Friday, October 30, 2009

Jenn Monroe Published

“Ceasefire” and “Chocolate Sampler,” two poems by Chester College professor of writing and literature Jenn Monroe, will appear in the fall issue of Off the Coast magazine. The food-themed issue will be available in November. A third poem, “For a Moment,” will appear in the inaugural issue of Organs of Vision and Speech Magazine in December, and be included in a special printed issue of OVS slated for Summer 2010.

Fred Lynch Comes to Chester College

Illustrator Fred Lynch will be visiting Chester College on November 3rd as part of the Visiting Artist Symposium, giving a lecture in the Wadleigh Confrence Room from 2:30 to 4:00.

Having grown up in Cumberland, Rhode Island, Lynch graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1986. Since that time he has been creating illustrations for numerous clients and earned recognition from The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration Magazine, Communication Arts Magazine and Print Magazine. His work looks to combine the ordinary with the extraordinary, sketching from imagination and painting from reality.

Senior Shows Start Sunday

Starting this Sunday November 1 Chester College graduating Seniors will be showing their Senior Shows. Each of the students presenting have been working on these projects since January of this year. Their Gallery reception starts on Wednesday November 4th at 7 pm in the Wadleigh Library. The students who are presenting their work are Ashley Hin with “Fresh & Blue: a study of renewable energy”, Dustin Potter with “In Reverentia”, Gayle Lee and Tyler Moran with “Sideshow”.

Rachelle Beaudoin Featured in GirlDrive

Chester College media arts instructor Rachelle Beaudoin is featured in the book GirlDrive by Nona Willis Aronowitz and Emma Bee Bernstein. It is out in stores and available online now.

What do young women care about? What are their hopes, worries, and ambitions? Have they heard of feminism, and do they relate to it?

These are just a few of the questions journalist Nona Willis Aronowitz and photographer Emma Bee Bernstein set out to answer in Girldrive. In October 2007, Aronowitz and Bernstein took a cross-country road trip to meet with the 127 women profiled in this book, ranging from well-known feminists like Kathleen Hanna, Laura Kipnis, Erica Jong, and Michele Wallace, to women who don’t relate to feminism at all. The result of these interviews, Girldrive is a regional chronicle of the struggles, concerns, successes, and insights of young women who are grappling—just as hard as their mothers and grandmothers did—to find, define, and fight for gender equity.

Co-author Nona Willis Aronowitz was interviewed by ELLE about the book. Aronowitz will also be on NHPR’s Word of Mouth Wednesday (10/28) at noon. Beaudoin will join her to share her own experience participating with the project.

Chester Faculty Gallery Opening

Chester College faculty members Megan McNaught and Christina Pitsch will be showing their work at Fort Point Art Community starting November 6th, with the opening reception taking place on November 13th at 5:30. This event is free and open to the public.

The show, Patterned Tactic(s), brings together the work of Megan McNaught, abstract painter, and Christina Pitsch, sculptor. Both artists are linked by their use of pattern and repetition both in the process of making and in the finished imagery of the work. The show consists of free hanging life size clear deer sculptures surrounded by large-scale geometric net drawings. Both bodies of work are striking in their combination of inherent complexity with results that are quiet and deceivingly minimal in nature.

Pitsch’s technique of ‘mapping’ objects through the use of sewing patterns allows for the recreation of multiples in alternate materials and scales. The process of fabricating the sculptures begins with the actual drafting of sewing patterns from life size deer models. Through this process of breaking an object down and translating from 3 dimensional form to 2 dimensional parts there is a relationship that begins between object and artist. It is not only the method by which they are made but a meditation in repetition. Through a process of repetitively recreating each deer, piece-by-piece, the maker becomes intimate with the subject further developing the relationship between artist and iconography. By creating these animals in clear vinyl, cast plastic and acrylic sheet Pitsch speaks not only to what is there but what is not there. It is the skin, the shell, that is recreated, they do not, nor are they meant to stand solid as the original buck did. Instead they draw attention to that which is absent. In some ways these objects are both there and not there, speaking of absence and presence in one breath.

