Top Left: The launch of Lutra, a rowboat built by Seitu Jones and MFAIA-WA students, with Goddard West Campus Director Joyce Gustafson and Stacy Dawson Stearns at the Fall 2011 Residency. Top Right: Students take Lutra out for a row during group advising with Seitu. Lower Left: Seitu prepares students for Lutra, with Hattie Mae Williams, Pat Taylor and Tamara Lynne. First three photos: Goddard College. Lower Right: Lutra is officially named, with Seitu Jones and Joyce Gustafson, Spring 2017. Photo: Jessie Lenderman.
Faculty Advisor Seitu Jones Retires
It is with sadness and celebration we announce the retirement of Seitu Jones from the MFAIA faculty. Sadness because we will miss Seitu immensely and celebration because for the past 8 years we have rejoiced in building “beloved community” together, breaking bread, dancing on sand, diving into the spirit bath of the great Salish Sea, and conspiring to decolonize art and higher education. So as we bid a tearful farewell, we stay bright knowing our collective pursuit of the bigger story of ecological and social justice and flourishing connects us forever. We wish Seitu all the best with his many projects and look forward to continued collaborations!
Seitu Jones is the embodiment of compassionate mentorship. He trusts you to be your best self, and models the way with such remarkable certainty that you cannot help but set out; not following his footsteps, but rather charting your own path. He inspires. He loves and laughs. He creates with quiet, kind ferocity. His way of teaching—just like his way of making art—is a way of loving, of building relationship and community. The Goddard MFAIA was, and is, better for his example. — Bonnie Schock, former MFAIA-WA Program Director
Seitu changed my life. He subtly drafted me into the MFAIA *Navy*, initiated me into boat building, and treated me as an artist with something to offer to the world. Most of all, he modelled an art practice abundant with joy, love, and generosity. Advising sessions with Seitu in our little *Navy* vessel, named Lutra, were mindbody excursions. The weight of my portfolio review gave way to sunlight dancing on the water and the playful company of otters. The small boat was a symbol of pure journeys—how buoyant and facile we can be when we follow the flow! I love you, Seitu! — Alumna Stacy Dawson Stearns (MFAIA-WA ’12)
What a gift to be one of Seitu students: I am beyond grateful for these past few months working together. Seitu’s wisdom and grace will stay with me from this day forward as I continue to grow as a human being. Seitu creates from a place of beauty and love. Thank you Seitu for sharing your joy with all of us. — Current Student Rosemary Alpert
Seitu has a way of being wind, current, sail, and steward; all that is needed for boating. Once I was reading Coco Fusco. At the time, Fusco’s work seemed relevant, but when Seitu inquired why I was using Fusco’s work, my attempted answer and his suggestion, thereafter, was a needed gust that helped me refocus on the nucleus that he saw in my work, which I was overlooking. Seeing Seitu’s boat-making presentation was amazing: the dissected maps of the inner makings of the boat, pictures from a trip to West Africa, and the boat-making history he shared were remarkable! — Alumna Librecht Baker (MFAIA-WA ’12)
When I became a faculty advisor at Goddard, Seitu became my advisor in our work, in art, and in life. I have yet to meet a person more gifted, prolific, generous and more humble. I love you Black man. — Former Faculty Advisor Alrick Brown
I feel immensely lucky to have worked with Seitu this semester. He is a man of wisdom and deep love. Because of his loving guidance I fully envisioned my plans and fulfilled them without feeling pressured or forced. Seitu was the perfect advisor and has become a lifelong friend. He always wrote in closing responses, “make love and make art”, which I will joyfully engage in throughout my life. — Current Student Neena Massey
Vibrant notes by Seitu Jones from the Spring 2017 MFAIA-WA residency, drawn during workshops on his IPad. Download Seitu’s PDF notes here: Seitu Jones Notes from Plant Walk with Cease Wyss. Courtesy of Seitu Jones.
Vermont Dance Alliance is Launched
Alumna Hanna Satterlee (MFAIA-VT ’16) is the recent founder and Executive Director of the Vermont Dance Alliance (VDA), a foundation for Vermont dancers and a public platform for dance in Vermont. The Alliance cultivates deeper relationships between its members, and helps to foster a thriving artistic community throughout the State. VDA is currently working to obtain 501(c)(3) status and has begun planning programming for the near and distant future. Dancers, service providers, and dance enthusiasts of all genres are encouraged to join the Alliance to become the voice of dance in Vermont. As a member, you become an active participant and gain visibility within the network. The website is open to the public and VDA members can create, and engage with, the content. As a member, you will also benefit from deeper connections, increased opportunities, personal and career development, and wide-ranging exposure. For more see Seven Days Vermont Review.
