Stephan Koplowitz – REVEALED at Mead Art Museum, Amherst College Sept. 12-25; Site-Specific Performance at Mead Wednesday, Sept.

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen


August 27, 2007
Contact: Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Sept. 12-25 camera obscura display and the Sept. 19 site-specific performance may provide good photo opportunities.

AMHERST, Mass.—The Mead Art Museum and the Amherst College Department of Theater and Dance will present REVEALED, a site-adaptive public art installation and performance event that will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 12-25. Central to the installation and event is a walk-in camera obscura that will be erected on the Main Quad of Amherst College. The optical effects of this centuries-old device of natural cinema alter perceptions of space and scale so that a familiar scene appears transformed. At Amherst, Stephan Koplowitz will focus the camera’s lens on the façade of the Mead Art Museum and the landmark Stearns Bell Tower. Invited to walk through the camera obscura, visitors will find that their view of the Mead is literally turned upside down.

While in residence, Koplowitz also will create a site-specific performance involving Amherst College students and other members of the community on the Neuhoff Sculpture Court in front of the Mead on Wednesday, Sept. 19, with performances at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The Amherst College installation of REVEALED is Koplowitz’s third iteration of the project, which was previously installed at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., and on the Lower Promenade in front of the World Financial Center in Battery Park City, N.Y. At each venue, the artist carefully selects the location and fixed perspective of the camera obscura and documents the installation in a limited-edition photographic portfolio.

According to Koplowitz, “REVEALED attempts to give the viewer time to look at the world, at this specific place in time, simultaneously with two sets of ‘eyes.’ With all of our current technological feats, it is hopefully a reminder of how powerful and striking pure light and the absence of light can be.”

Stephan Koplowitz is a site/media/performance artist who creates works for the stage, screen, Web and architecture. The recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (2003), an Alpert Award for the Arts (2004), a New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessie”) for Sustained Achievement and six National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in Choreography (1988-97), Koplowitz has produced more than 50 works for site and stage in Europe and across the United States. In 2006, Koplowitz was appointed Dean of the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

The installation of REVEALED at Amherst College is made possible through the generous support of the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.

The installation and performances are free, fully accessible and open to the public.

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. For more information, visit the museum’s Website (www.amherst.edu/mead) or call 413/542-2335.

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“A Room with a View: The Photography of Abelardo Morell” at Mead Art Museum, Amherst College Sept. 4, 2007 to Jan. 20, 2008

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

August 29, 2007
Contact: Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

AMHERST, Mass.— On Tuesday, Sept. 4, the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will open “A Room with a View: The Photography of Abelardo Morell.” The exhibition surveys the full range of Morell’s achievement, from his earliest photographs of the 1960s to his current work, representing virtually every photographic medium he has explored, in color and black-and-white, and including the evocative camera obscura images for which he is best known. The artist will discuss his work in a free public lecture on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 4:30 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium on the Amherst College campus. All are welcome to attend the discussion and a related book signing in Stirn Auditorium, as well as a reception and exhibition viewing at the Mead from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Mead will screen the recently released documentary “Shadow of the House: Photographer Abelardo Morell” (2007) on Thursday, Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium. This intimate portrayal of the artist’s working life over a seven-year period includes the photographer’s return to Cuba, where he reconnects with his homeland 40 years after his family fled the Castro regime. Filmmaker Allie Humenuk and Abelardo Morell will be present for a discussion after the screening. Free and open to the public, this event is co-sponsored by the Department of English, Amherst College and the Mead Art Museum.

Born in Havana, Cuba in 1948, Abelardo Morell came to the United States at the age of 14. He became seriously interested in photography as a student at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine; he pursued this passion at Yale University, where he received his M.F.A. in 1981. Since 1983, Morell has taught photography at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. His works can be found in the permanent collections of major museums throughout the world.

This exhibition, organized by Mead curator Carol Solomon Kiefer, includes selections from all of Morell’s major photographic projects. In addition to his captivating photographs of books, money and other familiar objects, visitors will see images of works of art and people from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; illustrations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; photograms; and several recent color works among the camera obscura pictures. Morell takes these images in a room-sized darkened chamber (a camera obscura), one wall of which has been pierced by a very small hole; when light enters the room through the hole, it produces an inverted image of the outer world on the opposite wall. The resulting photograph, which combines elements from the interior space (a bed, a chair, a picture on the wall) with a superimposed inverted image from outside, is surreal and sometimes disorienting.

The effect is not restricted to the camera obscura photographs. In the enchanting world of Abelardo Morell simple reality invariably is transformed. As the artist explores the untapped expressive potential of the most commonplace objects—an empty paper bag, a stack of books, a child’s sliding board, a bottle precariously perched on the corner of a table—the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, A Room with a View: The Photography of Abelardo Morell by Carol Solomon Kiefer, which is available free of charge at the museum. The exhibition remains on view through Jan. 20, 2008.

