Archive

Spring 2016: Session Two

Spring Birding

Spring heralds the amazing migration of our feathered friends as they make their way from their winter homes to their summer destinations. We will visit different sites each week as we identify our resident species, those arriving to breed locally, and others making their way farther north.

Instructor: Paul Bedell who is principal double bass with the Richmond Symphony and a lifelong naturalist and birder.

Roots: Uncovering Richmond’s Black History

An examination of the places and spaces that illuminate African-American culture.

Instructor: Edwin J. Slipek Jr is an architectural historian, editor at Style Weekly and VCU adjunct faculty member.

Virginia Theatre History

Bruce Miller, a leader in Richmond theater for four decades, is the artistic director of Virginia Repertory Theatre. Pulling from his 40 plus years of working in Virginia theatre, Miller will use his past experiences and expertise to discuss Virginia theatre history.

Instructor: Bruce Miller is the Artistic Director of Virginia Repertory Theatre. He was an Artistic Director of Barksdale Theatre and Founding Artistic Director of Theatre IV. His work as a director has been seen around the country at prominent theatres including the Kennedy Center and the Paper Mill Playhouse.

It’s Easy Being Green

Tour VCU’s Rice Rivers Center for the first class, then come to VCU to hear four fascinating lectures pertaining to what you see.

4/21: Visit the Rice Rivers Center and tour with Dr. Len Smock, Director, VCU Rice Rivers Center
4/28: Science in the Park lecture with Anne Wright, Director, VCU Rice Rivers Center Outreach Education
5/5: Stories and Patterns in the Natural World lecture with Laura Chessin, Associate professor in Graphic Design at VCUarts, Artist in Residence at VCU’s Rice Center
5/12: Sustainability on and around VCU’s Campus with Erin Stanforth, Director of Sustainability at VCU
5/19: Sustainability in Fashion lecture with Kim Guthrie: Assistant professor and Interim Department chair of Fashion Design at VCUarts

Let’s Go to the Opera: How to Understand and Appreciate Italian Opera

Each class will examine a different Italian opera. We will focus on the composer, plot, music, and language.

Instructor: Rita Paolino is a native Italian who has been working as an instructor of International Studies and Italian language at VCU since January 2014. She holds two masters degrees: one in international relations from Ohio University and one in music from the music conservatory of Campobasso, Italy.

Spring 2016: Session One

American Writers and Artists in Paris II

We will examine the lives and works of some of the many American writers and artists who travelled to Paris as part of the Lost Generation during the 1920s. In a similar Commonwealth Society class last spring, we looked at some of the major figures
of this movement, including Stein, Cummings, Fitzgerald and Hemingway.

This time we will look at some other interesting figures and movements of the time, including the artist Man Ray, the poet and publisher Robert McAlmon, the fiction writer Kay Boyle, and the Surrealist and crazy man Harry Crosby. We will talk about Dada and Surrealism, those two fascinating offshoots of Modernism, as well as how these artists were grappling with issues of sexual identity and gender roles in the postwar world. It might be helpful but is certainly not necessary to have taken the course last spring to
get attend this one.

Instructor: Richard Fine, professor of English at VCU and former Department of English chair

Fascinating Spain: A Brief History

In Europe but separated from it by the Pyrenees, people of Iberia developed a very different society from that north of the Pyrenees. Following the reconquest of Iberia from the Moslems, Spain launched one of the most remarkable exploration and colonization achievements in the history of the world. This course will trace the turbulent history of Spain: her rise to power, her subsequent decline, her struggle for modernity, and the distinctive culture that emerged. The story ranges over Europe, Africa, the Americas and the Far East.

Instructor: Harold Greer, VCU professor emeritus who taught in VCU Department of History

Reframing Art History

An art history class doesn’t have to include sitting in a dark lecture hall as the instructor flips through slides. This course will conquer seeing art history and learning it in ways you never imagined. Portraits, religious imagery, and landscapes are just a few of the many topics covered. We will look at the artists’ backgrounds, their influences and major works. The final class will meet at our local galleries and/or the VMFA.

