Brandeis University State of the Arts, Fall 2017

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A new director for the Rose Art Museum


Voices and Visions Transformative thinking in the art studio

Castle of Our Skins shines a light on black composers NEW: Pullout arts calendar

visions A Pre-Centennial Moment of Aleppo; music by unknown or unappreciated black composers; and a seminal work of feminist theater.) Sensitive to critics who said that his monumental work “Mass” was a naive antiwar statement, Bernstein said in 1972: “Art cannot change events. But it can change people. And because people are changed by art — enriched, ennobled, encouraged — they then act in a way that may affect the course of the way they vote, they behave, the way they think.”

Throughout his life, Bernstein was outspoken about — and brought vital support to — causes from civil rights to AIDS research. His voice was a loud one, to be sure, and naturally the public attention was not always positive, but his activism and philanthropy are as central to his life as his music. In preparation for the hundredth anniversary of Bernstein’s birth next year, concert halls and theaters all over the world will ring with his great works, many of which address an exceptionally turbulent time in American history. At Brandeis, I know that our centennial programs will have a special resonance. Ever since Bernstein’s years on the Brandeis music faculty (1951-56) and Board of Trustees (197681), our programs in the arts have grown in their capacity to reflect the complexity of modern life. Bernstein, a lifelong spiritual pilgrim who was raised in the Jewish faith, would no doubt feel at home and energized on today’s campus. (During fall 2017 alone, he would encounter artwork created in response to the destruction


”Art cannot change events. But it can “Radical chic,” the term coined by Tom Wolfe in an infamous 1970 essay deriding the political change activism of Leonard Bernstein and his contemporaries, is a phrase that needs to be put to rest. people.

It was a complex call for peace, the “Mass,” a work that questioned conventional thinking and demanded reflection. Collaborating with the young, pre-”Wicked” Stephen Schwartz (who had just opened “Godspell” on Broadway), Bernstein alchemized traditional Latin texts and 20th century vernacular and modernist music, creating a debate and argument with God. For the most part, audiences were deeply moved, and even the Catholic Church came around; in 2000, Pope John Paul II requested a performance at the Vatican. Spring 2018 will bring a concert version of “Mass” to campus, one of the many Bernstein programs planned for the 2018-19 centennial. The University Chorus, a children’s chorus, two soloists and a string orchestra will perform 15 movements of the work to conclude the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Arts on April 22, 2018. Tell me: How would you like to see Brandeis celebrate the maestro’s life? Were you a student of Bernstein when he taught here? A classmate at Boston Latin School or Harvard? Did you perform in the first Festival of the Arts? How did Bernstein’s work expand your understanding of music or of arts and peacebuilding? We would love to hear from you at Dona nobis pacem.

INGRID SCHORR Director, Office of the Arts

contents FALL 2017 VOLUME 14, NUMBER 1 State of the Arts is published twice a year by Brandeis University Office of the Arts.

Editor Ingrid Schorr Art Director John Sizing Editorial Assistant Brooke Granovsky ’18 Photography Mike Lovett Copy Editor Susan Pasternack Contributors Jarret Bencks Christine Dunant Susan Metrican Cheryl Nalbach Deborah Rosenstein Caitlin Julia Rubin Andrea Segar Robbie Steinberg ’13 Katie Sumi Robert Walsh Pam Niequist Wehbi Correspondence Office of the Arts MS 092 Brandeis University PO Box 549110 Waltham, MA 02453-2728


2 Calendar 6 Fine Arts: Voices and Visions



Your guide to fall 2017 plays, concerts, readings and exhibitions.

In the art studio, students find that their answers are questioned and their questions answered.


Music: Black in Europe and Beyond Castle of Our Skins brings the work of Black classical composers to Brandeis in a unique residency this November.

10 Rose Art Museum

Fall exhibitions include the first large-scale museum show in North America devoted to the work of Joe Bradley, and a new mural for the Foster Wing.

12 Meet Luis Croquer


The new director of the Rose Art Museum believes in good art, good food and the “aha” moment.

Castle of Our Skins’ Ashleigh Gordon (left) and Anthony Green

16 Art of the Matter

What’s the buzz? See what’s been happening with our distinguished arts faculty.

CALENDAR HIGHLIGHTS AND VISITOR INFORMATION A new pullout calendar makes it easier for you to plan your Brandeis art moments.

calendar MUSIC All concerts take place at Slosberg Music Center, unless otherwise noted. SONETTI AT SUNSET Friday, September 15, 7 p.m. Harlan Chapel This informal performance of early music offers a meditative listening experience. Bring a pillow or yoga mat if you like and put the day to rest. Free and open to the public. SONETTI SPIRITUALI Saturday, September 16, 8 p.m. The viol consort Nota Bene and guest vocalists perform the sensual and ecstatic sacred poetry of Vittoria Colonna (the first published female poet in Italy), set to music by Pietro Vinci in 1580. Sarah Mead, director. Made possible by the Brandeis Arts Council. Free and open to the public. DAN STEPNER AND FRIENDS Sunday, September 17, 3 p.m. Daniel Stepner, violin, with Mark Kagan, tenor, and Judith Gordon, piano. Music of Bach (including the Chaconne and some new transcriptions), Vaughan Williams and Fauré. Tickets: $20/$15/$5; proceeds support scholarships for the annual Unaccompanied Bach Workshop.

