Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Commission 2015 Artists Brice Brown and Alan Shockley

Although The Commission 2015 will remain
under wraps until May 9, we are delighted to announce the winning artists. They are visual artist Brice Brown and composer Alan Shockley. For those of you who don’t know Brice and Alan, here is some biographical information.

Brice was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and currently lives in New York City. He received his BA from Dartmouth College and an MFA from Pratt Institute, and he also studied at the Chautauqua School of Art. 

Brice works across a broad range of media. In his work, he explores the instability of the objects and environments we encounter by focusing on moments of transformation between states of being. He
has exhibited nationally and internationally. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Artnews, artcritical and The Village Voice, among others. He has held residencies at Yaddo, VCCA and the Vermont Studio Center, and has been a visiting artist/lecturer at Dartmouth College, Carnegie Mellon University, Williams College and Drew University. 

Brice’s work is in public collections include the International Collage Center at Mount Holyoke College, Speed Art Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Swope Art Museum, and Yale University. Recent and upcoming solo exhibitions include installations at Margaret Thatcher Projects, New York, and Air Circulation Gallery in Brooklyn, and works on view in the Chautuaqua Institute Sculpture Garden.

From 2006-2010 Brice founded and edited, with Trevor Winkfield, The Sienese Shredder, an annual arts journal bringing together visual arts, poetry and fiction. He is currently co-editing another arts journal with Trevor Winkfield, titled Tether, which will be launched May 2015. 

Raised in tiny Warm Springs, Georgia (population 475), Alan Shockley holds degrees in
composition and theory from the University of Georgia, Ohio State and Princeton University (MFA, PhD). 

In addition to VCCA, Alan has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Italy’s Centro Studi Ligure, and France’s CAMAC, among others.  

Recent commissions include I feel open to… for the California E.A.R. Unit, a virtuosic solo work for flutist John Barcellona, and an as-yet-untitled work for violin, cello, and piano for Trio Terroir.  Alan’s electronic works have been installed in Jack Straw Studio’s New Media Gallery (Seattle), Minneapolis’ Weisman Art Museum, in VertexList Gallery (Brooklyn), the Electronic Music Foundation (Manhattan) and played all over the world as part of Vox Novus’ 60x60 Project.  

These days Alan’s works are often experiments in musical form—attempts at tailoring the form to the material, resulting in a unique shape for each piece, and one that the composer hopes “works” in a strange and individual way.  He’s currently Director of Composition/Theory and an associate professor in the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. 

The winning The Commission team is awarded residencies at VCCA to help them with the project. Brice and Alan will be in residence in May to prepare the piece ahead of its installation: Brice: April 20–May 11; Alan: May 5-10.

We are very excited to see their piece: Glass and Bridle, Pomegranate and Pears: On the Viability and Transience of a Free and Perfect Union installed at Adventure Farm! For information and tickets for the event:

Susan Pashman’s "Upper West Side Story" to be published in May by

Susan Pashman’s second novel, Upper West Side Story, will be published in May by Harvard Square Editions both as a paperback and eBook.
Susan began the novel almost fourteen years ago at VCCA; she continued to work on it during a subsequent residency. 
Susan writes, “Of course, I haven't been at work on this book for a full fourteen years. During this time period, I designed and built a house, landscaped my property, spent five years at Harvard getting certified as a landscape historian and designer, spent another year earning an M.A. in Landscape History, and then another year completing a doctoral dissertation in Landscape Aesthetics at Stony Brook University, SUNY and have published many new stories and essays. But I am most rewarded by this new publication, so long in the making. Thank you to VCCA for starting me off with the gift of time and the perfect place.”

Friday, February 20, 2015

Gerald Cohen's "L'dor VaDor" Debuts at Avery Fisher Hall

The world premiere of Gerald Cohen's "L'dor VaDor" will occur at Avery Fisher Hall on Sunday, March 22 at 4:00 PM.

The choral piece will be performed by the International Jewish High School Choir, HaZamir. Gerald will be playing the piano, which will be his performing debut at Avery Fisher.

HaZamir brings together young people from the United States and Israel, who have been rehearsing in their own communities, for a concert each year in New York. There will be more than 300 young people performing in the chorus.

Gibson and Recoder’s "Light Spill" in Ireland

Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder’s installation Light Spill at the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, Ireland (part of the Plastik Festival) features a running 16mm film projector from which film unspools onto the ground.

The piece is oddly unsettling: we feel the absence of the projectionist and the relentlessness of the machine that continues its mad course despite the tangle of celluloid piling up on the floor. It’s a witty metaphor for things unraveling and running amok with a potent reference, in particular, to the “death of cinema."

Practitioners of “expanded cinema” Sandra and Luis have collaborated since 2000 producing numerous installations and performances that make full use of the visual, mechanical and conceptual qualities of film projection.

Catherine Courtenaye to Give TEDx Talk

Catherine Courtenaye reports that she has been invited to speak at the TEDx Talk at the University of Montana, in Missoula, on February 20. This TEDx Talk theme is language and will feature 17 speakers from many disciplines. Catherine is the only visual artist included in the program and will address how and why she uses language in her painting.

Catherine uses various digital and printmaking processes to incorporate examples from 19th century American penmanship manuals, arithmetic workbooks and handwritten ephemera into her paintings.

She first became interested in writing “many years ago, while reading through some antiquarian documents, I was struck by how single pen strokes in 19th century manuscripts can conjure an era so keenly.” Catherine’s work allows her to combine her interests in American cultural history, literature with formal issues of stroke and texture.