Tenure and Promotion
Alumna Jodi Patterson (MFAIA-VT ’05) will start the 2017-28 academic year as an Associate Professor of Art, and will also serve as Chairwoman of Eastern Washington University’s Art Department.
OlaRonke Akinmowo/The Free Black Women’s Library Receives an Awesome Grant
Current MFAIA-VT student OlaRonke Akinmowo is a proud recipient of a grant from The Awesome Foundation to help cover the costs of transporting books from The Free Black Women’s Library, which is a mobile library that currently features a collection of over 750 books written by Black women.
Willi Singleton Panel Presentation on ‘Place’ at NC Clay Conference
Alumnus Willi Singleton (MFAIA-VT ’16) and Cedar Crest College Artist-in-Residence, recently participated in the International Woodfire Clay Conference held near Seagrove, North Carolina (held from June 8 to 11, 2017) as moderator and presenter for the panel titled “Pots, Purpose and Place”. Singleton was invited by the conference organizers to moderate this panel because of his advocacy of place-connectedness in clay works. Singleton posed “Place as Location plus Meaning” (as suggested by the renown cultural geographer Yi Fu Tuan) as the basis of this panel.
Art Resource Association Group Show
Alumnus Richard Ambelang (MFAIA-VT, 2012) is participating in the Art Resource Association group show, “Mixed Primaries” at the T. W. Wood Gallery in Montpelier, VT. Richard’s photograph is part of his continuing exploration of the space between realistic landscape and photographic abstraction through September 2, 2017.
Beatboxing and Graffiti Designs at the Children’s Hospital
On Tuesday, July 11, 2017 Soul Inscribed with alumni Baba Israel (MFAIA-VT ’08), and Yako Prodis (MFAIA-VT ’09), had a day full of beatboxing and graffiti art-making fun at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. Videographer: Sammy Levine.
MFAIA-WA faculty Advisor Petra Kuppers published a new story through Anomaly (formerly Drunken Boat), Wheelchair Ramp, which is set in an ArtPrize Grand Rapids site-specific installation.
Noticing the Unnoticed, An Art Exhibition by Nan Goodship
Alumna Nan Goodship (MFAIA-WA ’16) exhibited large scale watercolour paintings at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery, inspired by the artist taking a contemplative look at the natural world and the elegance and design therein. Most of the subjects in these works are much larger than life and have an unusual presence seen near at hand. The gala opening, which was held on July 22, 2017, included an artist talk. The exhibition ended on July 30th. Presented by: The Art Council of Ladysmith and District.
Stacy Dawson Stearns’ LOVE GASOLINE! Goes To The Edinburgh Fringe
Bessie Award-winning artist and alumna Stacy Dawson Stearns (MFAIA-WA ’12) activates Marcel Duchamp’s sexy imagination in LOVE GASOLINE! an infernal and absurd physical rendering of erotic love and desire.
Devised from Marcel Duchamp’s famously unfinished work, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (most often called The Large Glass / Le Grand Verre), LOVE GASOLINE! is a striking encounter with Duchamp’s iconic Nude, who guides us into ‘the glass’ to witness elaborate and unconventional acts of desire performed by the Bride and her many Bachelors. Cyclical, fetishy, and unapologetically visceral, LOVE GASOLINE! shatters and reflects the very idea of love and its many games and guises.
Conceived and Directed by Stacy Dawson Stearns. Featuring: Tolan Lawrence, Tyree Marshall, Stacy Dawson Stearns, B. Ehst, Gabriel Jimenez, and Audrey Olmos. Music Composition by Ian Stahl. Sound Design by Sam Sewell. Light Design and Live Video Design by Jesse Fryery. Video Design: Jonathon Stearns. Costume Design by Stacy Dawson Stearns
Support Stacy at GoFundMe here.
Manure, Mud, and Microbial Mother Tongues ~ Findings from the R.A.W. Secretome
On a bright late April morning in Philomath, Oregon, a crew of intrepid seekers of microbial encounters braved deep mud, steamy manure, and swirling barn-dust, then undertook a peculiar hunt for invisible “treasures” in the wet grass of the pasture, all as part of the Welcome to the Secretome workshop at the R.A.W. Ass Farm. In association with The Arts Center and OSU Dept. of Microbiology’s exhibition, Microbiomes: To See the Unseen, Domestic/Wild artists and alumni Emily Stone (MFAIA-WA ’08) and Karin Bolender (MFAIA-VT ’07) led explorers through a web of seamy adventures aimed to press against real and imagined boundaries of bodies-in-places and to welcome invisible but lively microbial presences. We conversed and shared a multispecies picnic of fermented foods and drink atop a hotly composting manure pile; we hung out in the barn with resident asses, Aliass and Passenger; and we made friendly gestures of various kinds toward embodied wisdoms of symbiotic kombucha mothers and barnyard ass-tongue microbiomes. Most of all, we all spent the morning welcoming and attending in new ways to the presences of microscopic “old friends” we more often avoid or simply ignore. Thank you to all who attended, and to Melody Owen, alumna Christine Toth (MFAIA-VT ’07), Sharyn Clough, and Hanne Niederhausen for contributing photos. April 29, 2017.
