library. She also teaches at the International Center of Photography in New York City.

TWU calls for entries for photography show

The Texas Woman’s University School of Arts has announced a call for submissions to the Joyce Elaine Grant Photography Exhibition. Entries must be submitted by Nov. 4.

Established in 2001 and organized by the graduate photography students at TWU and the student-run Photographic Artists Coalition, the annual exhibition provides a national venue for photography.

Photographers from throughout the United States are invited to submit entries for the exhibition. The exhibition will run in the TWU Fine Arts Gallery from Feb. 20 through March 19.

The exhibition and endowment was established by Christine Shank and a small group of graduate students and named in memory of the mother of professor Susan kae Grant. Exhibition proceeds fund the Joyce Elaine Grant Photography Exhibition Endowment, which supports photography scholarships for future graduate students in the Department of Visual Arts.

Juror Elizabeth Siegel, the associate curator of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, will select the upcoming exhibit.

Rules and guidelines are available online at Submissions must be made online. For more information, e-mail exhibition coordinator Kalee Appleton at

Watercolor artists deck walls of local tavern

Sweetwater Grill & Tavern is hosting an exhibition of plein aire — meaning “open air” — paintings of Denton completed one September weekend in 2011. Members of the Southwestern Watercolor Society who live and work in Dallas area came to Denton and painted many familiar historic landmarks.

The paintings will be on display through Nov. 9 at Sweetwater, 115 S. Elm St.

Artists exhibiting include Nel Byrd, Walt Davis, Jeff Good, Jeanne Heartsill, Gaylord O’Con, Herb Reed, Jo Williams and Bob Voges.

UNT’s DeRosa appointed to prestigious band

Richard DeRosa was recently named the new chief conductor of the Grammy Award-winning WDR Big Band, based in Germany. The appointment starts with the 2014-15 season. DeRosa teaches jazz composition and arranging as a professor in the University of North Texas College of Music.

Last fall, DeRosa traveled to Cologne, Germany, and spent 10 days with WDR Big Band while it prepared and recorded music he had written.

The band, which was in need of a new conductor, chose DeRosa because he is an experienced arranger who commands a wide range of musical styles. West German Broadcasting company owns the band, which is similar in idea to the former NBC Symphony Orchestra.

“I am really delighted that Rich DeRosa will be taking over the position of chief conductor of the WDR Big Band,” WDR radio director Wolfgang Schmitz said in a statement. “Rich writes for the great figures of jazz and his orchestra work is outstanding. His stylistic diversity reflects his wide view of music.”

DeRosa has extensive experience as a conductor, and he continues to write and perform music while teaching at UNT. He will continue to teach at the College of Music while conducting the band.

It’s important for students to learn from working musicians because those professors can impart real-world experiences and knowledge, DeRosa said.

“I also hope that my increased visibility will translate into attracting even more students to our world-class program, in particular to the jazz composition/arranging area,” DeRosa said.

DeRosa has toured and recorded with jazz greats like Gerry Mulligan and Bob Brookmeyer, and has produced arrangements for leading ensembles such as Wynton Marsalis’ Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the Big Band of Mel Lewis. DeRosa has also composed for television, film and theater.

— Staff reports

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