Arts & Culture

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)


Roth Discusses “The Future of Education” at Social Good Summit

Logo_SGS2014President Michael Roth discussed “The Future of Education” at the 92nd Street Y’s Social Good Summit on Sept. 21.

The event is the focus of his popular MOOC on the Coursera platform, which will be offered again starting in Nov., 2014.

In his second appearance at the annual two-day festival of ideas, Roth discussed why education is still the best vehicle for social change, even while it has become more controversial then ever.

Watch the video of his talk.

Michael Roth

Michael Roth

“Education remains the most potent tool for changing the world, ” he said. “And training teachers who can help students acquire the skills to keep learning, the skills to think for oneself, is one of the most pressing demands of social justice.”

Last year, Roth’s inspirational talk at the 92Y event focused on “how to change the world,” which later became the topic of his popular MOOC on the Coursera platform. This year, his speech was informed by his recently published book, Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters (Yale Press).

This year’s summit, with the theme “Connecting for Good, Connecting for All,” brought together world leaders, new media and technology experts, grassroots activists, and voices from around the world to explore how technology and new media can be leveraged to benefit people everywhere and create a better world by the year 2030.

WW I Posters Shine at Davison Art Center Exhibit

dac_pr_2014-08_action_bakerdac_pr_2014-08_action_christyIt was called “the war to end all wars.” Causing the downfall of three major empires, and eclipsing all previous wars in its destruction, World War I changed the course of global history. And decades before television and sophisticated print advertising, it changed the way conflict was marketed to the American people.

A new exhibit, Call to Action: American Posters in World War I, at the Davison Art Center, displays dramatic posters that recruited soldiers, celebrated shipbuilding, called women for war work and even urged homemakers to prepare alternative foods in support of the war effort.

“The best illustrators of the day were recruited to donate their time to make these posters,” said Clare Rogan, curator of the DAC. “Artists recognized this was how they could serve. And this was the high point in American illustration, you have fabulous artists working as illustrators, and monthly periodicals are all illustrated before photography takes over in these areas.”

East Asia’s Religion, Folkore Shared at New Student-Curated CEAS Exhibit

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Uncover the hidden stories of East Asia’s religion and folklore at a new exhibit, “Not of This World,” at the College of East Asian Studies’ gallery. To inaugurate the new College of East Asian Studies, students curated this exhibition of the most compelling artworks from the college’s collection.

“Not Out of This World” is on display Sept. 10-Dec. 5 and features aesthetically pleasing pieces that reveal spiritual worlds filled with love, betrayal and faith.  A ghost woman who searches for her husband, an immortal trapped in a peasant’s body, and a wheel that spins prayers are examples of the East Asian artwork displayed that weave the supernatural with mystical elements.

The gallery is open noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and closed on Mondays. The gallery will be closed Oct. 18-21 and Nov. 25-Dec. 2. For more information call 860-685-2330.

Photos of the show’s opening are below: (Photos by Dat Vu ’16)

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Telfair’s New Landscape Paintings on Exhibit in Zilkha Gallery

Tula Telfair, professor of art, will debut her newest collection of large-scale oil paintings at the Zilkha Gallery Sept. 16.

Tula Telfair, professor of art, will debut her newest collection of large-scale oil paintings at the Zilkha Gallery Sept. 16. Pictured is her painting titled “The Structured Depth of Meaning and Desire,” 2014, 72 x 100 inches.

“A World of Dreams—New Landscape Paintings” by Professor of Art Tula Telfair will be on exhibit Sept. 16 through Dec. 7 at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. The exhibit’s opening reception will be held 5 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at the gallery.

“Civilization Could Not Do Without It,” 2014, 75 x 100 inches.

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. She combines stillness with motion, solitude with universality, and definition with suggestion in her bold and quiet works. This is her second exhibition in the Zilkha Gallery.

All paintings are oil on canvas.

“The work for this show is entirely different. The subjects are different, the techniques are different in each painting, and from piece to piece,” she explained. “There is a lot of diversity of images in this exhibition that reflect a broad range of environments from the Antarctic to the jungles of Africa to rolling fields and soaring mountains. There are a full range of landscapes.”

Telfair’s contemporary paintings demonstrate the spirit and potency

Student Music Scene Celebrated at THE MASH (with Photo Gallery)

More than 20 student bands participated in THE MASH on Sept. 5. Inspired by Fete de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, the third-annual event highlighted the student music scene at Wesleyan and kicked off the year-long campus and community-wide Music & Public Life initiative.

Bands performed concurrently on stages at Olin Library, the Butterfields, North College and at the base of Foss Hill.