Poetic Performance, A Lamp on Earth Amor América (Love America)
Amor América is a poetic performance that focuses on the need to retake historical memory against the amnesia when it prevails – and denies – a flourishing past that has been mutilated. Here poetry is used as a vehicle to return to the ancestral past, which echoes in the present. Illustrated by a series of prints carved in wood by alumnus Alexy J. Lanza (MFAIA-VT ’16), these are Pre-Columbian prints, the original works were carve in stone between 300-500 A.D. Classic Maya period.
The poetic performance was filmed by the photographer Joshua Berman (MFAIA-VT ’17), collaborating with current MFAIA-VT student Dan Goldman, as the official photographer of the poetic performance. This performance, which proposes a unity between image and word (Imalabra) rooted in the Mesoamerican Mayan worldview, was also a preamble for the exhibition of the printed portfolio of 21 woodcuts made by Lanza, titled “From the Death of One Star”.
Video credit for Amor América. Video and Photography: Joshua Berman collaborating with Dan Goldman
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Current MFAIA-WA student Kirsten Brandt is directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s classic tale of love and magic set in roaring 20s for the Utah Shakespeare Festival, through October 21, 2017. Link: Review — Kirsten Brandt Triumphs at Utah Shakespeare Festival.
Anjali Austin in Fellowship
Alumna Anjali Austin (MFAIA-WA ’15) began her fellowship at Center for Ballet and the Arts and included the following free activities at NYU:
*July 24 (Monday) 7:00 – 8:30 pm Live Oak – Solo performance by Anjali Austin
*July 31 (Monday) 7:00 – 8:30 pm Diaries of a Ballerina – Conversations and discussion on a work in progress with Anjali Austin.
vetiver (forthcoming from Finishing Line Press) is alumna librecht baker’s (MFAIA-WA ’12) first full-length collection of poetry. vetiver will be published in September 2017.
librecht baker is a Long Beach, CA writer; Dembrebrah West African Drum & Dance Ensemble member; English Instructor; VONA/Voices & Lambda Literary Fellow; Sundress Publications’ Assistant Editor; MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts alumna from Goddard College. Her poetry is included in: Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices; CHORUS: A Literary Mixtape, Emerge; 2015 Lambda Literary Fellows Anthology; Thank You for Swallowing Volume 2 Issue 2; and Solace: Writing Refuge, & LGBTQ Women of Color. A one-act play, “Lineage Undone,” will be part of the 2017 Eastside Queer Stories Festival in Los Angeles. She is also included in the Summer 2017 issue of Bone Bouquet along with Petra Kuppers.
Shakespeare Workshops with Lisa Wolpe
Alumna Lisa Wolpe (MFAIA-VT ’07) is offering three Shakespeare workshops in Los Angeles (Santa Monica):
— Shakespeare Saturdays Audition / Monologue Workshop; 12:00 to 3:00 pm, (10 students max)
*Four classes $225
*Please bring 2 monologues to explore over the four-class progression.
*Series A: August 5, 12, 19, & 26
*Series B: Sept 2, 9, 16, 23
— Shakespeare Sundays Masters Class: 12:00 to 4:00 pm
*Eight Sundays $500
*Work in scenes toward a public work showing/performance at 2:00 pm Sept. 24th. Participation and casting in the masters class is by interview/audition.
*August 6 through September 24
Taught by Lisa Wolpe at New Roads School, Lincoln Room, 3131 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404-5002, United States. To enrol: send full tuition here. For more information please contact Lisa at: (310) 453-5069 or email: email@example.com
Lisa is an international activist working for the empowerment of women and diversity on the stage. Since 1993 she has been the Founding Producing Artistic Director of the all-female Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company (22 seasons), where she produces, directs, and has performed roles including Hamlet, Richard III, Angelo, Leontes, Romeo, Shylock, and Iago. Lisa is currently touring her solo show Shakespeare & the Alchemy of Gender to venues around the world. She has directed and acted regionally at theaters including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Repertory Company, Shakespeare & Company, Arizona Theater Company, San Diego Repertory Theater, and more. She is a teacher/writer/actor/director who has studied deeply in Clown, Voice, Shakespearean text, and new work, and has received multiple awards for excellence in Directing, Acting, and promoting diversity and excellence onstage. She has taught and directed at universities including NYU, UCLA, USC, Cal Poly Pomona, Whittier College, ACT San Francisco, Boston University, MIT, the American Shakespeare Center, University of Colorado, and more. She has probably played more of the Bard’s male leading roles than any woman in history and is featured in the book “Women Direct Shakespeare in America.”
