Described as “cosmic jazz” (Boston Music Intelligencer) and “like Mozart mashed up with Club Beats and Electronica” (Original Gravity), pianist Sophia Subbayya Vastek and electronic artist David Ibbett present an electro-symphonic journey of growth and discovery - bridging the worlds of classical chamber music with electronic beats and sampled sounds of the universe. Consisting of works by David for piano and live electronics, they will perform a preview of this brand-new program at Arts Letters & Numbers, musically exploring such terrain as the fractal patterns of nature, the growth of an embryo, bleached coral reefs, and rising seas and a changing global climate.
Travel without Traces - Sharing Meeting
People always want to leave some traces for the world, afraid that they have only been there, and have no impact on the world. And my experience tells me that traveling uninterruptedly without leaving any trace is a higher realm. If you leave no trace of yourself, it does not mean that others will surely forget you.
On a cold Sunday afternoon the ALN studio was transformed into a sanctuary of remembrance bringing warmth and comfort to those who came to the book and film release event offered by Ira and Nadine Baumgarten.
We are so happy to have held our first 'Third-Thursday' of 2019, our new monthly night of sharing works. With pieces and performances from artists, guests, local community members and Fellows, the evening revolved around the theme of 'ordinary days', attempting to rediscover and explore the things happening around us that are often given little intention or attention. Involving everyone, artists, guests, local community and fellows, Third-Thursday is a time and place for participation, inspiration, and creative exchange.
Tyler Mills is a Providence, RI based architectural designer. His work explores the intersection of history, queerness and the built environment. An ongoing project "Queer the Church" is an proposal for continuing construction on St. Peter's Basilica which would open new space and new interpretations of the Catholic faith through a queer lens. Although his work can be viewed as simply "paper architecture," look closer and you will find in the detailing that it can be constructed. Currently he is working towards being a licensed architect.
Efrat Arielle Peleg is an Israeli artist who moved to the US as a young adult. Efrat sees art as a universal language, a powerful tool to communicate and share the stories that all people, anywhere, carry within. While in Jerusalem, Efrat pursued working on her personal artwork is local studios. She expresses her own stories and learnings through paintings, printmaking and imaginative illustrations.
As a young artist supporting and engaging in intersectional arts and movements, Jenny Zander has been able to work alongside some passionate arts activists doing a wide array of creative resistance work in the Twin Cities. Art has added energy to advocacy, resonating with people at deeper emotional levels, while conveying what cannot be said with mere facts. Jenny has found her voice and comfort in the arts. Through body art and multimedia sculpture, she try to capture life's beauty in the many faces, shades, and shapes it comes in, while highlighting environmental issues that impact frontline communities.
Stephen Chan was born in Methuen, Massachusetts and raised in the neighboring town of Andover until college. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, he spent the next four years professionally choreographing and teaching dance in Boston and New York for studios and theaters, until fully dedicating his artistic efforts towards playwriting in 2015.
Kari Watson has a passion for narrative, and works to create music that is energetic, tactile and emotionally driven. Her work has been premiered in the United States, Europe and Japan by ensembles such as the Rosetta Contemporary ensemble, Ensemble MISE-EN, and Soli Chamber Ensemble. She is currently serving as composer-in-residence with the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra for their 2018-2019 concert season with an upcoming premier of her piece “Night Music for Fish”. Additional current projects include a commission for the Eschaton Contemporary Ensemble at Vanderbilt University and a collection of pieces for Oberlin’s Experimental Vocal Chamber Ensemble. Kari is a third year composition student at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she studies under a dean’s .
Natsumi Osborn (b.1999) is a Japanese-American composer from Tokyo, Japan. Finding her interest in composition at a young age, she has since written for film and ballet as well as concert music. She was named Winner of the 2017 American Composer’s Forum NextNotes Awards, of the WCSMS 2017 Promising Young Composer’s Competition and of the 2017 Carson Thomas Miller Texas Emerging Composers Competition. Her work has also been recognized by the ASCAP Morton Gould Awards, and have been selected for multiple Society of Composers, Inc National Conferences. Natsumi currently studies composition at Oberlin Conservatory while simultaneously also pursuing a B. A. at Oberlin College.
