Put on your dancing shoes
Dancers and nondancers alike came together for Hamilton National Dance Day last July, when people across the nation moved their feet in support of future local dance programs. As part of the two-day celebration, a mix of students and alumni as well as local instructors taught workshops including zumba, hip-hop, belly dancing, ballet, and modern dance.
“No matter what the age, skill level, or talent is, dance is a way of self-expression and a way to cross barriers, whether social or cultural, because everyone is participating in a shared experience,” said Terica Adams ’12, the event’s executive director. Adams works as the training program coordinator at the Association for Financial Professionals in Washington, D.C.
National Dance Day, which was set in motion in 2010 by So You Think You Can Dance co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe, takes place annually on the last Saturday in July. Adams wanted to bring the event to Hamilton after witnessing the positive social impact at the occasion in Washington, D.C.
“Hamilton National Dance Day is a space to learn and to interact with others and to be a part of something bigger; it’s about connecting with your fellow dancers to learn about dance and culture,” said Adams.
— Hannah O’Malley ’17
Photo: Coordinator Terica Adams ’12 teaches Danceball in the first workshop of Hamilton National Dance Day.
Serra and Arbus, Venice and New York
The Picker Art Gallery, which closed in 2012 for an inventory of Colgate’s art collection, reopened this fall with two exhibitions of artwork by prominent American artists Richard Serra and Diane Arbus.
Serra’s pieces, lent to the Picker by trustee emeritus Paul J. Schupf ’58, are primarily from the artist’s collection of Venice Notebook etchings. The series, featuring more than 20 prints, was created when Serra made sketches of his own sculptural work at the 2001 Venice Biennale. The exhibition highlights Serra’s lesser-known work in sketching as well as his talent for printmaking. It is accompanied by a catalogue containing an interview with Schupf and master printmaker Xavier Fumat, who collaborated with Serra on the pieces in the exhibition.
The collection of photographs by Arbus is the largest ever to be showcased in a university museum. Composed of 27 images, the exhibition depicts subjects of all walks of life she found in New York City during the 1950s and ’60s. Her work studies the range of human experiences and examines their many intricacies. The pieces were lent from the collection of John ’85 and Susan Manly Pelosi ’85.
The day before the gallery opened, Jeff Rosenheim, curator in charge of photography at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, gave a lecture titled “Diane Arbus and American Photography.” The exhibition opening featured remarks from President Jeffrey Herbst and Anja Chávez, director of university museums, as well as Schupf and Jill Shaw, the Picker’s senior curator of collections.
Both Shaw and Chávez were excited about the exhibitions from such influential names in the art world. “They’re really incredible works,” said Shaw.
— Natalie Sportelli ’15
All for one
LONEtheater “was a theatrical experience different than any other,” said Ben Mandell ’14, who served as an assistant director/producer, translator, and actor this past summer.
The performances took place in real-life New York City settings: a Brooklyn apartment, Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, Grand Central Station, and the backstage and basement of a small theater. Each performance could be watched by only one person at a time, so audience members purchased their tickets for specific 30-minute time slots and locations.
LONEtheater’s format “made for an intensely personal experience that was completely unique each time it was performed,” Mandell wrote in a post for Colgate’s summer internship blog series. “The audience member effectively became part of the scene — there were times when the performers engaged that person by posing questions, asking favors, and even having casual conversation.”
Mandell found out about the project through April Sweeney, who teaches in the University Theater Program. He had taken three acting classes with her, including an Argentinean theater course. Because director/writer Matias Umpierrez originally wrote LONEtheater in Spanish, Mandell’s language skills made him a primary candidate. He translated parts of the script and served as a translator for Umpierrez during rehearsals.
In addition, Mandell acted in “Pact,” which was performed in an abandoned building and was about a couple of men who were hidden in an undercover office, trying to carry out a secret plan.
“This was the perfect first project for me to tackle post-graduation,” Mandell said. “I got to use what I had learned in acting classes, apply techniques from directing classes, and then talk about all of those concepts in Spanish with an Argentinean director. It was a complete synthesis of my studies.”
Flaherty turns Colgate “Inside Out”
In June, film professionals from around the world attended the Flaherty Film Seminar. The numbers: 160 documentary filmmakers, programmers, film theorists, and scholars from 21 countries came for the 60th anniversary of the seminar, which Colgate hosted for the seventh year.