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 9:00 p.m. For more information visit the museum’s Website, www.amherst.edu/mead or call 413/542-2335.

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Pianist Richard Goode to Open 2007-08 Music at Amherst Concert Series on Sept. 20

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

August 29, 2007
Contact: Sara Leonard
Concert and Production Manager
413/542-2195
Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

AMHERST, Mass. – The Music at Amherst Concert Series will open its 30th season with premier concert pianist Richard Goode on Thursday, Sept. 20. at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. Goode will perform a program of Bach, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy and Haydn.

Tickets for season subscriptions are currently for sale. Five other concerts are included in the series. For more information, call 413/542-2195.

On Friday, Oct. 26, the Brentano Quartet will return to Music at Amherst to present a program of string quartets by Bartok, Beethoven and Haydn.

On Saturday, Nov. 10, pianist Ignat Solzhenitsyn will present an all-Brahms program.

On Saturday, Feb., 9, 2008, pianist Leon Fleisher returns to Music at Amherst to present a dance-themed program together with his wife, Katherine Jacobsen Fleisher. This concert is free to series subscribers.

On Thursday, March 13, 2008, the Florestan Trio will make their Music at Amherst debut performing works by Brahms, Haydn and Juon.

On Saturday, April 12, 2008, the 2007-08 season will close with a recital by tenor Joseph Kaiser.

This schedule is subject to change. Up-to-date information can be found at https://cms.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/music/musicatamherst or by calling the Concert Office at 413/542-2195. Season subscriptions are available until Sept. 15, with discounted rates for seniors and students. For more information, tickets or brochures, call the Concert Office at 413/542-2195.

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Amherst College Will Sponsor Talk on “Guantanamo: Torture, Habeas Corpus and the Constitution” on Monday, Sept. 10

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

August 29, 2007
Contact: Katherine Duke ’05
Writer/Editor
413/542-2321
Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

AMHERST, Mass.—In recognition of Constitution Day, attorney Buz Eisenberg, consultant Kimberly Duplechain ’99 and law professor Bruce Miller will address “Guantanamo: Torture, Habeas Corpus and the Constitution” at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10, in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Amherst College President’s Office and presented by the Amherst College Library, the event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Eisenberg is Of Counsel to the Northampton litigation firm of Weinberg & Garber, P.C., and a professor at Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, Mass. He is a cooperating attorney with the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights and a member of the Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative, providing pro bono representation to Guantanamo detainees. He has received a number of awards for his work on human rights and social justice.

Duplechain graduated from Amherst College in 1999. In 2003, she went to work in Washington, D.C. for the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, an agency under the newly formed Department of Homeland Security. She currently works for IBM’s Global Business Services as a senior consultant in public sector financial management and policy for several federal agencies, including the Department of Navy and the Transportation Security Administration. She is also a student at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, concentrating on international business and trade.


Miller teaches constitutional law and public law at the Western New England College School of Law in Springfield, Mass. He has worked for the National Senior Citizens Law Center in Los Angeles and was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. With a continuing interest in legal issues that affect the poor, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Pioneer Valley HIV-AIDS Consortium and the Advisory Board of the Western Massachusetts ACLU.


In 2004, to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, Congress designated Sept. 17 as Constitution Day.

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Emily Dickinson Museum Names Donna M. Abelli as New Development and Marketing Manager

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

August 27, 2007
Contact: Donna M. Abelli
Development and Marketing Manager
The Emily Dickinson Museum
413/542-5084

AMHERST, Mass—The Emily Dickinson Museum has named Donna M. Abelli as its new development and marketing manager. Abelli, who had been the business and advertising manager at the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College for nine years, will be in charge of managing and increasing The Emily Dickinson Museum’s visibility locally, regionally and nationally.

“Donna is a talented graphic designer and has been responsible for production of the Mead’s many fine publications and catalogs,” said Jane Wald, executive director of The Emily Dickinson Museum. “Donna is well-known among area media and arts organizations and is one of the chief organizers of the Amherst Art Walk. She has a talent for managing successful events of all kinds, and is eager to bring this skill and many others to our own expanding development efforts,” Wald continued.

Before joining The Emily Dickinson Museum, Abelli oversaw marketing and advertising for the Mead Art Museum. She is credited with the increased visibility of the Mead’s attendance and focus, while fostering town-gown relations and community involvement. An award-winning designer regionally and nationally, Abelli won an ADDY® award in 2007 for her book design of George Bellows: A Ringside Seat. The ADDY® awards are the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, recognizing creative excellence and the very best advertising worldwide.

Abelli has a B.A. degree in psychology from Smith College. She is a freelance marketing graphic designer in the area. She and her children live in Amherst, Mass.

The Emily Dickinson Museum, made up of the Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens, two historic house museums in Amherst, is devoted to the story and legacy of poet Emily Dickinson and her family. Both properties are owned by the trustees of Amherst College. The museum is overseen by a separate board of governors charged with raising its operating and capital funds. The Dickinson Homestead was the birthplace and residence of the poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). The Evergreens was the 1856 home of the poet’s brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson.

