Faculty Summer Activities: Jennifer Ivey, Scenic Artist and Advocate


This summer, Assistant Professor Jennifer Ivey attended conferences both in the United States and internationally in her roles as a leader and advocate in theatrical design. She also worked as a scenic artist locally.

Ivey attended the Prague Quadrennial Arts Festival (PQ) in the Czech Republic where she represented the International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects, and Technicians (OISTAT) as Chair of the Space Design Sub-Commission. 

OISTAT had a hub at PQ where they held meetings and ran events and Ivey was integral to the planning of those events as a member of the governing board. This included running a scenic design panel and symposium on 3 Dimensional Captures of Baroque Theatres as well as participating in meetings with the executive committee for planning the 2025 World Stage Design in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Her work with OISTAT connects her to the international world of scenic artists and helps spread FIU Theatre’s reputation on a world scale.

Professor Ivey with the governing board and executive committee of OISTAT meeting with the world stage design planning team in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

“Working internationally with theatre artists and technicians in entirely different circumstances and backgrounds is eye-opening and transformative,” says Ivey. “There is something wonderful about exploring art with a set of people who have a different definition of the mundane and are willing to explore despite language barriers and time zones.”

Ivey was also a presenter at the Scenic Artist Guild’s “Taking Charge of Your Self Care Webinar Summit.” She was invited to share her research and explorations on emotional hygience and sustainable practices for working scenic and theatre artists.

She was part of a panel that included many top scenic artists in the country including Diane Fargo who has developed scenic painting techniques which are widely taught and emulated in the industry and Karen Maness who authored the popular book The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop.

“This was a continuation of research I’ve been doing for a while, including a presentation at ATHE in 2021 on the role of wellness in safety and productivity in the theatrical world,” says Ivey. “There is a chapter on this in my book and the progression of including wellness as part of physical health and safety is a trend we are leaning toward in the technical world.”

Ivey was a scenic artist for M Ensemble’s Two Trains Running in May. She painted the floor of the set which involved detailed masking work to create a clean tile look. She worked closely with the show’s Technical Director and FIU Theatre colleague Geordan Gottlieb as well as Neena Davila, a current BFA Design student. The production also featured fellow faculty member Melvin Huffnagle among the cast.

The floor Professor Ivey painted for M Ensemble’s production of TWO TRAINS RUNNING by August Wilson.

“This was incredibly time consuming to get the clean lines and intricacies of the blocks mixed with the organic pattern, but also incredibly satisfying in the end,” says Ivey. “I really appreciated the collaborative discussions and problem-solving with Geordan, having a supportive thought partner in any artistic endeavor always creates a stronger whole than just the sum of its parts.”

For more on Professor Ivey, visit her website.

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