Art Among Friends: LIVE brought alumni together in a showcase of artistic talent.
Art Among Friends: LIVE
Featuring performances, demonstrations, and
insights into the daily lives of alumni artists
August 10 - 14, 2020
Thank you to all who tuned in for the week-long virtual showcase featuring performances, demonstrations, and insights into the daily lives of alumni artists! Missed a performance? Visit the links in the schedule below to view.
Monday, August 10, 2020
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Thursday, August 13, 2020
- Performance and Interview with Sonya Clark ʼ85
- Concert with Dr. Rickey Payton, Sr.
- A Day in the Life with Alison Friedman ʼ98
Friday, August 14, 2020
- Lory Ivey Alexander
- Sonya Clark
- Alison M Friedman
- Liza Donnelly
- Ethan Heard
- Kha Thai Vo (KHA)
- Kate Ochsman
- Andy Suzuki
- Dr. Rickey Payton, Sr.
- Deborah Zickler
Lory Ivey Alexander is a multidisciplinary artist exploring themes of history, memory, and identity, particularly as it relates to the complex legacy of triracial Americans of Virginia and the Carolinas. Best known for her use of color, sculptural paintings, and lyrical writing, Alexander facilitates meditations on the richness of American identity.
Sonya Clark is Professor of Art at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Previously, she was a Distinguished Research Fellow in the School of the Arts and Commonwealth Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University where she served as chair of the Craft/Material Studies Department from 2006 until 2017. In 2016, she was awarded a university-wide VCU Distinguished Scholars Award. She earned an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and was honored with their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011. She has a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her first college degree is a BA from Amherst College where she received an honorary doctorate in 2015. Her work has been exhibited in over 350 museum and galleries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia. She is the recipient of a United States Artists Fellowship, a Pollock Krasner award, an 1858 Prize, an Art Prize Grand Jurors Award, and an Anonymous Was a Woman Award. She has had the opportunity to make work alongside creative individuals at the Red Gate Residency in China, the BAU Carmago Residency in France, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency in Italy, the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship in DC, the Knight Foundation Residency at the McColl in North Carolina, the Civitella Ranieri Residency in Italy, the Yaddo Residency in NY, and the VCUarts Affiliate Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. Most recently, she was an inaugural recipient of the Black Rock Senegal Residency Fellowship. Her work has been favorably reviewed in several publications including the New York Times, Sculpture, Art in America, Philadelphia Inquirer, Time Magazine, Italian Vogue, Los Angeles Times, Hyperallergic, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, and many others.
Alison M Friedman joined the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) in October 2017 as Artistic Director, Performing Arts. She leads the dance, theatre, xiqu, music and outdoor, learning and participation teams of the Performing Arts Division to ensure WKCDA’s performing arts programmes are conceptualised, curated and implemented to realise the Authority’s vision to be a regional and global leader in the performing arts. Ms Friedman was a Board Member of the International Society for the Performing Arts (2013 – 2018), one of the largest international alliances of performing arts leaders. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Ms Friedman founded the cultural exchange organisation Ping Pong Productions (PPP) in 2010 after studying as a Fulbright scholar in the Department of History in Peking University and the Beijing Dance Academy in Mainland China from 2002 to 2003. Prior to PPP, Ms Friedman held producer and general manager roles at dance and music institutions, including the Beijing Modern Dance Company and composer / conductor Tan Dun’s production and management company.
Liza Donnelly is an award winning cartoonist and writer for The New Yorker Magazine, The New York Times, Medium, CBS News and CNN . Donnelly is the innovator of a form of visual journalism, covering news and cultural events by digitally drawing them in real time and sharing them. Donnelly travels the globe speaking about women’s rights and free speech, and has served as a cultural envoy for the U.S. State Department. She delivered a popular TED talk that was translated into 38 languages and viewed online over 1.4 million times. The author of 17 books, Donnelly is a Barnard College Athena Distinguished Leadership Fellow. Currently an advisor/producer on three film projects, Donnelly is a board member of the AAEC, and member of PEN America and Cartooning for Peace. She lives in New York.
