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Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights for ANPF 2016
Artistic Director Kyle Haden (center) and the ANPF 2016 readers. Image by Chela Sanchez
Ashland, Ore – Ashland New Plays Festival announces winning playwrights whose work will be presented Oct. 19-23 at ANPF 2016. The four winning playwrights are:
Michael Erickson for Oberon Springs
Beth Kander for Hazardous Materials
Mike Teele for EdanEv
Stephanie Walker for The Madres
The winning plays were selected from 400 that were submitted. They were read and scored in blind readings by ANPF’s core of volunteer readers, who reduced the candidates to 12 finalists. From them, artistic director Kyle Haden chose the four winners.
These exceptionally gifted playwrights will travel to Ashland for a week of receptions, rehearsals, a playwriting workshop, and other festivities that will culminate with dramatic readings of their plays. The plays will be performed in both matinee and evening performances at the Unitarian Center by some of our finest actors. Talk backs with Ashland’s famously sophisticated audiences will follow each performance.
Kander returns to Ashland for a second consecutive year, having won in 2015 for her play The Bottle Tree. The other three are first-time winners at ANPF. All of the winners are professional playwrights with numerous awards and honors to their credit. This year, Kander and Walker are both honorable mentions on the Kilroys List 2016, of “excellent unproduced new plays by women and trans playwrights.”
Read further for more information about the playwrights and their plays.
Beth Kander, Hazardous Materials, is a Chicago-based writer of plays, children’s books, and novels who “loves nothing more than a good story.”
In Hazardous Materials, she examines the course of several lives as investigators sort through the detritus left by an unidentified woman in a Chicago apartment.
Kander’s works have been recognized by The Ruckus’ 2016 summer festival; BechdelFest 2016; Ashland New Plays Festival 2015; The Kilroys List (Honorable Mention 2015, 2016); Leapfest 2015; Downstage Left residency 2014-2015; Charles M. Getchell New Play Award 2012; and, three Eudora Welty New Play awards. She studied comedy writing at The Second City and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women.
Michael Erickson, Oberon Springs, has had plays produced by theaters and colleges including the Ensemble Studio Theater, MadLab, Moving Arts, the Imaginary Theater Company, and Tesseract Theater.
Oberon Springs looks at the impact of environment on the increasingly poor health of people in a small Indiana town, and a young physician’s struggle over whether to continue her life and her medical practice there.
Erickson was playwright-in-residence at the Nashville Repertory Theatre and Coe College. His awards include an NEA Fellowship in Playwriting; a California Arts Council Award; and the Mobil International Playwriting Prize (Royal Exchange Theatre, England). His Alien Hand Syndrome was published in Regional Best 2011, an anthology of new plays. Last Tree, Easter Island, will be published this fall in the Smith and Kraus, Inc. anthology, 105 Five-Minute Plays for Study and Performance. A graduate of the MFA Theater Program at the University of California, San Diego, he teaches playwriting at Webster University in St. Louis.
Mike Teele, EdanEv, lives in New York City. His work has been performed at theaters that include the Theatre for the New City; HERE Performing Arts Center; Abingdon Theatre; John Houseman Theater; Producers Club, Hudson Guild, and Catch a Rising Star. He has produced more than nine works for the stage and was a Walt Disney Studios /ABC-TV Fellowship finalist.
EdanEv tells the story of four college friends, reunited in mid-life for a family wedding, and the life-altering decisions each makes about the next chapters of their lives.
Teele also created and wrote The Real Friends, a live weekly sitcom that played NYC comedy clubs, and has written dozens of educational films for kindergarten through senior high. He was awarded the Cine’ Golden Bear International Film & Video Award for his work.
Stephanie Walker, The Madres, is a Chicago native who now lives in Los Angeles. Her full-length plays have garnered awards, workshops and productions across the country including the 2015 critically-acclaimed premiere of The Art of Disappearing at Chicago’s 16th Street Theater.
The Madres explores the experiences and activism of the Argentine women whose children disappeared during the military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983. The play has been chosen for a number of awards, including finalist for the 2016 O’Neill Playwrights Conference, for the Source Festival in DC, and for the Humanitas/CTG Playwriting Prize; and, winner of the BETC Generations Prize.
Walker is also author of the book and blog, Love in the Time of Foreclosure, which has been called “a heartbreaking work of staggering acceptance” and featured by the Los Angeles Times, NPR, Business Week Magazine, and ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.
