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April 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Innovative. Evocative. Educational. Engaging.
Friday, April 21, 2017 7:00 PM Admission: $10 donation suggested at the door.
Blu Exchange is a new program at BluSeed Studios that seeks to provide a stage for stories about life, innovation, and ideas told by friends and neighbors in our communities, all with the common goal of inspiring thoughtful discussion. Three speakers will each have up to 15 minutes to tell his or her story, then all will participate in a question and answer session with the audience to end the evening.
Blu Exchange is a new program at BluSeed Studios that seeks to provide a stage for stories about life, innovation, and ideas told by friends and neighbors in our communities, all with the common goal of inspiring thoughtful discussion. Three speakers will each have up to 15 minutes to tell his or her story, then all will participate in a question and answer session with the audience to end the evening. The guest speakers are, Artist-activist Jerilea Zempel, Author Andy Flynn and John Brown Lives Executive Director Martha Swan.
Blu Exchange Guests:
Jerilea Zempel will discuss her passion as an artist focusing on her latest work in Brattleboro and Budapest. Zempel is a visual artist and art activist who taught at Fordham University for over 25 years and is a resident of New York and Keene Valley. She has worn many hats. Originally trained as an art historian, she was a curator at M.I.T.’s Hayden Gallery, now the Vera List Center, where she organized a pioneering exhibition, Images of The Feminine in the Belle Epoque. Later, on the staff of the New York Cultural Center, she designed the catalog for the show, Robert Smithson: Drawings.
After receiving her MFA from Columbia University, she designed and built properties for Ping Chong and Meridith Monk. She has won grants for her own work from The National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation, the Middle Atlantic Arts Foundation, CEC Arts Link, and the Gunk Foundation.
A yarn-bomber before there was a word for it, her most recent pubic project was a crocheted cover for an SUV, made for a Canadian Cultural Capital Festival in Sackville, New Brunswick, and it landed her on the Colbert Report in December, 2008. This car cozy has had an afterlife at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, on Earth Day, 2010 at the Blue Mountain Lake Museum in 2011 and in Athens, New York in 2012.
In 2016 the Brattleboro Museum resurrected her shooting gallery of guns encased in materials like mirror shards, bubble gum and condoms for the show Up In Arms: Guns in America. Mucsarnok, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest, Hungary, exhibited her latest work: The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.
Andy Flynn will be talking about the up and downs of his weight-loss journey as documented in his Lake Placid Diet newspaper column, book and blog.
Flynn is an author and publisher living in Saranac Lake, N.Y. He currently operates Hungry Bear Publishing with his wife, Dawn. He is also the editor of the Lake Placid News. In 2003, Andy began writing a weekly, syndicated column, “Adirondack Attic,” for several newspapers in northern New York. The column series wrapped up in May 2009. For the column’s material, he worked with curators at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake to tell human-interest stories about the facility’s artifact collections. A historian who likes to share stories about the Adirondack Park with the world, Andy travels around the region giving presentations on Adirondack history.
Andy is an award-winning journalist, garnering merits of excellence from the National Newspaper Association, New York Newspaper Publishers Association and the New York Press Association for photography, headline writing, editorial writing, news writing, feature writing, front-page layout and community service reporting. While the staff writer at the Lake Placid News, he was named the 1996 NYPA Writer of the Year for weekly New York state newspapers with circulations under 10,000. Before joining the VIC staff, he was a writer and editor for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in Saranac Lake and the Lake Placid News, a correspondent for the Plattsburgh Press-Republican, an announcer for WNBZ 1240-AM in Saranac Lake, and a general assignment news reporter and radio documentary producer for North Country Public Radio in Canton. He is a graduate of the SUNY College at Fredonia (1991) and the Tupper Lake High School (1987).
Martha Swan, is the executive director and Founder of “John Brown Lives!” (JBL) and is a Spanish teacher in the tiny Adirondack town of Newcomb, N.Y. Swan founded the group 15 years ago. Over the years, JBL has organized a variety of community events, discussions and exhibits, many of them held on the farm.
These include a traveling exhibit called “Dreaming of Timbuctoo.” It explores an 1840s project that involved distributing 120,000 acres of Adirondack land to free black New Yorkers — 40 acres apiece — to enable them to meet the state’s then-legal prerequisite for voting. Though most of the 3,000 grantees never occupied that land, one of the communities that settled in the Adirondacks came to be known as Timbuctoo.
Another project started last year, called “The Correction,” is a series of presentations and community conversations about North Country prisons and the impact of former New York governor Nelson Rockefeller’s drug laws on people living in and around the Adirondack Park. Those are “people for whom coming here has not been a choice or a pleasant getaway,” Swan said. For Swan, whose goal is to make local histories meaningful and relevant, the presence of more than a dozen state prisons — whose occupants cannot legally vote but are nonetheless counted in those counties’ U.S. Census tallies — is a “painfully ironic” reminder that John Brown’s ideals have yet to be fully realized.
We hope all will join us at 7 pm Friday April 21. A $10 suggested donation at the door will be appreciated. There will be a reception following the exchange.
With Blu Exchange, BluSeed Studios hopes to better our community by giving a voice to those who inspire and create.
How will your ideas change the world? We’d like to hear your voice at our 2018 Blu Exchange. Contact us.