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February 1, 2021     The Ashfield News
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February 1, 2021

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12 THE ASHFIELD NEWS FEBRUARY 2021 In Tough Times, Artist Urges a New Embrace of Creativity BY LARRY PARNASS Tara Farley-Kuzmeskus brought a bundle to the Ashfield Post Office. Its contents went onto the walls, though, not into the mail. And now, the Conway artist’s exhibit is delivering fresh sights to senders. Through February, the eastern wall of the post office holds a selection of Farley-Kuz- meskus’ wide variety of subject matter — from a painting of a defiant rooster to a still life with watering can to a soft-focus brush with blossoms. Farley—Kuzmeskus, who has long worked as an arts educator, admits the works depict “an eclectic array of subject matter.” “There is really no rhyme or reason to this body of work as a whole,” she said in a dOUBLe BdGe T H E EATR Founder Interviewed in Theater Journal We are honored to be included in the Winter 2020 edition of the acclaimed journal The Drama Review with a featured article, “Double Edge Theatre in Its Ashfield Com- munity: An Interview with Stacy Klein.” In this interview with Richard Schechner, our founding artistic director talks about the process of moving from Boston to Ashfield and becoming a part of this special community. I ‘ Schechner, the editor of the journal, is an emeritus professor at NYU’s Department of Performance Studies. To purchase an elec- tronic version of the interview, visit the MIT Press website at mitpressjournals.org. statement hanging with the show. “My hope is that because of its colorful diversity, despite differences and imperfections, there is something here for everyone to take a moment to enjoy.” In an interview, she also said she.hopes to inspire people to dust off the creativity they once explored as children, but may have let lapse. “One does not need to identify as an artist to tap into that,” she said. “All people are born with creativity. Maybe this is a time when more people can get back to the urge to create.” ' Farley—Kuzmeskus said she plans to change some of the works on View in February, to keep the exhibit fresh. Winter Intensive artists. We’re already looking forward to the next encounter. This spring, we will host our Residency Immersion, a three-month, two—part immer- sion experience happening March 15 through June 15. In the first section of this program, participants will focus on their creative path of artistic inquiry and work creation, sup— ported by members of the DE Ensemble and utilizing our beautiful indoor and outdoor training spaces. In the program’s second half, participating artists will engage in a Double Edge performance process focusing on their particular area of interest — musical, image— based, technical, flying. Spring is a special time at the Farm, and we invite you to join us for this season of renewal. Artist residencies In November 2020, Ebony Noelle Golden returned for a residency at Double Edge. To see a video of Ebony’s work on the beginning of her performance In the Name Of, head to our social media! Double Edge Winter Intensive students share a meal with the company’s Carlos Uriona and Travis Coe. In October 2020, our performance Leonora, la maga y la maestra, which pre— miered in 2017 at Peak Perfbrmances at Montclair State University, was captured for broadcast on the Alexander Kasser Theater stage for Peak HD in partnership with ALL ARTS. The performance will be streamed online and broadcast on PBS and the release date is scheduled for March 14. Training Programs The year 2021 began in the best of ways, with two small groups of professional and emerging artists joining us and throwing themselves into training here at the Farm. During these times of COVID-19, the experience and commitment to testing and quarantining to create a safe environment, and the lengths that we all went through to make this program happen, was extremely moving. The feeling of being together ' training was uplifting. Thank you to the 2021 Morgan Jenness, long-term collaborator and creative consultant at DE since 2012’s Spectacle The Odyssey, was in residence for a week in January. She came to work with Klein and the ensemble on the development of our four coming performances. An Obie Award winner, Jenness has worked as an educator, activist, associate producer at the Public Theater and the Los Angeles Theater Center for new plays. Jenness is a member of the People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street and works with US. theatres as an agent and creative consultant. Also in January, artist Deidra Montgomery took part in our annual Winter Intensive and did a residency to develop her music. It was a joyous way to start the new year and to c0ntinue deepening our relationship. We look forward to welcoming back to the Farm resident artists Ron Ragin and Consor— tium partner from Open Flame Theatre Katie Burgess. ‘ ROBERT CARLTON The artist studied fine arts, art history and education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. After graduating in 2000, she taught art in schools and summer programs for nearly two decades. She says that work in schools helped her see the importance of, as she puts it, “creative expression, art therapy, multiculturalism, and social activism.” One of the pieces in her show, done with charcoal and Conte crayon, was inspired by a book that described the removal of native children from their families. It shows a winged child with a rope around its waist being hoisted out of a nest, as another winged figure reaches out in evident despair. Farley—Kuzmeskus said the invitation to show in Ashfield sent her searching through portfolios for work. And the exhibit itself, after years when her creative energy flowed into the classroom, has reawakened her interest. “I do have a studio room in my house. with a lot of materials. I’m trying to disci- pline myself to spend more time with art,” she said. “I find art is such a healing escape from the intensity of the news.” Ohketeau V Takes Root, in ‘Place to, Grow’ In late January, we here at the Ohketeau Cultural Center in Ashfield held a rega— lia—making workshop for our tribal commu- nity led by Andre StrongBearHeart Gaines, Jr. Due to COVID—19 restrictions and safety, attendees were limited. However, it was a wonderful weekend of practicing our tradi- tional crafts and passing on that knowledge to our future generations. Participants were also treated to a tradi- tional feast prepared by Rhonda Anderson consisting of Three Sisters stew, venison, wojapi arid corn cake. Wild turkey and bison chili were also part of the weekend delicacies. The Nipmuc Homeland originally con- sisted of over 2,000 square miles. Since colonization it had dwindled down to acres, with the remaining lands, “Never owned by the White Man” at the Hassanamesit Reserva- tion in Grafton. The Ohketeau Cultural Center isone of the most significant and vital resources for the social, cultural and- spiritual growth that the Nipmuc people have had in hundreds of , years. Ohketeau in the Nipmuc language means “a place to grow.” With your kind support we hope to continue to grow and support the First Peoples of Western and Central Massachusetts. Submitted by Larry Spotted Crow Mann and Rhonda Anderson, co-directors of the Ohketeau Cultural Center in Ashfield. Local Writing Group Back with More Some of the As You Write It writers, front row, Ellen Brucker Marshall, and our mascot, Ezra, second row, Sally Fairfield, Estelle Cade, and Alice Thomas. A new volume, As You Write It Lucky 7, I featuring the works of members of the As You Write It group, is to be released in February and will be available at World Eye Books, Boswell Books and elsewhere. The group’s local writers include Estelle Cade, Joan Hopkins Coughlin, Sally Fairfield, Lillian Fiske, Penny Jordan, Ellen Brucker Marshall, Ann Marie Meltzer, Noreen O’Brien, Laura Rodley, Alice Thomas and Barbara Waters. The As You Write Itgroup met for thirteen years at the Gill—Montague Senior Center, until the pandemic hit. Carol Bolduc 413-834-1576 Marcia Brooks 413-658—8150 Tim Parker 413-923-2900 Wa nda M ooney 413-768-9848 Phll Pless 413834-5179 Mike P ra tt 207-415—3460 For three years, the group wrote after “guided color meditations.” The resUlting book, the authors say, is a trip around the world in color. The volume contains photos taken by Rodley of worksand subjects at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore; the Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, GA.; the San Xavier Mission and Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, AZ; the Saint Louis Cathedral in New Orleans and the Circus World Museum of Baraboo, WI. Committed to you. Dedicated to home. 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