The University at Buffalo’s Creative Arts Initiative (CAI) has announced its 2018-19 artists-in-residence. It’s an impressive list of nationally and internationally renowned artists, that have been chosen by initiative co-directors SUNY Distinguished Professors David Felder (Birge-Cary Professor of Music), and Bruce Jackson (James Agee Professor of American Culture) – the two work closely with art institutions and foundations throughout Buffalo to ensure that key relationships are struck, resulting in dynamic working relationships that benefit UB students, professors, and Buffalo as a whole. The end result is an fortified creative arts scene, infused with outside talents that inspire performances, teachings, relations
This year’s artists-in-residence are:
Award-winning theater artists Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone, together known as 600 Highwaymen, will develop a new piece titled “Manmade Earth” during their residency. Browde and Silverstone incorporate audience participation into their work; in fact, every attendee is encouraged to take part in the performance. “Manmade Earth” examines the evolution of society and how people come together to create what they could not create alone. The 600 Highwaymen residency runs will be developed in conjunction with Torn Space Theater, where they performed their play, “The Fever” in 2017. Dates: Sept. 10-17, and Oct. 17-Nov. 3, 2018.
Duo Axis, comprised of flutist/composer Zach Sheets and pianist Wei-Han Wu, will present a concert that examines the nature of playing as a duet and will feature the works of composers Anthony Vine and Sheets, as well as Tonia Ko, Eric Wubbels and David Felder. Sheets will also work with Matthew Chamberlain (PhD candidate in music composition at UB) during the residency, examining Chamberlain’s innovative research on notational models and algorithmic composition. UB composition students can interact with Duo Axis through a reading session and office hours, and performance program students can take advantage of music coaching. Sheets and Wu will also present their project to Buffalo String Works, which works with the refugee community in the Buffalo area. Dates: Nov. 2018.
Sam Van Aken, an award-winning contemporary artist, professor of sculpture at Syracuse University and creator of the “Tree of 40 Fruit Project,” will be in residency Aug. 29-Dec. 14. His practice of grafting buds from a variety of antique, heirloom and native fruit trees onto the branches of a single tree, has resulted in unique hybrids that bear different kinds of stone fruit, from peaches and plums, to cherries and almonds. The residency will allow Van Aken to interact with other artists in the field of bio arts, and work with professionals and UB students to develop an urban orchard in Buffalo’s Fruit Belt neighborhood.
Photographer and UB alumus Martin Kruck will be in residency Sept. 1-30 when he will photograph and produce a series of 9- by 16-foot woodcut prints of the intake gates of the Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Power Station in Niagara County, New York. During the residency, Kruck and Adele Henderson, professor in UB’s Department of Art, will lead a workshop in relief print production at the Center for the Arts print media lab. Students can visit Kruck at the lab and observe the work in progress; engage in practical, technical or career-related discussions; and assist in the drawing, carving and printing of the production pieces.
Documentary filmmaker Valery Lyman has photographed and recorded the sights and sounds of life in the Bakken region of North Dakota during its recent oil industry boom. She then developed an immersive art experience called “Breaking Ground,” in which she projects the images against industrial relics as ambient sounds play in the background. During her CAI residency, which goes from Aug. 1-Oct. 10, Lyman will delve into the history of Buffalo, including its old steel mills, factories, grain elevators, locks and other leftovers from the city’s industrial past. The new footage will then be incorporated into the artist’s collection of boom-and-bust images and displayed against the backdrop of Silo City.
Soprano Dory Hayley and pianist Manuel Laufer, the Hayley-Laufer Duo, will be in residency at UB twice in Spring 2019. The artists’ voice-and-piano repertoire includes lively compositions from the 20th and 21st centuries, and they often commission new works from young, innovative composers. During their residencies, the artists will present two public concerts of contemporary work for voice and piano, including pieces created by UB student composers. Hayley and Laufer will also engage with students and other members of the UB community through workshops, readings and open rehearsals.
The residency of Bessie-award winning performer/choreographer Kimberly Bartosik will focus on the development of her choreographic project with the working title “I hunger for you (1- 2)”. She describes this work as “the culmination of my extensive examination into faith, ecstasy, and violence within specific, radical religious practices.” Her residency, which runs Jan. 13-28, will include three other dancers with whom Bartosik collaborates. UB students will be invited to engage in the development of new materials and interact with the four artists through master classes. The work developed will be presented to the UB community.
Helen Simoneau, a choreographer who has received work commissions from the Juilliard School and was a resident artist at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in Manhattan, will be in residency Mar. 3-23. She hopes to demystify the choreographic process for UB students and the larger Buffalo dance community by involving them in each stage of her process as she creates a new dance work. Dancers are collaborators in her process and Simoneau herself often performs solos of the works to understand them from the dancer’s point of view. Her master classes and workshops are open to undergraduates and graduate students as well as the local dance community.
The mind behind the highly decorative, wildly colorful wearable fabric sculptures known as Soundsuits, sculptor/performance artist Nick Cave (lead image – photo by Brendan Bannon), will be joining the residency program. His work aims to bring people from different backgrounds, neighborhoods and cultures together to celebrate art and life. The project he’ll be working on during his residency, “Plenty,” is being coordinated by C. S. 1 Curatorial Projects in concert with 13 other organizations, and will include a series of artistic experiences — like creating floats, dances and other performance — as a group. Students, artists, dancers and community members will be invited to participate and “Plenty” will conclude in the summer of 2020 with a parade featuring the artistic works created during Cave’s residency. Dates: To-be-determined.
Photo Credits: 600 Highwaymen photo by Tei Blow; Nick Cave photo by Brendan Bannon; Helen Simoneau photo by Anna Lee Campbell; all other photos courtesy of the artists