Upcoming & Past Events | St. Lawrence University Arts Collaborative

Upcoming & Past Events

Fall 2017

The Veteran's Project: Odyssey Home
Proposal Submitted by: Angela Swigart-Gallagher

VETERAN STORYTELLING PERFORMANCE COMES TO ST. LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY
Odyssey Home Shares Female Veteran Stories of Service in Canton on September 14 and 15

(Canton, NY) Female veterans of the U.S. military, as well as women from military families, will share personal stories of service and life after the military in Veterans Project: Odyssey Home, which will be presented at the Edson R. Miles Black Box Theater on the St. Lawrence University campus in Canton on September 14 and 15. Odyssey Home is the product of a collaboration among local veterans, members of the larger military community, and St. Lawrence University to create space for veteran-civilian community dialogue. Using Homer’s Odyssey as a basis, performers share personal letters, diary entries, and reflections on their time in and after military service.

Veterans Project: Odyssey Home aims to push against preconceived notions about who serves, and why.

The process of making the show entails a two-week long workshop with local veterans, many of whom have never before performed onstage. Director Erika Hughes, from the University of Portsmouth (UK), has worked with military veterans in creating performance since 2013. These veterans-turned-performers, according to Hughes, “represent an incredible range of experiences and political viewpoints, and yet are all willing to share something of themselves with the community in which they live. I’m very grateful for their openness, willingness, and courage.”

The importance of sharing and hearing stories is underscored by Dr. Angela Sweigart-Gallagher, who is serving as a faculty liaison for the Veterans Project at St. Lawrence University, “In our day-to-day lives it is very easy to forget that the U.S. has been at war for over 15 years and what that commitment has meant for military service members and their families. With Ft. Drum so close and the Army reserve station in Canton just down the road from campus, I hope this presentation will give us all a moment to reflect on the experiences of the men and women in our community who volunteer to serve.”

Audiences are invited to join the conversation at St. Lawrence University’s Edson R. Miles Black Box Theater on September 14 and September 15 at 8:00pm. Admission: is free and open to the public. Tickets available at http://bit.ly/UniversityTheatre2017-2018.

About Odyssey Home

Odyssey Home is an ongoing performance initiative that was developed at Arizona State University and first performed at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Chandler, Arizona. Odyssey Home and its companion piece, The Veterans Project, have brought veteran and civilian and community members to dialogue together since 2013. For more information please visit the project Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/asuveteransproject/.

Weaving Together Artistic Activism and Citizen Journalism
Proposal Submitted by: John Collins, Tsewang Lama, Nicole Eigbrett

Weave News (www.weavenews.org), an independent media organization, was founded in 2007
at St. Lawrence University with a mission to bring the world together by investigating
underreported stories, highlighting alternative perspectives, and promoting grassroots mediamaking
and critical media literacy. We are a global community of citizen journalists who are
committed to weaving a better world.

From September 22-24, we will be commemorating our organization’s 10th anniversary with a
conference titled Citizen Journalism as Activism: From Local to Global. The conference will
feature symposium-style panels focusing on current work in critical media literacy and
investigative journalism; a series of training workshops focused on specific techniques used by
citizen journalists (e.g., community filmmaking, data visualization, podcasting, using public
records); and social and cultural events designed to showcase inspiring work in grassroots
activism and promote networking among citizen journalist/activists. We have already secured
significant funding from the Sophomore Journeys initiative, the Weave News organizational
budget, and the Global Studies department, and we plan to raise additional funds through a
sliding-scale registration fee structure.

We are submitting this Arts Collaborative proposal to support the inclusion of two dynamic
artists whose creative and social justice work complement our vision of multi-genre activism.
Musician Taína Asili and filmmaker Quester Hannah both embody the kinds of creative
storytelling and the “think globally, act locally” mentality that we encourage St. Lawrence
students to explore. We believe that their dynamic experience and talents will be an asset both
for the conference itself and, through workshops and class visits, for the St. Lawrence curriculum
and the wider community.

