Hans-Petter Bjørnådal (1977) is a Norwegian architect, graduated from the Bergen School of Architecture (BAS) in 2003. Besides architecture and scenography he is focused on the research of nomadic cultures and the connection between the modern humans and nature. The works have been internationally published in Topos, Architectural Review, Architectural Worlds, Architizer, Designboom and Arch Daily among others. The environmental theatre Klemet was a finalist in the Architizer 2015 + awards and the WAN-Awards 2016 and winner of American Architecture Award 2016 and German Design Award 2018. Nomad City was exhibited at "La Biennale de Venezia 2016”. Gapahuk received honourable mention in the American Architecture Award 2017.
Merethe is currently studying production management and props design at the Danish National School of Performing Arts in Copenhagen. At the school she is a member of several committees and boards, working towards strengthening collaborations between students, and investigate new structures and constellations in order to raise questions that will help create space for new works and methods.
Merethe has over the last years been a part of several artistic processes, both as a performer and as a production manager and facilitator. She is part of the Copenhagen based artistic collective SIGNA, producing site-specific performances all over Europe. She has participated in several of their performances.
In her work with Arts Letters and Numbers she is interested in the collaboration between people from a wide variety of nationalities and disciplines, and sees it as an opportunity to share and strengthen the knowledge of processes.
I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being. Oscar Wilde
Josephine received her bachelor in architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2017. Throughout her education she has served on various committees and boards to advocate for students’ interests and to better understand the structure of educational institutions. During her degree she also did a internship in 2016 at Rural Urban Framework (RUF), a non-profit design research lab based at Hong Kong University, where she will return as a research assistant in 2018.
Before entering the field of Architecture Josephine co-founded the organisation ‘One World Musical’ in 2013. Creating musicals with children in rural communities in developing countries in Africa and South East Asia, the organisation strived to demonstrate creativity as a universal human trait, the importance of the arts and it’s impact on children’s ability to learn. In 2015 Josephine initiated ‘Dreams of a School’, a project in collaboration with students of Education from Aarhus University, to encourage reflection on the connection between the physical space and the learning processes within. Through one-day workshops elementary school kids dreamt of their school in drawings and models as a space for learning, imagination, creation and inspiration.
Megan Mosholder is a conceptual artist who operates in the real-world setting of the social-political landscape through site-responsive, sculptural installations. She is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design and has received numerous awards from institutions such as the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. A variety of publications have featured Megan's work including Beautiful/Decay, Hi-Fructose and Huffington Post and her diverse exhibition history includes participation in No Longer Empty’s Through the Parlor (2013) in Manhattan and an installation in Sirmione, Italy (2014), a body of work that speaks of the lasting impression a place of beauty can leave on an individual. More recently, Megan has been working in the corporate sector installing commissioned, permanent artworks, including a temporal, light-sensitive piece for Google's new office in Pittsburgh, PA. Originally from Ohio, Megan is currently based in Atlanta, GA but will be relocating temporarily in January 2017 to Oklahoma for the Tulsa Artist Fellowship.
Tine Bernstorff Aagaard Studied architecture at Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark, and graduated in 2010 with distinction on her thesis project. During her education she has assisted Berlin-based artist Michel de Broin and worked for architecture company R&Sie(n) in Paris.
Throughout her education she has been involved in EASA (European Architecture Students Assembly) in which she together with companion Emilie Bergrem taught a workshop exploring basic relation between body and space by ‘modifying’ the body with prosthetics to challenge our conventional beliefs of how the surroundings adapt to the body and vice versa.
The same theme was explored in their installation "1:14" a suspended labyrinth in the Spring Exhibition in Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Since graduating, she has taught first year at the Aarhus School of Architecture in architecture, drawing, and representation. Now she lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.
Amara Abdal Figueroa (b. 1990, Puerto Rico) graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2013, earning both a BFA and B.Arch. In 2012 and 2013, Amara contributed in the restoration of a 19th Century coffee plantation in Medellin, Colombia, which became Campos de Gutierrez- an international residency program. There, she worked on studio development for residing artists. In upstate New York, Amara is working on Arts Letters and Numbers to transform the cotton mill and house into an interdisciplinary space. She is interested in spaces that foment creation.
