School of Art+Design
School of Art+Design School of Art+Design College of Fine and Applied Arts University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A+D headlines

  • Assistant Professor Ben Grosser in the News

    University of Illinois professor seeks insight to human-computer interaction through jazz 'robot'

    • By The Associated Press
      Posted Oct. 15, 2015 at 12:30 PM

      CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Improvisation is at the heart of jazz and a University of Illinois researcher aims to use it to study interaction between people and increasingly intelligent computers.
      The university said in a news release Wednesday that professor Ben Grosser is designing a computer system that will communicate with people through jazz improvisation. Grosser is a professor of new media.
      Grosser is putting together a database of jazz solos to be analyzed. He then plans to add a system to analyze what a performer is playing in real time.
      In a year he hopes to have a "robot" that will be able to listen to live music and musically respond.
      Grosser doesn't anticipate the computer will be a sophisticated jazz player, but might be as good as a typical high school musician.


  • Congratulations to Alumni Stacey Gross


    The Illinois Art Education Association has named Stacey Gross of Centennial High School in Champaign, IL the 2015 Illinois Art Educator of the Year. This award recognizes the exemplary contributions, service and achievements of one outstanding IAEA member annually. The award will be presented at the Illinois Art Education Association Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Lisle, IL on November 6th, 2015. Ms. Gross is a resident of Champaign, Illinois.

    Stacey Gross was selected for this award on the basis of her outstanding commitment to visual art education at the local, regional, and national level.

    Stacey Gross is a National Board Certified Teacher at Centennial High School in Champaign where she teaches photography, graphic design, cinema studies, AP Studio Art, and dual credit classes. She also serves as the Fine Arts Department Content Area Chair. In addition, she serves as the K­12 Visual Arts Coordinator for Champaign Unit School District 4. In that capacity, she acts as a liaison with administration for the art teachers in the district, organizes professional development, advocates for the visual arts, and promotes the visibility of art students and teachers. Now in her 22nd year at Centennial, Gross prides herself with creating a robust art program that fosters a broad appreciation of art and strong technical skill, while stimulating critical and creative thinking. Gross also co­sponsors Centennial’s Gay­Straight Alliance.

    Her dedication to her profession leaves a lasting impact on Dr. Judy Wiegand, Superintendent of Champaign Unit School District 4: “Time and time again, Ms. Gross has demonstrated exceptional teaching and leadership skills. Her progressive approach to teaching, coupled with her advocacy for the art program, ensures that art plays a relevant role in the high school curriculum at Centennial and throughout the district.” A Quincy native, Gross earned a MA (‘01) and BFA (‘94) in Art Education, with a studio concentration in photography, from the University of Illinois at Urbana­Champaign. She is a practicing artist who works primarily with camera­less darkroom photographic processes to create abstract imagery. She is an avid traveler, with a passion for Japanese art and culture.

    Stacey states: “I am grateful to the Illinois Art Education Association for the honor of being recognized as the Art Educator of the Year and to those who supported my nomination, along with my colleagues, administrators, mentors and collaborators who inspire me to be the best teacher I can be and to instill a passion for art in my students. It’s especially incredible to be honored for doing what I love! It’s humbling to be singled out in a field of tremendous Art Educators, who do amazing work to bring meaningful art experiences to students in Illinois.”

    The IAEA is an association of the art educators of Illinois. The organization has been serving the children and art educators of Illinois for over 75 years by providing professional development for educators through workshops, conferences, grants, exhibition opportunities, facilitating communication, promoting conditions for the effective teaching of art, and working to influence educational change and reform.


  • Visitor Series: Ken Gonzales-Day “Interruption and Absence: A History of Lynching (Latinos) and How It Changed What I think About Contemporary Art”


    Thursday, October 8, 2015
    5:30 p.m.
    62 KAM

    Ken Gonzales-Day, an artist based in Los Angeles, earned his BFA from the Pratt Institute in 1987, an MA from Hunter College in 1991, and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine in 1995. His interdisciplinary and conceptually grounded projects consider the history of photography, the construction of race, and the limits of representational systems ranging from the lynching photograph to museum display. His work has received numerous awards, and is in collections including Eileen Norton Harris Foundation, Getty Research Institute Special Collections, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Smithsonian Institution, American Art Museum, and the Williamson Art Gallery, Scripps College in Claremont, CA.

    Co-sponsor:     Frances P. Rohlen Visiting Artist Fund/College of Fine and Applied Arts
    Attachment Series

  • Congratulations to graduate student, Xuxa Rodriguez and Professor Emeritus, Harry Breen!

    40 North Announces Winners of the 2015 ACE Awards
    Honoring the efforts of those who enrich the culture of Champaign County!

    Champaign County, IL – 40 North | 88 West proudly announces the winners of the 2015 ACE (Arts, Culture, and Education) Awards. All seven ACE Award winners embody the spirit of the local arts community with their passion, energy, and dedication to the creative culture of Champaign County. Please join us for the 2015 ACE Awards Celebration on Friday October 9th, 5:30pm at City Center in Champaign in honoring their outstanding contributions!

    Student ACE Award – Xuxa Rodriguez, PH.D Candidate Fellow in Art History at UIUC, for her passionate participation and consistent involvement in community cultural events, as well as her research in contemporary art by Latina and AfroLatina artists.

    Lifetime ACE Award – Harry Breen, for his decades of limitless talent and enthusiasm, his life-long dedication to his craft, his profound impact on countless students, as well as his veneration of his community and the surrounding environment.

    The winners were chosen from over 110 public nominations by an independent panel of community-based judges representing a broad cross-section of Champaign County.

    Tickets | Tickets to the 11th Annual ACE Awards are $10 each and are available at Tickets can also be purchased in advance at the 40 North office at 106 S. Neil St. or call 217.351.9841. Tickets will be available at the door for $15.

    Special thanks to our sponsors: The City Center, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Krannert Art Museum, Kessler Optical, and Shatterglass Studios!

    40 North | 88 West | 40 North - Champaign County Arts Council - is dedicated to cultivating creativity in Champaign County. Through advocacy, information and collaboration, 40 North works to stimulate a vibrant, thriving environment for the arts, culture and education essential to the quality of life in Champaign County. For more info, visit This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

  • Donna Cox, Art + Design Faculty Member to be included in Making Their Mark