Visiting Artist

Advisory Council, Visiting Artist

Ira Baumgarten

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.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2018 and current advisory council member.

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Visiting Artist

Ben and Sebastian

‘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

Visiting artists at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2012.

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Board of Directors, Visiting Artist

Michael Benson

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.

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Visiting Artist

Ilya Bernstein

Ilya Bernstein, born in Moscow, is a poet and translator, living in the nether-reaches of northern Manhattan. He is the translator of books by Italian architectural theorist Remo Guidieri, including Argonautics, and has also translated poetry and children's stories by Daniil Kharms. Ilyas poetry, prose, and translations have appeared in Ars Interpres,Circumference, Fulcrum, 6x6, Persephone, Moon City Review, and Res. He is the editor of Osip Mandelstam: New Translations (UDP, 2006). 

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2013 and 2014.

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Visiting Artist

Karin Coonrod

 

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).

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers 2013.

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Visiting Artist

Ward Dales

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.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2016, 2017 and Information Poverty Workshop 2017.

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Advisory Council, Visiting Artist

Robert Dalton Harris

“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.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshops 2014 - 2018, Oppenheimer’s Table 2015, Information Poverty 2017, Sessions 2018 - 2019.

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Advisory Council, Visiting Artist

Diane DeBlois

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.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshops 2015 - 2018, Oppenheimers Table 2015, Information Poverty 2017, Sessions 2018 - 2019.

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Visiting Artist

Gearoid Dolan

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

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshops 2013 and 2015.


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Visiting Artist

Bart Drost

I was a singer, I kept my mouth
I was a dancer, I stood stock-still
I was a writer, I wrote in white
I was a painter, the canvas remained empty

 

If I were not an artist, I couldn’t breath

 

Bart Drost lives and works as an artist in Nijmegen, Netherlands. His work is not limited to a particular artistic discipline. He also runs the independent artists initiative ‘MAAS’ and gives artists the opportunity to develop new projects or to show their work. Visit: www.maasartistresidence.nl

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2016.

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Visiting Artist

Ben Duarte

"I'm driven by the connections made between relative physical materials and the geometric space they imply. The form comes about in a process of simplification towards an integrally honest structure. This form becomes a sentence that conveys a statement with joinery rather than words."

Ben Duarte is a versatile builder living in Brooklyn. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute [2009] and was awarded the Presidential Merit Scholarship. While studying, he worked at Pratt's various shops as a technician and assistant to woodworking and welding classes.

Since leaving school, he has worked as a metal fabricator, junior architect, interior designer, furniture designer, and project manager. He currently works as project manager for Situ Fabrication, while continuing to build and design his own projects.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2015.

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Visiting Artist

Adi Dukic

Adi Dukic was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1982, and is based in Norway. He received a Bachelors of Arts at the Kunstakademiet in Oslo and is currently completing an MFA at theKunstakademiet i Trondheim. He Works With conceptual art dealing With decoloniality and globalization, genocide, migration, sexism, exile and transcendental pain, confronting the politics of representation and Production and distribution of images and knowledge in mass media. His Works include photography, sculpture, video, sound and installations. He has exhibited in Oslo, Trondheim, Ramallah, and Bogota.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers 2015.

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Visiting Artist

Michelle Susan Elliot

Since a child I have been fascinated with movement and the changes it brings about to life.

A favorite memory of mine is sitting out in the backyard in a chaise lounge on warm Southern California nights (circa 1950's) remembering that feeling of the breeze on my face.  The movement was as a tender caress and I began to think of it as the breath of God....I followed it...I grew more and more curious about the intuitive movement of our bodies, what plays on them and what this tells us about changing and growing more and more into our true selves, our authentic selves. 

While working on my Masters Degree at Antioch University in Santa Barbara, California (1980) I was introduced into the study and practice of Authentic Movement, as developed by Mary Whitehouse at Camario State Hospital.  I studied with her student, Joan Chodorov.  Tapping both the intuitive and conscious movement of life this became a major part of my work for 30 years.  