Composer Soomin Kim is currently in her fourth year at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music studying under the tutelage of Stephen Hartke. Kim was the composer-in-residence with the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra during their 2017-18 concert season, for whom she wrote a piece titled “The Blue Marble.” Her work has also been featured at the 2017 Alba Music Festival, 2018 Norfolk New Music Workshop, 2018 soundSCAPE Festival and the 2018 Young & Emerging Composers Project of the Cleveland Chamber Symphony. Upcoming projects involve premiere of “Four Love Songs,” which was commissioned by Tim Weiss, director of Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble.
Hyunbae Chang was born in West Lafayette, Indiana, but moved to South Korea at the age of 4. He spent the youth in Seoul and moved back to the US in his sophomore year at high school in Marietta, Georgia. One year after entering Rhode Island School of Design, he served 21 months at the Army of South Korea as a field artillery unit. After he received the B.Arch at RISD, he participated in two summer workshops at Arts Letters and Numbers and decided to stay at the organization to support any construction related issues. Prior to joining ALN, Hyunbae has been drawing a story of a refugee at the border between South and North Korea. Regarding architecture as a social apparatus, he is examining and imagining a story of the doubt and empathy in a culture by drafting the architectural plans and sections, and sometimes projections.
Jennifer Park is an artist engaging architecture and humanity, currently a fellow of Arts Letters & Numbers. With a dual background, US and Republic of Korea, JP has pursued the ways to support people’s lives through drawing, writing, and making. Beyond the boundary of conventional architecture, JP's works open up from trivial observations in everyday life, branching out in a various medium; drawing, painting, poetry, precise, photography, installation, and architecture.
Artists visit Arts Letters & Numbers for various reasons and one of them would be its own placeness. Distant from repetitive and regulated city life, Averill Park is a place of discovery, founding and observation. Surrounded by nature of woods, lake and hill, artists often encounter the unexpected, recognize fresh and get inspired from them. As leaves changed in colors covering the grounds, Wolfgang and Steven shared their site-specific artworks on October the 6th 2018. Extended from their professional fields, Wolfgang and Steven introduced and improvised what they have discovered around the site fused with their own views and interpretations.
Wolfgang Kahler apprenticed in Architecture, with a BA in design and sustainability from The Evergreen State College, Wolfgang Kahler is a designer and craftsperson with a love of experimentation. He is excited by unconventional materials and practices, by the combination of old and new, by acts of service, by collaboration, and by all opportunities for learning and play.
Steven Bellosguardo fuses contemporary techniques with a traditional approach to sculpture’s original subject, the human figure. Utilizing mediums associated with modernist sculpture, figures are rendered from flat sketches on steel, cut out and assembled, creating an interplay between two- and three-dimensional elements.
Various encounters between national and international artists who are currently on residency at Arts Letters and Numbers have been mixing mediums and creating works which question the environment and population of Averill Park and its surrounding region.
On September 2nd Arts Letters and Numbers invited the community for some light refreshments whist we celebrating the works which had been produced over the past 2 and a half weeks by the current artist in residence.
Alice Shockey, Brooklyn, NY.
“My creative process integrates my experience here at Arts Letters & Numbers with my sensory experience as I become fully present within this space and in my body. I find visual representation both using a process of body mapping and collecting natural found objects and working directly with the immediate environment of Arts Letters & Numbers”
Matthew Bacher, San Diego, CA.
What can our relationships with nature tell us about ourselves? Artist Matthew Bacher asks these questions as he examines the connections and disconnections that we share with the natural world. "Sometimes its good to remember that we're still animals."
Tilly Davey, Canberra, Australia.
Tilly Davey's work questions the vulnerability of humanity and the daily struggles which the world at large faces and has done so since time memorable.Directing and tutoring a number of different community art programs throughout Canberra,Australia has a large impact on the works that Tilly produces.
Christopher Raia, NJ.
