Arts & Culture

WesSukkah Houses 5th Year of Sukkot Festivities at Wesleyan

The Wesleyan Sukkah (WesSukkah), is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month while providing a dwelling for Wesleyan's Jewish community to celebrate the festival of Sukkot. For eight days, students study, socialize, mediate, eat, host events and occasionally sleep in the religious building.

The Wesleyan Sukkah (WesSukkah), is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month while providing a dwelling for Wesleyan’s Jewish community to celebrate the festival of Sukkot. For eight days, students study, socialize, mediate, eat, host events and occasionally sleep in the religious building.

WesSukkah, pictured here on Oct. 7, is a temporary structure located on the lawn of Olin Library.

WesSukkah, pictured here on Oct. 7, is a temporary structure located on the lawn of Olin Library.

Wesleyan Employees Artwork on Display in Usdan

Several Wesleyan staff members are displaying their artwork in the Ring Family Lobby gallery this month at Usdan University Center. The show represents a small slice of creative works by Wesleyan employees.

Several Wesleyan staff members are displaying their artwork in the Ring Family Lobby gallery this month at Usdan University Center. The show represents a small slice of creative works by Wesleyan employees.

Ali McFadzen, department assistant for the Financial Aid Office, is displaying a photograph of College Row titled Campus Flare.

Ali McFadzen, department assistant for the Financial Aid Office, is displaying a photograph of South College and Memorial Chapel at sunrise titled “Campus.”

Eiko Performs “A Body in a Station”

The New York Times featured a new performance by Visiting Instructor in Dance Eiko Otake, the first she has conceived and performed without Koma, her husband and artistic partner. Titled “A Body in a Station,” the work, presented by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, develops as a series of three-hour performances once a week. The museum is also featuring a exhibition of photography by William Johnston, professor of history, professor of East Asian studies, professor of science in society. The photographs show Eiko performing in abandoned train stations in Fukushima, Japan.

“The images, elegant, bleak and harrowing, place her in a desolate landscape devastated by the explosions at the Fukushima nuclear power plant after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami,”  the Times writes.

Garcia ’88 Leads Dwight Greene Symposium, Screens New Basketball Documentary

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World-renowned DJ, radio personality, streetball player and sneaker guru Robert ‘Bobbito’ Garcia ’88 led a movie screening and talkback during the 22nd Annual Dwight L. Greene Symposium, Sept. 26 in the Goldsmith Family Cinema. Garcia spoke about his journey to Wesleyan and beyond, in addition to sharing his award-winning independent documentary Doin’ it in the Park, which explores the history, culture, and social impact of New York’s summer basketball scene.

Shot at 180 courts in 75 days, the film covers a cross-section of players both professional and amateur, including Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Kenny Smith, “Pee Wee” Kirkland, “Fly” Williams, God Shammgod, Tim “Headache” Gittens, Corey “Homicide” Williams, Kenny Anderson, Jack Ryan, Richard “Crazy Legs” Colon, Niki Avery, Milani Malik, and the Park Pick-Up Players of New York City. The filmmakers traveled to most of the film locations by bicycle, carrying camera equipment and a basketball in their backpacks.

Shot at 180 courts in 75 days, the film covers a cross-section of players both professional and amateur, including Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Kenny Smith, “Pee Wee” Kirkland, “Fly” Williams, God Shammgod, Tim “Headache” Gittens, Corey “Homicide” Williams, Kenny Anderson, Jack Ryan, Richard “Crazy Legs” Colon, Niki Avery, Milani Malik, and the Park Pick-Up Players of New York City. The filmmakers traveled to most of the film locations by bicycle, carrying camera equipment and a basketball in their backpacks.

Gilvarry Named “5 Under 35” Award Winner from National Book Foundation

Alex Gilvarry, visiting writer in English

Alex Gilvarry, visiting writer in English.

Alex Gilvarry, visiting writer in English, was named a “5 Under 35” award recipient from the National Book Foundation.

Gilvarry is the author of From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant, published by Viking/Penguin Group in January 2012. He was selected for the award by 1993 National Book Award Finalist Amy Bloom, the Distinguished University Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Shapiro Center for Creative Writing.

Gilvarry was born in Staten Island, N.Y. in 1981. He holds an MFA from Hunter College and has been a Norman Mailer Fellow and a visiting scholar at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin. His first novel, From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant, won the Hornblower Award at the 2012 New York City Book Awards. He is an artist-in-residence at Monmouth University and teaches the course, Techniques of Fiction at Wesleyan.

Gilvarry will receive the award during the National Book Foundations’ Ninth Annual Celebration of Emerging Fiction Writers. The “5 Under 35” authors will be honored at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Nov. 17.

The Mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America.

Ishiguro to Study Female Saman Dance as Fulbright DDRA Fellow

Maho Ishiguro

Maho Ishiguro

Maho Ishiguro, an ethnomusicology doctoral student, received a Fulbright Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship to study the female Saman dance in Indonesia. The award came with a $29,508 stipend.

Ishiguro’s proposed research title is “Saman Dance in Diaspora Presence of Female Saman Dance as Expressions of Piety Cultural Identity and Popular Culture.” Her DDRA project will examine the contemporary life of female Saman dance in Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Banda Aceh.

Saman dance, or the dance of a “thousand hands” is typically performed in Gayo Lues, a mountainous region of Aceh, by eight to 20 male performers who kneel in a row and make different kinds of torso movements accompanied by songs, clapping hands, slapping chests or slapping the floor. The dance traditionally is performed to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad and has been used recently to promote Acehnese as well as Indonesia’s national culture.

“Indonesia’s deepening Islamization today impacts the nations’ performing arts and the conduct of Muslim women’s lives,” Ishiguro said. “In Aceh, despite its Islamic origin, female adults were prohibited from performing Saman dance at public events.

Federal Grant Supports DAC Digital Initiative

Davison Art Center.

Many works at the Davison Art Center will be digitally photographed starting with a collection of Dutch and German prints.

A significant federal grant will support efforts to make works in Wesleyan’s Davison Art Center more accessible to students, faculty and the wider world.

The $111,173 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, announced this week, will fund digital photography of some of the DAC’s permanent collection, beginning in 2015 with Dutch and German “old master” prints.

The funds, awarded in the Museums for America program, will allow the DAC to execute high quality, rapid photography of key parts of its holdings; these images can then be used for collection management or in classes.

Telfair’s Paintings Celebrated at Zilkha Gallery

On Sept. 16, Professor of Art Tula Telfair spoke about her new landscape paintings which are on display through Dec. 7 in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery.

On Sept. 16, Professor of Art Tula Telfair spoke about her new landscape paintings which are on display through Dec. 7 in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery.

“A World of Dreams—New Landscape Paintings” by Professor of Art Tula Telfair will be on exhibit through Dec. 7 at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. “A World of Dreams” includes new large-scale paintings in which Telfair presents monumental landscapes and epic-scale vistas that are simultaneously awe-inspiring and intimate. This is her second exhibition in the Zilkha Gallery. Read more about the exhibit here.

The exhibit’s opening reception was held Sept. 16 at the gallery. (Photos by Dat Vu ’15)

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