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Showing posts from July, 2016

In Memoriam: Composer Charles Bestor

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VCCA has recently learned of the death of composer Charles Bestor who died in on January 16, 2016 at the age of 92.

A graduate of Swarthmore (Phi Beta Kappa), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Charles held a doctorate from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Charles also studied with Paul Hindemith at Yale University and Vincent Persichetti and Peter Menin at the Juilliard School and independently, with Vladimir Ussachevsky. He served in the Navy during World War II.
Charles began his teaching career at the Juilliard School in 1958. Acting as the Julliard Orchestra manager he accompanied the orchestra on their State Department sponsored European tour, joined by his wife, Ann and their three sons. He then moved on to the University of Colorado at Boulder and from there he became the dean of the music school at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon and head of music at the University of Alabama and the University of Utah where he received commissions from the Utah Sympho…

NEA-Supported Writer Anna Stull Speaks about her Experiences in Iraq

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A medically retired Captain in the Army Nurse Corps, writer Anna Stull came to VCCA on a fellowship funded by the NEA supporting military veteran artists. Anna is writing a memoir of her experiences deployed to Abu Ghraib Prison in 2006 and as Saddam Hussein’s nurse while detailed to the Iraqi High Tribunal Court during the Al-Anfal Trial.

Anna began writing soon after her return from Iraq as a form of therapy. Over the course of three years as she wrote, she gained clarity about what she had been through. Once she realized, it’s okay; I’m okay, as opposed to, I’m still wounded, she felt able to move into a more didactic mind frame and begin writing in a serious way about her experiences. “In the beginning, I was nervous about putting anything in print that had anything to do with my co-workers,” she says. “And then I realized, I’m not writing about them; it’s my story and I’m writing about events. I figured out a way that makes it possible for me to address what I need to address and …

Gwenessa Lam Explores Memory and Perception

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Visual artist Gwenessa Lam explores what triggers memory and the nature of perception. She is also interested in how disaster images are made and disseminated. Having worked on a series that dealt with Syria and the Arab Spring, she wanted to do something that is closer to home. Quite literally. 
“House fires are something everyone is exposed to no matter where you live," she says. " "They’re often neglected in relation to larger issues, like a terrorist bombing, but if it happens to you, or someone you know, the effects can be as devastating. House fires are both ubiquitous and yet highly personal events. They make you think about what constitutes home and what happens when it’s taken away—how very much more significant it becomes.”
Gwenessa spent the majority of her eight-week residency working on just one painting. She works in oil and her technique is laborious: she slowly builds up her image through successive layers of glazes that must be applied when the surface is…

Guest Blog: Repost from s [r] blog – The Online Literary Magazine at Arizona State University by Barbara Crooker

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First, let me tell you about the room I don’t have, the one at home. I’m the mother of a son with autism, now 32, and my work space is a corner of the dining room, where I can be at the computer and still see the short bus when it arrives. My “desk” is a book bag, highly portable. My actual books are in book cases scattered throughout the house. And my work day is fragmented, too—we have to provide transportation for him now that he’s out of school, plus there are household tasks, doctor appointments, trips to the gym. . . .I’ve got a yard full of perennials and a vegetable garden, which need my attention. My work day is also rife with interruptions—the doorbell, the phone, my beloved husband wandering in to read me items from the newspaper (which I’ve already read). And there are the other parts of caregiving: making up med sets, running a behavior modification program, cooking gluten and dairy-free meals; in general, I “run” things— But I also try to engage in the written word, even…