Omi’s International Art Weekend
work is a vehicle for knowledge and understanding that transcends
political and cultural boundaries.” This is Art Omi’s credo,
and it guides the organization’s artist-residency programs:
the Ledig House International Writers’ Colony, which sponsors
up to 50 writers and translators for a couple months each
year; Music Omi International Residency, which brings together
15 composers to collaborate and perform (that show takes
place Aug. 16); and the Art Omi International Artists’ Colony,
which offers 32 artists from all over the globe a three-week
opportunity to create art—and the community access to that
art, in the form of a one-day show, called Open Day, on
Art Omi sits on 300 acres of rural farmland, 90 of which
are dotted with sculptures, created by world-famous artists,
that make up the Fields Sculpture Park. Sunday’s open show
features the work of 32 professional artists from Belarus
to Venezuela (pictured is Yoon-Young-Park from Seoul, Korea).
Also on Sunday, an exhibition of 12 major installations
by Charles Ginnever will open in the Sculpture Park.
Art Omi’s International Art Weekend takes place Sunday (July
20), from 1 to 5 PM, at the Art Omi International Arts Center
(Letter S Road, off County Route 22), Omi (very close to
Ghent). Go to www.artomi.org for detailed directions, or
call 392-7656 for information.
Carol Oates’ work ethic has made almost inevitable the unintentional
backhanded compliment: It is virtually impossible to discuss
her without mentioning her jaw-dropping level of productivity.
In A Reader’s Guide to the Recent Novels of Joyce Carol
Oates, it is mentioned that the author—who will speak
at Skidmore College tonight (Thursday)—began writing “novel
after novel” at the age of 14, after receiving a typewriter
as a gift. (The fact that an all-encompassing single-volume
overview of the works of Oates apparently was impractical
is testament in itself to this phenomenon.)
It’s important to note, though, that Oates could not have
maintained her eminent place in the world of American letters
by sheer volume alone. Since winning the Mademoiselle
fiction prize as a scholarship student at Syracuse University,
the Lockport (that’s near Buffalo) native has continued
to rack up prestigious prizes for her writing—the poems,
plays, essays, critical writings, short stories and novels
(more than 40 since 1964). She’s won the National Book Award,
she’s been a finalist for the Pulitzer, the PEN/Faulkner
and National Book Critics Circle awards, and her short stories
are regularly included in year-end best-of anthologies.
And this is all while holding down a full-time teaching
job at Princeton.
Her most recent novel, The Tattooed Girl, validates
John Barth’s praise of her as writing “all over the aesthetical
map.” Though Oates gained her early fame due to the convincing
force of her psychological realism, The Tattoed Girl
ventures into the macabre, the horrible. One reviewer
noted, “She’s far scarier than Stephen King, who really
only wants to tell us a story that gives us a good case
of the willies. Oates wants to tell us that there is no
Joyce Carol Oates will read as part of the New York State
Writers’ Institute’s summer series at Skidmore College (815
N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs) tonight (Thursday, July 17).
The reading is free. For more information, 580-5593.
UnPop with Bang on a Can All-Stars
Youth’s Thurston Moore joins the Bang on a Can All-Stars
to kick off this year’s two-week Bang on a Can Summer Institute
of Contemporary Music at MASS MoCA with American UnPop.
The institute is a program in which renowned musicians and
composers take over MASS MoCA for two weeks, holding open
classes throughout the facility with some of the world’s
most promising students.
The Bang on a Can All-Stars (pictured, with Moore) are an
internationally known six-member ensemble from New York
City who perform innovative mixes of world, experimental,
jazz, rock and classical music. The musicians include New
England Conservatory graduates, Juilliard award-winners
and Ivy League music-school professors. They are: cellist
Wendy Sutter (who began playing at age 5 and made her solo
debut with the Seattle Symphony at 16); multi-instrumentalist
Mark Stewart (though “multi-instrumentalist” may be a bit
of an understatement); clarinetist Evan Ziporyn (who shared
a Grammy in ’99 for the recording Music for 18 Musicians);
bassist Robert Black (who often works with choreographer
Yoshiko Chuma and her postmodern dance company, the School
of Hard Knocks); classical percussionist David Cossin (Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon’s score won an Academy Award for
Best Musical Score—guess who was the solo percussionist);
and pianist Lisa Moore (who has performed with a massive
array of groups including the New York City Ballet and our
own Albany Symphony).
The performance will include a preview of Songs for Lou
Reed by Bang on a Can cofounder David Lang, and interpretations
of ’60s minimalist band Velvet Underground songs. Also,
Thurston Moore will perform his newly commissioned piece.
American UnPop will be held at MASS MoCA (1040 MASS MoCA
Way, North Adams, Mass.) on Saturday (July 19) at 8 PM.
Tickets are $20; MASS MoCA members will receive a 10-percent
discount. Special discounted tickets for both this concert
and the Marathon concert (the concert that marks the end
of the two-week program, which will be held on July 26)
can be purchased for $30. For more information, call (413)