JOHN MORAN and “THE LAST DAY” at THE CELL THEATRE in NYC

THE LAST DAY

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When what’s above the ground is as dark as what’s below, you know you’re getting close to “The Last Day.”

 

Artist Without Walls’ member John Moran is producing a reading of Pulitzer nominated playwright, Richard Vetere’s play, “The Last Day” at The Cell Theater at 338 W 23rd St. NYC.

 

The reading will take place Friday May 15th at 7:30 PM. Seats are limited so get there early..

 

John Moran

John Moran

Cast will include Broadway / Off-Broadway actors Tom Bozell and Michelle.Mazza, Lifetime Network Actress Sarah Cote doing stage directions and our own John Moran.

 

Directing the reading is Brian Patrick Reager, graciously on loan to us by Kira Simring, Artistic director of The Cell.

 

Richard Vetere has already had a successful run of this play at the Gloucester Stage in Gloucester Massachusetts and is working to bring the play to New York.

 

Among Richard’s other credits are the screenplay for “The Third Miricle” directed by Agnieszka Holland and starring Ed Harris and Anne Heche and the Pulitzer nominated play “One Shot One Kill.

 

Hope to see you all there.

SASHA PAPERNIK and AMANDA THORPE: FREE SHOWS at ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL

 

Sasha Papernik and her band

Sasha Papernik and her band on Roosevelt Island in NYC

Two Artists Without Walls’ members, Sasha Papernik and Amanda Thorpe, will be be performing free shows at Rockwood Music Hall this week.  Sasha will be performing at Rockwood tomorrow, Sunday, May 3rd, at 6pm with two original bandmates: Kyle Saulnier on bass and Justin Poindexter on guitar. You can join Sasha for an evening of Russian dances and original songs.

 

In other news, Sasha is very excited to share that her arrangement of the Russian Folk Song “Vo Pole Bereza Stoyala” (In the Field Stood a Birch Tree) has been licensed to Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program and will be orchestrated and played by orchestras across the country! She will be performing the song live at Rockwood.

 

image1On Thursday night, May 7th, 7pm, Amanda Thorpe, AWOW’s member abroad, will be back in NYC and performing Bewitching Me: The Lyrics of Yip Harburg. Harburg, born and raised on the Lower East Side, is the oft unknown wordsmith of some of the most popular songs in America.  Two of Harburg’s most famous lyrics form brackets around the 1930s: “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” written for the musical Americana, told from the point of view of a WWI vet who’s standing in a breadline, wondering where his slice of the American dream is, and “Over The Rainbow,” sung by a girl clutching her dog, gazing into the heavens, wishing she could get the hell out of Kansas.

 

Amanda’s CD, Bewitching Me: The Lyrics of Yip Harburg has received wonderful reviews. Here’s what Tom Semioli,writing for the Huffington Post, said of Amanda’s singing. “Amanda’s organic rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” turns subtly anthemic upon the arrival of the chorus…and (guitarist) Scherr’s exquisite solo on “Adrift on a Star” deeply echoes Thorpe’s seductive pathos.”

 

Amanda is looking forward to returning to New York City from Paris to perform these and other Harburg tunes at Rockwood. 

 

Rockwood Music Hall is located in Manhattan at 196 Allen Street.

 

 

DENI BONET and ANNETTE HOMANN: “EMBRACING a BRACE of VIOLINS”, by RON VAZZANO

EMBRACING A BRACE OF WOMEN ON VIOLINS

by Ron Vazzano

 

When you think of the violin, it’s usually in terms of something classical, something staid— even to the point of being stodgy—melodious, though somewhat somber, and often evocative of a lament in the key of bittersweet. For me, something along the lines of “Ashokan Farewell” by Jay Unger from the hit 1990 PBS mini-series “The Civil War,” readily comes to mind. (Was that 25 years ago already?). All in all, a beautiful instrument to behold, especially when beheld by a virtuoso who can make even an Alpha male weep.

