Purchase College maga zine | think wide open
the art of the book:
Embracing Visual Literature
THE FILM MAKERS: Alumni forge ahead with true grit and determination SETTING SUSTAINABILITY STANDARDS: Purchase raises the bar for other SUNY campuses LINER NOTES: Success stories from studio composition and studio production programs
Table of Contents Pursuits
The Film Makers
Setting Sustainability Standards 12 News Briefs
The Art of the Book
Alumni in Action
Save the Date: School of the Arts Gala
Neuberger Museum of Art
The Performing Arts Center
COVER PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM FRANK Vandercook Press in Letterpress Shop of Visual Arts Building
Editor: Sandy Dylak, director, Communications & Creative Services Managing Editor: Kristi McKee, editorial services manager, Communications & Creative Services Editorial Coordinator: Nancy Diaz, Communications & Creative Services Inside Photography: Kelly Campbell, Jim Frank, Zoe Markwalter, Kristi McKee
[ this moment ]
By Thomas J. Schwarz
If this issue of PURCHASE magazine provides any insight into the culture of Purchase College and its effect on the communities it touches, it is by highlighting the level of creativity our talented students, alumni, faculty, and staff bring to the table. In areas from art to environmental responsibility, they flex their creative muscle to tell stories, challenge convention, and solve problems. In the age of digital media, the ability to craft a compelling story is more important than ever. For filmmakers, authors, and songwriters, identifying and articulating the underlying story lies at the crux of success. In “The Film Makers,” we discover exactly why the film program at Purchase is unique. Despite the new challenges presented by technological change and industry upheaval, our film alumni forge ahead as writers, directors, editors, or in the many roles that make up the backbone of the filmmaking process—with 85 percent of all graduates at work in the industry—to introduce new ideas into the cultural dialogue. “The Art of the Book” explores what happens to the book form in the hands of artists. With works from sculptural objects to illuminated novels to downloadable artists’ books, Purchase faculty and alumni not only amaze readers, but also push the boundaries of what’s traditionally considered a book. The music studio composition and production students, faculty, and alumni featured in “Liner Notes” tackle the music business’s new landscape with aplomb—taking advantage of every opportunity it presents. It is no longer enough to write or record a great song; they must maneuver the system and market themselves, and they are thriving. Nothing makes us as proud as our inclusion in the Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges. In the story on Purchase’s ongoing sustainability efforts, ”Setting Sustainability Standards,” you will learn about the commitments the college has made to reduce its carbon footprint as well as the many projects completed, under way, or planned that prove why Purchase is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. Plans are in progress for the next School of the Arts gala, scheduled for November 24, 2014, in Manhattan. Please consider joining us with emcee Steven Weber ’83 as we honor the latest Rockefeller Awardees.
Design: Scott W. Santoro, Worksight.com
Once again, thank you to all members of the Purchase College family. Through your toil and success, our collective boats are lifted.
Purchase magazine is published biannually by the Office of Communications & Creative Services, in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Advancement at Purchase College.
Yours very truly,
Purchase College, State University of New York 735 Anderson Hill Road Purchase, NY 10577-1400 Phone: (914) 251-6054 Fax: (914) 251-6047 Email: email@example.com
Thomas J. Schwarz President
PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes SCHOOL OF THE ARTS Graham Ashton, Music, was invited to perform as guest principal trumpet with the Paris Opéra for the 2013–14 season. His first appearance, on Oct. 30, included the original 1911 version of Stravinsky’s Firebird. David Bassuk, Acting, participated in the Future of Storytelling conference on Oct. 3 in New York City. Conference topics included immersive theatre, game dynamics, and transmedia storytelling, as well as innovative design in filmmaking, publishing, and performance. Lawrence Berglas, Arts Management, completed a new book; Civil Law in America: A Minimalist Law Book, published in December. Berglas says the book was written for artists, students, teachers, and anyone interested in the role law plays in life and work. Sue Bernhard, Dance, premiered a new work on Nov. 8 as part of the American Dance Guild Festival 2013 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Matthew Bollinger, Art+Design, curated The First Ending: Resembling Noir, which ran from Nov. 5 through Dec. 20 at the Zürcher Studio in New York City. The group show featured work by Corey Antis, Matt Bollinger, and Katharina Ziemke. Nancy Bowen and Sharon Horvath, Art+Design, participated in the Ten-Year Anniversary Exhibition at Building 30, Brooklyn Navy Yards Open Studio. Lenora Champagne, Theatre and Performance, performed in The Record by 600 Highwaymen at New York City’s Public Theater in January. She also appeared in the documentary film Spectacle: A Portrait of Stuart Sherman, which was screened in November at the Abrons Art Center in New York City as part of Performa 13. Rachel Dickstein, Theatre and Performance, directed Thumbprint, a new 90-minute opera by Kamala Sankaram and Susan Yankowitz based on the life of Muhktar Mai, at Prototype: Opera/Theater/Now, a chamber opera festival held in New York City in January 2014. Suzanne Farrin, Music, will be part of the Creative Development Residencies program at Mount Tremper Arts from June 8 through 20 with the International Contemporary Ensemble and Anthony Roth Costanzo. Joseph Ferry, Music, completed a second novel, Connected: Songs My Father Sang, now available in print, digital, and Kindle formats. Ferry also recently played bass on three still-untitled tracks for Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and reggae artist Toots (of Toots and the Maytals). Kate Gilmore, Art+Design, had work included in multiple exhibitions and group shows throughout the autumn of 2013, including Pataphysics at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City; Kate Gilmore: A Tisket, a Tasket (solo exhibition) at the University Art Museum, State University of New York at Albany; and Kate Gilmore: Between a Hard Place (solo exhibition) at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts in Texas. The work of Karen Guancione, Art+Design, was included in the ongoing exhibition Piccole Belle Cose 2014—Small Beautiful Things this winter at the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum in Staten Island, NY. Maria Guralnik, Arts Management, presented research on do-it-yourself house concert trends at the 2013 Social Theory, Politics, and the Arts Conference held at Seattle University. She also procured an engagement for pianist Frederic Chiu to perform with Grammy Award–winning violinist Joshua Bell at the Montreal Highlights Festival in February 2014.
Donna Dennis and Sarah Walker Earn Awards School of Art+Design faculty members Donna Dennis and Sarah Walker earned art prizes from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Awarded annually, they honor both established and emerging artists. Winners were chosen from a group of 37 artists who had been invited to participate in the Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, on view March 6 through April 12, 2014. Donna Dennis, Cataract Cabin, 1993–94, 144 x 144 x 144 inches, mixed media
Dennis, professor of Art+Design in sculpture, won the Award of Merit Medal for Sculpture, a $25,000 prize given to an outstanding American sculptor. Walker, a lecturer in Art+Design, won the Jacob Lawrence Award of $10,000, which recognizes outstanding achievement in the visual arts. The academy also purchased Walker’s Walker, C.M.E., 2012, 26 x 28 2012 work C.M.E. as part of its Art Sarah inches, acrylic on panel Purchase Program. Since 1946, the work of talented, living American artists has been purchased and placed in museums across the country.
Christine Hiebert, Art+Design, had drawings included in the fall 2013 exhibition Pushing the Line: Drawing in an Age of Anxiety, curated by Neil Watson at ArtsWestchester in White Plains, NY. Ryan Homsey, Advising Center and Music, had the world premiere of Recurrent Stages, his three-movement work for amplified string quartet, live electronics, and tape, performed by the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra’s “Music to You” String Quartet in October in Duluth, MN. Sharon Horvath, Art+Design, had work in the three-person exhibition Hot Mamas at the Associated Gallery in Brooklyn late last summer. Stuart Isacoff, Music, has signed his third book contract with Alfred A. Knopf. The subject of this book will be the 1958 Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. Chris Kaczmarek, Art+Design, had a solo exhibition, trans/mission, which opened in September 2013 at Westchester Community College’s Center for the Digital Arts in Peekskill, NY. Stuart Isacoff
Julian Kreimer, Art+Design, had a feature article, “Painting under Obama,” published in the fourth issue of Paper Monument. John Lehr, Art+Design, was featured in two group exhibitions; his work was seen at the Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago from Nov. 16 through Jan. 11 and in the exhibition WHITE at Dickinson Roundell Inc. in New York City from Nov. 4 through Dec. 10. He also received a review of his solo show Low Relief (Kate Werble Gallery, New York City) in the May edition of Artforum. PUR C H A SE | 1
PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes Judy Lieff, Dance, is one of 20 filmmakers selected to participate in the 2013–14 American Film Showcase. Lieff won the 2013 Japan Prize for best work in the “youth” category (the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prize) for her documentary Deaf Jam. In September, she traveled to South Korea as a film envoy for the American Film Showcase. Cynthia Lin, Art+Design, presented a lecture on her work and participated in an all-day symposium, “Drawing Connections,” on Nov. 2 at Brown University in Providence, RI. She also gave an artist’s talk on Nov. 20 in conjunction with the exhibition Pushing the Cynthia Lin Line: Drawing in an Age of Anxiety at ArtsWestchester in White Plains, NY. Beth Livensperger, Art+Design, exhibited a new series of site-specific paintings in a solo show, Inhabitant, at Tomato House in Brooklyn, NY, from Sept. 13 through Oct. 13. The work was executed on location at Tomato House over a period of several months. Elizabeth McPherson, Dance, compiled and edited The Bennington School of Dance: A History in Writings and Interviews (with a foreword by Charles Reinhart), which was published on May 31, 2013, by McFarland and Company. James Mulligan, Art+Design, the owner of Central Graphics Group in Ossining, NY, received a 2013 Hermes Creative Gold Award for the design of the “Emergency FYI” mobile app for Entergy Nuclear Operations. Tara Helen O’Connor, James Austin-Smith, and Ransom Wilson, Music, performed Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in a rotation of 20 performers in December. The performance was reviewed in the New York Times on Dec. 18. Sylvan Oswald, Playwriting, presented the Sun Ra Visitation Series on Nov. 14 at Joe’s Pub in New York City. The project incorporates excerpts from Oswald’s play about the avant-garde jazz composer with live music performed by the Burnt Sugar Arkestra. The graphic design was created by Nontsikelelo Mutiti, New Media. Rachel Owens, Art+Design, had an outdoor installation, Almost Antipodeans, on view in the 10th Krasnoyarsk Museum Biennial from Sept. 1 Sylvan Oswald through Nov. 30 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, as part of TransCultural Express, a partnership between the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Mikhail Prokhorov Fund. Lenka Pichlíková, Theatre and Performance, received a grant from the Puffin Foundation of New Jersey to perform, for underserved audiences, her solo classic pantomime. She also performed her popular shows Time for Mime and Holiday Storyteller for young underprivileged audiences in Bridgeport, CT, on Nov. 12 and 26. On Nov. 26, Pichlíková gave an original solo performance at a special assembly held at the Julia Stark Elementary School in Stamford. Lenka Pichlíková Ted Piltzecker, Music, taught and performed in the first Percussive Arts Society Australia Drum and Percussion Camp at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide, from Jan. 3 through 11, 2014; conducted a seminar and performed in a concert at California State University, Humboldt, from Feb. 6 through 8; and was a guest artist and PUR C H A SE | 2
composer at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, on March 26 and 27. Edward Pomerantz, Screenwriting, had his short film La Comida screened on Aug. 28 in the NewFilmmakers NY series at Anthology Film Archives in Ted Piltzecker New York City. This was the film’s New York premiere; it was an official selection of the Google Plus Film Festival, and was simulcast in cities all over the world on Dec. 14. Pomerantz’s original feature screenplay Man Running was chosen as one of three finalists (out of 300 submissions) in the 14th Los Angeles Comedy Festival Screenplay Competition. Pamela Prather, Acting, served as vocal and dialect coach for two productions at the Alley Theatre in Houston: You Can’t Take It with You, directed by Sanford Robbins, and Venus in Fur, directed by Brandon Hearnsberger and starring New York actors Nicole Rodenburg and Michael Bakkensen. Pablo Rieppi, Music, was recently tenured as a percussionist in the New York City Ballet Orchestra at Lincoln Center and appointed to the artistic faculty of the Composers Conference at Wellesley College. Christopher Robbins, Art+Design, hosted “Engage!”—a full-day workshop on the arts and direct action—at Purchase College on Oct. 5, in collaboration with Urban Bush Women. Gina Ruggeri, Art+Design, had work in the exhibition Cast Party at the Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York City from June 20 through July 26 and at Koi No Yokan at Exhibit 101 in West Hollywood, CA, from June 22 through Aug. 3. Jordan Schildcrout, Theatre and Performance, was an invited speaker on the panel “The Censorship of Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour,” hosted by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at the City University of New York Graduate Center, on Dec. 12. Schildcrout also published a chapter, “Drama and the New Sexualities,” in the Oxford Handbook of American Drama (Oxford University Press, 2014). Rob Swainston, Art+Design, had a solo show, Rob Swainston: Woodcut Map of Utopia from the September 2013 Edition, on view at Marginal Utility in Philadelphia from Sept. 6 through Oct. 20. Larry Tamburri, Arts Management, co-authored two articles with economist Jeffrey Pompe: “Repertoire Conventionality in Major U.S. Symphony Orchestras: Factors Influencing Management’s Programming Choices,” in the journal Managerial and Decision Economics, and “Symphony Concert Demand: Does Programming Matter?” in the Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society. Breanne Trammell, Art+Design, had her performative and experiential project Nails across America included in the Pulse Contemporary Art Fair in Miami, FL, from Dec. 5 through 8. Pulse Projects is a curated series that encourages visitor interaction and showcases ambitious artwork. Trammell was also awarded the 2013 Pulse Shipping Prize. Manuel Vignoulle, Dance, presented Together We Stand, a 19-minute dance piece he choreographed for five men, on Nov. 3 at the Raritan Valley Community College Theatre in Branchburg, NJ. Carol Walker, Dance, performed in Buglisi Dance Theatre’s Table of Silence Project 9/11 on the plaza at Lincoln Center. Walker also served as a judge at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for a dance competition between the U.S. and China in October. The event, Super Dancer Born Tonight, was filmed for Chinese CCTV-1 for distribution in early 2014. The dancers were all finalists and winners from So You Think You Can Dance! Russell Ferguson, an American dancer, was judged to be the “Super Dancer” of the evening, and Walker was selected to present his award on stage.
PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes Joshua Willis, Art+Design, had paintings in three group exhibitions: Fresh Paint at Manifest Creative Research and Drawing Gallery, Cincinnati, OH (Nov. 8–Dec. 6); Small Wonders at the Maryland Federation of Art, Annapolis (Nov. 30–Dec. 29); and City of Tiny Lights at the Salisbury University Art Galleries in Salisbury, MD (Nov. 15–Dec. 14). Willis’ work is included in the International Painting Annual, published by the Manifest Creative Research and Drawing Gallery. Chuck Workman, Film, had a premiere of What Is Cinema? on Sept. 6 at the Toronto Film Festival. Workman’s new film, an essay on cinema as it could be best used as an art form, includes interviews with well-known directors and more than 200 clips. It won the Director’s Prize at the Dallas VideoFest 26 in October and had its New York City premiere on Nov. 19 at the IFC Center, as part of the Doc NYC festival. Du Yun, Music, exhibited Pivot, a new collaboration with visual artist Shahzia Sikander, at the 13th Istanbul Biennial (Sept. 14–Oct. 25). A three-channel HD animation with 5.1 surround sound, the project involves generations of Turkish poets, including a narration by the influential Lale Müldür. Murray Zimiles, Art+Design, had a solo exhibition of paintings and pastels, Movement and Light, at the Berta Walker Gallery in Provincetown, MA, from Aug. 16 through Sept. 8; it was reviewed by Andre van der Wende in Artscope. A concurrent solo exhibition, Murray Zimiles: Recent Paintings, was held at the Berta Walker Gallery in Boston. In December, Zimiles gave a lecture, “Gilded Lions and Jeweled Horses,” at Bonhams Auction House in New York City. Murray Zimiles
SCHOOL OF LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES Shemeem Abbas, Political Science, was a guest on the Brian Lehrer Show on Nov. 21, discussing her book Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws: From Islamic Empires to the Taliban. Karen Baird, Political Science, contributed the chapter “HIV Prevention Policies and the Intersection of Gender, Race, and Class in the United States” to Global HIV/AIDS Politics, Policy and Activism: Persistent Challenges and Emerging Issues. Linda Bastone, Psychology, was presented with the Friend of EOP/MAP Award at the fall EOP/MAP (Educational Opportunity Program/Merit Access Program) town meeting. Michael Bell-Smith and Sara Magenheimer, New Media, received a Triple Canopy commission for 2013 for their performance-based collaboration (with Ben Vida) under the name Bloopers#0. The commission resulted in a collaborative performance in November as part of the 2013 Performa Performance Art Biennial. Laura Chmielewski contributed the essay “Pierre Biard: Jesuit and Pirate of Mount Desert Island” to Atlantic Biographies: Individuals and Peoples in the Atlantic World. Suzanne Clerkin, Psychology, had an article published in the Sept. 1 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry: “Thalamo-Cortical Activation and Connectivity during Response Preparation in Adults with Persistent and Remitted ADHD.” Stephen Cooke, Chemistry, received a $65,000 award from the Petroleum Research Fund, administered by the American Chemical
Professor Laura Kaminsky Receives Inaugural Grant from Opera America Opera America, the national service organization for opera, announced the first round of recipients of its new program, Opera Grants for Female Composers. Professor of Music Laura Kaminsky was one of eight composers chosen to receive an award from 112 eligible applications. Kaminsky will receive $12,500 to support development of her composition As One, a 75-minute-long, multi-chamber opera that explores the revelatory, redemptive journey of a transgender individual wrestling with profound ontological issues. The libretto is by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed. In addition to her role as professor of music at Purchase College, she is also artistic director of Symphony Space in New York City.