On Friday, September 22, the conference will feature a public screening of Quester Hannah’s
new film “Never Give Up, Never Keep Silent,” which explores the struggles and activism of a
group of African asylum-seekers living in Israel. The film features Ali, a leader in the
community who has been contributing to Weave News as a citizen journalist since 2016 as part
of our Holot: Crossroads of Global Violence project. Mr. Hannah will be on hand to respond to
questions after the film screening. He will also hold a documentary filmmaking workshop on
campus and visit classes in addition to participating in the conference itself.

On Saturday, September 23, Taína Asili and her band will be the showcase entertainment event
for conference attendees and the wider North Country community. Her powerful, energetic
“rhythm of rebellion” will leave a lasting impression on everyone. Furthermore, given that she is
a relatively local artist based in Albany, NY, building a relationship with Taina and her band
could open many opportunities for students and faculty to become more engaged in social justice
activism through music and other forms of creative expression. With her Puerto Rican roots and
global footprint, Taina could inspire many and serve as a role model for our students of color and
international students who wish to embrace their cultures and identities on campus in a positive,
inclusive way.

Spring 2018

William Shakespeare As Lyricist: A Musical Symposium
Proposal Submitted by: Samantha Stinson

This collaborative project aims to explore the evolving relevance of William Shakespeare
as playwright and lyricist. Visiting Shakespearean actors Jon L Peacock, Alana Rader, and Megan
Marod, and tenor David Kozisek will join professor Samantha Stinson (Adjunct Instructor,
Music Department) in an artistic residency from February 7-9, 2018. While their lecture and
performance focus specifically on the songs of Shakespeare, the actors and musicians will offer a
broader area of expertise during the week to maximize their role as visiting artists of the SLU
community. Their time on campus will be devoted to lecturing in three classes, as well as
offering an open masterclass. The residency will culminate in a pre-performance lecture with the
artists and English Professor Ann Marie Hubert, a Q&A panel, and finally the production itself:
“William Shakespeare As Lyricist.” The show will be a performance of Shakespearean sonnets
and scenes featuring Shakespearean songs juxtaposed with operatic, art song, and musical theatre
treatments of the original works. The excerpted shows include Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, The
Taming of the Shrew, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Comedy of Errors, The Two Gentleman
of Verona, Cymbeline, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The impact of this residency is three-fold: first, students will have the opportunity to hear
professional actors speak on a variety of topics. The actors and musicians brought in will visit
Jen Thomas’s PCA 125 course “Intro to Theatre” to lecture on living and working as an actor in
New York City, Ann Hubert’s PCA 215 course “Dramatic Texts in Context” in order to discuss
their process of classical role preparation, and Sharon Williams’s EDUC 375 course
“Multicultural Education” to speak about their experiences performing as outreach artists in
Lower Socioeconomic Level (LSL) communities.
Second, the students will have the opportunity to work with the artists on any theatrical
material currently in preparation. A two-hour open masterclass will be offered on Friday,
February 9th.
Finally, the symposium and performance, open to the SLU community, will be given on
Friday, February 9th at 7pm.
The pre-performance lecture panel will discuss Shakespeare’s role not only as
playwright, but as lyricist; he wrote song lyrics in many of his plays, and collaborated with local
composers to set them to music. This practice was sustained by foreign nations as they translated
Shakespeare into their vernacular, and taken a step further by the adaptation of Shakespearean
works to opera, art song, and musical theatre.
To know music history is to know the history of the world. The parallels we draw
between music, literature, foreign language, and theatre will enrich students’ understanding of
the historical significance of Shakespeare’s works in multiple societies, as well as the
collaborative nature of the arts and how artistic relationships advance the progress of humankind.

