Hundreds of performances, exhibitions, and arts events showcase student and faculty work, and world-class artists from around the globe.
Middlebury, VT—Audiences are in for a treat as the 2011–2012 arts season at Middlebury College launches in September. The year will feature over 300 plays, exhibitions, concerts, dance performances, films special events, and more. Middlebury students and faculty showcase their diverse work alongside first-class artists visiting from around the world.
Among the early highlights of the season is a weekend of theatre with PTP/NYC. This off-Broadway company is a theatre powerhouse affiliated with the Middlebury College theatre program, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. They will perform two separate presentations: Territories, a double-bill of short plays by Stephen Dykes, on Thursday, September 15, and Saturday, September 17, 2011; and Spatter Pattern: or How I Got Away with It, on Friday, September 16, and Saturday, September 17, 2011, all in the Mahaney Center for the Arts’ Seeler Studio Theatre. Tickets for this special event go on sale September 6.
The theatre program is also presenting two faculty-directed productions this fall. Charles Mee’s Big Love, the comic tale of 50 Greek brides betrothed against their will to their 50 American cousins, will be directed by Claudio Medeiros ’90 on October 27–29, 2011. Richard Romagnoli will direct Nick Dear’s The Art of Success, based on the life of artist William Hogarth, November 17-19, 2011. Tickets go on sale two weeks in advance.
Performing Arts Series
The 92nd season of the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series includes an impressive list of world-class performers. Leading British pianist Paul Lewis, a favorite of Middlebury audiences, returns on October 14, 2011, and on May 4, 2012, to continue his two-year Schubert project. Pianists Alexander Melnikov (November 18, 2011), Rustem Hayroudinoff (January 13, 2012), and Steven Osborne (March 2, 2012) add depth to the solo piano repertoire for the season. String quartets, a hallmark of the Series, are well-represented by three expressive and passionate ensembles: the Hugo Wolf Quartett, on October 28, 2011; the Elias String Quartet on March 21, 2012; and the Pavel Haas Quartet on April 13, 2011. Classical guitarist Xuefei Yang, called “one of the most extraordinary instrumentalists in the world” by the New York Sun, will perform on February 21, 2011. Tickets for the Performing Arts Series go on sale to the general public September 19.
History of Art and Architecture
The Mahaney Center for the Arts had undergone some exciting renovations this summer, and 12 faculty members from the Department of History of Art and Architecture have recently moved into new offices and beautiful “smart” classrooms, just in time for the start of the fall semester. The move will allow the art historians to work more closely with the Middlebury College Museum of Art, just down the hallway.
Cementing this renewed relationship is a new series of visual art events entitled “Off the Wall: Informal Discussions about Art.” Assistant Professor of Art History Eddie Vazquez leads the first edition of the series, speaking about outdoor public sculpture around the Mahaney Center for the Arts, on Friday, September 30. Lunch is provided. The talk is free and open to the public, and community donations will be accepted for the lunch.
Two renowned architects will be in residence this fall, hosting exhibitions of their designs, working directly with Middlebury College students, and offering public lectures. Billie Tsien of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects will show her work October 5–19 and give a talk on Thursday, October 13, 2011. Japanese architect and professor Koichiro Aitani shows his work October 20–November 3 and gives a public lecture on Thursday, October 27, 2011. Both are free.
The Middlebury College Museum of Art will present the exhibition Painted Metaphors: Pottery and Politics of the Ancient Maya, opening Friday, September 16, 2011. The exhibit, on view through December 11, 2011, relays a human story of power and intrigue among people who lived more than 1,300 years ago. Nineteen Chamá polychrome ceramics are accompanied by more than 100 objects illustrating Maya daily life, religious ritual, and shifts in rulership. A series of related slide lectures and public talks throughout the fall will expand viewers’ perspective on the exhibition. The first is given by Elin Danien, consulting scholar from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Art and cocurator of Painted Metaphors, on Thursday, September 15, 2011.
Among the other exhibitions this season are How Did I Get Here?, a show investigating recent museum acquisitions and how they made their way into the College’s collection, September 7–December 11, 2011; and Environment and Object in Recent African Art, an exciting look at contemporary work from artists including El Anatsui and Yinka Shonibare, January 27–April 22, 2012.