Society, for “The Characterization and Conformational Preferences of Long Alkyl Chains Using Advanced Broadband Microwave Spectroscopy.” The award will support biochemistry and chemistry seniors and provide summer stipends for Purchase students to perform research over the next three years. Meagan Curtis, Psychology, wrote two papers presented in August at the conference of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, including “The Evolution of Music: Evidence for Sexual Selection.” She and coauthor Richard Warren ’12 presented “The Effects of Intonation Accuracy on Perceived Vocal Performance Quality.” Curtis and Stephen Flusberg, Psychology, are co-authors of the chapter “Cognition and Language” in Psychology in the Fast Lane. Anthony Dosmestico, Literature, has been appointed the book columnist for Commonweal. He had a number of reviews published in 2013, including of Aminatta Forna’s The Hired Man and Cathleen Schine’s Fin & Lady in the San Francisco Chronicle; Matt Bell’s In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods in the Boston Globe; Rebecca Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby in the Christian Science Monitor; and W. H. Auden’s For the Time Being in Commonweal. Lee Ehrman, Biology, had the article “Frequency-Dependent Selection as Expressed in the Rare Male Mating Advantages” published in Brenner’s Encyclopedia of Genetics. In addition, Genetics, Environment, and Behavior: Implications for Educational Policy, a textbook co-authored by Ehrman in 1972, was selected as one of 100 books (out of 60,000 candidates) to be reprinted by Elsevier Publishers’ Legacy Series. Geoffrey Field, History, commented on three papers about the British cultural memory of the Second World War at the annual meeting of the North American Conference on British Studies, held in November in Portland, OR. The paperback edition of his book Blood, Sweat, and Toil: Remaking the British Working Class, 1939–45, winner of the 2012 Morris D. Forkosch Prize, was released in December 2013. Tara George, Journalism, published the article “Freedom Fighter: A New Jersey Lawyer’s Quest for Justice” in New Jersey Monthly magazine in November 2013. Aubrey Glazer, Jewish Studies and Philosophy, has a new paperback edition of his latest book in the New Perspectives in Post-Rabbinic Judaism Series, Mystical Vertigo: Contemporary Kabbalistic Hebrew Poetry Dancing over the Divide. PUR C H A SE | 3
PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes Yanine Hess, Psychology, and Alison Ledgerwood (University of California, Davis) co-authored the paper “Bolstering System-Justifying Beliefs in Response to Social Exclusion,” which was published in the December 2013 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Group Processes & Intergroup Relations.
Kathleen McCormick, Literature and Pedagogy, had two pieces of nonfiction accepted for publication: “In the Backseat of a Mustang Convertible on Memorial Day in the Rain,” by Superstition Review, and “Virginity: The Bible, the Beatles, and Bubblegum,” by A River and Sound Review. She also published a short story, “Mrs. Daley’s Diamond,” in Crack in the Spine.
Matthew Immergut, Sociology, had an article, “Death at Diamond Mountain: Research Dilemmas when a New Religious Movement Becomes a Cult,” published in the journal Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions. He also published “A Sociology of No-Self: Applying Buddhist Social Theory to Symbolic Interaction” in the journal Symbolic Interaction.
Joe McKay, New Media, had two interactive installations, Light Wave and Tweetagraph, in the exhibition MoMA Studio: Sound in Space from Oct. 3 through Nov. 24, in conjunction with the Museum of Modern Art exhibition Soundings: A Contemporary Score.
Chrys Ingraham, Sociology, joined the editorial board of the Italian series Liminalia, producing scholarly works in “marginal, intersectional, and interstitial” social theory. Jared Kirby, Physical Education, achieved the rank of provost through the Martinez Academy of Arms in November 2013. Kirby’s third book, A Gentleman’s Guide to Duelling: Of Honour and Honourable Quarrels, was released internationally in November 2013.
Mary Kosut, Media, Society, and the Arts, and artist Mike Schreiber curated a two-person exhibition, The Decomposers, featuring work by Joel Morrison and Michael Welsh, which ran from Nov. 15 through Dec. 7 at the Group Club Association in Brooklyn. Susan G. Letcher, Environmental Studies, presented an invited paper, “Seed Dispersal Syndromes of Liana Communities in Tropical Secondary Forest,” as part of the symposium “Endure or Perish! Functrional Ecology in Changing Tropical Landscapes,” organized by Julieta Benitez-Malvido, at the 50th anniversary meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation in San José, Costa Rica, in June.
Joe McKay Jeanine Meyer, Mathematics/ Computer Science and New Media, is a featured reviewer for Computing Reviews, which recently published her reviews of two papers.
Lisa Jean Moore, Sociology and Gender Studies, and Mary Kosut, Media, Society, and the Arts, released a new book, Buzz: Urban Beekeeping and the Power of the Bee, in September 2013. Moore co-authored a paper with Mari Kate Mycek ’12, “Body Image, Lisa Jean Moore Gender and Food,” for the Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics. She also co-wrote, with Marianna Grady ’12, a chapter, “Putting ‘Daddy’ in the Cart: Ordering Sperm Online,” in Reframing Reproduction: Conceiving Gendered Experiences. Nontsikelelo Mutiti, New Media, co-produced an installation exhibition, Kumusha (which is the Shona word for “home”), at the Zimbabwe Cultural Centre of Detroit from Sept. 14 through Oct. 19. It was produced in collaboration with Chido Johnson (Detroit) and Kumbulani Zamuchiya (Zimbabwe).
Professors Break Into National Media
Martin Lewinter, Mathematics/Computer Science, organized “Graph Theory Day 66,” a regional mathematics conference hosted this year by Purchase College, on Nov. 9. One of the featured speakers, Anthony Delgado ’10, is a current lecturer at Purchase.
Assistant Professor of Arts Management Jeff Taylor appeared on the CBS News program 60 Minutes on Sunday, February 23, 2014, to talk about master forger Wolfgang Beltracchi. Arts management senior Laura Germaine helped 60 Minutes fact-check the piece.
Catherine Lewis, Creative Writing, had her new book, Thrice-Told Tales: Three Mice Full of Writing Advice, released in August 2013. Lewis also had a short story published in the journal Bellevue Literary Review and an essay in Creative Nonfiction + Art.
Assistant Professor of Art+Design Christopher Robbins was recently featured on the first episode of a new PBS digital documentary series called The Art Assignment. The show takes viewers around the U.S. to meet working artists and solicit assignments from them that anyone can complete. View the episodes on The Art Assignment’s YouTube channel.
Sara Magenheimer, New Media, recently performed in Prague at Meet Factory as part of the exhibition After the Future. She participated with Malik Gaines and Alexandro Segade in their “Recess Residency”; performed in the Catherine Lewis Performa 13 Biennial; and was selected by Blouin Art Info and Modern Painters magazine as one of the top 25 artists to watch in 2014.
Warren Lehrer, professor of graphic design in the School of Art+Design, was featured on NPR’s Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen last November to discuss his book, A Life in Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley. (See more about Lehrer and A Life in Books on page 18.)
Mary Ellen Marks, Humanities, published two reviews in the magazine The Hook: “Pier 701: A Treat for the Senses” (September/October 2013), and “Two Spear Street: An Unhurried Place to Dine” (November/ December 2013). PUR C H A SE | 4
PURSUITS/Faculty news & notes Work by New Media Professor Steve Lambert on View in Times Square An interactive work, Capitalism Works for Me, by Assistant Professor of New Media Steve Lambert was on view in Times Square in New York City, Sept. 20–Oct. 9, 2013. Lambert has been dubbed everything from “provocateur” to “cultural critic” to “loose cannon,” but most agree his work is original, radical, and successful in spurring ideas and action. He couples a wry sense of humor with pointed commentary to create works of art that address economics, politics, activism, and culture.
Gaura Narayan, Literature, wrote “Imperiled Women and Chivalrous Men in Colonial India, 1757–1857,” which was accepted for South Asian Review’s special issue “Gender and Sexuality in South Asian Literature and Culture.” Narayan also presented “Ayah Un-homed: Sexual Subjugation and Silence in Bapsi Sidhwa’s Cracking India” at the Modern Language Association of America’s annual conference.
also selected to be a member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ first cohort of STIRS Scholars. Liza G. Steele, Sociology, and Scott M. Lynch (Princeton University) published “The Pursuit of Happiness in China: Individualism, Collectivism, and Subjective Well-Being during China’s Economic and Social Transformation” in Social Indicators Research in 2013. Hakan Topal, New Media and Art+Design, was one of the conference organizers for the “Talk Turkey Conference: Re-thinking Life since Gezi” at the New School for Social Research in October. Topal also participated in the Radio Materiality project for the Athens Biennial.
SCHOOL OF LIBERAL STUDIES & CONTINUING EDUCATION Colleen Duffy was appointed this past January by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Second Judicial Department, of New York State. The Second Department encompasses a ten-county area that includes three New York City boroughs, Long Island, and the southern Hudson Valley. Justice Duffy began her judicial career in 1998 in the Mount Vernon City Court. Judith Dupré, Liberal Studies, published a revised and updated version of her 1996 book Skyscrapers: A History of the World’s Most Extraordinary Buildings; it was released by Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers in November. This edition of her best-seller has 15 new essays.
Jason Pine, Anthropology and Media, Society, and the Arts, delivered a lecture at the literary festival Salerno Letteratura, drawing from his book The Art of Making Do in Naples. He served as a panelist in the discussion “Low Is the New High, or, Trash! Goes the Establishment” at the Salon Suisse at the Venice Biennale in September. Pine’s research on meth cooking was the subject of an article published in the New Republic in December 2013. Lorraine Plourde, Media, Society, and the Arts, published “Distraction, Noise, and Ambient Sounds in Tokyo” in the edited volume Sound, Space, and Sociality in Modern Japan (August 2013). She also presented a paper, “The Optron: Light, Noise, and Design Noir in Tokyo,” in October 2013 at the annual conference of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies in Chicago. Jared Russell, Philosophy, published “L’effet c’est toi: Projective Identification from Nietzsche to Klein,” in the Winter 2013 issue of American Imago. Alexis Silver, Sociology, presented a paper, “Navigating Membership at the State and Federal Levels: A Comparative Two-State Study of 1.5 Generation Young Adults” (co-written with Kara Cebulko of Providence College), at the “Illegality, Youth, and Belonging” conference in October 2013 at Harvard University. Karen Singer-Freeman and Linda Bastone, Psychology, are the project directors for the Association of American Colleges’ Bringing Theory to Practice Category II Grant of $20,000 to fund “Social Action Learning Communities for Transfer Students.” The professors also co-presented “Collect, Select, and Reflect: E-Portfolios Enhance Summer Research Program for Community College Students” in a workshop on Oct. 11 at the State University of New York STEM Conference in Albany. SingerFreeman is a co-investigator on Lisa Dierker’s National Science Foundation Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics grant ($599,993). She was
In Memoriam: Peter Ohring On Wednesday, January 29, 2014, the Purchase College community gathered with friends and family of Peter Ohring to celebrate his life and career. Ohring passed away unexpectedly on November 9, 2013. He had been associate professor of mathematics/computer science and new media at the time of his passing. A beloved colleague and professor, he was remembered for his dedication to the students, for his fidelity to Purchase College, and for the homemade cookies he brought to meetings. Ohring leaves a wife, Mary, two children, his parents, and two brothers. Plans are under way to establish a scholarship in his name for students who reflect Ohring’s commitment to Purchase College and match his integrity and ethics.
PUR C H A SE | 5
With the craft expanding by leaps and bounds with multimedia—digital, instant, social, free-channel, interactive, and automated—filmmaking at Purchase remains an expression of choice, and a choice of expression. From its start in the early 1970s (then a section of the college’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film) to its incarnation as a major program in the School of Film and Media Studies, the study of film and filmmaking at Purchase is as strongly tied to its core as the bricks and mortar of the campus itself.
THE FILM By Kristi McKee
know why I’m on this planet. Do not get in my way,” warns Charlotte Glynn ’02, with a laugh—only she’s not kidding as she recalls the attitude that got her through the film program at Purchase, and beyond. “Beyond” includes a trip to Park City, UT, in January 2013, where her short film, The Immaculate Reception, was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. One of 66 selected from 8,161 submitted, Glynn’s short had a 0.8 percent chance of inclusion. Filmmaking remains a popular choice of expression despite its inherent challenges. Amid fierce competition in an industry where financial success is far from guaranteed, Purchase College alumni routinely forge ahead with sheer grit and determination while remaining true to their passion and voice. First introduced in the early 1970s under the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film umbrella, the film program shifted in 2009 to its current incarnation as a major program in the newly created School of Film and Media Studies to reflect the growing convergence of all forms of media that shape contemporary life.
Charlotte Glynn ‘02
Still, the study of film and filmmaking at Purchase—its mission and culture—has remained largely unchanged since the program’s inception. The members of the impressive roster of professionally successful faculty over the years have roundly endorsed the program’s model: build a solid foundation in the historical and theoretical, put a camera in students’ hands in the first semester of freshman year, and totally immerse them in a rigorous exploration of all aspects of filmmaking akin to boot camp—all the while offering total artistic freedom. Through seismic industry shifts and technological advances unimaginable forty years ago, the program’s basic premise remains intact: transform aspiring filmmakers into artists who make films. Much has been written about a cadre of breakout filmmakers who graduated from the Purchase film program in the 1980s: Hal Hartley ’84, Nick Gomez ’88, and Bob Gosse ’86. They collaborated at the illustrious production company the Shooting Gallery, which rose from Purchase roots in the late 1990s; its subsequent demise in the early 2000s is well documented in a film by Whitney Ransick ’87, Misfire: The Rise and Fall of the Shooting Gallery.
PUR C H A SE | 6
Paul Kmiec ’14 stands below the marquee at the Santa Cruz Film Festival, where his junior film The Magi won Best Narrative Short; Kmiec on location.
MAKERS There’s also Chris Wedge ’81, who co-founded Blue Sky Studios— the maker of many animated megahits such as the Ice Age series, Rio, and Horton Hears a Who—and gained global notice for developing innovative CGI animation techniques. Purchase filmmakers continue to garner critical acclaim, break boundaries, and expand the cultural dialogue. The film story includes many names, some familiar and some not—yet. For a program that has graduated only around 600 people in its 40-year history—a figure comparable to the number an esteemed private film school might churn out in just a few years—Purchase has unleashed an impressive cohort of filmmakers who fight to make their mark and have their voices heard.
MAKING THE CUT The genesis of the film program at Purchase can be traced back to the late Willard Van Dyke, formerly the director of the department of film at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Tapped as the first chair of the department in 1974, he articulated the model and objectives still followed today. All students graduate not only as originators—writers and directors—but with proficiency in all areas of production. Structured as a true conservatory, until the mid-1990s the program admitted only 15 of the roughly 400 students who applied to the program each year. Since then, the classes have grown to see about 20 graduates annually. Each year, faculty put about 80 prospective students through a sieve of personal, onsite interviews, where only the most serious make it through. Professor Iris Cahn ’76 explains, “I do think there’s some kind of unifying force in the kids we select. We’re not interested in the ones who can’t remember the last book they read, or don’t have an issue, or don’t have a film they want to make burning inside them. We’re trying to change messages; we’re trying to produce filmmakers who introduce the unheard into the dialogue.” Cahn, a member of the first graduating class in film, was chair of the program from the late 1990s through 2009, and is an awardwinning editor herself. She recently edited the highly anticipated
documentary Are We Not Men? about the band DEVO, directed by Tony Pemberton ’90. Like most of the students entering the film program today, Glynn was convinced at an early age—12—that she wanted to be a filmmaker. Her mother was writing a screenplay on civil rights worker Fanny Lou Hamer and enlisted her tween daughter, bored to tears during a summer trip to Maine, to do research. “I knew then that I wanted to be a director. I really didn’t know what it meant to be a director; I just knew they’re the ones who tell everybody what to do and tell these stories.” Although she was accepted into several programs, Glynn says she knew immediately that Purchase was for her. “Iris ‘got’ my films and talked to me like a filmmaker; there was a lot of respect. I think there’s this sort of scrappiness to the program that really speaks to me and the way I want to make movies.” With an MFA in screenwriting/directing from Columbia, Glynn is now back at Purchase teaching a film workshop for freshmen. According to director, editor, producer, and Oscar winner Chuck Workman, an associate professor and the head of the film program, “The ones we like—the ones we invite into the program— are all deadly serious about it.” During his admissions interview four years ago, Paul Kmiec ’14 says, he realized instantly that the film program is for people like him who are “severe about their love for their art.” An aspiring writer/director with an urge to explore the universal human spiritual impulse in his films, he explains, “I used to give tours, and I would say to prospective students, ‘Do not come here if you’re looking for a hobby. Filmmaking has to be your necessity.’ This program is exhausting; it’s depleting. That’s not being negative, that’s singing its praises.”
