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Art, Drama, Music and Books
Art, drama, music & books

Bronxville Resident and Art Historian William Agee Authors Book on Modern Art in America PDF Print Email


Robert M. Riggs, Longtime Village Resident


Sep. 14, 2016:  Well known is Bronxville's long connection to painting and sculpture. Real estate firms often trumpet the village in sales literature as the home of the Lawrence Park artist colony that flourished a century ago. The Bronxville Historical Conservancy has acquired 28 paintings by Bronxville colony artists that hang on the walls in various places throughout the village. Twenty years ago, a comprehensive collection of paintings by Bronxville colony artists was exhibited at the Hudson River Museum.

Perhaps not as widely known is the depth of art history and criticism produced in recent years by local residents. In 1991, longtime resident Sarah Whitaker Peters authored Becoming O’Keefe: The Early Years, a major examination of O'Keefe's life and art. Jayne Warman, until recently a resident of the village, has applied her long study of Paul Cézanne to writings including the recently published Metropolitan Museum of Art catalogue on exhibited paintings of Cézanne's wife. Marilynn Hill and Sarah Underhill, village residents, have both produced thoroughly researched historical articles on local artists.

The most recently published art criticism and history authored by a local resident is William Agee's celebrated analysis of modern art in America: Modern Art in America – 1908-68 (Phaidon Press, 2016 (350 pages)). The book has enlisted enthusiastic commentary, including the following from the Wall Street Journal:  "That rarity of rarities, an opinionated but not eccentric scholarly history…whose every page crackles with original thinking and bears the stamp of a preternaturally sharp eye." 

"Illuminating…Modern Art in America is a magisterial book--rich, readable, and resplendent--that promises radically to realign our understanding of a visual age more native and deeply complete in its making than has hitherto been shown." Art Quarterly.

Agee, twenty years a Bronxville resident now residing in Yonkers, held an endowed chair at Hunter College as professor of art history in its art and art history department until he retired in 2014; he is now an emeritus professor at Hunter. In earlier years, he was curator of art museums in Houston and Pasadena. His professional commitment brought him to this monumental summation of American art that he persuasively fixes to 60 years beginning in 1908.

For this general reader, his writing on a disputed and complex subject is clear and free of obscurity. It prompted me to make rewarding trips this summer to the Whitney Museum of Art, the Met Breuer, and the Museum of Modern Art to study works that Agee regards as significant to his thesis. Particularly helpful is his explanation of Stuart Davis's early years of study of American and European cubist sources that resulted in his later work, more than 80 examples of which are now on exhibit at the Whitney. That exhibit continues until September 25, 2016.

Pictured here:  Book cover for William Agee's recently published book, Modern Art in America.

Photo courtesy Robert M. Riggs

 
Bronxville Resident Brian Fetherstonhaugh Authors Book on How to Have a Successful Career PDF Print Email


By Herb Schaffner and Laura Schenone, Big Fish Media


Sep. 14, 2016:  These can be disquieting times for starting your career, leading in your field, or plotting the far side of a working life arc that can now be expected to last 45 or 50 years. But into the breach steps Brian Fetherstonhaugh, chairman and CEO of the digital marketing agency OgilvyOne Worldwide, with a short, punchy book called The Long View: Career Strategies to Start Strong, Reach High, and Go Far that offers new and revivifying ideas for keeping a career vital at every stage.

There is good news and sage counsel here for millennials just entering the fray, as well as useful instruction for every employee and executive concerning how to keep your career fuel tank from running dry despite any individual setbacks you may experience and a pervasively fluid job market.

Drawing on 35 years working with global business firms, Fetherstonhaugh outlines a holistic career view that incorporates the value of personal time, parenthood, and travel in addition to financial gain--and details how to plan and work your way there.

Through a pie chart exercise, for example, he illustrates how to analyze the way you currently invest 100 percent of your time and then discusses realistic strategies for devising work/life "slices" that might more closely align with your deepest values. Fetherstonhaugh, himself a garage band guitarist and Sunday-night hockey player, genially explains how he maintained 5 percent "chill time" in his "time-use portfolio" over three decades.

"I wrote this book because after 30 years in business and 18 months of my own research, I found an ever-increasing tide of anxiety among working people," Fetherstonhaugh said. "People at work today need a different kind of career help. They need a new perspective that works for our future, not the past. The Long View will help readers turn career anxiety into action."

The book describes how to move through progressive steps:

  • Stage One: Start Strong by “Taking on Fuel”

  • Stage Two: Focus on Strengths in Mid-Career

  • Stage Three: Pass the Torch and Reignite the Flame in Later Years

The Long View offers additional insightful short profiles of real people at turning points, such as

  • Mohammed Ashour, a young man on his way to becoming a neurosurgeon who pivots to found his own company that produces insects as food

  • Former American Ballet Theater dancer Rachel S. Moore, who, during the second stage of her career, becomes a CEO at The Music Center in Los Angeles

  • Tim Penner, a 60-year-old veteran executive, who transitions to an advisory role for nonprofits and community causes.