This fall, the Museum bids a fond farewell to the site-specific structure So Inclined, the spiraling wooden sculpture marking the front entry to the Mahaney Center for the Arts. American artist Patrick Dougherty, who created the work with the help of over 250 local volunteers, will return to campus Friday, October 28, 2011, to mark the occasion and discuss his latest projects in an illustrated slide lecture.
Student dancers are the focus of two senior concerts this season. Jeremy Cline gives his senior thesis concert on Friday, November 18, and Saturday, November 19, 2011, mixing religious dance elements with his study of meditation, yoga, capoiera, and tai chi. Later in the year, seniors Sarah Chapin, Alicia Evancho, James Moore, and Alexandra Vasquez collaborate in a joint concert on Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21, 2012, at 8:00 PM. Bessie Award-winning dancer and choreographer Kyle Abraham brings his company Abraham in Motion to Middlebury on Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17, 2012, at 8:00 PM to perform their new work The Radio Show. Tickets for The Radio Show go on sale to the general public September 19; the student concerts go on sale two weeks in advance.
The Hirschfield International Film Series will present acclaimed foreign and independent films on Saturdays throughout the year at 3:00 and 8:00 PM, free of charge. This year’s series includes Oscar-nominated war documentary Restrepo, on Saturday, September 17, 2011; British director Mike Leigh’s newest film Another Year, following four seasons in the life of a happily married couple, on Saturday, October 8, 2011; and Cannes Film Festival award nominee Vincere, based on the story of Mussolini’s secret lover, on October 29, 2011. Special events include a lecture by film scholar Tony Pipolo on the 1956 melodrama Written on the Wind, starring Rock Hudson and Lauren Bacall, on Monday, November 14, 2011, with the associated screening of the film two days earlier on Saturday, November 12, 2011. A discussion with Andrew Peterson ’97, producer of the 2010 film Thin Ice (formerly titled The Convincer), starring Billy Crudup, Greg Kinnear, and Alan Arkin, on Saturday, March 17, 2012.
The Department of Music brings an exciting new project to life this fall with Lotus Lives, a chamber opera by faculty member and composer Su Lian Tan and Anne Babson. The score combines elements of rap, Chinese folk music, and dance-club sounds with high-art classical melodies. The impressive list of collaborators includes soprano Miriam Gordon Stewart, the iconoclastic Meridian Arts Ensemble, and video artist Tim Bartlett ’98. Lotus Lives will be performed September 30 and October 2, 2011, and is free and open to the public.
Also this fall, the music department throws a spotlight on its talented private music teachers. The Affiliate Artists Collaborative Concert on Saturday, November 5, 2011, will feature Paul Asbell, guitar; Carol Christensen, soprano; Miles Donahue; saxophone; Mia Fritze, horn; Cynthia Huard, piano; Dayve Huckett, guitar; Glendon Ingalls, bass; Anne Janson, flute; Steven Klimowski, clarinet; Mark Lavoie, harmonica; Susanne Peck, soprano; Pete Sutherland, banjo and mandolin; and Beth Thompson, soprano. This concert is free and open to the public.
Student work is the focus of a series of exhibitions planned for 2011–2012. The first, Portraiture in Sculpture, makes use of materials as diverse as glazed ceramic, blown glass, steel, wood, and plaster. It is on view October 7–15 in the Johnson Building. Other fall exhibitions include Line in Space: Just a Corner of Your Memory Palace (October 20–28); The Landscape Re-imagined (November 4–12); Pinhole Photography (November 14–25); and Silkscreen Prints (December 1–12). These studio art shows are all free and open to the public.
For more information, or to request a 2011–2012 Arts Calendar, call 802.443.3168 or go to http://www.middlebury.edu/arts.
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Images from top: cover from the 2011-2012 Middlebury College Arts Calendar, Scuola Group Design; PTP/NYC logo, design Lyn DeGraff; pianist Paul Lewis, photo Keith Saunders; Dan Graham's Two-Way Mirror Curved Hedge Zig-Zag Labyrinth, photo Ken Burris; Incense Burner and Lid in the Form of a Deity Head from the exhibition Painted Metaphors, Collection of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology; dancer Jeremy Cline '11.5, photo Alan Kimara Dixon; Restrepo; Lotus Lives, image Tim Bartlett '98; and Personalities, portrait sculptures by Cleopatra Cutler '11 with model Naomi Shafer '12.