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September 08, 1998 - Image 49

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-08

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The Michioan Daily -- Naw.gtiirlpnt FAtinn -gpntomhor R 100S2 _._ ltl

finds art
in natre
Daily Arts Writer
In sunshine and rain, a sculptural
group forms in front of the audience's
eyes, and visiting artist Patrick
Dougherty's sculpture making has
received support from the Ann Arbor
and University community in several
The community was able to par-
take in the project during its forma-
t by stopping by, admiring, asking
stions, taking snapshots, touch-
ing and even building the sculptural
At the northwest corner of the Diag,
surrounded by walkways and tall trees,
the all-together 10 "elements" or shel-
ters, stand in a circle.
Dougherty uses only sapling wood and
a knife to construct his sculptures; he
chooses shapes that flow from the mater-
i uch as round, curved, cocoon-like
fo - the types that occur in nature.
Dougherty adds, "it is by no accident
that a bird's nest is round."
Dougherty found inspiration for his
work in his childhood wanderings and
"One can reminisce without thinking
histrionically, childhood memories are
evoked within a different context than
learned history," Dougherty said. "All
art is not necessarily applauded by art
7ougherty said he wants to remind
people of a few ideas. He believes art is
a normal activity, that no studio doors
need to be closed for its creation.
He said he hopes that in conjunction
with the past Winter '98 Environmental
Theme Semester that his sculptures, by
having viewers touch and walk through
them, will evoke memories of walks in
nature, and perhaps make people, "go
astake other ones." He contends that
in this bustling, modern world, there is
no substitute for nature.
The method of creation blends three
sfages of Dougherty's thinking, "struc-
WRI- W11,

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Female conductor breaks into
predominantly male profession

By Jessica Eaton
Daily Books Editor
The rapt audience waits in suspense
as the orchestra prepares to perform.
The instruments are tuned; the musi-
cians are anxiously reviewing the music
in their mind. Then, when the moment
is right, the conductor signals and the
air fills with the passion of the piece.
The conductor's waving arms control
the sound and coordinate the various
sounds into a perfect harmony. The
music seems to appear from thin air.
But this seemingly natural sound
comes from years of effort. Tania Miller
is one of eight students in the University's
Orchestral and Opera Conducting
Program and one of two students in the
doctorate of musical arts program in the
School of Music, and she is one of many
women now entering the traditionally
male field of conducting.
"It's a difficult area for women in that
there are not very many female role
models in the business and it's a fairly
new area for women to be in, so the
women who are getting involved in
conducting are setting precedents for
one another," Miller said about the
women entering the field. "I don't think
that women need to try to be men. I
think that they need to believe in them-
selves and be leaders themselves."
Miller comes from Saskatchewan,

Canada, where she attended the
University of Saskatchewan as a music
education and piano performance
major. She worked as a teacher for four
years before deciding to return to
school and expand her musical exper-
tise with training in conducting.
, "It's difficult (to learn the art of
conducting) because a conductor's
instrument is an orchestra or an opera
production," Miller said.
"It's one thing to just study the music,
but the experience of actually physical-
ly being there, working with singers,
working with musicians, is something
you can only do when you have the job.
It's an interesting profession because
you have to wait until you're in front of
a group before you can practice"
She received a Master's in wind con-
ducting, and upon completing her doctor-
ate, she plans to conduct professionally.
Currently, Miller is conducting with
Michigan Student Opera Works, a cam-
pus student opera production aiming to
provide an educational opportunity for a
large group of singers in Baroque music.
"It's wonderful to come together and
create something, and that's what has real-
ly happened in this group," Miller said.
The opera's Baroque style of music is
one that not many of the singers had
been exposed to prior to the project.
The opera, Miller said, has been an edu-

"Women who are
getting involved
..are ,set'ting
precedents for
one another,"
-- Tania Miller
School of Music student
cational experience in the Baroque style
as well as being the typical perfor-
mance preparation.
"I want to be able to spend my life
learning music and communicating
music with others. Teaching is a wonder-
ful way of doing that, I think. But first, I
want to gain the experience and the
understanding and the personal involve-
ment in music as well," Miller said.
She stressed that the characteristics
of a good conductor are the ability to
connect to the music and the dedication
to make the performance of that music
a success.
"1 think that no matter who you are,
whether male or female, you need to be
a leader, be committed to what it is that
you do, be committed to music, and to
be yourself, to respect the orchestra and
trust what you do:'

Patrick Dougherty's sculpture of ten shelters is on display in the northwest corner
of the Diag. Passersby are welcome to sit, stand or play in the artwork.


ture, aesthetics and then cosmetics"
His said his sculptures are site specific,
to fit the dimensions and shapes of the
building or space within which they
will be viewed.
Dougherty arrives with materials by
the truckload and builds on a particular
site. His sculptures' parameters narrow
gradually, and that is when he said he
knows a piece is finished. Then, "I
achieve such a fine polish that additions
will not improve the piece," he said.
Dougherty'; sculptures have been
made throughout the United States at
galleries, public parks and college cam-
puses. He has also traveled to construct
in Denmark, Ireland and Japan.
Dougherty relies on word of mouth for
his commissions and constructs

approximately 89 sculptures yearly.
Dougherty said that he chose the
Diag rather than other campus areas
because it is so busy; he wanted to
make the sculptures high, approximate-
ly 17 feet each, for visibility. The works
needed to be large enough to count, and
also safe to touch and walk through. He
chose to create a circle of dwellings
which create a walkway.
Dougherty said he likes the classic
bottle shape of amphorae, so important
during Grecian times. Each separate
"element" is evocative of such associa-
Dougherty's works typically stay on
site for about a year, until the nature has
taken its toll and the commissioners
decided to lay them to rest.

;. ...a tuetsin Photo 261. In the School of Art work on their final projects durin the Srng '98 semester.
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