Because of my living situation...on 500 acres of rolling grass land and very old Live Oaks in a coastal valley northeast of Santa Barbara, California, this natural environment, the land, became our studio...along with the hawks, owls, coyotes, cows and assorted other wildlife, day or night, every season (Califonia after all!).  In the 1980's, with growing attention to the woman's movement, I focused entirely on Greek and Sumerian goddess myths and translated the stories into expressive movement experiences.  

Now, as director of a sorority at Rensselaer Polytecnic Institute for the past several years, I have the opportunity to bring movement and meditation into my work with young women scientists.

BA   San Francisco State Univ                      1965

        Art and Education

        (emphasis: clay, photography)

MAAntioch Univ, Santa Barbara, CA             1982 

       Psychology

       Movement Therapy

PhD Univ of Utrecht, The Netherlands

        Univ Without Walls, Los Angeles, CA  1988

        Bioethics

       (emphasis:  The Ethics of Elder Care)

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2016.

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Visiting Artist

Noelle Gentile

Noelle Gentile is a director, producer and artist educator, who seeks to create spaces for people to tell their stories through film and theatre as a vehicle for transformation, healing and connection.  Noelle’s previous multi-media works include explorations on the lives of veteran women, the workers who helped rebuild New York after Hurricane Sandy, and the multiple identities of high school students.  Noelle's most recent project was an immersive project, which took place on three floors, and explored the lives of American low-wage workers living on the margins.  She is an artist educator with Workforce Development Institute, Capital Repertory Theatre, Youth FX and the Albany City School District.  

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2016 - 2017 and Information Poverty 2017.

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Visiting Artist

Sina Goudarzi


Sina Goudarzi, a native of Iran, has been involved with the art of Persian calligraphy for over 30 years. He attended the Iranian School of Calligraphy in Tehran studying with grand masters including Amirkhani, Kabuli and the late Arabshahi. After graduating in 1986, he went on to become an official instructor at the School.

In the late 80's, Sina studied and worked with the distinguished Grand Master Mohammad Ehsaee, expanding his knowledge of various styles and schools of calligraphy and refining his own practice. Sina's work has been greatly influenced by this grand master. 

In 1998, Sina graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art+Design (MCAD). In 2002, he founded his own firm, Geesu Art+Design and opened his associated art gallery in Minneapolis shortly thereafter.

In the course of his career, Sina has dedicated his energies to outreach and teaching. In addition to participating in numerous calligraphy exhibitions, he also has lectured and conducted workshops on the subject of Persian calligraphy in Houston, Minneapolis, Washington DC and Tehran.

In his design work, Sina combines his fine art background with extensive research and innovative methodologies to develop brand identities. By assessing the client's product, its audiences and niche market, a cultural concept emerges. His designs are the culmination of brand culture and concept.

Sina's work is found in private collections in Tehran, London, Geneva, Amsterdam, Houston, Dallas, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles and Minneapolis.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2012 and 2013.


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Visiting Artist

Grupo < >

Over the past year five artists have come together to form the collective Grupo < >, organizing weekly meetings to develop writing and dialogue around their distinct practices while building a broader understanding of the histories that influenced them or their families to migrate to the United States.

The five NYC-based artists in Grupo < > are:
Constanza Alarcón Tennen – Santiago, Chile.
Aurora De Armendi – Havana, Cuba.
Marcela Flórido – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Mariana Garibay Raeke – Guadalajara, Mexico.
Alva Mooses – Chicago, U.S.A

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2015.


Constanza Alarcón Tennen (Santiago, Chile. 1986) is a multidisciplinary artist. Her work varies between sound installations, videos and sculptures, among other medias.
She focuses mainly on the impossibility to represent and reconstruct some situations, which fluctuate from simple autobiographical memories to geological events.
She graduated from Universidad Católica de Chile (BFA 2009) and from Yale University (MFA 2015). Her work has been shown internationally in groups and solo exhibitions such as Migratorry Patterns (NYC, 2015), Time Item, (New Haven, 2015), and Y sin embargo se mueve (Santiago, 2012). In 2010 she received a FONDART, a grant to develop the project Y sin embargo se mueve and for the publication of a catalogue. She was awarded with a Becas Chile, a scholarship program that allowed her to pursue her MFA studies. In 2015 she received the Susan H. Whedon Award for outstanding student in Sculpture when she graduated from her the Sculpture Department at Yale. Constanza lives and works between Santiago and NYC.


