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Two-day celebration of the Arts at UCR

Two-day celebration of the Arts at UCR

(April 23, 2001)

The University of California, Riverside will host a "Celebration of the Arts," May 11 and 12, with the opening of the Arts Building, the campus' signature architectural gateway, and a 55,000-square-foot venue for sharing performances and exhibits with the community.

Officials will close portions of University Avenue and Canyon Crest Drive from the driveway of the Sweeney Art Gallery to Campus Drive West, and open the street to pedestrians, artists, and musicians from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, May 11. The area will be teeming with activity from children's chalk art in an event known as "Chalk the Walk," to traveling dance ensembles, poetry readings, short films, speeches, and scenes from Molière's "Tartuffe."

Activities are expected to spill out beyond the UCR campus to encompass the UCR/California Museum of Photography in downtown Riverside.

Events in and around the Arts Building will reflect the disciplines that will share the sprawling, award-winning angular structure where the UCR departments of Studio Art, Art History, Dance, Music, and Theatre will research and perform. Officials hope the building becomes a welcoming presence to the community beyond the campus entrance.

UCR Chancellor Raymond Orbach; Patricia O'Brien, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; and design architect Annie Chu, will speak during a brief opening ceremony. The Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects gave the building's design, completed by Chu and the late Frank Israel, a merit award in 1994.

"With its intriguing shapes, uncompromising color and inviting entrances, crannies and vistas, the building beckons visitors, and the activities inside and without will, we hope, open vistas in their minds and souls," said Philip Brett, associate dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

Music will be an integral part of the May 11 celebration. The UCR Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra and Singers will provide some of the musical backdrop to the event, as will Japanese Taiko drumming and the Javanese Gamelan Ensemble. Dance professors Susan Rose and Wendy Rogers will air a videotaped performance titled "This is a Hard Hat Job," described as a "dance intervention" during construction of the Arts Building. Student docents will give guided tours of the four-story structure.

A daylong Public Art Symposium is scheduled for Saturday, May 12, featuring leading curators, artists and scholars in the field of public art. The keynote speaker will be Robert Irwin, best known for his 1997 design of the central garden at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. The symposium, which will include many others who design, curate and write about art, is free and open to the public. Seating will be limited, however.

Complimentary parking will be available for the May 11 event in campus lots 1, 2, and 24. Maps and directions to parking and the event are available at UCR information kiosks at the University Avenue and the Canyon Crest Drive campus entrances, or on the campus web site Additional visitor parking costs $3 per vehicle after 4 p.m.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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