As Founding Co-Artistic Director of Heartbeat Opera, "a categorically imaginative company, which has made its name with vital reshapings of repertory operas" (The New Yorker), Ethan Heard has directed Lady M (created during quarantine), La Susanna (Kennedy Center and BAM), Fidelio, Butterfly, Dido & Aeneas, Kafka-Fragments, six Drag Extravaganzas, and a performance on the High Line. Other opera includes Truth & Reconciliation, Desire|Divinity (Judson), Empty the House (Curtis), and Sisyphus (Experiments in Opera); L’Orfeo (Yale), and Poppea (Princeton). Musical theater includes Little Shop of Horrors and A Little Night Music (Berkshire Theatre Group), Sunday in the Park with George (Yale), and Into the Woods (Princeton). He also served as Resident Director of The Secret in Beijing and Shanghai. He received his BA and MFA from Yale. He now teaches at Yale School of Drama, Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and Princeton University. ethanheard.com
KHA is a pop soul singer and songwriter who was born and raised in the DC area. She has a vast vocal range and a soulful tone, and she sings with a voice that is often described as being smooth yet powerful. In DC, she has performed as a guest singer at a number of venues including The White House, The Kennedy Center (with Stevie Wonder), The Lincoln Memorial, and The Warner Theatre.
Most notably, she was a featured soloist on the steps of The U.S. Capitol for the 53rd Presidential Inauguration Ceremony, which was televised all around the world. More recently, KHA performed in the televised opening number of the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade as one of the "Sing Into Spring" winners, and she was also featured at the West End Stage after traveling along the parade route on Constitution Avenue.
Outside of DC, KHA has performed in various cities across North America and Asia, throughout her travels, as well as in Europe where she lived for several years. And when she is not on the road, KHA enjoys spending her time reading, writing, dancing, and catching up with family and friends.
In 2018, KHA released her debut original album titled “Retrospective Love” which she co-wrote and recorded in Nashville with Grammy nominated producer, Johnny Black, and Chris Rafetto. “Retrospective Love” is now available on CD and on all major streaming platforms here.
Kate Ochsman is a 2005 Sidwell Friends School Graduate. After completing her BA degree at Southern Methodist University, Kate spent 8 years working in the film industry in Los Angeles. In LA she acted (SAG), wrote scripts, studied film and storytelling at UCLA, and worked as a headshot and corporate photographer. She also volunteered weekly at the Wildlife Waystation, a former exotic and wild animal sanctuary; Kate worked primarily with lions and other large cats, and thus began her obsession with lions and her reawakening to the oneness of our world. In 2014 she had a life changing opportunity: she worked for 2 months in the unfenced South African bush as an intern for Youth 4 African Wildlife (Y4AW). Y4AW's philosophy is conservation via social media, film, writing, photography, and local conservation endeavors. For the first time, Kate was able to combine her film, photographic and writing skills with conservation. In 2017, Kate left LA and attended Safari Guide school in South Africa to pursue conservation through art. In 2017 she became a certified South African Safari Guide and in 2018 a Back-Up Trails Guide--always with an emphasis on wildlife photography and conservation. In 2018, she interned for Elephant Human Relations Aid (EHRA) doing grassroots human-wildlife conflict conservation work between the desert-adapted elephants and the local farmers in Damaraland, Namibia. Also In 2018, Kate did media work for her Safari Guide School, EcoTraining, where she lived in the camps and wrote blogs, filmed and photographed students and wildlife to produce creative and educational marketing for the company. Since 2019, Kate has been the Project Leader and Instructor for Y4AW in Southern Africa. Since Covid19 hit the USA and South Africa in March 2020, Kate has been living outside of Yellowstone National Park with her old dog Abby, and working on her photographic series on American Wildlife and the American West.
NYC-based and relentlessly energetic, Andy Suzuki & The Method have been making music together since they were classmates in college, and their early 2019 full-length release, "Alibi", is their most-cohesive, energetic project to date. Their partnership with LA-based producer Juny Mag has infused their brand of bluesy rock with Juny's signature futuristic production. As performers, they are as fearless as they are fun - their fans have been known to fly across the country to attend Andy Suzuki & The Method shows. The half-Japanese, half-Jewish Suzuki first garnered wider attention with his buoyant, organic folk-pop album, "Born out of Mischief", and the band soon found themselves supporting artists like Ringo Starr, Allen Stone, Eric Hutchinson, Joshua Radin, Marc Broussard, Delta Rae, and Tyrone Wells. Fans fell hard for their combination of a "velvet voice" (NPR) and their “deadly way with melody" (Timeout New York). Their next release, "The Glass Hour" was met with critical acclaim and a premiere on Billboard.com, but shortly after releasing that full-length album, the band was back in the studio working on "Alibi", hoping to hone in on a sound that pulled from their diverse backgrounds and array of influences.
Dr. Rickey Payton, Sr., a Grammy’s member, attended Howard University where he majored in Music, Business Administration and studied Entertainment Law. For many years, Dr. Payton taught choral music at Sidwell Friends School in Washington,DC. In 2005, Dr. Payton received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Breakthrough Bible College. He is also featured in The HistoryMakers Digital Archive.
