Campus Life

Texas A&M Art Academy Funds Faculty Projects For Artistic Enrichment

December 11, 2017

Image of dancers

By Sarah Wilson, Texas A&M University College of Architecture

To promote the arts at Texas A&M and beyond, the university’s Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts awarded more than $23,000 to university faculty for five art initiatives supporting exhibits, new classes and a book, announced Weiling He, AVPA director and associate professor of architecture.

The next round of faculty grant applications opens on March 7, 2018, and they are due on April 1.

“Few artists know the AVPA has an annual budget to bring experimental work, especially education-related work, to Texas A&M,” He said.

Arts enhancement grants

One of three arts enhancement grant awardees, Gabriel Esquivel, an associate professor of architecture, will research and fabricate “Rough and Saturated,” an art exhibit exploring the intersection of architecture aesthetics, technology and theory via six large-scale, 3-D printed models.

“The project will exemplify the constant evolution of aesthetics mediated by technology,” Esquivel said. “The research will focus on the importance of aesthetic theory and technology and the role it will play in the future.”

His exhibit and associated roundtable discussion will take place in May 2018.

Andrea Alvarez, an instructional assistant professor of health and kinesiology, will spearhead a “Dance Science Guest Instruction Initiative” to bring in guest educators to the Texas A&M Dance Science Program to supplement student instruction in the areas of dance wellness, pedagogy and technique.

“The guests reinforce our mission by focusing on topics that supplement and support the goal of our courses and integrate the creative art of dance with the theory and practice of a sound application of kinesiology,” Alvarez said. “Lecture and instruction topics will focus on healthy physical dance practice with an emphasis on applying the principles of kinesiology to teaching and to one’s own physical and artistic dance practice.”

The final arts enhancement grant, to pen a book manuscript and present at an international conference, was awarded to James Ball, assistant professor of performance studies for his “Staging Spectatorship” project.

Ball will investigate how immersive theatre has changed how audience members relate to each other and the world.

Course development grants

AVPA also gave two course development grants. The first was awarded to another dance-related initiative by Alexandra Pooley, instructional assistant professor of health and kinesiology.

Pooley’s program, “Dance Pedagogy,” will provide students with the tools to design and teach a dance technique class by learning theory and practice of dance education.

“The students will get an opportunity to physically embody the performances they have seen and learn how to teach elements of action, space and dynamics and choreography to middle and/or high school students,” Pooley said.

A course grant also was given to Daniel Bowen, assistant professor of educational administration and human resource development, and Leonardo Cardoso, assistant professor of performance studies, to develop an undergraduate research course to aid students considering careers in arts organization leadership and administration with the skills they need to secure arts funding.

The AVPA also offers Student Travel Grants to aid undergraduate and graduate students’ participation in arts-related conferences, workshops, presentations, performances and exhibitions. Student Travel Grant applications are available on a rotating basis.

This story published originally on ArchOne.


Media contact: Sarah Wilson, architecture communications specialist, at 979-862-6642 or; or Elena Watts, marketing and communications, at 979-458-8412 or

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