Acclaimed artists announced for UB’s Creative Arts Initiative residencies

Release Date: July 7, 2016

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo’s Creative Arts Initiative (CAI), an innovative program launched earlier this year dedicated to creating and producing new artistic work, has announced its first class of residencies and a full schedule of events for the 2016-17 academic year.

The inaugural class of nationally and internationally recognized artists and performers represents a university-wide commitment to creative expression by offering on-campus residencies tied to programs and events that extend to arts, cultural, community and educational organizations throughout Western New York.

With the cooperation of many community partners, these residencies are part of CAI’s effort to enhance the standing of UB and the wider arts community as pioneering leaders in the creative arts by presenting unique opportunities for students and residents to meet and interact with world-class artists.

UB faculty members Diane Christian and Bruce Jackson have pledged a $1 million bequest in their mothers’ names to support undergraduate and graduate studies in creative and performing arts at UB through the Julia Jackson Scholarship in Creative Arts and the Ruth Christian Graduate Fellowship in the Arts.

Additional information about CAI and the residencies is available at

This year’s artists-in-residence are:

  • Jennifer Nugent, an internationally acclaimed dancer, teacher and choreographer. In residence Sept. 11-17, Nugent will present master classes to all levels of UB dance majors, as well as three master classes open to the community. She will also create a new piece of choreography for the Zodiaque Dance Company, the UB resident student dance performance group, to be performed in the fall 2016 and spring 2017 semesters at the UB Center for the Arts.
  • “Faust: A Music Theater Collaboration” between Neil Wechsler and Nathan Heidelberger is an hour-long staged reading for two actors taken from selections from Goethe’s Faust I & II. There will be two evening performances at the Burchfield Penney Art Center as part of the Musical Feast concert series on Feb. 3 and 4. In preparation for the final performances, Heidelberger and Wechsler will make presentations to students at UB, SUNY Buffalo State College, Nichols School and Just Buffalo Literary Center. Reading sessions and rehearsals will be open to the public.
  • Beili Liu, in residence Jan. 29-Feb. 5, is an internationally renowned multidisciplinary artist commissioned to present a new work specifically designed for the atrium at the UB Anderson Gallery.
  • Stella Ebner’s work has been exhibited and collected by museums nationwide. She draws from contemporary American vernacular to create works that transform everyday happenstance into the iconic. From Feb. 20-March 5, Ebner will work a series of screen prints inspired by local imagery and the themes and aesthetic of the 19th century printmaker, Currier & Ives. Her goal is to create a series of prints centered on the complexity of America’s social fabric that provides a glimpse into contemporary American life. She will also share her advanced printmaking techniques with UB students and the public.
  • As part of a partnership between CAI and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Shantell Martin, an adjunct professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, will present her first museum solo exhibition at the Albright-Knox from Feb. 25-June 25. Her CAI residency will cover the same period and include the execution of a mural on Buffalo’s East Side, in connection with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Public Art Initiative, which seeks to take inspiring work beyond the museum and directly to communities. Martin’s residency will include opportunities for UB students, members of the public and, particularly, East Side residents to interact with the artist. Dates and venues have yet to be determined.

About the Creative Arts Initiative

The Creative Arts Initiative is a university-wide initiative dedicated to the creation and production of new work upholding the highest artistic standards of excellence and fostering a complementary atmosphere of creative investigation and engagement among students, faculty, visiting artists and the community.

Through its artist-in-residence program and its innovative, interdisciplinary offerings for students, CAI is raising the profile of UB and Buffalo in the world of artistic expression and revitalizing its proud tradition as a leader in contemporary art.

Media Contact Information

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