How To Make Space and Female Migrant Domestic Workers in Hong Kong
Curated by Jennifer Davis & Su-Ying Lee, How To Make Space is an exhibition that frames the temporary architectures built by Hong Kong’s population of female migrant domestic workers (MDWs) as gestures of female spatial agency. Three commissioned projects reveal the oppressive legal and cultural forces that compel the women to occupy public spaces and build structures of found materials in which to spend their Sundays off from work. The projects are researched and authored by Canadian artists Stephanie Comilang and MFAIA faculty advisor Devora Neumark, and a third to be determined.
The three commissioned projects will be presented in various Hong Kong public venues June 25 – July 23, 2016. Situating the exhibition in the public milieu, rather than a gallery, will raise awareness of the MDWs’ situation to a broad audience and directly engage the spaces and people of central concern.
The long-term goal is to learn tactics, such as those employed by MDWs, which gesture toward the possibility of a feminist architecture by using methodologies that challenge dominant hegemonies within the discipline and broader society. To that end, each commissioned project illuminates an aspect of the MDWs’ agency in Hong Kong whilst questioning a given part of architecture’s dogma. Stephanie Comilang’s sci-fi inspired film eschews the construct of the generic “user” by occupying the point of view of the “alien” MDW who navigates the city. Devora Neumark evolves her Not Built For That series of relational artworks by contrasting a space’s intended “program” with the MDWs’ actual activities.
How To Make Space is organized by Rear View (Projects), an independent Toronto-based arts collective founded by Su-Ying Lee, a contemporary art curator and Jennifer Davis, an architect. Unlike typical arts organizations, their goal is to mobilize art to bring free exhibitions into public spaces to reach a broad non-expert audience. Exhibition topics are broad social issues that engage people both within the art community and community at large. These initiatives give emerging Canadian artists opportunities to produce new projects they would not otherwise have the resources to present. 100% of fundraising done by Rear View (Projects) goes directly into such projects.
Crowdsourced donations of Aeroplan miles will be used to fly Canadian artists, Stephanie Comilang and Devora Neumark, to Hong Kong so they can participate in the exhibition How To Make Space. Aeroplan miles can be contributed to here.
Left Photo: Storme Webber, Frye Art Museum/Artist Trust Consortium 2015 James W Ray Awardee. Photo Credit: Artist Trust.
Right Photo: Black Lives Matter event at Northwest African American Museum. Photo Credit: Naomi Ishisaka.
James W. Ray Venture Project Award
Alumna Storme Webber (MFAIA-WA ’14) has been awarded the James W. Ray Venture Project Award. The award recognizes artists in all disciplines whose work demonstrates exceptional originality and is intended to free artists to advance their creative work. Storme Webber is a Two Spirit, Alutiiq/Black/Choctaw, internationally nurtured poet, playwright, educator and interdisciplinary artist. Her forthcoming Noirish Lesbiana is an interdisciplinary installation that embraces Noir aesthetics to tell hidden tales of Seattle’s multicultural queer past.
Regional Emmy Award
Current MFAIA-VT student Brenda Bowyer (Farmwald) won a regional Emmy in October 2015 for a poverty series called “Big Questions” in the category “Outstanding Achievement for Public Affairs/Current Affairs Programming – Series”. Bowyer also presented a lecture in November called “Care to Sustainability: Why Evoking Empathy is the First Step to Creating Ethical Concern and Sustainability” at the 22nd International Vincentian Business Ethics Conference in New York.
Alumnus and NEA 2016 Jazz Master Award winner Archie Shepp (BA ’59) joined drummer and recent graduate Ronnie Burrage (MFAIA-VT ’16), bassist Nimrod Speaks, and internationally renowned pianist Benito Gonzalez for a sold out concert performance of revolutionary, innovative and powerful original music at the MFAIA-VT Spring Residency at Goddard College’s Haybarn Theatre in Plainfield, Vermont on January 30th, 2016.
