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Modfest, now in its 13th year, is Vassar College’s celebration of 20th and 21st century arts with a series of free programs and performances, January 28-February 14, 2015

Now in its 13th year, Modfest is a series of free performances and programs in dance, drama, visual art, film, literature, poetry, and music taking place January 28 to February 14. Participants in Modfest 2015 include guest artists, Vassar students, faculty, alumnae/i, as well as students from Poughkeepsie area schools. 

This year’s Modfest features several events tied to the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland. Vassar’s Thompson Memorial Library’s exhibition opens on February 12, and a series of Alice-related events will lead up that, including:

•    “Alice in Our Times: Fantasy, Surrealism and Nonsense” concert (1/31) featuring works by Vassar professors Susan Botti, Jonathan Chenette and Richard Wilson

•    ChoralFest (2/5) will feature music inspired by Alice in Wonderland and the voices of the Vassar College Women’s Chorus, the Vassar College choir and the Cappella Festiva Treble Choir.

•    Vassar College Improv will host performance using characters, themes and lines from Alice in Wonderland (2/12).

Additionally, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center will open its exhibition of large-scale paintings from its permanent collection, XL. The opening event (1/30) will include a lecture by Joyce Kozloff, an artist whose work is featured in the show.

Several Vassar alumnae/i return to campus to participate in Modfest: choreographer Bella Kosmacher ’14; composer Jesse Greenberg ’13; and percussionist and music software developer Patrick Litterst ’07.

The series concludes with a Valentine’s Day jazz concert (2/14) featuring associate professor of music Brian Mann.

All full list of Modfest events can be found below.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (http://www.vassar.edu).

Directions to the Vassar campus, located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

MODFEST CALENDAR OF EVENTS 
JANUARY 28 – FEBRUARY 14, 2015

All events are free and open to the public. No reservations necessary unless otherwise noted. All seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Note that all events are subject to change. For additional information, call (845) 437-5370 or visit arts.vassar.edu

Ongoing Exhibits at Vassar during MODFEST

Teen Visions 2015.
January 28 through February 14
An exhibition featuring traditional and digital photography, paintings, drawings, and mixed media created by students ages 11 to 19 in the Art Institute of Mill Street Loft in Poughkeepsie.
Main Building, College Center, James W. Palmer III Gallery

XL: Large-Scale Paintings from the Permanent Collection.
January 30 – March 29, 2015
The ever-expanding measurements of paintings has been a topic of interest since the mid-twentieth century when New York School painters first pushed the boundaries of museum walls to their limits. In 1947, at the height of the Abstract Expressionist era, the Museum of Modern Art mounted an exhibition called Large-Scale Modern Paintings; to qualify for inclusion, paintings had to measure at least six feet in one direction. Today, a similar set of criteria has been applied to the Art Center's permanent collection to arrive at a group of monumental paintings that are at once impressive and daunting. These larger-than-life canvases invite an extraordinary visual experience in which the viewer is immersed in the field of painting. XL, which includes work by Kevin Appel, Roger Brown, Nancy Graves, Joyce Kozloff, Alfred Leslie, Agnes Martin, Joan Mitchell, and Jules Olitski, is a testament to the enduring visual power of mural-sized painting.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

The Age of Alice: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, and Nonsense in Victorian England.
Beginning February 12
An exhibition to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.  Drawing on the Special Collections Library, the show includes nearly 40 works, dating from 1837-1901.  In addition to Carroll, authors represented include Dickens, Thackeray, Ruskin, Edward Lear, George MacDonald, Christina Rossetti, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, and Edith Nesbit--many of whose writings have influence today.  A catalogue will accompany the exhibition.
Thompson Memorial Library

Music Library Display: Modfest.
Beginning January 28
The Vassar College Music Library presents a display highlighting Modfest music activities and musicians, curated by Sarah Canino, music librarian.  Open daily.
Skinner Hall of Music, first floor

JANUARY

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28
5:30-7:30pm
POSTPONED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER. A NEW DATE WILL BE ANNOUNCED.