Christopher Raia is a multidisciplinary artist and illustrator based in New Jersey. In 2018, he received his BA in Interactive Multimedia at the College of New Jersey. His practice mixes both physical and digital means of making in order to create installations that transform spaces and provoke conversation.
Alex was or first month long day residence. Everyday she commuted from Troy, to fully embrace herself in the creation of her series of paintings. The last day of her residency she gave a talk on her work. She shared her insights of working with the balance between trauma and humor, how her art involves a high level of personal exposure while she at the same time maintains a filter of ambiguity. Her portraits, large scale, detailed, full of life and hardship, of herself and her family members. The talk continued into a great audience discussion around color, personalities, poetry, exposure and life.
Alex the Grave is an American painter and poet living and working in Troy, New York. They’ve received a BA in English and a MA in Fine Arts, both at University at Albany, SUNY.
Their work mainly explores themes of mental illness, invisible disability, personal relationships, trauma, dark and dry humor, and the idea of a melodramatic truth. It is a therapeutic self exposure. Heavily inspired by comic books, zines and items such as handmade signs or diaries, Alex seeks to combine these aesthetics and simultaneously enlarge and expose specific moments and feelings in a physical form.
In the blossoming summer days our amazing group of artists in residence Augustine Cordero, Betsey Gravatt, Jenny Zander, Dan Thorpe & Michelle Wan Lok Chan, invited the community to share their work. Whether they had been at Arts Letters & Numbers for months, or for just a few days, the urgency of sharing work with the community was very present. Working closely next to each other sometimes results in beautifully unexpected collaborations - some of these were shared through performances and visual arts during the evening of May 25th, 2018.
"My work references late 80s/early 90s nostalgia. Specifically, themes from popular culture. Questioing masculinity and personal security from a mixed boy's prespective of this time. My process is primarily intuitive. Working from memory only to arrive at a point that I feel is balanced."
"I use an alphabet of bright colors and shapes to create objects that are reminiscent of 90's toys and cartoons. I arrange my pieces and their components until I have created a piece that reminds me of happy memories from my childhood."
The house, the grounds and the studios was on May 17th, 2018 filled up by spoken words, dance, painted fabrics, drying clothes, folder paper, honeycomb, a porn shop and trees, all works created by our Artists in Residence: Anna Blair, Dan Thorpe, Santana Dardot, Michelle Wan Lok Chan, Joel Cox & Katrine Anne Rose
Notes Toward A Subjective History of Honey | Anna Kate Blair
At Arts, Letters & Numbers, Anna has been working on a piece of writing inspired by a bag of honeycomb found in the closet. This writing, presented as fragmented forms that follow the shards of honeycomb, will be presented in an installation that combines text with other organic and inorganic materials, looking at mythologies of honey alongside personal memories traced associatively. This writing looks at memory as a kind of honey, exploring stickiness and the strangeness of preservation.
XXX Neon Sign | Dan Thorpe
XXX Neon Sign is a cooked ride through Australian heterosexuality, as viewed via the unforgiving gaze of the porno-shop worker. Based on James Andre's eponymous epic poem, set in Brisbane's red-light district, musician/composer Dan Thorpe reflects on the way masculinity and heterosexuality have shaped his own desires, and sense of his own body.
Extending the knowledge-of-the-body II | Santana Dardot
This work approaches the relationship between the familiar and the forces of the outside world.
Clothes and textiles that once covered and protected us, in direct contact with our sensible inner world, are disposed and exposed in public spaces, drying for a new course of practice and potency.
Embedded with the memories of the effects of the living world on our equally alive body, they undress with longing another scene over the one that already existed.
Trees | Michelle Wan Lok Chan
A man is born gentle and weak.
At his death he is hard and stiff.
Green plants are tender and filled with sap.
At their death they are withered and dry.
Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death.
The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life.