Thanks for reading Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights for ANPF 2016. For more information about ANPF, visit www.ashlandnewplays.org
“One Artist Changes His Art & Saves His Life” Interview, Video and Discount Codes from the Studio of Leah Fanning Mebane and Natural Earth Paints
Artist Inger Jorgenson, uses Eco-Solve to create beautiful drip effects.
ARTIST FOCUS: ROBERTO PARADA
One Artist Changes His Art and Saves His Life
Artist Roberto Parada
Note from the Author: Natural Earth Paint sent Roberto a complimentary bottle of Eco-Solve to try after hearing of his health troubles. We look forward to hearing his feedback!! Roberto Parada is an internationally known oil painter and illustrator, having been published in Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, ESPN The Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, and Huffington Post. Few people know that his art process came close to ending his life in 2004. I had the honor of interviewing him about his journey in discovering which of his art supplies were literally killing him, how it happened and what he did to change his process while continuing to paint very high quality, archival and professional paintings. Were you ever taught about the toxicity in art supplies in art school?
I went to a very prestigious art school in the late 80’s and early 90’s and was never taught about any hazards in art supplies by my painting and illustration teachers. I did have one sculpture teacher who adamantly forbade the use of fixatives, solvents and chemicals because he had gotten lymphoma from the use of those chemicals. He never really explained why we shouldn’t use them but just told us not use them in his classroom. My painting teachers all used toxic materials themselves and probably just didn’t know the health risks involved.
What was your painting technique throughout your school years and career?
I have always been an oil painter and I’m guilty of never wearing gloves or having adequate ventilation or even thinking that I should. Noone ever taught me the risks and on the warning labels on paint thinners I only saw warnings about difficulty breathing and respiratory issues. There was nothing about the fact that it can get into your bloodstream and cause death risks. The warnings are very ambiguous and limited considering the fact that I can list 5 different types of cancer that come from paint thinners. For example, 3 kinds of leukemia AML, ALL, CLL, and Multiple Myeloma and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. I also used all of the heavy metal based paints – cadmiums and cobalts – and didn’t think much about it. In the 90’s the “Odorless Mineral Spirits” came onto the market and we all thought that this was a healthier alternative. Now I know that Odorless mineral spirits still have petroleum based distillates and benzene which is exactly what brought about my illness.
Caldera Executive Director Tricia Snell (right) and youth representative Alena Nore (center) visit the White House Nov. 17 to accept an award from First Lady Michelle Obama.
Caldera Honored at the White House with national award
Congratulations to Caldera, one of 12 national creative youth development organizations to receive the 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama. Caldera Executive Director Tricia Snell and youth representative Alena Nore accepted the award at a Nov. 17 White House awards ceremony.
Caldera is the first Oregon organization to ever receive the award, the nation’s highest honor for creative youth programs. It recognizes the country’s best programs while highlighting the positive role that arts and humanities play in youth academic achievement, graduation rates and college enrollment.
In addition to the national recognition bestowed by the prestigious award, Caldera will also receive $10,000 to support its programming and build the long-term sustainability of the organization.
Former Arts Commission Chair Ron Paul passes
It was with heavy hearts the arts community learned of the passing of former Arts Commission Chair Ron Paul.
Ron was best-known as a chef and restaurateur, with the artistry and sustainability of food defining his professional identity. His work with the City of Portland engaged him at the intersection of politics and policy. As chief of staff to former Portland City Commissioner Charlie Hales, he helped shape plans to develop a year-round, food-focused Public Market. He also led the city’s lobbying for the creation of the Oregon Cultural Trust.
Ron recently served as executive director of Portland’s forthcoming James Beard Public Market.
Oregon’s White House tree features recycled ornaments
Another feather in Oregon’s environmental cap — It is the only state to have its President’s Park (White House) tree decorated with recycled garbage!Incredibly beautiful marine garbage, transformed into art by Angela Haseltine Pozzi, the founder of The Washed Ashore Project in Bandon.
Trees representing all 56 states and territories are annually displayed at the White House park and each year different artists are invited to create the ornaments.
Arts Commission on tour
The Arts Commission took a tour of Northwest Portland galleries, including the Elizabeth Leach Gallery (pictured), following its Dec. 4 meeting at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Pictured (left to right) are: Vice Chair Libby Tower; Public Art Coordinator Meagan Atiyeh; Commissioner Avantika Bawa; Community Art Coordinator Brian Wagner; Commissioner Christopher Acebo; Chair Julie Vigeland; Commissioner Anne Taylor; and Executive Director Brian Rogers.
