Six Things Our Master’s Student in Art History Learned While Studying Abroad in Florence

Outside the Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy
Outside the Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy

by Jillianne Laceste (M.A. Art History)

This summer, SMU Meadows’ Art History graduate program (MA and Ph.D.: Rhetorics of Art, Space and Culture) is letting students take over their social media while they’re studying abroad. Student Jillianne Laceste took the reigns first as part of her research trip to Florence, Italy. Follow future student social takeovers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Keep a running list of places you want to go. If I have no specific place I want to go to, I sometimes just wander. During my walks, I tend to find churches I want to visit or restaurants I want to try at a later time but there have been times where I can never find that place again (This was my experience when I went to Hong Kong a few years ago). If you see a place you want to go, take note of it. Write down a name or maybe the street. Don’t be like me and confidently think you’ll eventually find the place again without noting its name or location. Read more

25 Photos from the 2017 SMU Meadows Commencement Ceremonies Guaranteed to Make You Smile

Scenes from the spring 2017 Meadows diploma presentation ceremony. (All photos by Kim Leeson)
Scenes from the spring 2017 Meadows diploma presentation ceremony. (All photos by Kim Leeson)

As faculty and staff at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, one of the happiest days in our year is Commencement. It’s a feeling of unbridled accomplishment and joy, unmatched by events that have unfolded before it. On a balmy day, we sit in the grass of the Boulevard, and hear the inspiring words from our Dean Holland–like “arts and communication inform, uplift and challenge”–and our friends and family cheer as we walk the stage.

“You directed, wrote, choreographed, and practiced, practiced, practiced. You’ve earned this degree,” said Dean Sam Holland at the 2017 graduation ceremonies. In honor, we present our favorite photos–the ones that will make us smile forever–from photographer Kim Leeson below.

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Light Talk Podcast Attracts Lighting Designers from Around the Globe

Left to right, Light Talk hosts Steve Woods, SMU Meadows; David Jacques, California State University Long Beach; and Stan Kaye, University of Florida.
Left to right, Light Talk hosts Steve Woods, SMU Meadows; David Jacques, California State University Long Beach; and Stan Kaye, University of Florida.

By Mary Guthrie

You know you’ve got a good thing going when your brand-new podcast gets 7,000 downloads within three months. And the subscribers are tuning in from all over the world. And you get an invitation by the world’s biggest lighting convention, LDI, to live-stream your podcast at their next conference, which will be attended by 13,000 lighting designers from over 80 countries. It’s then when you realize your lighting design colleagues had been waiting for a podcast exactly like Light Talk to come along.

Steve Woods, professor and head of stage design in the M.F.A. Theatre program at SMU Meadows School of the Arts, is one of the show’s three hosts, collectively called “The Lumen Brothers.” Inspired by the light, fun and entertaining tone of NPR’s of Car Talk, Woods and fellow lighting pros David Jacques (California State University Long Beach), Stan Kaye (University of Florida) and their guests hold forth — or, according to Woods, “rant, muse and pontificate” — on the latest developments in the world of live entertainment and architectural lighting design. The seasoned professionals share their considerable experience and perspectives and offer shop talk and advice to professional lighting designers and students.

Light Talk caught the ear of LDI (Live Design International) and featured the show and its hosts in an article on the LDI website, saying “The format is like a fireside chat. These three guys are pretty funny, their lighting anecdotes and kernels of information interspersed with personal ramblings …” Light Talk, says the article, “… is a cross between Lake Wobegon and Greater Tuna, with a 45° lighting angle, lighthearted banter, and some nuggets of serious info infused. Listen in to Light Talk. You’ll be amazed or amused, and might even learn how to make a really good pot roast!”

You can hear their free podcasts on the Light Talk website or tune in through iTunes.

Learn more about SMU Meadows Professor and Head of Stage Design Steve Woods