Instructor: Elizabeth Bredrup, with an MA in art history from VCU, taught art history at St. Catherine’s and St. Christophers Schools and has led art-related trips to Europe.

Hoops and Home Runs: Richmond’s Sports Venues

From aging City Stadium to VCU’s spanking new basketball training center, this course will explore how Richmond is both blessed and challenged by its variety of sports facilities.

Instructor: Edwin J. Slipek Jr is an architectural historian, editor at Style Weekly and VCU adjunct faculty member.

Winter 2016: Bonus Classes

Closer Examination: Art at the VMFA

Each session, we will meet with a curator at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to discuss the research, collecting and conservation challenges in the European, African, American, Asian and contemporary fields of art.

Instructors: Edwin J. Slipek Jr. is an architectural historian, editor at Style Weekly and VCU adjunct faculty member.

The Art of the Narrative

An in-depth study for those students who wish to delve deeper into the craft and structure of creative writing; we will write and critique short fiction as a means to study the craft and application of good storytelling techniques, as well as learn and practice professional quality editing skills.

Instructor: David L. Robbins is an American author of several historical fiction novels, and founder of the James River Writers and the Richmond-based Podium Foundation. He teaches in the Honors Department at VCU.

Winter Birding

Enjoy the end of winter with a series of field study classes that will bring us to different bird watching venues. Participants will observe a wide variety of waterfowl and other birds that spend the winter season in Virginia and are not present in the warmer months. The James River and Henricus Parks are tentative venues. The complete list of sites will be sent to registrants. If a suitable location can be found, we will also have a special evening walk to observe Woodcock. The first class is at Byrd Park.

Instructor: Paul Bedell, a lifelong birder and naturalist, is principal double bass with the Richmond Symphony.

Fall 2015: Session Two (October 19 – November 20)

Jazz Journeys

Interested in swing, Latin, blues, bop, vocal jazz and more? Big and small ensembles, vocal and instrumental — what makes jazz jazz?

Not a history course, this journey through jazz will take you through the importance of jazz styles with emphasis on stimulating music and interactive dialogue. Explorations await new and returning Jazz Journeys students.

Instructor: Antonio Garcia is the director of VCU Jazz Studies in the Department of Music.

South America: A Brief History of Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia

This course will trace the highlights of the histories of the five countries of western South America from the Indian Civilizations to the present, including their relationships with the United States.

Instructor: Harold Greer is VCU professor emeritus and former faculty member in the Department of History.

Richmond’s Emerging Neighborhoods

We’ve read about these on the business and real estate news pages. In this course, we will hit the sidewalks and visit repurposed buildings to explore how our community is reinventing itself and energizing old districts in the West End, South Side and East End.

Instructor: Edwin J. Slipek Jr is an architectural historian, editor at Style Weekly and VCU adjunct faculty member.

What to Listen for in Music

We will be using Aaron Copland’s iconic book “What to Listen for in Music” as an outline and jumping off point for discovery and discussion. Students of varied music-listening levels will come away from this class with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the music they love.

Instructor: Richard Spece is the director of the Mannheim Rocket Orchestra and a nationally recognized recording artist and music director.

Fall 2015: Session One (September 14 – October 16)

Fall Birding

Late summer and early fall are ideal times to observe the seasonal migrations of birds. Participants will meet at various locations throughout the area to view and identify birds. A schedule of meeting sites will be sent to registrants. Nominal fees may be required for entrance into some venues.

Instructors: Paul Bedell who is principal double bass with the Richmond Symphony and a lifelong naturalist and birder.

Gothic Revival Architecture in Virginia

In a region rich with classical and colonial revival designs, a diversity of building reflecting the Medieval style are hiding in plain sight. In both a classroom lecture and through enlightening field studies we will discover these treasures.

Instructor: Edwin J. Slipek Jr is an architectural historian, editor at Style Weekly and VCU adjunct faculty member.