- Lao Tzu
On Friday April 27th, designer and artist, in residence, Joyce Watkins King opened up her studio, showing works in progress of her touring exhibition Fast Fashion Fiasco. We truly wished her work around fabric - clothing - fashion, could have been created inside our old cotton mill. Joyce gracefully made the best of the situation, and in the House on the Hill (previously the cotton mill owners house) arranged her fabric and design studio (think lots and lots of denim), in which she worked on during her 4 weeks residency.
In Joyces work she strives to re-use thread, fabric and findings whenever possible, in opposition to the escalating trend of cheap fast fashion creation and consumption, with little regard for its consequences for growers, laborers, and our environment.
By the end of her stay she probably had the best knowledge of where to source used fabrics in the area, and she has been very supported by the community, engaging in her works.
On April 6th, 2018, visual artist and performer eDuard Helmbold invited the community into his studio at the House on the Hill, where he had spent the last three weeks as artist in residence. Opening his studio was part of his final installation/sculpture/performance of this residency:
“For the duration of the residency I set the task of [mis]reading 15 chapters of the Michael Craig Martin’s text: On Being an Artist (Art Books Publishing, 2015). These mis-readings involved searching for insights and reflections on art history and practice relating to the past and present. Each day’s reading resulted in a conceptual practice that directed my Actions for the day. Sometimes these actions came as a result of direct quotes, other times it was through decontextualizing and twisting words by placing nonsensical notions together, and using the Studio to bridge the gaps. These Actions took the form of drawing, sculpture, performance and experimentation.
The 11 Actions (or parts thereof) that are presented are therefore both works in/of progress and works in/of process:
Process that allowed for a practice to emerge
Process that affirmed this practice
Process that questioned this practice
Process that opened new avenues
Process that created space to be an artist
Action 11 the final action of this residency is Acknowledgement: As the community that creates space around the space for Arts Letters and Numbers to thrive you are invited into your/OUR space. I invite you, not to a mere “show and tell”, but to participate in the last Action of my residency; an Action that materializes the people who, through creating space, now being IN the space – influenced my practice irreversibly.”
As the audience were invited to participate in eDuard's work, the studio that had been his space for the last three weeks now seamlessly became a space for everyone. We thank eDuard for coming all the way from Australia to immerse himself in his artistic practice and in our community. We also want to thank Natalie Dietterich and Dan Thorpe who amazingly rounded off the event with performing each their pieces on violin and piano.
A residency at Arts Letters & Numbers is a different experience for every artist. The duration of time, the number of fellow residents, the events, the social gatherings, the weather, the focus, the interactions, the spaces.. One thing that keeps being the heart - witness of all meetings, discussions, thoughts, cooking and interactions is the House on the Hill.
On February 24th, 2018 the artists in residence at the House on the Hill opened up their spaces of work - To experiment with a process - A way of sharing their thoughts.
Each artist had found a way to occupy the place. To build their own spaces of intimacy in which they were able to create their work.
404 SOUND - Natalie Dietterich
ESPACES INVARIABLES - Justine Langella
A ROOM OF ONE'S OWN - Elisa Taber
KITCHEN - Frida Foberg
Photos by Kate Lovering
"Why is a question we all ask on a daily basis but realizing there’s no answer to some of those why’s can be easiest or the toughest thing for some. I started this work by just asking myself why and not looking for answers, but knowing I could possibly find answers." - capt.
On January 20th 2018, capt. showcased the work he had created during his time in residence, and engaged the audience in the question asking of: why.
capt. is from Pasadena, California and is the youngest child of James and Sharon Stovall. After playing college football and attempts to play pro football. capt. left everything and entered art school at the Art Institute of Philadelphia to study advertising. After some time in the cold he made his way to San Diego where he continued his studies in advertising eventually dropping out to focus full time on his practice. While drawing his entire life and becoming strong as a portrait artist, capt. turned his sights on painting wanting to be like the greats before him. His art reflects love, intellect, and childlike desire to have fun and be free.
Photos by Zelé Angelides
On Tuesday November 7th our Artist in Residence Asma Mahmood invited the community for an impromptu painting workshop. Through small exercises with oils for textural practice, Asma guided the way and gave the participants a sense of fearless painting and what it can reveal. The workshop was an opportunity to further interact with Asma about her artistic practice.