PUR C H A SE | 7
A L U MNI N A ME S T O K NO W According to the most recent figures available, nearly 85 percent of film program graduates hold positions related in some way to the film or television industries. Many alumni become craftspeople, or “the backbone of the industry,” as Iris Cahn refers to them, while others wind up in film organizations. Pete Beaudreau ’97 edited the recent film All Is Lost, starring Robert Redford. Cahn calls it an editing tour de force: “You’re making a movie with one boat, one actor, and one ocean.” Ron Fortunato ’77, a cinematographer for both television and movies, has worked with such legendary directors as Lasse Hallström and the late Sidney Lumet. In 1997, he won a European Film Award and a Plus Camerimage Silver Frog Award for his work on the acclaimed film Nil by Mouth, Gary Oldman’s debut as writer and director. Sam Jaffe ’09 was assistant editor on the critically acclaimed feature The Place beyond the Pines by writer/ director Derek Cianfrance, and additional editor on I Origins, director Mike Cahill’s feature, which won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at Sundance this year. Lesli Klainburg ’85, a documentary filmmaker, was just named the fifth executive director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Gregory David Lawson ’10 is a critic for Film Comment magazine. Tim McCann ’87 has earned a reputation as an uncompromising, maverick filmmaker who’s highly critical of Hollywood’s film output. He’s won numerous awards for his dark, provocative, and psy-
PUR C H A SE | 8
chologically riveting films such as Desolation Angels, Revolution #9, and Another Zero in the System. He’s currently on sabbatical from teaching at Purchase. Larry O’Neil ’90, a visiting assistant professor of film, directed the HBO original film Breast Men and was producer on Tim McCann’s films Zero in the System and Nowhere Man. David Rogow ’78 remembers hearing about Purchase from someone who picked him up hitchhiking. “At my interview, I argued with the department chair, Willard Van Dyke. I remember telling him that I had probably watched more cinema than he had. For some reason, they let me in,” he recalls. He’s held numerous editing roles on studio features such as Saving Mr. Banks, The Blind Side, and Chicago. William (Billy) Sarokin ’75–’76 is a bit of a legend in sound mixing. He’s worked on a long list of documentary films, TV series, and features such as The Dictator, Sex and the City, Munich, and Big Night. He credits the lessons learned here as his “link between dabbling in film and being a professional.” In 2011, he received an Oscar nomination for his work on Salt, starring Angelina Jolie and Liev Schreiber.
Pete Beaudreau ’97
Tim McCann ’87
Ron Fortunato ’77
David Rogow ’78
Sam Jaffe ’09 William (Billy) Sarokin ’75–’76
David Schwartz ’84 is chief curator of the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. Jackeline Tejada ’06 is assistant editor on the television series Blue Bloods and also served in that role on feature films such as Cadillac Records and Capitalism: A Love Story. “Because of Purchase, I was already used to working long hours, meeting insane deadlines, and laboring over a project meticulously.”
Lesli Klainburg ’85
Abel Ferrara ’74 Jackeline Tejada ‘06
style and series of concerns,’ and this was long before I knew he went to Purchase in the ’90s.” (Ferrara, a quintessential gritty New York independent filmmaker, has made many cult classics, such as Bad Lieutenant starring Harvey Keitel.)
Mattson Tomlin ‘12
Already a Purchase success story, Kmiec submitted his short narrative The Magi—his junior film—to two festivals, and it won Best Narrative Short at the Santa Cruz Film Festival last fall. Mattson Tomlin ’12, a sharply focused filmmaker whose interest in psychological perspective makes for haunting films, came to Purchase for one thing. “I wanted total immersion. I wanted a place that was going to give me a really stimulating environment—challenge me—and not get in the way of what I wanted to do,” he says. Tomlin is currently enrolled in the writer/director program at the prestigious American Film Institute (AFI), with plans to graduate in May 2014.
THE SET-UP A unique feature of the film program at Purchase is the amount of cinema studies work required. This emphasis on history and aesthetics has been a hallmark since the program’s inception. “We take it very seriously. We want people making films who have been informed by the formal work of theoreticians and historians,” Cahn explains.
Harris is a filmmaker as well as a prolific writer and critic. He’s a contributing editor for Filmmaker magazine and has had stories published in Variety, Hammer to Nail, and N+1. “Greg Taylor [professor of cinema studies and now director of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts] taught me so much about writing, and film history, and literature, and about art beyond film. I think he’s the sole reason I have so many of the skills that I do,” says Harris. “I don’t think I would be an editor at Filmmaker magazine without that grounding.” He adds, “Our program has the reputation for producing filmmakers who may not be the most polished from a technical standpoint, but who all come to making a movie with a strong sense of the idiom that undergirds the film.” Ilya Chaiken ’95 remembers cinema studies well. “Tom Gunning taught the most captivating film history classes ever. We all still wish we were sitting in the Choral Hall watching movies with him,” she recalls. Margarita Happy Hour, the first feature Chaiken wrote and directed, premiered at Sundance in 2001. She returned to Sundance in 2004 with a comedic short called The 100 Lovers of Jesus Reynolds, and her second feature, Liberty Kid, won Best Feature at the New York International Latino Film Festival in 2007. She’s currently transforming her keenly funny Web series The Unlovables into a feature film, as well as developing a couple of feature scripts and an animated Web series.
Film historian Tom Gunning was one of the first professors to teach film history in the program. He believes the immersion in history and aesthetics is Purchase’s greatest strength—revealing its commitment to having theory inform practice. Gunning now teaches at the University of Chicago. “We are striving here to create an atmosphere that Purchase can take for granted,” he says.
Brandon Harris ‘06
In the summer of 1998, Brandon Harris ’06 watched The Funeral, made by Abel Ferrara ’74, and first considered what it means to be a director. “It jumped out in my mind, ‘Wow, someone directed this, and this director has his own particular
Ilya Chaiken ‘95
“Greg Taylor taught me so much about writing, and film history, and literature, and about art beyond film. I think he’s the sole reason I have so many of the skills that I do.”
—Brandon Harris ‘06 PUR C H A SE | 9
she asked for checks. She tells her students what it was like to raise capital before the emergence of online crowd-funding sites: “It was embarrassing and scary. It was really hard and lonely and it felt bad. It sucked.” Now she’s using the tools available online. “Kickstarter is the best thing ever,” she says. Rachel Is was screened internationally and won best documentary at the Thin Line Documentary Film Festival and the Athens International Film Festival.
Iris Cahn ’76
ROUGHING IT Harris wrote and directed his first feature, Redlegs, in 2012, a film made on a micro-budget that he compares to “the cost of a new, but not terribly classy, sedan. “We have fights, we have cars, we have guns. It doesn’t feel like a lot of $30,000 movies, but that came at a cost—real subterfuge, and deceit, and planning. Begging forgiveness instead of asking permission. Those are things you have to actually learn—how to make something effectively on a low budget. It’s always been part of the ethos of what you get from this program,” Harris believes. That ethos is sure to continue now that he’s returned to Purchase to teach Senior Production: Filmmaking. Of the best film programs in the U.S., only a scant few are found at public institutions. Purchase College offers undeniable advantages: conservatory training at the cost of a state school, with access and exposure to academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Cahn says she loves the egalitarian nature of Purchase. “There’s something wonderful about the fact that state schools are accessible—affordable—to a far larger group of kids than private institutions,” she says. Like other faculty members, Cahn notes that Purchase tends to draw the resourceful and crafty students— “students with an intense work ethic who don’t mind staying up all night in the freezing cold to help one another on a shoot.” According to Workman, “We get a tremendously rich mix of students. These are very different kids, in terms of their backgrounds, but we find that they want to help each other. I don’t think we have as many dilettantes, those passing through a film program until they do something else, because they’re not necessarily the rich kids.” The need to secure financing is a reality in filmmaking and proves to be a daunting task for many artists. Glynn raised money for her first feature, a critically acclaimed documentary about her developmentally disabled sister called Rachel Is, the old-fashioned way:
Tomlin was an early adopter of the crowd-funding sites. “My time outside the arts at Purchase was studying marketing and history. Through the viral marketing and, later, social media marketing classes that began, I learned how to raise what has accumulated into $50,000 for film projects,” he says. He credits his early Kickstarter campaign, as well as the assistance of his graduating class, as critical components in the completion of his feature film Solomon Grundy. At AFI, he’s working on Persuasion, a film about a father facing difficulty parenting his young son, whose burgeoning power of persuasion is growing out of control.
A FILM MUST HAVE AN AUDIENCE The New York Times reviewed nearly 900 movies that were released in 2013, which represents a small fraction of the films actually made. Sundance received 325 feature film submissions in 1994. In 2014, it received 4,057 and screened only 118, or about 3 percent. Harris often writes about the intersection of film and economics and offers his perspective on the industry. “So it’s supply and demand. Clearly, there’s so much supply that the value of all these movies just completely flattens out and dissipates, except for the big hits—the Supermans and Star Wars…the recycled, regurgitated narratives,” he says. Once the values drop, distributors spend less, leaving a smallerthan-ever slice of the financial pie for those people in “above-theline” positions such as writers, producers, and directors, who aren’t paid a day rate to make the films. “So what that really means is that independent film for the people who do above-the-line work is no longer a middle-class job,” Harris explains. Even when films do find audiences, the financial rewards sometimes fall below expectations. Glynn was thrilled to hear that her documentary Rachel Is will air nationally on PBS. The amount she was paid for it, though—$4,000—left her a bit disheartened. “When my distributor told me that, I thought I misunderstood him. It’s great that we’re finally getting the film shown to a U.S. audience, but the film represents the work of my twenties. So that’s the world that we live in. I don’t really understand….” She trails off. Chaiken agrees there’s an industry-wide problem. “Since I made my first feature on Super 16 mm, which we shot in 1999, the advent of new digital technology has made it so much cheaper and more accessible to so many more people, which is great. But the downside is that the glut of smaller films has made it hard for many filmmakers to get attention, and if they do, they are not expected to make their money back or gain any income from their product.” The goal shared by all filmmakers—admittedly an obvious one—is that they want their movies to be seen. Glynn is buoyed by the validation she gets from an increased audience. “I want people to see my movies. It just makes it easier to live when it’s not all uphill.” Her next film, Inside Out, explores the rela-
PUR C H A SE | 10
tionship between a father and daughter when the daughter, an aspiring gymnast, suffers a career-ending injury. “I would love to go back to Sundance and have my movie shown in theaters. And I would love to be able to shoot it on film” (instead of videotape), Glynn says. Chaiken hopes her own goal is an attainable one. “I would like to be making a decent living making good film or television without having to hustle as if I’m still in college!”
A SEQUEL The urge to tell stories is a basic human instinct, and artists will seek to use film to tell those stories, regardless of the pitfalls commerce presents. “Unless humans change very much, creative aspiration is going to be the same,” says Cahn. But she warns, “You have to really want to do it. It’s hard enough to be an artist. Maybe the world could use a doctor or a subway worker. Maybe it doesn’t need another person to make Spiderman 7.” The film program’s message for Purchase students has been simple, straightforward, and continuous since the 1970s: make movies. According to Glynn, “You make the movies that you want to make. That’s the entire premise of the class that I teach. What is the story you want to tell and how do you articulate that story?” Workman’s advice: “I tell them to make the movie with no expectations, but make the movie. And I want to tell them that cream rises to the top, but I’m not always sure that’s true. It’s very hard.” He adds, “Just follow your own ideas and make the film that you want to make. David Lynch made a very strange film [Eraserhead], but Mel Brooks saw it, and hired him to direct The Elephant Man. You never know. That’s how that stuff works.” Tomlin has nothing but confidence about his future after AFI. “I moved to Los Angeles to make movies that people will actually see—so in ten years, I hope to see you watching this body of films and television that will start to grow in earnest this summer.” He finds satisfaction in his oeuvre so far. “At the very least, I can say that each film has explored very different territory while still staying true to my perspective. If you remove the ‘Directed by’ title card, you can always tell which film is mine.” Therein lies the key. From Abel Ferrara to Hal Hartley to Azazel Jacobs, Purchase has a track record of grooming clever artists unique in their approaches and idiosyncratic in their voices. Purchase filmmakers might just be perfectly poised to rise above the din. You never know. Editor’s note: This article serves to paint a picture of the film program from multiple perspectives, but given the constraints of space and time, we could not possibly include all those who have met with success. Send in your news to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can consider you for future features.
Hal Hartley ’84 returned to Purchase in April to shoot Ned Rifle, the third film in his trilogy that began with Henry Fool— winner of Best Screenplay and nominated for Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1998—and continued with Fay Grim in 2006. All three films star Parker Posey, who also attended Purchase in the 1980s.
A PURCHASE TRAILER: AZAZEL JACOBS ’94 Writer/director Azazel Jacobs’s film education began long before he attended Purchase. His father is Ken Jacobs, a renowned experimental filmmaker. The younger Jacobs is routinely lauded as an extraordinary and unique voice in independent film— making lists such as Filmmaker magazine’s “25 Faces of Independent Film” in 2007, MovieMaker magazine’s “Ten Directors to Watch” in 2008, and Cinemascope’s “50 Best Filmmakers Under 50” in 2012. He recently ventured into television with a faux reality Azazel Jacobs with actress series that he co-wrote and Emily Mortimer and cinematographer Tobias Datum on set of Doll & Em. directed called Doll & Em, which premiered in the U.S. on HBO Photo: MISCHA RICHTER last March. His first ambition, to become a cartoonist, was derailed when Cooper Union rejected him. He came to Purchase thinking he would just stay for a year and reapply to Cooper, but a couple of months into the program, he was here to stay. Cooper Union’s loss is clearly Purchase’s gain. He answered some questions via email. PC: Is it possible to characterize the type of filmmaker that Purchase seems to generate? Are there any hallmarks of Purchase film grads, in your opinion? AJ: At our base, even when it seems impossible, or that no one is interested, we figure out ways to cobble together what we want, what we feel we must. At least with the people I am still in touch with, they all hold art above rent. PC: What did you take away from the foundation in filmmaking received here that’s had the most lasting impact on you professionally? AJ: “What did I have to say?” I felt this question was asked of me over and over again until I could not evade it. Through assignments, conversations, screenings, and really living film, we were asked what was driving us and then given the skills to express it. Now, having that answer, not so much in words but in intentions and aims, it continues to guide my way. PC: You said in an interview, “What I want is for people to see that my movies were made by the same person, but never that they’re saying the same thing.” So how would you define or describe what Azazel Jacobs films have in common? AJ: The same thing I would say about everyone: that we are individuals, and that even if our left eye and right are close to each other, even in ourselves we are seeing different things, putting it together as best we can. I want to respect that. I’m hoping to speak the way I want to be spoken to. PC: Are there any aspects of making films that you still find challenging? AJ: Yes, of course. If I ever feel otherwise, it’s a sure bet my films will suck. PC: What’s your next project? AJ: It’s a film about some people that I don’t know, living in a place I don’t. It’s got me worried in a good way; I’m driven to find my way in.
PUR C H A SE | 11
SETTING SUSTAINABILITY STANDARDS By David McKay Wilson
A giant network of pipes, part of $11 million upgrade to the campus’s cooling and ventilation system, located in the Student Services Building basement. The structures carry coolant for the air that circulates through the Purchase air-conditioning system during the warm days of spring and summer.
o glimpse the future of sustainability at Purchase College, wander behind Campus Center North (CCN), where a high-tech device called The Rocket is turning food scraps and coffee grounds into nutrient-rich soil for college gardens. The composting machine, installed this winter, is part of the campus-wide dedication to environmental awareness, specifically waste reduction. In its start-up phase, the composting operation will receive food waste from the Hub’s cafeteria and coffee grounds from the campus Starbucks. The project is funded through the college’s “Green Fee,” with a sustainability committee composed of students, faculty, and staff deciding how the funds are allocated. This spring, the soil produced by The Rocket will be used in the gardens behind the Dance Building, where students grow vegetables in raised beds. In the future, the composted material could be packaged and sold. “The Rocket is part of a bigger vision of sustainability on campus,” according to Matthew Immergut, assistant professor of sociology and co-chair of the Purchase Sustainability Committee. “In any sustainability program, you need to close the loop. And now, instead of throwing the food away, we’re composting it, and closing the loop.” Environmental studies major Anna Palmer ’15 serves as the project’s “compost master,” collecting food waste from the Hub food court in CCN and Starbucks and transporting it to the facility on a cargo bike. The compost operation will provide fodder for the curriculum in classes from environmental science and chemistry to sociology and new media. Brooke Singer, associate professor of new media, will have students in her Information Aesthetics class design ways to clarify visually how the process works. “By building a graphic interface, students can visualize the live data stream from the composter to show how much food is being processed,” she says. PUR C H A SE | 12
The campus is in the midst of several other sustainability projects. While The Rocket reduces food waste, the college’s electronicwaste program with ARC of Rockland makes sure that parts of obsolete computer equipment are recycled, and an arrangement with Staples allows recycling of inkjet toners and cartridges. Paper waste has been reduced too. In 2013, the amount of waste per employee dropped 14 percent to 912 pounds, says Thomas Kelly, the college’s senior energy manager, who arrived on campus in May 2013. Construction is proceeding on the extensive renovation of the Durst Humanities Building, which, when it reopens in 2015, will receive silver-level certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program. LEED buildings incorporate several sustainability principles, including energy efficiency and environmentally conscious design. “Fifty percent of the LEED credits focus on the indoor environmental quality of the Durst Humanities Building. The building will be constructed using recycled materials and will use products that give off few or no emissions,” says Kelly. Kelly is also looking at the feasibility of installing renewable energy systems on campus, including solar carports in the W-1 and W-2 parking lots, which can handle up to 1,700 cars. The parking-lot system would produce up to 4.2 megawatts of power. Another option for a solar project would be located at the Humanities and Physical Education Buildings; it could generate up to 600 kilowatts of power. “We’d use the energy that we’d be generating,” Kelly says. “And it would help us reduce the campus’s carbon footprint.”
Environmental Policy Purchase’s sustainability effort has been touted as a model for other State University of New York (SUNY) campuses. In January, the president of Purchase College, Thomas J. Schwarz, was joined by top executives from the New York Power Authority (NYPA) at the Student Services Building to announce the college’s participation in a statewide effort within the SUNY system, in partnership
Anna Palmer ‘15 and “The Rocket,” a high-tech device that turns food scraps and coffee grounds into nutrient-rich soil for college gardens.
Located in the basement of the Student Services Building, 12 enormous containers store ice that is produced at night when energy is less expensive.
