Category Archives: Art

TODAY: Write On, in the Gamut Room!


At Midd, no matter what your major is, you’ve got to write. A lot. So, why not do it together? And, if you’re into any sort of creative writing, why not bounce ideas off your incredibly talented, also artistically-inspired peers? Thankfully, we’ve got an opportunity for such a collaborative writing experience, today, at Write On, an event hosted by the new student organization, StoryToldBen Mansky ’15, founding member of StoryTold, writes in to let us know what Write On is all about:

StoryTold is excited to announce that we’re hosting our first event as an official organization! Sunday, November 23 at 1:00 pm, TODAY, we’ll be holding a write-in at Middlebury’s one and only Gamut Room, complete with warm food, hot chocolate, and brainstorming sessions to keep those creative juices flowing. “What is a write-in?“, you might be wondering. It’s when a bunch of people get together, hang out, and write! It’s great for bouncing ideas around and getting motivated, and if you’d like to bring something else to work on, creative or otherwise, you’re still welcome to come. We’ll take a break from writing partway through for a few fun and interesting storytelling activities, and if you want to write but can’t think of something, we’ll have some prompts you can work from. Please do stop in for a while–what better way to escape the hubbub of college life than to relax, eat, and write?

Sounds good to us. See you there!

Date: Today, November 23
Time: 1 – 3pm
Place: Gamut Room (Gifford Basement)
Cost: Nada, all are welcome!

MiddWrites: You Will Not Waste This Time

The author, having jumped from the tree that inspired this poem, in Sedona.

The author, having jumped from the tree that inspired this poem, in Sedona.

Amongst the numerous submissions we received at MiddWrites this week, we have selected poem for today’s creative writing feature, titled “You will not waste this time” by Ben Harris ’17. Though not about alcohol (and it’s poisonous and delightful properties) like last week’s feature , Ben’s poem covers some topics that are a little less easily communicated. Give the poem a read, and see what you get from it–theres plenty here for you to enjoy.

As usual, we encourage you to set aside the mind numbing labor of your daily studies and settle down for some freshly-brewed student literature. If you feel inspired, please send your works to us at [email protected] or [email protected] to be published here on Middwrites and contribute to the thriving community of writers we have on campus.

You will not waste this time
by Ben Harris

Sun at half-mast on Sedona sandstone like a high water line of light.
You are looking through the lens at the years
Stretching across the strata of rock,
And I am dripping wet, standing in stillness at your side
The way driftwood washes ashore unannounced.
Cool air on naked skin tells of twilight,
All the time that remains
Until the aperture of this hour curls in on itself,
And leaves us worrying away at the tortoise shells of our selves
Wondering where did it all go, this life
We were rumored to be living.
Minutes from now, when we step into that car and drive from here
The full moon of the moment will sliver.
By then I will be far-gone
Into the days laid out ahead,
Like long ribbons of road, remote.
Out there is a future in which
I am telling myself
You will not waste this time
You will not waste this time
As if this life is some sort of school detention
Scrawled over and over across slate.
So it seems there is nothing more to do but
Walk to that tree bridged between the banks
And like the beaver,
Cut my teeth on the bark of meaning.
You will follow with the camera as I climb,
Bleeding from these bared soles.
When I reach the last of the branches,
I will pause, and prostrate myself
Before the water striders forever skimming the surface of mystery,
Meanwhile the rest of us stop to think
And sink.
When I let myself go and slip into the waiting stream
Your shutter may break the silence.
But I won’t have heard—
I’ll be busy listening
To the story spoken in the syllables of river stones,
Their whispers coming through water like whale song.
And in the end I will have to trust you to tell me
If falling from that tree
Did I make a sound.

F Is For Failure: Art Show Tonight

F is for failure poster

Tonight, three Middlebury artists— Dylan Redford ’15Robbie Seltzer ’15, and Sally Caruso ‘15.5—will open a collaborative show at the M Gallery. The show will include new work in painting, video, and photography, as well as a joint performance piece. The performance will also feature August Rosenthal ’17 of the Otter Nonsense Players.

We’ve heard rumors that there will be pie in some capacity.