MARK BERGER, VIOLA: FANTASIES, FABLES AND FAIRY TALES Saturday, October 7, 8 p.m. Lydian String Quartet violist Mark Berger and acclaimed pianist Donald Berman perform music by John Aylward, PhD ‘08, Persichetti, Prokofiev and Schumann. Tickets: $20/$15/$5.

FAMILY WEEKEND CONCERT Sunday, October 29, 2 p.m. The Brandeis student music ensembles, performing choral, jazz, orchestral, early music and more, are on deck for one fantastic Fall Weekend concert. Free and open to the public.

NEW MUSIC BRANDEIS: COMPOSERS’ COLLECTIVE Saturday, October 21, 8 p.m. Premieres of works by graduate composers in Brandeis’ illustrious composition program. Free and open to the public.

HOME WITHIN Saturday, November 4, 8 p.m. STUDENT ENSEMBLE PREVIEW Clarinetist and composer Wednesday, October 25, noon Kinan Azmeh and artist Mark Berger Mandel Center for the Kevork Mourad return to Humanities Atrium Brandeis with the multimeEnjoy an informal vocal and instrumental dia piece “Home Within,” concert, followed by a free light buffet described as “intensely soulful” by The lunch. Presented by the Department of New York Times and “spellbinding” by Music and the Mandel Center for the The New Yorker. Sponsored by the Rose Humanities. Free and open to the public. Art Museum, the departments of Fine Arts and Music, and MusicUnitesUS. SOLAR WINDS QUINTET Tickets: $20/$15/$5. Saturday, October 28, 8 p.m. Solar Winds returns for an evening of wind BRANDEIS CHAMBER SINGERS ensemble classics, featuring Brandeis flute Sunday, November 5, 3 p.m. instructor Jill Dreeben. Tickets (available at Robert Duff, conductor. Free and open the door only): $20/$10/free to students. to the public. BRANDEIS WIND ENSEMBLE Sunday, November 12, 3 p.m. Tom Souza, director. Free and open to the public.

Donald Berman

BLACK IN EUROPE AND BEYOND Saturday, November 18, 8 p.m. (pre-concert talk at 7 p.m.) MusicUnitesUS presents Castle of Our Skins, a Boston-based concert and educational series that celebrates Black artistry in the concert hall and in the classroom. Tickets: $20/$15/$5. PATRICK O’CONNOR



BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY CHORUS Sunday, November 19, 3 p.m. Robert Duff, conductor. Free and open to the public.

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BRANDEIS-WELLESLEY ORCHESTRA Sunday, November 19, 7 p.m. Neal Hampton, conductor. Free and open to the public. BRANDEIS JAZZ ENSEMBLE Saturday, December 2, 8 p.m. Vocalist and five-time Grammy nominee Karrin Allyson joins the Jazz Ensemble, made possible by the Harold and Evelyn R. Davis Foundation. Bob Nieske, director. Free and open to the public. BRANDEIS EARLY MUSIC ENSEMBLE Sunday, December 3, 3 p.m. Discover the music that formed the foundation for Bach and his successors, performed on historical instruments such as viols, harps and sackbuts. Sarah Mead, director. Free and open to the public. LEONARD BERNSTEIN FELLOWSHIP RECITAL Sunday, December 3, 7 p.m. Brandeis’ elite undergraduate musicians perform chamber music works. Free and open to the public. FAFALI: MUSIC AND DANCE FROM GHANA Monday, December 4, 7 p.m. The student ensemble Fafali presents traditional music and dance from Ghana, West Africa. Ben Paulding, director. Free and open to the public.

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BRANDEIS IMPROV COLLECTIVE Tuesday, December 5, 7 p.m. The Improv Collective meets weekly to explore the infinite possibilities of sound and rhythm, culminating in this freshest of concert presentations. Tom Hall, director. Free and open to the public. CHAMBER MUSIC RECITAL Wednesday, December 6, 7 p.m. Featuring the students of MUS116. Free and open to the public. UNDERGRADUATE COMPOSERS’ COLLECTIVE Friday, December 8, 7 p.m. Premieres of new works by undergraduates. Free and open to the public. NEW MUSIC BRANDEIS: LYDIAN STRING QUARTET Saturday, December 9, 8 p.m. Premieres of works by students in Brandeis’ illustrious composition program, performed by the Lydian String Quartet. Free and open to the public.

TICKETS 781-736-3400

“MESSIAH” SING Monday, December 11, 4 p.m. Shapiro Campus Center Atrium Join the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra and the University Chorus in the annual community sing of Handel’s masterpiece. Music scores and seasonal refreshments are provided. Free and open to the public.

VISUAL ARTS All visual arts events and exhibitions are free and open to the public. FALL EXHIBITIONS AT THE ROSE September 8, 2017-January 2018 Rose Art Museum For exhibition descriptions, see pages 10 and 11. Opening Reception: Saturday, October 14, 6-9 p.m. SACHIKO AKIYAMA | LONG HAND POEM July 5-October 27 Kniznick Gallery, Women’s Studies Research Center The hand-carved sculptures of Sachiko Akiyama, PB ’00, soften the distinction between seeing and touching, merging with creatures and spaces typically observed from a distance. NEW WORK FROM HOME AND ABROAD September 13-October 4 Goldman-Schwartz Studio Building



calendar Exhibition of artwork by students who received study grants in summer 2017. ARTIST’S LECTURE AND RECEPTION Wednesday, September 27, 5-8 p.m. Women’s Studies Research Center Sachiko Akiyama speaks about her exhibition “Long Hand Poem,” on view in the Kniznick Gallery.


