This spring, Bard College at Simon’s Rock will launch a new signature program, the Bridges Visiting Artists Program. With a concentrated emphasis on interdisciplinary work, the early college will bring some of the country’s most renowned visual and performing artists to campus for residencies, workshops, and exhibitions. In addition to a series of public performances and events, the guest artists will each take part in a weekly B.A. seminar and a number of the artists will offer master classes. Besides demonstrating connections between the arts, the seminar, “Making Art in a Dangerous World,” will examine themes such as structure and improvisation in the arts, the nature and psychology of practice and performance, audience, the process of art-making, and an examination of creative work intent on influencing social, environmental or political change. The public is encouraged to attend all formal performances and exhibitions, which are free of charge.
The Tectonic Theater Project will inaugurate the series with a performance on Saturday, January 31, 2009. An award winning company, Tectonic is dedicated to developing innovative theatrical work that illicits dialogue surrounding transgender and homosexual issues. Their work has been lavished in praise by the New York Times, Time, Entertainment Weekly and USA Today, among scores of others. From Gross Indecency to The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, to I Am My Own Wife to The Laramie Project, Tectonic’s groundbreaking plays have been performed to wide national and international acclaim. Drawing from traditions of documentary performance, the company constructs plays based on interviews, transcripts, and biographies.
On Saturday, February 14, 2009, the Hilary Easton Dance Company—whose work has been described by the New York Times as “visionary in its simple affirmation of the magic of art and the human spirit”—will visit Simon’s Rock. The company’s work has been noted for its wit and smarts, as well its humorous poignancy. They have performed work at the American Dance Festival, The Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, Dance Theater Workshop, PS 122, The Center for Contemporary Arts of Santa Fe, Women and their Work, the University of Texas, Bennington College, Central Park Summerstage, The Yard, and at Lincoln Center’s Out-of-Doors.
Mime, clown, acrobat, performance artist, and improvisational theater performer, Tomas Kubinek will take the stage at Simon’s Rock on Saturday, March 14, 2009. Kubinek is celebrated by both audiences and critics. The New York Times has lauded his work as “absolutely expert and consistently charming,” while The Seattle Times says he is “Equal parts old-time clowning and Monty Pythonesque silliness.” This modern renaissance performer has sold out Broadway and has delighted, dazzled and charmed crowds throughout the world.
Continuing the program’s residence series, pianist Frederic Chiu will return to campus on Saturday, March 28, 2009. Last year, Chiu played to a standing room only audience during his visit; he will revisit eager audiences performing from a selection of his more than 20 discs of music. Chiu’s repertoire includes the complete work of Prokofiev as well as popular classics of Chopin, Liszt and lesser known masterpieces of Mendelssohn and Rossini. Some of his records have been singled out as a “Top 10 Recording” by The New Yorker, with raves from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. His teaching and playing is rooted in diverse experiences and interests. With a background in Asia, America, and Europe his musical training reflects a diverse approach that intersects with his interest in artificial intelligence, human psychology, and the body-mind-heart connection.
An exhibition, which opens on Saturday, April 13, 2009, will feature selected works of internationally acclaimed photographers Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison to conclude this year’s series. Their pieces have been noted for their portrayal of an environmentally shattered world in starkly poetic monochromatic photographs. Celebrated by audiences worldwide, the ParkeHarrison’s work has been displayed in 18 solo and 30 group exhibitions, respectively. In 2000, their book of photographs, The Architect’s Brother was selected by the New York Times as one of the year’s ten best photography books. The couple’s second book is forthcoming and will publish shortly before their exhibition at the college’s Gallery at Liebowitz.