Date: TONIGHT (Thursday)
Time: 7:30 PM. Performance begins at 8:30 sharp. 
Place: M Gallery (in the Old Stone Mill Building, above Storm Café)

VAMPIRE Play Starting Tomorrow, Get Your Tickets!

vampire-blue_lipsIf you’ve been intrigued by this sinister-sexual image advertised on your dining hall table all week, get stoked. “Vampire,” a badass play put on by the Middlebury College Department of Theatre and Dance will open for its first performance TOMORROW. Snoo Wilson’s play “Vampire” will be performed November 20–22 at the Seeler Studio Theatre, and is “officially” described as “A bawdy, exuberant, and very smart play that careens through history and around the globe, revealing the grotesque opportunists in every era.” Unsure what this summary really means, we asked Chelsea Malone ’15 and Leah Sarbib ‘15.5, two stars of the Vampire student cast, what’s really going down:

Do you like homo-erotic punk bikers?  Horny oxen? Cricket matches? Incest in coffins? Suffragettes? Charles Dickens? Sigmund Freud? Middlebrow’s Jackson Prince? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes!” or if you’re just vaguely intrigued, then Snoo Wilson’s Vampire is for you. Come to Seeler Studio Theatre in the Mahaney Center for the Arts this weekend for accents, gore, and vampires galore. And did we mention Jackson Prince?

Performances will be this Thursday November 20, Friday November 21, and Saturday November 22 at 7:30pm. There is also a 2pm performance on Saturday November 22. There will be an optional talk back after Friday’s show, to discuss what the hell just happened?!

The cast includes: Evann Normandin ’14.5*, Nicholas Hemerling ’14.5, Thomas Scott ’14.5, Chelsea Melone ‘15*, Leah Sarbib ’15.5, Lana Meyer ’17, Caitlyn Meagher ’17, Jackson Prince ’17, Kean Haunt ’17, and David Fine ’17.

They had us at homo-erotic punk bikers. Needless to say, this play is gonna be outstanding. Be sure to GET YOUR TICKETS NOW at go/Vampire/Tickets are $12 for the general public; $10 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and other ID card holders; and $6 for Middlebury College students.

Performance Dates and Times: Thursday, November 20 and Friday, November 21, 2014 at 7:30 P.M,; and Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 2:00 and 7:30 P.M.
Place: Seeler Studio Theatre at the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts
For us, $6

J Prov: A Winter Term Improv Workshop


We at middbeat are fans of a lot of things.  We’re lovers.  Not haters.

Three of the things we love most are Improv comedy, J Term, and free, open opportunities for people to try new things.  So nothing gets us jazzed quite like J Prov.  J Prov is a J Term workshop run by Middlebury’s two improv comedy groups, Middlebrow and the Otter Nonsense Players, which offers all students the chance to try their hand at improv.  For those who have auditioned for the groups in the past, or wish to do so in the future, J Prov is the best way to hone your skills and get some experience; however, you don’t need to be keen on joining a group to participate.  Any interest in comedy, theater, improvising, or becoming more comfortable speaking in public, is reason enough to check it out.

Some logistics: J Prov is NOT registered in the official Winter Workshop Catalog.  Why?  Because, somewhat unbelievably, they require all workshops to charge a fee, and neither the Brow or Otters are interested in your filthy money.  To sign up, email [email protected]  Meetings will be Monday and Thursday nights at 8 PM, during J Term.  Location to be determined.  We good?  Cool.

18th Annual Study Abroad Photo Contest Reception

A previous Study Abroad Photo Contest finalist photo, Volcan Lanin by William, Lones, Villarrica, Chile

A previous Study Abroad Photo Contest finalist photo, Volcan Lanin by William, Lones, Villarrica, Chile

When we went abroad, we took lots of pictures. Some of them were really good, and Middlebury wants to show them off. So, this afternoon, be sure to check out the 18th Annual Study Abroad Photo Contest Reception in the Davis Family Library. All study abroad returnees are invited to chat, eat, and look at all the finalist photos, which will be on display for viewing & voting (for the winning photos) in the Davis Library Lobby. All submitted photos, whether finalists or not, will also be displayed in a separate slide show.

Date: Today, November 18
Time: 4:30 – 6:30 pm
Place: Davis Family Library Lobby

Shahin Parhami Self Representation in Film TODAY

Acclaimed Iranian-Canadian film director Shahin Parhami will present on his work and self-representation in film tonight at 4:30 PM in the RAJ.  Parhami’s work predominantly revolves around heartfelt depictions of Iranian art, music, and culture, both at home and in diaspora. His most recent project, Amin, “is the story of an ancient musical tradition and one man’s struggle to preserve it,” and “is told using a unique approach to documentary storytelling that challenges the boundaries of fiction and reality.”  For those interested in narrative arts, this will undoubtedly be an intriguing talk from a director who has expanded his medium into new territory.  Brainerd Commons will host a reception following the talk at 6:30.