Many of the compositions performed came from Lineage, Burrage’s MFA thesis portfolio. The work explores a wide range of issues, principally Burrage’s own family lineage–his grandfather and great-grandfather were artists–while wrestling with public issues of police brutality and the killing of unarmed black men.
Archie Shepp is best known for his Afrocentric music of the late 1960s, a unique style of free-form avant-garde jazz blended with African rhythms, and his collaborations with John Coltrane, Horace Parlan, Cecil Taylor, and the New York Contemporary Five ensemble. His long career as an educator has focused on ethnomusicology, looking at the history of African-American music from its origins in Africa to its current state.
New Website for Pam Hall’s Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge
Community and collaborative knowledge-making has been the central focus of former MFAIA-VT faculty member Pam Hall’s research and creation practice for the last several years. A new website featuring chapters of this ongoing work is now online here: Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge
Recent alumnus David Neufeld (MFAIA-VT ‘16) has been accepted into the Chandler Gallery’s upcoming exhibit “Salvage” in Randolph VT. The exhibit began January 30th, which is the same weekend that David graduated from the MFAIA program. Documentation of David’s sculptural work created within the MFAIA program is visible at Found Object Sculptures.
119 Gallery with Open Field Initiative Present XFest 2016
Alumnus Walter Wright (MFAIA-VT ’07) announced XFest 2016, a festival of improvised music, visuals and movement, to run Friday February 26 through Sunday February 28, 2016. The format of the festival is simple and challenging: on Friday and Saturday nights 80 artists will perform 15-minute sets for a total of 16 sets per night. On Saturday afternoon workshops and open sessions will be scheduled and on Sunday afternoon groups will be performing.
119 Gallery at 119 Chelmsford St., Lowell MA 01851.
Panel/Lecture-Demo and Master Class at Black Dance Conference
Choreographer and current MFAIA-WA student Pat Taylor, along with members of her company JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble, presented a Panel/Lecture-Demonstration and Jazz Dance Master Class at the 28th annual International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference in Denver, CO, which was hosted by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. The panel titled: “Defining Jazz in a Jazz-less Time: A 21st Century Problem for a 20th Century Art Form” took place on January 22nd and opened with a discussion on how each of the members of the panel have worked to keep their jazz voice heard in today’s challenging environment for the jazz genre. The session concluded with an activity session where participants engaged in defining the tenets of jazz dance in relation with their artistic vision. The professional level master class was held on January 24th. With her company of dancers, musicians and actor-singers, Pat is committed to jazz dance education, preservation and creation and regularly embarks on jazz ambassadorship projects.
Where the Sea Breaks Its Back: A New Interdisciplinary Performance Piece in Development by Ryan Conarro & Ping Chong
In February, supported by a grant from the Network of Ensemble Theaters, Ping Chong and alumnus Ryan Conarro (MFAIA WA ’15) of New York’s Ping Chong + Company will travel to urban and rural Alaska communities to conduct interviews and documentary material about Alaskan identity and Arctic life. These encounters will be integral to their new devised work of puppetry, movement, video, and storytelling, which presents a collage of insider/outsider encounters in the Last Frontier.
Form in Question: Ensemble/Improvisation/Performance Conference
MFAIA-WA faculty advisor Petra Kuppers participated in NYU’s Form in Question: Ensemble/Improvisation/Performance conference in January 2015.
PinBox 3000 Begins Campaign to Tilt the Future
The Cardboard Teck Instantute, comprised of recent graduate Ben t Matchstick (Majchrzak) MFAIA-VT ‘16 and his collaborator Pete Talbot, have launched the PinBox 3000, a build-it-yourself cardboard tabletop pinball machine. The two artist/educators have been producing, promoting, and distributing this game platform, which has gained the support of Make Magazine and educators around the country for its embedded STEAM curriculum potential. The Vermont-based CTI will continue to “Tilt the Future” as they take their do-it-yourself contraption to the NYC Toy Fair at the Jacob Javits Center February 11-14. They hope to do a brisk business, and supplement their work with educational workshops in game design, prototyping, cardboard art, and lo-tech theatrical interactive media.