Aurora De Armendi studied at The Cooper Union School of Art, New York, NY (BFA, 2005) and The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (MA & MFA, 2009). She was selected to be part of the program Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) at The Bronx Museum of Art during 2012-13 and she was awarded a full year residency from The Center for Book Arts, New York in 2013. Her work has been included on group exhibitions at the Bronx Biennial (Wave Hill Garden, Bronx, NY, 2013), International Print Center (New York, 2009, 2012 and 2013), The Center for Book Arts, (New York, 2013) as well as in cities in the United States, Iceland, Hungary, Argentina, Cuba among others. She is currently teaching at The Cooper Union Outreach Program and Parsons The New School for Design and is part of the executive board of The Cuban Cultural Center of New York. She lives and works in Brooklyn.

As an interdisciplinary artist, I use a range of media – particularly print media, text, video and book arts to explore ideas of displacement, identity, collective memory and the poetics of space/place. My creative studio work is balanced between research and material explorations. I often work with series, and most recently on long-term collaborative projects using the form of the book for its time-based qualities and the tactile intimacy it offers between maker and viewer.

My interest in trace, not as a physical gesture but as an idea in itself has provoked the exploration of the myths, stories and subjective histories that construct our conceptions of place. My interest in the archival, principally organizing our engagement with these conceptions, has informed two other artist’s books; primary source library collections of photographs, oral histories, interviews and conversations. For instance, In Three Taíno Myths, I look at the writings of Fray Ramón Pané to understand the mythology of the native people of Cuba and the process of colonization of native cultures in the Caribbean.

In Mythologies of Return: Revisiting Ana Mendieta’s Rupestrian Sculptures, I trace the steps of Ana Mendieta back to Cuba in search of her Rupestrian Sculptures. This piece was inspired after learning about Mendieta’s intention to make an artist’s book based on these sculptures, a project never completed before her tragic and sudden death. My work rescues this lost history by creating an artist’s book that presents photogravures documenting Mendieta’s Rupestrian Sculptures 30 years after their original conception.

As an artist/cultural producer, I wish to provide a space of reflection in aesthetic experience for the complexities of being human.


Alva Mooses studied at The Cooper Union (BFA, 2005) and at Yale University School of Art (MFA, 2014). She has exhibited her work internationally and most recently presented her work in an artist talk at the Swiss Institute in NYC. She received a Yale University Robert Schoelkopf Prize for her fieldwork in Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Norway and a Rema Hort Mann Foundation ACE Grant for the collaborative publication, Correspondence from NYC to PAP. She has completed artist residencies at The University of Chicago’s Arts and Public Life Program, Columbia College’s Center for Book and Paper Arts, the Grafisk Verksted in Stavanger, Norway and the Davidoff Art Initiative in the Dominican Republic. She has taught bookbinding at The Cooper Union and is currently a Visiting Lecturer in the Art Department at Cornell University. She lives in New York City.

My work examines relationships between objects, people, and geographic terrain as a means to explore cultural understanding and political structures. My studio practice is informed by nearly a decade of organizing community art initiatives and informal residencies situated in unused spaces in Latin America. These projects created a platform for over forty New York City-based artists to make their work, collaborate and teach art in new contexts.


Marcela Florido’s paintings explore the terrain of private fiction and narrative, proposing spatial tensions that are entwined with emotional histories. Influences from memories, books, mass media and personal archives suggest a world that is photographically still and inhabited. By collapsing different visual vocabularies, Florido’s paintings are invariably told from conflicting perspectives. 