NYPA event at Purchase (L to R): Tim Killeen, president of the Research Foundation; Thomas J. Schwarz, president, Purchase College; and Gil Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. (Photo: NYPA)
with NYPA, to cut energy-use intensity by 20 percent. The projects aim to reduce SUNY’s 1,997 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Schwarz, who was among the 152 original signers of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, says that Purchase’s continuing efforts are making the campus more sustainable while also saving money. To date, 679 college presidents have signed the pledge, which has put higher education in the forefront of sustainability efforts across the nation. This investment—by both public and private institutions—has helped create a stronger market for the energy-conservation industry. “We’re getting to the point where we now have a world-class system,” says Schwarz. Combined, the 64 SUNY campuses consume about 40 percent of the state government’s energy total, according to NYPA president and CEO Gil Quiniones. The state government has set a goal to cut energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020, as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Build Smart initiative. NYPA’s investment in energy efficiency at Purchase was part of the nearly $80 million in energy projects undertaken by NYPA on SUNY campuses last year. The Purchase projects in 2013 cost about $22 million. Speaking to an audience of students, faculty, administrators, executives, and media representatives at the January event, Quiniones said, “Based on what’s happening at Purchase, I’m confident we will succeed.” Quiniones was particularly excited about the $11 million project that upgraded the campus’s 40-year-old cooling and ventilation system with a state-of-the-art “chiller,” located in the Student Services Building basement, where 12 tanks store ice that is produced in the cavernous underground space. The ice will serve as a coolant for the air that circulates through the Purchase airconditioning system during the warm days of spring and summer. The system will make the ice at night—when energy rates are lower—and it will be used during the day, when the demand is high. Quiniones predicted that the new chiller system would produce annual savings of about $380,000. A $10-million system for heating and air conditioning at the college’s Neuberger Museum of Art was a key factor in the museum’s reaccreditation by the American Association of Museums. The system meets the strict humidity and temperature standards designed to preserve the Neuberger’s world-renowned collection. The endeavor is also providing an estimated $90,000 a year in energy savings.
The system will produce 30 percent more cooling while reducing energy consumption by more than 30 percent. “We’re doing more with less, and in a more sophisticated way,” said Quiniones.
Energy Projects Heading up Purchase College’s sustainability effort is Kelly, who joined the college’s facilities management team last year to identify and develop efficiencies across the 505-acre campus, with 48 buildings that house 2.3 million square feet of interior space to be heated and cooled. Using the 2010–11 school year as a baseline, facilities personnel drew up an energy master plan in association with NYPA, which details where the university will get the most bang for its sustainability buck to help it reach the state goal of a 20 percent reduction in energy-use intensity. New heating and air-conditioning systems in the academic buildings will save an estimated $500,000 a year in energy costs, while a green roof atop the Visual Arts Building will save 10 percent in such costs during the hot summer months. Several other “cool roofs” around campus will cut costs as well. Electric-demand meters were installed in 38 academic and residential buildings, providing college officials more tools in their conservation campaign on a building-by-building basis, giving them the ability to manage energy consumption better during peak and offpeak hours. Other projects in the master plan include a building management system that will allow remote control of air-conditioning, heating, and lighting systems around the campus and a new cooling tower, which, it is estimated, will save close to $400,000 annually in energy and maintenance costs. Lighting systems can provide significant reductions in energy use and costs. In 2008, Kelly says, the college replaced more than 100 streetlights, which at the time featured a high-pressure sodium system that used about 400 watts of power per lamp. They were replaced with metal halide lights, which use 150 or 250 watts of power. Now Kelly is considering light-emitting-diode fixtures, called LEDs, to replace indoor fluorescent bulbs. The LEDs would reduce energy use up to 60 percent, and they last longer. Fluorescents are good for up to 20,000 hours, while LEDs can last 80,000 hours or more. Another possibility: “induction” lighting, which lasts as long as LEDs and doesn’t cost as much. The induction systems, however, use mercury, which could present environmental concerns. “There’s a fine line between what you can do and what you should do,” Kelly says. PUR C H A SE | 13
NewsBriefs Michael Powell ‘78 Wins Prestigious George Polk Award New York Times columnist Michael Powell ’78 (history) won a prestigious George Polk Award for 2013. His winning story (“Jailed Unjustly in the Death of a Rabbi, Man Nears Freedom”) appeared in a March 2013 edition of his Gotham column, which covers New York politics and government. He shared the award for justice reporting with Frances Robles, Sharon Otterman, and N. R. Kleinfield for uncovering evidence that a Brooklyn homicide detective used false confessions, tainted testimony, and coercive tactics to convict dozens of defendants. Powell, a distinguished journalist for more than 25 years, shared a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for his New York Times coverage of Eliot Spitzer. Purchase College honored him in 2010 with the President’s Award for Distinguished Alumni.
Hettie Jones: Distinguished Chair in Literature and the Arts The Royal and Shirley Durst Distinguished Lecture Series funded a spring 2014 Distinguished Chair in Literature and the Arts: Hettie Jones, poet, critic, and author of the acclaimed memoir How I Became Hettie Jones. Jones gave three public lectures; her audiences encompassed students, faculty, staff, and members of the surrounding community. In February, Jones presented “The New American Poetry—Bold, Belligerent, Beguiling: How the Beats Reclaimed the American Voice and Gave Birth to the Spoken Word.” Her March lecture was “Women Writing Change: Women Who Hettie Jones Witnessed, Worked for, and Wrote about the Changes That Defined the Last Half Century.” And in April, Jones presented “Memory Palace: All the Rooms Are All Your Own, or How I Wrote the Memoir How I Became Hettie Jones.” Each lecture was followed by a question-and-answer session with audience members. The Durst chair is supported by an endowment from the Durst family in memory of the late Shirley Durst, a longtime supporter of Purchase College.
Pussy Riot Visits Purchase College Russian political activists Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who garnered fame as members of the Russian arts collective known as Pussy Riot, visited Purchase on Feb. 7, 2014, to meet with Suzanne Kessler, dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, who also serves as chair of the board for Rehabilitation through the Arts (RTA), an organization that brings innovative arts programs to five prisons in New York State. The Purchase College meeting was arranged for the two world-famous Russian performance artists and political activists to discuss prison conditions in Russia and the United States with Dean Kessler and members of RTA. Although the meeting was not publicized or open to the press, Allee Manning ’14 (journalism and gender studies) was invited by the journalism program to cover the event exclusively for the Purchase Beat, the college’s acclaimed music and arts magazine, as well as the Purchase Phoenix, a separate digital publication. PUR C H A SE | 14
In her insightful article, “Pussy Riot: An Under-the-Radar Visit to Purchase,” published Feb. 10, Manning says that the Pussy Riot activists have refocused their attention on Russian prison reform since their 21-month jail sentences ended on Dec. 23, 2013. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova The Purchase visit occurred during a week in which the two young artists also appeared on The Colbert Report, made a speech at the annual Amnesty International concert after being introduced by Madonna, and visited with New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio.
ilm Editor Tom Cross ’93 Wins Sundance F Festival Awards Tom Cross ’93, BFA (visual arts), is the editor of a film that earned big wins at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Whiplash won both the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic and the Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic. Cross also edited the short film of the same name that preceded the full-length feature chosen for last year’s Sundance festival. The Boston Globe refers to Cross’ editing as “fantastic,” while IndieWire reports, “editor Tom Cross uses rapid cuts that make watching a band practice as exciting as a high-speed car chase.”
Student Designs Affordable 3D Printer with Creative Business Strategy Graphic design major/arts management minor Shai Schechter ’15, School of Art+Design, took the Purchase motto Think Wide Open to a whole new level last fall. He found an innovative way to simplify and minimalize emerging 3-D printing technology to render it more affordable. With a successful Kickstarter campaign, Schechter raised capital (more than $220,000) for the “Deltaprintr.” Enrolled in an introductory sculpture course two years ago, Schechter was frustrated that Art+Design’s 3-D laser printer was unavailable for budgetary reasons; a $500 bucket of powder could produce no more than two prints. Always a tinkerer, he already had a prototype in mind for a more affordable version. He proposed to instructor Eric Wildrick that his version would allow all students access to the printer. It would not only cost less to use, but be more efficient as well.
NewsBriefs Wildrick, an assistant professor of Art+Design, encouraged him to submit a proposal, for which Ravi Rajan, dean of the School of the Arts, granted him $1,000. Schecter built the printer during an independent study, with Wildrick as his sponsor. For Schechter, the experience demonstrated the potential for 3-D printing in the educational environment, prompting him to launch the Kickstarter campaign to bring his Deltaprintr to market. “One of the great benefits of being an artist is you get to look at the world from a different angle,” Schechter says. “It’s that angle that has helped us launch this business with a creative spin on it—from designing the product to marketing it.”
Purchase is Named Best Value by Princeton Review Purchase College is one of the nation’s “Best Value” colleges and universities, according to the Princeton Review. The education services company profiles Purchase in its new book, The Best Value Colleges: 2014 Edition. The renowned college guide profiles 75 public and 75 private colleges designated by the Princeton Review as “Best Value” schools, based on the company’s surveys of 2,000 colleges and universities in 2012–13. In its profile of Purchase, the review’s editors say that the school’s artistic and academic inclinations are both reflected in its motto: Think Wide Open. “Purchase College’s eccentric and artistic atmosphere is a big draw for students and faculty. Although the school is not situated in a large city, the number of performing and creative artists on campus means ‘there’s always something going on,’ including nonstop concerts, plays, recitals, and art exhibits.”
A New More Card for 2014 Purchase students, faculty, and staff will receive new campus ID numbers and new MoreCards beginning in the fall of 2014. Each card will include a proxy chip—a computer chip that will allow the cardholder to scan in different locations as scanners are installed around campus. Managed by the Purchase College Association, the new MoreCard features a photo of the mall at sunset in the background.
The profile notes that Purchase has academically competitive and nationally ranked programs in the liberal arts and sciences. “Students also benefit from Purchase’s close proximity to America’s largest and greatest city: New York. And, the school also offers a wide variety of study abroad programs for students who want to enhance their education with the experience of another country.”
iplinger’s Personal Finance Names Purchase K a Best Value Purchase College has once again been named one of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s “100 Best Values in Public Colleges.” The 2014 list recognizes four-year schools that deliver a quality education at an affordable price. According to Kiplinger’s, Purchase made the list thanks to its high four-year graduation rate, low average student debt at graduation, abundant financial aid, low sticker price, and overall great value. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance also named Purchase to its list of “Top 30 Best Values in Small Colleges.” Purchase earned the number 9 spot on the selection of the top ten public colleges in the category.
Purchase Opera Receives Two NOA Awards for 2012–13 In addition to public performances of opera scenes, art-song evenings, solo recitals, and choral works, the Conservatory of Music’s voice and opera studies program presents two operas a year—cast with talented young opera students. These productions have been acclaimed for their inventiveness and high level of professional quality, winning eight prestigious Best Opera of the Year Awards from the National Opera Association (NOA), including a dual win for 2012–13. The spring 2012 production of Die Fledermaus won first place in Division II, while the fall 2012 production of Hansel and Gretel won second place in Division III. According to Jacques Trussel, head of the department, “Our unique and groundbreaking program is virtually the only one on the eastern seaboard that offers opera productions performed predominantly by undergraduates.” Each Purchase Opera production is a close collaboration with the college’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts—with designs and production executed by the theatre design/ technology program—as well as with the Conservatory of Music’s Purchase Symphony Orchestra.
Cinema studies major Thomas DiCostanzo ‘15 (above) captured a fall sunset on the mall. His photograph (right) will be used as the background on the new MoreCard.
In November 2013, the Purchase Opera presented the German classic Hansel and Gretel. “Our approach to this opera was unique—with a dash of absurdity in the witches’ role—designed to appeal to the child in all of us,” says Trussel. “It’s an ideal introduction to opera for young people and a perennial favorite of seasoned opera fans.” One of the world’s most entertaining English-language operas—A Midsummer Night’s Dream—was the featured production in March, with music composed by the acclaimed master Benjamin Britten and a libretto adapted from the Shakespeare play. PUR C H A SE | 15
NewsBriefs Student Work Makes Broadway Debut Purchase College Conservatory of Music student Edward W. Hardy ’14 composed the music for a new Off-Broadway show, The Woodsman, produced by Strangemen & Co. and created by James Ortiz ’14. The show ran from Jan. 30 through Feb. 16, 2014. Based on some forgotten writings by the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum, The Woodsman focuses on the story of the Tin Man. Nick Chopper is a mortal, a woodsman who falls deeply in love with a beautiful young woman. Unbeknownst to him, she is under the guardianship of a horrible sorceress—the Wicked Witch of the East. Will their love be enough to protect them from the witch’s wrath? Using Bunraku puppetry, movement, and live accompaniment by Hardy, The Woodsman delves deeper into the beloved character’s history and offers a unique, heartbreaking, and adult perspective on this classic story. The Woodsman is the recipient of a 2014 Project Grant from the Jim Henson Foundation.
Abraham ’00 Named MacArther Fellow Renowned dancer and choreographer Kyle Abraham ’00 was among 24 creative individuals to be named a 2013 MacArthur Fellow. Often called the Genius Award, the prestigious honor comes with a stipend of $625,000 paid over five years. The award has no strings attached—no stipulations or reporting requirements—providing maximum freedom for recipients to Kyle Abraham ‘00 follow their own creative vision. The Pittsburgh native is the founder of his own company, Abraham. in.Motion. Several Purchase College alumni have performed with the group, including Rena Butler ’11, Chalvar Monteiro ’10, Amber Parker ’07, Addison Reese ’11, Connie Shiau ’12, and Hsiao Jou Tang ’08. In 2012 Abraham received a Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award and was a USA Ford Fellow. He’s also a 2012–14 Resident Commissioned Artist at New York Live Arts. An active contributor to the Conservatory of Dance since his graduation, Abraham has been a frequent guest at the college, teaching modern technique classes and setting solos on seniors. One of these solos was on the program at the Conservatory of Dance’s New York Live Arts season in May 2013. PUR C H A SE | 16
Chris Krasnow ’14 Wins Inaugural Experience Hendrix Guitar Competition When Experience Hendrix LLC announced a guitar competition in 2013, thousands of musicians around the world responded. The stakes were high: a chance to win a performing slot on the 2014 Experience Hendrix tribute tour, along with cash and a slew of other prizes. The rules were simple. Entrants were asked to submit videos that show themselves performing Hendrix tracks. A team of esteemed judges, including Jimi’s sister Janie Hendrix, were looking for the video that showed “the most Hendrix-like guitar playing.” The overall winner: Purchase College Conservatory of Music Chris Krasnow ‘14 student Chris Krasnow ’14, who started playing classical piano at age five. He later shifted to trombone, but by high school was also playing guitar and experimenting with studio production gear. His studies at Purchase focus on jazz trombone performance, but Krasnow remains active as a guitarist for a band he started in high school, as well as a band called Citris, made up of Purchase students. On March 30, 2014, Krasnow was in Washington, DC, to perform with the Experience Hendrix tour at Lincoln Theatre. “I was on stage with Buddy Guy, Billy Cox, Chris Layton, and Mato Nanji. Having been a part of the Experience Hendrix 2014 tour for that one night was monumental for me as a person and musician. I got to play with the best of the best and I’m eager to grow and succeed now more than ever,” says Krasnow.
jandon business of the arts distinguished lecture series The School of the Arts proudly welcomed Ben Cameron, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF), as the speaker for the 2014 Jandon Business of the Arts Distinguished Lecture on March 3, at the Performing Arts Center. Established in 2012 through a generous gift from the Cecil family to mark the occasion of Donald Cecil’s 85th birthday, the Jandon Business of the Arts Distinguished Lecture helps support the arts management program at Purchase College. This endowed lecture reflects Don’s lifelong commitment to excellence in education, leadership in business, and passion for the arts. It is present-
NewsBriefs ed annually along with the Jandon Business of the Arts Student Achievement Award. The arts management faculty selected Sabrina Cedeño ‘14 as this year’s student award recipient. The theme of this year’s lecture—entrepreneurship in the arts—was perfectly suited to the talents and experience of guest lecturer Ben Cameron, who assumed his current position as program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) in New York, NY, in 2006. Cameron currently supervises an annual $13 million grants program focusing on organizations and artists in the theatre, contemporary dance, jazz, and presenting fields, as well as the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art’s Building Bridges Program, a grant portfolio increasing the public’s understanding of Muslim cultures through the arts.
Purchase soul voices “stand” In an inspiring celebration of Black History Month, Purchase Soul Voices, a 60-student vocal ensemble, presented a free concert— “Stand!”—in February 2014. The show featured a mix of musical genres, including spirituals, gospel, soul, rhythm and blues, funk, and jazz. Created by Pete Malinverni, head of the jazz studies program at Purchase, Soul Voices is open to all students and draws participants from all majors. Malinverni conceived the idea when he realized that, in his work with his jazz students, he was seeing only a part of the talent pool on campus. Seven years ago, he founded Soul Voices and a great campus tradition was born. “This is a special year for Soul Voices,” says Malinverni, “commemorating the 50th anniversary of such a watershed event in the civil rights movement”—the passage of the civil rights act. “Music was a major force in the civil rights movement, and we are thrilled to be tapping into that spirit.”