Winter 2015 Bonus Classes

Winter Birding

Enjoy the end of winter with a series of field study classes that will bring us to different bird watching venues. Participants will be on alert for early migratory birds but will also visit sites where birds spend the winter. The James River, Henricus, Byrd Parks are tentative venues. The complete list of sites will be sent to registrants.

Instructor: Paul Bedell, a lifelong birder and naturalist, is principle double bass with the Richmond Symphony.

Painting Still Life

The still life in art is often the unexpected, the beautiful, the religious or philosophical statement and sometimes, the odd. In conjunction with the VMFA’s March Exhibition, “Van Gogh, Manet and Matisse: The Art of the Flower,” this course will cover the still life history in art before the artists in this exhibition painted, as well as the artists themselves. We will look at the artists’ backgrounds, their influences and major works, as well as the 20th century in still life painting. The final session will be a tour of the exhibition (there will be a fee for non-VMFA members).

Instructor: Elizabeth Bredrup, with an MA in art history from VCU, taught art history at St. Catherine’s and St. Christophers Schools and has led art-related trips to Europe.

Spring 2015: Session One (3/17 – 4/15)

Topics in Art History: Sessions with the Experts

Join art history faculty and Ph.D candidates in this survey of various disciplines within art history. Topics to be explored are Pre-Columbian and Ancient Andean Art (James Farmer), Colonial and Latin American Art (Michael Schreffler), Modern Art, German Expressionism (Kathleen Chapman), Contemporary Art, New Media (Colin Lang) and Architectural History (Craig Reynolds).

Instructors: Vary

Cuba Again: A New Look at our Closest Island Neighbor

When Columbus landed in Cuba in 1492, he described the largest of the Caribbean islands as “the most beautiful land that human eyes have ever seen.” For over 50 years, few Americans have been allowed to visit the island. As conditions change for the U.S. relationship with Cuba, this course will look at Cuba’s history and its struggles, from discovery and independence through the estrangement of the Communist years.

Instructor: Harold Greer is professor emeritus, VCU Department of History and long-time instructor for Commonwealth Society.

The ABCs of Richmond Architecture

From Native American settlements to European traditions, the Picturesque to the Colonial Revival and from Modernism to Post-Modernism, Richmond is an architectural encyclopedia of movements and styles. This course will trace the elements of our region’s ever-evolving build environment.

Instructor: Edwin Slipek, Jr architectural historian, writer/editor at Style Weekly and adjunct faculty at VCU.

Ravishing Beauty: Art at War (Part One)

We all know that art is a desirable commodity but it is also one of the many attributes of power. Art in its many expressions has been desired, acquired conquered and destroyed. From the Roman Empire to the French Revolution, Napoleon and and the art requisitions, to the Monuments Men and the art collections of the 18th and 19th century, we will look at the most blatant examples of art as victim of warfare through the centuries.

Instructor: Cinzia Corubolo, VCU School of World Studies faculty member.

Spring 2015: Session Two (4/20 – 5/22)

Spring Bird Migrations

Spring brings the semi-annual migration of our fine-feathered friends as they make their way from their winter homes to their summer destinations. We will visit different sites each week as we identify different birds making their way north.

Instructor: Paul Bedell, lifelong birder and naturalist and principle double bass with the Richmond Symphony.

Classical Music as Mozart Heard It: The HIM Movement

What did a clarinet look like in 1800’s? What did it sound like? These are some of the questions the Historically Informed Performance movement has tried to answer. Discover Mozart and Beethoven again by gaining insight in the instruments they composed for, what the instruments of the orchestra sounded like and how changes in performance practice has radically changed how we hear music from the classical period today. This exploration will include attendance at an HIP performance, listening to recordings comparing the old and the new and discussions concerning why HIP performances are important to our understanding of current musical performance practice.

Instructor: Richard Spece, music director of the Mannheim Rocket Orchestra of Richmond, nationally recognized recording artist and music director.