EXERCISES FOR THE QUIET EYE Tuesday, October 24, 2:30-4 p.m. Kniznick Gallery, Women’s Studies Research Center Experience the Sachiko Akiyama exhibition with WSRC Scholar Annie Storr, an art historian and museum educator, whose “Exercises for the Quiet Eye” encourage reflection and appreciation. CLARITY HAYNES: BABA NA GIG November 13, 2017-February 16, 2018 Kniznick Gallery, Women’s Studies Research Center Haynes’ large-scale portraits of older women’s torsos tenderly describe their freckles, scars and signs of aging, and offer

an intimate yet universal view of feminist bodies. SENIOR MIDYEAR EXHIBITION December 11, 2017-January 9, 2018 Opening Reception: Monday, December 11, 5-7 p.m. Dreitzer Gallery, Spingold Theater Center Exhibition by senior Studio Art majors and minors.



THE SPARROW November 2-5 Shapiro Campus Center Theater In “The Sparrow” (2007), a strange teenage girl with supernatural powers could be the hero that her town longs for. Or her dark secret might destroy them all. Student-produced and sponsored by




Sachiko Akiyama, “Between Dream and Memory,” 2004

FEFU AND HER FRIENDS October 19-22 Laurie Theater, Spingold Theater Center “And if [women] shall recognize each other, the world will be blown apart.” Eight women gather to rehearse a fundraising presentation. With different scenic interludes, they reveal their rebellion against patriarchy while illustrating their complicity with it. Maria Irene Fornés’ groundbreaking play explores how subtle pressures work on women across the world to conform to an ideal of meekness and femininity. For related programming, visit departments/theater. Tickets: $20/$15/$5.

BLITHE SPIRIT October 19-22 Shapiro Campus Center Theater Noël Coward’s 1941 comedy offers up fussy novelist Charles Condomine, haunted by the ghost of his first wife, who is called up by a “happy medium,” one Madame Arcati. Student-produced and sponsored by the Undergraduate Theater Collective. Tickets: $5.

“Fefu and Her Friends”

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the Undergraduate Theater Collective. Tickets: $5. ONCE UPON A MATTRESS November 16-19 Shapiro Campus Center Theater This rollicking 1959 musical based on “The Princess and the Pea” might change the way you think of fairy tales. Studentproduced and sponsored by the Undergraduate Theater Collective. Tickets: $5.

BORIS’ KITCHEN SKETCH COMEDY FESTIVAL December 1-2 Shapiro Campus Center Theater The student performing ensemble Boris’

Kaitlyn Greenidge

THE NUTCRACKER Saturday, December 9 Shapiro Campus Center Theater The student-run Brandeis Ballet Company’s production of the holiday classic adds original choreography and contemporary music to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score.


TINY DANCE PROJECT #2: SIT, STAND, GO Thursday, November 30, 7 p.m. Merrick Studio, Spingold Theater Center Enchanting new dance theater work choreographed and directed by Susan Dibble, the Louis, Frances, and Jeffrey Sachar Professor of Creative Arts. Free and open to the public. Open dress rehearsal November 29.

Kitchen presents its annual Sketch Comedy Festival, joined by comedy troupes from other colleges. Donations accepted at the door for a charity to be announced.

LITERARY ARTS Readings are sponsored by the Creative Writing Program. Visit departments/english for locations. Thursday, October 19, 5:30 p.m. Reading: Alicia Ostriker ’59 Poet and critic Alicia Suskin Ostriker ’59 is the author of 12 volumes of poetry, including “The Book of Seventy” (2009), which won the National Jewish Book Award, and of “Writing Like a Woman” and “Stealing the Language: The Emergence of Women’s Poetry in America.”

Tuesday, November 14, 5:30 p.m. Reading: Kaitlyn Greenidge Critics praised the “thundering vitality” of Kaitlyn Greenidge’s debut novel, “We Love You, Charlie Freeman” (Algonquin, 2016). Her writing on race, media and culture has appeared in The New York Times, The Believer, American Short Fiction, and other publications. She is the recipient of the 2017 Whiting Award for fiction.

Boris’ Kitchen Sketch Comedy Festival


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In the art studio, students get their answers questioned and their questions answered.



z z z z VOICES&VIS z z z z


Joe Wardwell and Olivia Joy ‘18

On a late-June afternoon in the GoldmanSchwartz Fine Art Studios, box fans gently stir loose pieces of paper. Overhead lights are off, as are a few students’ shoes. Assistant Professor Alfredo Gisholt is explaining to his beginning drawing class how to draw with charcoal. He peppers his instructions with questions. “Do you know why the charcoal makes its distinctive marks? Do you know why it’s called vine charcoal?” (Because it’s made from charred tree vines.)