McNaught‘s work is focused on a process of accumulation, formal issues of image making, and the development of complexity through repetition of mark and shape. This work demonstrates a dynamic optical activity and illusion and explores the possibilities that exist by trying variations of single or limited elements and forms. The drawings are rigorous and measured with specific strategies of variation and planned patterning that often employ a division of the picture plane to set up field for a game. Slight differences within the drawings can snare the eye into a compare and contrast situation. In the Net paintings and drawings, the geometry takes on a life of it’s own, expanding and contracting across the surface using a simple solid geometric shape. The variation in the pattern that occurs is a result of a loose control of the artist’s hand.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Getting Below the Surface :An Interview with Elizabeth Graver

Elizabeth Graver will visit Chester College of New England on Wednesday, October 28. SO Good/Compass Rose staffer Alan Ferland had the opportunity to speak to her.

Alan Ferland: At what point in your life did you want to become a writer?

Elizabeth Graver: I grew up in a house full of books, and no television, so I was an avid reader from an early age, and also a kid with a very intense and elaborate fantasy life. As a girl, I played imaginary games, wrote, and drew pictures in nearly equal measure. I expressed a desire to be a writer from a very young age, around six, I think. I began writing more seriously when I became a teenager and playing with dolls was a terrible embarrassment; the life of my imagination shifted more intensely into writing then. After that, it was a slow, gradual process that involved many steps--writing for the self, writing in school, eventually writing toward publication. The context kept (and keeps) shifting. But the act itself--the writing, the making up of stories--has been part of how I make sense of the world for as long as I can remember.

AF: What do you consider to be inspiration for your writing?

EG: My inspiration comes, for individual pieces, from many different places: photographs, newspaper clippings, dreams, a voice, an image, sometimes (though not often) an event in real life. In a wider way, writing is most centrally about two things for me: words, which I adore--their sounds, their poetry, the way they can be braided into narrative; and emotion and psychology, getting below the surface. The act of writing itself is, I suppose, what generates the inspiration, the words as things I love to put together, and that lead me to new places.

AF: I read your short story, "The Mourning Door" in my Speculative Fiction class and was very much interested in the story's content. Have you always been a fiction writer, or do you stick more so with non-fiction?

I mostly write fiction, and I mostly write fairly realistic, psychological fiction, but that story is one of my stranger ones, playing as it does with the surreal. I could not have written that story as an essay, even though many of the things it engages with--infertility, modern medicine, science, biology, loss--are things an essay could take up. But I wanted a world whose strangeness could be signaled by, saying, the central character finding a little baby ear under the swing-set. I wanted to show the strangeness of reproduction and reproductive technology. Fiction that played with the borders of realism felt like the best way to do that.

AF: Is it ever possible for a story to be considered "done" on the first draft? Do you let your students workshop your own work?

EG: A story for me is never done on the first draft, though some of my stories come out closer to being finished than others. Sometimes it's a question of tweaking, editing, tightening. Other times, it's a question of knocking the house down to rebuilt it again. I often free-write with my students and share some work with them, but I've never had them workshop my own work; we are much too busy trying to fit in their work, and they

AF: In your short story collection, Have You Seen Me?, a few of your stories have maternal undertones. Did you draw from experience to create these pieces?

EG: Not in any direct, autobiographical way. I am a parent now, but my first daughter was born in 2000, my second in 2002, and Have You Seen Me? was written many years before that, in my early to mid-twenties. I love children; I baby-sat a lot; I have a mother; I am a daughter. So I guess that's experience in a way, but mostly, for me, writing is not about recording my own experience--it's about imagining, crossing thresholds into the experiences of my characters. I have to be interested in an urgent way, but I do not have to have, for example, been pregnant in order to write a story about a pregnant woman. If I need to know more, I do research. I make a lot of things up. I feel quite strongly that writers should not limit themselves to the autobiographical. Whose life is interesting enough? Not mine!