(FULL) Landscapes and Great Gardens Along the James

Springtime in Virginia is special. This course will examine landscape traditions that were established in colonial times, as well as some of the handsome private gardens that were inspired by that legacy. Field studies will include visits to a number of landscapes seldom open for general exploration and enjoyment. Classes will be held rain or shine. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

Instructor: Edwin Slipek, Jr., architectural historian, writer/editor Style Weekly and adjunct faculty at VCU.

Ravishing Beauty: Art at War (Part Two)

We all know that art is a desirable commodity but it is also one of the many attributes of power. Art in its many expressions has been desired, acquired conquered and destroyed. From the Roman Empire to the French Revolution, Napoleon and and the art requisitions, to the Monuments Men and the art collections of the 18th and 19th century, we will look at the most blatant examples of art as victim of warfare through the centuries.

Instructor: Cinzia Corubolo, VCU School of World Studies faculty member.

Late Spring Bonus Classes

Buongiorno Italia

A must for people who have Italy on their bucket list and a great fun option for those who love La Bella Lingua. This highly interactive and entertaining class will teach us the basics of booking a restaurant, ordering a meal, asking directions and other necessary skills for travelers – after all bargaining for a beautiful Italian leather bag at the mercato is a must! As a bonus, students will learn how to prepare the best crostata this side of the Atlantic.

Instructor: Gabriella Maria Valsecchi who is a faculty member in the School of World Studies has specialty training as a teacher of Italian to non-Italians and is an amazing cook.

The Roots of Modern Architecture

VCU’s Institute for Contemporary Architecture, designed by internationally-renowned American architect Steven Holl, is now taking form on campus. This four-session summer course will explore the roots of modern architecture with special emphasis on northern European design and the trailblazing work of Finnish architects Eliel Saarinen (1873 – 1950) and Alvar Aalto (1898 – 1976).

Instructor: Edwin Slipek, Jr, architectural historian, writer/editor at Style Weekly and adjunct faculty at VCU.

Fall 2014: Session One

Fall Birding Migrations

September brings the beginning of the semi-annual migrations that send our feathered friends to their warmer winter homes on a journey that brings them through our area. Through visits to different sites and venues each week, we will search for and identify the different species as they make their way south.

Instructor: Paul Bedell, lifelong birder and naturalist and principal double bass with the Richmond Symphony.

The Bible as Literature, Art and Culture

We will read and discuss a variety of selections from the Bible, focusing on the original context in literature, art and culture. We will compare that original context with responses to the Bible in Western Literature and art through the present day.

Instructor: Clifford Edwards, professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies in VCU’s School of World Studies

Seldom Seen: Richmond Collections and Installations

Our community has a wealth of galleries and museums but many exciting artworks and objects reside in private or seldom visited places. We will visit five of these special spaces. Enrollment strictly limited to a maximum of 20 registrants.

Instructor: Edwin Slipek, Jr., architectural historian, VCU adjunct faculty member and architectural critic for Style Weekly

American Character and the American Dream

What is an American? Can we speak of such a thing as a distinctly American character and if so, how can we describe it? What do we mean by “the American dream” and how has it defined us historically? How is success defined in America? These are a few of the questions we will address as we trace American thinking on the subject of national identity and aspirations from our colonial roots to the present day. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a more sophisticated understanding of what it means to be an American and how America has developed its own distinctive culture. Readings may include works by Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglass, Horatio Alger, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nathaniel West, Malcolm X and others. We will also examine several cultural events, including Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic and the New York’s World Fair of 1939 for what they reveal about the American identity.

Instructor: Richard Fine, professor and former chair, VCU Department of English

Fall 2014: Session Two

Jazz Journeys

Interested in swing, Latin, blues, bop, vocal jazz and more? Big and small ensembles? Old and new? Vocal and instrumental? What makes jazz jazz?
Not a history course, this journey through jazz will nonetheless take you through the essence of important jazz styles with an emphasis on stimulating music and interactive dialogue.

Instructor: Antonio Garcia, director of Jazz Studies at VCU, native of New Orleans who has performed with 70 major artists throughout his career.