A Community Sing.
Led by Dr. Ysaye Barnwell, long a member of Sweet Honey in the Rock, the acclaimed all-woman a cappella group. Anyone who wants to sing, even if they don’t read music, will flourish under Dr. Barnwell’s enthusiastic direction. No musical background required.  Participants will soon find themselves singing in four-part harmony and raising the roof of Main Building. Co-sponsored by the Office of Religious & Spiritual Life and partners in the Campus Life and Diversity Office (ALANA Center, Office of International Services, LGBTQ Center, RSL, and Women’s Center), Africana Studies, Carolyn Fay Grant Committee, Music Department, and Second Baptist Church in Poughkeepsie.
Main Building, Villard Room, second floor

THURSDAY, JANUARY 29
5:00–9:00pm
Late Night at the Lehman Loeb.
Enjoy extended hours every Thursday evening, when the galleries are open until 9:00pm. Late Night at the Lehman Loeb is made possible by the generous support of the Jane W. Nuhn Charitable Trust.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

4:30pm
Teen Visions.
Opening reception of an exhibit of original artwork, featuring a wide variety of paintings, drawings, mixed-media, photography, and sculpture by students ages 11 to 19 of The Art Institute of Mill Street Loft.
Main Building, College Center, James W. Palmer III Gallery

6:30pm           

Presentation. Teen Music, Dance and the Spoken Word.
Features middle and high school students from arts programs in the Mid-Hudson Valley: Mill Street Loft’s LitClub, an outreach program for girls in the Poughkeepsie Middle School, the Vivace ensemble of the Stringendo Orchestra School of the Hudson Valley, and dancers from the New York Academy of Ballet.
Main Building, College Center, Villard Room

FRIDAY, JANUARY 30
5:30 pm
Exhibition Special Event: Lecture and Reception for XL: Large-Scale Paintings from the Permanent Collection.
The evening begins with a lecture, Maps & Patterns, by artist Joyce Kozloff. A reception and exhibition viewing follows in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. Beginning in 1970, energized by participation in the feminist art movement, Joyce Kozloff became an originating figure of the Pattern and Decoration movement, exploring applied and decorative arts, especially visual cultures of the nonwestern world, as source and inspiration. Beginning in the 1980s, Kozloff concentrated on ambitious public commissions in the US and abroad, executed in ceramic tile, glass, and marble mosaic. By the 1990s, maps had become the foundation for Kozloff’s work, particularly the role of cartography in human knowledge and imperialism. Recently, Kozloff’s focus has shifted to the sky as she overlays antique cosmological charts with galaxies and satellite tracks found on the internet.
Taylor Hall, Room 102, and the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

9:00pm
Concert. Vassar Jazz Combos.  
The student ensembles present a colorful variety of jazz styles. James Osborn, director of the jazz groups.
Main Building, Villard Room, second floor

SATURDAY, JANUARY 31
11:00am
Presentation: Creating Music Notation Software.
Patrick Litterst ’07, outstanding percussionist while at Vassar, is now in software development, particularly with Notion 4, a music notation  and score playback application  of recent acclaim.  He will give a workshop about his work, which includes continuing his performing career. Co-sponsored by the Career Development Office. Following the presentation, there will be a lunch with an opportunity to speak with the Patrick in room 303 of Skinner Hall.
Skinner Hall of Music, Thekla Hall, fourth floor

4:00pm
Poetry: Edward Hirsch in conversation with Paul Kane, professor of English.
Edward Hirsch, a MacArthur Fellow, has published nine books of poems, most recently Gabriel: A Poem, a book-length elegy, and The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems, which brings together thirty-five years of work. He has also published five prose books, among them A Poet’s Glossary, a full compendium of poetic terms, and How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry, a national bestseller. He is president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Sanders Classroom Building, Spitzer Auditorium (room 212)

Note: emergency snow date is Sunday, February 8 at 12 noon.
In the event of inclement weather, the poetry conversation will be rescheduled for Sunday, February 8 at 12:00pm. Please contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370 for the most current information regarding weather-related cancellations.