"How are both of these, once axes of development in their respective areas, the perfect architectural types for the production of coffee, cotton, or visionary works?"
Most recently, Amara took part of the research team of Kuwait's National Pavilion in La Biennale di Venezia di Architettura titled Acquiring Modernity with the objective of investigating the repercussions of commissioning architectural works towards the formation of the State. To help articulate the nation’s history of modernization, the team has chosen to focus it’s participation on the establishment of the Kuwait National Museum specifically through the envisaged program of its second more modern yet defunct iteration. It is an effort to generate meaning and restore a sense of ownership and responsibility over Kuwait's built environment.
The project is obsessively local and utterly informal despite its appearance at la Biennale; its highest aspiration is to influence authorities so that when the project returns to Kuwait from Venice, it will have found a place inside of the Kuwait National Museum as a sort of ‘Special Projects’ program, or research and documentation center.
Commissioned by the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters.
A native of Saratoga Springs, NY, cellist Ashley Bathgate has gained international renown as both a soloist and chamber musician. The New York Times writes, “Ms. Bathgate’s rich tone, fluid dynamics and imaginative phrasing captured the magic.” Equally at home in both the concert hall and the rock club, Ashley focuses on presenting concerts that draw from a wide range of musical genres. Her dedication to performing traditional music is equally matched by her passion to promote new music by today’s composers. She is a member of the award winning, internationally acclaimed Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Metropolis Ensemble and four chamber groups of which she is a founding member: TwoSense, Typical Music, Bonjour and the newly formed quintet, Samadhi.
As a soloist Ashley has performed on many of the world’s great stages including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Musiekgebouw and the Barbican. Her radio/television appearances include performances on WQXR FM’s Young Artist Showcase, NPR’s Performance Today, WYNC’s New Sounds Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. She has recorded for Naxos, Nonesuch, Innova, Cantaloupe Music, La-La Land Records, and Albany Records. Currently, Ashley is embarking on a collaboration with the Brooklyn-based composer collective Sleeping Giant, who will write her a six-movement suite for solo cello to be premiered on Metropolis Ensemble’s Artist-in-Residence series during the 2015/16 season. She is also working on an album featuring a new cello concerto by Australian composer, Kate Moore, for release in 2015. Other upcoming commissions include works by Ted Hearne, Erdem Helvacioglu, Jascha Narveson, Todd Reynolds, Neil Rolnick and Fay Wang.
Ashley received her bachelor’s degree from Bard College under the tutelage of Luis Garcia-Renart and a master’s degree from Yale University where she continued her studies with renowned cellist Aldo Parisot. She currently resides in Manhattan, NY.
Ira Baumgarten is a Senior Consultant for the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI). He coordinates NCBI’s school based diversity and leadership programs. Ira is a trained mediator and also provides consulting services to resolve workplace conflicts. He has developed and instituted successful organizational intervention models.
He recently worked with Kinuso School District in Alberta Canada, a mixed community of First Nation and Non-First Nation families. The project goal was to build strong inter-group relations resulting in a more caring school environment for all children and their families.
Prior to becoming a consultant, Ira worked for over twenty years administering education and training programs for the Civil Service Employee Association (CSEA) and the United Auto Workers and Ford Motor Company. At CSEA he was responsible for the negotiation and administration of the educational benefits for the CSEA-State represented workforce. In that capacity he assisted in the development of the New York State – CSEA Partnership for Education and Training and served as its labor Co-director for six years. In that capacity he instituted many educational opportunities including creative writing and photography classes for workers entitled Unseenameria – Pictures and Words of Working Lives.
His interests include training for sprint-triathlons, traveling and camping with his wife, Nadine, being a new Grandfather, and writing. He currently is engaged in self-publishing an end-of-life story and audio book for adults.
