KOI Collective was formed in August 2018 by three liked-minded composers from Oberlin Conservatory – Soomin Kim, Kari Watson and Natsumi Osborn – and works to promote and celebrate women, trans and non-binary composers through collaborative projects and community outreach.
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.
To mark the end of his eight weeks in Residence at Arts Letters & Numbers, Rashaun J. Allen delivered a public reading of his work, sharing two chapters from his memoir. The reading and lively discussion offered a vivid insight into his life and work, and his approach to the craft of writing. The evening was capped off by a beautiful musical collaboration by current artists in residency, Ellie MacPhee, Elizabeth Kate Hall-Keough and Michelle Wan Lok Chan. Click below and check out the wonderful moments!
It was lightly snowing with a small bonfire outside. Through the window an ambient light was coming out, and the visitors slowly took their seats towards a little chest by the window. Three people holding papers perched on the chest in turn, and started to recite their writings calmly. On October 26th, 2018, we had a full house for an evening of readings by Laurin DeChae, Adam Tedesco, and Rebecca Wolff. Within each voice, poetry, prose and essay were shared, and the visitors traveled in the stories of sounds.
Laurin DeChae is a PhD candidate in Composition & Rhetoric at SUNY Albany, acting as the editor-in-chief for Barzakh Magazine. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of New Orleans. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Harpur Palate, Animal Literary, Pretty Owl Poetry and elsewhere.
Adam Tedesco is an editor of REALITY BEACH, a journal of new poetics. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Laurel Review, Gramma Weekly, Prelude, Pouch, Powderkeg, Fanzine, Fence, and elsewhere. His video work has been exhibited at MoMA PS1 among other venues. He is the author of several chapbooks, most recently ABLAZA (Lithic Press, 2017), as well as the forthcoming titles Misrule (Usrus Americanus Press, 2019), and Mary Oliver (Lithic Press, 2019).
Rebecca Wolff is the author of four books of poems, one novel, and numerous pieces of nonfiction prose. She is the editor of Fence and the publisher of the Constant Critic. She lives in Hudson, NY, and is currently seeking meaningful employment . . .
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, Jenny Zander, Dan Thorpe, Michelle Wan Lok Chan, Augustine Cordero & Betsey Gravatt, 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.
Performance and Body Art Installation
Among the shadows we shed our false skins, revealing our true selves. Through the movement and masking of body, this performance explores a piece of one’s real persona. In and out of light, alive with color.
Contact Improv and Body Art
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."
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.
Led by Michael Harrison, Sam Torres, Sophia Subbayya Vastek, the Creative Music Intensive at Arts Letters & Numbers was a week-long session dedicated to discovering and developing individual voices as creative artists. The participants and faculty presented a culminating concert in the House on the Hill, February 10, 2018 which included new works, group and solo performances, and improvisations.
Anyone who has ever been to Arts Letters & Numbers knows the importance of our local community. There is an honest and deep trust and care that has been built over the years, and they keep their engagement and welcomeness to each and everyone who spends time at Arts Letters & Numbers. For an artist in residence, like Justine Langella, the influence of this warm community can be bigger than expected. Spending 8 weeks in residence, in wintertime, Justine built strong bounds to the community, fellow artists in residence as well as session participants. Over the course of time her body of work gradually became the community, and the community became her body of work.
One of the works Justine developed during her time in residence was Ecran de Veille, where she combined her deep interest in traditional family dinners and the experience of our community. This performative mixed media installation was show on February 4th, 2018:
écran de veille : séquence d'instruction cyclique qui éprouve des difficultés à se déterminer
screen saver : cyclic sequence of instructions that has difficulty determining itself
a performed installation by Justine Langella
music by Adrien Degioanni
with : Diane, Rob, Bryce, Rebecca, Christina, Michelle, Natasha, Billy, John, Rikke, Frances
Performed Installation - 47min - 2018
Video © Justine Langella
Photos by: Zelé Angelides
"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 Saturday October 28th we welcomed a number of leaders from the many arts and cultural organizations in the Capital Region to Arts Letters & Numbers Tasting. With this event, we opened our doors to the extended creative community around us: to share our experiences and spaces, and to begin and continue the conversation about how we can best foster collaboration and contribute to the vibrant arts and cultural communities growing in the region.
On October 12th - 14th, 2017, Dr. Krysta Dennis Votes for Women was performed in the House on the Hill, as a collaboration between Arts Letters & Numbers, Siena College Creative Arts Department and Sand Lake Center for the Arts. The performance brought the past and the House on the Hill alive, as the audience members found themselves in the middle of a suffrage march and lead was through the intimate moments from suffrage movement.
SAUCE was a 3-day celebration of Soul, Motown, Funk, Swing, and Blues organized by our friends Joshua Fialkoff and Bryan Brundige. Arts Letters & Numbers hosted the late night dance on Saturday September 30th, where the tunes were accompanied by an edible installation made by Frida Foberg, Merethe Bahn Trolle, Josephine Saabye & Zubin Singh.
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..
Director David Gersten was recently honored to deliver a Keynote address at UNICEF’s EXPO 2017 held in Astana, Kazakhstan. Expo 2017, gathered well over one hundred nations sharing projects and ideas within the theme of ‘Future Energy’, with UNICEF focusing on ‘Advancing the Rights of Children through Innovation’.