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Dragana Kršenković Brković is a writer from Podgorica, Montenegro, who is in NYC as an Inbound Resident from March 19 – April 18, 2014.
CURRENT INBOUND RESIDENT
 


James Yakimicki is a NYC-based artist who is in Bangkok, Thailand, as an apexart Outbound Resident from March 1 – 30, 2014.
CURRENT OUTBOUND RESIDENT

The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music (New School Jazz) is a part of The New School University. It is located in lower Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. This music and educational community prepares vocal and instrumental performer in Jazz and Contemporary Music.

Joel Petler, who is a New School Jazz’s student, presented his senior recital at the Arnhold Hall. Playing guitar, he introduced his band at the beginning of the concert  – J. Villanueva (trumpet), I. Rosser (saxophone), J. Lemetyinen and M. Rauh (trombone), Y. Taubenhouse (piano), C. McGee (bass), and M. Hojnacki (drums).

Five Joel Petler’s recent compositions and original works performed by the band showed that his Jazz music has been mixed with his experimental electronic music.

Although this concert is still the proving ground for these young people the Joel’s songs accurately representing the music and spirit of our time in many ways.

New York is the city that offers many surprises to its residents and visitors. The Sunday afternoon solo organ recital at the Saint Thomas Church took me by surprise.

When I entered the Saint Thomas Church, located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street, music already filled that huge space – the beautiful melody climbed to the ceiling and fell to a few believers sitting at pews and listening to in silence.

Works by Bach and some other composers played on the St. Thomas organ aroused the impression as they reflect the peaceful and contemplative atmosphere of the Church.

This stunning music full of power and energy was irresistible. It was a truly dazzling concert.

The Museum of American Finance is only public museum in the US dedicated to finance, entrepreneurship and the open market system. It is located in narrow and short but famous Wall Street, in the heart of the Financial District of Manhattan.

This museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Its permanent exhibits include collections of financial documents and objects about financial market, history of money, banking in America, etc.

Visiting this museum, one can get to know the American rich financial and economic history.

There’s the Federal Hall in the Wall Street area.

Trinity Church is located at Wall Street and Broadway.

 Charging Bull by Arturo Di Modica is iconic Wall Street statue.

This statue titled “Immigrants” is at the Battery Park.

IFC Center, formerly the Waverly Theatre, is an art house movie theater in Greenwich Village in New York City.

I recently went to this theater to watch the documentary movie titled “Finding Vivian Maier” by John Maloof.

This Chicago historian, collector and documentary filmmaker has discovered photographs taken by Vivian Maier, a professional nanny in Chicago’s North Shore, at an auction. He knew nothing about a woman who took over 100,000 images from the 1950s through the 1990s. Maloof soon realized that Vivian didn’t show her photos to anybody.

At that moment two stories unearth in the movie - one about the person behind the photos offering a portrait of a woman who left a great legacy and the second about attractive life in front of her camera that disappeared forever.

Thanks to John Maloof’s effort, Vivian’s great photographs have become shown in galleries all around the world and she has been recognized as one of the most important photographers of the 20th century.

Finding Vivian Maier” is a fascinating story of obsession – of Vivian Maier with taking photographs and of John Maloof with her work.

 La MaMa Experimental Theater is located at the East Village, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. For decades this theater is dedicated to new tendencies in a theater, as well as and to the artists who want to explore new ideas in a theater, and translate them into a theatrical language.

New performance titled Lissabon by Bulgarian writer  Zachary Karabashliev has been performed on this off-off Broadway stage during March and April.

I was very happy that two experimental playwrites, Theresa Buchheister and Jeff Jones, joined me for “Lissabon”.

Based on the Samuel Beckett’s tragic point of view on human nature, the performance explores the man’s knowledge and possibility to recognize reality when he/she lives in. This bitter story plays with characters immersion in their own heads and thoughts offering comedy passages in many dialogues and scenes.

Ellen Stewart, the founder, artistic director and producer of La MaMa Experimental Theater.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located at the New York City’s Fifth Avenue, along the Manhattan’s Museum Mile, has so large art collections that I have needed to visit the museum a couple of times.

On recently Saturday afternoon I was happy that Rosemary O’Neill, an Associate Professor of Art History at Parsons School for design, joined me for visiting the exhibition of contemporary Chinese art.

After spending some time in the Great Hall Balcony  listening to music and chatting, we went to the Florence and Herbert Irving Asian Wing with the collection of Asian art.

Rosemary gave to me a short history of the exhibition “Ink Art: Part as Present in Contemporary China” explaining the significance of aesthetic and technical attributes in some presented works.

Rosemary special pointed out the importance of perfect harmony of different aspects of yin and yang in which Chinese gardens have been arranged for centuries.

The installation “Written Word: Book from the Sky” by Xu Bing (1955) is one of the most well known works of contemporary Chinese art. According to the presented plaque the Xu’s desire was “to create an environment that immerse the viewer in a sea of imaginary words” so an open book was spread across the floor, the ceiling, and on a vertical panel along the walls. Since now this installation has been exhibited in many museums in the world.