Bands and soloists included Jacob & The Masters, Quasimodal, David Stouck, Mixolydians, Andrew Hove, Slavei, all-caps LADD, Materiq, Trillion Dollar Boys Club (Butts Reunion Tour 2k14), jdv plus™, MFDP, Don Froot, Mazel Tones, Sam Wasn’t There, Veeblefetzer, Rhys feat. Matt Chilton, Isaac Butler-Brown, Tomato Goblin, Jack and Katie, Banjoshi and Chef. The faculty-staff band, Smokin’ Lilies, also performed.

THE MASH is co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Green Street Arts Center. (Photos by Harry Jiang ’18, Gabe Rosenberg ’16 and Jack Gorlin ’16)

The MASH, Sept. 5, 2014. (Photo by Harry Jiang '18)

The MASH, Sept. 5, 2014. (Photo by Harry Jiang '18)

Writing at Wesleyan Announces Spring Russell House Series on Prose and Poetry

Writing at Wesleyan announces the Spring 2015 Russell House Series on Prose and Poetry.

Writer/authors in the Spring 2015 series include Ron Padgett on Feb. 25, Millett Fellow Caryl Phillips on March 4, Sadia Shepard on March 25, Rowan Ricardo Phillips on April 1 and Ruth Ozeki on April 8.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information on these talks visit the Writing at Wesleyan website.

Support for this series is provided by Writing at Wesleyan, the English Department, the Annie Sonnenblick Fund, the Joan Jakobson Fund, the Jacob Julien Fund, the Millett Writing Fellow Fund, the Center for the Arts, and the Shapiro Creative Writing Center.

The 2014/2015 Series organizers include Lisa Cohen, associate professor of English; Elizabeth Willis, the Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing; Amy Bloom, the Kim-Frank Family University Writer-in-Residence; and Anne Greene, director of Writing Programs.

Students Express Gender at Bend it at Beckham

Wesleyan students participated in Bend it at Beckham Aug. 29 in Beckham Hall. Students were encouraged to bend the gender binary by expressing gender through a variety of ways. The party was DJ’d by Ron Jacobs ’16 and Abhimanyu Janamanchi ’17. (Photos by Harry Jiang ’18)


Shinohara’s Monotypes to be Exhibited at Plantsville Gallery

Supp. Image_Opus-12_monotype_12x11_2008The work of Keiji Shinohara, artist-in-residence of art, artist-in-residence of East Asian studies, will be exhibited at a gallery in Plantsville, Conn., Oct. 4-31.

The exhibition at Paris in Plantsville Gallery, titled, “Whispers of the Infinite: The Art of Keiji Shinohara,” represents the first time that Shinohara’s monotypes will have been exhibited in the United States. An opening reception will be held Oct. 4 from 6-9 p.m.

Born and raised in Osaka, Japan, Shinohara trained for 10 years as an apprentice under the renowned artist Keiichiro Uesugi, and became a Master Printmaker. Shinohara then moved to the U.S., and has been teaching at Wesleyan since 1995. He has been a visiting artist at more than 10 venues, and had 40 solo shows, both in the U.S. and Japan.

His nature-based abstractions are printed on handmade kozo paper using water-based pigment onto woodblocks in the ukiyo-e style, the traditional Japanese printmaking method dating to 600 CE. Though Shinohara employs ancient methods in creating his woodblock prints, he also diverges from tradition by experimenting with ink application and different materials to add texture to his prints. He personally executes all the steps involved in the printmaking process, from carving the woodblock to printing by hand. Elegantly understated, these works are a fusion of Japanese aesthetic and Western modernism.

See more images from the exhibition below.

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Bloom’s Novel Lucky Us on Success, Luck, Big Dreams, Scandals

New book by Amy Bloom.

New book by Amy Bloom.

Amy Bloom, the Distinguished University Writer-in-Residence and director of the Shapiro Center for Creative Writing, is the author of a novel, Lucky Us, published in July 2014 by Random House.

Disappointed by their families, Iris, a hopeful star and Eva the sidekick, journey through 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. Iris’s ambitions take the pair across the America of Reinvention in a stolen station wagon, from small-town Ohio to an unexpected and sensuous Hollywood, and to the jazz clubs and golden mansions of Long Island.

With their friends in high and low places, Iris and Eva stumble and shine though a landscape of big dreams, scandals, betrayals, and war. Lucky Us is a resonant novel about success and failure, good luck and bad, the creation of a family, and the pleasures and inevitable perils of family life, conventional and otherwise.

In celebration of her book release, Bloom will be speaking Sept. 2 at the Society Club in London, and Sept. 3 at Shakespeare and Company in Paris.

Bloom’s stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and numerous anthologies here and abroad. She has written for The New Yorker, Thee New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, Slate and Salon, among many other publications, and has won a National Magazine Award.