Plein Air artists completed a successful 3 month period of painting in the Yaquina River Watershed as part of the second annual Toledo Plein Air Event and Open Juried Plein Air Show. The event is sponsored by the Yaquina River Museum of Art. 2015 Jurors were Becky Miller and Michael Gibbons.
Jacksonville artist Sue Bennett recently received an announcement that her painting “Yasek Loop Barn” has been chosen for the Permanent Collection Purchase Award from this year’s exhibit at the Yaquina River Museum of Art, Toledo, Oregon.
Sue Bennett is a classically trained artist who lives and works in Jacksonville, Oregon. She and her husband Steve (also an accomplished painter) traveled to Toledo, Oregon to paint during the summer and the result is “Yasek Loop” oil 8 ½” x 11 ½” a brilliant example of the rural landscape in the watershed.
Yasek Loop Barn, Sue Bennett Painting Honored with Museum Purchase Award
The Southern Oregon Artists Resource would like to congratulate SOAR member, watercolorist Sue Bennett of Jacksonville, Oregon, whose painting “Moon Music” was selected by the Britt Festival to illustrate their 2015 concert poster! The poster will be unveiled at the Taste of Summer celebration of the Britt Festival season opening on Saturday, June 6, 2015. You can learn more about Sue’s experience and the painting in an article in the Jacksonville Review, which will be on the streets and their website by the time we publish this notice. Way to go, Sue!
The 2015 Clatsop Community College Art Student Exhibit will be on display at the CCC Art Center Gallery, 1799 Lexington Avenue, Astoria, from Thursday, April 9 through Thursday, April 30. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, April 9 beginning at 6:00 p.m.
During the reception, cash prizes and award winners will be announced. This year’s juror, Eleanor H. Erskine, will be present at the reception to give a juror’s talk. Clatsop Community College thanks the Astoria Coffeehouse and Bistro for its generous support for this year’s student awards.
The CCC Art Center Gallery is ADA accessible, free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and weekends by appointment.
The Annual Art Student Exhibit is a juried event that showcases the talents and creativity of the college’s art students. Art students are invited to submit up to three pieces of work created in the art classes in which they have been enrolled during the past year. The show will feature a range of disciplines taught at Clatsop Community College, including graphic arts, basic design, drawing, painting, ceramics, photography and printmaking.
Juror Eleanor H. Erskine attended the Chicago Art Institute, received a BFA in Painting/Printmaking from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1981, and earned her MFA in Printmaking, with a special focus in Sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1988. She has taught at the Maine College of Art; the Kansas City Art Institute; The Chautauqua Institution; Penland School of Crafts; and Portland State University. Her works have been exhibited at the Mark Woolley Gallery; Museum of Contemporary Art in Washington D.C; Nelson Atkins Museum; Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA); and the Marylhurst Art Gym. Erskine is recognized locally, nationally and internationally. Her work is held in major private and public collections including the California State University Museum; Portland Art Museum; Spencer Museum of Art; Hallmark Corporation; New York Public Library; Downey Museum of Art; University of Iowa Museum of Art; and in various collections in Canada, Africa, Japan and South Korea.
James McComas (Superior, CO, USA) Diana, Oil on Linen, 24×18
Voters selected Jim McComas’ oil on linen piece entitled Diana for the People’s Choice Award in this year’s international juried show Au Naturel: The Nude in the 21st Century, which was recently on display in the Clatsop Community College Art Center Gallery.
All gallery visitors were invited to cast a vote for their favorite piece. Upon being notified that his painting Diana received the greatest number of votes, the artist responded, “I felt privileged simply to be juried into this year’s Au Naturel and I feel doubly so to have received the People’s Choice Award.”
This is not the first time that the artist has been selected to exhibit in the Au Naturel; he was also chosen to exhibit two of his paintings in the 2013 exhibit. In describing what he calls “an interesting little back story” about his painting Diana, he explains that “it was inspired by my visit to Astoria for the 2013 Au Naturel show. One of the days we were there, my wife, Lea, and I hiked up a short trail behind or beside the college that led up to some sort of monument. It was a bright sunny day (apparently rare for that time of year in Astoria). All along the trail, sunlight streamed through gaps in the trees to illuminate emerald green vegetation and dew covered spider webs, which sparkled like a million tiny rainbows. It was magical, somehow larger than life, and evoked thoughts of mythological figures hidden behind a shallow veil of reality. Anyway, this painting of Diana, the Huntress came from that experience. Lea and I had such a wonderful time visiting Astoria for the 2013 show.”
