Reporter Teah Dowling of Denton Publications interviews the organizers and artists involved in the return of Norte Maar’s Fete de Danse, set to open at The Strand in downtown Plattsuburgh, August 1 & 2 at 7:30pm. For complete article click here.
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Norte Maar is pleased to announce the return of Fête de Danse, one of the North Country’s signature dance events! From 2004-2009 Fête de Danse ran in succession at the Civic Center in Rouses Point and was presented in collaboration with the Rouses Point Historical Society. The event brought renowned local, regional, and international dance companies together in a converted ice rink for a night celebrating dance and the Rouses Point community. This August, Fête de Danse returns full steam as Norte Maar collaborates with the Strand Center for the Arts to bring back this summer event.
Norte Maar celebrates its 10th Anniversary announcing a bold return to its roots in the North Country with two epic summer events. On July 18, Norte Maar will present the first annual Jay Invitational of Clay an exhibition curated by one of the North Country’s most prominent artisans and teachers Jackie Sabourin. On August 1, Norte Maar brings back Fete de Danse, one of its most signature North Country summer dance events.
From humble beginnings, curator Jason Andrew and choreographer Julia K. Gleich started Norte Maar in 2004 as a way of promoting collaborations in our time. In celebration of our 10 year anniversary we are looking back, admiring our various projects and highlighting some significant articles and reviews. This post features an article by Ann Hawksby on June 12, 2004 in the Clinton County Edition of the Free Trader. It’s our very first article!
NYC artists to present paintings, sculpture at Plattsburgh State venue
by Robin Caudell
Press-Republican, Out & About, February 8, 2007
PLATTSBURGH – An exhibition of the contemporary works of painter Hermine Ford and sculptor John Newman opens Saturday at the Plattsburgh State Art Museum.
The New York City artists were brought to the attention of Edward Broehl, museum director, by Jaons Andrew, exhibition curator and co-founder of Norte Maar.
“Ed is always interested in and the museum dedicated to exhibiting the best, unique and alive” Andrew said. “He’s drawn to both artists, who use all kinds of imagery across the board.”
It was fun for Andrew to put the show together but difficult because of the artists’ very different languages.
“There’s a lot of air between them,” Andrew said. “You can look and compare at the same time. I think color is really an important part of the show.”
For the show’s catalogue, Andrew asked Raphael Rubinstein, senior editor at Art in America, to write an essay about the artists. In “Two Mediums, One World” Rubinstein writes:
“Although on is a painter and the other a sculptor, Hermine Ford and John Newman share a great deal of artistic territory.”
Influenced by Africa and ancient Rome, Ford paints on thin linen-covered plywood. Her fragmental shapes appear as magnified cloth assemblages or topographical mosaics.
About Ford’s work, Rubinstein writes:
“In fact, they are closely based on the designs of Mbuti pygmy women of the Ituri Forest in Zaire, who are known for their bark-cloth paintings and drawings. The colors Ford uses echo the plant-based mediums employed by the Mbuti. Also pygmy-derived is another set of subsections in which dots and lines create net-like patterns of three-, four- and five-sided shapes, some of which Ford fills in with solid colors.”
Newman’s travels in Europe, Asia and Africa influence his use of disparate materials and techniques in his sculptures. About him, Rubinstein writes:
“Like Baroque sculptors and painters, Newman is constantly looking for ways to torque his forms. Curling in upon themselves or stretching from one part of a sculpture to another, his biomorphic elements twist with a sensual, playful sinuosity.”
In arranging the show, Andrew spontaneously added two fantastic charcoal drawings by Ford placed near Newman’s “crushed and weighted-down turn.” A sculpted stone and a wad of paper balance at the termini of a black-and-mettallic twist.
“It’s amazing,” Andrew said. “The stone at the bottom, John chose. He had these incredible Italian carvers carve that drapery into it. His wife is a fantastic writer. That crumpled piece of paper is reminiscent of a writer’s block. He chose to put that on top. The sculpture combines this cutting edge of technology and a very traditional form of carving in stone.”
Both artists leap adroitly from the primitive to the now.
“The affirmation by both Ford and Newman of the hybrid character of culture is, simultaneously, a rejection of the fictions of purity and isolation. Their cultural inclusiveness is also of a piece with how they oganize their works: as a self-generating, radically disparate, joyously non-monolithic experiments in sheer form.”
Andrew loved the idea of bringing the two New Yorkers ot a now-where-are-we-going rural environment.
“Everyone comes to New York City to see something of this caliber,” he said. “We can always use more of it to analyze and see what contemporary art is about today. To stretch our minds.”