Casino: A Palimpsest
The Frye Art Museum is proud to present Casino: A Palimpsest, the first solo museum exhibition of Seattle-based performance artist and poet, alumna Storme Webber (MFAIA-WA, ’14). Through family photographs, archival records, and poetry, Webber unearths a personal history of one of the oldest gay bars on the West Coast, the Casino. As with a palimpsest, on which writing that has been erased remains visible under new script, the historical documents in this exhibition reveal some of the many histories that lie beneath Seattle’s streets. In addition to the objects and documents on view, a series of dynamic programs including performances, readings, and workshops occurring throughout the duration of the exhibition will incorporate the performative and collaborative aspects of Webber’s practice.
Storme Webber is a writer, interdisciplinary artist, educator, and curator. She has performed and toured her work internationally, and consistently foregrounds the work of other marginalized artists, most recently founding Voices Rising: LGBTQ of Color Arts & Culture in Seattle. Her poetry collections include Diaspora and Blues Divine. She has been featured in numerous anthologies, including: Black Women and Writing: The Migration of Subject; International Queer Indigenous Voices; and The Popular Front of Contemporary Poetry, as well as the documentaries Venus Boyz; What’s Right with Gays These Days; and Living Two Spirit. Webber received the 2015 James W. Ray Venture Project Award, which is funded by the Raynier Institute & Foundation through the Frye Art Museum | Artist Trust Consortium. The award supports and advances the creative work of outstanding artists living and working in Washington State and culminates in an exhibition at the Frye Art Museum. Casino: A Palimpsest runs from August 5 to October 29, 2017.
The Quality of Mercy, a Tour of Love
A Tour of Love through the Words of Shakespeare by Candace Vance with Original Music by alumnus Sam Vance (MFAIA-WA ‘15) and joined by their three children in a performance of Shakespeare’s words with original music at Le Pave de Orsay in Paris on June 17, 2017. During their recent trip, they spent three weeks in France in the company of La Fonderie, a community of performing and visual artists from all over Europe.
Former MFAIA faculty advisor Danielle Abrams in JUST SITUATIONS: A Performative Convention
“Justice, it is said, must not only be done, it must be seen to be done.” (Homi K. Bhabha).
JUST SITUATIONS is a hybrid conference, festival, and “political science fair” that hosted artists and active citizens who are working in performative ways, moving beyond the trending commercialization of art “about” politics, into modes of performance which directly construct, speculate, design, position, and posit “just” forms of political, social, and personal human being and becoming.
JUST SITUATIONS took place over two weekends in July 2017 in Brooklyn, New York, at Grace Exhibition Space & Panoply Performance Laboratory
Danielle Abrams’ performances react to the social tensions that shape her experiences as a biracial lesbian. Her performances blend scripted and improvised language, and public encounters that rely on engaged participation. She adopts contradictory personae that are also autobiographical, and animates the ambivalent relationships between racial and ethnic groups. Her menagerie of personifications stage humorous encounters while reimagining the cultural narratives of art history, civil rights, and popular culture.
Danielle Abrams has performed at Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Detroit Institute of the Arts, Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston) Bronx Museum of the Arts, Roger Smith Hotel (NY), The Jewish Museum (NY), Queens Museum, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, WOW Performance Cafe, and The Kitchen. Abrams has received grants from The New York Foundation of the Arts, Urban Arts Initiative, and the Franklin Furnace Performance Art Fund. She is a Professor of Practice in Performance at School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University.
Women In Photography International ~ Beinecke Library Archives/Yale University
Women in Photography International (WIPI) Charter Member archives are now being held at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, New Haven, CT. In 2016, current MFAIA-WA student Rosemary Alpert, originally from Connecticut, became the 70th and last WIPI Charter Member. In May 2017, the archives and photography stories for each of the WIPI Charter Members were accepted at the Beinecke Library at Yale University. In addition to the Beinecke Library, Women in Photography International sent binders documenting the collection of women photographers to the following institutions:
- National Women’s History Museum, Washington D.C.