Take It Inside: Transforming spaces through arts-based resistance - Melissa Proietti & Sterling Downey
Proposal Submitted by: Jessica Sierk

Melissa Proietti & Sterling Downey
Tuesday, April 10th @ 7:00 p.m.
Griffiths 123

The graffiti culture-inspired exhibit space, `Fresh Paint,` in Montreal inspired a new generation of high school students to take space in their school and their curriculum. Opened in 2011, Fresh Paint is an ephemeral art space which welcomes artists from an urban arts background to transform indoor spaces in new ways. Challenging the notion of what an exhibit space is and who has access to it, Fresh Paint became a hub for local and international artists to meet and create within its different locations. Five years later, students at James Lyng High School were given the chance to run a gallery space of their own. How they chose to interact with the space, the artists, and their community became an eye-opening experience about arts-based resistance and the power of the arts for those who choose to interact in these spaces.

Fall 2018

The Aeolian Duo with Special Guest, Todd Isler! A Lunchtime Concert - Japanese Traditional Music Lives!
Proposal Submitted by: Mark MacWilliams
“The Silk Road and Japanese Music: From Spain to Japan: How Ancient Trade Routes Continue to Connect Asia and the West.”

Shakuhachi Bamboo Flute: The Zen Mendicant Tradition has a Voice in Jazz. Held outdoors in the Sykes North Country Japanese Zen Garden Wednesday, Sept. 19th, 12:00 pm-1:30 p.m. (in case of rain, the even will be held inside Sykes Commons).

Come bring your lunch and listen to the traditional Japanese Bamboo Flute come alive in a modern musicial Jass melange with Middle eastern drumming and flamenco guitar.

There will also be an evening performance: "The Silk Road, Jazz and Modern Sounds from Spain to Tokyo"
Thursday, Sept. 20th,  7:00-8:30 p.m., Sykes Commons

The shakuhachi, a Japanese traditional bamboo flute that is rooted in Zen Buddhism, meets the guitar, a Spanish folk instrument that became a giant of jazz, rock and pop. In ancient times the shakuhachi was carried from the Middle East to Japan on the fabled Silk Road. Meanwhile, the guitar springs from flamenco and Renaissance traditions, and has antecedents in the Middle Eastern Oud. These seemingly disparate traditions separated by a two continents spring from the same cradle of civilization. Now, centuries later, in California, Tokyo, and New York, Japanese guitarist Kôfû Suwa and shakuhachi master Bruce Huebner join New York-based percussionist Todd Isler to reunite these ancient traditions and bring them into the Twenty First Century. In their concert we hear how the melisma and phrygian “Spanish” mode is answered by the nuances of the Japanese miyako mode of the Zen bamboo flute, and how the rich rhythmic traditions of South and Central Asia underpin the fusion. The first-time audience goer might ask can two such seemingly disparate worlds be joined in a meaningful way? The concert opens with a solo by the guitar in the style of flamenco. This is contrasted immediately with a shakuhachi piece that Buddhist mendicants, the komuso, have transmitted over centuries. While these hallowed sounds are still ringing in our ears, Aeolian Duo is joined by the hand drums and frame drums and performs a set of original material and take us to a new world and a remarkable fusion. This is very much a Twenty-first century concert that interconnects us and reconnects ancient traditions.

Spring 2019

Sewn in Protest: Chilean Arpilleras from the 1970s & 80s
Proposal Submitted by: Tamara Feinstein

Chilean Arpillera Exhibit and Programming 2019
Gibson Gallery, SUNY Potsdam: February 14 to March 30
Richard F. Brush Gallery, St. Lawrence University: March 4 to April 11