 

On the other end of the scale, associations might be in the context of bluegrass or hoe down music, and at such times, thought of as a fiddle. Is there a difference between a violin and a fiddle? Not really, though it is a subject open to much discussion, debate and lots of wry commentary. A few one-liners I ran across on line:

 

  • When you are buying one, it’s a fiddle. When you are selling one, it’s a violin.
  • $125 per hour and a tuxedo.
  • You can’t play a violin barefoot.
  • A violin has strings, and a fiddle has strangs.
  • You’ll never find a violinist with a mullet.
  • A violin sings, but a fiddle dances.
  • It’s a matter of style. If you have style, it’s a fiddle.

 

And the people playing it? We tend to think male, with hall-of-fame names like Isaac Stern, Jascha Heifetz, Yehudi Menuhin and Itzak Perlman. In short, we think of violin players (though not fiddlers), as being of rather serious temperament and often rooted in European and “foreign” traditions. What you might call your father’s or grandfather’s violinists. That has changed.

 

Nowhere is that more in evidence for me, than with two violinists on the New York scene these days, who are turning the instrument and their performance on it, into something that shatters the glass of any stereotypes and preconceived notions.

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No, Deni Bonet and Annette Homann are not your father’s fiddlers.

 

As one music critic noted on a new generation of violinists in this mold, “they are on the whole, female, ultra-virtuosic, career-focused and glamorous besides.” To which I would add specific to these two women, possessing a sense of total performance—including everything from the addition of body movement and choreography, to their banter in between pieces—wit, irony, and sexy besides.

  

Deni Bonet is a classically trained violinist, whose rather impressive “liner notes” from her website read:

 

  • Deni has recorded and performed with Cyndi Lauper, R.E.M., Sarah McLachlin among many others…
  • performed at Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, and just recently at the White House for President Obama and the First Lady
  • Her music has been featured on HBO, NBC, American Airlines, several film and modern dance projects, and has been described by the Wall Street Journal as “like Cheryl Crow meets the B-52’s.”

 

Her unique style is fully on display in a video produced for her single “One in a Million” that was released along with her latest album It’s all good.

 

I caught her at a gig at the Rockwood Music Hall in downtown Manhattan last month, in a night paying homage to “The Musical History of the Lower East Side,” a musical show created by Charles R. Hale. Deni made even a Stephen Foster medley sound hip. And I had the pleasure over a year ago, of performing a spoken word piece in tandem with arrangements she composed and played specific to a collaboration entitled “Unrequited Love.” 

 

Annette Homann, classically trained and born in Germany : 

 

  • Has been performing since the age of six
  • She has toured throughout Europe, China, Central America, Canada and the U.S. and at various venues…
  • Including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Symphony Space, New World Stages, and Brooklyn Bowl
  • Her extended techniques, and singing combining elements of bluegrass, blues, pop and classical with a theatrical vibe—the violin used in non-traditional ways, often replacing the guitar, and sometimes percussion— are in evidence on her recent CD, “Heimatgefühle” (German for “feelings of home”).

 

I got to see her live last month at a private art gallery event sponsored by Artists Without Walls in Chelsea. Her performance in covering Adele’s Skyfall, the theme song of the 2012 James Bond film of the same name, was at once both sexy and witty (and barefoot, defying a previously noted one- liner). It brought down the house.

 

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And while I have not caught a live performance of so called “hip-hop” violinist Lindsey Stirling, whose Crystallize video on YouTube has gotten an unfathomable 119,000,000 views since uploaded in February of 2012 (is that a misprint?), Deni and Annette are every bit as good and dynamic in my book. (And Muse-Letter). And does Lindsey Stirling drop by McSorely’s Old Ale House on a rainy spring afternoon, take out her violin in the backroom and play? Annette has.

 

I wonder what Itzak Perlman thinks about all of this sort of thing?

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Ron Vazzano, a writer, poet and actor, has been a frequent contributor to this website as well as performer at Artist Without Walls monthly showcases. You can read his column Muse Letter by clicking here

 

“GREAT, POSITIVE RECEPTION” at an ARTISTS WITHOUT WALLS’ SHOWCASE

“I’ve just come back from one of the coolest gigs I have had the pleasure of performing. It’s called Artists Without Walls.  What an excellent, upbeat, positive group of individuals. Thanks Clyde Berger for turning me onto them. Great positive reception to my music too.” Toby Tobias

 

Toby Tobias and Terry McCarthy

Toby Tobias and Terry McCarthy

And upbeat it was. The evening began in rocking style with Terry McCarthy and his new acoustic band featuring Gerry Griffen, Andy Sandel and Tom Monaghan. Terry played three songs from his latest release The Charm:  “By Any Chance,” “Sorrow Salsa” and “Just Today.” As an encore Terry debuted “Anything to Have You Here.” Click here to listen to Terry’s music.  

