The UNLIKELY DANCE project

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The UNLIKELY DANCE Project

In June 2012 I received a grant from the Artists Fund of the Community Foundation for South Central New York for a project I called “Unlikely Dance” — a series of six 30” x 48” oil paintings depicting the joyous and physically felt presence — the inherent surreality in our electronic culture — of traditional ritual and social dance of the British Isles in the unlikely landscape and public spaces of the Southern Tier of New York State.

The human figure in space and light is my primary artistic/visual interest; Anglo-American traditional dance and the Southern Tier of New York are what I know and love. With personal experience in several forms of participatory folk dance, I bring a visceral body-based knowledge to my visual representations. With deep familial and emotional roots in the Southern Tier, after several years living elsewhere I bring a grateful and newly keen appreciation of the beauty of, and my connection to, the local landscape and public spaces.

Until the Unlikely Dance project, my dance-based work was generally on the small side, my source photography low-resolution and/or found and random. I was told that the energy of my figural work needed a larger space, to be less confined.

So the grant-funded professional development I proposed for myself was to work on a larger scale, to develop my work more consistently in style and medium: to work with higher-quality, strictly personal source photography deliberately shot for the purpose at hand, and to enlarge my process in general, in whatever unforeseen direction that growth might go.

The Unlikely Dance project ended on November 1, 2013, with a solo show at the Broome County Arts Council. From there the series moved first to the Tompkins County Public Library for a group show titled For the Joy of Dancing, then “home” to the Community Foundation for South Central New York, and subsequently to the Broome County Public Library for a two-person show called Stillness and Motion.

I am grateful to all of the dancers, both welcoming and unknowing, from whose work and grace I’ve derived the inspiration and references for this series: the Binghamton Scottish Country Dancers, B.F. Harridans Morris Dancers, Binghamton Community Dance, the Binghamton Morris Men and their guest teams, the Ballyclare Irish Dancers, and Mystic Garland Dancers.
Many thanks to both the Broome County Arts Council and the Community Foundation for South Central New York, without whose help, advice, forbearance, and funding this project would never have happened.

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Art cards of this series are available only at my Binghamton gallery, Cooperative Gallery 213.
The original paintings are for sale at my Etsy shop.

Prints are no longer available.
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The “Unlikely Dance” project was made possible by a grant from the Artists Fund of the Community Foundation for South Central New York, facilitated by the Broome County Arts Council.

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