A collaboration of faculty, students, and communities in the United States and Chile has emerged to exhibit a collection of sixty-four Chilean patchwork appliques called arpilleras. Our project provides a special opportunity to share, in English and in Spanish, the moving stories told by these works of art. Their stories began in 1973.
On September 11, 1973, a military coup led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet—and secretly supported by the Nixon administration—overthrew Chile’s democratically elected socialist government. During the years that followed, the Pinochet dictatorship abducted, tortured, and killed thousands of its perceived pponents. In response to this repression, Chilean women handsewed arpilleras from scraps of household cloth, sometimes using the clothing left behind by their abducted loved ones. The arpilleras dramatically depict the protest, repression, survival skills, and daily life of Chileans after the coup. Meanwhile in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a fair-trade women’s collective called Jubilee Crafts began marketing and exhibiting the arpilleras as a way to educate Americans about U.S. foreign policy toward Chile. These Jublilee Crafts women are now donating these arpilleras to the permanent collection at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago, Chile. Before they make this trip home, the arpilleras will continue their educational work in two bilingual exhibits at SUNY Potsdam and St. Lawrence University (SLU) galleries in spring 2019. Preparation for these exhibits began in spring 2017 and has involved and will continue to involve an interdisciplinary team of faculty members and students from both campuses. Three SUNY Potsdam professors initiated this project: Dr. Liliana Trevizán and Dr. Oscar Sarmiento are Chileans who lived under the Pinochet regime; Dr. M. J. Heisey directed Jubilee Crafts in the 1970s and 1980s, and has included work on the arpillera exhibit in her public history classes. Dr. Trevizán and Dr. Sarmiento were both university students and then teachers in Chile during the dictatorship. Their experiences in the fight for democracy and their scholarly knowledge of the context and meanings of the arpilleras provide a special opportunity to deepen our understanding of the arpilleras as works of art, as historical texts, and as political statements. In addition, their contacts with Chileans across North America and their knowledge of scholarship on Chile and Latin America have made possible the inclusion of significant artists and scholars in programming for the exhibit. 
This initial team has been joined by :
April Vasher-Dean, director of The Art Museum, who is leading work on the exhibit at Potsdam; Romi Sebald, collections manager, who has overseen photographing and mounting the arpilleras; Catherine Tedford, director of The Richard F. Brush Gallery, who is leading exhibit work at SLU; Dr. Tamara Feinstein, Visiting Assistant Professor of Latin American History, who teaches at both SLU and SUNY Potsdam (Her SLU students in The Cold War in Latin America have begun building a digital timeline and podcasts that will be linked to listening stateions at the SLU exhibit. In fall 2018, her SUNY Potsdam and SLU students in Dictatorship and Democracy in Chile will continue this work. She also won a 2018 summer CIIS Fellows grant to take an SLU student and, with funding, a SUNY Potsdam student to Santiago for two weeks of research on the arpilleras.); Dr. Shiho Imai, Associate Professor of History and department chair, beginning July 2018, who won a BOB grant which allows six students working on the arpillera project to travel to Washington, DC for a backstage tour on the curating of textiles at the Smithsonian and George Washington University’s Textile Museum; Dr. Marie-Élaine Gagnon, Assistant Professor of Cello, with the support of Dean Michael Sitton, will perform with pianist Angelica Sganga—the Zapateado Duo—music by Chilean and Cuban composers. 
Students who have worked on the project to date include:
Carly J. Northup, who in spring 2017 photographed the arpilleras, under the direction of Sebald and Prof. Iggy Beerbower; Charina Medina, who in fall 2017 interviewed Dr. Trevizán in Spanish on the arpilleras, and wrote summaries of those interviews; Mahala Nyberg, who in fall 2017 served as a consultant on oral interviewing and interviewed Jubilee Crafts staff; Ryan Hutchins, who in spring 2018 is continuing interviews in Spanish of Dr. Trevizán on the arpilleras; Kelsey Newtown, who in spring 2018 is making contact with local public schools to plan curriculum that would encourage class visits to the arpillera exhibit. We are planning interdisciplinary programs to celebrate the opening of the two exhibits and to encourage interest on campus and in the community in visiting the galleries. Most of the programming draws on the expertise and knowledge of local faculty and students.

The February 14 opening of the exhibit at SUNY Potsdam, hosted by The Art Gallery, will include presentations on experiences in the 1970s and 1980s by Dr. Trevizán, Dr. Sarmiento, Dr. Heisey, and Dr. Feinstein. Caramelo Trio, of which Dr. Sarmiento is a part, will perform Chilean folk music, including works by Violeta Parra and Victor Jara. 