“It is one of the preeminent documentary events in the world,” said Mary Simonson, the newly appointed director of Colgate’s Film and Media Studies Program. “Films shown here frequently go on to be screened around the world, taught at colleges and universities, and celebrated at festivals.”
Under the theme “Turning the Inside Out,” curators Caspar Stracke and Gabriela Monroy “examined the state of documentary as it travels between the art gallery, the cinema, and the interactive screen,” according to MoMA.org. “In an era of colliding genres and mediums, what holds documentary together from the inside out?”
The curators made full use of Colgate’s facilities, including the Clifford Art Gallery; screening rooms in Little Hall; and the Ho Tung Visualization Lab, where a special film shot with a fish eye lens was shown. Golden Auditorium’s 16mm and 35mm projection capabilities entice the Flaherty organization to return annually to Colgate.
Simonson was one of six Colgate professors to participate this year. Through the seminar, they get exposure to new materials that they often incorporate into their courses.They also develop close relationships with other professionals in the field, oftentimes asking them to come back during the academic year.
For example, in November, the new Colgate/Flaherty Distinguished Global Filmmaker Residency brings acclaimed Russian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa for an intensive weeklong exploration of film and filmmaking.
— Hannah O’Malley ’17
Expanding art’s reach
Stuart Anthony ’84 has spent a lot of time in the art world and said he has come to recognize its neglect of traditionally underserved communities. As the new executive director of Art Connects New York, he is on what he calls “a killer mission” to bring art to wider audiences.
Art Connects New York is a charitable organization that connects artists and curators with social service agencies throughout New York City to provide museum-quality permanent exhibitions of contemporary artwork for free. From a homeless shelter in the Bronx to an Arab-American family support center in Brooklyn, the organization has placed artwork in 34 locations throughout the five boroughs.
Anthony’s role involves overseeing the programs to ensure that they meet partner organizations’ stated wishes, fundraising, managing staff, and guiding the organization forward.
“The need is great in New York; the constituents and residents we’re [working] with are frequently in crisis,” he said. “Art can be a really powerful way for people to face what they want to become, what they’re trying to leave behind, and to have the dialogues that everyone deserves.”
Anthony’s first job as executive director was to facilitate an installation that opened in May at the youth center in Manhattan’s Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center. The exhibition, Animalis, featured prints of animals ranging from realistic to fantastical by 18 artists — six of whom are represented in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
While a student at Colgate, Anthony interned at the Picker Art Gallery and worked with architecture professor Eric Van Schaack on a book about the 19th century residential constructions in Hamilton, titled Seeing Hamilton: Your Guide to Village Architecture. Anthony is still able to name every one of his art professors — many of whom sparked his interest in art so much that he changed his major from chemistry to art and art history. Before graduating from Colgate, he spent his junior year studying at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City.
Post-graduation, Anthony worked extensively with nonprofits, galleries, museums, and development entities including his role as the director of Exit Art — which he did for 13 years. Anthony is now focused on expanding the reach of Arts Connect New York.
“When you’re doing something you love, it’s not hard to get up in the morning,” said Anthony. “Every day I ask, how can I expand the mission and who are the underserved communities we haven’t reached?”
— Hannah O’Malley ’17
87 Ways to Kill Time
October 29–December 12
M–F 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.;weekends 1–5 p.m.
In his multimedia works, James Esber addresses notions of distortion and perception by mining the pawed-over icons of popular culture. His paintings present an array of visual puzzles — cutting, fragmenting, and distorting found images before remaking them as graphic objects in a range of materials, including stretch fabric, vinyl, and plasticine.
This exhibition includes samples of work from the last four decades, collapsing time by juxtaposing older and newer works based on themes and visual language.
Esber’s style has been described by critic and curator Robert Storr as a kind of “chunky elegance … the product of an imagination keyed to contradiction, and of a talent capable of calibrating the artifice to produce both effects with apparently natural unnaturalness.”
For example, with Alphabravo (pictured), Esber used a cartoon motif while making a statement about war. Reminiscent of the Schoolhouse Rock logo, Alphabravo spells out the letters of the NATO Phonetic Alphabet.