Pete Malinverni and the Purchase Soul Voices
GO PANTHERS! The 2013–14 sports year has been a special one for Purchase College athletics. The fall season featured an unprecedented accomplishment: all seven programs advanced to the playoffs. The program’s excellent start paved the way for another banner winter campaign, with men’s basketball winning its fourth Skyline Conference crown in five years behind Skyline Player of the Year Andre Nixon and fellow first-teamer Joel Neri. Nixon would add a
Purchase men’s basketball wins 2014 Skyline Conference crown.
host of other accolades before the season was up, including an appearance in the Division III all-star game in Virginia, where he scored a game-high 20 points, an All-America nod, All-District honors, and the Regional Player of the Year Award. Neri, the team’s seven-foot-two center, was also decorated with postseason awards as the Panthers advanced to the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in five years. Purchase hosted the first and second round of the NCAA games and won the opening-round matchup against Hartwick before falling to Albertus Magnus. Meanwhile, women’s basketball, fresh off an appearance in the conference final a year before, reached the league semifinals this winter. Like Nixon on the men’s side, senior Jess Lindsay scored her 1,000th career-point. In addition to Lindsay, the team was led by All-Skyline performers Jazmin Garcia and Elizabeth Osowiecki. The women’s and men’s swim teams finished second and third, respectively, at their championships. Purchase junior Amanda Gibson garnered Rookie of the Year honors as she placed first in both the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events; she was the runner-up in the 200-yard individual medley. The Rookie of the Year honor on the men’s side was shared by Panther teammates Sam Jaffe and Andrew Latona. Jaffe established a championship record in the 200-yard breaststroke, while Latona placed first in the 20-yard backstroke in a meet-record time. Men’s volleyball, a developing program, rebounded to win seven matches this winter and spring, while baseball, softball, and tennis also returned and performed well as the season came to a close. The highlight of the spring belonged to women’s lacrosse—a second-year program—which not only won its first game, but also won its first conference game, rolling to a 5-2 record early in the spring campaign. Lindsay, a three-sport athlete, shone on the lacrosse field. She ranked among the top 10 in several categories, including saves percentage, and was honored by the Eastern College Athletic Conference as Defensive Player of the Week— another first for the program, with Lindsay garnering some regional recognition for her prowess. Among the spring’s successes was another first: the opening of Purchase’s brand-new, multipurpose turf field complex, the new home of the Panther baseball team. The former athletic director and current vice president of student affairs, Ernie Palmieri, and Provost Barry Pearson presided over a grand-opening ceremony to welcome the new turf field—the program’s second multipurpose platform—to the Panther community. PUR C H A SE | 17
E H T F O TR A E H T
KOOB Professor Warren Lehrer pictured with his “ illuminated novel.”
PUR C H A SE | 18
THE ART OF THE
BOOK By Kristi McKee humbing through A Life in Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley, one soon realizes that it’s a book unlike any other. Warren Lehrer, professor of Art+Design in graphic design at Purchase College, didn’t just write this book, or illustrate it, or design it—nor does it seem to fit comfortably into the typical categories to which most commercially published books are routinely assigned. The word novel applies not only to its literary genre but also to the book’s originality as a concept. Repeatedly referred to as a “tour de force” in graphic design, typography, writing, and illustration, it has been hailed by critics as “ingenious,” “extraordinary,” “idiosyncratic,” “astonishing,” and “important.”
A Life in Books is what Lehrer refers to as an “illuminated novel.” It’s the fictional memoir of Bleu Mobley, an author, journalist, college professor, experimental novelist, and pop-culture pundit, who is whispering his entire life story into a recording device inside the jail cell he occupies for failing to reveal the name of a confidential source. The autobiography/apologia is “illuminated” by the book jackets, catalog copy, and reviews of the 101 books he has written. Excerpts from 34 of those volumes serve to flesh out his story further. For Lehrer, who is widely recognized as a pioneer in the fields of visual literature and design authorship, the book was nine years in the making. He describes visual literature as “works of writing where the shape and composition of the words are as important as the words themselves.” In essence, he has been exploring the “shape of thought” throughout his 30-year oeuvre. In A Life in Books, the images do far more than merely illustrate the text; they advance the story. “In the best visual literature, the text and image don’t just illustrate each other, they add up,” he explains.
Professor Leonard Seastone ‘88 MFA looks on while Art+Design students Holly Williams ‘15 (left) and Kelly Woodworth ‘14 work the letterpress.
page size, and structure, book designers attempt to control the pace at which the reader experiences the work. The act of turning the page itself is a physical interaction between object and reader, which suggests intimacy. No other visual art form requires human touch from its audience; most forms of art forbid such physical interaction. Finally, for some artists, the lure of accessibility inherent in multiples—the book’s ability to reach a broad audience—is an added draw.
NOT JUST FOR KIDS Laura Vaccaro Seeger ’80 studied fine art and graphic design at Purchase. Although she filled her journals from the time she was in fifth grade with ideas for picture books, she never considered
Lehrer’s work is an extraordinary example of what can happen to the book form in the hands of an artist. Whether created as single, precious objects, limited-edition volumes, or works for commercial publication, books by Purchase alumni and faculty continue to push boundaries, amaze readers, and amass critical acclaim.
WHAT THE BOOK OFFERS For many artists, the book form provides avenues for creative expression not found in other visual media. Books are sequential, which allows in-depth exploration of ideas and longer narratives. They’re time-based; the stories and ideas unfold with each turn of the page, and through considerations such as the number of pages,
Pages from Vaccaro Seeger’s “The Hidden Alphabet”
PUR C H A SE | 19
celebrated the words of his favorite authors, and entertained children with volumes of fables, bestiaries, and nursery rhymes. In 1992–93 the exhibition Other Languages, Other Signs: The Books of Antonio Frasconi toured nationally after originating at the college’s Neuberger Museum of Art. Isle Schreiber-Noll ’86 BFA, ’89 MFA, came to Purchase specifically to study woodcuts and the art of the book with Frasconi. Schreiber-Noll found her voice as a political artist and incorporated books into her art practice largely because of his influence.
Artist’s book by Ilse Schreiber-Noll: Oil Spill Book III, Elegy to Nigeria.
pursuing a career as a children’s book author or illustrator. After graduation, she spent many years in network television creating show openings and special segments for NBC, ABC, and Fox, and won an Emmy Award for an opening animation she made for an NBC special. She reached a point in her life when she decided it was time to focus seriously on the ideas filling her journals and to create concept books for children. Seventeen books later, her work has earned significant recognition; her accolades include Caldecott Honors, Theodor Seuss Geisel Honors, an Oppenheim Platinum Award, and placement on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Vaccaro Seeger presents concepts through words and images in clever ways designed to appeal not only to children, but also to the adults who read to them. Through the inventive use of die-cuts, she forces shifts in perspective that turn even the simplest concepts—such as the alphabet in The Hidden Alphabet—into something new and fresh. Her process begins with an idea that captures her interest. Then she taps into the skills she honed at Purchase in both graphic design and painting. For The Hidden Alphabet, it was the opportunity “to force a person to see something one way, then with the turn of the page, or the lift of the page, have the perspective completely change,” she says. “You can see the design influence—the negative space, the perspective, even the use of the die cut. It’s all design,” she adds. Carol Bankerd, associate professor of Art+Design in graphic design, was a huge influence on her. Vaccaro Seeger also remembers fondly the lessons she learned from her painting teacher, John Cohen, professor emeritus of visual arts. To this day, she says, whenever she paints she hears his voice in her head telling her, “Push the paint, Laura, push the paint.” Vaccaro Seeger is an author in the literal sense—she writes the text of her books—but the decisions she makes regarding the use of words are integral to the design process and not separate from her artistic choices. “I think of myself as an artist and my tools are paint and pencils and words,” she says.
HISTORY Purchase College has a colorful history in the art of the book that can be traced back to its earliest years, beginning with the late Antonio Frasconi (1919–2013). The renowned printmaker—arguably the foremost woodblock artist of his generation—taught the art of the book to Art+Design students from soon after his arrival in 1973 until 2008. He began teaching here at age 54, already an established artist with a highly respected body of work that included his edition of Twelve Fables of Aesop, which was named one of the fifty best books of the year by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Through his work he championed social change, PUR C H A SE | 2 0
The multimedia artist uses paintings, installations, woodcuts, and painted books to express her anguish over political and social issues, but sees her work as a whole. She turns to the book form when she needs what a painting can’t offer: pages. “The books are diaries or visual documents to complement the content of my paintings. The book can bring out the lyrical, tactile, and poetic reality that is hidden within my paintings,” she notes. Some of her books are delicate because of the materials she uses. Others are strong, painted on paper, canvas, or board with heavy surface textures that allow them to stand up like sculptures, yet they still invite touch. She believes viewers must turn the pages to decipher her meaning. “The books have no text, only a title. The word is embedded yet invisible within the heavily encrusted surfaces. The viewer has to touch and feel them in order to understand what I have to say,” she explains. “By turning the pages, the viewer has to take time and look more carefully. I believe this will contribute to raising the reader’s awareness.”
THE DUALITY OF APPROACH Frasconi and Schreiber-Noll both approach the act of making artists’ books from a printmaking tradition, which has its roots in the literary world and the gallery scene and usually encompasses letterpress and fine-art printing or unique works of art that lean toward the sculptural. A second approach stems from graphic design and photography and is often associated with the offsetprinting technique. The history of the book arts at Purchase College continued during the tenure of Ed Colker, dean of the School of Art+Design (then the School of Visual Arts) from 1980 to 1985. Colker, himself a printmaker, has been described by some as the Johnny Appleseed of the book arts because of the number of programs he has started around the country. With the support of both the printmaking faculty, such as Frasconi and Murray Zimiles, professor of Art+Design, and the graphic design faculty, including Lehrer and Phil Zimmerman, professor emeritus of Art+Design in graphic design, Colker created the MFA program with three concentrations, one of which was printmaking and the art of the book, and also the Center for Editions (CFE), a print shop and bindery located in the basement of the Visual Arts Building. Colker sought donations from his contacts in the print world, and acquired offset and letterpress machines as
Clifton Meador pictured in the offset shop on the cover of the spring 1997 issue of JAB: Journal of Artists’ Books.
graphs. “I was interested in how groups of photographs worked together—in constructing visual narratives that created a context for pictures.” Artist’s book by Clifton Meador, A Repeated Misunderstanding of Nature, 2012 edition of 20, boxed set of five leporello volumes.
well as a long-term loan of the famous Pforzheimer collection of antique wood and metal letterpress type from the New York Public Library. The availability of offset presses—a Swedish Solna 125 and later a Heidelberg KORD—was unusual on a college campus. The high cost of the presses and the attendant equipment, such as process cameras, plate makers, and film, combined with the difficulty inherent in running and maintaining them, made the endeavor impractical for most schools to offer to students who wanted to publish. At that time, however, offset was the name of the game for many artists interested in creating visual narratives through artists’ books—particularly those artists rooted in graphic design and photography. The offset process allowed them to produce books in larger editions, thereby lowering the cost. Offset printing offered the promise of the democratization of artists’ books. So for a time from the 1980s through the late 1990s, Purchase earned a reputation as a hotbed of production for such books. Like Lehrer, Zimmerman is a highly regarded maker of books; he’s owned and operated his own press, Spaceheater Editions, since 1979. Faculty members in the early years also included Brad Freeman, a well-established book artist, and Johanna Drucker, who literally wrote the book on the theory of artists’ books: The Century of Artists’ Books. In 1994, the first issues of the publication JAB: The Journal of Artists’ Books, a forum for critical discussion, were printed in the CFE. JAB was the brainchild of Freeman and Clifton Meador ’91 MFA. If Ed Colker was the Johnny Appleseed of the book arts, then Clif Meador was the rock star. His presence provided another source of energy surrounding artists’ books at Purchase when he arrived in 1988. He came to the college to pursue his MFA in the art of the book, but his reputation for expertise in printing and artists’ book production preceded him. Fresh from a four-year stint as the director of Atlanta’s Nexus Press, important for its facilitation of artists’ book production through its residency programs, Meador was the conduit connecting Freeman and Drucker to Purchase. Zimmerman recalls, “We always thought of Clif as a colleague even though he was getting his degree. We learned as much from him as he learned from us.”
A simple observation by Robert Berlind, professor emeritus of Art+Design in painting and drawing, changed the entire way Meador approached making books. “He told me, ‘You need to make longer work.’ I think Bob’s comment was the most formative thing anybody said to me, and he was right,” Meador recalls. The artist has made copious remarkably smart and idiosyncratic books since, and is considered one of the country’s finest and most respected makers of artists’ books working today. Last fall, the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts awarded him its international MCBA Prize of 2013 for A Repeated Misunderstanding of Nature. The limited-edition work (20 copies) features a set of five leporello books (whose pages are folded accordion-style) housed in a plywood box, with the title etched in the wood. Meador also offers an unlimited, print-on-demand version for a fraction of the cost of the limited-edition work. An early adopter of technology whose practice has always been digitally based, Meador often creates multiple iterations of his work to reach a wider audience. In 2009–10, he made a book per week for a year for the project he called 52; he invites readers to download them for free. Another Purchase experience that proved profound for Meador was teaching. He moved on from Purchase in 1995 and is now a professor and the director of the MFA program in interdisciplinary book and paper arts at Columbia College in Chicago.
NEW POTENTIAL FOR THE CENTER FOR EDITIONS The future of the Center for Editions (CFE) is becoming clear for Steve Lam, who began his tenure as director of the School of Art+Design last fall. He prefers the term “experimental publishing” for the possibilities it promises. Using the atelier—a workshop where artists work in tandem with apprentices—as a model, Lam would like to see the CFE as a production site where designers and printers work with students, but that’s not all. “I’d also love for it to be a research site where we maintain a website that is a repository of articles about the future of the edition and book publishing as well as an archive of symposia that we organize,” he explains. He also envisions a set of possible collaborative classes that cut across academic areas such as media and writing, while also advancing the inherent intradisciplinary nature of contemporary design and print. Some already in place are The Animated Print, a class created by Hooper that bridges print with digital media and animation, and Lehrer’s Artist/Writer Workshop. More are in development. For Lam, the etymology of the word publish—to make public—is the key. With full comprehension of the important historical role of printmaking, typography, and design, Lam hopes to link history with the future by embracing the potential of the digital world. “Hence my desire to use the term ‘experimental publishing,’ which is part publishing, part publicity, and part public-making, but using the convergence of the history and future of design and print. There are new modes of storytelling and the book is not the only place where stories exist,” he says.
Meador studied photography as an undergraduate and fell into making artists’ books as a way to create narratives from photoPUR C H A SE | 21
PUSHING BOUNDARIES Sue O’Donnell ’02 MFA learned about Purchase from Zimmerman, whom she met while taking a summer course on book structures in Rochester, NY. Zimmerman—along with Lehrer and Margot Lovejoy, professor emerita of Art+Design in printmaking—became one of her mentors. Early in her practice, O’Donnell made one-of-a-kind objects based on memories triggered by her archive of family photos. Those early works pushed the boundaries of what might be considered books. In Memory Game, she mounted text and images on wooden blocks and invited viewers to play with them and build their own stories. In Story Told, she printed stories on acetate, cut up the text, and inserted the pieces between plates of glass in wood frames joined together accordion-style. “The text would shift and reposition with every viewing. The concept of what is revealed and what is hidden, along with shifting and fading memories, has continued to have a strong conceptual footing in all of my work,” she explains. O’Donnell describes the nature of her work as storytelling, yet her books are not necessarily intended to be read in the traditional sense. “It’s not that I expect viewers to read my work—to me that’s not important—but since I use a lot of text, I find that the format of the book, with its one-onone intimacy, lends itself to the way I work.” She’s moving away from the book form now toward timelines, maps, and graphs, but her intention remains the same: to share her stories. Currently, she’s an associate professor of digital art at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania.
Works by Sue O’Donnell, Story Told (top); detail of Memory Game (above); and Molecular Structure (right).
Artist’s book by Casey Hooper: The bird also has a found a house.
MIXING TRADITIONS Associate Professor of Art+Design Cassandra (Casey) Hooper ’91 MFA is a photographer who came to Purchase to study printmaking. She had limited knowledge of artists’ books but soon learned from both Frasconi and Meador how the book form could inform her art practice. Meador introduced her to the element of time. For Hooper, making prints was a labor-intensive process that limited her narrative to a single piece. “But with a book, I can bring the element of time through sequencing, through the actual physical time and space of moving through the pages. It was a very new and interesting aspect for me.”
In 2009–10, Cliff Meador made a book per week for the project he called 52.
Much to her own surprise, Hooper is evolving into a writer, despite the discipline’s challenges. For her most recent book, The bird also has found a house, Hooper borrowed a poem from the poet H. L. Hix, but she broke it apart and reassembled the words, added some of her own, then placed them with her photographs. “Those words were tortured out of me,” she explains. “But if I had to pack up anything from the book to take with me, it would be the text. Nobody could have told me 20 years ago that writing would be the most important part about making artists’ books,” she says. She worked with Hix at the Kansas City Institute, where she taught after earning her MFA, so he was gracious about her rearrangement of his poem and he was thrilled with the result. Recently, Hix published a book of poems he wrote based on artists’ statements called as much as, IF NOT MORE THAN. In it, his poem “In the Dream, a Premonition” is based on Hooper’s statement. Her work untitled (Wild Turkeys) will be featured in Ley Lines, his next collaborative project, in which poets write poems in response to artists’ existing work; the project will culminate in a book and museum exhibition in 2015.
