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The Inspiration Between Music and Art with Laura Kaminsky and Rebecca Allan

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Inspiration Between Music and Art
An Artists’ Residency at the Burchfield Penney, April 27-29, 2017
With Composer Laura Kaminsky and Visual Artist Rebecca Allan
Presented with the support of the Creative Arts Initiative, SUNY at Buffalo

For information, please contact Nancy Weekly at 716-878-4756 or email

The Burchfield Penney Art Center is pleased to announce a multi-media artists-in-residence program. Composer Laura Kaminsky and visual artist Rebecca Allan will discuss how music, art and literature link during a 2 ½-day residency with workshops and presentations about the development of chamber operas, partnerships, and the research, creative and logistical processes needed to bring these works to fruition. During this residency, both artists will continue their creative efforts on new works-in-progress. This program is made possible through support from a Creative Arts Initiative residency grant awarded by the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.

Thursday, April 27, 2017, 10:15 AM – 1:40 PM
Master Class in Music
Master Class in Art
Both programs take place at SUNY Buffalo State
Laura Kaminsky in Louis P. Ciminelli Recital Hall, Rockwell Hall, 3rd floor, 10:15am-12:00 noon
Rebecca Allan in Upton 512, Life Drawing Studio, 12:00 noon-1:40 pm

Composer Laura Kaminsky and visual artist Rebecca Allan will meet with students to lead workshops on composing and drawing. Kaminsky will discuss elements of the development process that include theme/storyline; music and lyrics; identifying creative partners; securing funding, etc. Allan will present a master class in drawing based upon works selected from the Charles E. Burchfield drawing archives that represent the theme of “a sense of place.”

Friday, April 28, 2017, 10 AM – 3 PM
Artists-in-residence with public access
Burchfield Penney Art Center, Studio Classroom and Collection Study Gallery
Inspired for many years by the art of Charles E. Burchfield, Rebecca Allan will paint small watercolors related to works that she has selected from the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Laura Kaminsky will work on scoring the opera Today It Rains. The public, including students and faculty, are invited to drop in and engage with the artists as they work.

Friday, April 28, 2017, 7 pm
The Creative Process for a Georgia O’Keeffe/Alfred Stieglitz Chamber Opera
Buffalo State and UB Students and Faculty free; Burchfield Penney members $5; non-members $10
Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium, Burchfield Penney Art Center, SUNY Buffalo State
Following a screening of excerpts from some of her other chamber operas, composer Laura Kaminsky will discuss Today It Rains that she is composing with librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed. The work-in-process was commissioned by San Francisco’s Opera Parallèle for 2018–19. Today It Rains is set in May 1929, when artist Georgia O'Keeffe propels herself, literally and figuratively, away from her tumultuous relationship with Alfred Stieglitz—her husband, photographer, and gallerist—in search of a more fulfilling life in New Mexico. Kaminsky will read a segment of the libretto drawn from O’Keeffe and Stieglitz correspondence, and discuss her current strategies for scoring it. During Kaminsky’s presentation, visual artist Rebecca Allan will project images of her artworks created through their mutual research and inspiration from the Southwestern landscape.

Saturday, April 29, 2017, 10:30 – 11:30 AM
Burchfield Penney Artists-in-Residence led tour and discussion
Free for Students and Faculty from Buffalo State and UB
BPAC members free; Not-yet members free with gallery admission
East Gallery, Burchfield Penney Art Center, SUNY Buffalo State
Laura Kaminsky and Rebecca Allan will tour the exhibition Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns and the West and comment on works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, Rebecca (Beck) Strand, and Paul Strand and discuss how this imagery influenced their research and informs what they are creating. The public, including students and faculty, are invited to drop in and engage in discussion with the artists.

About the Program
The workshops, discussions, and presentations are offered in conjunction with the exhibition, Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns and the West, on view from March 10 through May 28, 2017. A Buffalo native, Mabel Dodge Luhan was a writer, social activist, and arts patron. She established salons in Italy and New York City before relocating to Taos, where she fostered the work of many notable artists and writers including Georgia O’Keeffe, Gertrude Stein, D. H. Lawrence, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Paul Strand, and Edward Weston, to name just a few. With her husband, Pueblo Antonio Lujan, she fought for preservation of Native American land rights and culture. (She anglicized the spelling of her name so people would pronounce it correctly.)

About the Artists
Laura Kaminsky is a composer of opera, orchestra and chamber works, and vocal and choral music performed in the U.S. and abroad. Her scores address social and political issues, the natural environment and climate change, identity, AIDS, visual art concepts, and specific artists.

Kaminsky is currently composer-in-residence at American Opera Projects and Professor at Large, teaching classical composition in the School of the Arts, Conservatory of Music at Purchase College/SUNY, where she served as dean form 2004-2008. She was also Artistic Director of Symphony Space in New York City until 2014. Previously she was chair of the music department at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Artistic Director of the European Mozart Academy in Poland, and visiting faculty at the National Academy of Music in Ghana. In New York, she held the positions of Director of Music and Theatre Programs at The New School, Artistic Director of Town Hall, and Associate Director of Humanities at the 92nd Street Y.

Kaminsky has received grants, awards, and fellowships from, among others, the National Endowment for the Arts, Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Opera America, Chamber Music America, BAM/The Kennedy Center De Vos Institute, Aaron Copland Fund, Virgil Thomson Foundation, Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music, American Music Center, USArtists International, CEV ArtsLink International Partnerships, Likhachev-Russkiy Mir Foundation Cultural Fellowship, Kenan Institute for the Arts, Artist Trust, New York State Council on the Arts, Bronx Arts Council, Arts Westchester, North Carolina Arts Council, Seattle Arts Commission, and Meet the Composter. She has received six ASCAP-Chamber Museum America Awards for Adventuresome Programming, a citation from the Office of the President of the Borough of Manhattan, the 2015 Polish Gold Cross of Merit (Zloty Krzyż Zasługi RP), a decoration awarded by the President of Poland for exemplary public service or humanitarian work, as well as the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage 2010 Chopin Award. She has been a fellow at the Hermitage Artist Retreat Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Centrum Foundation, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, and Millay Colony for the Arts, and, in 2016, the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France.

For more information about Laura Kaminsky and her music, visit

Rebecca Allan is a visual artist, writer and former Western New York resident known for abstract paintings inspired by landscape ecology, botany and geology. Her work explores watershed environments of the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, New Mexico, the Gulf Coast, Lebanon, France, and Norway.

Exhibiting in the United States and abroad for more than 25 years, Allan has been represented in more than 40 solo and 23 group exhibitions. She is also a contributing writer for publications including Fine Art Connoisseur, and the online journal Her essay, "Mabel Dodge Luhan: A Force of Nature for Art," appeared in the May 2016 issue of Fine Art Connoisseur magazine and her article “Backyard Visionary: Why Charles Burchfield Matters To An Artist Today” published in the March/April 2010 issue, established her long-held respect for the inspirational artist of the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

In addition, Allan has had a professional career as an arts administrator, museum educator, public programs curator, and teaching artist, most recently as the Director of Public Programs and Head of Education (2006-2014) at Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture in New York City. From 2004-2006 she was Curator of Education at the National Academy Museum.

In February 2015, Allan was invited to Lebanon as a visiting artist at Lebanese American University in Beirut. In 2009, she was the first visual artist to have an exhibition, and to present a joint lecture with ecologist Dr. David Strayer at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, a scientific research institute in Millbrook, New York. From 1990 to 1993 Allan was a museum educator at the Seattle Art Museum where she developed the museum’s inaugural Art Studio Program.

For more information about Rebecca Allan, and to see examples of her art, visit