The Emily Dickinson museum is located at 280 Main Street in Amherst, Mass. The official museum Website is at www.emilydickinsonmusuem.org. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.

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Statement on Proposed Boycott

August 13, 2007
Contact:
Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

Amherst College is strongly opposed to the boycott of Israeli academics and universities currently under consideration by the United Kingdom's University and College Union. We believe in academic freedom and in the full exchange of ideas as the surest basis of resolving differences and the bedrock of liberal education. We find the notion of exclusion from debate, even the exclusion of views many disagree with, to be abhorrent and misguided.

For these reasons, following consultation with the Trustees, I joined in signing the statement against the proposed boycott circulated by Columbia President Bollinger early this summer. I also offered to contribute to pay for an ad publicizing our firm commitment. I did not, however, choose to participate in an ad sponsored by the American Jewish Committee. I was and remain concerned that our principled stance against a boycott and for academic freedom would be diluted or compromised by an ad sponsored by a third party, no matter how distinguished that group might be.

I will continue to look for opportunities to ensure that Amherst's position is clearly stated on such deeply important issues.

-- President Anthony W. Marx

Printer and Oliphant Press Founder Ronald Gordon Will Lecture at Amherst College Friday, Sept. 21

August 21, 2007

Contact:
Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

AMHERST, Mass.—Ronald Gordon, a leading printer and typographic designer who founded the Oliphant Press in New York, will speak on “The Oliphant Press: Tradition & Transformation” at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, in the Archives and Special Collections of Robert Frost Library at Amherst College. A reception will follow. Both events are open to the public at no charge.     

Gordon studied printing and book design with Leonard Baskin as an undergraduate. He has written: “Amherst played an essential role in my becoming a graphic designer and printer.” He founded the Oliphant Press shortly after graduating from Amherst in 1965. In the four decades since its founding, the Oliphant Press has carried on a tradition of fine printing and typographic design. Beginning as a letterpress printer and designer, Gordon has adapted his style and his design skills as the craft shifted to computer typesetting, offset printing and now, digital printing. The press name is an archaic form of “elephant”; its logo appears almost exclusively on advertising rather than on books.

Gordon’s talk coincides with an exhibition, “The Seahorse and the Elephant: Amherst and Fine Printing,” which will be held in the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections from September 1 through December 16. The exhibition features the work of Gordon and another Amherst graduate, Roland Wood ’20, who (with John Fass) co-founded The Harbor Press. The Harbor Press was synonymous with fine printing in New York for almost two decades (1925-1942). Its seahorse logo appeared in dozens of versions on many Harbor Press productions.

Thanks to generous gifts from Gordon and Wood, Amherst College’s Archives and Special Collections holds a comprehensive collection of the productions of the Oliphant Press. The Archives and Special Collections also holds the archival collection of the productions of the Harbor Press, including not only the books they published, but also much of the ephemera—advertising material, job printing and privately printed books and pamphlets.

“The Seahorse and the Elephant” is co-curated by Daria D’Arienzo, head of archives and special collections, and John Lancaster, retired curator of special collections. The exhibition is part of “Bookmarks: A Celebration of the Art of the Book,” a region-wide festival from September 2007 to January 2008 that will bring to life the Pioneer Valley’s great literary traditions through film, family events, lectures and readings. The initiative is sponsored by the Amherst College Library (http://www.amherst.edu/library/) and Museums10, a partnership of 10 museums and friends (including Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum, the Emily Dickinson Museum and the Museum of Natural History) within the Pioneer Valley. More information about “Bookmarks” is available on the Museums10 Website, www.museums10.org.

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Amherst College Geologist Whitey Hagadorn Receives Grant from National Geographic Society

August 20, 2007
Contact:
Katherine Duke '05
Ives Washburn Fellow
413/542-2927
Stacey Schmeidel
Director of Public Affairs
413/542-2321

AMHERST, Mass.—Whitey Hagadorn, an assistant professor of geology at Amherst College, has received $20,000 from the National Geographic Society to study the initial colonization of land by animals. The grant will support student research on sedimentary rocks that represent ancient coastal dunefields and tidal flats. These rocks offer fossil evidence of some of the Earth’s earliest land-dwelling animals.

In rock exposures in New York, Wisconsin and Missouri, Hagadorn and his students have found fossilized tracks and casts of animals—including large slug-like mollusks and scorpion-like arthropods—that lived there 500 million years ago, when the areas were sandy tidal flats and beach dunes. With the grant money, students will perform fieldwork and laboratory analysis of the fossils, which Hagadorn hopes will shed light on how these life-forms might have looked and behaved.

A member of the Amherst faculty since 2002, Hagadorn also studies the advent of biomineralization and the ecology of early animal communities. He earned his B.A. degree at the University of Pennsylvania and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Southern California.

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