Ira has a BA degree from State University of New York at Oneonta and a Masters Degree in Adult Education from Syracuse University.
Karl Becker, Master Craftsman
2012, 2013, 2014
‘The work of the collaborative artist practice, benandsebastian, teeters on a cusp between designed physicality and intangible theories of the mind. Trained in architecture and theoretically versed, their sculptures take on elaborate mechanics and boast intricate detailing, yet speak to vast philosophical and sociological systems. It is impossible to concretely anchor their work, an elusiveness made evident in their recent exhibition at the Designmuseum Danmark, ‘Phantom Limbs’.
Embedded directly within the permanent collection and specifically paired with unexpected inventory from Copenhagen’s Medical Museum, National Museum and the attics of Designmuseum Danmark, their work becomes not only the sculptures on display, but the myriad relationships made between context and object, between body and limb. Evoking the medical sense of phantom limbs, where an amputee still feels the presence of the absent limb, benandsebastian navigate the museum context and call into question the assumed wholeness we expect, perceive and viscerally feel.’
Cassandra Edlefsen Lasch,
independent curator, DAMn magazine, issue 33
Russell Bennett is a recently retired attorney who has lived in Averill Park on the shores of Burden Lake for the last 33 years, a short distance from the Mill. A graduate of Middlebury College and Albany Law School, he worked for the New York State Court of Appeals and the New York State Department of Social Services (now Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance) in a variety of legislative, house counsel and litigation roles. He has also served numerous terms as Town Attorney for the Town of Sand Lake. Along with wife, DeDe, he is an enthusiastic lover of the arts.
Michael Benson works at the intersection of art and science. A photographer, writer, filmmaker, book-maker, and exhibitions producer, in the last decade he has staged a series of increasingly large-scale shows of planetary landscape photography internationally. Benson takes raw data from NASA and European Space Agency archives and processes it, creating large-format landscapes. He edits, composites, then frequently mosaics, and then finally optimizes these images, producing seamless digital C prints of landscapes beyond direct human experience. He is also an award-winning filmmaker, with work that straddles the boundary between fiction and documentary practice.
John Conaty is currently the sole proprietor of J. Conaty Architects and was the Owner’s Representative on site for the construction, opening and Park Manager for Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island in New York City. He was previously a partner in the Firm Standard Architects in Brooklyn, NY for 14 years. As a partner at Standard Architects, John converted several manufacturing Buildings to residential condo properties, and constructed new buildings throughout Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Prior to establishing Standard Architects, John work for the firm of Smith Miller and Hawkinson Architects in Manhattan. While at the firm, he was the project architect on The North Carolina Museum of Art Outdoor Amphitheater and the Corning Glass Museum.
John received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Environmental Design from Parsons School of Design in 1986 and Bachelor of Architecture from The Cooper Union in 1990. John Conaty has been a registered Architect in the State of New York since 1994.
Karin Coonrod is a theater maker whose work has been seen and heard across the country and around the world. Born in Chicago with first memories in Noli, Italy, Coonrod studied English at Gordon College in Massachusetts and Theater Directing at Columbia University, where her mentor was Liviu Ciulei.
She founded two theater companies: 1) Arden Party in downtown New York from 1987-1997 which re-imagined the classics (including Ubu Roi, Waiting for Godot, Lear, Romeo and Juliet, Antigone, Marat/Sade et al) and 2) Compagnia de’ Colombari (2004-present) an international company (based in New York) which began a new tradition of theater in Orvieto, Italy with the medieval mystery plays in public spaces (Strangers and Other Angels 2004-2006) as well as a music-theater piece More Or Less I Am (from Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself) performed around New York City.
Coonrod is known for her Shakespeare productions including her epic Henry VI (1996) and surprising Love’s Labor’s Lost (2011) both at the Public Theater (where she was Artist-in-Residence from 1995-96); King John (2000), Julius Caesar (2003) and Coriolanus (2005) all with Theatre for a New Audience; Othello at Hartford Stage (2005) and many others.