On September 27th 5 Artists in Residence exhibited their work, created over the last month, in the Barn, on the Field and in the Mill. The guests were guided through the exhibitions with each artist introducing their work and leading them to the next. It was a beautiful evening showing a diversity of techniques, colors & materials.
On Saturday September 16th one of our Artists in Residence, Jiangliu Dong, exhibited the works she had created during her stay at Arts Letters & Numbers. Jiangliu seeks to explore the comprehensive conversation between body, self, and identity. During her time at Arts Letters & Numbers she was deep in her work, carefully creating art of words, paints, fabrics and as a final act she introduced water..
Friday September 1st we invited everyone to join us for an evening exhibition around the House on the Hill: Under the tree, in the Barn and on the grass Field. The exhibition showed works created over two weeks by our residents Kirsty Badenoch, Yingting Cui, Emily Fitzell & James Rogers, see work descriptions below. Together with the artists, 30 people walked around the premise, explored installations, studied drawings and participated in creating artworks. The evening ended around the fire between the House on the Hill and the Barn and with further conversations about the artists’ work. This was the first Artist in Residence exhibition in Fall 2017.
On June 28th we hosted an evening of art and music. Paul and Erica opened up their studio where they had worked intensively for 2 weeks. Paul showed his paintings at the House on the Hill while Erica shared her music in the Barn.
On June 14th our Artist in Residence Julie Puma exhibited her work while Ruby Jayaseelan simultaneously performed an interpretation of Julie's work in the form of improvisational dance.
Wish You Were Here: Greetings from the Galapagos by Allison Maria Rodriguez
In her practice, Allison is consistently searching for methods and approaches that destabilize perceived ways of knowing and understanding the world. Her work at ALN includes a three-channel experiential video installation exploring climate change, species extinction and political agency that will be on exhibit. This piece navigates the unsteady terrain in between conservation and consumption, environmental advocacy and tourism, sustainability and exploitation. It intends to create an alternative space, providing the opportunity for an intimate moment that will ignite dialogue and encourage radical thinking about the current culture surrounding environmentalism.
There not There by Jessica Nichols
Jessica's work has lately been heading down an investigative road. She has been looking into social subjects at a national level, a local level, and also an individual level. Her work touches on topics that stem from her environment and research into our changing society, as well as from an internal, individual search for understanding oneself. There not There is a series of surrealist self portraits transferred onto raw wood materials sourced from ALN and surrounding environments. These photo-sculptures explore the human body in relation to spaces in nature, trying as we do, but inevitably failing to become one with the environment.
Pertinence by Zelé Angelides
Zelé is an artist from Johannesburg, South Africa. Her primary interest is to subvert the norms and values around women that are constructed and reinforced by Western main stream culture. For this body of work she has chosen to go back to traditional mark marking techniques. This series explores the taint of innocence, progression of pain which is learnt and stained in the female psyche derived from values and norms imposed onto the identity of woman. Initiating from a blank state of innocence at birth, through an evolution of circumstantial events which inflicts a tarnish which is held, transcended, transformed and manifests psychological histories which we then engage and react with in social discourse.
To talk for the angels by Agnès Aubague
For the last couple of weeks Agnès has been working closely with the birds in and around ALN's properties. Despite sensations of misunderstanding, her presence was accepted and her meeting with these American birds and their dialogue will be shown in video format. This film will be accompanied by a reading of her latest book Dictapoèmes Polyglottes I (in French, English, Spanish and language of birds). The book is composed from texts recorded with a dictaphone, and jumping from the alligator to the butterfly.
Flying Performance by Thomas Lanfranchi
Thomas deep interest in flying abstract volumes started already in the 90's. Since then he has traveled all over the world creating these majestic artifacts, solely made by scotch tape, plastic and nylon. The current object he is working on will flown in the air, surrounded by the beautiful scenery of Hidley Farm, and will be presented as a short film of this black form flying above the fields.
Photos © Zelé Angelides
Film © Thomas Lanfranchi