China Since 1949

On October 1, 1949,from atop the Gate of Heavenly Peace, Mao Zedong (1893 – 1976) announced the founding of the People’s Republic of China. For Chinese around the world this day marked the end of nearly half a century of shame and humiliation: the disgrace and embarrassment over he failed Republican Revolution of 1911, and the warlord Era that followed in its wake; an indignity of foreign imperialism, first by Europeans and then the Japanese. The tragedy of 30 million Chinese dead during World War II. Then, with Mao’s death in 1976,China entered a new revolutionary era under Deng Xiaoping. This course is an introduction to and discussion of the history of China since 1949.

Instructor: John E. Herman, associate professor in VCU’s Department of History, specializing in Chinese history and a frequent traveler to the People’s Republic.

Drive on Over: Richmond’s Early 20th Century Suburbs

Our city, which is famous for its tree-lined streetcar suburbs, also boasts beautiful automobile neighborhoods. This class will explore the Byrd Park/Carillon, Westover Hills, Windsor Farms, and Sherwood Park/Laburnum districts.

Instructor: Edwin Slipek, Jr., architectural historian, VCU adjunct faculty and architecture critic for Style Weekly

The Lure of Italy: A Sentimental Journey in the Land of Desire

In reality and in imagination, the lure of Italy and it arts, culture, music, food and history is undeniable. In this course, we offer an overview of all aspects of Italy and its enticements as seen through the eyes of American British travelers (think Henry James and Mark Twain among others).

Instructor: Cinzia Corubolo, faculty member in VCU’s School of World Studies and native born Italian.

Spring 2014: Session One

The Manifestos of Art and Life: Futurism and Dada

At the turn of the twentieth century emerged two avant-garde movements whose artists sought to redefine the traditional notions of art making. During two five-week courses (which will be taken separately), students will discover the leading artists and artworks of Futurism and Dada and include: Filippo Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, Hugo Ball, Marcel Duchamp, Tristan Taara, Francis Picabia and Man Ray.

Students will examine a variety of disciplines like theater and performance art, painting, sculpture, sound poetry, architecture, graphic design and film. This course concludes by connecting contemporary participatory artists to the creative productions and philosophies in the manifestos of the past.

Instructor: Vaughn W. Garland, an independent curator, critic and multi-media artist and graduate of VCUarts M.F.A and PhD programs

Fifty Years that Re-Made America: 1900 – 1950

The first fifty years of the 20th century were arguably ones that changed the course of the world and the destiny of the United States. In this course, we will examine major events beginning with the Progressive Era of the early 1900s, World War I, the Great Depression, the New Deal, World War II and the beginnings of the Cold War and relate these events to where we are today.

Instructor: Harold Greer, professor emeritus who taught in the VCU Department of History

Beyond the Stacks: Exploring Richmond’s Libraries [FULL]

As VCU embarks on a dramatic expansion of its James Branch Cabell Library, this course will examine the long histories of local libraries and how each serves special audiences while enriching the wider community. Among the institutions we will visit are the Library of Virginia, Richmond Public Library, Union Presbyterian Seminary, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Library and of course, the Cabell. (Please see Field and Day trips for a separate visit to the Library of Congress).

Instructor: Ed Slipek, architectural historian, VCU adjunct faculty member and architecture critic for Style Weekly

American Writers in Paris

We will be examining the experiences of the many writers – Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, E.E. Cummings, Malcolm Cowley and John Dos Passos among them – who expatriated to France in the early decades of the 20th century. We will pay particular attention to those writers of the “Lost Generation” in the 1920s. Why did so many talented writers leave America? What attracted them to Paris and what influenced them most while there? What impact did Paris have on the form and content of their fiction and poetry? Why did so many of them return to America at the end of the decade?

We will address these questions as we chronicle the experiences of these writers within the context of the social and cultural climates of both America and Europe during the 1920s and assess how their lives in Paris shaped some of the most celebrated and influential literature of the twentieth century. We will also pay attention to developments in the other arts – in painting, sculpture, music, dance as we come to grips with the modern aesthetic. Suggested reading: Cowley, Malcolm. Exile’s Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s and Hemingway, Ernest. A Movable Feast and The Sun Also Rises.

