School of the Arts
Adam Birnbaum, jazz studies, led his trio in the debut program for Chelsea Music Festival’s Online Originals concert series, which premiered on April 29, 2021. Birnbaum curated a set of both standards and originals (some commissioned specifically for the concert), taking the listener through a narrative of his personal experiences in 2020 during the COVID pandemic. The full concert is available online via Chelsea Music Festival’s YouTube page.
Nancy Bowen, sculpture, created the installation Spectral Evidence, inspired by a true-life story of repentance by her colonial ancestor Samuel Sewall. One of the Salem Witch Trial judges, he was known for his public recantation of the witches’ guilt. Bowen created a sculptural installation where the 20 witches faced off their accuser. Bowen also made a suite of drawings in collaboration with the poet Elizabeth Willis, herself a descendant of one of the witches, for Willis’ poem The Witch. The exhibition opened at The Catskill Arts Society in May and at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum in October.
Stephen Buck, music, had some of his music featured in a film at the Cannes Film Festival in July 2021. He worked with the actor Bill Murray, cellist Jan Vogler, violinist Mira Wang, and pianist (and wife) Vanessa Perez on the concert documentary New Worlds: The Cradle of Civilization. The ensemble’s performance was filmed in June 2018 at the Herodes Atticus Amphitheater in Athens, Greece. The premiere was greeted with standing ovations, and the ensemble performed some additional encores live. Murray sang Buck’s arrangement of Christophe’s song “Aline” and the audience was inspired to do the wave!
Darrah Carr, dance, presented new choreographic work during the online international Dancer from the Dance festival, which was curated by John Scott of Dublin’s Irish Modern Dance Theatre and ran from July 5–9, 2021. During the summer, her company, Darrah Carr Dance, also performed in Emotion and Soul: A Short Film Festival (August 8–20), Irish American Writers and Artists Salon (May 11), and the New York City Irish Dance Festival (May 2). Carr presented her research during the upcoming Dance Studies Association Conference at Rutgers University from October 10-17, 2021.
Alexis Cole, music, released a new album, Sky Blossom: Songs from My Tour of Duty, on November 11, 2021. The album features big band arrangements written for Cole while she was a Staff Sergeant in the Army serving with the West Point Band. It will be released on Zoho, a Westchester-based international jazz label. It celebrates the history of jazz as an American art form, and also closes with “American Anthem,” a patriotic song that President Biden mentioned in his inauguration. In 2020, inspired by online teaching during the pandemic, Cole founded JazzVoice.com, an online educational community featuring instruction by some of the biggest names in Jazz vocals. Now the business has expanded, and Kira Goidel ’18 (jazz studies), founder of the student-led Purchase Jazz Club, was hired as the company’s first employee. Goidel is currently pursuing her masters at University of North Texas, and has worked at Birdland in the years after her graduation. Cole was artistic director of the inaugural Vocal Jazz Summit, held in April 2021. Hosted by Zeiders American Dream Theater in Virginia Beach, the event brings together singers from amateur enthusiasts to students and professionals for an educational and entertaining weekend of inspiration. Virtually presented in its first year, it will be hosted in person from April 8–10, 2022, and along with workshops and jams, will feature concerts by Grammy®-winning vocalist Kurt Elling, Cole, and Samara Joy ’21 (jazz studies), whose success as winner of the Sarah Vaughan Competition has skyrocketed her career. Visit www.alexiscole.com.
Melissa Forstrom, arts management, is editor of an anthology recently published: Museum Innovation: Building More Equitable, Relevant, and Impactful Museums (Routledge, 2021), which encourages museums to critically reflect upon current practices, adopt new approaches to their civic responsibilities, and explore the role of contemporary museums in society. It is essential reading for academics, students, and practitioners working in the museum and heritage studies field. The book’s interdisciplinary nature makes it an interesting read for those working in business studies, digital humanities, visual culture, arts administration, and political science fields.
Ryan Homsey ’07, studio composition, composed and recorded a 16-minute, site-specific work entitled Red Thread/Briefly Gorgeous for solo xylophone and electronics that was commissioned and choreographed by Professor Jason Ohlberg (Purchase alumnus) with support from the Skidmore College Departments of Music and Dance for outdoor student performances on April 23–24, 2021 near Haupt Pond on the Skidmore campus. Audio programming and production elements— including atmospheric soundscapes derived from the process of granular synthesis, reverse playback, and loop pedals—were created by Adam Scott ’07, MM ’09. The title comes from Ocean Vuong’s novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.
Aaron Krach MFA ’12, printmaking, curated a series of outdoor art installations with Purchase faculty and alumni. ArtPath 2021 featured large concrete sculptures from Rachel Owens (sculpture), an audio installation by Monique Boutin MFA ’20 and several assemblage sculptures from Margaret Rizzio MFA ’12. The works were spread along the Glade Path in Buck Hill Falls, PA, summer 2021.
Cynthia Lin, painting and drawing, received a City Artist Corps Grant from The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) that resulted in participation in Arts in Bushwick Open Studios in Queens, NY on September 17-19, 2021.