 

Connie Roberts

Connie Roberts

Connie Roberts read three poems from her newly released collection Little Witness.  “This is the poetry of rock-hard experience. It will skin your soul,” New York Times journalist Dan Barry wrote. Her first poem, “Inheritance,” memorialized 35 children and one old woman who perished in an orphanage fire in Cavan town in 1943.  Her poem “For the Love of God” was an homage to an orphanage housemother, Miss Winifred Carberry, who took care of her as a child.  And,  just to prove that there are in fact a few happy poems, alongside the Irish-miserable-childhood ones in Little Witness, Connie finished with a life-affirming piece entitled “Campground: The Adirondacks.”  Little Witness is available by clicking here

 

 

Vincent Cross

Vincent Cross

“Well done to you and your team of volunteers. Community!  I really enjoyed performing, and was mighty impressed with the talent. Such a diverse group of artists displaying their multi-talents,” Vincent Cross said. 

 

Vincent, mixing guitar and harmonica, performed his sombre songs of jealousy, murder and biblical redemption, “Childish Things,” “Cursed,” and “Bowed Down” with a voice both high of tenor and plaintive in tone.  Picking the guitar with melody, chords and bass lines, the hard knock songs of the wayfarer came to life. 

 

Richard Stillman

Richard Stillman

“Spirit of Vaudeville,” performed by Richard Stillman and Flip Peters, captivated the AWoW audience. Richard is a entertainer in the style of the jazz age performers of the 1920′s. His combination of banjo playing, tap dancing, singing, ukulele strumming, storytelling, harmonica & bones playing and juggling is a joy to watch. Flip Peters is an excellent jazz guitarist and accompanies the show with great skill. We look forward to the full show on June 11th at the Concert Space at Beethoven Pianos, which Project 142 is sponsoring.  

 

Charles R. Hale

Emcee Charles R. Hale

First time AWoW performer South African-born singer-songwriter and musician Toby Tobias followed with and a performance style that could be described as a colorful combination of African rhythms interspersed with American country, folk and jazz, with lyrics that are both thought-provoking and uplifting. His music was thoroughly enjoyed by an appreciative audience, especially ‘Madiba’, a song Toby wrote in dedication to Nelson Mandela. Toby has been living in the United States for 27 years and performs his brand of music throughout Long Island, Brooklyn and the tri-state area. Click here to check out his music.

 

Shu Nakamura, John Liam Shea and Jenny Evans

Shu Nakamura, John Liam Shea and Jenny Evans

John Shea read a short story “The Guilt and the Ghosts” from a new collection of the same title with accompaniment from fiddler Jenny Evans. “John’s short story was pure poetry! Simply brilliant. I loved the rhythm, the wit, the pathos–it had it all going on. And I loved Jenny’s accompaniment on the fiddle. It reinforced all of the aforementioned. Fantastic collaboration.” Connie Roberts

 

Shu Nakamura and Niamh Hyland

Shu Nakamura and Niamh Hyland

Shu Nakamura performs solo with his band “the Ninja Orchestra” and collaborates with other artists regularly in NY area and Japan. Shu plays what he calls “folk-root” music, as well as rock material such as the two songs that rocked the house, “Train Song” and “Rain Dance. ” Shu was then joined by AWoW’s cofounder Niamh Hyland who sang a stirring version of the Irish classic, “Wild Mountain Thyme” and closed with a rousing rendition of “Resurrection.” 

 

All photos by Vera Hoar. AWoW’s next Showcase will be at The Cell Theatre on Tuesday, May 26th, 6:45pm. 