When: Today, Monday November 17, 4:30 PM
Where: RAJ
Cost: n/a

Bill McKibben: The Tower of Babel and the Ivory Tower: Reflections on Reaching for the Heavens


It goes without saying that campus celeb Bill McKibben is pretty much a genius. Almost every talk this environmentalist, best-selling author, and Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College gives is incredibly fascinating, and absolutely worth attending; it’s really quite a privilege to have McKibben on campus. So, today, if you’re interested in college achievement culture, religious studies, biblical literature, multiculturalism, or just a good time, be sure to stop by McKibben’s talk, “The Tower of Babel and the Ivory Tower: Reflections on Reaching for the Heavens.” Here’s a quick brief on what will go down”

In this lecture, Bill McKibben will look at the story of the tower of Babel from Genesis 11, and the issues the text raises for the modern college: are there limits to what we should discover, and what are some of the early ideas about we now call multiculturalism? The Babel story–at the very end of the so-called ‘primordial Bible’–is full of intriguing hints about how all humans might approach these key questions.

Bill McKibben is an author, whose books include The End of Nature, about climate change, and The Comforting Whirlwind: God, Job, and the Scale of Creation, which is about the book of Job. He’s a regular columnist for the religious magazine Sojourners, and his work has also appeared frequently in The Christian Century, as well as Christianity Today and Books and Culture. Later in November he’ll give a plenary address at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting in San Diego, and in January he will teach a winter-term course on “Stories from the Bible.”

This lecture is sponsored by the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, with generous support by Cook Commons.

Date: Today, November 17
Time: 7:30 – 9 pm
Place: Dana Auditorium (in Sunderland)
Cost: fo free

MiddWrites: Weekly Creative Writing

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 15.14.04

On Middwrites this week we feature a repetition prose “Venin” by James Min ’17, a prose narrative written as exercise literature for creative writing (and for those who share a moderate love for liquid courage)

We encourage you to take a break from the towers and spires of piled up work and social commitments and enjoy some student crafted literature. Please send your works to us at [email protected] or [email protected] to be published here on Middwrites and contribute to the thriving community of writers we have on campus.

Enjoy: V E N I N by James Min

 Golden whiskey aged in Oakwood caskets deep in Scottish dungeons. Crimson wines from French villages of Meursault, from 50-year-old sun kissed Italian vines and wise hands of California’s connoisseurs. Vodka from the Russians and their snow covered distilleries, vodka made with 100% organic pride. Across the aisle, sits her majesty, English Gin. Vain and pretentious, ignorant of its juniper berries’ crimes. Mexican Tequila and Caribbean rum, two Latin American warlords locking fists over cocaine salt baths. Vermouth, in the far corner, the bitterest of the bitters, sulks neglected inside glossy Martini and Negroni crystals. Of course, Fernet branca, a favourite, darkest of courage .

 Poison on ice, always poured over crooked smiles. Poison that stings your throat, like a bead-eyed rattlesnake’s bite. You swallow it until finally it swallows you. Very slowly it embraces all of us in visceral warmth that wraps around the neck, the spine, wraps around desires. It lingers in the blood, coagulating inside the cerebrum blocking life but also death (welcome to the halcyon days of limbo). Poison that sets you on fire with the toss of a half smoked cigarette you smoked lying to yourself. It’s okay; you remember nothing. Venom disguised as vaccine for those who don’t want to get sick in more ways than one. It’s a cure for the heartache, the prescription of choice for ambivalent tears and exhaustion of an honest workday. Some take it for the faint whispers of unrelenting pain; they are the first ones to go, the first victims of this silent killer.

 “Two parts poison one part water, please”

 It is always a blinding collection in a dark room, perfect for dark habits. Eight seats, stools clothed in rugged leather forever imprinted with stale smoke. Dying men sit across the plastic wood counter where the bartender sloshes poison into their glasses. It’s a rose colored bar; there’s beauty in its confident squalor. It’s a small paradise, blind to gluttony, where the sararimen of the city come to bathe in its fumes. They indulge sitting next to the most unlikely partners: Albanian daughters next to a Serbian fathers, corrupt cynics next to the French poets and of course underage youth next to their thirty-five aged smoky Highlander reflections.

Post Grooveyard Discussion, 5pm Coltrane Lounge:

bf_collageHankering to talk about this weekend’s concert? Wanna hear what your peers have to say about the show?  Come out to Coltrane Lounge today at 5 PM for WRMC’s post-Grooveyard open discussion.  The first discussion took place last thursday before Grooveyard and touched upon the artist and the celebrity, cultural appropriation, and the role of responsibility in making and consuming music and art. Our second talk will focus on Big Freedia and his performance this past weekend. Come share your thoughts and hear what other students and professors have to say.  Whether you were at the show or not, it should be an interesting discussion.  All are welcome!

When: Thursday Nov. 13 at 5 PM
Where: Coltrane Lounge
Cost: free yo