Patrick Mohundro, art+design, had his project, P.A.D. (Project Art Distribution), hosted at Galerie Christine Mayer in Munich, with a mention in the South Germany Times. Curator Sophia Ma also wrote a feature about the project on artspeil. org. Run by artists and organized by Mohundro, P.A.D. “hosts day-long outdoor exhibitions on versatile packing 72x80” pads,” writes Ma. “Lacking barriers in more than one way, the sidewalk gallery provides the public, the artists, the curators, and the organizational collaborators a welcomed openness to art and discussion. The project creates an ongoing network that ever-expands its community.” Visit instagram.com/project_art_distribution.
Lenka Pichlíková, theatre and performance, gave a webinar on August 31 for the Ridgefield, CT, Public Library on the pedagogical career of Michael Chekhov. Pichlíková is the dramaturg of the Ridgefield Michael Chekhov Theatre Festival. She attended the annual international conference of MICHA, the Michael Chekhov Association, during June 2021, focusing on topics relating to her Purchase courses. On August 17, she gave a master class to students of the Connecticut Ballet on mime techniques and the use of mime in ballet. On November 2, she presented a video about teaching acting techniques at Purchase for DAMU (Theatre Faculty) in Prague. Pichlíková was an invited guest at the premier of the Lin-Manuel Miranda film, In the Heights, in New York City, June 10.
Edward Pomerantz, screenwriting, wrote and directed the short film La Comida, which was chosen as Best Short Film from the United States at the Krimson Horyzon International Film Festival, in Bengal, India. Other credits for the short include a nomination for Best Short Film, Western European Independent Film Festival, Brussels, Belgium and finalist, Best Short Film, Beyond The Curve International Film Festival in Paris, France. With Pomerantz as screenwriter, Real Love was a finalist for Best Feature Screenplay at the Beyond The Curve International Film Festival in Paris. Man Running was finalist, Best Feature Screenplay at the Beyond the Curve International Film Festival in Paris. I Hate When it Gets Dark So Early, the short film he wrote and directed starring Rebecca Luker and Howard McGillin, was an Official Selection at the Indie Shorts Awards Film Festival in Cannes.
Amanda Thackray, printmaking, had a solo exhibition, Surface Tension, which presents the artist’s handmade paper installations, prints, and sculpture that comment on plastic pollution and the fragility of the marine environment. The exhibition reflects and distorts the natural world of our oceans inside the gallery space. Through Thackray’s allegorical environments, the exhibition asks the audience to consider the consequences of unnatural materials in our marine ecosystems. She extends the shift into the aquatic world with her paper pulp net pieces, crafting them to resemble fishing nets and plastic material adrift in our oceans. In the artist’s installations is an intentional, and somewhat uncomfortable, play between the natural and the unnatural. Her pieces are purposeful symbols of how we can choose to do things differently and create with nature, instead of working against it. Surface Tension was on view at New Jersey City University Galleries in Jersey City from September 3–October 29, 2021.
Laura Kaminsky, classical composition, had recent productions of her opera As One, the most-produced contemporary opera, open across the U.S., Spain, England, Sweden, and Canada. Her 2021 recording, Fantasy: Oppens Plays Kaminsky, was released to positive reaction, including in the respected International Piano: “an exciting, compelling release by leading American composer Laura Kaminsky; (her music) is loosely tonal or modal, quirkily rhythmic with suggestions of jazz, and highly personal. It is immensely appealing.” Alluvion was commissioned by the American Pianists Awards for its 2021 competition. And Hometown to the World premieres at Santa Fe Opera in December 2021.
Anita Yavich, theatre design/technology, had costume designs in two exhibitions: Showstoppers! Spectacular Costumes From Stage & Screen at 234 West 42nd Street until the end of October, with all proceeds raising money for the Costume Industry Coalition Recovery Fund, and The Big Squeeze: The Corset as Art, an exhibition that celebrates costume designers and makers, on view September 14 to November 28, 2021. Shown in the lobby of 10 Times Square, the exhibition features wearable art, photography, and projections showing creative work from 13 different countries.
School of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Ryan D. Andrews, liberal studies, published an ebook titled Swole Planet: Building a Better Body and a Better Earth. Swole Planet is a guide to help people build a body that’s functional and fit, while at the same time building a planet that is more sustainable and equitable. Details can be found at ryandandrews.com.
Anthony Domestico, literature, published an essay on the fiction of Joy Williams in The Atlantic as well as a review of Francisco Goldman’s Monkey Boy in Commonweal.
Ursula Heinrich, liberal studies, has completed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Teaching and Learning Certificate with distinction from the SUNY Center for Professional Development.
Nicole Helregel, library, published a chapter in the 2021 edited volume Teaching about Fake News, published by the Association of College and Research Libraries. On June 24, 2021, Helregel gave a presentation at the Workshop for Instruction in Library Use: “Envisioning course assignments with information literacy in mind.” On June 18, 2021, Helregel presented a lightning talk at the State University of New York Librarians Association (SUNYLA) Annual Conference: “Growing an Academic Library Book Club: Strategies for In-Person and Virtual Contexts.”
Allyson Jackson, environmental studies, had “Differential reliance on aquatic prey subsidies influences mercury exposure in riparian arachnids and songbirds” published in the journal Ecology and Evolution, March 2021.
Allison Kahn, communications and entrepreneurship in the arts, published “Existential Questions for 2021” in The New Yorker, September 4, 2021; “Are You in an ‘Inter-Intimate’ Relationship” in The New York Times, July 24, 2021; and all of the following on CNN from February to August 2021: “Make Cuomo’s resignation a turning point for accountability,” “Don’t fall into the nuclear family trap: All kids need is love,” “How to create a gender-inclusive environment for our kid,” “Carl Nassib’s openness flips the script,” “How a $5.95 dress can change a kid’s life,” “Beverly Cleary’s Ramona is a force for all us beautiful pests,” “Arkansas governor’s surprising veto of anti-trans law lasted one day,” “Should you tell people you got the Covid-19 vaccine? Here’s what to consider,” “Do we really need pants? And other lessons from a pandemic year,” “Potato Head is getting with the times. So should Congress,” “How the Covid-19 pandemic has changed our sense of mortality,” “Losing our sense of control during the pandemic,” and “What’s your gender? I prefer not to say.”
Elise Lemire, literature, reports that former Secretary of State John Kerry described Lemire’s third book, Battle Green Vietnam: The 1971 March on Concord, Lexington, and Boston (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021) as “a citizen’s handbook on the importance of active participation in our democracy,” while Publishers Weekly calls her account of how Vietnam veterans used the memorialized American landscape to protest the war in which they had served a “well-told deep dive [that] packs in plenty of rewards.”
Shaka McGlotten, media studies, was named to an Advisory Board for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to help with reimagining its organization. As a blogger-in-residence for the experimental writing platform futurefeed, in July–August, they published a suite of short writing called “Ima Put a Computational Hex on You.” In August, they delivered a version of this research on algorithms, queerness, and witchcraft as a keynote for Royal Holloway University of London and the University of Brighton. Also in August, Data & Society published a dialogue with McGlotten and Meredith Clark, “Moving Through Molasses,” during which they reflect on experience at Data & Society during a global pandemic. The dialogue invokes the challenges of adapting to the existential and emotional fatigue of incessant telepresence interfaces, performative intellectual labor, and the need to balance a professional career amidst ongoing collapse.
Usha Rungoo, literature and language and culture, has an article, “Creolization Otherwise: Centering the Local (Inter)Textualities of Ananda Devi’s Pagli,” forthcoming in the PMLA, one of the most prestigious journals in literary studies. She was also awarded the Dr. Nuala McGann Drescher Leave Award for Spring 2022 from the New York State/United University Professions Joint Labor-Management Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Additionally, her non-fiction creative writing piece, “The Song of Life,” was recently shortlisted for the 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize for Life Writing, an international prize receiving entries from across the globe.
Paul Siegel, psychology, published a clinical psychology study in Biological Psychiatry, co-authored by his former senior project mentee and then research coordinator, Richard Warren ’12 (psychology). The study demonstrated the mechanism by which unconscious exposure to phobic stimuli reduces fear in highly phobic persons. Warren is currently a PhD candidate in the neurobiology program of Columbia University. Biological Psychiatry is among the highest ranked journals in the neurosciences, and among the 250 highest ranked journals across the sciences.
Peggy Stafford, playwriting and screenwriting, had a short film, 16 Words or Less, make the festival circuit with Official Selection in festivals including the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival, NYC Indie Theatre Film Festival, Boden International Film Festival (award for Best First Short Film), Port Townsend Film Festival, Coney Island Film Festival, Vancouver Independent Film Festival (finalist, Best International Narrative Short), Rome Independent Prisma Awards, Montreal Independent Film Festival, LA Indies (First Time Filmmaker award), Durgapur International Film Festival (Best Short Film award), Cotswold International Film Festival, Brooklyn Women’s Film Festival, Australia Independent Film Festival (semi-finalist, Best Short Film), and New York Independent Cinema Awards.
Ling Zhang, cinema studies, recently published “Gender, Ethnicity and Socialist Modernity: Journey Narrative and Road Mode in Five Golden Flowers,” in the Journal of Chinese Women’s Studies, No. 4, 2021, 32-46. Zhang was invited to give a talk via Zoom, “Spectral Voice and Operatic Atmosphere: Audiovisual Aesthetic in Spring in a Small Town (1948),” at the University of Colorado-Boulder on February 3, 2021. Zhang was invited to virtually present “Flag of Peace: Chinese-Latin American Cultural Diplomacy and Mid-Twentieth Century Internationalism” at the Diverse Destinations: Travel and Cultural Diplomacy in the mid-Twentieth Century seminar at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile on September 3, 2021, and “Sonic ‘National Style’ in Socialist Chinese Animation Films” virtually at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology on March 8, 2021.