On March 3, the Zapateado Duo—Marie-Élaine Gagnon and Angelica Sganga—concert will take place in a Crane or PAC venue.

The March 4 opening of the exhibit at SLU will include a symposium with Dr. Trevizán or Dr. Sarmiento; Dr. Katherine Hite, Professor of Political Science at Vassar College and author of Politics and the Art of Commemoration: Memorials to Struggle in Latin America and Spain; and, we hope, a public artist who might engage our community in art as conversation and collaboration.

March 5 will include keynote presentations by Dr. Katherine Hite and an artist at SUNY Potsdam

Photographing the Invisible
Proposal Submitted by: Sarah Knobel

Thursday, February 21, 4:30 pm
Photographing the Invisible, a Dialogue with Three Contemporary Photographers
Joshua Lutz, Kerry Payne and Tara Wray

Herring Cole, the Feinstone Room

This Arts Collaborative Residency will focus on contemporary photographers and their relationship with mental illness.  Photographers Joshua Lutz, Kerry Payne, and Tara Wray will discuss their photographic works and how they use photography as a source to cope with their relationships to mental illness. 

Joshua Lutz published Hesitating Beauty, a photography book, about his mother’s schizophrenia and uses imagery to understand his struggle with the disease. Kerry Payne's long-term project “Left Behind” probes the complicated grief facing those left behind when somebody they love dies by suicide. Tara Wray recently published her photo project, Too Tired For Sunshine, as a tool to cope with her depression. In tandem, she created the #tootiredproject, where she encourages people from all over the world to create a dialogue about depression through photography.

Assistant Professor Sarah Knobel and Yiming Huang '19 will lead a Q&A with the audience and photographers. The goal is to create a dialogue and ask broader questions of how photography relates to our awareness of mental illness.

The talk will close with a reception and custom slideshow from submissions to Tara Wray’s #tootiredproject project.

This event is funded by the Wide-Angle Learning: A Humanistic Lens on Public Health, Arts Collaborative and the Art & Art History Department.

Thursday, February 28, 4:30 pm
Photographing the Invisible, Photography as a Therapeutic Tool
Conversations with Danielle Hark

Herring Cole, the Feinstone Room

This Arts Collaborative residency hosts Danielle Hark, the creator of Broken Light Collective, a community of photographers who are affected by mental illness. Danielle Hark is a photographer, photo editor, and mental health/wellness writer. She will present her work and how it relates to her personal coping with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.  

Danielle Hark is a writer, freelance photographer and photo editor, and certified life coach whose work has been featured in various publications, including Psychology Today, Dr. Oz’s You Beauty, New York Times, BBC News, NBC, The Huffington Post, Upworthy, as well as the American Association of Suicidology.

This talk is a preliminary event to Friday's workshop, where Danielle will directly consult with students and interested community members about photography being a tool to overcome mental illness.

This event is funded by the Wide-Angle Learning: A Humanistic Lens on Public Health, Arts Collaborative and the Art & Art History Department.

Friday, March 1, 9:00 am - 12pm
Photographing the Invisible, Photography as a Therapeutic Tool Workshop

ODY 109

Photographing as a Therapeutic Tool Workshop, led by Danielle Hark, will dive into photographic methods to cope with personal mental illness. She will discuss how she has used photography to deal with her depression, as well as give guidance to attendees on how they can approach photography as a healing practice.

Danielle Hark is a writer, freelance photographer and photo editor, and certified life coach whose work has been featured in various publications, including Psychology Today, Dr. Oz’s You Beauty, New York Times, BBC News, NBC, The Huffington Post, Upworthy, as well as the American Association of Suicidology.

The workshop will have a maximum of thirty participants and requires RSVP from those who want to participate.  To RSVP, please contact sknobel@stlawu.edu

This event is funded by the Wide-Angle Learning: A Humanistic Lens on Public Health, Arts Collaborative and the Art & Art History Department.