Producer for Northern Spark Festival: Open Call for Proposals
Current MFAIA-WA student Erin Lavelle will be producing the Northern Spark Festival on June 11, 2016. A former commissioned artist and volunteer, this is her second year serving as Producer. Northern Spark is an annual, all-night public art festival held on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis. Throughout the night, people gather along the riverfront to explore giant video projections, play in temporary installations in the streets, and enjoy experimental performances in green spaces and under bridges.
Northern Spark has made a 2-year commitment to the theme of climate change. There is an Open Call for 2016 project proposals: applications are due March 1st. For more information on the festival itself and the Open Call for Proposals, visit Northern Spark Open Calls.
Elizabeth Bisegna, Why Shop Downtown #11. 4.25” x 5.5” Card design (front and back) with cut paper illustration. 2015. From the series This Is Your Downtown, a community outreach project in collaboration with the Downtown Mount Vernon Association.
This Is Your Downtown: Skagit Valley Herald Article
The Skagit Valley Herald recently ran an article covering a project that current MFAIA-WA student Elizabeth Bisegna has been working on all semester in collaboration with her mother and the Downtown Mount Vernon Association. Goddard College gets a mention too!
Mezzo-Soprano Deanne Meek Premiers New Music with the 21st Century Consort, Algebra of Night, A Thousand Splendid Suns and a Debut with the Seattle Symphony
2015 brought exciting premiers of new music and repertoire for Mezzo-Soprano and current MFAIA-WA student Deanne Meek, culminating in the January 2016 workshop presentation in Key West, FL of the opera A Thousand Splendid Suns. Based on the celebrated novel by Khaled Hosseini, the opera is slated for completion this year with the support of American Opera Projects and the NEA. The opera tells a story of two women caught in the tumult of Afghanistan’s series of wars through a multi-cultural soundscape. Earlier, the world premier of composer Eugene O’Brien’s evocative Algebra of Night for mezzo and piano quartet was performed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C, and then again at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in October. Further concerts for Deanne followed with a debut with the Seattle Symphony singing Vivaldi’s Gloria and an appearance for the 40th year anniversary celebration of performances by the 21st Century Consort in residence at the Smithsonian Museum, singing Nicholas Maw’s Roman Canticle and composer Stephen Jaffe’s setting of the Thich Nhat Hanh meditation, Homage to the Breath.
So You Want to Be an Eco-Artist: Lessons in Grief and Gratitude
So You Want to Be an Eco-Artist: Lessons in Grief and Gratitude by Blue Mountain Center alum and former MFAIA-VT faculty advisor Beverly Naidus is now available online. An interdisciplinary artist who creates interactive installations, digital and mixed media works on paper, artifacts for site-specific performances and artist’s books, Naidus facilitated and designed the permaculture-inspired, eco-art project, Eden Reframed, on Vashon Island, WA.
Excerpt from the Elemental: An Art and Ecology Reader, edited by James Brady, published by Gaia Project Press, UK, 2015: “Naidus […] facilitates a unique, interdisciplinary, socially engaged, studio arts curriculum, for the University of Washington-Tacoma campus and leads workshops and discussion groups in her Seattle studio. She is a cofounder of the new collective, ARTifACTs, currently designing We Almost Didn’t Make It, a multidisciplinary, nomadic project that will engage audiences in a dialogue with their descendants.” For more on Beverly, visit her website.
Ari Rudenko, images from HOLY GARDEN touching the fruit of the void, by Fatamorgana Dancetheater at Sarasvati Pavilion, sponsored by Bali on Stage, Canggu Bali, Indonesia, July 28 2015. Images courtesy of the artist.
