New Organization on mission to unveil the North Country’s well-hidden secret — Culture

North Countryman, June 12, 2004

By Ann Hawksby

It upsets Jason Andrew to hear the senior art students at Plattsburgh State University say they plan to leave upon graduation to find an area with more culture, such as NYC.

“I call it the Plattsburgh plague,” Andrew said, “people are always saying ‘that’s pretty good for the area,’ they think there’s no culture here like there is in Burlington.”

“Well they just have to look around, to find that is simply not true.”

His new grassroots organization will help local artists connect with others and become more visible.

Norte Maar will “unite the cultural forces of North Country whereby presenting all that is exciting and happening within the artistic community,” he said.

Andrew said Norte Maar will act as a presenting organization, dedicated to promote collaborative projects in the arts, including music, dance, and visual arts. Through this new concept Andrew will also provide encouragement and support to local artists — including those in NY, Vermont, and across the Quebec border.

In doing so, Andrew seeks to enhance artistic expression in the North Country, showing skeptics that “it’s all right here.”

Andrew, a visual artist and dancer, founded the organization in 2004, after settling in the area.

“And the nice thing is that I will help artists free of charge,” he added. He can do so because of grant writing experience, and “the generosity of divine individuals.”

In 1995 Andrew earned a BFA from the university of Utah, on a full athletic scholarship. His emphasis was on painting and drawing, but he also took an interest in Art history and Ballet.

Andrew’s art residency was at the Vermont Studio Center, in Johnson, then he moved on to NYC to the Art Students League of NY, where he remained until last year.

He has extensive experience, including four years as Director of Art Galleries, beginning with the Reese Galleries in NYC. From there he became the Director of Lillian Heidenburg Fine Art, of NYC and West Palm Beach, then the Kouros Gallery in NYC and Ridgefield, CT.

His own works of visual art have been exhibited in several galleries throughout the U.S., including NYC, Washington, D.C.

Andrew is currently a Ballet Instructor with Adirondack Advocacy for Gifted Children, which is based in Plattsburgh, and is the Arts Editor for Lake Champlain Weekly.

Since the early 1990’s Andrew has been collaborating with international ballet choreographer, Julie K. Gleich, both as a dancer with her company, and organizing various promotions, including the Dance Now Festival in NYC.

He is very excited to offer the upcoming Dance Plattsburgh in affiliation with Guibord’s School of Dance. It is a workshop with Gleich, in which new dances will be created, then publicly performed.

Registration is open now for the two-week workshop that welcomes ballet dancers from beginner to expert, ages seven and older. It will run from July 19 – 31.

Andrew is working on plans to offer the performance to the village of Rouses Point, with the proceeds to be offered to the Revitalization Project or the Historical Society, though details have not yet been finalized. He is meeting with officials from the Village of Rouses Point later in the week to do so.

He is also working on Lan Sat, a video project to be presented July 2 – 9 at the Battle of Plattsburgh Monument. Ryan Wilson created the film by editing and reformatting actual footage from Gemini 19, the 1968 NASA lunar orbit mission.

Lan Sat will be a silent film projected from the top of the Rotunda roof at City hall onto the sides of the Monument. It will be presented following the scheduled concerts during the Plattsburgh Mayor’s Cup.

Other Norte Maar projects include the Twenty-four Tutus and a Parking Lot, which is a ballet to be performed by July 31 at the Walmart parking lot in Plattsburgh. It will be presented free of charge at 10:30, 11:00, and 11:30 a.m., featuring a recruitment of dancers from area schools.

Andrew said the project is designed to introduce ballet to unsuspecting Walmart shoppers, and also for those who have already developed an appreciation for the fine art dance.

“How often will you see 24 pink tutus performing in front of a shopping center?” he laughed.

Andrew and his partner recently bought a house in Rouses Point, which has become another one of his projects. The older structure is being refurbished, inside and out. Once complete, Norte Maar will host an open house to bring together the artists and the community.

There is culture right here in Rouses Point and the surrounding communities.

For more information visit www.nortemaar.org, or call Jason at 518-297-3793.

 

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