BOOK ARTS NOW While the original hope was to establish the CFE as a publishing entity, deep state budget cuts quashed those plans in the 1990s. The Solna press became damaged beyond repair and has since been scrapped. The much-simpler digital printing process is rapidly PUR C H A SE | 2 2
Eight students were recently awarded a residency with Casey Hooper at the Frans Masereel Centrum in Belgium. For a week in March, the students created a limited-edition folio of prints to illustrate the Langston Hughes poem “Let America Be America Again” in homage to Antonio Frasconi, who released a book in 1998 in which he illustrated the same poem. (Top: Students in the Connecticut studio of the late Antonio Frasconi. Bottom: On press in Belgium.)
replacing offset. However, the CFE did manage to publish one book in 1991. Labyrinth, a visual book by Lovejoy, uses montage and diecuts to create a compelling interactive experience that explores complex cultural issues associated with gender and power. Labyrinth was expertly printed and produced in an edition of 500 by Meador. While the MFA became interdisciplinary around 2000 in response to student demand, the art of the book still holds its own in the undergraduate curriculum at Purchase. Hooper returned to Purchase to teach in 1998. About ten years ago, she created a class called Extended Media, which requires each Art+Design freshman to make a book during the first semester at Purchase—a rare requirement for an undergraduate program. The students are introduced to working with mechanical media to help produce multiples and learn basic printmaking processes such as screen printing and laser-print transfer. “They learn how to do quicker projects that will arm them with enough good ideas and questions to make something more complex later, if they get a taste for it,” she says. For those who do wish to continue, courses such as Book Structures, Experimental Book, and Letterpress Workshop allow for more in-depth exploration of the medium. Leonard Seastone ’88 MFA teaches Book Structures and Letterpress Workshop. He’s a poet who started his own imprint, Tideline Press, in 1972; by 1980, a book he designed, printed, and bound, John Anderson and the Pickering Press, had been named to the American Institute of Graphic Arts’ list of fifty best books of the year. An autodidact who mastered the letterpress technique on his own, he enrolled at Purchase to continue his studies beyond what he could teach himself. He was the first student enrolled in the master’s program to study the art of the book at Purchase, and he returned to teach in 1999 when he took on the responsibility of the letterpress shop. A “scrounger” by nature, he secured donations of hundreds of cases of type, mostly 19th-century wood type, to assemble one of the largest collections of its kind for use by students in the United States. Seastone has been designing and printing his own books and collaborating with others for decades. In CRICKETS, his poems are combined with photographer Bill Westheimer’s images in a
unique and beautiful limited edition that comprises salted-paper prints made from glass negatives, one of which is framed into the book’s leather cover. In 2013, he collaborated with a former student, Guyang Chen, on a book he designed and printed called The Delicate Work of Song. Paired with poems by Ronald Baatz, Chen’s calligraphic images—as one can see upon close inspection—are actually depictions of single words from the accompanying text made by rearranging the letterforms that make up the words. The complete archives of Seastone’s book art and ephemera are held at Yale University. Seastone recently pulled scores of examples of student work done in the letterpress shop, revealing the astounding depth and creativity that Purchase students bring to the art of making books. In 2011, Hooper helped establish Printweek, a weeklong celebration of prints and artists’ books featuring events, demonstrations, and exhibitions. In 2011 and again in 2013, working artists were invited to Purchase for residencies in which they collaborated with students on the creation of artists’ books. During the first iteration of Printweek, a team of students worked with the Swedish-French artist duo Anna Hellsgårtd and Christian Gfeller, known then as Bongout, to create a limited-edition book; in 2013, another group created a ’zine with artist Gary Kachadourian. Every year since 2011, students have run a booth at the New York Book Art Fair at PS1, where they’ve shown those two works as well as other collaborative faculty, alumni, and student artists’ books.
STORYTELLERS AT HEART Since Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type and the modern printing press in the 15th century, books have been crucial to the spreading of ideas—portable containers for words and images. But artists’ books such as those presented here are really an invention of the 20th century.1 From polished, commercially published books to do-it-yourself ’zines distributed for free to unique, sculptural objects, books give artists freedom to explore and express ideas and connect with readers on a level no other visual or time-based art form can provide. Whether they write the words themselves, borrow others’, or choose no words at all in their book practices, these artists do share one important thing: they’re storytellers. After years of teaching artists, Meador has a theory: “You can teach visual artists how to write somewhat, but it’s much harder to teach a writer how to make visual art.” He adds, “You can teach people expository writing. I don’t know if you can teach people how to be storytellers or not, though.” 1
Johanna Drucker, The Century of Artists’ Books (New York: Granary Books, 1995), 1.
Artist’s book by Leonard Seastone: Gooseberry Creek, 1987, printed by Tideline Press.
PUR C H A SE | 2 3
Elijah Wolf-Christensen ’15, whose acoustic band, Elijah and the Moon, plays regularly in Manhattan clubs, was pleasantly surprised in 2012 when a music-licensing company representative heard him play and signed him to a contract. Later that year, the acoustic guitar intro to his song “Build These Walls” was played in television ads for Subaru’s Forester SUV. A year later, the agency signed him for another 12 months, and he’d hired a manager to book gigs for his band. In February, he was juggling four professional projects as he prepared for his junior recital in the Music Conservatory’s studio composition program. “It’s pretty sweet,” says Wolf-Christensen, of Woodstock, NY. “It’s all working.” Wolf-Christensen is among about 150 undergraduates in the Conservatory of Music’s programs in studio composition and production. The studio composition program provides opportunities for singer-songwriters looking to hone their craft for the popular music industry, while the studio production program teaches students the skills needed to produce today’s music.
In public restrooms, dorm rooms, outside, in the basement—and in labs and studios equipped with the mostsophisticated equipment and technology available—students in studio composition and production are getting a big bang for their bucks. They’re also getting discovered while playing gigs in New York City clubs or interning at studios in the metropolitan region, where some of the world’s top artists come to record their latest hits.
Brown has made a name in the music industry for recording at venues around the world and then bringing the music back to Legacy Sound in New Rochelle for mastering and postproduction. The Glennie album, made with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, was recorded at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy. “An orchestra has such a massive range of colors and textures,” he says. “Your job is to connect the listener, as directly as possible, to what’s going on.” Among the studio composition program’s newest faculty members is Assistant Professor Jakub Ciupinski, who teaches classes in film scoring, studio arranging, and MIDI composition for electronic music. His own work combines movement and music on the edge of contemporary performance. In 2013, he created an interactive dance piece for Jessica Lang Dance at Jacob’s Pillow using an instrument called the theremin, which detects hand movements and transforms those movements into sound.
The programs’ faculty includes top-notch professionals, such as Spin Doctors lead singer Chris Barron; songwriter/producer Carl Sturken, who produces and writes songs for the pop star Rihanna; Polish composer Jakub Ciupinski; and Assistant Professor Silas Brown ’94, Silas Brown ’94 whose recording of percussionist Evelyn Glennie won the 2014 Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Solo. James Perella ’13, a senior in studio production when the album was recorded, worked with Brown to produce the album—earning a Grammy credit as an assistant engineer while he was still in college.
“I was on stage, with the dancers, creating original soundtracks,” he says. “It’s a very visual experience, and really exciting. The piece emerges as I write it.”
Peter Denenberg, who heads both programs, co-produced Martin Simpson’s latest album, Vagrant Stanzas, which was nominated for multiple 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Denenberg runs the Acme Recording Studios in Mamaroneck, NY.
Haviland’s 90-minute master classes—with two or three students per class—for studio composition students provide insight into the process that launched her career. She also offers details about the nuts and bolts of making it in the 21st-century music world.
PUR C H A SE | 2 4
DISCOGRAPHY STARTS NOW
Rebecca Haviland ’04, whose rock group, Rebecca Haviland and Whiskey Heart, tours nationally, has returned to Purchase to teach. Coming back reunited her with Denenberg. She recalls spending long hours at Acme during her undergraduate years. Denenberg produced her first record when she was 19.
Top: Peter Denenberg, head of studio production and studio composition, with students in his office/studio. Above: Studio production student Juan Pena ‘15 interning at Daddy’s House Recording Studio in New York City.
“We talk about building your website, getting radio play for your songs, and recording your music,” says Haviland, who lives in White Plains with bassist Chris Anderson ’06. “There are things you need to know if this is something you want to do for the rest of your life.” Her band features Anderson on bass and Kenny Shaw ’04 on drums. The group, which opened for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes at the Tarrytown Music Hall on May 9, played this winter in Nashville, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles. Haviland also tours with Crystal Bowersox, the runner-up in the 2010 American Idol competition. Anderson, meanwhile, who co-writes and co-produces music with Haviland, plays bass for the group A Great Big World. Its hit single “Say Something,” produced by Dan Romer ’04, was recorded with Christina Aguilera, and went double platinum in 2013. Opportunity can strike for studio production students while they are studying at Purchase. Juan Pena ’15, who transferred to the studio production program from Broome Community College in Binghamton, found an internship in 2013 at Daddy’s House Recording Studio—the New York City–based company owned by rap mogul P. Diddy. Pena typically works the night shift, which starts at midnight. It can get busy in the early morning hours, with stars such as Wyclef Jean and Justin Bieber stopping by after midnight. “One Monday night, I picked up the phone, and they said Justin Bieber was on the way,” he says. “It was just me and the other interns. Bieber’s engineer came in with his entourage and we set them up. Three months later, they called and wanted to know one intern’s name so he could get a credit on a song.” At Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village, Phil Joly ’09 turned a last-semester internship into a job upon graduation. Five years later, he serves as chief engineer in the studio (founded in the 1960s by guitar legend Jimi Hendrix), which hosts recording sessions for Arcade Fire, U2, Beck, and Prince. Joly recorded all the guitars on Daft Punk’s album Random Access Memories, which won the 2014 Grammy for Best Album. He also recorded all the cellos
Center: Rebecca Haviland ‘04 and Chris Anderson ‘06 of Whiskey Heart. Haviland now teaches master classes in studion composition at Purchase. Right: Peter Denenberg
on Kanye West’s hit Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which won the 2012 Grammy for Best Album. Joly works with fellow Purchase alumnus Vira Byramji ’11, the studio’s assistant manager, who got her foot in the door at Electric Lady during an internship in 2009. “I just recorded an entire record for a band from Chinatown called the Skaters,” says Joly. “I was in charge of drums, bass, and guitars. It was punk rock, hard-edge. They asked me to distort the microphones. We had a real good time. It’s coming out on Warner Brothers.” Danielle Grubb ’15, a singer-songwriter from Texas, came to Purchase for the studio production program. A performer and songwriter, Grubb decided to focus her studies on the production side of the business because she would like eventually to establish a studio and production company. She was also curious about how recording engineers created the sounds they put on albums. Her studies have paid off already. She recorded her first album, Conditions, in her dorm room at Purchase College’s Fort Awesome residence. The production features Grubb on lead guitar, bass, and keyboards, which she pieced together on multiple tracks. For a production class taught by Associate Professor Joe Ferry, one of the program’s founders, Grubb and other students made a recording in the women’s bathroom in the basement of the Music Building, without the use of baffles to isolate the sound. The drum set went in the handicap stall, and the singers stood closest to the microphone. “We had to work everything out so it was sonically pleasing,” Grubb says. She also recalls a master class with Barron of the Spin Doctors in which the students had to write one song a week. “He came in wearing a bow tie with skulls on it, and I knew it was going to be a cool class,” she says. “One time he had us write a song about a very small detail, and expand on it, line by line. The whole point was to tell the entire story without saying what was going on. We had to show it, not tell it.”
PUR C H A SE | 2 5
Dear Alumni and Friends: Once again the stories featured in PURCHASE magazine make me proud to be an alumnus of Purchase College. The success of fellow alumni, the continued achievement of faculty, and the activities on campus all serve to perpetuate the idiosyncratic culture of Purchase. We’ve long known about the many boldfaced names that our film program has produced, but it’s great to read about so many of you who’ve made your way in the film industry, despite its shifting landscape, as well as those new to the industry who refuse to allow its obstacles to dampen your burning passion to make films. I’m truly amazed at the books created by Purchase visual artists. “The Art of the Book” was a nice introduction for me, albeit a reminder for many of you, about the colorful and renowned history of the program at the college. I can’t wait to see where Steve Lam, the new director of the School of Art+Design, will take experimental publishing and the Center for Editions. It makes perfect sense that Purchase College, with its history of attracting those interested in social change and environmental activism, would be on the forefront of carbon-footprint reduction among colleges and universities nationwide. Many of the important initiatives undertaken at Purchase would not be possible without your support. Student scholarships for those most in need, faculty development efforts, and alumni networking opportunities exist because of the critical unrestricted funds provided by the PURCHASE FUND. Please consider making a gift this year to keep Purchase competitive and thriving. Donations of any size have an impact. To find out more about the Annual Fund, go http://www. purchase.edu/giving/ and click on “Purchase Fund.” You can even donate quickly and securely online.
Jody Oberfelder (dance) has been venturing into immersive theater. Her newest piece, 4Chambers, is a sensory journey into the heart. Visit her website, www.jodyoberfelder.com, for more information. Stacie Nicole Simmons (literature) says that God’s providence and life have taken her down many pathways. She and her husband, Evan, have six children, and are the proud grandparents of six grandchildren. Currently, they both teach at the IDEA Public Charter School (Washington, DC). In May, Simmons will graduate from American University with a master’s in history (concentrating on public history). She says she looks forward to all that the future holds for her and her family.
Larry Isaacs (biology) is a board-certified surgeon with 20-plus years of operating experience. He has been named a fellow at New York Medical College with an associated academic appointment. Nearly 40 years after Purchase, he has ended up 5.6 miles down the road from campus! Maura Mandrano (literature) was unceremoniously retired when Hurricane Sandy destroyed the marine business she owned on City Island in the Bronx. She now devotes her time to wildlife rehabilitation (in which she is licensed in New York State), animal rescue, and singing in the Westchester Chorale. Michael Savage (acting) recently published Tap Dancing All the Way to Omaha Beach, a book he wrote with his father about his father’s famous Hollywood tap-dancing days and heroic experiences in World War II. Savage is honored that the National Museum of WWII Veterans in New Orleans, LA, carries it in its bookstore. He is looking forward to making a film to take the honor to the next level.
As alumni and friends of Purchase, you play a role alongside the administration, faculty, staff, and current students to continue the efforts to make Purchase shine even brighter. Help lead the charge as a donor, or become a part of our team through volunteerism and active participation in campus and alumni life.
Joel Bennett (liberal arts) is president of Organizational Wellness & Learning Systems (OWLS), and will publish his fourth book in 2014. Raw Coping Power (from Stress to Thriving) helps readers transform stress into positive thriving. OWLS’s well-being, leadership, and team health programs have been tested in clinical trials and have reached more than 30,000 workers in the U.S. and abroad. Bennett lives in Fort Worth/Austin, TX, with his wife, Jan. Check out his website at www. organizationalwellness.com.
Please stay in touch by sending professional and personal news for “Alumni in Action,” as well as updated addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses to email@example.com. Do you have any suggestions for how we can better connect with your fellow alumni? Let us know. I look forward to hearing from you and am honored to serve as your president.
Jeffrey S. Putman ‘96 President, Purchase College Alumni Association, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org --Dr. Jeffrey S. Putman ‘96 was elected president of the Purchase College Alumni Association in December 2007. He is currently vice president for studentaffairs & dean of students at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Terry McCarthy PUR C H A SE | 2 6
Jeremy Gerard (literature; Distinguished Alumnus 2008) published Wynn Place Show: A Biased History of the Rollicking Life and Extreme Times of Wynn Handman and the American Place Theatre (Smith and Kraus Publishers), which the New York Times called “an overdue biography… that engagingly recounts Mr. Handman’s long and storied career.” The New Yorker magazine’s John Lahr said the “robust account” is “lively and well-informed” and that “Gerard’s book bears fascinating witness to theatrical times gone by.” Jessica Hentoff (sociology) won funding from the YouthBridge Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition to start the Circus Harmony Flying Trapeze Center this spring in St. Louis. She is also raising money to take her youth circus troupe back to Israel to continue its Peace through Pyramids Partnership with the Jewish/Arab Galilee Circus in Israel. Learn more about these and her other social circus activities at www. circusharmony.org.
Wyatt Townley (formerly Barbara Wyatt Baker, dance) is the poet laureate of Kansas. Her work has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, read by Garrison Keillor
on NPR, featured in Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” column, and published in journals ranging from the Paris Review to Newsweek. Still living at the confluence of poetry and poetry-in-motion, she has published five books; her latest is The Afterlives of Trees. See www.WyattTownley.com.
1978 Catherine Bobenhausen (environmental science) discovered whitewater kayaking last summer at Madawaska Kanu Centre. During calmer moments, she consults, teaches, and writes. A senior industrial hygienist/environmental health and safety consultant at NYC’s Vidaris, Inc., Bobenhausen is an adjunct faculty member in the State University of New York/Fashion Institute of Technology’s graduate program, and lectures at the City College of New York and Columbia. She’s also a “mystery woman” for the American Association of University Women/Westchester’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) career day for seventh-grade girls, and the author of “Green Building: The New Transparency” in the Synergist. Tony Castrigno (acting) is the principal and founder of Design Contact and a well-known name in scenic design. He reports that business is thriving in all areas and permanent installations are a growing avenue for his work. In the last three years, Design Contact, which employs many Purchase alumni, has taken on installations for Merck Vaccines, Adobe, two CVS|Caremark facilities, McAfee, NCTA, and Prudential, using the teams’ abilities as set designers, interior designers, interactive designers, illustrators, graphic designers, and artists. Evan Fisher (film) has been in the entertainment business for more than 25 years, and has worked in sales, marketing, and management positions at Cannon Pictures, Warner Brothers, Universal Studios, National Geographic, and the BBC, among others. Evan Fisher He is currently a technology and strategy consultant to BabyFirstTV, a worldwide TV channel and content publisher, where he has secured content deals with Microsoft, Google/YouTube, Samsung, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon, as well as numerous international licensing deals.
