SVPA Faculty Spotlight
The WCSU SVPA Faculty Spotlight is a recognition of the outstanding work being done by our esteemed faculty in the School of Visual and Performing Arts. We hope you take a moment to read about the recent accomplishments of the faculty members featured in this semester’s spotlight. We are extremely fortunate to have many faculty members with remarkable achievements in their field. We look forward to highlighting many more of these achievements in future editions of the WCSU SVPA Faculty Spotlight.
This semester’s SVPA Faculty Spotlight for the Department of Art is on Kenneth Scaglia. Ken will be assuming the role of chair of the Department of Art this July. “The Department of Art has become a destination for creative expression at WCSU,” said Scaglia. “I like that every day there’s the potential to help a student get closer to realizing their career in art. I’m looking forward to the caretaking of our department’s exciting activities and growth.”
Scaglia joined Western Connecticut State University as a full-time professor in the Fall of 2017, after having served as an adjunct professor for five years. Prior to working at WCSU, Scaglia taught at Norwalk Community College where he co-wrote the curriculum for their graphic design program.
Scaglia is a graduate of Purdue University with a B.A. in Visual Communications and Yale University with an M.F.A. in Graphic Design. Scaglia worked as a draftsman, a production designer and freelance illustrator before joining Karlsberger Companies, a leading health care architecture and planning firm. After graduating with his M.F.A., Scaglia freelanced in book and publication design, working for publishers of art collections ranging from Yale University Art Gallery, Storm King Art Center, Colonial Williamsburg, and Rizzoli. He has also worked as a decorative painter creating murals, wall finishes, and floor cloths for private residences.
Scaglia’s work is currently being shown as part of LUSTER: Realism and Hyperrealism in Contemporary Automobile and Motorcycle Painting, a popular touring exhibition that has a seven-year itinerary. Featuring dazzling paintings that portray a spectrum of vehicles from the first half of the 20th century to the present, LUSTER is a celebration of mechanical and artist design and style, the combination of which will have great allure with audiences throughout the United States. LUSTER has been shown in galleries and museums across the country in states including Florida, Texas and California.
This semester’s SVPA Faculty Spotlight for the Department of Music is on Dr. James Greene. Jimmy is an associate professor of Music and is the co-coordinator of Jazz Studies. In addition to his outstanding academic accomplishments, including an Outstanding Faculty Award in 2013 and 18 student musicians and ensembles having won DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards, he is also a prolific and nationally recognized musician garnering praise from critics and award recognition. The Jimmy Greene Quartet performs regularly in concert venues, festivals and clubs worldwide, including Jazz Standard and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola (New York), Le Club (Moscow), Casa del Jazz (Rome), Sunside Jazz Club (Paris), Red Sea Jazz Festival (Israel), Lapataia Jazz Festival (Uruguay) and Amazonas Jazz Festival (Brazil).
The Jimmy Greene Quartet performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., this past January, and received a sparkling review from The Washington Post.
“Perhaps it was Greene’s interpretation of the difficult world we’ve inhabited these past few years. Or perhaps it was my own. For all the talk of jazz’s math and cerebralism, when it’s good, it, like all of the best art, is a reflection of ourselves. In any case, thank God there’s a conduit for it as strong and expressive as the Jimmy Greene Quintet.” Michael J. West, The Washington Post.
A native of Hartford, Greene is considered one of the most respected saxophonists of his generation since his graduation from the Hartt School in 1997. Recent recordings include Beautiful Life (Mack Avenue), which garnered two Grammy® nominations, and Flowers: Beautiful Life Vol. 2 (Mack Avenue). Greene has performed on “CBS This Morning”, “NBC’s The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon”, and the nationally syndicated “Meredith Vieira Show”. His previous solo releases, Live at Smalls (SmallsLive), Mission Statement (RazDaz/Sunnyside), The Overcomers Suite (NuJazz), Gifts and Givers (Criss Cross), True Life Stories (Criss Cross), Forever (Criss Cross), Brand New World (RCA Victor), Live at Birdland (RCA Victor) and Introducing Jimmy Greene (Criss Cross) were also met with much critical acclaim.
This semester’s SVPA Faculty Spotlight for the Department of Theatre Arts is on Chris Bolan. Chris is an adjunct professor who teaches performance classes to B.A. Theatre Arts and B.F.A. Musical Theatre majors for the Department of Theatre Arts at WCSU. During the Fall 2021 semester, Bolan served as director and adaptor of Jester’s Dead, a devised piece created by Rhett Henckel and Nat Mcintyre.
In addition to his work as a professor, Bolan has achieved outstanding accomplishments in the entertainment industry. He recently directed the critically acclaimed and award-winning Netflix Original Documentary, A Secret Love, based on a member of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League made famous by Penny Marshall’s classic film, “A League of Their Own”. A Secret Love was an official selection of the 2020 SXSW Film Festival and was produced by Ryan Murphy Productions, Blumhouse Television, NowThis, and Beech Hill Films. A Secret Love received nominations from the Critics’ Choice Awards for Best Director (First Feature Documentary) and Best Documentary Feature as well as a nomination for a Dorian Award for best LGBTQ Documentary and won the AARP Movies for Grownups Award for Best Documentary. Bolan was also the recipient of the Jerome Foundation Emerging Artists Award for directing.
A Secret Love was uniformly praised by critics, receiving a 100% approval rating on RottenTomatoes based on reviews published in TIME Magazine, NME, Associated Press, The New York Times, The Guardian, CNN, and many more.
Bolan is founding partner of Sweet T Productions with recent projects including The Sound Inside (Broadway/Studio 54) starring Mary-Louise Parker, The Visitor (The Public Theater) starring David Hyde Pierce, Jitney (Broadway National Tour), and Endlings (New York Theater Workshop). Bolan is a company member of the award-winning New York based Wheelhouse Theater Company, is on the Board of Directors for LUMBERYARD Center for Film and Performing Arts and holds an M.F.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Upcoming projects for Bolan include Never Satisfied; a feature documentary with Stick Figure Productions that follows Tony Award winner Renée Elise Goldsberry as she tells behind-the-scenes stories through her eyes and shares hundreds of hours of never-before-seen footage from the making of the iconic musical Hamilton, and Rainbow Railroad; a poignant documentary series that follows LGBTQI individuals risking everything to live authentic open lives free from persecution.