San Francisco Debut: HOLY GARDEN by Fatamorgana Dancetheater
HOLY GARDEN is a dark dream of temptation and a questioning into the nature of Holiness, rooted in an experimental interpretation of the Balinese and Javanese mystic practice of the Four Spiritual Siblings. Holy Garden is the story of a blind eel, living in the bones of a dead whale in the inky darkness of the ocean floor. When she dies, she is reincarnated into the Holy Garden as a shadow creature (mahluk asing in Indonesian), a stranger in a strange land. Here in the Holy Garden, she encounters the four forbidden fruits (black, red, gold, and white), each guarded by the Four Spiritual Siblings. Originally conceived of and written by current MFAIA-WA student Ari Rudenko in Bali, HOLY GARDEN is crafted for Fatamorgana Dancetheater, which features a unique style that fuses aspects of Butoh theater with inspiration and energy from Indonesian performing arts and mysticism. Since its inception in 2012, HOLY GARDEN has been staged five times in Bali and Java, Indonesia, in collaboration with an Indonesian and international cast.
February will mark the San Francisco debut of the original feature-length dance theater production by FATAMORGANA DANCETHEATER, written and directed by Ari Rudenko, performed by Ari Rudenko, Shoko Yamamuro, Ni Luh Kompiang Davies, Barbara Byers, Adrian Wong, Lila Dodge, and Brandon Yu.
Fatamorgana Dancetheater is a performance collective based in Indonesia, founded and directed by Ari Rudenko. Fatamorgana Dancetheater creates fierce hallucinations, nightmarish imagery and seductive sensations, exposing the dreams of life’s shadow.
BUY TICKETS HERE FEBRUARY 23 – 24at NOHspace THEATER – PROJECT ARTAUD ARTS COMPLEX 2840 Mariposa St, San Francisco, CA
APANO Jade District Placemaking Grant Award
Current MFAIA-WA student Tamara Lynne received a Jade District Placemaking Grant for her community-engagement project along the 82nd/Division corridor. In partnership with OPAL/Bus Riders Unite and Living Stages, Tamara will engage community members living, working, and traveling along the proposed Midway-Division high capacity-transit route in dialogue about displacement, gentrification and transportation justice. Bringing together themes based on the community’s hopes and fears for the neighborhood, she’ll offer a workshop to facilitate community creation of an interactive performance that reflects the community’s past, present and hopes for the future.
Last year, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon APANO and Midway piloted the first round of creative Placemaking projects in the neighborhoods by awarding funds to seven artists for Placemaking art projects in the Jade and Midway district. APANO is a statewide, grassroots organization, uniting Asians and Pacific Islanders to achieve social justice who use their collective strengths to advance equity through empowering, organizing and advocating with their communities.
Right photo: Concept image for ANNI with ARCOS dancers Felicia McBride, Erica Gionfriddo, and Alexa Capareda. Photo Credit: Lynn Lane. Left Photo: Concept image for ANNI. Photo Credit: Eliot Gray Fisher
ARCOS Experiments with Multimedia Performance in Residencies
ARCOS, co-directed by alumnus Eliot Gray Fisher (MFAIA-WA ’15), continues exploring novel combinations of traditional and contemporary technologies in performance, with the support of colleges and universities. In the fall, the company served as guest artists-in-residence first at Colorado College, where they performed The Warriors: A Love Story, a multimedia dance-theater production that Eliot developed while studying at Goddard, and then at Texas State University, where they offered interdisciplinary master classes and set new work on dance students. Recently, ARCOS was awarded a commission for a performance-installation titled ANNI at the 15th Annual “Symposium on Arts and Technology” at Connecticut College in New London, where they will be in residency from February 22nd through the 27th. Over the coming months, they will also be in development of a long-form trans-media performance incorporating the emerging interactive medium of virtual reality video to engage audiences in a cryptic narrative about a woman who awakes in the wilderness with no memory of who she was or how she got there.
Illustration of how to interact on a computer with virtual reality video by Eliot Gray Fisher with choreography by Erica Gionfriddo.
