“Inspiration to Completion: Mary McDonnell and Catherine McMichael in Conversation”

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Artist Feature,   By: Robert E Martin

28th June, 2019     0

This Saturday, June 29th, from 6:008:00pm composer Catherine McMichael and visual artist Mary McDonnell will converge at the Theodore Roethke House, bringing their worlds together to illuminate the general public as part of the 19th Annual ‘In a Poet’s Backyard Summer Picnic Series.

Both are nationally and internationally recognized for work in their respective disciplines and share  Saginaw connections.

Born in Saginaw, McDonnell now lives in upstate NY and has received numerous artist residencies including locations in Michigan, New Hampshire, Amherst and Germany; exhibitions in galleries in Boston, Houston, and New York, Spain, Vermont, Vienna, France, and Iceland and awards from Western Michigan University Arts Centennial Distinguished Artist Award and Delaware Valley Arts Alliance Fellowship Award to name a few. More information about her work can be found at www.marymcdonnellart.com

McMichael makes her home in Saginaw where teaching, performing, and composing comprise her professional musical life in Saginaw, Michigan. She is a pianist, arranger, composer, and publisher of a wide variety of choral music, chamber music and Suzuki-related material.

Her composition projects in recent years include commissions from Saginaw Bay Orchestra (full orchestra), Ithaca Talent Education (string orchestra), The Canadian Brass (brass quintet), University of Massachusetts at Amherst (chorus, saxophone and piano and tenor), Chautauqua Institution Festival,  New England Conservatory, Thayer College and Delta Flute Choir and Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Gallery (double choir, woodwind quintet and orchestra) to name a few.  Catherine is available for commission on any instrument or voice.

For this evening Roethke House brings them together for an intimate round table discussion on what goes into making a piece of art.  Finding inspiration and drawing on each other’s respective artistic discipline, they’ll discuss how they adapt creative processes to transform something abstract into something concrete.

“I’ve been Mary McDonnell’s assistant this past week,  representing Roethke House as she worked with children ages 8 – 12 enrolled in Center for Attraction Summer Camp,” notes Friends of Theodore Roethke’s Anne Ransford.  “Working with limited time, Mary offered children process to product by engaging them in ongoing art work (drawing, gluing, cutting) and exposure to Theodore Roethke’s poetry to inspire more ideas.  A field trip to the Saginaw Art Museum ensued to continue drawing and writing in their gardens and touring exhibited art before returning to camp to create an outside wall mural.  Process in its chaotic wanderings was at the heart of the children’s completed mural. This is just one example of “Inspiration to Completion”.”

A lively exchange between the two women is expected, with music and visuals woven into the evening’s program. Audience participation is invited. The program includes a $25 dinner catered by Sullivan’s, with reservations required by phoning 9899280430.

This event takes place at 1805 Gratiot in Saginaw.  Parking  is available on side streets and three driveways.  House tours before and after events. Reservaions required for $25.00 dinner and program.





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