AF: What challenges do you face in both teaching and writing? How do you balance such a lifestyle?

EG: My life pulls me in many different directions, with writing, teaching, and parenting young kids all at the center. I love all those things. Sometimes they energize each other. Sometimes I need to put one aside to pay more attention to the other. I need to be patient, let the work develop slowly. Nothing is ever quite in balance, so for me it is more about learning to live with the disequilibrium and know that each thing will return, and that I need to do things to make that happen. A few examples: I left my family twice last year to go to Artists' Retreats for five days and do nothing but write; I left my writing this summer to spend seven weeks with my kids in Switzerland and do nothing but be with them and my husband, as a family, in a foreign place. When I was off writing, I missed my family, and when I was off with my family, I missed my writing, but the purity of not being divided in both those situations made it entirely worth it, and when I came back from my writing retreats, the kids were fine, and when I came back from Switzerland, my novel had not up and run away.

AF: Can you tell me a little more about your current project "Plants and their Children?"

EG: It's a strange sort of hybrid--a series of linked novellas or stories, I suppose, all set on the same small spit of land in Buzzards Bay, but spanning half a century and told from multiple points of view: that of a Scottish nanny caring for a child whose family spends summers on this Point; that of a wealthy young mother in the 50s; of her troubled son in 1970. It's about land, and ownership, and social class, and family as made up of bloodlines and caretakers and in-laws. It's probably the hardest book I've ever written in that what I am trying to capture is quite complicated, as is the relationship of the parts to the whole. It's taking me a long time, but I'm not in a rush and just hoping to get it right.

AF: What advice do you have for up and coming writers?

EG: Read, read, read.`12 Identify what conditions you need in order for your work to flourish (solitude or a cafe, a writers group, an MFA program, a cabin in the woods), and do what you can to create them. Be patient. Go out into the world and have adventures and crossings-over in which you enlarge your sense of the world and yourself.
Don't feel limited to just writing what you know (learn more, know more, imagine). Allow yourself to play--and then allow yourself to go back and revise, revise. E.L. Doctorow once wrote that "writing is like driving at night. You can only see as far as the headlights shine, but you can make the whole trip that way."

Author Elizabeth Graver Visits Chester College

The next writer in Chester College of New England's Visiting Writers Series is Elizabeth Graver. She will be holding a question and answer session with students from 2- 3 p.m. in Powers 29 on October 28. Later that evening, she will give a reading at 6 p.m., also in Powers 29. Chester College's own Tim Horvath, a member of the Writing and Literature faculty, will open. The reading is free and open to the public.

Graver was born in Los Angeles, California in 1964. She has written three novels, as well as a short story collection, titled Have You Seen Me?, which won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize in 1991. Much of her work has been seen in several anthologies, including Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and Best American Essays. One of her stories, “The Mourning Door,” won her the Cohen Prize from the Ploughshare Magazine. She currently is at Boston College, teaching Creative Writing.

Christine Choy Visits Chester College

With initial training as an architect, Christine Choy understands the unique framework of film making. Her documentary-style works have captivated audiences on a global-scale as well as garnering her multiple citations from the Sundance community. Her 1987 film "Who Killed Vincent Chin?", a chronicling of the real-life tragedy that took Japan by storm, swept critics and viewers, ultimately earning her an Academy Award nomination. She presents at Chester College of New England on October 27th at 2:30pm in the Wadleigh Conference Room as part of the Visiting Artist Symposium. She will share from her experiences as an artist. Admission is free and open to the public.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Finding Inspiration in Location: An Interview with Ben Anderson

Born in Lewisburg, PA, Ben Anderson has spent much of his life living and working all over the country. After frequent moves, he finished high school in Santa Monica, CA. In 1980 he attended Bucknell University where his father was a painting professor.

While on a semester abroad in London he visited the house of Henry Moore in Leeds, England. After returning to the US he transferred to the Rhode Island School of Design and studied sculpture with Jay Coogan and painter Stuart Diamond.