Most of these students will go on to major in other subjects, more than a few will continue to take art classes and some will major in studio art, pursuing in-depth research in the yearlong senior studio. But no matter what their path, they all begin with introductory drawing and sculpture classes that are as dedicated to risk taking and personal growth as the upper-level courses. Students are often surprised to find that beyond gaining familiarity with how

“When you draw quickly, it should feel like a workout, like you’re doing ribbon gymnastics or casting a fly.” — ALFREDO GISHOLT, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF FINE ARTS



to use tools and materials, the real focus in studio courses is on transformation. Literal thinking becomes nuanced understanding. Students learn to interpret and interrogate the physical world of light, movement and mass in new ways. “We are preparing our students for creative participation in a changing society,” says Aida Yuen Wong, the Nathan Cummings and Robert B. and Beatrice C. Mayer Chair in Fine Arts. “They bring ideas and insights from the other creative arts such as music and performance, as well as from their broad academic studies of sciences, social sciences and humanities.” Next door in the sculpture studio, students have each been given a hardcover book and free rein to refashion them using knives, drills, even fire. Lecturer in

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by Ingrid Schorr, Director, Office of the Arts

Studio arts professor Joe Wardwell makes a big mark

z IONS J z


by Jarret Bencks, Office of Communications


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Fine Arts Chris Frost prepares to make the rounds of individual works in progress. “If any of you have any questions, let me know. Don’t let your imagination come to a halt.” In both introductory classes, instruction includes plenty of references to art history, prompted by the various directions that students are taking. “Do you know the work of Frank Stella?” Frost asks a student who is moving pieces of a hardcover book around, combining them into various geometric shapes. “Look him up later. Keep going with what you’re doing.” Critical discussions of their own and each other’s work in progress play a large role in the students learning to articulate content and meaning, as well as personal risk taking and understanding of self. Maggie Ziegel ’18, a double major in theater arts and sociology with a focus on peacebuilding and the arts, shows me her first sculpture project, a four-foot cardboard model of a mosque. “I received the biggest compliment from another student: that it looks like something only a kid could make,” she says. “I’ve never been so supported to take risks,” she adds. “I want to be the one who shocks the professor.” “I love the studio space,” says Jacob Kleinberg ’18, an American studies major.

oe Wardwell’s installation “Hello America: 40 Hits From the 50 States” at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MassMoCA) is hard to miss. Covering an entire gallery wall in Building 6, the much-celebrated new wing of the museum in North Adams, the mural is 146 feet long and 14 feet high. It’s unlike anything Wardwell, associate professor of painting and current director of the studio art program, has done before. “There’s not many places that could take a mural that big,” he says. “It’s something I’d never faced before as an artist. It’s huge.” From a distance, the mural brightly stands out. The acrylic mural features large, bright block text and more subtle screen-printed quotations from a wide variety of sources, from punk rockers to presidential candidates. The quotations come from a wide variety of sources, from punk rockers to presidential candidates to poets to progressive thinkers. Wardwell found inspiration for his piece from equally far-reaching places, like the science fiction novel “Hello America” by author J.G. Ballard, which features a madman who calls himself President Charles Manson — and declares, “together, Wayne, we will make America great again!” — and a song by experimental band Negativland that features an expletive-laden rant by the radio’s late Casey Kasem. He was commissioned to create the installation at MassMoCA by the museum’s curator, Denise Markonish ‘97. “I’ve been following Joe’s work for years and admire his recent focus on the landscape and politics, especially at a time when artists need to think about the world around them,” Markonish says. Creating the mural was a new kind of challenge for Wardwell, thanks to the size of the wall and the inflexibility of the space, he said. It was a yearlong process that started with taking photographs of the gallery and the wall, and ended with a 22-day-long installation by a four-person team. The new wing nearly doubles the size of the museum. Works by Laurie Anderson, Jenny Holzer and James Turrell are among the inaugural exhibitions and Wardwell’s mural will remain on display through April 2018. “It’s an incredible honor to be included in such great company, but it’s also a challenge to create a piece that sort of stands up with your heroes,” Wardwell said. “It’s a humbling experience to have people you look up to look back at you.”

Joe Wardwell and “Hello America: 40 Hits from the 50 States”



D “I feel very free. Free to let go of perfectionism.” Kleinberg is at a table outside the building, burning a hole in a copy of the “Norton Anthology of American Literature.” “This book caused me so much pain,” he laughs. In the drawing studio, Gisholt has finished his brief formal instruction, and students are on their feet, preparing to draw still lifes while standing up for the first time. “Involve your torso,” says Gisholt. “These quick drawings should feel like a workout, like you’re doing ribbon gymnastics or casting a fly.” He sets a two-minute timer. “I feel like a spin instructor,” he jokes. The students begin, moving sticks of charcoal over the rough paper. Even as they’re racing against the clock, the students seem hyper-focused. There’s no time to ruminate on mistakes. They draw, erase, draw, flip their paper over and start again. “It should be a