Instructor: Richard Fine, professor of English at VCU and former Department of English chair

An Exploration in Drawing

While the thought of drawing something in front of you can seem challenging at first, it can become a fascinating way to explore the different ways that light reflects on surfaces. This course will explore light, shade, shadow and space using pencil, ink and other dry mediums.

Instructor: Charles Bleick, associate professor emeritus, VCU School of the Arts

Spring 2014: Session Two

Spring Birding Migrations

Spring brings most of the semi-annual migrations that send our feathered friends to the northern climes for the summer. Through visits to different sites and venues each week, we will search for and identify different species as they make their way north.

Instructor: Paul Bedell, lifelong Birder and naturalist and principal double bassist with the Richmond Symphony

The Manifestos of Art and Life: Futurism and Dada

A continuation of the Session I class. See previous description.

Instructor: Vaughn W. Garland

Tao and Zen: Asian Poets and Artists

Chinese poets and artists connected to the nature mysticism of Taoism (Daoism), and artists connected with Zen Buddhism produced some of Asia’s most amazing works in poetry, painting, gardening and architecture. The following note some of the key works and themes we will consider in this course. Taoism’s classics, the 81 poems of the Tao Te Ching and a dozen of the stories of fantasy and humor of Chuang Tzu; the Buddhist wisdom classics, The Four Noble Truths, The Heart Sutra and the Zazen Wasan; Zen “puzzles” the 48 Koan of the Mumonkan (Gateless Barrier); Zen temples, gardens and Ikebana; Zen calligraphy, painting and haiku.

Instructor: Clifford Edwards, professor of religious studies in VCU’s School of World Studies

R.I.P: Discovering Richmond’s Cemeteries [FULL]

Virginia’s cemeteries are intriguing places of remembrance, solace and inspiration. This course will trace the subtle changes in the Richmond way of death and the landscapes that result. Among the sites we will visit are Forest Lawn, St. John’s Episcopal Churchyard, the Shockoe Bottom slave burial site, Oakwood and Evergreen (the resting place of Maggie L. Walker and Arthur Ashe).

Instructor: Edwin Slipek, architectural historian, VCU adjunct faculty member and architecture critic for Style Weekly

Watercolor Painting Basics

This is an introduction to watercolor painting focusing on the use of this transparent medium to explore both abstract and realistic subjects. Students will learn tips for mixing paint and handling brushes, basic wash techniques and capturing the effects of light. The topics covered will include negative painting, basic color tips, painting from still life and using photographs as sources for cityscape and landscape subjects.

Instructor: Charles Bleick, associate professor emeritus, VCU School of the Arts

Winter 2014 Bonus Classes

Pixilate This: Digital Photography for the 21st Century

In this intro to digital photography course participants will learn from capture to dissemination. We will go over which settings to use on their digital camera, iPad or smart phone and how to make the best use of the camera’s flash. We will also cover how to get the images they have taken from the device on to their computer,  as well as how to organize them, how to edit and resize their images, and finally how to email or print their images. We will also discuss different print options that are available such as Shutterfly or local camera shops.

Instructor: Shannon Castleman, adjunct faculty member in VCU School of the Arts

Expatriates in Qatar

The campus of VCU Qatar was established in 1998 through a partnership with the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and offers students the opportunity to earn Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. Since the establishment of the campus, dozens of VCU School of the Arts faculty have lived and worked in Qatar.

In this series of lectures, you will meet three of those faculty and hear of their unique experiences during their time there. You will learn about Education City in Doha, home to VCUQ and other universities, the culture and history of this tiny, wealthy nation and what life is like for the expatriates who sign on for teaching at VCUQ and living in Qatar.