After graduating with a BFA in 1984, he established a studio in the Foundry building in Providence, RI where he supported his art career by making molds for other artists and architects.

Anderson received his MFA in 1992 from the University of California, San Diego in La Jolla, CA where he worked with Newton Harrison, Kim Mac Connell and Ernest Silva. After retuning to Rhode Island in 1994 he taught part time at area colleges and universities, including RISD, Brown University, Bryant University and the University of Rhode Island, where he was hired full time in 2005 as an assistant professor in the Department of Art and Art History.

Anderson continues to visit colleges and universities both as a resident artist and visiting lecturer. Recently, he came to Chester College of New England as part of its Visiting Artist Symposium Lecture Series.

What was your impression of Chester, and what did you take away from your experience here?

I immediately felt the closeness of the students, the small campus provides an intimacy that can be seen and felt. The students seemed to have a good sense of what their art is about.

How does Chester compare to other schools you have visited, or the schools you attended?

Larger schools tend to have their art education divided into multiple departments, so close knit groups develop within the departments, not usually as cross departmental as Chester.

You have traveled and lived in many places through out your life/career. How do you think this has influenced your work? Is this something you would recommend? Where were some of you more inspiring locations?

My local surroundings largely influence my work. When I was out west, it was very dry, and I longed for the moistness of the East. When you experience the absence of one thing in an area it increases your awareness to the attributes of other areas.

Your website denotes sculptures in ceramic, wood and metal. Can you briefly describe the sensations/feelings you feel when working with the different media? Which is most rewarding? What about your composition/goal for a piece dictates the media in which you choose to create it?

What best suits your idea is what you want to work with; thinking about something and then thinking about what the best materials would be. The more work you do with a variety of materials, the more you increase crossover comfort. Sometimes the pace in which you can work with the medium is a factor: wood takes a long time, it’s methodical; whereas, steel is fast, but still structural like wood.

In your early days of wood sculpting, you mention that you never thought of clay as a serious sculptural material. I am curious as to what your thoughts were on clay as a medium.

During my education and studying different art forms, clay was relegated to an area of pottery or utilitarian/decorative objects, never a serious artistic place. Clay used to be considered more of a craft than a serious material.

Your ceramic plates are heavily influenced by nature. Was there something about the tactile aspects you mention of working with clay that lend itself as a preferred medium?

Definitely. Clay is very plastic, easy to manipulate. I work with lots of molds and I can switch back and forth from molds to live sculpting.

Your bio mentions that your received your BFA in Sculpture, yet the painting/glazing of your sculptures is so detailed, did you study painting as well? What other media did you explore as a student?

No, I had no formal training. I have taken classes here and there over the years, and my skill has developed over time. I have done lots of drawing, and those worlds are interconnected. People should go over the boundaries; a good education crosses these boundaries. One should feel comfortable with all media.

What were some of your other major influences today? Artists? Medium? Subject matter?

I am interested in a natural world; I focus on that area and the different aspects of it. I look at it and find new things to talk about, the world of landscape, nature in a natural world, and I investigate different ways to deal with landscape, nature in new representations, abstract in work, but representational. I am always looking at other artists and how they choose to make work; I talk and interact with different artists all the time.

What advice would you give to expected grads now facing decisions of trying to establish themselves as artists versus continuing their education?

Always a tough decision, it depends on what you want to do. There are different commercial aspects in the design world. In my experience, after my Undergrad, I worked for different artists and found if they had ability to hire or I would work in galleries. If you are interested in teaching, the requirement is to earn a masters. I personally investigated grad school to relocate. You need to make a living regardless, and try to make your work at the same time. It takes time.

Anderson’s work continues to draw upon the natural world. He collects and mediates sampled objects through tools, molds and die casting, expressing his ideas of form and narration. His work is included in numerous private collections, and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. He has received a number of awards for his work in ceramics; the 1999 Byers’ Choice Award of Philadelphia, PA; a National Award in Ceramics, the 2005 Directors Choice, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the 2003 Rhode Island State Council of the Arts, Individual Artist Grant. In spring 2009 Anderson served as Artist in Residence at the Gordon School, East Providence, RI.

