Full Array of Lectures, Films, Plays, Exhibits and Master Classes Make for Robust Schedule at SUNY Orange

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – SUNY Orange’s Cultural Affairs calendar for February is stuffed with a wide array of lectures, films, plays, art exhibits and master classes, and offers something for nearly every cultural taste.

Lectures touching on topics from managing a small professional theatre to the Underground Railroad to “Cooling Mother Earth” are on tap. A musical performance by Hector Martignon and a children’s play chronicling the development of New York City’s aqueduct system will occupy the Orange Hall Theatre stage while a poetry reading and film inspired by Orange County have also been scheduled.

The Orange Hall Gallery and Loft come alive early in the month with works by Ken Butler and Gesine Ehlers. Later in the month, the North East Watercolor Society 2009 Members' Show will be on display.

Below is the February calendar of events.


Orange Hall Gallery
Through Feb. 13, 2009
Hybrid Visions: exhibition of hybrid instruments and collages made from recycled objects and images by Ken Butler
Gallery hours: Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and during events in Orange Hall.
Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009 (1 to 4:30 p.m..)

Ken Butler is an artist and musician whose hybrid musical instruments, collage drawings, performances, and installations explore the interaction and transformation of common objects, altered images, sounds and silence.

Created primarily from urban detritus, the hybrid instruments express a poetic spirit of re-invention and hyper-utility as hidden meanings and associations momentarily create a striking and re-animated cultural identity for common objects. String instruments become body, tool, weapon, toy, symbol, machine, phallus, creature, sculpture, icon, and voice. Pianos and keyboards become cybernetic and symbolic architecture. Anxious objects speak in tongues.

His works have been featured in numerous exhibitions and performances throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe including The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and The Brooklyn Museum; Exit Art, Thread Waxing Space, The Kitchen, Lincoln Center, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYCity; and in several countries in South America as well as Thailand and Japan. His works have been reviewed in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Artforum, Smithsonian, and Sculpture Magazine and have been featured on PBS, CNN, MTV, and NBC, including a live appearance on The Tonight Show. Awards include fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commission, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Works by Ken Butler are represented in public and private collections in Portland, OR, Seattle, Vail, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, and New York City including the permanent collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Feb. 19 through March 26
North East Watercolor Society Members' 2009 Show
Judge: Charles “Brandy” Brandenburg
Reception: Sunday, March 1, 1 to 4:15 p.m.
Demonstration by Charles “Brandy” Brandenburg, 2:30 to 3:45 p.m.
Music provided by Joy Zelada, classical guitarist, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Awards presentation: 3:50 p.m.

Orange Hall Gallery Loft
Through Feb.13
Lyrical Abstracts ~ multi-media collages by Gesine Ehlers


Friday, Feb. 20
Experiencing Musics of the World with Hector Martignon
Noon to 1: 30 p.m.
Orange Hall, Room 23


Sunday, Feb. 22
A Reading of Langston Hughes Poems and Writings by Samuel Wright, actor, with musical interlude of John Rosamond Johnson/James Weldon Johnson works by Beverly Poyerd, pianist; Clarence Cooper, tenor; and Greer Cooper, alto
Morrison Hall Mansion
3 p.m.

FILMS (Admission: $2 general; free all students from any institution)

“Orange County Connections” Film Series (presented in cooperation with the Orange County Citizens Foundation)

Wednesday, Feb. 11
“High Society”
Harriman Hall 111 Film Theatre
7:15 p.m.
Introduction by Barry Plaxen

Monday, Feb. 23
“Cop Land”
Harriman Hall 111 Film Theatre
7:15 p.m.
Introduction by Germain Lussier


Sunday, Feb. 8
“City that Drinks the Mountain Sky” ~ a children/family theater by ARM-OF-THE-SEA mask & puppet theater
Orange Hall Theater
2 p.m.
$8-general public; $7-senior citizens/ SUNY Orange alumni, faculty, staff;
$4-children/students [aged 3 to 16]; free SUNY Orange credit students; group rates

Orange Hall Theater is the scene of a children/family play presented by Arm-of-the-Sea theater troupe. “City that Drinks the Mountain Sky” tells the story of the system of aqueducts and reservoirs (Ashokan, Neversink, Rondout and more) that provides clear mountain water from the Catskills to nine million downstate residents—mostly in New York City. Through a shimmering tapestry of poetry, puppetry, and evocative music, this docudrama brings alive the epic story of the building of the NYC water system from the mountain top to the city tap.

Friday, February 20, 2009
Hector Martignon and Foreigner ~ Latin– Brazilian– World Jazz
Orange Hall Theater
8 p.m.
$9-adults; $7-senior citizens/alumni/faculty/staff; free all students; group rates

The members of Foreign Affair are: Armando Gola, Bass; Ludwig Afonso, Drums; Chistos Rafalides, Vibraphone; Samuel Torres, Percussion; Hector Martignon, Piano.