Students learn to interpret and interrogate the physical world of light, movement and mass in a new way. pretty meditative thing. Do something, cancel it out, do it again,” Gisholt coaches. “Focus more on the subject than on your drawing,” he says to a student who’s hung up on details. Back in the sculpture studio, Frost checks in with Nick Waller ’18, who is deftly rolling his book’s pages into scrolls. Frost turns the book 90 degrees and asks Waller, “What’s your best viewpoint? Why does that interest you?” Waller contemplates the book. “Do you want to tell me, or just do it?” Frost asks. “Find a way to push that, so we the viewer are following your lead,” the instructor continues. “It could be glorious or it could be crap. It’s the exploration that’s important.” — Brooke Granovsky ’18 contributed reporting to this article.

iscovering music that you were previously unaware of is like glimpsing a missing piece of your world. For violist Ashleigh Gordon and composer Anthony Green, the awakening occurred when they uncovered the world of Black classical composers who were unknown or underappreciated in mainstream classical music — but it took several years and a lot of digging to create a complete and inclusive image of who they are. Despite having had top-notch musical educations, says Green, they were surprised that, as professionals, they had been unaware of some components of a diverse Black musical culture. In 2013, they founded Castle of Our Skins (COOS), a Boston-based concert and educational series that celebrates Black artistry in the concert hall and in the classroom. (The organization’s name comes from a poem by Nikki Giovanni and celebrates Black identity.) Gordon and Green will be in residence at Brandeis from November 15-18, with a program called Black in Europe and Beyond. They will be joined by prominent musicians and scholars, including Julius Williams (Berklee College of Music); Kira Thurman, author of the forthcoming book “Singing Like Germans: Black Musicians in the Land of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms”; and the double-bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku, founder of Chineke! Foundation, Europe’s Anthony Green



Intensive study in senior year means getting individual studio space.



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The MusicUnitesUS program opens unique pathways to understanding and appreciation across today’s global community. For full residency schedules, visit Concert: Saturday, November 18, 8 p.m., Slosberg Music Center (pre-concert talk, 7 p.m.)

Ashleigh Gordon



Castle of Our Skins brings Black classical composers to Brandeis by Pam Niequist Wehbi first professional all-Black/ethnic minority orchestra. The residency will offer insight on the differences between the Black classical music experience in Europe and the United States, and how those differences have shaped Black classical music. It also tells the composers’ story, while recognizing the significance and merit of their works. “Ashe and I were embarrassed by how few Black classical composers we could name between the two of us,” says Green. “Black composers were usually only taught in specialized classes, and were also restricted to certain styles of music, such as jazz or African music.” Thus began a lengthy research period that Gordon describes as an excavation. “The research is there, but you have to dig,” she says. At New England Conservatory and

other local music libraries, Green found sources filled with names of composers and titles of works, but not the musical scores she needed to bring the work to the concert stage. “So much of the music was unpublished, not available to the public.” Licensing the few published works would be unaffordable for a community-based organization like COOS. Hope glimmered in Chicago at the Center for Black Music Research archives, but “an archive is like a vault,” Gordon says. “The music that is there stays there.” In 2008, Community MusicWorks, a Rhode Island organization, commissioned Green to write a piece about immigration. CMW referred him to the nonprofit AfriClassical. com, an online portal to concert listings, recordings and articles about Blacks in classical music.

That resource led Green to works that he and Gordon could use in their COOS repertoire. He says, “We have listened to hours of music that we are almost 100 percent sure we would never have heard if it weren’t for starting this organization.” Along with the music, Green and Gordon have read countless articles and journal entries, and watched documentaries and movies about Black history to help shape the work of COOS from the stories of these cultural, social and artistic struggles. “All of this has happened because of music,” Green says. Their persistent research has made it possible for COOS to present engaging interactive experiences in settings from classrooms to concert halls. “What makes this program different from COOS’ previous programs is the focus on composers and musicians with ties to Europe,” says Professor of the Practice Andrea Segar, first violinist in the Lydian String Quartet and producer of the residency. The residency repertoire ranges from Guadeloupean-French 18th-century composer Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges to violist Renèe Baker, director of the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project (CMOP). Baker is expected to conduct at least one piece. Guest performers include members of the COOS Collective, a flexible chamber ensemble of professional musicians, artists and socially conscious creatives. “I want to thank Brandeis University for their work in organizing this residency for us,” Green says. “It’s a great opportunity to collaborate with such an institution, and also spread the knowledge and start these important dialogues about Black classical music.”

The Black in Europe and Beyond residency, sponsored by MusicUnitesUS and the Department of Music, includes concerts, lectures, a panel discussion, master classes and outreach performances that focus on the stories of the under-acknowledged Black composers and musicians connected to the world of European classical music. All events on the Brandeis campus are open to the public. Made possible with support from the Brandeis Arts Council and a Brandeis Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programming grant. For full residency schedule, visit