Through sculpture, Anderson has contributed more than a dozen exhibitions fusing both nautical composition and environmental works throughout the East Coast. Holding an MFA, his landmark creations have proven crucial to the artistic community.

--Rhiannon Lombard

Night of the Living Dead, Chester College of New England Style

Night of the Living Dead, the classic screenplay by George A. Romero has been revamped by the 2 Bit Players of Chester College of New England as a hour-long show, which strongly focuses in on the socio-political commentary of the original movie. The play covers one terrifying night in 1968, when seven strangers find themselves trapped together in a farmhouse and having to battle their prejudices inside while waging war against the hordes of the undead just outside the door. The cast includes many talented newcomers as well as seasoned actors, including Maurice Seay as Ben, Cynthia Hollis as Barbara, Rockie Hunter as Harry, Maura Keaney as Helen, Austin Luther as Tom, and Rebecca MacDonald as Judy. Supporting cast includes Alan Ferland as Chief McClellan, William Mercier as Len, and Charles Boucher, Lisa Pike and Derek Laurendeau as zombies. Directed by Professor John Sefel, the play will be performed seven times on the following dates: October 30 at 7:30pm and 10pm, October 31 at 10pm, November 6 at 7:30pm and 10pm, and November 7 at 7:30pm and 10pm. Seating is limited so please make sure to be there a half hour before the show to get tickets. It's an incredible show that you won't want to miss! Also on October 18 from 5-10pm the video portion of the play will be shot on the hill outside of Preston Dorm. We still need rednecks and zombies for extras in the film and there are no lines to be learned, just come and have fun hunting zombies.

~Lisa Pike

Professional Practices and Gallery Practicum group holds Framing and Matting Seminar

On Friday October 23, 2009 Gallery Practicum Group and Professional Practices will be holding a Framing and Mating seminar. The seminar will be held at 1pm at the First floor in Nutting. The seminar is free and open to the public so feel free to stop by and learn how to mat and frame your artwork.

Chester College Celebrates its 3rd Annual Family Weekend

On Friday October 23 and Saturday October 24 Chester College will be celebrating its 3rd Annual Family Weekend. The schedule of events is listed below.

Friday, October 23, 2009

8:30pm – 4:00pm Family Weekend Check-In, Lane
9:00am – 4:00pm Attend Classes with Students
9:00am – 11:50am Interactive Design with Luke Buffenmyer
9:00am – 11:50am Professional Practices with Beverly Joyce
9:00am – 11:50am Historical Photo with Ed Stapel
9:00am – 11:50am Composition & Literature with Byron Petrakis
9:00am – 11:50am Madness & Movies with Steve Soreff
11:00am – 11:50am Galleries Practicum with Megan McNaught
12:30am – 3:30pm Professional Practices with Megan McNaught
1:00pm – 3:50pm Composition & Rhetoric with Chris Volpe
1:00pm – 3:50pm Historical Photo with Ed Stapel
4:00pm – 6:30pm Campus Tours
6:30pm Annual Harvest Dinner, Library
8:30pm – 10:00pm Evening Activities:
Apples to Apples, Adams Hall TV Room with Maggie Alerding
Door Decorating Contest, Preston Hall Meeting Room with Nicole Buskey
Silent Football, Preston Hall TV Room with Alan Ferland
Ultimate Frisbee, Library Field with Emmet Griffin
9:30pm Bonfire, Preston Hall