Carmiel Banasky in The Guardian
Former MFAIA-WA head residency assistant, Carmiel Banasky is featured in The Guardian newspaper discussing her six-year process to write her ground-breaking novel The Suicide of Claire Bishop. Carmiel’s work has appeared in Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, Slice, Guernica, PEN America, The Rumpus, and on NPR, among other places. She earned her MFA from Hunter College, where she taught Undergraduate Creative Writing. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf, Ucross, Ragdale, Artist Trust, I-Park, VCCA, and other foundations. Originally from Portland, Oregon, and after four years on the road at writing residencies, Carmiel now resides and teaches in Los Angeles.
David Sokal, New Member of Gallery 110
Alumnus David Sokal (MFAIA-WA ’14) is a new member of Gallery 110 in Seattle’s Tashiro Kaplan building, home to many galleries and artist studios. See Gallery 110’s website and his artist page on the gallery website. Its 25 member artists collectively operate this gallery.
Internal Landscapes: Evolution
Internal Landscapes by alumnus John Ollom (MFAIA-VT ’14) is a multi-sensory work that explores vibrational energies in the holes between “the narrative arches”. The experience aims to transcend the medium of art to find a visceral quality, an embodied state of psychic evolution. The audience can interact with whatever medium guides their experience most. By embracing the personal, the work speaks to the “wabi-sabi aesthetic”, finding beauty in the “cracks” and “imperfections” of the presented work.
Artists: John Ollom (Choreographer & Movement Artist), Matthew Stone (Movement Artist), Lindsay Metcalf (Installation Work), and J. J. Peña Aguayo (Composer)
The Spinning Wheel Presented at BRIC Arts Media
Alumni Baba Israel (MFAIA-VT ’08) and Yako 440 Prodis (MFAIA-VT ’09) have completed a successful run of The Spinning Wheel, a multimedia performance and interactive gallery exhibition that engages with the 50-year radical archive of Israel’s late father and Living Theatre alum steve ben israel. After two weekends of packed houses at BRIC Arts Media in Brooklyn, NY, the show received these reviews: American Theatre and Culturebot. Baba and Yako also co-curated a festival of free events featured in this blog. On Friday January 29th, the final free event of The Spinning Wheel Festival was held.
Riva Weinstein: Recycled, Repurposed, Recovered: Found Object Art
ORBS, an ongoing project of objects and installations created from reclaimed packaging materials by alumna Riva Weinstein (MFAIA-VT ’14) is included in the 6th Annual International Juried Exhibition, “Recycled, Repurposed, Recovered: Found Object Art”, at the A.D. Gallery University of North Carolina Pembroke, through Wednesday, February 10, 2016.
Smaller Footprints: Women Respond to Climate Change
Works by Riva Weinstein are included in “Smaller Footprints”, the 2016 WEAD exhibition hosted by the Museum of Arts and History in Lancaster, CA, through April 2016. Riva’s work “Hanging by Strings and Lifelines” speaks to the ways that climate change impacts vital aspects of life from water, food and health to social justice, and species loss. Overall, this exhibition showcases work reflecting these issues from women’s perspectives.
Exhibition at the Vermont State House
Alumnus Richard Ambelang (MFAIA-VT ‘12) has been selected as one of 20 local Vermont artists to have an artwork shown at the Vermont State House from February 29th through March 31st in the juried show Art Resource Association – 40th Anniversary. Each artist was asked to include one sentence identifying a piece of State legislation that their submission exemplifies. For Richard’s, Act 250 & sections of Title 10 were intended to preserve and protect biologically diverse, ecologically sensitive, and environmentally important Vermont lands such as the Dead Creek WMA.
Beyoncé Classes at Canadian Universities Tackle Music, Pop Culture, Critical Thinking
Former MFAIA-VT faculty advisor Naila Keleta Mae was featured on CBC news for her course “Gender and Performance”, which explores themes of race, feminism and sexuality. She focused on Beyoncé’s most recent, self-titled album to engage students by including material they could relate to.