Stutes revamping Academy of Fine Arts

PLAINVIEW - Dr. Ann Stutes has a few new job duties to attend to this year. Beginning Aug. 1, Dr. Stutes took over as Chairperson for the Division of Fine Arts at Wayland Baptist University.

Dr. Stutes' primary duty will be to oversee daily operations of the music and communications departments which includes theatre and art. As one of her first orders of business, Dr. Stutes wants to restore some stability to the Academy of Fine Arts. The AFA is a program designed to offer individualized instruction to students ages kindergarten through adult in various artistic avenues.

"I am going to be a hands-on administrator," said Stutes, who will personally take over as director of the Academy. "We have been an organization in flux the last several years. Since Jeannine Greene's retirement from faculty work at Wayland, the AFA has been struggling to find its identity. I think we have found it."

Open registration will be held from 3-8 p.m. on Aug. 10 and 12 in Harral Auditorium. Students can sign up for art, theatre, woodwinds, brass, guitar, voice, handbells and a new course offering "Celebrate Piano." Students will receive one 30-minute lesson per week for 12 weeks. The cost is $150 and can be paid in three installments of $50.

The Academy originally opened in 1981 under Greene's leadership as a community music school. At the time, it offered only piano lessons taught by Greene. Over time, it grew to include other Wayland faculty members and was changed to the Academy of Fine Arts when Wayland's music and art divisions combined to become the Division of Fine Arts.

Greene is working with Dr. Stutes and still teaches lessons through the Academy.

"It is her vision and spirit that guides us," Stutes said. "She is the one who started this program years ago."

Now the AFA offers training in several different areas using Wayland students as teachers. The WBU students work with faculty mentors to provide the best possible training for AFA students. Stutes will meet with the faculty mentors to discuss the skill level of each AFA student, pairing them with a Wayland student that can meet their needs. If the AFA student shows advanced skills, they will work directly with Wayland faculty members.

"It's not going to be a green voice teacher going out and teaching Broadway to some fifth graders," Stutes said. "Teachers and their mentors communicate on a regular basis on curriculum issues."

Another important change that Stutes is implementing in the program is the office hours policy in the Wheeler Building, located at Xenia and 8 th Street. Anne Weaver will serve as the student director of the program and will be in the office from 3-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Also, all classes will be taught during this time.

Stutes said that is one of the major changes in the program. In the past, teachers and parents set up their own lesson schedules at times when there may have been no one in the Wheeler Building.

"We are going to require that the Wayland teacher teach during those hours when the building is secure," Stutes said.

Lessons will begin the week of Labor Day.

Anyone with questions may contact Dr. Stutes directly at 806-291-1065, or email her at .