Campus News

Creative Arts Initiative announces artist residencies for 2018-19

Award-winning theater artists Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone, together known as 600 Highwaymen.

During their CAI residency this fall, award-winning theater artists Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone — together known as 600 Highway — will develop a new piece, “Manmade Earth,” that examines the evolution of society and how people come together to create what they could not create alone.


Published June 18, 2018


UB’s Creative Arts Initiative (CAI) will welcome its newest roster of nationally and internationally renowned artists to campus for the 2018-19 academic year.

SUNY Distinguished Professors David Felder (Birge-Cary Professor of Music) and Bruce Jackson (James Agee Professor of American Culture) co-direct the initiative and work in conjunction with art institutions and foundations throughout Buffalo.

UB introduced the residency program to provide students and Buffalo residents with a variety of opportunities to interact with artists, including through performances, workshops and one-on-one coaching. The CAI also hopes to enhance the reputation of the university and the city of Buffalo as leaders in the world of creative arts.

Additional information about CAI and the residencies is available online.

This year’s artists-in-residence are:

Award-winning theater artists Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone, together known as 600 Highwaymen, will develop a new piece entitled “Manmade Earth” during their residency. Browde and Silverstone incorporate audience participation into their work; in fact, every attendee is encouraged to take part in the performance. “Manmade Earth” examines the evolution of society and how people come together to create what they could not create alone. The 600 Highwaymen residency, which will occur this fall (specific dates to be determined), will be developed in conjunction with Torn Space Theater, where the artists performed their play, “The Fever,” in 2017.

Duo Axis: flutist/composer Zach Sheets and pianist Wei-Han Wu.

Duo Axis, comprised of flutist/composer Zach Sheets and pianist Wei-Han Wu, will present a concert that examines the nature of playing as a duet and will feature the works of Sheets and Anthony Vine, as well as Tonia Ko, Eric Wubbels and David Felder. Sheets will also work with Matthew Chamberlain, a UB PhD candidate in music composition, during the residency, examining Chamberlain’s innovative research on notational models and algorithmic composition. UB composition students can interact with Duo Axis through a reading session and office hours, and performance program students can take advantage of music coaching. Sheets and Wu will also present their project to Buffalo String Works, which works with the refugee community in the Buffalo area. The residency will occur in November.

Sam Van Aken.

Sam Van Aken, an award-winning contemporary artist, professor of sculpture at Syracuse University and creator of the “Tree of 40 Fruit Project,” will be in residence Aug. 29 through Dec. 14. His practice of grafting buds from a variety of antique, heirloom and native fruit trees onto the branches of a single tree has resulted in unique hybrids that bear different kinds of stone fruit — from peaches and plums, to cherries and almonds. The residency will allow Van Aken to interact with other artists in the field of bio arts, and work with professionals and UB students to develop an urban orchard in Buffalo’s Fruit Belt neighborhood.

Martin Kruck.

Photographer and UB alumnus Martin Kruck will be in residence Sept. 1-30, and will photograph and produce a series of 9-foot-by-16-foot woodcut prints of the intake gates of the Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Power Station in Niagara County. During the residency, Kruck and Adele Henderson, a professor in UB’s Department of Art, will lead a workshop in relief print production at the Center for the Arts’ print media lab. Students can visit Kruck in the lab and observe the work in progress; engage in practical, technical or career-related discussions; and assist in the drawing, carving and printing of the production pieces.

Valery Lyman.

Documentary filmmaker Valery Lyman photographed and recorded the sights and sounds of life in the Bakken region of North Dakota during its recent oil industry boom. She then developed an immersive art experience called “Breaking Ground,” in which she projects the images against industrial relics as ambient sounds play in the background. During her CAI residency, which runs from Aug. 1 through Oct. 10, Lyman will delve into the history of Buffalo, including its old steel mills, factories, grain elevators, locks and other leftovers from the city’s industrial past. The new footage will be incorporated into the artist’s collection of boom-and-bust images and displayed against the backdrop of Silo City.

The Hayley-Laufer Duo, soprano Dory Hayley and pianist Manuel Laufer.

Soprano Dory Hayley and pianist Manuel Laufer, the Hayley-Laufer Duo, will be in residence at UB from Jan. 21 through Feb. 3, and from May 20 through June 2. The artists’ voice-and-piano repertoire includes lively compositions from the 20th and 21st centuries, and they often commission new works from young, innovative composers. During their residencies, the artists will present two public concerts of contemporary work for voice and piano, including pieces created by UB student composers. Hayley and Laufer will also engage with students and other members of the UB community through workshops, readings and open rehearsals.

Performer/choreographer, Kimberly Bartosik's choreographic project with the working title “I hunger for you (1-2)”.

Kimberly Bartosik's choreographic project with the working title “I hunger for you (1-2).”

The residency of Bessie-award winning performer/choreographer Kimberly Bartosik will focus on development of her choreographic project with the working title “I hunger for you (1-2)”. She describes this work as “the culmination of my extensive examination into faith, ecstasy and violence within specific, radical religious practices.” Her residency, which runs Jan. 13-28, will include three other dancers with whom Bartosik collaborates. UB students will be invited to engage in development of new materials and interact with the four artists through master classes. The work developed will be presented to the UB community.

Helen Simoneau.

Helen Simoneau, a choreographer who has received commissions from the Juilliard School and was a resident artist at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in Manhattan, will be in residence Mar. 3-23. She hopes to demystify the choreographic process for UB students and the larger Buffalo dance community by involving them in each stage of her process as she creates a new dance work. Dancers are collaborators in her process, and Simoneau herself often performs solos of the works to understand them from the dancer’s point of view. Her master classes and workshops are open to undergraduates and graduate students, as well as the local dance community.

Nick Cave in costume.

Nick Cave in costume. Photo: Brendon Bannon

The mind behind the highly decorative, wildly colorful, wearable fabric sculptures known as Soundsuits, sculptor/performance artist Nick Cave will be joining the residency program. His work aims to bring people from different backgrounds, neighborhoods and cultures together to celebrate art and life. The project he’ll be working on during his residency, “Plenty,” is being coordinated by C. S. 1 Curatorial Projects in concert with 13 other organizations, and will include a series of artistic experiences — like creating floats, dances and other performance — as a group. Students, artists, dancers and community members will be invited to participate and “Plenty” will conclude in the summer of 2020 with a parade featuring the artistic works created during Cave’s residency. Dates: To be determined.

About the Creative Arts Initiative

The Creative Arts Initiative is a university-wide initiative dedicated to the creation and production of new work upholding the highest artistic standards of excellence and fostering a complementary atmosphere of creative investigation and engagement among students, faculty, visiting artists and the community.

Through its artist-in-residence program and its innovative, interdisciplinary offerings for students, CAI is raising the profile of UB and Buffalo in the world of artistic expression and revitalizing its proud tradition as a leader in contemporary art.


Congratulations on organizing such an exciting and diverse group of workshops with outstanding artists!

Please keep your readers outside Buffalo updated and posted because these events are more than worthy of return trips to Buffalo to attend and participate.

Sandra Olsen