We recently launched our annual Visual Arts Members’ Show, which explores the theme of identity, asking “Who am I?” and “What do you see?” Today, we’d like to introduce you to one of our 35 participating member artists, Tina Seligman.
We’ve come to know Tina well. She’s one of our Teaching Artists. She’s been a Teaching Artist-in-Residence since 2000, and is a visual artist and composer. She’s been a member of Flushing Town Hall since 1994.
Tina’s art on display in the new exhibition is titled “Sacred Harp Diptych: August Moons.”
“My fascination with patterning in nature, visual art, and music has inspired projects like Sacred Harp Diptych: August Moons,” Tina says. “We are all affected daily by lunar cycles, yet unaware of their shapes over time and I have found that nature’s music often reveals structured forms found in “composed” music.”
Exploring four years of August moon phases for each piece, she used increments of 10 years apart for the left scroll and one year for the right scroll. Instead of consecutive days as seen in a calendar, the phases are organized vertically by day of the week from Sunday through Saturday.
Inspired by Sacred Harp, or a cappella Shape Note singing from the late 18th and early 19th century in the American South, Tina assigned a pitch, note value, and dynamics to each of the phase shapes and transcribed them into music which can be sung using the included key.
“Our voices transcend all time periods because we only need our own body to produce them regardless of new technologies,” Tina says. “Since I can’t sing, I also produced a piano version using computer software. The music posted on Vimeo can be accessed via QR code on the statement using a smart phone-scanning APP.
I hope this project will encourage conversation about the impact of these patterns on our everyday lives. At a time when the world is being torn apart by violence and fear, these natural cycles remind us that regardless of geography, economics, or technology, we are all connected. “
Tina says it’s essential for the city to support Flushing Town Hall “which is an important cultural institution and historic landmark for the local community as well as for all boroughs of the city.”
“In addition to a variety of art, multi-cultural exhibitions, and performance, Flushing Town Hall’s educational department has extraordinary on-site, in-school, and family programs ranging from curriculum-based hands-on visual arts workshops to world music and dance,” she says. “I am excited to be a Teaching Artist-in-Residence since 2000 and especially in recent years, I have seen a continuous growth in those and other programs, including events in the newly renovated garden. As a member since 1994, I have met so many inspiring artists and friends who have changed my life.”