• George_Rose_vineyard

  • 2015_Artists

Notes from Mary Armentrout and John Bucklin: October Resident Artists.

@ The Chalk Hill Artist Residency outside of HEALDSBURG


dear elist,

I am writing you from the deliciously fabulously refurbished farmhouse at the wonderous Chalk Hill Artist Residency outside of Healdsburg, where I am in the process of making a site specific piece along a spectacular undeveloped piece of the Russian River. It is so peaceful, the giant egret flies by, the shooting stars fall out of the sky, the quiet and the natural rhythms restore my ability to hear deeper quieter parts of myself. And yet, I in my perversity, or wisdom, or both, can’t help hearing both the beauty and ease of this place, and the ghosts of the Indians and the hippies who haunt it, the travails of the Hispanic workers who work hard to make it golden, the massive cultural and ecological amnesia we all participate in to see the rosy California Dream without seeing the destruction and short-sightedness propping it up – in short I see the complicated layers start to mess with each other, even here – what did you expect? And, of course, I wouldn’t have it otherwise; I know acknowledging the complexity and the mess is surely a step in the way called forward.

The piece I’m creating up here with composer Merlin Coleman is called “in the impossibly loud golden plastic sunlight: surreal rhapsodies and uncomfortable laments spilling out of the California landscape.” We’re having a wonderful time bouncing off each other and making this work together – it’s so satisfying to work with a long-time collaborator who can finish your sentences for you, especially when you know she’ll finish them differently than you would! so refreshing! We’re being helped along by a large cast and a piano that lives outside in a Bay grove and a dovecote full of white pigeons, among other things, and hope you will be intrigued to come up and experience the piece. Although it is FREE and will require about an hour and a half drive from the bay area, it looks like it will SELL OUT, since we have to keep the audiences small. PLEASE RSVP to me if you would like to come up and see it! here are all the details:

10390535_901761786546175_586907018767370829_nin the impossibly loud golden plastic sunlight:
surreal rhapsodies and uncomfortable laments spilling out of the California landscape
is the latest performance installation for the Mary Armentrout Dance Theater, this time created by Mary Armentrout and Merlin Coleman. It is part of the on-going “reveries and elegies” series interrogating the nature of place; other iterations have already occurred in eight locations in the US and UK. “in the impossibly loud…” is a deep listening to the nature, culture, history and ecology of a small, delicious, but complicated, slice of the Russian River valley, in an attempt to get clearer about what the ingredients in that mythical California Dream really are, and who gets to participate in it. – And to consider how to get closer to a more harmonious relationship amongst ourselves and with our environment which a setting like this seems to beckon us to. Mary Armentrout Dance Theater is a San Francisco-based intermedia collective that creates hybrid works that unravel simple-looking things like time, place, identity, and community.
if you have any questions, feel free to email or call 510 289 5188
we ALSO need a few volunteers to help out with the show, so if you’d like to spend a little more time up here at this beautiful spot, please inquire for details
(and I can’t recommend the Chalk Hill Artist Residency more highly – it’s a gorgeous place, the people running it are superb, it’s relatively new and open to interesting proposals – if you are interested in making site work, you might really love this place, see more at chalkhillresidency.com)

photo-17and then, just a taste of future activities: In December on the solstice (oh outside! oh cold! oh all day!) I will be choreographing for Ian Winters’ Summer Winter Spring timelapse project – we’ll be on Market Street all day making a portion of his gargantuan time lapse project documenting Market Street throughout a whole year. another beautiful and complicated project – how do we make art in and about this very contested space? how do we the artists not function simply as gentrifiers? who holds this place and how? look for the completed project, with contributions from choreographers Daiane Lopes da Silva and paige starling sorvillo later in the spring.

And lastly I am very pleased to say that my friend and collaborator sculptor/installation/performance artist Liz Harvey has gotten a de Young residency for next March, and I will be collaborating with her on her project called “golden.” more on that soon!

ok, that’s all the news for now – hope to see you at one of these upcomings… Mary Armentrout


and from John Bucklin





Open House & Performance Installation, Sunday November 8th 1-4pm



Performances at 1PM and 3PM with a limited audience of 20 people per performance, RSVP required alice@chalkhillresidency.com

New Work from our Summer Session Artists
Alison Koehler
Debra Cook Shapiro
Toni Gentilli
Linda Goodman
Mary Armentrout & Merlin Coleman
John Bucklin

(415) 218 4912
Directions from the South: North on 101, Exit Shiloh Road, Right at bottom of off ramp, Left on Faught Road, Right on Chalk Hill Road, Continue for 5 miles past Chalk Hill Winery until you see a green sign for “Historic Chalk Hill”, Entrance will be soon at your left: 13427 Chalk Hill Road, Number is on mailbox, Entrance has aloe plants & olive trees, Follow signs for visitor parking/Open Studio.


October Artists in Residence!

Welcome Mary Armentrout, Merlin Coleman and John Bucklin!
Mary the dancer: http://www.maryarmentroutdancetheater.com
Merlin the composer: http://www.merlinman.com
John the painter: http://www.johnbucklin.com

unnamed IMG_7010 photo-17 photo-18