 

 

VERA HOAR’S PHOTOS CAPTURE AWoW’s APRIL SHOWCASE at THE CELL

Vera Hoar’s photos from Artists Without Walls’ Showcase at The Cell Theatre, April 28, 2015

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Terry McCarthy, Andy Sandel, Gerry Griffen and Tom Monaghan

Terry McCarthy, Andy Sandel, Gerry Griffen and Tom Monaghan

Shu Nakamura

Shu Nakamura

Connie Roberts

Connie Roberts

Toby Tobias

Toby Tobias

John Liam Shea and Jenny Evans

John Liam Shea and Jenny Evans

Vincent Cross

Vincent Cross

Richard Stillman and Flip Peters

Richard Stillman and Flip Peters

Terry McCarthy and Charles R. Hale

Terry McCarthy and Charles R. Hale

Shu Nakamura

Shu Nakamura

TALENT GALORE at AWoW’s SHOWCASE at THE CELL THEATRE, TUESDAY 4/28

Vincent Cross

Vincent Cross

“This is a note of thanks to Artists Without Walls for supporting my efforts through pictures and words these past months. I’ve been working as an actor for at least twenty five years now and I’ve never before been involved in anything quite like this. AWoW is a unique blessing. So happy to be a member.” Jack O’Connell, actor, New York

 

 Here’s the lineup for AWoW’s April Showcase:

 

Vincent Cross, who first performed with AWoW in its show “Rise Up Singing: Women in the Labor Movment,” will be performing at his first Showcase. Vincent will be drawing from the purist of mountains springs to present original urban Americana stories. Said, Vincent, “These will be performed in the high lonesome sound on guitar/banjo.” 

 

Connie Roberts

Connie Roberts

Connie Roberts, a County Offaly native, emigrated from Ireland to the U.S. in 1983.  She has won many awards for her poetry including the Patrick Kavanagh and the Listowel Writers’ Week awards. She will be reading from her just released debut volume, Little Witness, a collection of poetry inspired by her experiences growing up in an industrial school (orphanage) in Ireland.

  

Terry McCarthy

Terry McCarthy

Here’s what Jack Silbert, DJWriter at satin wound.com  said about singer/songwriter Terry McCarthy. “Terry really turns on the charm on his album, The Charm, with a warm strum and even warmer vocals throughout. With tremendous backing musicians, the record presents a wide variety of sounds, never falling into a folky funk….but the secret weapon is McCarthy’s sharp, melodic songwriting, on Beatlesque tracks such as “Loneliest Boy” and the should-be-a-hit “Just Today.” Terry will be joined by Andy Sandel , Gerry Griffen and Tom Monaghan.

 

Paul Byrne and Richard Stillman

Paul Byrne and Richard Stillman

 

Richard Stillman and guitarist Flip Peters will  be performing  numbers from Richard’s show,”The Spirit of Vaudeville,” including a tap dancing Charleston played on tenor banjo, a short story that finishes with Richard tap dancing while playing the harmonica & bones while juggling and a novelty ukulele routine. “The Spirit of Vaudeville” won a Best Concert Award at the 2014 United Solo Theater Festival. 

 

 

Toby Tobias

Toby Tobias

Toby Tobias was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. Toby has immersed himself in all genres of American Music of the last fifty years. His interest in African Rhythms & World Music, coupled with his keen ear for highly intuitive arrangements, has been the hallmark of his writing and performance styles, and he has garnered a strong following of listeners on Long Island and beyond. He will be performing a song called ‘Madiba’, dedicated to the life of Nelson Mandela.

 

 

Shu Nakamura

Shu Nakamura

Shu Nakamura, a Japan born – Brooklyn based musician, guitar player, multi-instrument player, composer, singer-song-writer, music producer. Shu moved to NY in 1999, has been a NY music scene layer. He just returned from his 2015 Japan tour with his rock band called “the Ninja Orchestra”. Shu will be performing his original material, as well as teaming up with Niamh Hyland  for a tune or two. 

 

The bar opens at 6:45, the show begins around 7:15. Hope to see you at The Cell Theatre, located at 338 W23rd St. 