Scarsdale Fire Department, while chairing the board of fire commissioners for the Purchase Fire District. Mignone is a board member of several not-forprofit organizations locally. His next major task, he says, will be his son’s wedding this coming August. Tom Murphy (visual arts) lives in Amherst, MA, working as a pediatric occupational therapist. He founded the Bogin Playscape Project, designing indoor playgrounds for preschool children (boginplayscapeproject.com). Murphy is happily married to Nan Salky, with whom he has two almost-grown daughters. He continues to play music; see the links to his recent recordings with Sad Song Radio at http://ssradio.bandcamp.com. Michael Rabinowitz (music) has worked at GRM Document Management for 25 years, and continues to be active as an improvising bassoonist. He plays regularly with the Charles Mingus Orchestra, French horn player John Clark, and his own trio. This summer he will be performing and giving master classes at IDRS’s annual conference at NYU Steinhart. While his two daughters are in college, he and his wife have been able to travel the world. His website is www.jazzbassoonist.com.
1979 Tessa Bell (film) is currently showing her film Life Inside Out in festivals around the country. The movie is a drama about a family that struggles with its members’ opposing needs and dreams but manages to grow stronger together through music. It had simultaneous premieres at the Heartland and Hollywood Film Festivals and won the Best Premiere Award at the Heartland festival. The writers, director, and producer are all women; they financed the film through Kickstarter. See www. lifeinsideoutthemovie.com. Virginia Calabrese (visual arts) studied printmaking at Purchase with Antonio Frasconi and went on to Manhattanville for a teaching certificate in art education. In 1980, she married Richard Oppedisano, an alumnus of Iona College, and they have two sons and a daughter. Calabrese has taught art classes to all ages from prekindergarten to senior citizens in a variety of media. Bhavani Jaroff (visual arts) is the founder of iEat Green, LLC (iEatGreen.com), an organization providing healthy chef services, educational workshops, and cooking demos. She is the host of iEat Green with Bhavani, a weekly Bhavani Jaroff radio show on the Progressive Radio Network, and is a co-chair of Slow Food Huntington. Jaroff has a master’s degree in education and is a certified Waldorf teacher; she uses food as her creative outlet.
Peter Kurz (political science) is currently living in Israel and working as a freelance marketing consultant focusing on the U.S. market. He represents companies Lisan Lema (literature) experienced a rough year in 2013 with the death of her mother. This year, she in the fields of consumer says, has ushered in a whole new chapter; she has products, building products, and Peter Kurz purchased an old property along Albuquerque’s kitchen and bath products. In his spare time, he is the president of “Antique Mile” and is in the process of restoring it to operate a shop of her own. Scaling back to partthe Israel Association for Baseball—his training as time at her current retail job, she hopes to be her the catcher for the Purchase Burnouts, he says, has own boss by year’s end! come in handy! Albert Mignone (anthropology) spends a fair amount of time spoiling his grandkids. He still works full-time as a fire inspector for the Village of
Noah Lewin (film production) retired from the New York City Department of Education in December 2013.
Jay Bernstein (anthropology) is a professor and librarian at Kingsborough Community College of the City College of New York in Brooklyn. His research covers knowledge organization and inquiry. In May he will present “Disciplinarity and Transdisciplinarity in the Study of Knowledge” at the 13th International Conference of the International Society for Knowledge Organization in Krakow, Poland. Mitch Friedman (literature) recently celebrated his 28th year with his employer, Smiths Detection. He is proud and amazed that his education helped guide his career from a position as a manufacturing technician into technical writing, marketing, and eventually sales. Mitch Friedman He attributes his strong people and communication skills to his college experiences and education. Friedman’s two sons, David and Andrew, are now attending college. His favorite hobbies are hiking, mountain biking, and cooking—and he has enjoyed acting and directing at the Clockwork Repertory Theatre in Oakville, CT, since 1999. David Zarowin (philosophy) recently joined the Woodrow Wilson Foundation as the founding executive director of the Teaching and Learning Lab, a competency-based, blendedlearning graduate school of education for prospective STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathemathics) teachers and school leaders. The David Zarowin lab will be launched in 2016
in affiliation with a leading university and one or more school districts, and will be based in either Boston or NYC. Zarowin can be reached at email@example.com.
Garet Livermore (culture and society) was named the executive director of the Sagamore Institute of the Adirondacks in Raquette Lake, NY. He served for 15 years as the vice president for education at the New York State Historical Association in Cooperstown. In his new position, Livermore will divide his time between Raquette Lake and Cooperstown, and he invites Purchase alums to experience the real Adirondacks.
Carole Stewart McDonnell (literature) reports that her novel The Constant Tower has been nominated for the Clive Staples Award for best Christian Speculative Fiction of 2013. This work, along with her first novel, Wind Follower, and her shortstory collection Spirit Fruit, are being released in an audio format. She is currently working on her third novel, My Life as an Onion. PUR C H A SE | 2 7
Diana Meringolo (biology) is pursuing her longtime interest in the field of physical fitness and is now a certified personal trainer, after spending many years as a project manager in the information technology field. She has opened her own company, Fitness for Health and Longevity, LLC, and specializes in working with people 40 and over. She currently resides in Hopatcong, NJ, with her husband, Arthur Mario. James Palka, AIA (visual arts), is a senior project manager in the design and construction department at the University of Pennsylvania. A licensed architect since 1990, he is currently managing the construction of the $68M Neural and Behavioral Sciences Building on the University of Pennsylvania campus.
Mary Ellen Bartley (visual arts) is now represented by the Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York. The gallery, which specializes in contemporary photography, featured Bartley’s work at Paris Photo 2013 and will exhibit her photographs at the AIPAD Photography Show in New York this spring. Bartley lives with her family in Wainscott, NY, and is working on a solo show scheduled for October 2014 at the Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton.
Stephanie Klapper (drama studies) is owner of Stephanie Klapper Casting; she is an awardwinning New York–based casting director for theatre, film, television, and the Web. Her work can currently be seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally, and internationally. Klapper also teaches audition and performance workshops in NYC and at colleges and universities nationwide. She and her husband reside in the NYC area with their two children. She writes that it was a joy and honor to be part of Kay Capo’s recent retirement celebration; Klapper appreciated the chance to reconnect with faculty and friends and see her mentors, Philippa Wehle and Jay Novick.
Peter Jacobs (visual arts) and Elizabeth Smith (visual arts) celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary Peter Jacobs & this year. Jacobs Elizabeth Smith is a working artist (peterjacobsfinearts.com) and has owned Fine Arts Imaging (fineartsimaging.com) for 29 years. Smith also is an artist (elizabethjacobs.com), and owns the Clay Studio in Montclair, NJ.
Nora Raleigh (literature) is publishing her 11th young-adult novel, Subway Love, with Candlewick Press this May. Two other novels— the first (still untitled) about a girl whose mother is incarcerated in the Bedford Women’s Correctional Facility, and the second, Nine/Ten, exploring the 24 hours prior to 9/11 from the point of view of four different characters—are both due out in Nora Raleigh 2015 from Simon & Schuster. PUR C H A SE | 2 8
David Rosenfeld (design/tech) is entering his 28th year at Hudson Scenic Studio as an electrical foreman. At Hudson he has participated in the system design, construction, automation, and electrification of hundreds of Broadway, cruise ship, and touring productions. From the radiocontrolled boat for The Phantom of the Opera, now in its 26th year, to the current productions of Matilda and Aladdin, Rosenfeld’s work spans years of technological advances in the theatrical and lighting industries.
Albert C. Petite Jr. (liberal arts) is in his third year of teaching in Beijing, now at the Affiliated High School of Peking University. He also provides college counseling for overseas-bound students, which he describes as “awakening imaginations and herding cats”; he adds, “Purchase is getting on radar screens!” Petite continues to work with the Chunmiao–Little Flower medical orphanage (www. chunmiaolittleflower.org/), a local project that continues to develop a global reach. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Irene Jonas Sweet (social science/visual arts) and David Sweet (liberal studies) met at Purchase and earned Irene and David Sweet master’s degrees at Fordham. She teaches adult education; he has worked for Westchester County for 25 years as a social worker, presently in the home healthcare field. They were married in 1991 and moved to Carmel, NY, in 1993. They have three sons: Jacob (17), a clarinetist: Matthew (15), a snowboarder and golfer; and Troy (10), who enjoys sports and music.
Barbara Drake (literature) has been living in Lima, Peru, since 2007. For the past five years, Barbara has taught English in the translation program of the Universidad de Ciencias Aplicadas, where she was Barbara Drake honored as the 2011 Teacher of the Year. She has also worked as a field producer for NBC News, focusing on climate change and the Joran van der Sloot murder case. Drake is returning with her family in May to live in Gainesville, FL. Karen Pease Marino (visual arts) went on a twoweek journey to Uganda last May with Bead for Life, a group that creates sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of extreme poverty. Marino and her fellow volunteers visited women and girls in the slums and orphanages in Kampala, as well as in the Karen Marino villages in Northern Uganda where Joseph Kony’s guerilla forces had devastated whole communities. John Moyik (design/tech) is a founding partner of Design Contact and has a long history of scenic design and design management. A few years ago he led the creation of DC-Connect, which develops and programs (i)cell technology systems and accompanying (i) connect display products. These electrostatic-based interfaces and Moyik’s interactive display units have, he reports, struck gold in California. The company has completed more than 10 projects in California, with John Moyik more to come in 2014.
Jim Benz (visual arts) has been appointed head of the Peninsula School in Menlo Park, CA. Peninsula is an independent, progressive school that focuses on maintaining a balance of play and meaningful academics, creativity, and cooperation. He is one of the few school leaders with experience in the arts. Benz taught art at Greens Farms Academy, then became head of the middle school at Seattle Academy, and then the director of the upper schools at Far Brook School in New Jersey. Jessica Shatan Heslin (visual arts) and her husband are thrilled to report that they adopted Sean Levi Heslin at birth on May 6, 2013; it took nine years, but Heslin is now a new mom at 50. As Sean’s first birthday approaches, Heslin is beginning to work part-time from home, doing freelance interior book design. After the adoption, Heslin resigned from her position as the Sean Heslin leader of interior design at Oxford University Press. Joe Mannetti (formerly Louie Paul Devendittis, drama studies) obtained his master’s degree in counseling from CSU Northbridge before moving back to Connecticut. He received the Dorothy Award from the New Haven Pride Center, as well as an award from the Pride NY organization for his work with the LGBTQ community. Mannetti currently works as a mental-health counselor at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, CT, and returned to Purchase for the HIV Equal event in March. Michael A. Rinella (political science) is a senior editor at SUNY Press. Rinella has signed a contract with the University Press of Kansas to publish an edited and annotated version of the memoir of Dallas resident George de Mohrenschildt, Lee Harvey Oswald as I Knew Him. Last fall, Rinella’s home business, Take Aim Designs, published its first board game, Operation Doug Shannon Battleaxe: Wavell vs. Rommel, 1941. Doug Shannon (design/tech) was the gaffer for the film Little Boy, scheduled to open in June 2014. A family drama set during World War II, Little Boy stars Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Michael Rapaport, and Kevin James. It was filmed at Baja Studios in Mexico.
Send your news, updates, and photos to: email@example.com Remember to include your class year and major.
Sarah E. Kelly (philosophy) was recently appointed vice president for advancement at Wheeling Jesuit University, located in the Ohio Valley about 50 minutes outside Pittsburgh.
also a founder and board member of the Hawaiian Adaptive Paddling Association, the Polynesian Voyaging Society, and Malama Honua, H¯ ok¯ ule`a’s World Wide Voyage 2013–2017. “Pa mai, pa mai, Ka makani nui o Hawai`i” (Blow, blow, ye strong winds of Hawai`i).
Hope Griffin Diaz (literature/drama studies) spends her days (and nights) planning ConCarolinas, an annual science fiction/fantasy/speculative fiction convention in Charlotte, NC. This year, she is working with George R. R. Martin, the author who is the guest of honor, and David Weber, a special guest. The convention celebrates all forms of speculative fiction through literature, music, art, film, fandom, and gaming.
James Noel Hoban (acting) will be returning to the Theater at Monmouth this summer for his fourth season, appearing in productions of As You Like It, A Woman of No Importance, and What the Butler Saw.
Joshua Abeles (history) is a vice president in JPMorgan Chase’s legal department. Prior to that he was a director at ZyLAB North America, a dispute manager for Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, and Joshua Abeles managing partner at OSC Global Services, where he oversaw the company’s growth from 2 to 75 employees in New York, Bangkok, and Bangalore. He specializes in electronic discovery, corporate communications, project and operations management, global sourcing, Internet start-ups, and award-winning business plans. Todd Baker (acting) has joined forces with Doug Z. Goodstein, a former executive producer of Howard Stern on Demand (Howard TV), to form Good Baker Productions. Their company is off to a great start with a co-production deal for the reality series Breaking the Ice, now in production for TLC International. In February, Baker was also hired as the producer of the nationally televised version of Power 105’s The Breakfast Club. Debra Whitman (music) has had an active musical career as a private piano teacher, professional harpist, and teaching artist. In 1999 she created the Classical Kids Music program to promote music appreciation in children from prekindergarten through fifth grade. Her music-appreciation coloring book, Composer Celebration, is available online. She maintains a home studio in Larchmont, NY, with her husband and 10-yearold daughter. For more information, visit www. Debrawhitmanmusic.com. Michi Hatashita Wong, PhD (psychology), obtained her doctorate at Fordham University and Weill Cornell New York– Presbyterian Hospital. She works as a clinical psychologist and feels blessed to be a part of the Lanikai Canoe Michi Hatashita Wong Club. Wong is
Aaron Conte (acting) remains active at the Actors’ Gang Theater in Culver City, CA, and appears as Terry in Shana Betz’s writing and directing debut, Free Ride, starring Anna Paquin and Drea de Matteo. It was released in January 2014 by Cargo Entertainment and Phase 4 Films.
Ted Thomas (dance) and Frances Ortiz (’94, dance) graduated from Purchase, married, and went on to earn their master’s degrees in dance in higher education from NYU. In 2003 they established the New England Academy of Dance in New Canaan, CT. While dancing for such world-renowned companies as Paul Taylor, Nikolais and Louis, Elisa Monte, and Ballet Hispanico, they created the New York–based, nationally known modern dance company Thomas/Ortiz Dance.
in India this year. She recently married Anandraj Gurudhas and gave birth to a baby girl, Sophie. Neblett continues to teach drawing and design at Marcia Neblett the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA, where she has taught since 2002. She sends a big hello to all of her classmates. Pontus Wormuth (visual arts) started New Lab, an agency focused on innovating retail through design. New Lab develops turn-key retail experiences backed by industry-relevant data and helps negotiate strategic partnerships. Wormuth is the chief creative officer, based in Minneapolis. Purchase has a special place in his heart and he gives credit for his career success to the great thought mentorship that he experienced— specifically from Bill Deere.
1996 Ted Thomas
Tina Davis (literature) runs a team of editors at Bloomberg News and lives in New York City. She is also at work on a book about Leon Hess and the Hess Corporation, due out from Wiley Press in 2015.
Joe Kowan (visual arts) recently gave a TED talk, “How I Beat Stage Fright,” which was featured as the Talk of the Week on TED.com. Check out the video at www.ted.com/talks/joe_kowan_ how_i_beat_stage_fright.html.
Alex Lamas (anthropology) enrolled in the fu jow pai system of kung fu under Master Shue Yiu Kwan in 1996, and in 2001 he became an instructor at Kwan’s Kung Fu. As a kung fu and tai chi instructor, Lamas brings his program to schools, campuses, and autistic populations. He volunteers as a tour guide at Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, NY, and teaches kung fu and tai chi in Westchester and the Bronx. Afua Preston (language and culture) is currently the associate director for foreign languages, translation, and interpreting at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
Jennipher Satterly Kennedy (visual arts) received, among other awards, a Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation studio in Tribeca, along with full fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center and the Ragdale Foundation. Her work has been exhibited in Jennipher Kennedy New York, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Beijing, and throughout the United Kingdom. In 2008 Kennedy received her MFA from the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, William, and two sons, Jack and Skye. Marcia Neblett (visual arts) received a Fulbright Scholar Grant to lecture on woodblock printmaking
Stephanie Silber Zimet (literature) will premiere Everything Is Forever, a documentary about Croatian/American Stephanie Silber rocker Nenad Bach, Zimet produced by her and directed by her partner, Vic Zimet, at the 47th Annual WorldFest-Houston in April; the international premiere will be at the Starigrad Paklenica Fest in Croatia in August. The film is a discerning look at the universal creative process told through the eyes of an immigrant.
Ellen Foos (literature) wears two hats: senior production editor at Princeton University Press and founder and publisher of Ragged Sky Press. Ragged Sky is a nonprofit publisher of poetry books. It recently published a collection by Lynn Levin, Miss Plastique, and has put out a call for submissions for an upcoming anthology with the theme of coffee and chocolate. See www.raggedsky.com/.
Kim Michelle Edwards (liberal studies) is currently working at her church as an office assistant, where she also prepares the Sunday bulletins and announcements. She was recently employed at Anthropologie, a women’s clothing and craft store, where she was a shipping and receiving clerk. Richard “Chard” Gonzalez (dance) founded a nonprofit dance company in New Orleans. The award-winning Chard Gonzalez Dance Theatre has performed throughout Louisiana and at festivals in San Francisco and New York City. In 2013, Gonzalez PUR C H A SE | 2 9
became the founding president and executive director of the Dance Alliance of New Orleans; he has now moved back home to San Diego, where he will begin relocating his company later this year.
2001 In 2014, Emily Carson (visual arts) was made executive chef at the Astor Center in NYC. She hosts Sharp & Hot on HeritageRadioNetwork.org and her food writing and recipes have been featured on Martha Stewart Radio, the Robb Report, the New York Times, the Village Voice, Time Out, CBS, NBC, FOX, the Vegetarian Times, and the Food Network. She lives on a farm in New Jersey with her son, husband, a flock of chickens, and a dog named Rooster. Garth Greenwell (litereature) will release his novel, What Belongs to You, in May 2015. After obtaining two master’s degrees, Greenwell spent seven years as a high school teacher—four of them in Bulgaria— and is currently an Arts Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His novel grew out of a novella that won the Miami University Press Novella Prize in 2010 and was a finalist for the Edmund White Debut Fiction Prize and a Lambda Literary Award. Cheryl Walpole, MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT (visual arts), and Aria Isadora, MPS (visual arts ’00), co-founded the Children’s World Art Initiative, a nonprofit project that established an art-as-therapy program with the Collateral Repair Project (CRP) in Amman, Jordan, in March and April 2014. CRP works as a community center for Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Expanding to different locations throughout the world has always been one of their goals, and Walpole and Isadora report that they couldn’t be more pleased with this collaboration.
