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UT Arlington concludes successful summer design program

July 17, 2006

Participants from around the metroplex in the University of Texas at Arlington’s inaugural SEED program celebrated the end of the program with faculty and parents on June 30, with a final presentation and public exhibition of their work in the UTA Fine Arts Gallery. School of Architecture Dean Donald Gatzke and Art & Art History Chair Robert Hower officially closed the program with the presentation of certificates to the participants.

Twenty high school students were chosen by the art faculty at their schools to participate in the two-week session, a collaboration between the university’s programs in Art & Art History and Architecture.

The SEED (Strategies, Events, Episodes + Devices) 2006 summer program was the first of its kind at UT Arlington. It was designed to take high school students in the Metroplex region and immerse them in the disciplines of visual arts and design, many of them for the first time. By seeing the professional possibilities and working with noted members of the university faculty, students had the opportunity to examine a possible career path in architecture, art or design.

“Although we spent months planning for SEED 2006, we saw it as an experiment with a number of unknowns,” observed Dean Gatzke. “We clearly learned quite a bit on how to improve it for next year, but I think we were all amazed at how enthusiastic the participants were—both in their actions and in their comments at the end.”

In addition to Dean Gatzke and Professor Hower, SEED 2006 featured the talents of a number of distinguished UT Arlington faculty. From the School of Architecture, participants included Professors Rebecca Boles, George Gintole and Sandra Espinoza from Architecture. The Art & Art History faculty members included Professor Don Beck, Professor David Keens and Professor Kenda North.

“We were very impressed with the way they worked together and the quality of their final work,” said Professor North. “The SEED institute offered the students an opportunity to engage in a creative experience that required them to address new conceptual problems and new approaches to materials. They embraced the challenge. I was very pleased with the opportunity to work with faculty in Architecture on this Institute. The field trips and studio time gave us a chance to share ideas and explore ways to bring new experiences to the students.”

Professor Gintole was impressed by the maturity of the students and their willingness to embrace three dimensional modeling during the second week. Many of the students had experience with painting and art, but were eager to venture out of this comfort zone and explore architectural forms.

Funding for this inaugural program was provided by the university through the Provost’s office, but in future years outside funding will be sought.

SEED program