 

 

ARTISTS WITHOUT WALLS’ MEMBERS “AROUND TOWN” the WEEK of APRIL 26th

Artists Without Walls

Artists Without Walls

Artists Without Walls’ Showcase at The Cell Theatre, 338 W23rd St. NY, Tuesday, April 28th, 6:45pm. 

 

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Martina Fiserova

Martina Fiserova

 

 

 

Martina Fiserova (singer, guitarist, songwriter) will perform at the Way Station, Brooklyn, on Tuesday April 28th at 10pm, featuring Yuka Kameda (tap dance).

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Great bar, no cover. The address is: 683 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights.

 

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Kevin Holohan

Kevin Holohan

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On Wednesday, April 29th at 6:30pm. Kevin Holohan will join Mayra Santos Febres, Kevin, Salar Abdoh with fellow author David Unger to celebrate his winning of Guatemala’s “Miguel Ángel Asturias” National Prize for Literature They will reading a little and chatting about the craft of writing at CUNY’s Center for worker Education (CWE) 25 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, New York 10004. Admission is Free

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Out by Ten

Out by Ten

Susan Seliger’s “Out by Ten: Jilted Lovers, Bad Kids, Dreams, Drums & Desires.” Thursday, April 30, 2015, Spectrum NYC, 121 Ludlow Street, NYC. 7:30-9:30 PM.  Open Mic for storytellers & musicians after the featured performers.

 

$20 admission fee ($18 in advance) includes FREE wine and cheese and cookies. Click here for tickets at Brown Paper Tickets.

 

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Writers Read

Writers Read

Ed McCann’s “Writers Read” a celebration of the spoken word presents “What We Ate,” at The Cell Theatre in New York City at 2:00PM, Sunday, May 3rd. This live staged reading will feature twelve writers presenting short, original pieces on the theme, and writers and guests will mingle and share light refreshments during intermission.

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Their last three events sold out, and seats are going fast; if you’d like to join them, click here for tickets.

 

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Stella Pulo

Stella Pulo

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Stella Pulo’s “Shrimp Shells in My Cleavage” will be performed on May 3rd, 5pm at the School of Visual Arts, 133 West 21st Street, Room 101C, NY and on May 16th, 7pm at 111 Bowery, 4th floor, NY.

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Sasha Papernik

Sasha Papernik

Sasha Papernik will be performing at Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St, NYC, on Sunday, May 3rd, at 6pm with two original bandmates: Kyle Saulnier on bass and Justin Poindexter on guitar. Come join her for an evening of Russian dances and original songs and hear where this whole thing all began….

 

FREE EVENT!

 

 

 

 

“AROUND THE TOWN” with ARTISTS WITHOUT WALLS’ MEMBERS

 

Annette Homann

Annette Homann

Annette Homann will be one of the violinists in Douglas Townsend’s triple violin concerto when the Washington Heights Musical Society Presents the Music of American Composer Douglas Townsend, today, Sunday, 19 Apr 2015 – 3:00 PM. Holyrood Episcopal Church, 715 W 179th street, NYC. Suggested donation: $10

 

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Brona Crehan’s Moonlight Sonata, starring Grainne Duddy, will be part of a three day short play festival, which also includes a work of Don Creedon’s at An Beal Bocht Cafe, 445, 238th St, Bronx, NY. Last show today, Sunday, April 19th 2pm.

 

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Richard Stillman

Richard Stillman

Musician, storyteller & actor Richard Stillman be playing Irish music at the Verona Inn with guitarist Paul Byrne, tomorrow, Sunday, 4-7pm, today, Sunday, April 19th. The music will include vocals, guitar, tenor banjo, mandolin, pennywhistle, concertina, bones, harmonica and bagpipes. The address is: 624 Bloomfield Ave. Verona, NJ. For info. call 973 239 0544.

 

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Cellist Noah Hoffeld will be “Live at The Bowery Electric,” 327 Bowery at Joey Ramone Place, NYC, on Wednesday, April 22, 10:30pm. No cover.

 

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Mary Tierney

Mary Tierney

Mary Tierney will be reading “Tell Tell Heart,” w/musical accompaniment by Jaster A Leon during Casting Light on Edgar Allan Poe, Friday, April 24, 2015 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm, NYU School of Law | 245 Sullivan Street | Furman Hall, Room 216 (Between West 3rd and Washington Square South)

 

Join local artists and members of the community for an evening of entertainment that will illuminate Poe’s work and legacy through a variety of creative works. A reception will follow in the Poe Room.