Marcela Florido was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  She studied at The Slade School of Fine Art, London (BFA, 2012) and at Yale University School of Art, CT (MFA, 2015). In 2015 the artist received the Viridian Prize from Lauren Hinkson, senior curator at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum and in 2014 she was selected to be part of the March Program at Sharjah Art Foundation where she has a solo exhibition. Her upcoming projects include a solo exhibition at the United States Institute, Brazil (May, 2016); Two group shows opening in London (Kennington Residencies, December 2015 and Display Gallery, June 2016), lectures at Art Basel Miami Beach and Cornell University. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Cambridge University  (Cambridge, UK), the Arts Council of Greater New Haven (New Haven, 2014), Fabrica Bhering, (Rio de Janeiro, 2009) as well as in cities in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, United Arab Emirates, Brazil among others. Marcela Florido lives and works in Brooklyn.

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Advisory Council, Visiting Artist

Remo Guidieri

Studied with Claude Levi-Strass and did field-works in: South-east Melanesia, Central Polynesia. Has been Professor in anthropology and aesthetics, Paris since 1972; Visiting Professor, Irwin Chanin School of Architecture, Cooper Union, New York, since 1989; co-founder (1981) of Res, Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics, Harvard, Mass. Author of countless essays and books, published in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Rumania, Germany, and USA. Recent titles include: Argonautics, Pièges & Outils (Traps & Tools), 2007; Miroir du vestibule (Mirror of the vestibule) 2009; Géométrie sauvage (Savage Geometry) 2010. On Loan and Sacrifice, Too Late, Too Early.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers 2012, 2013 and 2015. 

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Advisory Council, Visiting Artist

Michael Harrison

Composer and pianist Michael Harrison occupies a unique place in the world of music. His works are a blend of European musical traditions and those of North Indian classical music, forging an entirely new approach to composition through tunings and methodologies that employ and extend the ancient concept of “just intonation.”  

Harrison earned international recognition when Revelation, his 75-minute work for piano in his own “just intonation” tuning, was selected as one of the Best Classical Recordings of the Year by The New York Times, Boston Globe and TimeOut New York, and Time Loops, with cellist Maya Beiser, was selected in NPR’s Top 10 Classical Albums of 2012.

Equally at home writing for voices (Roomful of Teeth), chamber orchestra (Alarm Will Sound), and Indian classical musicians, his music defies classification; yet many composers and critics confer that he is one of the most innovative artists of his generation, including Philip Glass, who called him an “American Maverick.” Inspired by both the Beatles and Bach, post-modern and jazz, Harrison blends Renaissance beauty with minimalist methodology, Eastern aesthetics with modern technology. The result is a body of concert music, interdisciplinary collaborations, and acclaimed solo albums.

Harrison's  music was transformed by discovering La Monte Young’s The Well-Tuned Piano, a work which he spent years learning, performing and perfecting the tuning. He also performs Indian classical music, having studied in India with Pandit Pran Nath, Mashkoor Ali Khan, and Terry Riley. Harrison not only mixes styles and traditions but also works interdisciplinarily on multimedia collaborations that use sound to illustrate the cosmos and to explore universal truths. 

Harrison invented the "harmonic piano" which plays 24 notes per octave. He lives in New York and is the recipient of a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship.

“The intelligent discrimination with which he approaches his work is something that I have heard only in a tiny handful of classical recordings starting with Glenn Gould.” – Stephen Hill, National Public Radio

“Michael Harrison's Revelation: Music in Pure Intonation is probably the most brilliant and original extended composition for solo piano since the early works of Frederic Rzewski three decades ago (and no, I’m not forgetting Elliott Carter).” – Pulitzer Prize-winning music critic, Tim Page

 

Visiting Artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshops 2013-2018 and Creative Music Intensives 2018-2019.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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Visiting Artist

Mandel Hitzer

Mandel has been cooking for more than half his life. The 31 year old got his start at Glutton's under Makoto Ono. In 2010 he paired up with Cyrus Smith and brought the term "pop-up" to Winnipeg, hosting "secret dinners" to help explore their skills and ideas. in 2011, Mandel opened deer + almond, giving him a stage to bring different concepts to Winnipeg food lovers.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2013.

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