- The American Art & Portrait Gallery Library at the Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC
- The library at the International Center of Photography, New York, NY
- The recent center and museum at the University of Arizona, Center of Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ
- The Department of Photography, Research Library at the Getty Museum Center, Los Angeles, CA
- The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Saints of Failure at the Dixon Place HOT! Festival
The Dixon Place 2017 HOT! Festival of Queer Culture presents alumnus Ryan Conarro’s (MFAIA-WA ’15) solo performance Saints of Failure, featuring makeup collaboration and design by alumna Risha Rox (MFAIA-WA ’16). In the piece, Conarro meets up with Carl Jung, Joan of Arc, and the Holy Trinity as they gather round a vanity table to debate religion, gender, and sexual identity while putting on a whole lot of makeup. Using movement and projections from appropriated pages of an illuminated Christian Book of Hours, Conarro weaves historical tales of the lives of queer saints with personal stories from a sublime and ridiculous coming-of-age as a gay Catholic American. The event is FREE at Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street, New York, NY. Thursday, August 3rd, 7:30pm
Ryan is the recipient of a Goddard College MFAIA Alumni Arts Project Award for this upcoming presentation at Dixon Place.
Risha Rox’s Memento Mori in Times Square
On June 8, 2017, alumna Risha Rox (MFAIA-WA ‘16) presented her performative installation entitled Memento Mori, at the 2017 Chashama Gala in Times Square. This work was a direct response to the movement for Black lives. Influenced by the legacies of Afro-Caribbean carnival; black speculative fiction; New Orleans procession funerals and the creative energy of Afrofuturism, Risha Rox paid homage to the ancestors killed by state violence (such as 12 year old Tamir Rice), and offered audiences alternative depictions of #BlackJoy. Alumna Ayanna Bassiouni (MFAIA-WA ’15) also came to NYC to assist Risha with the set-up and participate by being performatively painted.
Finance for Artists
Alumna Pi Luna (MFAIA-WA, ‘12) teaches creative individuals the financial and business skills needed to turn their creative ideas into reality. As an artist and math educator, she uses both sides of the brain to make learning fun and easy. Pi is the author of three books, which are all available on Amazon. Life Savings: Navigate the Financial Course; Spreadsheet Nuts & Bolts; and Budget Basics. She teaches workshops in Santa Fe, NM and has worked with clients in person and virtually. To learn more go to: www.pilunapress.com
The Fierce Bellies Collective Author New Performance Score
Current Fierce Bellies Collective members MFAIA-WA Program Director JuPong Lin, faculty advisor Devora Neumark and outgoing faculty advisor Seitu Jones have recently completed a new performance score called “Instructions for Being Water”. The Collective launched this score in Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh unceded and traditional First Nations territory, currently known as Vancouver, BC. They also acknowledge the Indigenous peoples of their current home places: Nipmuc lands now called Massachusetts; Kanien’keha:ka – unceded Mohawk traditional territory – a place which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst nations; and the home of the Dakota, where the Twin Cities began at the confluence of two rivers is Oheyawahi or “a hill much visited.”
The performance score is intended to resonate in synchrony with a team of climate scientists who today issued a warning that humanity has only three years to dramatically lower greenhouse emissions “or face the prospect of dangerous global warming” (Ian Johnston, 2017). The authors write (in the introduction to this score): “In our desire to contribute to a radical alternative to the widespread eclipse of the truth about interconnectivity, we – the Fierce Bellies Collective – lean towards each other and again outward. We invite new kinships and invoke ways of living and being to counter the current patterns of destruction stemming from the colonialist dualistic thinking that creates a sense of separation and otherness.”
Two views of the Georgia Viaduct taken from the same location of Keefer and Columbia Streets — left image in 1961 and right image in 2011, the site of Laiwan’s project FOUNTAIN: the origin or source of anything (2014). Photos courtesy of local Vancouver historian Keith Freeman.
Public Art Commissions
Beginning in the fall, MFAIA-WA faculty advisor Laiwan will be one of six artists invited to work with Barbara Cole, artist, consultant, producer and curator of art in public space. Ms Cole has been contracted by the City of Vancouver (CoV) to develop a public art Master Plan for Vancouver’s Northeast False Creek (NEFC). Working from a position that artists’ research can significantly influence urban development, Laiwan has been invited to participate in the “Discovery Project”, a series of artists’ projects that explore and mark different phases of the area’s planning, construction, and occupation. Her research stemming from her 2014 project FOUNTAIN: the source or origin of anything is significant in this as it is located within the NEFC area.
Also, Laiwan is partnering with TransLink on public art at a forthcoming transit exchange renovation project. She will work closely with the design team to introduce a program of artistic enhancements throughout the transit exchange design. TransLink is Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority.