Image top left: Devora Neumark with S17 MFAIA-WA Residency Guest Artist Cease Wyss. Image top right: from 2014, Faire bon ménage; independent performance in Basel, Switzerland, in front of the Refugee Reception and Registration Centre. Image below left: from 2011, Home Beautiful – Inviting in the Ancestors, at Matralab, Concordia University, Montreal in collaboration with Rana Alrabi, Rula Odeh, Sonia Zylberberg and Diana Yaros. Image below right: from 2017, PRESENCE (REVISITED) at the Centre d’art contemporain Brétigny, Brétigny-sur-Orge in collaboration with the Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne (MAC/VAL), Place de la Libération in Vitry-sur-Seine, Val-de-Marne, curated by Céline Poulin, Marie Preston, Stéphanie Airaud. Photos courtesy of Devora Neumark.
Canada Council Governor General Awards Nomination
MFAIA Faculty Advisor Devora Neumark, PhD is delighted to announce her nomination, by Ève Lamoureux, for the 2019 Canada Council’s Governor General’s (GG) Awards in Visual and Media Arts. Ève Lamoureux is a Professor in the Art History Department at UQAM specializing in the relationship between art, society & politics and community art in Quebec. Over the past decade she has published several articles and a book featuring Devora’s artwork, including: Art et politique: Nouvelles formes d’engagement artistique au Québec. The GG awards were initiated in 2000 by the Canada Council for the Arts and then Governor General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson. Ever since, the awards have celebrated Canada’s vibrant arts community and recognized remarkable careers in the visual and media arts. Each year the awards honour up to seven artists for their artistic achievements. Winners receive a medallion and a cash prize of $25,000 each. LINK to the Canada Council Governor General Awards.
Pat Taylor, far left, leads a workshop at the MFAIA-WA F17 Residency, with participating students / dancers Daniel Marshall, Chris Harris, Tamara Lynne, Nick Dalton and Rosemary Alpert. Photo by Goddard College.
Pat Taylor’s JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble Receives California Humanities Grant
Alumna Pat Taylor (MFAIA-WA ’18) has received funding from the California Humanities Quick Grant Program to present the Community Salon: HOME, a communal conversation and exchange of ideas centered on the theme “home,” and hosted by her nonprofit arts organization JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble. Scheduled for Fall 2018 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles, the Community Salon: HOME expands upon JazzAntiqua’s first Community Salon (with the theme “breath”) which Pat developed and presented in 2016 as her Practicum project for the MFAIA program. Part of California Humanities’ inaugural cohort of Arts + Humanities designees, the Community Salon: HOME project provides an opportunity for intergenerational dialogue with conversation groups comprised of a mix of residents from the immediate neighborhood and beyond, visual and performing artists, writers, scholars and culture bearers. The two-part event will feature small conversations groups led by facilitators, followed by a JazzAntiqua performance, Q & A, and discussion of the work, historical and social context, and theme. LINK to the California Humanities Awards Press Release
Improvising New Realities, a new article by Sandra Paola Lopez Ramirez
The new edition of the online peer-reviewed journal Critical Studies in Improvisation was published this month with a contribution by current MFAIA-VT student Sandra Paola Lopez Ramirez. Improvising New Realities: Movement, Sound and Social Therapeutics is co-authored with improvising musician Dr. Chris Reyman (Lopez Ramirez’s long-time collaborator) and explores the parallels between dance and music improvisation and social therapeutics — a performative and radically humanistic approach to psychology, therapy, education and community building. This methodology has helped the authors further frame their experience of performance and improvisation as powerful tools for social transformation. The paper is structured around the growth and development of the artistic and community-based work of the Institute for Improvisation and Social Action (ImprovISA), an organization co-founded by the authors based on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Misty Sol is a writer and painter based in Philadelphia. Photo by Adachi Photography.
Misty Sol’s Becoming Zen published by Roar Magazine
Alumna Misty Sol’s (MFAIA-VT ‘11) short story, Becoming Zen was published by Roar Magazine — Literature and Revolution by Feminist People. The story uses magical realism to look at how victim blaming and rape culture can become internalized in survivors. You can read Becoming Zen online here at ROAR — a magazine of intersectional feminist resistance.
Haley White to appear in Fun Home
Current MFAIA-WA student Haley White is performing as feminist/lesbian icon Alison Bechdel in StageWorks Fresno’s production of the musical Fun Home, which runs June 29th- July 15th at the Dan Pessano Theater in North Fresno. For more information, visit the company website at this link STAGEWORKS FRESNO.
Edie Wells, David Payne Academic Community Engagement (ACE) Award Recipient
Four Sam Houston State University professors whose teaching, scholarly accomplishments, service and academic engagement stand out among their peers have been honored with the 2018 Faculty Excellence Awards. The recipients are Ronald Daigle, Excellence in Teaching; Jihong “Soloman” Zhao, Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Accomplishments; Bala Maniam, Excellence in Service; and alumna Edie Wells (MFAIA-WA ’12), the David Payne Academic Community Engagement Award. Edie Wells is known for her work with children of incarcerated parents in Huntsville, Texas (the US Death Penalty capital city). David Payne was a former provost who lead Sam Houston State University to its motto “the measure of a life is its service” and encouraged engaging students with community. Each award comes with a $5000 gift. For more information, visit Sam Houston State University Outstanding Faculty.
Bryce Dance Company to premiere Moving Memory
June 14-16, 2018 at 8:00 PM
The Theater at Gibney 280 Broadway
Entrance at 53A Chambers Street. New York, NY
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For tickets and more information please visit this link BRYCE COMPANY GIBNEY DANCE.
On June 14 to 16, 2018 Bryce Dance Company will premiere Moving Memory, a production exploring how identity, internal narrative and relationships inevitably change as memory becomes fragmented, altered or lost. Through intimate choreography, story fragments and original music, this evening-length work reflects the experiences of individuals and caretakers impacted by Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. The movement evokes the inner turmoil, fear and confusion, as well as moments of deep connection and meaning that are inherently beautiful.
Moving Memory was developed by alumna Heather Bryce (MFAIA-VT ’14) in collaboration with the dancers and supported in part by a residency at Mount Tremper Arts. The Company’s engagement with area seniors included a series of classes at Brooklyn senior centers through a partnership with the NYC Department for the Aging. The piece was also informed by Bryce’s former work as a Hospice volunteer and caretaker for individuals with traumatic brain injury and dementia. Original score composed by Spencer Snyder, lighting design by Dylan Friedman and projection design by Javier Cruz.
Bryce Dance Company explores timely and relevant themes through community engagement and interdisciplinary collaboration. Artistic Director Heather Bryce currently works as a Teaching Artist for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Lincoln Center Education, The Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase, and The Center for Arts Education. Her choreography has been presented at venues such as Dixon Place, Mark Morris Dance Center, The Tank, The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, and The Dance Complex.
The Art of Variability
On Wednesday, June 6, 2018, at 4:15PM EST, alumna Kate Egnaczak (MFAIA VT ’18) will present with four Massachusetts public art teachers in Stories From the Field: Visual Arts & UDL a free webinar on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) applied to a visual art curriculum. UDL as a research-based approach to expanding access to learning for all learners. The webinar was developed from stories of practice and transformation shared over the course of a two-year professional learning community of 12 art teachers from the Worcester Public School district. Kate’s presentation will address art integration with the NextGen science standards and collaborative experimentation in the development of a zero-waste classroom.
A site-specific installation by alumna Riva Weinstein (MFAIA-VT ’14) will be featured at The Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Gardens, 28 Deveau Road, North Salem, NY 10560-2115.
Threshold, invites the viewer to pause between two worlds — inner and outer, quotidian and extraordinary — to consider the fragility of nature and life. As the spiritual entryway to the Japanese stroll gardens, the Gate House represents a space that is neither here nor there. Betwixt and between, it is a passageway from the everyday to the sublime.
Threshold seeks to create a moment of pause, to inspire awareness of this liminal space as we leave daily life behind, and enter into a meticulously crafted cultural environment designed to elicit a heightened experience of nature.
Mirroring aesthetic principles of the Japanese garden tradition, drawing attention to details that point to a universal view, Threshold invites visitors to consider the beauty of individual objects as well as the fragility of nature — and life.
Materials collected from a lifetime of walking have been carefully curated for this site-specific installation. Box frames made from reclaimed wood flooring contain a painted mango pit, unidentified pods and forest floor detritus. Glass jars hold feathers and skulls. Bones, bark, branches and more hang from jute and string, metaphorically pointing to what precariously hangs in the balance — the natural world, itself.
This particular threshold is symbolic of a larger issue, too. Standing in peril at the precipice of environmental collapse, the future of our planet depends on our turning a liminal experience into positive transformation — moving from ignorance to knowledge; acceptance to action; ambiguity, disinterest and denial to actionable change to ensure environmental sustainability, clean water and air, biodiversity and life itself.
Runs from Thursday, June 20 to Saturday, August 18, 2018.
Opening reception Saturday, June 23, 1-3pm.
Shakespeare’s Richard III, with Kirsten Brandt as Director
Richard III explores the Machiavellian rise of power of one of Shakespeare’s most fascinating and complex anti-heroes. Fueled by an entitled lust for power and villainous panache, Richard’s path to glory is marked by seduction, murder, and betrayal. Directed by current MFAIA-WA student Kirsten Brandt, and starring African-American Shakespeare Company Artistic Director L. Peter Callender as the unapologetic king you love to hate, this exploration in masterful manipulation is one of Shakespeare’s most profound commentaries on power, family, and the right to rule. Richard III will perform at the Taube Atrium Theatre in San Francisco, 401 Van Ness Ave., 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102. Runs from July 14 to July 29th, 2018.
Mark O’Maley Lights The Magnetic Fields’ 50 Song Memoir
Alumnus Mark O’Maley (MFAIA-VT ‘13) will be the lighting designer for The Magnetic Fields’ 50 Song Memoir, which concluded its international tour at The Melbourne Festival in Australia, and has just added three additional performances in June 2018: The Apollo Theater in NYC June 15 and 16th, Andy Warhol Museum Sound Series in Pittsburgh June 19 and 20, and Toronto’s Luminato Festival June 22 and 23.
University of Washington, Creative Research Residency
Former MFAIA Faculty Advisor Daniel Alexander Jones is currently immersed in a Creative Research Residency at the University of Washington from May 6 to June 30, 2018. Daniel makes theatre, music, and live performance. His wildflower body of work continues to grow in dialogue with a wide range of collaborators and audiences. Duat premiered at Soho Rep in 2016 to critical acclaim (including a five-star review from Time Out). His other performance pieces and plays include Phantasmatron, Phoenix Fabrik, Blood:Shock:Boogie, and Bel Canto. He adapted the second of L. Frank Baum’s Oz books into a musical, Bright Now Beyond, with composer Bobby Halvorson and director Will Davis. Daniel’s multi-chapter series of solo autobiographical performances, The Book of Daniel, included collaborations with MacArthur Fellow, Walter Kitundu, and celebrated director Tea Alagic. Daniel first appeared as his performance alter-ego, Jomama Jones in 1995; since her “comeback” in 2010, Jomama has released four albums, Lone Star, Radiate, Six Ways Home, and, in 2017, the double-album, Flowering. Jomama premiered Radiate to rave reviews and sold-out houses at Soho Rep in 2010 and the piece subsequently toured to cities including Los Angeles, Austin, Minneapolis and Boston. Jomama Jones’s Black Light will run at Joe’s Pub as part of the Public Theater’s 2017-2018 Season. Daniel received a 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award, among the most prestigious awards in the arts, in recognition of his risk-taking practice, and a 2016 USA Artist Fellow; he was also named an inaugural Mellon Foundation Creative Research Fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle for 2017-2019. He is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Fordham University in NYC, where he resides. LINK for more about Daniel visit his website here. Daniel is also listed as one of 10 Performance Cabaret Artists to know.
Misha Penton’s The Medusa Project
Alumna Misha Penton (MFAIA-WA ’13), premiered the ongoing and multi-form postopera The Medusa Project at The Women Composers Festival of Hartford on April 7, 2018. Joined by collaborator and clarinetist Boja Kragulj, the work is a multimedia experimental monodrama which reimagines the ferocious snake-haired heroine. Medusa Emergent, a film and voice-scape installation version of the work is on view June 4 to 15 on the 35’ high MediaWall at Bath Spa University, UK.
The Tower Is Us (A Prisoner’s Cinema) by ARCOS. Photo by Dylan Matthews, GIF by Eliot Gray Fisher.
Return to Residency and Performance Playtests
Alumnus Eliot Gray Fisher (MFAIA-WA ’15) returned to Fort Worden as an alumni guest artist for the S18 MFAIA residency, where he offered workshops on the intersection of art and technology. He was delighted to meet the current cohort of talented interdisciplinary artists, as well as connecting with beloved friends among faculty, staff, and guests—including resident herbalist alumna Hannah Pearl Walcott (MFAIA-WA ’16). Thanks to a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, he had just returned from Tbilisi, capital of the Republic of Georgia, where he and co-composer Brandon Guerra began a musical collaboration with traditional polyphonic vocalists for the original score of The Tower Is Us (A Prisoner’s Cinema), a hypnagogic transmedia performance combining video game and live dance-theater to decode an urgent message in an unspoken language. ARCOS, the performance group Fisher co-directs, held beta playtests of the piece in February at the Museum of Human Achievement in Austin and May at Texas State University in San Marcos, with plans for a release and premiere in 2019.
Mary Edwards with Nona Faustine and exhibition curator Dan Halm; Edwards’ sound composition fills the space that includes the work of Anders Jones, Delano Dunn and Nona Faustine. Images courtesy of Mary Edwards.
Hopes Springing High presented by Dan Halm | Work by Delano Dunn, Mary Edwards, Nona Faustine and Anders Jones
Alumna Mary Edwards'(MFAIA-VT ’07) sound composition, “Gospel Number Eight: Tributary” was installed in the Hopes Springing High exhibition in New York City as part of the SPRING/BREAK Show during Armory Arts Week, March 6 to 12, 2018, at the 4 Times Square Galleries. The exhibition, curated by Dan Halm, also includes the work of Nona Faustine Simmons, Delano Dunn and Anders Jones. The featured artists defiantly face and confront their own American history while shedding light on their ancestor’s struggles by using personal narratives and historically researched significances. “Gospel Number Eight: Tributary” is a meditative reimagining of Edwards’ ancestors’ relationship and reconciliation with the Atlantic Ocean, the body of water through which they were harrowingly ushered into The Middle Passage—a time of in-betweenness for those being traded from Africa to The Americas—until their settlement at the Savannah River.
Dan Halm, curator of Hopes Springing High states: “The enslavement of Africans first became legal in the United States in 1641. Slave labor made the US colonies so profitable that England’s King Charles II created the Royal African Company to transport ‘Black Gold’ from Africa to America. The slave trade continued even after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation (1863) and legally ended on December 6, 1865 when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified.
However, given the continued support of systemic racism and villainization of African American men and women in the US, one has to wonder if we as a country have evolved beyond the slave system or have chains and whips been replaced with mass incarceration and murder at the hands of police. Just the simple fact that a black NFL player taking a knee to call attention to and peacefully protest police brutality against minorities can lead to such vitriol, retribution, and incensed calls for termination (even from the country’s highest office) shows how much work we still have to do to become a unified nation. The fact is that in 2017, African Americans are still seen as ‘strangers’ in their own country. The artists featured in Hopes Springing High confront the viewer with the United States’ violent past, troubling present, and uncertain future as attacks on black culture, black bodies, and the continued institutional suppression of ‘otherness’ continues virtually unabated.”
SALT: Four Acts of Resistance
Alumna Tamara Lynne (MFAIA-WA ‘18) performed as part of a multi-media art installation SALT: Four Acts of Resistance, at Shaking the Tree Theatre. Collaborating with artist Sabina Haque on her piece “Belonging” and with dancers Michele Ainza, Simeon Jacob and Subashini Ganesan, Tamara embodied the shadow aspect of boundaries and borders. Filmed by Ian Lucero, these shadow movements invited dancers, observers and participants to engage with different experiences of border crossings, transgressions, and evasions.
New Publication from Pi Luna: Pricing with Clarity
Alumna Pi Luna (MFAIA-WA ‘12) is a financial coach who teaches artists how to make money doing what they love. She just published a new book called Pricing with Clarity. Pricing your artwork can feel daunting. It’s easy to under price and lose money or over price and lose customers. Pi’s hands-on workbook will teach you how to gain clarity around your pricing. With fun illustrations, step-by-step instructions, and relevant examples, you’ll learn how to: *Get a handle on your costs * Figure out how much you need to sell to cover your costs * Find ways to maximize your profits * Create attractive pricing structures to get more customers *Stop guessing and feel confident in your decisions. The book is available on Amazon and Kindle. ISBN: 978-0998686011. For more information visit Pi Luna’s website.
Image top: Laiwan with Leah Weinstein and Emilie Grace Lavoie, along with barnacle installation volunteers Hannah Doyle, Jack Kenna and Melina Querel. Image below left: Laiwan with guest Chipper John Mah who as a boy was featured in the 1956 CBC film Summer Afternoon. This was screened in the SiteFactory bus accompanied by discussion comparing scenes from the film to the state of Vancouver’s Chinatown today with its challenges of gentrification. Photo by Hannah Doyle. Image below right: learning of plants with Luq’luq’i : a herbal lounge led by Indigenous artists T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss and Anne Riley. Photo by Laiwan.
Two weeks with Mobile Barnacle City Live/Work Studio
MFAIA-WA Faculty Advisor Laiwan installed her project Mobile Barnacle City Live/Work Studio, a temporary site-specific installation at the intersection of Keefer and Columbia Streets in Chinatown, Vancouver, BC, Canada, in collaboration with SiteFactory: Mobile Art Platform in its big yellow school bus, facilitated by artist Leah Weinstein, and featuring barnacle sculptures by Emilie Grace Lavoie. The project ran from April 15 to 29, 2018.
The Mobile Barnacle City School offered four free seminars: 1. Imagining l’avenir — what is to come and a possible Chthulucene; 2. Indigeneity and decolonial mobility; 3. Strategies to counter artwashing and gentrification; and 4. Remembering Chinatown (with guest Chipper John Mah, who as a boy was featured in the CBC 1956 film Summer Afternoon). In addition, there were two sessions of Luq’luq’i : a herbal lounge with Indigenous artists T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss and Anne Riley. All sessions were open to public and were provided with free meals and beverages for a warmth of communal feasting in the cosy SiteFactory bus.
Mobile Barnacle City Live/Work Studio was one project of “Ten Different Things”, a series of public art commissions in Vancouver that engages ten artists to investigate the role of culture as a critical ingredient in the construct and vitality of the contemporary city. It is a collaboration between CityStudio Vancouver and Living Labs at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, curated by Kate Armstrong and supported by the City of Vancouver Public Art Program. Additional thanks to Artspeak Gallery, Vancouver for hospitality sponsorship, the Vancouver East End Food Co-op for beverages, produce and generosity, and support from the Goddard College Faculty Development Fund, Plainfield, VT.