By Dan Heath, Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Steps in right direction – Spanish, New York dancers add class to Rouses Point event
Plattsburgh – Dancers from near and far will be among those performing at the Fete de Danse 2006, a benefit for the Rouses Point Historical Society.
Aljeandra Alonso, 15, of Barcelona, Spain, and Tiffany Mellard, 17, of the Bronx are staying with Joe, Pam and Leah Damour on Point au Fer.
Pam said she met Alejandra’s aunt three years ago, and members of the two families have visited on both sides of the ocean every year.
“Two years ago, she (Alejandra) came to visit. Last year, we visited her,” Pam said. “This year she came to visit us again.”
Pam’s daughter, Leah said her mother new Alejandra was a dancer and that she was going to be there during the festival.
“We told her to bring her shoes, and she found out when she got here she was going to dance,” Leah said.
Alejandra has been dancing and taking classes since she was 4 years old.
“I just like dancing. I like the music, too.”
Alejandra studies at what she called a small school of about 100 students, called Esclat. She said her instructor, Silvia Paz, teaches contemporary and classical ballet.
“I’ve studied with her since I started. She’s a very good teacher. I love her.”
Tiffany said she also has been dancing since she was 4 years old. She studies with Krystal Hall-Glass at the Harlem School of the Arts two days a week and attend the LaGuardia School for the Perfroming Arts.
“(Norte Maar Director) Jason Andrew saw one of our performances and offered to send some of us up on scholarship. My dance director at the school asked me if I was interested.”
Tiffany said dancing is fun and healthy and has become her passion over time.
This is her first time in the North Country.
“I like it up here. It’s peaceful. It’s completely different from where I live. I don’t like the mosquitoes, but it’s fun.”
The two dancers have enjoyed their free time, swimming in Lake Champlain, riding bikes, having ice cream and getting towed by a motorboat while riding an inner tube.
Fete de Danse 2006 is presented by Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts. Andrew said this is the third year of the not-for-profit has held the dance festival and the two-week Summer Conservatory.
He said master teachers are invited to participate, with this being the third year that Julia Gleich and members of Gleich Dancers Contemporary Ballet have participated.
Also teaching is Ernesta Corvino. The New York-based dancer has experience with a long history of ballet teachers, Andrew said.
“This is a unique experience for rural dance schools. These are some if the best working dance teachers in the world.”
Alejandra and Tiffany are rehearsing to perform in one part of “The Mel Medley,” an original ballet created by Gleich based on the music of Mel Torme.
Both dancers are enjoying the chance to receive top-level instruction in conditioning, technique and characterization classes each day.
They will also take part in performances in front of the Plattsburgh Wal-Mart every half hour from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, July 29. Gleich is collaborating with Norte Maar personnel to present ballet based on adapted scenes and classical choreography from “La Sylphide.”
“They blow a whistle, and we dance for 10 minutes, the rest for 20 minutes,” Tiffany said.
Andrew said that is a chance to bring what is a typically inaccessible art to the people.
“The people coming in to shop will become an unexpected audience.”
Out of This World: Artist explores fantastic realms in ‘Finding Home’
by Robin Caudell
Press-Republican, Out & About, Mar 23, 2006
Plattsburgh, NY – Step into cosmic realms with “Finding Home: Recent Works by David Driver” featured at Art at Evergreen in affiliation with Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts.
One hundred years from now, David Driver’s space paintings may be dubbed his “Jupiter Phase,” since the fifth planet from the sun dominates many of his latter-20th-century works.
“Jupiter Close Approach,” (1996) with its brilliant blue voids and swirling, white masses is emblematic of Driver’s desire to go where no man has gone before. Through dream time and his imaginings, he’s traveled light years away in works such as “Illuminations” from the “Illumination Triptych Right” (1979). In this prophetic painting, cosmic matter swirls in a timeless void.
“When the Hubble Telescope did its deep field exposure, they saw something like this.
Driver first painted “Buru’s Door” from the “Illumination Triptych Center” (1975). The vibrant painting features a black square. Staring at it for any length of time causes perceptual changes.
“I did this as a mandala. It is also based on a dream. Buru was an alien who said open the door. I was meditating on the square. If you stare at it, you see a mandala form in your mind.”
After his meditations, Driver dreamt. “Jupiter Dream,” from the “Illumination Triptych Left” (1978), was his first dream.
Since they were first released, Hubble Telescope images have fired him creatively.