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visual arts ROSE ART MUSEUM Founded in 1961, the Rose Art Museum is among the nation’s premier university museums dedicated to collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting 20th- and 21st-century art. A center of cultural and intellectual life on campus, the museum serves as a catalyst for artistic expression, a living textbook for object-based learning, and a site for scholarly innovation and the production of new knowledge through art. The Rose’s permanent collection, particularly strong in contemporary art and American painting of the postwar period, includes more than 8,000 objects. Major paintings by Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Helen Frankenthaler and Andy Warhol anchor the collection, and recently acquired works by Mark Bradford, Al Loving, Jack Whitten and Charline von Heyl build upon this strength while reflecting the museum’s commitment to works of both artistic importance and social relevance. Through its collection, exhibitions and programs, the Rose works to affirm and advance the values of global diversity, freedom of expression and social justice that are hallmarks of Brandeis University. PROGRAMS AND EVENTS The Rose presents interdisciplinary programs and artist talks throughout the semester. All events are free and open to the public. For complete listings, visit brandeis. edu/rose or call 781-736-3434. FALL EXHIBITIONS Opening Reception: Saturday, October 14, 6-9 p.m. BODY TALK September 8, 2017-June 2018 Upper Fineberg Gallery “Body Talk” addresses issues of beauty, attraction and the dark side of eroticism, while tracing connections between early and recently acquired objects in the Rose collection. These works, which span nearly a century, include the Surrealist-inspired collages and paintings of Joseph Cornell,


André Masson and Max Weber, as well as contemporary sculpture, video and multimedia works by Robert Melee, Jason Rhoades and Laurel Nakadate. “Body Talk” is the first in a series of exhibitions that will explore thematic through lines in the Rose’s permanent collection. BUCKDANCER’S CHOICE: JOE BRADLEY SELECTS September 8, 2017-January 28, 2018 Lower Rose Gallery Joe Bradley, in conjunction with his solo exhibition in the Foster Wing, has selected a group of works from the Rose collection for an innovative display that draws upon highlights and lesser-known gems of the museum’s holdings.


IMMORTAL CITY: PAINTINGS BY KEVORK MOURAD September 8, 2017-January 21, 2018 Mildred S. Lee Gallery New paintings by Kevork Mourad, an artist of Armenian descent, will feature work created in response to the war in Syria and the destruction of the artist’s beloved city of Aleppo. Mourad, known for his performative collaborations with composers, dancers and musicians, mediates the experience of trauma through detailed yet abstracted imagery that celebrates identity while mourning its loss. A series of public programs accompanies the exhibition, including Culture Cannot Wait, a workshop on preserving cultural heritage in times of crisis. On November 4, Mourad joins clarinetist Kinan Azmeh for a performance of “Home Within,” which tours the world to raise awareness of and funds for Syrian refugees.

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ROSE VIDEO 11: JOHN AKOMFRAH September 8, 2017-January 21, 2018 Rose Video Gallery The 11th iteration of the museum’s Rose Video series features John Akomfrah’s “Auto Da Fé” (2016), a two-channel video that investigates four centuries of historic migrations driven by religious persecution, from the flight of Sephardic Jews from Brazil in 1680 to present-day jihadist-driven migrations from Iraq and Mali. Akomfrah is the winner of the 2017 Artes Mundi, the U.K.’s biggest prize for international contemporary art. This is his first solo museum exhibition in New England. JOE BRADLEY October 15, 2017-January 28, 2018 Foster Wing Joe Bradley has distinguished himself among the artists of his generation with his mutable approach to art making, strategically creating bodies of work that seem at odds with one another yet contribute to a broad, fascinating oeuvre. Bradley pivots between abstraction and figuration, the earnest and the comic, wielding a range of techniques that draws upon his profound appreciation for the history of modern painting as well as for underground comics and outdated periodicals.

be placed in context alongside numerous examples of Bradley’s engaging and intimate works on paper and his recent experiments with sculpture, ranging from minimalistic floor-based works to figurative bronzes based on found amateur sculptures. This exhibition is the first large-scale museum show in North America devoted to Bradley’s work.

Modular color-field paintings, greasepencil drawings on canvas, and densely layered expressionistic abstract canvases record the detritus and spontaneity of the studio environment. These works will

TONY LEWIS: PLUNDER October 15, 2017-June 2018 Foster Mural In October, Tony Lewis, assisted by Brandeis students, will create a site-speciic

project that draws on his ongoing investigations of language, memory and race. MARK DION: THE UNDISCIPLINED COLLECTOR Permanent Installation Foster Stair Landing In “The Undisciplined Collector,” Mark Dion invites the museumgoer into a 1961 wood-paneled living room, designed to echo the founding year of the Rose Art Museum. The immersive and interactive space serves as an introduction to the Rose and to the history of collecting at Brandeis.


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! What you should know about

LUIS CROQUER The new director of the Rose Art Museum believes in good art, good food and the “aha” moment




This concept of the museum as a jewel box is not why I joined the museum can communicate to people and help them think.” With deep curatorial expertise and knowledge of the national and international arts communities, Croquer combines intellectual rigor with boldness, says President Ron Liebowitz. “The Rose has undergone a period of rebirth and renewal, and is now poised for even greater prominence. Having a director with Luis’ extraordinary talents is a great gift, for our students and for the international art world.” Croquer succeeds former Rose director Christopher Bedford, who was named director of the Baltimore Museum of Art in May 2016. The Rose Art Museum and the Baltimore Art Museum are currently co-presenters of artist Mark Bradford at the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the world’s premier showcase for contemporary art. As he packed up his house in Seattle this summer, Croquer took a break to talk about his vision for the Rose. You’ve said that museums can’t turn their backs on social issues. Which issues are particularly important to you?