With a calm, witty, and original voice, Fetherstonhaugh urges us all to be brave and thoughtful in times of turmoil and noise. He urges open exploration of scary questions like "Will I be replaced by a machine?" "Where and how will I find work in the future?" And he delivers some reassuring answers.

He also champions an innovative concept to extend the working life of those who leave the workforce for a time to raise children: "Returnships," which would pair returnees with a mentor. "Returnships should become a global phenomenon," he writes, "built around the principles of reframing past experience, refreshing skill sets, reconnecting career ecosystems, and rebooting self-confidence."

The Long View explores the possibilities of entrepreneurship, the freelance economy, and e-commerce. Known for bringing his own company to the forefront of the digital revolution, Fetherstonhaugh recommends that all businesspeople spend "at least one chapter of their career" working in e-commerce.

Most important, though, is the underlying message he puts in every chapter of this book: each of us must stay open to discovering new possibilities and opportunities as we go. When crises or challenges come, rewrite--keeping your cool, maintaining your convictions, and using a few of Fetherstonhaugh's innovative methods to speed the process.  

Pictured here:  Brian Fetherstonhaugh.

Photo courtesy Herb Schaffner and Laura Schenone, Big Fish Media

 
Concordia Conservatory Initiates New Honors Academy PDF Print Email


By Kathleen Suss, Executive Director, Concordia Conservatory


Sep. 7, 2016:  This academic year, Concordia Conservatory will be offering a new honors pre-college program, Conservatory Academy. The first day of classes will be Saturday, September 24, and auditions will be held on Sunday, September 18.

Designed for highly motivated and gifted instrumentalists and vocalists, the Conservatory Academy will be a training center for advanced student musicians. Unique to Westchester County, this conservatory program will provide outstanding training especially for those students seeking advanced preparation for their post-secondary school education.

The academy's purpose is to develop high potential and encourage young musicians to perform to the best of their abilities. In order to achieve this, the academy will provide students with a range of classes in music theory, ear training, basic conducting, music history, and performance. All academy students will be required to participate in instrumental chamber music, vocal musical theater and opera scenes, and 60-minute private instruction in their primary instrument. The academy will focus on every student's individual musical growth and development and will ensure that the curriculum addresses each of their distinctive needs. 

As enrollment is limited, a live audition is required for admission. The next round of auditions is scheduled for Sunday, September 18. To schedule an audition time, contact Abdul Amini at 914-395-4507. The audition will include the performance of one piece of repertoire that best demonstrates the student's current abilities and a sight-reading/ear training exercise.

Auditions will be conducted by academy faculty Marija IlicJon KlibonoffSheri Hammerstrom, and Hubert Chen.

The academy classes will take place Saturday afternoons from 1:00 to 5:00 pm starting September 24. Sixty-minute private instruction can be scheduled throughout the week.

For more information, please call Concordia Conservatory at 914-395-4507.

Photo courtesy Kathleen Suss, Executive Director, Concordia Conservatory

 
Exhibition of Posters from WWI and WWII at OSilas Gallery; Opening Reception Thursday, September 8; Concert Sunday, October 2 PDF Print Email


By Annmarie Flannery, President, Eastchester Historical Society


Sep. 7, 2016:  An exhibition titled The Art of War: Posters from World War I & World War II featuring American and European posters on loan from the Hudson River Museum Collection will open at OSilas Gallery on the campus of Concordia College on September 8.

Joyce Kennedy, a board member of the Eastchester Historical Society and director of corporate, foundation, and community relations at Concordia College, was instrumental in bringing this exhibition to fruition.

There will be an opening reception at the gallery on Thursday, September 8, at 7:00 pm.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Concordia Conservatory will host a concert in the gallery on October 2 at 3:00 pm titled Songs of War.

Photo courtesy Annmarie Flannery, President, Eastchester Historical Society

 
James Lettiere, Art Critic: Granary Gallery on Martha's Vineyard PDF Print Email


By James Lettiere


Aug. 24, 2016:  I had the pleasure of spending a long weekend on Martha's Vineyard the week before the President arrived for his holiday. During my stay I was introduced to a very charming and entertaining gallery in West Tisbury. I am assuming that a number of readers of MyhometownBronxville have been to Martha's Vineyard and have visited the Granary Gallery.

It was new to me, and I was grateful for the introduction. There were no international superstars to view, but I did see a handful of paintings by Jacob Lawrence and Thomas Hart Benton, who spent a significant amount of time on the island.

Local painters were represented, but for me it was the traditional arts and crafts of the region that were the most enticing. Examples of stone- and woodwork demonstrated that local artists-and-crafts people were working to keep artisanal practices alive. 

The Granary Gallery is at 636 Old County Road in West Tisbury, MA 02575, 508-693-0455. It is open seven days a week, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, except Sundays, when it opens at 11:00 am.

Pictured here:  The Granary Gallery on Martha's Vineyard

Photo by James Lettiere

 
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