8:00pm
Concert: ALICE IN OUR TIMES: Fantasy, Surrealism, and Nonsense.  
Music by Vassar composers Jonathan Chenette, Susan Botti and Richard Wilson on texts by Lewis Carroll,  Edward Lear, James Norman Hall, Joe Orton (somewhat), and Edward Hirsch, who will read as part of the program.
Skinner Hall of Music

Note: emergency snow date is Sunday, February 8 at 3:00pm.
In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be rescheduled for Sunday, February 8 at 3:00pm. Please contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370 for the most current information regarding weather-related cancellations.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1
3:00pm
Concert: Percussion and Viola.
Violist Ralph Farris and percussionist Frank Cassara, adjunct artist in music, in a program of works for this unusual combination.  Among the composers are Farris and Cassara themselves as well as Janice Giteck, and Linda Bouchard.
Skinner Hall of Music

MONDAY, February 2
8:00pm
Presentation: Hearing Wonderland: The Strange Sounds of Alice's Adventures.
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of first publication of Alice in Wonderland, this talk examines the sound worlds created by Lewis Carroll in his book and the various ways in which filmmakers have sought to present this classic tale through film score and sound design. Presented by Justin Patch, adjunct assistant professor in music.
Skinner Hall of Music, Music Library Listening Classroom, first floor

WEDNESDAY, February 4
5:15pm

Readings: Translation as an Art.
Readings of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Hebrew, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish texts in their original tongue and in translation by Vassar students. Translations and performances have been prepared with the help of the language fellows from the participating departments led by David Mentuccia and Olesia Elfimova.  Presented by the departments and programs of foreign language study at Vassar. Hosted and coordinated by Lioba Ungurianu, adjunct assistant professor of German.
Main Building, Villard Room, second floor

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5
5:00–9:00pm
Late Night at the Lehman Loeb, with Gallery Conversation & Late Night Anniversary Celebration.
Come celebrate with cake and coffee as Late Night at the Lehman Loeb marks eight years of creative happenings on Thursday evenings at the Art Center.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

5:30 pm
Gallery Conversation: Scale from the Artist's and Curator's Viewpoint.
Artist and Vassar College associate professor of art Laura Newman and curator Mary-Kay Lombino bring their perspectives on matters of scale to this informal discussion.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center


7:00pm
ChoralFest.
Cappella Festiva Treble Choir, Vassar College Choir and Vassar College Women's Chorus.  Christine Howlett, conductor.
"ChoralFest" will begin with the young voices of the Cappella Festiva Treble Choir, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland with performances of Beautiful Soup by Tom Benjamin, Will you walk a little faster? by John Carter and Jabberwocky by David Brunner.  The Vassar College Choir and Women’s Chorus will perform music of composers including Thomas Juneau, Tarik O'Regan, Timothy Takach, Maxim Vladimiroff, and others.
Skinner Hall of Music

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6
4:30pm  
Presentation: Ambition, Adaptation, and Risk: Making Music Your Career.
Timothy Takach discusses his career as a singer, composer, and publisher, and the importance of being a “self-starter” to maintain a career in the arts.  Co-sponsored by the Career Development Office.
Skinner Hall of Music, Music Library Listening Classroom, first floor

8:00pm
Cabaret Night.
A sampling of the Great American Songbook: Gershwin, Kern, Porter, Berlin, Rodgers, Sondheim, and others. Featuring students from the Vassar College Music Department. At the piano will be music department accompanist David Alpher, with direction by cabaret singer Jennie Litt.
Main Building, Rose Parlor, second floor

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7
11:00am
Open Rehearsal. Mahagonny Ensembles.
Conducted by Julia Boscov-Ellen ’15 and Samuel Plotkin ’15. Composers Timothy Takach and Jesse Greenberg ’13 coach the student-run contemporary groups in the preparation of their works. Following the rehearsal, there will be a lunch with an opportunity to speak with the composers in room 303 of Skinner Hall.
Skinner Hall of Music

8:00pm
Concert by the Vassar Ensembles.
The Vassar College Orchestra performs works by Pete Hope and Osvaldo Lacerda; Vassar Madrigals, prepared by Drew Minter, performs works by Irving Fine and William Schuman; and the Mahagonny Ensembles perform a work by composers Timothy Takach and a première by alumnus Jesse Greenberg ’13. Eduardo Navega, Julia Boscov-Ellen ’15 and Samuel Plotkin ’15, conductors.
Skinner Hall of Music

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8
12:00pm and 3:00pm
Snow date for the 4:00 and 8:00 events of Saturday, January 31.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10

7:00pm
Film: Watch out for the Car  (Берегись автомобиля)
A visually stunning example of Krushchev’s “Thaw” cinema. Owing to its depiction of criminal activity, this film, directed by Eldar Ryazanov, was shelved by the authorities at the time of its production but became an instant hit when released in 1966. With commentary by Rita Safariants,visiting assistant professor of Russian Studies
Rockefeller Hall, room 200

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 11
3:30pm
Presentation: Music, Words, Dance and Images.
Ensemble dance work inspired by the Alice in Wonderland chapter "Pig and Pepper" and choreographed by Bella Kosmacher ’14, chamber music and readings of original prose and poetry by students from the classes of Eduardo Navega, lecturer in music and director of the program in chamber music, Jean Kane, associate professor of English and Michael Joyce, professor of English. A display organized by Zoe Lemelson ’17, Sam Schwamm ’16 and Daniel Bialer ’15 will present work by students from Phocus, Vassar College’s photography club. There will be a reception with food,  jazz by Matt Mendoza ’15 and time to view the exhibit.
Main Building, Villard Room, second floor

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12
4:00 pm
Curator's Gallery Talk: XL: Large-Scale Paintings from the Permanent Collection
Curator Mary-Kay Lombino explores the XL exhibition on a walk through the galleries, providing insight into the exhibition as a whole and into how the works on view fit into the historical context of large-scale painting.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center Temporary Exhibition Galleries

5:00–9:00pm
Late Night at the Lehman Loeb
For description, see January 29

5:30pm
Vassar College Improv
Vassar's longest running improvisational comedy group will present long form scenes and short form games (using characters, themes and lines from Alice in Wonderland). Featuring  Patrick Brady '15. Sarah Traisman '15, Shira Mizel '16, Samuel Rebelein '16, Albert Muzquiz '17, and Carinn Candelaria '18.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

7:00pm
Modfest Presentation at Late Night at the Lehman Loeb.
Chamber music and readings of original prose and poetry by Vassar students from the classes of Eduardo Navega, lecturer in music and director of the program in chamber music, and Jean Kane and Michael Joyce, professors of English.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13
4:30pm
Presentation. A Screening of Original Short Films.
Vassar Filmmakers Club and the Film Majors’ Committee present a selection of student short films from the Vassar film community. Student filmmakers will be present for a Q&A afterward. Hosted by Vassar Filmmakers Club and the Film Majors’ Committee. Organized by Shira Mizel ’16, Nicole Glantz ’15, Adam Ninyo ’17, Reid Antin ’16, and Anna Blum ’17.  
Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film, Rosenwald Theatre, Room 109

6:30pm
Film: Amour.
Amour (2012), written and directed by Michael Haneke, starring Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva and Isabelle Huppert.
This film is part of the Tournées Film Festival, a program of the FACE Foundation in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. The festival aims to bring French cinema to American college and university campuses. With an introduction by Matthew Amos, visiting professor of French studies at Bard College, and a post-screening discussion led by Shane Slattery-Quinanilla, assistant professor of film. Organized by Anne Brancky, visiting assistant professor of French.
Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film, Rosenwald Theatre, Room 109

8:00pm
Dance: VRDT
The Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre, John Meehan, director. The program will feature selections from Doug Varone's Chapters from a Broken Novel to a score by David Van Tieghem; Steve Rooks’ new work Mosul to the music of Hans Zimmer;  Katherine Wildberger's new work entitled Shimmer to the third movement of the piano suite of Igor Stravinsky's Petrushka and Abby Saxon’s work I Don't feel like Dancin' to music by The Scissor Sisters.  Student choreography may also be included. For Modfest tickets please write to dancetix@vassar.edu; put Modfest in the subject window. For information please call the Dance Office at (845) 437-7470.
Kenyon Hall, Frances Daly Fergusson Dance Theater

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14

3:00
Drama: Melancholy Play
The Philaletheis Society performs a semi-staged reading of Sarah Ruhl's Melancholy Play.  In this contemporary farce, Tilly's melancholy causes people to fall in love with her. But one day, when sadness turns to joy, Tilly must help those around her who are negatively affected by her happiness. When her friend Frances turns into an almond, it becomes Tilly's job to get her back. Shades of Alice? Organized by Madie Oldfield '15 and Thomas Lawler '15.
Main Building, Rose Parlor, second floor

8:00pm
Concert: My Funny Valentine; Jazz for Valentine’s Day
The Brian Mann Trio, featuring Brian Mann, associate professor of music, piano; with Sean Smith, double bass; and Craig Wuepper, drums.
Skinner Hall of Music

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, December 16, 2014