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Student Spotlight

Chuck Ivy, Interdisciplinary Practices and Emerging Forms

Chuck Ivy

Chuck Ivy blazes a trail as the first CLASS graduate student in an emerging artistic field

Chuck Ivy describes himself as a “new media research artist.”

“New media art is a moving target, each year there’s something new, and some new technology to make it,” said the School of Art graduate student “So a big part of my artistic practice is the ability to teach myself new technologies as they are needed.”

It makes sense that the first person to enroll in the Master of Fine Arts program in Interdisciplinary Practices and Emerging Forms would coin a phrase to define himself and his work.

His artistic field of study encourages collaborative experimentation in the areas of architecture, biology, engineering, computer science, economics, psychology, religion and anthropology. It’s an area that requires habitual redefinition and usage of the broadest labels possible to categorize and explain work.

Those are skills Ivy has long put to good use in his career.

Raised in Houston, Ivy attended the High School for Performing and Visual Arts in the Houston Independent School District. He concentrated in vocal music and graduated in 1988.

But his interest in the arts ranged far beyond where his voice could take him. He lived and worked in Los Angeles as a photographer and earned an Associate of Arts degree in commercial photography from Santa Monica College in 2005 before returning to Houston.

Back home, he enrolled in CLASS to earn a bachelor’s of fine arts in photography and digital media, which he completed in 2009. He immediately enrolled into an MFA program to continue his education.

“Serendipity came in when the state approved the new graduate degree focus in Interdisciplinary Practices and Emerging Forms during my first semester as a Photography grad student,” he said. “I quickly jumped to the new department, becoming the first full-time grad student in the brand new program, getting in on the ground floor and helping shape the direction the department could take.”

While working with Arts Professor Abinadi Meza, Ivy created an online radio station for sharing sound art; such as spoken word, field recordings, “noise” and other experimental music. This personal radio project has expanded to become the platform for the course ‘Collaboration Among the Arts: Transmission Arts’. This class is part of the IART curriculum offered by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, which emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration between students.

“I can work with another creative student, with different skills and interests, and what we create together has the potential for being so much more than either of us could have done individually,” Ivy said.

His student leadership was acknowledged by a Scholarship from the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. Ivy is also the inaugural Artist in Residence at the Texas Learning & Computation Center Visualization Lab (TLC²) where he is researching 3D visualization technology for the creation of art.

He will present his 3D artistic research from the at the TLC² Artist in Residence reception on Friday, May 6 at 6 p.m. in the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, Wortham Theater lobby.

Upon graduation, Ivy would like to teach new media art at the University level, while also working with local arts organizations in Houston such as Aurora Picture Show, Houston Center for Photography, Fotofest, and Lawndale Art Center.

- Bree Edwards