Warm, engaging and endlessly appreciative and curious, Luis Croquer, the new Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum, is the kind of person who inspires creativity. Artists love to collaborate with him. Bartenders create drinks for him. At a local bar in his recent hometown of Seattle (where he was deputy director of exhibitions, collections and programs at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington), he says, “the bartender and I had a little game. She would ask me what my mood was, and she would make a cocktail for my mood.”


Right. You were born in El Salvador and your father was a diplomat. You have lived pretty much everywhere: Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East.

It was a great inspiration to travel with my father around the world. I belong everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Belonging to a place is very conceptual to me. The greatest privilege is to know that people are the same. There is no fear about difference, because you see that the similarities or the things that at the core are the same. Today, even with social media, and people flying more, it is strange that we are not thinking that as human beings we are all the same and that distinct traits only make the world richer.

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The table is an important metaphor in Croquer’s approach to contemporary art and ideas. “Most interesting conversations take place around food,” he says. “It’s a space that is social and also informal and generous.” The museum, he says, needs to be an open table. “People need to know they can have their own experience, whether it is enjoyable or challenging to like the art over time. The most important thing is how

Equity. Racial equity, gender equity. The understanding of human integrity, and creating spaces for true dialogue in the context of a deeply polarized world. And in that context, what can museums be in the 21st century? We need to be ahead of the times. Museums are places for reflection and an aha moment — that idea of slowness can gain momentum again. Being an immigrant myself, I’ve been thinking about this a lot.

the art world. ¶ I’ve been thinking about Brandeis’ origins and the historical moment after World War II, which was a time of great union and forward thinking. There was a desire to rebuild and trust the community again and heal in all kinds of ways. Sometimes we forget that we have that capability. What don’t you know about Brandeis yet that you need to know?

What can a university museum, especially a university with a social justice mission, contribute to these important dialogues?

The Rose is 50-something, and that is really great. You’ve come into your own, and you show how you’ve matured, how your personality has developed. The museum has so much to give. We have complementary missions within Brandeis institutions; we are all doing the same work. Artists have always been involved in politics and social issues. Sometimes we recognize it, and sometimes it’s revealed over time. In a highly charged political time, people recognize passion more in figuration, but abstraction is a great way to convey complex ideas. It may be more stark and hard to read, but it’s there and important. Art has always been there to catch the zeitgeist, to challenge as well as please. There is a natural distance between people and contemporary art. But people can tell you about amazing moments in the museum and about their individual realizations, and those ideas can be bigger than what we as professionals see. It’s up to us to bring people and art closer. To help people feel that they can come in with their own ideas, and put something of themselves in dialogue with the work.

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Contemplating the collection: Luis Croquer encounters Ellsworth Kelly’s “Blue White.”

Pocket Guide to ‘The Undisciplined Collector’ The Rose has published a 40-page pocket guide to “The Undisciplined Collector,” a permanent installation in the museum. Artist Mark Dion spent two years exploring the hundreds of archaeological and ethnographic objects — African beadwork, snuff bottles and bejeweled pencils, Joan Crawford’s acting awards — that are among the university’s holdings. “What if this wild gathering had been the work of one person? How could I incarnate the radical diversity of things?” asks Dion in the interview included in the guide. Meticulously arranged in custom-built cabinets and display drawers, these objects live alongside functional midcentury items, such as pulp fiction novels, swizzle sticks and a working record player. Together, they complete the character of “The Undisciplined Collector.” To step further into the collector’s head space, purchase the guide ($5) at the museum’s front desk, or email — Brooke Granovsky ’18



I am enthusiastic about the people of Brandeis. I want to hear their histories, what they hope for. The best thing about working in a university environment is to work alongside bright minds and learn about what they know. Ideas come from everywhere. A lot of my work is geared to the community in its broadest sense. The true dimension of a museum is the civic dimension, being a bridge to art and ideas. This concept of the museum as a jewel box, of preaching to the choir, is not interesting, and not why I joined the art world, or the Rose for that matter.

art of the matter For more Art of the Matter, visit the Online Extras section at

FINE ARTS Susan Lichtman, the Charles Bloom Chair in the Arts of Design, was the 2017 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, with a culminating exhibition of paintings at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum. She had a solo

and writing his book on Raphael’s iconic painting “The Sistine Madonna.” In April, Brandeis hosted the first international conference on art in Taiwan, organized by Aida Yuen Wong, the Nathan Cummings and Robert B. and Beatrice C. Mayer Chair in Fine Arts.

Susan Lichtman, “Under Grapes.”

Professor Gannit Ankori gave the opening keynote address at the New Directions in the History of Art in Israel conference at Tel Aviv University and is serving as special adviser for an upcoming Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Professor Nancy Scott gave six lectures around the country on Georgia O’Keeffe, including “Georgia O’Keeffe and the Origins of American Modernism,” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, in Washington, D.C.