Saturday, October 24, 2009

7:30am – 9:00am Breakfast, Dining Commons
9:00am Family Weekend Welcome, Library
10:00am & 11:00am Rotating Staff-Led Workshops:
Adjusting to College & Parent Participation
Helping Students Finance Their Education
How to Stay in School (as a Grad Student) Forever
Student Health and Safety
11:30am – 1:00pm Lunch, Dining Commones
1:00pm & 2:00pm Rotating Student-Led Workshops
Art History, Julia Maranto
Black Box Theater, Derek Laurendeau & Ben Dennison
Design, Shawn Mahoney & Brittany Barnes
Fiction, Daniel Keating & Chelsea Paige
Painting, Alexa Patrick
Photography, Heather Doherty
Print-Making, Timothy Lee & Maggie Alerding
Sculpture, Wyatt Lynch
Surrealism, Rachel Lieberman, Vanessa Laboy, and Nick Kimball
2:00pm – 4:30pm In the Margins, Nutting Hall
3:00pm – 4:00pm Annual Family Olympics
4:30pm Fall Honors Convocation
5:30pm – 7:00pm Dinner, Dining Commons
7:00pm Evening Entertainment

Paola Ferrario visits Chester College of New England

On October 20th Photographer Paola Ferrario will continue Chester College of New England's Visiting Artist Symposium. Her lecture will start at 2:30pm in the Wadleigh Library. Following the lecture there will be a question and answer session. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Paola Ferrario was born in Rho (Milan) Italy in 1963. She received an MFA from Yale University in 1988. Since then, she has completed narrative and documentary photographic projects in Italy, Guatemala, and the United States. Among her awards and fellowships are the Friends of Photography/Calumet Emerging Photographer award (2000), the Paul Taylor/Dorothea Lange Prize from Duke University (2001), a Puffin Foundation Grant(2003) and a Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography (2004). Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. She is currently the Harnish Visiting Fellow at Smith College in Nothampton, Mass., where she teaches classes in photography and digital media.

Homeland influences curator: An Interview with Viera Levitt

Curator Viera Levitt visited Chester College of New England on October 13 as part of the Visiting Artists Symposium Lecture Series. So Good staff member Daniel Partridge had the opportunity to speak with her about her work.

Daniel Partridge: With your degree of experience, how has curating better fueled your interest in art?

Viera Levitt: As a curator, I have been very lucky to be able to watch artists at work and to discuss their art with them. This has given me more appreciation for the thoughtfulness and craft that goes into the making of a piece of art.

DP: Do you feel that being the youngest director of public art museum in the history of the Slovak Republic has allowed you more or less freedom in the contemporary art community?

VL: I certainly had suddenly more friends after becoming a director!

I had the freedom to organize ambitious projects and to work with great artists. I also was able to create joint projects involving well-respected contemporary art institutions throughout Europe. But, while fortunately I never was forced to compromise my expectations for a high level of quality in my shows, I was nonetheless pressured as the director of a regional museum, to include the works of so called ‘local artists’. Being a director also involved a set of social expectations, most of which, but not all, I enjoyed.

DP: Having traveled so widely, what drove you to finally settle in the U.S.?

VL: I had an Artslink residency at Graduate Studies at RISD in 2002. It was my first experience in the US, its museums, galleries and non-for profit organizations such as AS220 in Providence, and I met great people, particularly one, that I ended up marrying.

DP: Is there a certain presentation or event throughout your career that you feel defines you best? If so, please elaborate.

VL: I usually get into whatever show or project I’m working on at the time. The ones that define my curatorial preferences are those that tend to be interactive or those that create temporary communities appreciating art in unexpected venues. Two projects in that vein are; “Training” that involved renting an entire car in a regular train in Slovakia and having artists and curators working in tandem to install mediate art to a public of travelers ( And the second, a recent project that shared the similar element of travel bringing art to the public instead of public to the art – Mobile Art Project that I curated in collaboration with the Hera Gallery in Rhode Island (

DP: Do you have any advice that you believe is crucial to those considering a career in museum curating?

VL: It is the one I got from Czech curator living in Italy, that brought an exceptional show of Bruno Munari to the art museum in Slovakia where I just started to work as I pursued my Masters of Art degree. She said that I would be a good curator because I have the most important quality needed for the job–curiosity. I believe it is true. Looking around, seeing artwork, trying to understand them, asking, discussing, even asking again. So yes, that’s also my advice–be curious!