Hector Martignon was pianist for the late Ray Barretto's various ensembles. During his eight-year association with Barretto, his contributions as pianist, arranger and composer were fundamental in shaping the sound of the now famous New World Spirit Sextet. One of his last collaborations with Barretto, "My Summertime," was a favorite nominee for a Grammy award. His versatility has also made him extremely active in the film and television industries. Besides playing all piano parts, he arranged and produced many parts of the score for the Oscar-nominated film "Eat, Drink, Man, Woman" by Ang Lee and performed the piano and keyboard parts for the movie scores Gloria and Relativity. He is composer of the original music of Septimo Cielo, which won international prizes. He also collaborated in the production of many Broadway musicals ("Chronicle of a Death Foretold," "The Capeman," "Selena Forever") as conductor, arranger, and co-composer.

His ensemble has developed a sound which is both eclectic and electric. The group has performed on BET television festivals, at jazz clubs in Manhattan, and in clubs and open-air festivals in his native Colombia and in Europe.

Hector Martignon has a varied background of musical genres and plays both classical music as well as jazz. He is on the faculty of Lucy Moses School of Music and the Special Music School at the renowned Kaufman Center, New York City.

Tickets are available at the Student Activities desk in the George F. Shepard Student Center, corner of South St and East Conklin Ave, Middletown, 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets will also be available at the Orange Hall box office starting at 7 on the evening of the performance.


Tuesday, Feb 10
On Fateful Waters: Where New Worlds Meet Old Ambitions by Robert Spiegelman, Ph.D, (sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities, Speakers in the Humanities)
Assembly Room 221, Newburgh Campus
7 p.m.

Dr. Robert Spiegelman puts history and motivation into perspective in a lecture rich with examples and his excitement for the subject. Famed explorers Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain and acclaimed inventor Robert Fulton are luminaries of North American and New York history. These adventurers braved and entered the “unknown” – respective realms of forests, waterways, and native peoples – propelling and enacting their visions of a “New World.” As New York launches its gala 400th and 200th Anniversary Celebration, Spiegelman asks whether this is just a great excuse for a year-long party. And, if so, what is it? Searching for answers, he offers a multimedia presentation to explore what is being celebrated, what might get overlooked, and what this convergence of voyages might mean for us today.

Hudson and Champlain’s journeys have traditionally been cast as heroic “voyages of discovery.” By putting a potentially strategic region on Europe’s map, Hudson would forever stamp his name into the New York/New Netherland landscape. Champlain’s efforts anointed him as the “Father of New France.” Fulton’s Steamboat would so challenge wind-and-tide, so shrink space-and-time that his so-called “Folly” became young America’s leading icon. All three were carriers of powerful passions—Discovery, Settlement, Westward Expansion, and Prosperity.

Spiegelman talks about Hudson’s complex encounters with Lenape groups, helps the audience rediscover Champlain’s rivalry with the Iroquois Six Nations in his struggle to win a Fur-Trade Empire for Old France, and also touches on the impact of Fulton’s vision – “Steam Commerce” – on native peoples and nature, and on Manhattan’s climb to global prominence.

While regarding these trips as dramatic adventures, Dr. Spiegelman uses remarkable excerpts from their journals as revealing windows on the early encounters between Europeans and indigenous “New Yorkers.” Attendees will better understand the fateful dance of progress and nature that continues to shape the environmental crossroads today.

Spiegelman is president of Real-View Media, LLC. He is a sociologist, multimedia artist, writer and a college instructor. He holds a doctorate in sociology from CUNY Graduate Center.

Thursday, Feb. 12
Hanging Captain Gordon: The Government, Lincoln, and the Slave Trade by Ron Soodalter (sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities, Speakers in the Humanities)
Gilman Center for International Education
7 p.m.

Lecturer Ron Soodalter of Chappaqua will deliver a presentation on Nathaniel Gordon, the slave trade and President Abraham Lincoln (on Lincoln’s birthday).

Despite having passed a series of stringent laws banning the Atlantic slave trade, the U.S. government did nothing to enforce them, from the presidency of George Washington to the Civil War. Finally, one man-- a young slave ship captain and family man from Portland, Maine, Captain Nathaniel Gordon--faced the gallows, and it fell to Abraham Lincoln to either pardon or hang him. The presentation examines the reasons behind the laws, and America’s shameful negligence in enforcing them, in the context of the horrors of the African trade. Fortunes were made through trafficking in “black gold,” while millions suffered, until the election of the one man who was resolved to put an end to the traffic once and for all. With thousands pressuring him to pardon the slaver, and thousands more seeking the man’s death, Lincoln was forced to make a hard decision.

This Lyceum event, which is sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities, Speakers in the Humanities, is free and open to the public and no registration is required. Questions may be directed to (845)341-4891.

Ron Soodalter is an author, an artist, a flamenco guitarist, and a former teacher and museum curator. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Boston University, a master’s in education from New York University and a master’s in American folk culture from SUNY Oneonta.

Wednesday, Feb. 18
Managing a Small Professional Theatre by Brendan Burke, Producing Artistic Director, Shadowland Theatre
Orange Hall Theatre
7 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 24
The Ambiguous Character of the Underground Railroad: The agency of black people in the South and the Hudson Valley by Frederick Douglass Opie, Ph.D
Gilman Center for International Education
7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 4
Cooling Mother Earth: New York's Footprint in Nature, Then and Now by Robert Spiegelman, Ph.D (sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities, Speakers in the Humanities)
Gilman Center for International Education
7 p.m.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940