 

“Casting Light on Edgar Allan Poe” is free and open to the public and an RSVP is required. Register online, or contact us at community.affairs@nyu.edu or 212-998-2400.

 

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Montage by Vera Hoar

AWoW Montage by Vera Hoar

ARTISTS WITHOUT WALLS’ SHOWCASE at THE CELL THEATRE in NYC April 28 @ 6:45 pm – 9:30 pm

 

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Out by Ten Mixes Music & Stories:Jilted Lovers, Bad Kids, Dreams, Drums & Desires

 
WHEN: April 30, 2015: Out by Ten at Spectrum NYC, 121 Ludlow Street, NYC. 7:30-9:30 PM

 

Out by Ten

Out by Ten

WHAT: Come hear what it’s really like to tour with a rock ‘n roll band, recover from jilted love and feel like the bad kid. BONUS: Open Mic for storytellers & musicians after the featured performers.

 

THE DEAL: Our $20 admission fee ($18 in advance) includes FREE wine and cheese and cookies. Click here for tickets at Brown Paper Tickets.

POET CONNIE ROBERTS: PERMUTATIONS, TRANSFORMATION and AWoW–ALL IN ONE NIGHT

Permutations, Transformation and AWoW

by Connie Roberts*

 

Kathleen Bennett Bastis' Concerto #1

Kathleen Bennett Bastis’               Concerto #1

In this week’s New York Times Style Magazine there is a piece about the 78-year-old experimental performance artist Joan Jonas, who lives in a loft in SoHo and who, since the late-60s, has been practicing her own unique art form: “Jonas has pursued a category-defying, perpetually exploratory practice that melds performance, drawing, film, video, sculpture, installation, sound and literature.” Jonas is a woman not constrained by any discipline. She would have fit in well with the sisterhood of artists—visual, performance, and musical—at the Artists Without Walls: Gallery Series, featuring Kathleen Bennett Bastis’ Permutations at the First Street Gallery, NYC this past Friday night. Mixed media artist Kathleen Bennett Bastis, singer-songwriter Martina Fišerova, violinist Annette Homann and performance artist Allison Sylvia, like Jonas, do not fit neatly into a pre-packaged brand: all are difficult—in the best way possible—to pin down. The aptly named exhibition Permutations served them all well. There was alteration and transformation in spades on the night!

 

Annette Homann and Martina Fiserova

Annette Homann and Martina Fiserova

The “art gallery etiquette” was thrown out the (second floor) window: no need to speak in hushed tones as you observed the marvelous surrounding art work in the white on white space. Laughter and conviviality abounded. Kathleen set the tone when she, in addressing the crowd, held up an AARP magazine with an image of Bob Dylan on the cover. Yes, indeed the times are a changin’. Kathleen beautifully (and magnificently) harnesses that sense of flux in her work, transforming and reimagining all kinds of detritus. “She’s the real deal,” someone leaned over and whispered to me. And we AWoWers that night had the best deal in town.

 

Niamh Hyland introducing Martina Fiserova

Niamh Hyland introducing Martina Fiserova

Martina Fišerova was the first of the evening’s entertainers. And boy did she entertain. In her green, tulle pixie dress and black boots, with guitar in hand, she worked her magic, opening with one of her classic quieter pieces, but, with encouragement from the crowd, embraced her wilder side toward the end, with a dazzling display of guitar work and what can only be described as supernatural vocals. It was riveting to watch and hear.

 

Allison Sylvia

Allison Sylvia

Allison Sylvia followed on Martina’s heels. Allison, a recent graduate of NYU, is a thinking young woman who melds song, dance, poetry, and chant (for now) in her work—I’ve a feeling she’ll push the envelope even further in future performances—also had the crowd on the edge of their seats. A year or more ago, I’d read snippets from journal entries Allison had written—character sketches she committed to paper as she rode the subway between Manhattan and Brooklyn. And lo and behold, there she was Friday night dramatizing these characters—cello players and unrequited lovers—for an enthralled audience. Just as Kathleen had done in her multi-media pieces, Allison transformed her scraps into art.It’s exciting to watch her perform. And mark my words, she’s only coming into her own.

