On Saturday, June 16, at 4 p.m., a gathering of artists across disciplines will present a participatory outdoor performance called “(stillness) 18” at the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center, located at 152 Punk Point Road in Jefferson, 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 art center for four days preparing the 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,” said Bickford. “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 we are lucky, we catch a glimpse of the slow train in our peripheral vision, take a deep breath, and slide into a window seat. When we synch ourselves to the pulse of this place, it expands our ability to notice whole worlds of wonder. 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 of whom has participated in the event in previous years.
Participants include Bickford, Andrea Goodman, Anna Dembska, Susan Osberg, Zoe Mason, Rachel Alexandrou, Annabel O’Neill, Susan Smith, 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.
Public participation includes a slow walk across the land, a lakeside performance, a seasonal feast, and a fire. Tickets can be purchased online eventbrite.com/e/stillness18-tickets-45556697308 or on the day of the event at the art center.