Music Society, U Mass Bach Festival, Portland (Maine) Chamber Music Festival and Boston Chamber Music Society (Joshua Gordon). The Brandeis Chamber Singers, under the direction of Associate Professor of the Practice and Choral Conductor Robert Duff, undertook a concert tour of Italy, performing in Rome and Florence, and at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Associate Professor Yu-Hui Chang was given an arts and letters award in music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, one of 16 composers to receive this distinguished prize. THEATER ARTS Lecturer Brandon Green, MFA ’14, won acclaim for his performance in “The Scottsboro Boys” (Matthew Stern ’08, music director) at SpeakEasy Stage Company. “The Bank Job”

show, “In My House,” (above) at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York City. VERY Boston gallery presented Associate Professor Tory Fair’s solo exhibition, “Paperweight,” in fall 2016. Lecturer in Fine Arts Sonia Almeida received the prestigious James and Audrey Foster Prize from the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (the second consecutive year that a Brandeis faculty member has received the honor). Artist-in-residence Chris Abrams’ solo exhibition “Orifice and Oculi,” at Boston Sculptors Gallery, featured work from the Brandeis MakerLab and the Brandeis graduate music composition program. Associate Professor Jonathan Unglaub will spend the 2017-18 academic year at Princeton University as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, researching

Peter Kalb, the Cynthia L. and Theodore S. Berenson Associate Professor of Contemporary Art, curated an exhibition by Steven Seidenberg for Laconia Gallery in Boston, and published essays on Seidenberg and on Tom Sachs. MUSIC The Lydian String Quartet’s recent residency at the Taipei/Taiwan National University of the Arts included master classes and performances of quartets by Mozart, Ravel and Steven Snowden, and Brahms’ String Quintet in G major, Op. 111, with guest violist Yi-Wen Chao. Closer to home, the Lydians performed at the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival in Orleans, at the University of North Texas, and at the New England Conservatory with Brandeis Jazz Ensemble director Bob Nieske and his quartet. Individual Lydians performed with the Newport Music Festival (Mark Berger); Maybeck Studio for the Performing Arts, Berkeley, California, San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Arizona Musicfest (Andrea Segar); and Worcester Chamber


Adrianne Krstansky, the Barbara Sherman ‘54 and Malcolm L. Sherman Director of Theater Arts, performed with Israeli Stage, Huntington Theatre and Lyric Stage. Associate Professor Marya Lowry played Prospero in Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s production of “The Tempest” (also featuring Samantha Richert and Jesse Hinson, both MFA ’11). At Gloucester Stage, Robert Walsh directed “The Bank Job” and “The Rainmaker,” and will direct “Richard III” for Actors’ Shakespeare Project in February 2018.

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COMMENCEMENT In an address to new graduates of the School of the Creative Arts, Melinda Lopez (right), playwright-in-residence at the Huntington Theatre Company, suggested that doing what you love – the standby career advice to young people – is “an idea born of privilege … [and] might not be enough right now.” At the diploma ceremony in the Spingold Theater Center, Lopez exhorted graduates instead to do what needs doing. Following is an excerpt from her remarks.

Assistant Professor Cameron Anderson spent part of her sabbatical year at the American Academy in Rome. She also designed productions of “The Bridges of Madison County” (SpeakEasy Stage Company, Boston); “Turandot” and “The Magic Flute” (Opera Naples, Florida); “The Guilty Mother” (On Site Opera, New York City); and “Eugene Onegin” (Florida Grand Opera). This fall, Anderson will collaborate with Assistant Professor Dmitry Troyanovsky “The Magic Flute”


(director) on “Exit the King” for Bostonbased Actors’ Shakespeare Project.

“James and the Giant Peach”

HELLOS … The Music Department welcomes two new faculty members: composer Erin Gee (right) and musicologist Paula Musegades, PhD ’14. Rebecca Strauss is the Fine Arts Department’s new studio art technician. Theater Arts welcomes Katie Sumi, management assistant, and JB Barricklo, director of production.

The Rose Art Museum welcomes a new director, Luis Croquer, and a new registrar, Carrie Van Horn. … AND GOODBYES Rose Art Museum curator Kim Conaty has accepted a position at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Professor Allan Keiler has retired from the Music Department, where since 1975 he taught the history of music, including courses on Beethoven and opera, and advised countless graduate students, one of whom recalls, “Studying with Allan Keiler makes the pursuit of ‘life of the mind’ seem like the only path worth taking.” Associate Professor Janet Morrison has retired from Theater Arts, where since 1994 she taught acting and scene study, and prepared graduate students for their acting showcase. Also retired is Women’s Studies Research Center founder Shula Reinharz, PhD ’77, who joined the sociology faculty in 1982.

Brandon Green

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Dmitry Troyanovsky returned to the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center to direct “The Ugly One” and a revival of his awardwinning 2015 production of “4:48 Psychosis.” He directed “James and the Giant Peach” for the ART Institute at American Repertory Theater, and will direct the institute’s production of “Charlotte’s Web” in December.

Where you see what’s broken, mend it. Where you see need, be generous. Follow your dreams, absolutely, but follow your conscience, too. Follow your rage, your hope and your indignation. Stand up for what is right. You may find you come to love that, too. A life in service of the arts nurtures the ability to both think and feel. To understand the world is not just black-and-white, but marvelous shades of color. To feel with our opponents, even as we stand for justice. The ability to accept duality is what makes real connection possible. This is how the arts can change the world. This is how you can change the world.

Volume 14 / Number 1

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage Paid Boston, MA Permit No. 15731

Brandeis University Office of the Arts MS 092 / PO Box 549110 Waltham, MA 02454 -  9110

SAVE THE DATE! Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Arts, April 15-22, 2018


The Brandeis in Siena studio art and art history program, summer 2017.

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