Be a Zombie or a Redneck

On Sunday October 18 the 2 Bit Players will be filming a video for their production of Night of the Living Dead. In order to make this film they need people to play zombies and rednecks. All the makeup will be provided and no experience is necessary. Filming will be between 5-10pm but it shouldn't go until 10pm.

In order to be a zombie all you would have to do is wander around and act like you are looking for brains. Rednecks on the other hand will be standing around "drinking".

If you are interested in appearing in the video please email us at

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Great Power of Words In Art: An Interview with Susan E. Evans

On Tuesday, October 6, Susan E. Evans gave a lecture to Chester College students in the Wadleigh Library Conference Room as part of the college's Visiting Artist Symposium.

Evans, a conceptual artist who works in photography, video and new media, uses her work to explore concepts of identity, landscapes, and the categorization of information. "I am fascinated how identity, like language and photography, is based on context as well as what is connoted and denoted,” she said. “Who we ‘are’ versus who we want people to think we are. I enjoy playing with the overlaps and disparity of this, which affects the way we identify value, categorize, and define…all of which are based on cultural and or socioeconomic biases."

Seeing an evolution from Egyptian Hieroglyphics, to modern advertising and marketing, Evans utilizes text in much of her current work. "I think words have great power and I use them in a variety of contexts,” she said, “but usually to similar ends—to explore how the human brain processes and catalogues information, point out the parallels between the notions of language and grammar and what is called visual language and as a means to make the work subjective to each viewer.

"Generally speaking I am interested in a postmodern deconstructivism and the semiotic application of text,” she continued. “I am also interested in experiential text as well as subverted imagery."

Evans spent the previous summer living in a tee pee and learning wet plate photography, a 19th century photographic process, with a Fellowship from Oakland University. In March of 2010 she will be lecturing on her project titled "The Color of Skin" at the 47th National Society of Photographic Education.

--Renee Mallett

Friday, October 9, 2009

Viera Levitt visits Chester College of New England

On Tuesday, October 13, Viera Levitt will visit Chester College of New England as the next artist in the Visiting Artist Symposium. She will not only speak of her diverse portfolio and experience, but also to shed some light on the contemporary arts scene and her past time curating exhibitions all across the globe. Originally from Slovakia, Levitt was the youngest public arts director in the history of the Slovak Republic and her dedication to the creative world is unwavering. Her presentation will be held in the Wadleigh Library conference room from 2:30-4:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Ireland Study Abroad is now exhibiting in the Wadleigh Gallery

Starting this week, students who participated in Chester College's Ireland Summer Abroad 2009 will exhibit their work in the Wadleigh Library Gallery. The show includes work from Chester College students Julia Maranto, Wyatt Lynch, Ken Belsito, Alicia Roussin and Susan Roes. The work is a collection of books, photography, sculpture, and paintings, which were influenced by Irish life, historical sites, geography, and the culture and nature of Ballyvaughn, Ireland. The students studied in Ballyvaughn at Burren College.

The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chester College Alum Shows Photographs on Campus

Traveling Asia, a collection of color photographs by Chester College of New England alum Scott Baker, will be on display in the Wadleigh Gallery on the Chester College campus through October 22. SO Good staffer Heather Doherty spoke to him before the opening on October 2.

Heather Doherty: How long have you been working on this series?

Scott Baker: I have been working on this series for three years. I mainly worked in Korea. After the first six months of shooting I started contacting galleries. At this point I have seven shows lined up until August 2010. Most of the galleries I contacted had a one to two year waiting period.

HD: What do you want people to take away from your show?

SB: I have been trying to photograph Korea and my other travels in hopes to express how different cultures are. I wanted to show how they live. I wanted to show different things from across the world that most people wouldn’t have a chance to see.

HD: Where did you get the idea for the title of the show?

SB: The past three years I just saved and traveled. I didn’t go to too many places in Southeast Asia so I just named it Asia. I am not one to title my work. I am pretty straight forward.

HD: Where did you do the majority of your shooting?

