The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

“Closing Conversations” presents four new interdisciplinary works at The Oxbow Gallery

“Closing Conversations” presents four new interdisciplinary works at The Oxbow Gallery from January to April 2016.

Artists of different media (music, poetry and dance) will be invited to view an Oxbow artist’s work, create a response, and present it during the closing week of the respective show.

For example, the January show at the gallery will showcase visual art by Diane Harr. Writer and musician, George Lenker, will view the art and conceive a response inspired by what he has seen and experienced. He will then present his original creations to an audience while surrounded by the very art that inspired him.

With this program, we hope to create new liaisons across media, encourage viewers of visual art to experience work in new ways, and invite a wider range of visitors to our gallery.

"Closing Conversations” will create an opportunity for members of the Northampton community to witness creative process and response, and to experience first-hand how artists inspire and fuel each other in supportive, exciting and unique ways. The series will also provide the artists involved and the audience members with the chance to view how visual and time-based art forms are both similar and different; and how common themes and motivations can create distinct and divergent artworks.

The direct response aspect of this project will appeal to many new artists, and hence will create a new audience that can impact Northampton both culturally and economically.

FRIDAY, January 29 at 7pm: Musician and Writer George Lenker performs in response to the paintings of Diane Harr

Diane Harr's current work in the front gallery is inspired by bejeweled Madonna paintings that she saw while living in Italy, and her work is largely influenced by Italian, particularly Roman, architecture. George Lenker is a musician, poet, and writer who writes and records music across many genres, which includes the 2012 CD "If Dogs Could Sing," a collection of songs written from dogs' point of view, to benefit rescue animals. He has played both solo and in various groups, including the popular 1980s band Cardiac Kids.

THURSDAY, February 25 at 7pm: Musician Tom Crean performs in response to the pastel drawings of Janet Palin

For the last 15 years, Janet Palin has made annual trips to the Southwest to teach and paint plein air landscapes. She feels most at home in the western landscape and so, during the winter months, she works indoors in her studio with material brought back from these trips. Tom Crean is a composer, performer, and educator whose areas of interest include appropriation, electronics, and performance in public and unconventional spaces. Tom Crean's Guitar Journal podcast ended its ten years of publication in 2014, and a book Tom Crean's Guitar Journal: A Life Described Through Music was published in 2015. Learn more here:

SATURDAY, March 19 at 7pm: Movement Artist Terre Vandale performs in response to the paintings of Kathleen Jacobs

Kathleen Jacobs' paintings are collected internationally and are included in corporate and private collections in the United States, Europe, and South America. She teaches painting and is the founder of the Blueway Art Alliance, a non-profit arts organization that collaborates with other arts organizations to promote emerging and established artists. See images of her work here: Terre Unité Vandale is a dance artist who creates interactive, movement-based performance and video in response to lived experience, visual artworks, and natural environments. She now directs the Movement Arts Ensemble (Mae) and teaches movement workshops for children and adults of all ages. Learn more here:

FRIDAY, April 22 at 7pm: Dancer/Choreographers Margaret Bowrys and Beth Znosko perform in response to the drawings and paintings of Marlene Rye
Marlene Rye's work has been shown nationally and has been accepted into shows juried by curators from the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Guggenheim. This is not the first time dancers have created responses to her work, and vice versa. In fact, Margaret Bowrys has been bringing dance into interdisciplinary collaborations with local artists, including Rye. Bowrys recent work, Essential Voyage, is a collaboration with sculptor Valerie Gilman, and culminated in a full size sculpture at the base of the old maple tree on Amherst Common. Beth Znosko is the artistic director of the New Haven based dance company Collaborative Dance Theatre (formally Clark Dance Theatre). She has performed throughout Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Northampton Arts Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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