In 1997, Dr. Payton along with Dr. Sheila Johnson Newman, formerly of Black Entertainment Television (B.E.T,), Co-Founded Urban Nation, Inc., a 501 c (3) organization that services at-risk youth throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area, where he currently serves as President & CEO. Dr. Payton & Urban Nation Choir has performed on The National Mall at the Earth Day Network and Moral Action for the Climate during Pope Francis visit to address the joint session of Congress and other world leaders, as well as performed many times at The National African American History Museum. Currently, Dr. Payton is the Artistic Director of the nationally renowned Urban Nation H.I.P. – H.O.P. Choir, an acronym which stands for (Hope, Integrity, Power – Helping Our People).
He served as The Music Director for composer Henry Jackman “Birth Of A Nation” movie premiere featured at The Middleburg Film Festival, Salamander Farm in Middleburg, Virginia. In keeping with his strong commitment to peace and social justice, Rickey was the Co-Founder, former Board Member, Composer and Musical Director of the acclaimed “City at Peace”, an organization that uses the performing arts to teach tolerance and cross cultural understanding. City at Peace highlights included performances at the John F. Kennedy Center, The Warner Theater and a featured story on “Nightline” with Ted Koppel. City at Peace was released as a 90-minute featured documentary on HBO, Director by Susan Koch with Executive Directors, Barbra Streisand and Cis Corman of Barwood Films. Rickey shared his gift with the world when his song “Let’s Build A Bridge All Across America” was featured as one of the highlights of President Bill Clinton’s Second Inaugural Ceremony in January 1996, and in 2008 he composed an original song "Yes We Can" for President Barack Obama's 1st Inauguration. Under the Administration of the late former Mayor Marion Barry, Rickey was appointed as a D.C. Commissioner of the Arts and Humanities for over four years. His music scores include the Emmy Award-Winning Documentary “The New Cotton Club Revue” Hosted by the late Jim Vance, NBC-TV’s and “The Sunshine Store”. Rickey has composed original music scores for "Bring In The Morning", "Something To Shout About", "Hallelujah Boulevard", "The Great Messiah", “And It Came To Pass”, "Roll On" featuring Melba Moore with Michael & Regina Winans, and the Annual Christmas Productions for the DC Department of Recreation on TV Channel 32.
For over 25 years Dr. Payton served as the Minister of Music at New Bethel Church of God in Christ, under the leadership of the late Bishop Sherman S. Howard who also appointed him as The State Minister of Music for the Washington, D.C. Jurisdiction Church of God in Christ. Because of Payton’s skills, talents and ability, Professor Iris Stevenson, the former President of the International Music Department of the Church of God in Christ appointed him as The Executive Director of The Office of the President. Dr. Payton, was then promoted to serve as Vice President under the current leadership of Dr. Judith Christie McAllister, Minister of Music and President Of The Church Of God In Christ Music Department Worldwide. Additional credits include, In 2016, he produced the Greater Washington Urban League Gala, featuring Patti Labelle, serves as Music Producer for DC-CAPital Stars Scholarship Awards Gala held annually at The John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts. He has worked with such superstars as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, John Legend, Patti LaBelle, Opera Divas Harolyn Blackwell, Denyce Graves, and many others. Rickey has traveled extensively throughout the world. He has appeared at the International Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, and gave command performances at The White House and The Vatican. He has also performed for the former President Mitterrand of France, Queen Elizabeth of England and Mikhail Gorbachev of the former Soviet Union. He is happily married to Vernita Ann Payton and they have three children, Rickey, Jr., Darnell and Dasia along with five beautiful grand children.
I took my first ceramics class during my freshman year of high school and never looked back, taking ceramics every single semester while I was at Sidwell and even spending most of my free periods in the studio. After high school, I continued my art education at Washington University in St. Louis and The Corcoran College of Art and Design. For the past 7 years I have been selling unique, functional ceramics on Etsy as well as by commission. I have also been substitute teaching (mostly art) at Edmund Burke School in Washington, DC.
Since 2016, my business has been based out of The Clay Coop in Rockville, Maryland where I had my first gallery show in January 2020. Touching the Surface: A 10 Year Journey in Atmospheric Firing, included wood, gas, and pit fired work from the past 10 years as well as a large body of new work I produced while serving as the Resident Artist from September to November 2019 and fired at Baltimore Clayworks.
From vases to planters, cups to baking dishes, I offer a large variety of food safe, dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and even oven safe products.”