SB: I did all my shooting in Asia: South Korea, Beijing, China, Thailand, Siem Reap, Cambodia and Angkor, Cambodia.

HD: Why did you choose the format of your prints you chose?

SB: Honestly it is what I can afford at this point. I look at my work as both art and business. I didn’t want to get a credit card and rack up a huge bill. I just saved up and did what I could do.

HD: What made you go into photojournalism?

SB: In high school we watched a documentary on W. Eugene Smith and after that I knew what I wanted to do.

HD: Were there any classes at Chester that pushed you in this direction of work?

My photojournalism and documentary photography classes I took my senior year. Those were the two classes I left with, and what got me into travel and sports.

HD: Who or what influences your work?

SB: The different people I have met over the years. Jaylee, a farmer I met in Korea; he really showed me a lot about farming, and introduced me to Korean culture. What I learned at Chester prepared me for situations and how to be artist/photographer.

HD: What medium do you prefer to work in?

SB: The past six months I have been working with a Mamma Mia 645, medium format and film camera. I like it because it is the type of camera you have to look down to get the natural setting.

Digital is good because it is quick and easy to look at in the field. Film on the other hand you have to develop. At this point I have tons of rolls that still need to be developed from the past six months.

I like going back and forth between digital and black and white film.

HD: How do you pick your subjects of work?

SB: I try to find interesting stories. Jaylee’s (my farmer friend) neighbor was a sweet potato farmer. I was able to learn a lot about the subject, which is what I want my photography to show. I get my ideas from the internet and television. For instance, I was watching a show on Discovery about villages in Thailand. From that show I decided I would do anything necessary to get there and meet those people. I also get ideas from the people I meet.

HD: How do you pick the pictures to print?

SB: Whenever I take a picture I instantly know which one I am going to print. It is like an adrenaline rush when I take those pictures.

HD: Is there anything in particular you like to photograph?

I photograph sports on the weekend for fun and for the money. I’m not into studio stuff. I think you should learn studio work but it’s not what I want to do.

HD: What are you working on right now?

SB: I am currently working on advertising my work. I want to make a name for myself. I am also looking into grad school focusing on art management/gallery management.

HD: Do you have any advice for upcoming artists?

SB: Do not limit yourself on projects you want to do. Try to think of a crazy story and how to do it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Susan E. Evans visits Chester College of New England

Photographer and Videographer Susan E. Evans will be the next artist in Chester College of New England’s Visiting Artist Symposium Lecture Series. Her lecture will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 6 in the Wadleigh Library conference room. It is free and open to the public.

Evans works with Photography, Video, sculpture, installation, and hybrid media. She is currently working with contemporary content in large format wet-plate photographs (Ambrotypes) and actively researching different language theories, anthropology and memory systems. She is fascinated by the disparity of a unified understanding or comprehension of common symbols and imagery though standardized structures and utilizes these to explore ideas about language, identity, context, structure, information processing, categorization, co-modification and meaning.

Evans started her photography exploration at the age of 8. She received her BFA in both Photography and Holography from Goddard College and a MFA from Cornell University in Photography.

She has work shown in the George Eastman House, Los Angles Contemporary Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Texas; Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland; Centro De La Imagen; Mexico City, Mexico; Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, FL; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; Akron Museum of Art, Akron Ohio; The Henry Museum, Portland Oregon; Center for Photography Woodstock, NY; Center for Creative Photography; Tuscon AZ; Collection Dancing Bear; and the George Meredith Collection.

Christopher Janke visits Chester College

Chester College of New England’s Visiting Writers Series will welcome poet Christopher Janke at 6 p.m., Wednesday, October 7 in Powers 29. Chester College student Joseph Arentz will open the event, and a question and answer session with the writers will follow. The reading is free and open to the public.

Janke owns Suzee’s Third St. Laundry in TFMA. He is Senior Editor of Slope Editions, and his poems have appeared in Harper’s, The American Poetry Review and other journals. He also has written the book Structure of the Embryonic Rat Brain.