Outdoor ‘(stillness)’ at Fiore center

Jun 14, 2018
Artwork by: Susan Bickford

Jefferson — Artists across disciplines, including several from the Midcoast, will gather Saturday, June 16, at 4 p.m. at Maine Farmland Trust’s Joseph A. Fiore Art Center, 152 Punk Point Road, to present a participatory outdoor performance, celebrating connection to nature and invoking a deepening sense of place.

Movers, vocalists, musicians, writers, visual artists, foragers, an astrologer and a cook are among the players who were part of the retreat at the Fiore Art Center for four days to prepare this celebration. The public is invited to share an afternoon “in gratitude for the season of summer, of light, land, water and all of the beings inhabiting this place,” said artist Susan Bickford, who staged the first multidisciplinary performance of this kind at the reversing falls by her home in Newcastle in 2015.

“The new location is a meditation on stillness in and of itself. In contrast to the reversing falls on the Sheepscot River (where the current comes to a standstill only for a moment), these fields and lake are often still,” Bickford said. “Here there is less waiting for stillness to arrive and more intentionally slowing ourselves down to match the pace of a caterpillar, the rhythm of a walnut tree. If it sounds magical, it’s because, simply, it is.”

Bickford has gathered 20 collaborators, including Andrea Goodman and Anna Dembska (vocalists), Susan Osberg (dancer) and Susan Smith (visual art); each has participated in the event in previous years. Other participants include Zoe Mason, Rachel Alexandrou, Annabel O’Neill, Kristin Dillon, Stan Levitsky, Cody Maroon, Luke Myers, Brianna Daley, Dakota Douglass, Matea Mills-Andruk, Fletcher Boote, Heather Lyon, Mary Jean Crowe, Robin Lane and Anna Witholt Abaldo.

Bickford is a lecturer at the University of Maine at Augusta, as well as director of the Danforth Gallery. A Certified Nature Therapy Guide, she also holds an MFA from Maine College of Art and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Winner of the 2017 Maine Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in Media and Performance, Bickford has been making interdisciplinary collaborative retreats/performances in nature since 2001. These performances also result in a video installation, which is shown in traditional art spaces.

Public participation in “(stillness) 18” will include a slow walk across the land, a lakeside performance, a seasonal feast and a fire. Tickets, $25, can be purchased online via Eventbrite or on site the day of the event. “(stillness) 18” is generously supported by Maine Farmland Trust’s Joseph A. Fiore Art Center, The Power Company, Damariscotta River Association, the Midcoast Conservancy and the Sheepscot General Store.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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