Fall 2019

Papermaking Workshop with Johnny LaFalce & Drew Matott of the Peace Paper Project

St. Lawrence has been given the opportunity to purchase papermaking equipment that would allow the Sustainability Program to create their own, independent workshop out at the Farm.  Currently, the Art & Art History department has a papermaking studio in the Noble Center, which Professor Schulenberg oversees and maintains. For the past few years, artist Drew Matott has been a visiting artist the first week of the fall semester, teaching papermaking to numerous classes, including Beginning Printmaking, Advanced Printmaking, Drawing I & II, Book Arts, and for many FYP courses.  In the fall of 2018, local artist Velma Bolyard offered a Papermaking class via the Sustainability Program, using the facilities in the Noble Center.  The Program plans to regularly offer Papermaking as an elective course, and the purchase of this papermaking equipment would have long-term benefits for the students and long-term programming.  Drew is willing to sell to St. Lawrence a beater and dry-box system for a papermaking studio at the Farm, and will also help properly set up the studio with the assistance of fellow papermaker Johnny LaFalce.

Brief biography of the artists:  A link to Peace Paper can be found here.

Drew Matott received his MFA in Book & Paper Arts from Columbia College-Chicago (2008) and his BFA in Printmaking from Buffalo State College (2001). He co-founded the Green Door Studio (2002), People's Republic of Paper (2003), Deep Fried Books (2006), Pulp Printing (2007), the Combat Paper Project (2007), The Portable Paper Studio (2008), Free Your Mind Press (2008), BluSeed Paper Mill (2009), Papermaking as Trauma Intervention (2010), Peace Paper Project (2011), Veteran Paper Workshop (2011), Panty Pulping (2013), Pedal Power (2013) and St. Pauli Paper (2016).

Drew divides his time between teaching at colleges, doing art residencies, completing studio work, designing new papermaking endeavors and directing Peace Paper Project. He has taught Photography and Contemporary Printmaking at North Country Community College, and Papermaking courses at the Community College of Vermont, Edgewood College, Ursuline College, Massachusetts College of Art and San Francisco Center for the Book. Since 2009, he has taught and exhibited internationally and completed numerous artist residencies.

In Hamburg, Germany, Matott is collaborating with German artists, activists, and therapists to set up St. Pauli Paper, a permanent papermaking studio that will conduct ongoing papermaking workshops with different healing populations throughout Hamburg and Berlin.  (SLU alum Hannah Brook Smith was a summer participant at this studio.)

From 2009 to 2013, Johnny LaFalce was an adjunct faculty member of North Country Community College where he taught Drawing, Painting & Printmaking courses. He was the Studio Technician for BluSeed Studios as well as the head of the BluSeed Paper Mill. LaFalce received his BFA in Painting in 2002 from Buffalo State College.

From 2007 to the present, he has been an active collaborator and facilitator of both the Combat Paper Project and Peace Paper Project, as well as with the Green Door Studio and others in the paper community.

His work has been shown throughout the United States, Mexico, Australia and the United Kingdom, and featured in numerous special and private collections. His work straddles community based public works such as the Paper Projects, Deep Fried Books, Life Left Forgotten and his studio work, which addresses societal behaviors of consumption and sovereignty through mythic multimedia anthropomorphic creations.

Projected dates of visit:  Drew and Johnny will be on campus the first week of September, the 2nd – 5th.  Generally, if Drew’s “artist residency” is from the 2nd-5th, he is in the studio a day early making gallons and gallons of paper pulp, which takes all day.  On the other end of the residency, it takes a day to clean up the studio and organize the paper that has been made.  So, he and Johnny are working on both ends of the residency dates!  This is really hard work.  Each evening, after cleaning up after a day spent making paper, they need to prep pulp and supplies for the following day.  For an academic argument, we can count on 4 days of making paper with students (M/T/W/Th).  But in reality they are here a few days longer.