2002 Ed Cable (visual arts) teaches CSP graphics to students with learning and emotional disabilities at Rockland BOCES. In his class, the students learn the basic computer skills needed to work in the fields of printing and graphic design. Cable has a master’s degree in middle childhood special education and recently completed an advanced certificate in educational leadership. He reports that he loves being able to use both of his degrees to earn a living, and looks forward to what the future may hold for him. Melanie Martini (visual arts) is a decorator and window display artist in New York City. She got engaged on New Year’s Eve to her partner of seven years, Lauren Montuori, who is a graduate of the Art Institute of Boston and a producer. They live in Astoria with their corgi-mix dog, and are planning a fall wedding.
2003 Llana Carroll (literature) is currently a lecturer in the new Writing and Critical Inquiry Program at the State University of New York at Albany. Carroll taught there from 2010 to 2013 in the expository writing program. Tiffany Rae-Fisher (dance) is in her 10th year with the internationally acclaimed modern dance company Elisa Monte Dance. She is also the artistic director of Inception to Exhibition and on the faculty of the Joffrey School of Ballet. Rae-Fisher PUR C H A SE | 3 0
has created seven pieces for the company, most notably meeting and performing her work for the duke and duchess of Luxembourg. Her most recent work, Persona Umbra, was described as “a force of excellence” by Eye on Dance.
Aaron Rosenstreich (photography) uses various historic and contemporary photographic technologies as descriptive tools to explore themes of age, place, and time. Rosenstreich is also the proprietor of Aggregate Space Lab, a hybrid analog/digital darkroom and a public space for photographic workshops, exhibitions, and lectures. The Aaron public darkroom offers the Rosenstreich ability to use current digital techniques, including scanning and printing, plus gelatin silver printing and alternative-process photography.
2004 Samantha Boyer (language and culture) and Mario Partenope (new media) were married in 2009 and welcomed their first child, Melanie Rose Partenope, on January 20, 2014. Boyer Samantha, Mario, is a French and Spanish and Melanie teacher at Briarcliff High School in Briarcliff Manor, NY. Partenope is a network specialist for the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center in Westchester County. Rob Hart (journalism) just sold his first novel, New Yorked, to Exhibit A, the crime-fiction imprint of Angry Robot. It’s about an amateur private investigator in the East Village who is seeking to avenge the death of the woman he loves. He runs afoul of a drag queen crime lord, gets involved in a hipster turf war, and generally makes a mess of the job. The book is due to be released in the winter of 2015. More information can be found at www. robwhart.com/.
2005 Kate Scott (dance) just completed a run of the Broadway tour of My Fair Lady in Singapore and works primarily in musical theater. She recently joined Actors’ Equity and resides in Astoria. In addition to her performing career, she works as the teaching artist coordinator for a program called ArtsACTION. ArtsACTION, a program of Unity Stage in Queens, focuses on fitness through the performing arts and serves 7,000 public elementary school children in western Queens.
Tommie-Ann Tavares (media, society, and the arts) began her post-Purchase career
with the record label EMI. Following her departure from the music industry, she began working in program distribution with HBO’s international sales group. She recently joined AMC Networks Media Management Group and supports the digital platform distribution endeavors of AMC, IFC, SundanceTV, and WE-tv Networks. Recently, Tavares began writing her first novel, and has been accepted to Manhattanville College’s creative writing MFA program.
2006 Eric Szyszka (cinema studies) is currently entering his third year as an acquisitions supervisor at Showtime Networks. He previously held the role of content Eric Szyszka ingest manager at the online streaming start-up FilmBuff. Szyszka is also active on the New York comedy scene with the popular podcasts We Hate Movies (an improvised send-up/breakdown of individual films) and Blame It on Outer Space (an off-the-wall show about conspiracy theories). Christine Vartoughian (drama studies) earned an MFA in film and TV from the Savannah College of Art and Design and is currently completing a feature film she wrote and directed called Living with the Dead.
Jared Albert (journalism) has been promoted to senior publicist at Animal Planet. Elizabeth Hartley (psychology) received her master’s of business administration from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth in 2011 and her JD from Roger Williams University School of Law in May 2013. She became licensed to practice law in Rhode Island and Massachusetts after passing the bar exam in July 2013, and is now an associate attorney at a medium-sized firm in Providence, RI, specializing in settlement negotiation. Hartley lives in Massachusetts with her fiancé, who is also an attorney. Amanda L. Ramharack (liberal studies) completed her MBA at Adelphi University in 2012. She now owns a home with her fiancé in Rosedale, Queens, NY, and currently works full-time as an accounts payable accountant for Pace Gallery in New York City.
2008 Jesse McLaren (liberal studies) works on The Colbert Report for Comedy Central as an associate field producer. He previously worked as a field producer for Nate Berkus, Anderson Cooper, and Katie Couric, and was nominated for an Emmy in 2013. Teddy Nicholas (drama studies) began employment as a box office treasurer at the Broadhurst Theatre, new home of Mamma Mia, the ninth-longestrunning Broadway show in history, this past October. He is developing a new play with the Glass Bandits Theater Company’s PlayDates playwriting group and premiering a new short play called
#Rageaholic at INTAR’s American Nightcap series; he also has a new performance piece called On Failure, Betrayal, and Rejection at HERE Arts Center. Andrew W. Parker (music) continued his education after Purchase, earning a master’s of music in oboe performance from the Yale School of Music and a doctorate of music in oboe performance at the University of Texas at Austin. He currently holds the position of managing director for the Yale Philharmonia/New Music New Haven at the Yale School of Music in New Haven, CT. Joe Sabia (music) is currently principal trumpet in the St. Thomas Orchestra and Yonkers Philharmonic, and second trumpet Joe Sabia in the American Chamber Orchestra. His studio, with a dozen private students, and countless musical theater gigs keep him busy, but he still finds time to appear on TV. Most recently, Sabia was seen in season four’s finale of Boardwalk Empire on HBO and will return in next year’s fifth and final season. Arissa Zervas (art history) will marry her fiancé, Konstantine Paschalidis, in June of this year.
2009 Joseph Michael Brent (music performance) earned an MM from the University of Georgia, and will graduate with his DMA in 2014. He has shifted his focus from double bass to voice and has performed lead tenor roles in several productions in Europe and the U.S., including The Magic Flute, La Bohème, Elixir of Love, Carmen, and The Tales of Hoffmann. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2013 in Mefistofele. Brent maintains an active bass career. Martha Lynn Laskie (visual arts) began to build her career as a professional graphic designer after graduating from Purchase. She keeps busy running her own design company, Martha Lynn Laskie Graphic Design & Illustration, and recently earned the Best Designer Consultant Award for business in Yonkers in 2013. Currently, she is the creative director for Alpha Beta Creatives. Her work can be found at www.mllgd.com. Jenna Marcus (literature) is an English teacher at EF Academy. She teaches International Baccalaureate and International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) English and is the Cambridge International Examinations teacher support coordinator for her school. Marcus is an accredited coursework examiner for IGCSE in English as a first language, English literature, and world literature. She also advises the school’s literary magazine and writes the EF blog for the academy.
Christina Ruiz (environmental studies) recently graduated from Bank Street College of Education with an MSEd, specializing in museum education. She and Zach Cooper, her fiancé, recently traveled cross-country looking for a better quality of life outside New York
City. They moved to Black Mountain, NC, in September 2013. Ruiz is the museum educator at the Swannanoa Valley Museum, and loves life in the South. Esteban Valerio (political science) works in business analytics for Citigroup in Costa Rica and is involved in projects for clients in Mexico. He is completing his MBA in finance from the University of Costa Rica. Valerio reports two professional highlights: he was awarded the Citi Latin American Employee of the Month Award for October 2013 and the 2013 Fourth-Quarter Senior Management Team Award.
2012 Marianna Grady (art history/ women’s studies) will begin a master’s in public health at the University of Washington this coming fall. “Putting ‘Daddy’ in the Cart: Ordering Sperm Marianna Grady Online,” a content analysis Grady co-authored with Professor Lisa Jean Moore, will be featured in the edited collection Reframing Reproduction: Conceiving Gendered Experiences. Grady lives in Seattle and is the public policy and advocacy coordinator at the Lifelong AIDS Alliance, the Pacific Northwest’s largest AIDS service organization. Arthur Lucas Kapp (new media) has worked for Dartmouth College’s Orientation Video campaign since graduation, executing all parts of an introductory orientation video, as well as making music videos for successful bands such as the Low Anthem and Tallahassee. Playing drums, he has been touring with his band Last Good Tooth around the country as well as with Nicole Wray’s new band, Lady. John Procario (visual arts) has had considerable exposure to the world of highend design since graduation. His work has been published in more than 20 magazines worldwide, has been featured on John Procario design websites, and has appeared in books about contemporary trends. He is currently working with interior design firms on a commission basis. The products that caught the interest of these groups were his free-form lamps. Cynthia Stewart (literature) is the festival director for Beltane 2014 at the Center for Symbolic Studies in New Paltz, NY. In 2013, she hiked a 600-mile section of the Appalachian Trail. On the trail, she
WANT TO SHARE YOUR UPDATES AND NEWS? Send an email to:
firstname.lastname@example.org Please keep content under 50 words. Attach digital images in high-resolution format. started a do-it-yourself hiker fashion meme called #pinkblazing, with the motto “Consent Is Sexy.” Stewart also helped run an “End of the World Party” at the Bowery Hotel in New York City on Dec. 21, 2012. Christina Vitolo (journalism/gender studies) recently started as a youth educator and the coordinator of services to the LGBTQ community at the Center for Safety & Change in Rockland County. She credits campus organizations such as FORTH, Alt Clinic, and LGBTQ for inspiring her to become a professional activist.
Shannon Barnett (jazz studies) won the position of second trombone with the WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany.
Christina Fremgen (design/tech) held an internship at Design Contact, an alumni-run business in NYC, during her final semester at Purchase. Upon graduation, she was offered a full-time position because of her talent and enthusiasm for scenic design. Her notable projects include work for the Walmart shareholders’ meeting, multiple IBM meetings, Heineken NDC, and Lockheed Martin’s Energy Solutions Center.
Christina Fremgen Christie Rotondo (journalism) was awarded a first-place New Jersey Press Association Robert P. Kelly Award, which is given to full-time reporters who have less than 12 months of professional experience. Rotondo won the award for two news stories she had written in 2013 as a staff writer at the Wildwood Leader in Marmora, NJ. While at Purchase, Rotondo was one of 10 students who helped create the college’s first music and arts magazine, The Purchase Beat. During her senior year, she was editor-in-chief of the publication. Kim Whitehead (journalism) is the coordinator of social media for Company B, a marketing communications agency specializing in public relations, social media, and branding for personalities, brands, and businesses. PUR C H A SE | 31
Lydia Rivera (’05 photography) and Kieran Johnson (’05 photography) were married in Brooklyn on Sept. 28, 2013. Festivities were held at Galapagos Art Space and the wedding was officiated by Matthew Oberstein (’05 BMus; ’06 performer’s certificate). Standing up Lydia and Kieran with Rivera and Johnson were Cheryl Santillo (’05 photography), Yuridia Pena (’05 journalism), Keith Johnson (’05 photography), and Jacob Flanagan (’06 literature). The couple and their cameras explored the wetlands of Belize before returning home to NYC, where Rivera is an arts administrator for the curatorial firm Nancy Rosen Incorporated and Johnson works for the Richard Avedon Foundation. Ian Falchiere (’09 biology) and Dasha Weinstock (’07 visual arts) met at Purchase in 2006 through a mutual friend. Falchiere studied trumpet as a minor and is currently a physical therapist. Weinstock currently manages the care of persons with developmental disabilities. Although they have pursued careers distinct from their fields of study, both credit Purchase for bringing them together and helping them lead creative and insightful lives.
Ian and Dasha
In Memoriam Curtis McClarin ’91 (acting)—March 3, 2014 The Purchase community deeply mourns the sudden passing of 44-year-old actor Curtis McClarin. A resident of Brooklyn, NY, McClarin appeared on Broadway in Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk. Apart from his work on Broadway, McClarin appeared in a number of Off-Broadway plays and regional theatre productions across the U.S. His film credits include The Occupant and The Happening, and he had guest roles on television series such as The Good Wife, Damages, The Wire, Law & Order: SVU, and the prison drama Oz. Dean Irby, one of McClarin’s acting professors at Purchase, shared this eulogy: “Curtis McClarin was one of my first students at Purchase. Right after graduation, I cast him in a production of Fences opposite Gil Lewis. They were wonderful. Curtis was a man with great talent, and even greater heart. This brings reality to the make-believe world we work to create. To his family, and loved ones, know that he’ll be missed.” Lisa Morrongiello ‘81 (visual arts)—Jan. 21, 2014 Lisa Morrongiello was diagnosed with and treated for cancer in 1985 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. After treatment she volunteered at the center as a peer counselor, often distributing blinking eyeglasses to patients and doctors alike. Although her production of art declined after her treatment, she continued to paint, draw, show, and publish her work. She loved art, comedy, music, the beach, good coffee, her friends, and her family. Memories of her rambunctious wit, art, and enduring love will always be with those who knew her.
PUR C H A SE | 3 2
SAVE THE DATE
2012 Rockefeller Awardees Eugene and Emily Grant surrounded by family.
2012 Rockefeller Awardees Eugene and Emily Grant with President Thomas Schwarz.
2012 Arts Gala host Steven Weber ’83, who will return for 2014.
SCHOOL OF THE ARTS GALA MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2014 6:00 PM
GOTHAM HALL 1356 Broadway, New York, NY 10018
Please plan to join us for a festive evening in New York City when the Purchase College School of the Arts will present the Nelson A. Rockefeller Awards, honoring the leaders whose artistry and commitment are shaping the course of contemporary culture. Proceeds from the evening will support the School of the Arts endowment. For further details, please call the Office of Institutional Advancement at (914) 251-6040. Alumni interested in serving on School of the Arts Gala Committee are encouraged to contact Jeannine.email@example.com.
Neuberger Museum of Art An outstanding arts and education institution, the Neuberger Museum of Art is the premier museum of modern, African, and contemporary art—including specialization in Latin American art and new media—in the Westchester/Fairfield County region. The museum was conceived with the dual purpose of serving as an important cultural resource to its regional, national, and international audiences, and as an integral part of Purchase College. Our mission is to educate our diverse audiences in, about, and through the visual arts. Our goal is to engage and inspire by actively fostering the appreciation and understanding of our world-class collections and original changing exhibitions.
PHOTO: JIM FRANK
In 2014, we celebrate our 40th anniversary with a series of landmark exhibitions including Becoming Disfarmer: A Portrait Photographer and His Archive, and Kuba Textiles: Geometry in Form, Space, and Time; and the publication of our first extensive collection catalogue, When Modern Was Contemporary: The Roy R. Neuberger Collection.
T HE P E R FO R MIN G ARTS C EN T E R Each year the Performing Arts Center (PAC) presents a full roster of world-class artists, ranging from international orchestras, renowned dance companies, unique professional theatre, the finest chamber ensembles, contemporary music, comedians, pop artists, family programs, film, and more. The PAC’s 37th season, for which subscriptions are currently available, begins in September with jazz great Branford Marsalis and his orchestra. Among the other artists and ensembles who will be seen on the PAC’s stages this autumn are the Czech Philharmonic, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band direct from New Orleans, humorist and writer David Sedaris, singer Suzanne Vega, and, in a new three-year residency, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Winter and spring 2014–15 will feature a holiday performance of Handel’s Messiah by Musica Sacra, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, violinist Midori, singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant, and a joint concert by Broadway’s Mandy Patinkin and Patti Lupone. In total, there will be more than three dozen presentations on the PAC’s stages, as well as Conservatory performances and other events, offering something for every taste and age level. For subscriptions and information, including the availability of tickets for single events, contact the Performing Arts Center’s box office at (914) 251-6200. www.artscenter.org
Helen Frankenthaler, Mount Sinai, 1956, oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 30 inches (76.5 x 76.2 cm). Collection Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York. Gift of Roy R. Neuberger, 1969.01.13.
Michael Disfarmer, Unidentified, c. 1940–1945. Gelatin silver print, 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches. Neuberger Museum of Art, New York.
PUR C H A SE | 3 3
State University of New York 735 Anderson Hill Road Purchase, NY 10577-1400 Address Service Requested
Purchase College Alumni Association
Board of Directors 2014 Matt Alfano ’10 Fadi Areifij ’99 Paula Cancro ’79 Kevin Collymore ’10 Vice President Audrey Cozzarin ’79 President Emerita Michael Fonseca ’08 Alison Kaplan ’86 Treasurer Emily O’Leary ’06 Mark Patnode ’78 Secretary Jeffrey S. Putman ’96 President Lydia Rivera ’05 Gorman John Ruggiero ’76 Thomas J. Schwarz President, Purchase College Jeannine Starr, CFRE Vice President of Institutional Advancement EX OFFICIO: Bella Guthrie Ashton ’11 Coordinator of Advancement and Alumni Relations
Address Updates If this address is not current, kindly forward correct address information to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (914) 251-6054. Thank you.
pa i d
Non-Profit Org. Permit No. 15 White Plains, NY