George Mason University
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George Mason University

Highlights from the CVPA Class of 2020

The end of the 2019-2020 school year has been unlike anything we could have imagined, yet the students of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA), including more than 350 graduating seniors, met the challenge of transitioning their classes, performances and even exhibitions online and inspired us in countless ways. 

Here is a collection of the work and achievements of our graduating seniors from across the college. Help us applaud our 2020 CVPA graduates and their fellow seniors, during the Class of 2020 Celebration, Friday, May 22 at 2pm.

School of Art

Art + Design Senior Exhibition 2020

Click on the image below to browse the senior art & design work from the School of Art Class of 2020!

Senior Art and Design Show 2020
Cody Zanowick

School of Art Graduation Profile:
Friendship through Thick and Thin

When art and visual technology majors John Riley and Cody Zanowick (pictured, right) met at a School of Art lecture three years ago, they knew they had some things in common but had no idea they would become such good friends, nor how one of them would help the other overcome adversity during their time at Mason. Now they are graduating this week with bachelor of fine arts degrees from the College of Visual and Performing Arts. 

Read a profile on the seniors

Computer Game Design

Senior Game Expo 2020

Senior Game Expo 2020

The Computer Game Design Program's first Virtual Senior Expo is now live! Visit the senior expo page to see the impressive work of the program's hard working seniors and the game ideas they’ve brought to life. Stop in to view video highlights, game screenshots, and even get a chance to play the games yourselves! Watch highlights of the games in the video on the right.

Download and play student games now.

School of Dance

Company Gala and Outstanding Achievement Awards

Mason School of Dance student

The School of Dance students worked all year to prepare for their Annual Dance Company Gala Concert with works by Kyle Abraham and Rafael Bonachela, and world premieres by Michaela Taylor and Christopher D’Amboise. Due to COVID-19 the gala had to be put on hold, but this did not keep our talented students from dancing—even if their homes may not quite be as roomy as Mason’s studios. Their energy and creativity inspired us all! 

We look forward to celebrating them at the new Gala date in September. 

Watch a Preview of the 2020 Mason Dance Gala
Mason Dance seniors 2020

School of Dance Senior class—all of whom received the Outstanding Achievement in the Major Award this year.

Film at Mason

Virtual Film Festival on May 30, 2020

A link to the Film at Mason Class of 2020 Film Festival will be made available on May 30.

Mason Virtual Film Festival 2020

Film at Mason grad lands virtual internship from home

Nicole Clavel

Nicole Clavel interning with AFI DOCS Media Coordination from home

Nicole Clavel found herself working remotely as an AFI DOCS Media Coordination Intern at PR Collaborative, a small PR firm located in Washington, D.C. AFI Docs is a documentary film festival created by the American Film Institute and the Discovery Channel. This year, the festival will be held virtually from June 17-21. Nicole is assisting the AFI DOCS Press Manager with press outreach and also assisting with press research, festival press credentials, press breaks, film publicity assets, managing interviews, and client wrap reports. “It’s nice to still get experience within film and public relations, especially from the comfort of my couch,” said Nicole.

Introduced by Dr. Linda Monson, Director of the School of Music, this dynamic musical showcase celebrates Mason’s School of Music students and faculty through a variety of performances (including two world premieres by Mason composers), all created and performed during the current global pandemic. Produced with the help of Music Technology students, Music in the Time of Quarantine features Mason's University Singers, the Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, University Chorale and Alumni Choir, Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Faculty Brass Ensemble, and multiple chamber ensembles (including woodwinds, strings, and 8-hand piano). Faculty performers will also be featured in this stunning, not-to-be-missed concert! Join Mason’s School of Music for this memorable performance of Music in the Time of Quarantine and let the music continue! Watch the performance.

As a very challenging school year comes to a close, watch a moving rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Waters sung/played by the School of Music faculty to their students.

A tribute to an exceptional music graduate

Joi Harper embodies the essence of the Mason artist-scholar who enriches the lives of others through the sharing of her phenomenal musical gifts!

Dr. Linda Monson, Director of the School of Music

Joi Harper, an extraordinary music graduate and winner of an Outstanding Achievement Award for School of Music, is graduating with a BM in Composition. She is a thoroughly accomplished composer, arranger, singer and conductor. On the right, she can be seen conducting Mason's Green Machine performing her own arrangement of Bishop Briggs' hit song River. Among her other achievements are conducting the Green Machine at Mason Madness 2019 in EagleBank Arena and singing lead with the Green Machine at the World Series.

Joi Harper: photos, video and tributes from the music faculty

Above from left to right: Joi singing lead in front of the Green Machine during one of our performances at the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park and Joi conducting the Green Machine at Mason Madness 2019 in EagleBank Arena

Above: Joi conducting one of her compositions during a Chorale rehearsal

"As a composer and arranger, Joi’s courage and intellect allow her to manifest work—Dr. Michael Nickens

"Her work as a leader in the University Chorale...shows the realm of what is possible when one is bright, dedicated, loyal and prepared….” —Dr. Lisa Billingham

"Joi excels in every endeavor she pursues due to her outstanding work ethic and dedication to the musical craft." —Dr. Darden Purcell

School of Theater

Our Seniors Join Fellow Theater Majors on Screen

I just finished the Great Film Performances class with 52 students. They came every week; we were together for three hours as a community watching great films, and their work today in final projects was nothing short of inspirational. Little 90 second slices of life in isolation quarantine, with pathos, bathos, logos, joy, and with undaunted spirits. Our students are remarkable. Here is the YouTube of their work.

Edward Gero, School of Theater Professor

Watch the movie
In time of Quarantine - Mason Theater Film students

Still of Kayleigh Schall and her cat from the student-made movie

Creating Theater in a Pandemic: Introducing Shakesqueer Theater Company

School of Theater junior Jacob Horowitz and senior Kira Simmons started the online Shakesqueer Theater Company and presented an almost all-female version of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest on Facebook on May 9, 2020. Jacob and Kira acted as company directors, along with seven actors, including Mason students and alumni.

Watch the play

Arts Managment

Highlights of Outstanding Student Work

Class of 2020 Arts Management graduate student Wenqi Rao created this great video for her class project with Professor Emma Balázs for the Visual Arts Management class. Many of the Arts Management students were involved in this project at Founders Hall at the Mason Arlington campus.

Cristina Papanicolaou

Recent graduate and winner of the 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award in Arts Management, Christina Papanicolaou, helped to organize and manage the first virtual arts town hall in the D.C. metro area with over 400 artists and organizations present.

Read the story

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