Lecturers:

Christina Lindholm, associate dean, School of the Arts
Charles Bleick, associate professor emeritus, School of the Arts
Matthew Woolman, director of creative entrepreneurship, School of the Arts

Winter Birding

Enjoy the end of winter with a series of classes that will bring us to some new bird watching venues. Participants will be on the alert for early migratory birds but will have the opportunity to visit sites where birds spend the winter. Among those sites will be the heron rookery on the James River in the downtown area.

Instructor: Paul Bedell, lifelong birder and naturalist and principal double bass with the Richmond Symphony

FALL 2013

500 Years: Spanish in the United States – Florida 1513 to Virginia 2013

This course will trace the story of Spanish exploration and settlement in the United States, beginning with early activity in Florida and eastern North America as well as in the western areas.

We will consider the rigors endured by the Conquistadors, the establishment of settlements and missions, Spanish involvement in our struggle for independence and the wars with Mexico and Spain. Finally we will look at immigration from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America and its effect.

Instructor: Harold Greer, VCU professor emeritus who taught in VCU Department of History

Behind the Scenes – Shakespeare Demystified

We will look at several plays and delve into questions such as what is the connection between Jamestown and the Tempest; was King Richard III really such a bad guy?; why weren’t Elizabethan girls allowed on stage at the Globe. This and more will be explored as we attempt to take the Bard out of the book and allow him to breathe.

Instructor: Cynde Liffick, local actor and owner of Bard Unbound

The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and his Disciple, Frederick “Bud” Hyland

Wright was a force in 20th century architecture and Richmond architect Frederick Hyland brought the master’s theories to Richmond in dozens of house designs. A brother-in-law of Richmond Professional Institute Provost Henry Hibbs, Hyland had apprenticed with Wright at Taliesin. Lectures and field trips will be augmented by an overnight trip to Fallingwater and two other Wright masterworks.

Instructor: Edwin Slipek, Jr, architectural historian, VCU adjunct faculty member and architecture critic for Style Weekly

Personal Oral History

Students will engage in a personal self-inquiry including journaling and research to create a short oral history (think NPR’s Story Corps). A visit to VCU’s Cabell Library to research events occurring in each student’s early years will be included as an aid to completing a written document over the course of the class.

Instructor: Laura Chessin, associate professor of Graphic Design in VCU School of the Arts

Jazz Journeys

Interested in swing, Latin, blues, bop, vocal jazz and more? Big and small ensembles? Old and new? Vocal and instrumental? What makes jazz jazz?

Not a history course, this journey through jazz will nonetheless take you through the essence of important jazz styles, with an emphasis on stimulating music and interactive dialogues. Optional activities include attending all or part of the VCU Jazz Festival on Thursday, October 10.

Instructor: Antonio Garcia, director of Jazz Studies at VCU, native of New Orleans, who has performed with 70 major artists throughout the course of his career

Fall Birding Migrations

September brings the beginning of the semi-annual migrations that send our feathered friends to their warmer winter homes on a journey that brings them through our area. Through visits to different sites and venues each week, we will search for and identify the different species as they make their way south.

Instructor: Paul Bedell, lifelong birder and naturalist and principal double bass with the Richmond Symphony

The Artist and the Poet Search for Meaning: Comparing the Spiritual Search of Vincent van Gogh and Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson and Vincent van Gogh created their powerful bodies of work during the same century and the work they created was largely hidden from the public during their lifetimes.

They could have met, but did not. Both struggled with the great questions of the meaning of life and death, the nature of the human spirit and the role of spirituality in the arts. We will compare their searches through their words and the related paintings of Van Gogh.

Instructor: Clifford Edwards, professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies in VCU School of World Studies

Richmond, Hollywood and the Movies

Richmond has been the setting for dozens of films. It has produced actors and actresses and built glorious movie palaces. This course surveys the city’s brushes with Hollywood through lectures, field trips (including to “Hollywood Costume” at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts) and screening Finnegan, Begin Again which captures how Richmond looked a generation ago.

Instructor: Edwin Slipek, Jr, architectural historian, VCU adjunct faculty member and architecture critic for Style Weekly