Other seminal productions include her own creation for the stage of non-dramatic material: Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge developed at the University of Iowa, Sundance Theatre Lab and premiered at New York Theatre Workshop (2001), Anne Sexton’s Transformations with Arden Party (1991-5) and a cabaret adaptation of Lorca’s Poeta en Nueva York with flamenco dancer La Conja at New York University (2002).
She prepared new translations: Vvedensky’s Christmas at the Ivanovs’ with Julia Listengarten (1996); Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba with Nilo Cruz (1997); and Victor or Children Take Over with Frederic Maurin (1994), all of which she directed in acclaimed productions.
Coonrod’s work is featured in American Theatre Magazine, Shakespeare Bulletin, Sipario nel Mondo (Italian theater journal), Scena.Ro (Romanian theater magazine).
As a guest artist/teacher Coonrod has developed work at NYU, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Cal Institute of the Arts, Fordham, Colgate, Gordon College and Univ of Iowa. She is on the faculty at Yale School of Drama (since 2002).
WARD DALES holds a BFA in Acting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Mr. Dales has trained and worked professionally as actor, singer, director and teacher in NYC and in Europe, but has called the Capital Region his creative home for nearly 30 years.
He was Co-Founder and Co-Producing Artistic Director of Actors’ Collaborative Inc. (ACI), a not-for-profit acting training and theatrical production company, which was based in the Capital Region for over a decade. The critically acclaimed company was the Resident Theatre of both of the Egg and the Arts Center of the Capital Region. The company’s mission was to infuse inter-personal communication techniques into the acting process. Refinement of the ACI teaching and rehearsal system galvanized his belief that teaching must be a part of every aspect of his creative life. His approach stems from a model that was once referred to as accelerated learning technique. The programs he developed for ACI ranged from middle-level to professional adult acting training.
Self- and socio-political- awareness is at the forefront of all of Mr. Dales’ endeavors and creating caring learning environments is a priority to him. He trained internationally with the National Coalition Building Institute, an organization devoted to diversity awareness and prejudice reduction, and was instrumental in fostering the local chapter’s foothold in the Albany City School District. At the core of his work with students is his belief that human behavior is motivated by our need for love, respect and understanding.
He has directed and performed with most area theatres and his singing experience spans over two decades and two continents. He created the Friday Night Cabaret series at Heritage Artists at the Cohoes Music Hall and was a member of the Association of Capital District Cabaret. His club acts have played many area venues.
Mr. Dales also has the pleasure of adjudicating theatre festivals on the state and regional levels for the American Association of Community Theatres. He was the Magnet Theme Resource Coordinator at Albany’s Philip Livingston Magnet Academy, where he developed the theatre curriculum and taught acting, playwriting and video production for eleven years. At Albany High School he taught the Career Explorations in Performing Arts and Communications, a college course offered in the high. (He was an adjunct professor at SUNYA and HVCC). He inaugurated the playwriting course at Albany High, and directs the after school Theatre Ensemble, which features a Promising Playwrights Festival, and a fully accredited after-school Performance Studies course. He is certified in Theatre Arts with New York State and is a member in good standing of the New York State United Teachers, Actors’ Equity Association, and the Screen Actors’ Guild.
“I live in the Garden of Eden, and there is a lot of good work to do.” The structures built (spiral staircase, shack-in-the-back, skywalk, tree house, temple-to-available-materials) reflect Rob’s imaginative blending of taxonomy and deep thinking – as do his extensive historical collections.
With a background in teaching English and Drama, Diane researches, edits and writes about the stuff of ordinary life … and gathers people to animate their stories.
I am an Irish artist, living and working in New York since 1987. I continue to work on an ever-evolving project titled “screaMachine”, which I started in 1987. ScreaMachine is realized in the form of installations, performances, audio and video works, films, digital media art and more. My work is by nature experimental; it pushes the boundaries of new media, experiential and time based art. I produce works that are flexible and that can have many incarnations.
Gearoid Dolan a.k.a. screaMachine