It makes me crazy. I want to paint it. I used to want to go there, but now I want to paint. I tried to get in the teacher-in-space program. I would go up in a flash.”
Driver’s new works are rooted in this plane. “Low Tide” (1991) is a photograph he snapped near Bar Harbor, Maine. The landscape is the catalyst for a series that includes “Low Tide” (1993), a deft graphite on paper, and “Low Tide” (2003), a relief sculpture. This is the type of work he did when he worked at Universal Studios many suns ago. In his cubby hole in his basement, he is at work on his largest painting ever, a huge photo-realist painting of the same view.
“It’s a technical exercise before I get back to my crazy stuff.”
“Corlear Bay” (1995) is another relief sculpture with a Far East aesthetic that Driver accomplished when he lived at Port Douglas.
“I did that on the spot.”
“Finding Home” includes one of his few oil paintings, “S.E. Point” (1992). His pulsating fantastical acrylic-on-wood miniatures include “Distant Reflections” (1996), “Martian Palisades” (1996) and “Methane Vista” (1996). Driver’s palette cools to the basics in “Burlington Moonrise” (1993) graphite on paper, and “Lunahenge” (1978) acrylic on canvas.
Driver’s creative expression is unfettered.
“Persistence of Humor” (1993) depicts a colony of penguins advancing across a stark, frigid terrain with the Earth, a blue disc in the night sky. The painting references his former band, The Flying Penguins.
“My friends and I collect all kinds of penguins.”
There is something ominous and mysterious about his blue globules with purple fetuses in “E-Womb” (1995). The embryonic masses bubble in a fecund valley. Above, white-edged teal and blue undulations reference female genitalia. The work was inspired by a mass of tadpole eggs Driver observed in a puddle.
One of his way-out-there works, “Forsaken” (1993), is a view from the edge of space. A blonde frozen in a hunk of ice hurtles over a vast cloudscape. In “Naugal I,” (1988) Don Juan waits on his ally. This is Driver’s nod to Carlos Castenada.
“Enigmatic Objects at Jupiter” (1990) is one of his few oil on canvass.
“I had dreams about Jupiter a lot.”
Astrologically speaking, Jupiter’s attributes include optimism, growth and hope.
“I have hope. The world should have hope.”
When he gets his barn winterized, he wants to work large, huge.
“I love oil. When I get in my barn, I will go back to oil, also large fiberglass sculptures. The sculpture I’m working on is a pregnant woman. She has the Earth in her womb.”
His unseen new works include paintings referencing Sept. 11 and the space shuttle Columbia.
When he was in high school, Driver was enrolled in a specialized engineering program. At Nassau Community College, he started out studying science and engineering until a close encounter with Lillian Gish, the first lady of the silent screen.
“Sh talked about the divine nature of creativity,” Driver said. “I talked with her a long time afterwards. After that, I decided to take an art course, and that was that.”
Fete De Danse Returns July 28
Lake Champlain Weekly – July 20, 2005
ROUSES POINT (NY) – On July 28, 2005 dance returns to the Rouses Point Civic Center. the second annual Fete de Dance, co-sponsored by Norte Maar and the Rouses Point Historical Society, will feature performances by Gleich Dances Contemporary Ballet of London, the Albany Berkshire Ballet, the Burklyn Ballet Theatre, and the Short School of Irish Dancing.
Again, Norte Maar has commissioned renowned choreographer Julia Gleich to produce an original full-length ballet for the event.
“This requires tremendous effort,” explained Norte Maar Director Jason Andrew. “Most choreographers work months with students and dancers familiar to them to produce a full-length work. Julia is producing one in three weeks with dancers whom she has just met.”
The piece, which remains untitled, will be set to the American Dream Quartet by composer, musicologist and P.D.Q. Bach biographer Peter Schickele.
“The selection is an appropriate piece for Rouses Point,” said Gleich, speaking after a grueling day of working with dancers. “It’s classical, then moves to jazz riffs and in another section breaks into a square dance. It’s an American piece, combining the earthy and the ethereal and the theme of divided desires. Its water motifs fit well into the backdrop of a village on the lake.”
Gleich’s cast of nine dancers come from Canada and across the U.S. and includes four local dancers: Katie Duffy of Rouses Point and Jeannine Kemp, Elissa Krockett and Sierra Boyea, all of Plattsburgh.
This year, Gleich was joined by guest choreographer Molly Faulkner, who filled in when guest choreographer Ernesta Corvino was forced to cancel. Faulkner is on the Faculty of Dance at Palomar College and recently completed her doctoral thesis in dance history.
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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