In his artist statement McComas states, “Compositionally, I perceive art as a visual melody, which can be as simple as a song, or as complex as a symphony. Somewhere in the music – in the image – is an expression of the human condition, be it narrowly focused or grandly sweeping. Along those lines, I see the role of the figure in my art much as the role a dancer plays in a ballet: profoundly moving in and of itself, yet a cohesive part of a larger story. My ultimate artistic desire is to integrate the human element into expressive compositions that are visually compelling, intellectually stimulating, and which engage the viewer on multiple levels.”
McComas received formal academic training in the classical tradition at the Colorado Academy of Art and has had the good fortune to study under such contemporary masters as Daniel Sprick, Robert Liberace, Michelle Torres, and Ron Hicks. He works in a variety of media, drawing in graphite, charcoal, and chalk, and painting primarily in oil. McComas is currently based in Superior, CO. Visit www.jimmccomas.com for additional information about McComas and his work.
Thanks to everyone’s generous donations, I have surpassed $1000, and cannot thank you all enough!Going to graduate school means the world to me, and I am grateful for your support in this journey! Please continue to share my story with friends and family, with your help I will get there!
After graduating from Southern Oregon University in 2011 with my BA in art history, I realized graduate school was where I needed to be to achieve a career in the art world. My time at SOU allowed me the opportunity to study abroad in London, England in 2010, and I fell in love with the city. I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else to start my career, I mean, what better place than the center of the international art world!
For three years now I have been working my way toward graduate school. I was finally able to start applying in 2013 and applied with University College London for their MA program in art history. I interviewed with the program but was not accepted. I was devastated, but told myself I was not going to give up.
In the months that passed I found a program that suited my aspirations better than UCL through Sotheby’s Institute of Art. In November 2013, I found out I was accepted into Sotheby’s Institute of Art for the MA program in contemporary art for the 2014/2015 school year. Finally, I would be able to start my career, something I have worked so hard to achieve, in the place I’ve been working so hard to get back to!
The program at Sotheby’s is very small and difficult to get into, I felt honored to have been accepted. I reserved my housing and was starting to get everything in order to go when my funding fell through three months before I was supposed to leave. Once again, I was devastated. To add another blow to the situation a few days after realizing I wouldn’t be able to go, I was awarded a grant from Sotheby’s that would cover about 10% of my tuition costs for the 2014/2015 school year only, and had no choice but to decline it.
I’ve picked myself back up once again, and won’t give up. The institute has luckily deferred my enrollment until the 2015/2016 school year, but my task now is to find funds. The Student loan program will not work because I need a co-signer, which I don’t have. I am researching grants and scholarships but know I need to try every avenue I can. I am doing this all on my own and am saving as much as I can, while paying on other student loans at the same time.
The total cost of the Contemporary Art program is $46,012. I will once again be applying to the Sotheby’s Institute Grants and Merit Awards, the institute’s financial assistance in the form of partial-tuition awards. To receive an education from Sotheby’s, a name deeply rooted in the international art world, would be a privilege and an immense advantage in furthering my career. http://www.sothebysinstitute.com/Programmes/PLondon.aspx
I am hoping for a miracle, but either way I need help. Please take the time to consider me, an opportunity like this does not come easily. The institute believed in me enough, and now I need you to believe in me as well, and I promise to send you a postcard when I get there!
By Ashland Art Center, 69 contributed posts
View all Ashland Art Center's posts. About the author: Ashland Art Center is an artists' support hub that fills its 9000 square feet to the brim with two fine art galleries, 19 private artist's studios, a Cooperative Clay Studio, Central Art Supply satellite store, Rowan Design and a Community Classroom for classes and meetings. Come visit and be inspired, pick up an amazing gift or join the Artist Member family. Open 7 days a week, 10-6pm.
Learn more and make contact with us - Visit our listing at the Southern Oregon Artists Resource for all our links and contact information!
You are invited to attend a city wide celebration and unveiling of a recently completed mural, Seasons of Gratitude by Denise Baxter, Executive Director of the Ashland Art Center, located at the Emergency Food Bank on 560 Clover Lane in Ashland. If you are in or around Ashland this Sunday, August 3rd at 3pm, stop by to celebrate the new and largest piece in the City of Ashland’s Public Art Collection.
Thank you to our event sponsors: Caldera Brewing Company, Grizzly Peak Winery, Green Springs Inn and Cabins, Maren Faye Catering, and Komac (music).