At the end, Rosemary and I also visited certain gallery installations, such as those of the Japanese paintings, woodblock prints, and contemporary works of art.

 

When the Regional Amtrak train left the Penn Station from New York City to Washington DC, which was my destination from Friday through Sunday last week, it passed through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, and through cities Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore.

While the train went further, a landscape changed all the time. Villages and small towns, fields and forests, trees in bloom, ponds, and rivers remained behind the train… One part of the way the train drove along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean…

Washington in spring is a gorgeous city. When I arrived I could see that all trees were in their peak bloom period so the warm weather and thousands of trees covered by white and pink petals made almost spectacular image of the city.

Washington D.C. got another look on Saturday morning. It was a Peak Bloom Date for a couple of thousands cherry trees lining Washington DC’s Tidal Basin and the Lincoln Memorial so the Cherry Blossom Festival could traditionally be held on its paths. The people gathered from very early hours enjoying in the blossom, walks, bike tours or in a leisurely setting.

The Cherry Blossom season also filled the Constitutional Avenue with performers, an orchestra and more than ten meters tall doll. The Pennsylvania Avenue was temporarily turned into a pedestrian zone with numerous stands which offered to the people food and music.

The historic buildings of Washington, DC preserve the past and offer an attractive glimpse in its architecture styles through centuries.

Thanks to courtesy and kind invitation of a poet and professor Casey Smith, I could visit “The Poetry Reading Evening”, held on the second floor of the Black Squirrel Bar in Adams Morgan, and the Corcoran Gallery & College of Art and Design.

DC Poetry reading series figures the contemporary American poetry by both established and emerging poets. This series attempts to promote some of the alternative, avant-garde, experimental, innovative or non-mainstream poetry activity in D.C. On Friday night Alyse Knorr, Kate Partridge, Tony Mancus, and the others read their verses in an open and friendly atmosphere at the Black Squirrel.

On sunny Saturday I had the privilege of visiting the Corcoran Gallery  &  College of Art and Design guided by Casey Smith.

The Corcoran Gallery houses three floors of 19th and 20th century art. The Gallery is known by displaying an outstanding collection of American paintings, furniture, textiles, and ceramics. The permanent collection includes some beautiful portraits.

There is an interesting tree as the Corcoran student’s art project in front of the Gallery.

The Capitol Steps, an American political satire group, presented its performance at the Ronald Reagan and International Trade Center on Saturday night. The performance was held at the Amphitheater of the Ronald Reagan Building.

The ensemble used a minimal set - the troupe’s name, a couple of microphones, and a pianist. The show was full of sight gags — glasses, cheap wigs, songs… According to laughing, the audience in a hall and on a balcony enjoyed very much that night.

The Library of Congress and the Folger Shakespeare Library are my favorite places in Washington DC. Especially, their Old Reading Rooms.

The stained glass window at the Folger Old Reading Room, depicting the Seven Ages of Man from As You Like It, is one of the most exceptional stained glasses I have seen in the US.

On a recent Wednesday morning I visit City Island.

As soon as the 6 train emerged from a tunnel a landscape of the Bronx appeared in front of me. I was looking at the long rows of homes, factory chimneys, wide highways … All the Bronx’s buildings were constructed by dark brown bricks so despite the Sun the entire area had a gloomy look.

I moved to the bus B 29 at the last Pelham Bay Park subway station. Now the bus drove up through a wood stretching on both sides of the road.

City Island is a quiet place with small homes, lots of birch, fir and elm, and nice courtyards.

The exterior walls of some homes were covered in unusual ways.

City Island used to be a fishing village so there were many boats on the beach. There were a few shops on the main street too.

Midday silence suddenly was disrupted by long ringing of the church bells. When ringing fell to a silence, it could be heard something unusual – music. The pleasant melody echoed above the roofs of the island homes for ten minutes.

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The Pelham Cemetery is placed on the east coast. Its gravestones watch over the sloping hill towards the water. They are mute witnesses of the history and life of City Island.

Despite the heavy rain and cold weather, over 400 people gathered in the great hall of the Bell House in Brooklyn. The evening was hosted by Peter Aguero in a very relaxed and, at times, joyous atmosphere.

The basic idea of The Moth Story Slam is true story told live. So each the Moth’s performance offers the opportunity to the people who decide to show up on stage to share their experience with the audience in the hall. In that way a story becomes the center of every show.

On Monday evening one theme was given to ten participants – it was a celebration. The storytellers told different stories on the Ball House’s stage. Some of them were very funny, the other captivated the audience with a heartbreaking note of their stories, the third forced viewers to laugh … It turned out that most of the storytellers found good stories, shaping and presenting them very well.

It was an event in which the audience could hear true stories told by New Yorkers frankly and openly.

Apr 8

dragana-apexart

“In woods, we’re misled by leaves or play of sunlight” is the exhibition motto taken from the John Cage’s statement made in Plate II of the “Mushroom Book” (1972). This maxim could be seen as a central point of the Cage’s visual art practice.

