Last week, we took a nostalgic look at the summer gone by. This week, let's look ahead to an autumn season of richness for the arts scene.
The dangers of writing this kind of column is that we'll include as much as we can for as many organizations as we can, but some haven't sent out their season information yet, and others are awaiting a full column, which I'll be doing in weeks ahead, and everyone will have an opinion about what should have been included, or what could have been left out, but we'll take the risk and share with you as much as we can, about the season to come:
JoAnn Falletta, Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, will deliver this year's Murray L. Bob Lecture on Oct. 15 at 7 p.m., at the James Prendergast Library, in Jamestown.
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute, at 311 Curtis St., in Jamestown is currently hosting an exhibit of paintings by nature artist Karen Allaben-Confer, titled "Birds of Land, Sea, and Sky." The exhibit, which occupies the entire ground floor display space in the beautiful nature center, consists of 59 images, created by Ms. Allaben-Confer.
There are portrayals of a few other animals, but birds are her principal focus, and for a building devoted to Roger Tory Peterson, what subject could be more appropriate? Many of the works in the display are available for purchase, at prices ranging from $160 to $6,000.
The Green Gallery, the building's largest display space, is filled with representations of sea birds, native to Eastern Maine and Southeastern Canada. Nearly all of her works on display are done in pastels, graphite, or combinations of the two, usually done on paper. The artist has included a large square of paper, on which she has demonstrated her technique of drawing birds on tracing paper and then placing them on the paper on which she will eventually create her art, until she has a composition which she feels worthy of the finished work of art.
Her style is a most appealing one, often using negative space to place focus on her positive creations. Some of the works are just representations of the subjects, in natural setting, but many have hints about the birds' personalities. "Love Among the Razorbills," which elsewhere is given the title "Razorbills on Great Island, Newfoundland," for example shows a couple of amorous birds, lounging on the rocks of the seaside, the upright tilts of both heads demonstrating the joy of young love.
The trio of corridors which surround the building's central gallery, which houses the remains of a prehistoric mammoth, are used for slight variations in her theme. The back corridor of the center's ground floor contains a number of representations of giant condors, which she created as part of her role as Artist-in-Residence for the Peregrine Fund's California Condor Release Project, at Arizona's Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Area. The project seeks to document the project's progress in helping bring the giant birds with 11-foot wing spreads, back from the verge of extinction.
The right-hand corridor, which stretches along the edge of the Green Gallery, is hung with representations of birds found in Central and Western New York State, relatively near the artist's home in Ithaca. Included among them are works created to illustrate papers and presentations by the artist's husband, ornithologist Dr. John L. Confer. Woodpeckers seem to be a special interest for her, in this geographical area.
The left-hand corridor displays works from early in the artist's career, which her artist's statement declares to be created under the inspiration of her mentor, nature artist Don R. Eckleberry. Eckleberry was a contemporary of Roger Tory Peterson, who once described him as the greatest nature artist alive, at the time. Her artist's statement praises Eckleberry for encouraging her to see nature on her own terms and to push the limits of creativity. Interestingly, those works most closely resemble the familiar creations by Peterson, himself.
The exhibit opened Aug. 9, and will continue through Oct. 27. The center is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from 1-5 p.m. For additional information, phone 665-2473 or consult their web site at www.rtpi.org.
Fans of classical music should definitely mark Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. on their calendars, when this year's annual Murray L. Bob Lecture will take place in the Fireplace Room of the James Prendergast Public Library. The speaker will be JoAnn Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic.
Ms. Falletta, who has been reviewed by the New York Times as "One of the finest conductors of her generation," has been the director of the Buffalo Orchestra since 1999, and is also the music director of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, is chief conductor of the Ulster Orchestra, in Northern Ireland, and is principal guest conductor of the Phoenix Symphony and the Brevard Music Center.
Admission to the lecture will be free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis. The annual lecture series was created to honor Murray L. Bob, who was the Director of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System from 1963 until his death in 2003. Ms. Falletta's lecture will be the ninth consecutive lecture.
One of the brightest lights in the local arts scene, the Jamestown Concert Association each year presents a concert series in Jamestown, performed by high-quality professional musicians. Four of this year's series of six will be performed at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, at the intersection of Fourth and Main streets, in downtown Jamestown. The two remaining concerts, performed by Symphoria, the newly named reincarnation of the Syracuse Symphony, on Dec. 4 and April 10, will take place at the Reg Lenna Civic Center, on East Third Street, in Jamestown.
The series is made possible, at its affordable rates, by an all-volunteer board of directors, and the generosity of St. Luke's in allowing the performances. The 2013-14 season will include these:
Anyone purchasing a 2013-14 season membership in JCA may also attend every concert in the same year's series of concerts by the Warren Concert Association. Students age 18 and younger will be admitted free of charge, if accompanied by an adult member, or individual paying full individual membership.
An individual ticket for one of the Civic Center concerts costs $25. For one of the concerts at St. Luke's, the cost is $20. For students older than age 18, the individual admission is $7.50. Season membership for adults costs $95. For those age 65 or older, the cost is $80. Those willing to go beyond the bare minimum for the community's arts scene may join one of these categories: patrons are $125 and up, sponsors are $250 and up, and include admission for two individuals to each concert, benefactors are $500 and up, and include season admissions for four people, and sustainers are $750 and up, and also include four season admissions. Naturally, anyone able to make an additional donation will be valued, with joy, and without reservation.
Join the association by mail by sending your check to Jamestown Concert Assn., 315 N. Main St. Suite 200, Jamestown, NY 14701. Phone the organization at 487-1522. Check out their website at www.jamestownconcertassociation.org.
The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is equipped for the public to enjoy live performances in high definition from the stage of New York City's Metropolitan Opera. Enjoy the singing at the same moment as the audience in Manhattan, and see the world famous singers up close, plus interviews with performers and technical artists. Here is the coming season:
Keeping in mind that top priced seats at the Met can run you around $1,000 per performance, admission to the entire season of 10 operas at Fredonia can be purchased for $175. Individual admissions cost $20, with reductions for members of the opera house, and for students, with I.D.
For details or to purchase tickets, go to their website at www.fredopera.org, or phone 679-1891.
The Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown has been putting on colorful and exciting productions of community theater since 1936. The company has maintained the policy of presenting the final production of each season during the autumn of the following year. The musical "Spamalot," based on the popular film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," will be performed Oct. 11-20. Those who purchased membership for the 2012-13 season are entitled to attend a performance of this production without additional charge. Those who buy season memberships for the 2013-14 season will be admitted to the musical as a bonus, to thank you for your support.
The new season ticket will include these productions:
Not included in the season ticket, but available to season members at reduced cost, a holiday show by the theatre's young performing organization, the Junior Guilders: "Once Upon a Christmas."
That's four musical shows and two light comedies. Single admissions are $20. A season ticket is $65 for the general public, $60 for members age 60 and older, and $30 for full-time students of age 22 or younger. A double membership may be purchased for $130. A ticket good for any three shows may be purchased for $50. Those wishing to do a bit more for a good cause may become an individual patron, for $75, and a double patron or a commercial patron may purchase a pair of tickets for $150. All of these prices may be reduced by $5 if paid in full by Sept. 30. Payment may be made in cash, by check, or with VISA or MASTERCARD. Those who sign up friends as members may earn a free pass, to bring a companion to the performance of one's choice.
The theatre is located at 18 E. Second St., in downtown Jamestown. Phone them at 483-1095.
This year, the Rockefeller Arts Center, at the State University of New York at Fredonia has been joined to the School of Music, the Department of Theatre and Dance, and the Department of Visual Arts and New Media, to create the brand new College of Visual and Performing Arts. They have recently announced their autumn, 2013 season of performances and presentations, and we're able at this time to announce those in September and October:
Admission for these productions ranges in price from free of charge to a maximum of $20. Most with admission charges have reductions for younger audience members. For specific information, phone 673-3501.
We know, we're just scratching the surface, but it's a good start. This county is alive with the arts, ranging from the light to the profoundly meaningful, and they're right out there, with a minimum of effort.