Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A New Year Celebrated with Music

Happy New Year from the Addison education team. A new year means new programs, new exhibitions, and new parties. The year kicked off with an exciting event organized by and for Phillips Academy students. As the museum bid farewell to the fall exhibitions, The Courant (Phillips Academy’s literary magazine) hosted a semi-formal issue launch featuring writers and performers from the student community and the galleries were filled with the experimental sounds of Tristan Perich and Lesley Flanigan.

Apsara Iyer, a Phillips Academy senior, came to the Addison education team in the fall with the intention to collaborate on a social and cultural event specifically planned for students and co-hosted by the The Courant. Coinciding with the publishing of this season’s Courant, and fashioned after book and magazine launches of years gone by, the backdrop of elaborate food and dress would provide just the right amount of sparkle and pizzazz to make the Fete Du Courant an extra special party and provide yet another way for students to interact with the museum beyond their classes.

Held on January 13th, the evening began with a series of readings from Courant contributors followed by questions from the audience in the Addison’s Museum Learning Center. Out in the galleries, DJs flooded the museum with a wide variety of music to set the tone of the party and students posed in the library “photobooth” displaying their copies of the new issue (which itself was appropriately adorned with a bow-tie). To cap off a wonderful evening full of arts of all kind, three students performed acoustic guitar sets in the brand new Open Windows exhibition. The education department looks forward to more student-organized events that connect with and celebrate the museum’s exhibitions and mission.

Music seems to be a theme in the galleries this month. On January 25th, the same gallery that hosted three Phillips Academy students again became a music venue for the works of Tristan Perich and Lesley Flanigan. Perich, a former Edward E. Elson Artist-in-Residence and PA student from the class of 2000, presented his composition Dual Synthesis for harpsichord (performed by Oberlin College student Daniel Walden) and 4-channel 1-bit electronics. Flanigan was joined by four PA students for Amplifications, a haunting five-part harmony augmented by the handmade wooden speakers Flanigan uses to create feedback and looping. Video from both performances is forthcoming, please check back!

It has been wonderful warming up the museum with music these past few weeks as New England finally gets a bit of the winter chill it is so well known for. The education department looks forward to filling up the new exhibitions with students and teachers in the coming weeks and months to explore the winter exhibitions John Marin: Modernism at Midcentury, Land, Sea, and Sky: Contemporary Art in Maine, The Civil War: Unfolding Dialogues and a salon-style hanging of works from the permanent collection. Hope to see you in the galleries soon!

Posted by: Katherine Ziskin, Education Fellow for School & Community Collaborations