The exhibition “By leaves or play of sunlight – John Cage: Artist and Naturalist” is presented at the Horticultural Society of New York. It offers to visitors the Cage’s plant-inspired artworks from the “Mushroom Book” project.

The best known for his composition 4’33”, which consists of four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence, Cage created a literary and visual representation of mushroom foraging in his “Mushroom Book”. He believed that noticing mushrooms and noticing sounds in music were related skills.

“Mushroom Book” is a portfolio of ten lithographs created by Cage. He wrote that his intention was “to encourage the viewer to read transcript and then search for the text within the lithograph, as one hunt for mushrooms in the forest”.

The show also includes a series of handmade papers made with ingredients from the artist’s macrobiotic diet - snow peas, black beans, and peppers. “Make a book that’s edible” is Cage’s sentence that can be read in Plate IX of the “Mushroom Book”.

“Edible Drawings” (1990)

Apr 8

dragana-apexart

The Cloisters Museum is a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. As a twentieth-century museum designed in the Gothic architecture’s style, the Cloisters are committed to the art of medieval Europe.

I took the 1 train and after half an hour I arrived in Upper Manhattan and the Fort Tryon Park. It was beautiful Sunday afternoon with plenty of sunshine and warmth and the park was full of visitors.

Visiting the Cloisters is like traveling in time to medieval Europe without leaving New York City. This museum restores European castles, abbeys and monasteries and is surrounded by a beautiful and quiet park.

This museum offers to visitors an outstanding collection of statues, paintings, stained glass windows and tapestries.

Out of everything there, my favorites were the medieval books.

There’s a beautiful view of the Hudson River and the Fort Lee Historic Park right across the museum.

Apr 8

dragana-apexart

It was a cloudy cold day when I went to visit Central Park, one of the most famous urban parks in the world. This huge recreational area with several lakes, fountains, theaters, tennis courts, numerous playgrounds and baseball fields is located in the center of Manhattan. It is also a home of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

It is the nation’s first public park. Its landscape architecture with large meadows, lakes and hills was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in the 19th century. Their goal was to create a place where people could relax and meditate.

Walking around the park, I could see many walkers. People and children took advantage of the spring weather and went out to the park to ride and for fun. A man sat on the bank of the lake and sketched in his block. Despite the cold weather a couple of women took a walk with their kids. A few fishermen caught fish in a lake in silence… Squirrels were running around freely, birds were swimming in the water… The Park is really precious bird habitat…

Further up north, bordering Harlem, is the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, an environmental educational center committed to the Central Park conservancy. The Center’s main targets are families and children.

Apr 6

dragana-apexart

The Mid-Manhattan Library, a branch of the New York Public Library, is located on the Fifth Avenue. Here a visiting specialist in antiquarian books, Dr. Frederick Muller from Netherlands, held a lecture titled “The Maps of Jan Huyghen van Linschoten” on Saturday afternoon. Next to the Mid-Manhattan Library, this lecture was also organized by the New York Maps Society.

Muller spoke to a group of people at the conference room on the 6th floor. He started his lecture honoring Jan Huygen and singing a children’s song that he often sang as a boy. It was a song dedicated to this Dutch merchant, voyager, and historians.

Following chronology of European exploration of Asia, America, and the Far East, Muller focused on the Huygen’s life, voyages, the book “The Itinerario” in which Huygen published numerous hand-colored engraving maps, as well as on Huygen’s two books with valuable information about the people and customs in India.

Muller finished his illustrated presentation pointing out that this Dutch traveler sailed in search of a northeast passage to the Orient via the Arctic. In 1601 Huygen published his journal of these explorations. This description of Asian trade routes became very influential in stimulating early Dutch and English trade expeditions to India and the East Indies, concluded Muller.

Apr 6

dragana-apexart

To learn why to meditate in our daily life and what the Meditation Sutra means is much more about learning the art of living with wisdom and freedom, said Yuri Dhara to a small group of participants at her introducing session in the Union Square neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.

A session took two and a half of hours in a quiet and sunny room.      Yuri emphasized that “meditation actually is reflection on the nature of self; a practice of contemplation and technique that leads to deeper layers of man’s being”.

Also, Yuri explained her method of proper understanding and practice of meditation that she has been teaching for years. She told that her focus has been on the people who have wanted to live with strength, courage, love and kindness. “Meditation brings us to the harvest of benefits in our day-to-day life”, she said finally.

The Yuri’s session was very pleasant, inspiring, and equally joyful.

Apr 6

dragana-apexart

The Magnet Theater is a small theater located in Chelsea, Midtown West in New York City. Its main stage features improvisational comedy and performances. Also, the training program is an important part of the theater’s work.

I went to an improvisational class taught by Nick Kanellis at the Magnet’s training center a block from the theater. At the very beginning Nick said to a group over 20 people that learning to improvise might be one of the most worthwhile and pleasing things a person’s ever did. Also, improvisation is a powerful tool, bringing out the best in the people and is useful in every aspect of men’s life, he pointed out.

After that the group started practicing. One exercise was changed by another in a friendly and funny atmosphere.

At the end it was visibly - this improvisational class have also been reflected by the positive Magnet’s community vibrations.