Sleeping Giant

May 14, 2015

  The Dogs of Desire are Albany Symphony’s new music chamber ensemble. They are playing a concert tomorrow night at 7:30pm that features Theo Bleckmann; created by the orchestra’s resident composer’s collective, “Sleeping Giant,” featuring arrangements of songs by composers from Charles Ives to Kate Bush, plus new works by the six members of “Sleeping Giant.”

Through New Music USA’s “Music Alive,” the Albany Symphony has teamed up with Sleeping Giant. The composers have been in residence for nine cumulative weeks of activity during the 2014-2015 season in Albany. In the last few years, Sleeping Giant has experimented with modern-day re-workings of historical musical narratives and languages, and in the first stage of their residency with Albany they shared a multi-faceted retelling of Mozart’s Requiem as part of Albany Symphony’s subscription concert series.

We are joined by two composers from Sleeping Giant - Robert Honstein and Timo Andres.

Don Pollard /

  The home, studio, and woodland garden - collectively called Manitoga - of modernist designer Russel Wright is located in Garrison, NY. Manitoga is a National Historic Landmark, an Affiliate Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and a World Monuments Watch Site.

Manitoga / The Russel Wright Design Center’s 2015 resident artist is Stephen Talasnik. After spending much of a prestigious artistic career in drawing - his first major sculptural installation was a commission from the Japan Society in NYC. His first large scale, outdoor commission was from the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, NY where he designed and built "Stream", a temporary site specific bamboo structure covering three acres. In recent years, his work has been added to the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the National Gallery of Art, the Pompidou, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

For Manitoga he’s created “Sanctuary” a large-scale installation comprised of woven reed structures that floats in Manitoga's Quarry Pool - it will be on view through November 9th.

Ellie Ga At EMPAC

May 5, 2015

  Ellie Ga is closing out the Spring EMPAC season on May 7 and 8. Ellie Ga's multimedia essays are part field dispatch, part artist’s notebook, part home-movie, part poem.

On Thursday, May 7, at 8PM, Ga will perform The Fortunetellers, a narrative performance inspired by her six-month residency on the Tara, a research boat drifting near the North Pole to gather scientific data.

On Friday, May 8, at 8PM, she will perform Eureka, a lighthouse play - Commissioned by EMPAC, Eureka centers on the Great Lighthouse of Alexandria and recounts Ga’s journey, beginning in 2012 when she joined a marine archaeology program at Alexandria University in pursuit of the lighthouse.

Ellie Ga joins us now along with Victoria Brooks, a Curator at EMPAC.

  This month, the Toledo Museum of Art debuts the first exhibition that focuses solely on the wondrous artist books and works on paper by renowned German-born artist Werner Pfeiffer. Nearly 200 one-of-a-kind and limited edition artist books, dimensional prints, collages and experimental works will be shown in Drawn, Cut & Layered: The Art of Werner Pfeiffer. Some of the works will be seen publicly for the first time.

  Why are we mentioning an exhibition at a museum in Ohio, you ask? Because Werner Pfeiffer is a resident of Red Hook and we couldn’t let those Toledo-ans have all the fun.

Pfeiffer's interest in paper and books was born of his early years in Germany during and after World War II, when paper was limited and books were censored. The artist joins us to talk about his work and career.

Daniel Boud

    Miranda July is a filmmaker, artist, and writer. Her collection of stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You, won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. She wrote, directed, and starred in the feature films The Future and Me and You and Everyone We Know.

Her debut novel is The First Bad Man: A Novel.

  Artist James Gurney is one of our favorite guests. He is best known for his illustrated book series Dinotopia. He specializes in painting realistic images of scenes that can’t be photographed, from dinosaurs to ancient civilizations. His new art instruction video is “Watercolor in the Wild.”

Plus, Dinotopia: The Fantastical Art of James Gurney - an exhibition of original oil paintings from The New York Times bestselling Dinotopia series – will be opening on Valentine’s Day at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center in Stamford, CT.

  Change is no stranger to us in the twenty-first century. We must constantly adjust to an evolving world, to transformation and innovation. But for many thousands of creative artists, a torrent of recent changes has made it all but impossible to earn a living.

A persistent economic recession, social shifts, and technological change have combined to put our artists—from graphic designers to indie-rock musicians, from architects to booksellers—out of work. Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class looks deeply and broadly into the roots of the crisis of the creative class in America and tells us why it matters. Scott Timberg considers the human cost as well as the unintended consequences of shuttered record stores, decimated newspapers, music piracy, and a general attitude of indifference.

  From Maira Kalman, the author of the bestsellers The Principles of Uncertainty and The Elements of Style, comes a pictorial and narrative exploration of the significance of objects in our lives, drawn from her personal artifacts, recollections, and selections from the collection of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

With more than fifty original paintings and featuring bestselling author and illustrator Maira Kalman’s signature handwritten prose, My Favorite Things is a meditation on the importance of both quotidian and unusual objects in our culture and private worlds.

Courtesy David Lewis

  British-born artist Gillian Jagger. In the late 1970s, after a career in New York, she moved to the Hudson Valley, where she’s since focused on the interdependence of man and nature.

Still, she’s never left her past entirely behind. Her new exhibition, What Was And Is, is a fascinating grouping of old and recent works. Pieces ranging from early-’60s paintings incorporating casts of manhole covers to brand-new sculptures made of resin and horsehair.

    Manitoga in Garrison New York is a National Historic Site - it was the estate and modernist home of industrial designer Russel Wright.

The inspiring artistic space has a residency program and one of Manitoga’s 2014 Artists in Residence is Melissa McGill. Her work primarily incorporates drawing, sculpture, and sound to explore the space between absence and presence. Palmas is her work at Manitoga. It is a site-specific surround sound installation that activates Manitoga’s Quarry Pool and encircling paths by playing recordings of rhythmic clapping inspired by the clapping - the Palmas - of Flamenco music.