 

Annette Homann

Annette Homann

Annette Homann, our very own lady-in-red, violinist extraordinaire, rounded out the evening’s entertainment. Over the past few years, I’ve seen Annette perform numerous times. She is an amazing musician, a powerhouse of talent. And when she steps on stage, not only are we captivated by her beautiful music, but we are held in the palm of her hand by her beautiful (and beautifully authentic) personality. Her mischievous wit (watch out for that twinkle in the eye!) and hearty laugh wins us over every time. Barefoot and resplendent in a flowing red dress, Annette, segued flawlessly from classical music to pop; in the latter, impishly gyrating exaggeratedly to the swells of Adele’s Skyfall, all to the sheer delight of the audience. This joie de vivre is trademark Annette: a consummate performer. She’s having a damn good time on stage; consequently, so do we.

 

AWoW co-founders, Niamh Hyland and Charles Hale, did an amazing job as always co-hosting. Their job is very important, as they create the space—literally and figuratively—for artists of all stripes to be their best selves, to push boundaries, to experiment, to collaborate in a safe, nurturing environment. They are also the glorious pied pipers whose charm keeps bringing us back again and again to these marvelous events.

 

I think Friday night we all left the Permutations exhibition more than a little transformed. Thank you Kathleen, Charles, Niamh, Martina, Allison and Annette.

 

*Connie Roberts debut collection of poems “Little Witness” is available here: Click on “Buy” on the right hand side of the page 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ART UNLOCKS THE SOUL: JOHN MORAN on AWoW’s GALLERY SERIES

ART UNLOCKS THE SOUL

by John Moran

 

John Moran

John Moran

I was driving a limousine at the time; It was a late night pick-up, Christie’s auction house to the Upper West Side. An art dealer sat in the back.

 

“What is art?” I asked.

 

“Art is the tool which unlocks your soul,” he replied.

 

“Then what is good art?” I said.

      

Kathleen Bennett Bastis-Slate Study #2

Kathleen Bennett Bastis-Slate Study #2

“If your soul needs a hammer to release it and your art hits your soul like a hammer, it’s good,” he answered.

 

“What if your art twists your soul like a wrench?” I challenged.

 

“Then it is good for the man who needs the wrench.”

 

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On Friday night Artists Without Walls celebrated the work of Kathleen Bennett Bastis at Chelsea’s First Street Gallery. Her mixed media art works are truly tools to unlock the soul.

 

 

Martina Fiserova

Martina Fiserova

Surrounded by Kathleen’s stunning and beautiful creations with names such as Sentinel, Concerto #1, Copper Spirit and Scattered Geometry, the equally evocative and eclectic artists Martina Fiserova, Allison Sylvia, and Annette Homann captivated the crowd with their own forms of highly skilled and entertaining art.

 

 

Alison Sylvia

Alison Sylvia

Martina’s accompanied vocals playfully and intensely reverberated through what seemed like near perfect acoustics in Kathleen’s First Street Gallery space. Martina’s sonority so total, so brilliant, so penetrating was a perfect prelude to Allison Sylvia’s attention grabbing, fast paced, stay focused so you don’t miss a thought, hey, I think just learned something about myself, spoken word brand of poetry. Allison is not a rapper, but if Socrates were a rap artist you might think of Allison. Brilliant.

 

 

Annette Homann

Annette Homann

Annette Homann wrapped up the evening’s entertainment by bringing us on a musical theme park ride: Soothing us with the classical, Massenet’s “Meditation on Thais;” moving us with the contemporary, “If I Aint Got You;” thrilling us with her fiddling in Mark O’Connor’s “Caprice for Unaccompanied Violin #2,” and making us smile with a sexy, funny, acrobatic interpretation of Adele’s “Skyfall,” complete with gypsie like dance moves and back bends while never missing a note. She is a profound talent.

 

Great art on every level for a warm and welcoming crowd. 

 

Annette Homann’s Skyfall below: