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‘The Art of Movement’ Celebrates Timeless Beauty Through Creative Collaboration

NEW YORK—What does it take to capture the split-second moment in a dancer’s performance that sums up the beauty of the dance and allows the dancer’s personality to shine through?
Four to five hours of photography, a lifetime of passion for dance, and two skilled and supportive photographers who want to show only the very best.
“The Art of Movement,” by Ken Browar and Deborah Ory, is an art book that pays tribute to a lifetime of passion. Over 70 world-class dancers are captured—whether in midair, taking a breath, or holding a simple pose—in beautiful, frozen moments that exude life and personality. Between the stunning images, we get glimpses into these dancers’ lives: quotes about how they started dancing, their challenges and successes, surprising moments in their careers, and what dance means to them.
What started as a decorating project turned into an incredible documentation of some of the best dancers of our time. The book that resulted showcases not only the expressive power of these dancers but also the creative collaboration that went into capturing it.
“There’s not a lot of money in dance, and people really are doing it because they love it. No one becomes a professional dancer for anything but passion,” said Deborah Ory, who has long had a passion for dance.
Ory studied ballet until her teens and later the Martha Graham technique, before turning to photography in order to stay connected to dance after an injury prevented her from dancing.
Both of her daughters dance as well. About three years ago, Sarah, Ory’s older daughter, wanted images of ballet dancers to decorate the walls of her room. As Ory and her husband, Ken Browar, started searching for images, they soon realized that the great dancers of today have rarely been photographed. All the images they found were of the previous generation.
Zachary Catazaro for NYC Dance Project. (Ken Browar & Deborah Ory)
They know how to perform, they’re not afraid to give you something.— Ken Browar, photographer

So the couple decided they would take on this project themselves, and reached out via Facebook to a dancer they’d long been fans of—American Ballet Theatre dancer Daniil Simkin. He responded that he’d love to do a shoot with Browar and Ory.
One photoshoot turned into dozens, and the passion project—NYC Dance Project—became an ongoing endeavor to showcase the dancers of our time. The couple branched out to multiple companies and dance styles, with no specific intention aside from wanting to work with the very best.
In the foreword of the book, Simkin wrote that “dance as an art form is bittersweet.” It lives for an instant on stage and then it is gone. That every show is unique is both a feature of its beauty and a loss. This book, he wrote, enables us “to remember these fleeting moments.”

Visual Collaboration
Browar, a renowned fashion and beauty photographer whose work has appeared in Vogue, Elle, and many European fashion magazines, has always been a visual person. His Greenpoint loft—where the living room doubles as a studio—is filled with art. He started collecting paintings early on, he said, but found that photographs spoke to him more. A single image can tell a story or convey an emotion, a point of view that speaks to you—that stuck with him.
“Art needs to move you,” he said.
Photographer Ken Browar, co-creator of the NYC Dance Project, at his home in Brooklyn, New York, on Nov. 15, 2016. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
Browar said he’d been handed a camera early in life and took to it immediately. Capturing images was a language that complemented him. At 19, he left for Paris. Before returning to the States, he was photographing glossy spreads with A-list celebrities and models for luxury brands.
Photographing a dancer is totally different, he said. You are working with someone who is an artist and a performer; dancers are completely committed to demonstrating their craft to the best of their abilities. It becomes a complete collaboration between artist and artist.
“They know how to perform, they’re not afraid to give you something,” Browar said. He begins by observing the dancers—how they hold themselves, how they move, how they’re dressed—gleaning information about their personalities before they step onto the set. The dancer warms up, and then starts by improvising a bit.
Ory says she and Browar bring a couple of ideas and the dancer brings a few ideas as well, but they don’t go in with anything too preconceived. “The magic happens on set,” she said.
Photographer Deborah Ory, cocreator of the NYC Dance Project at her home in Brooklyn, New York, on Nov. 15, 2016. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
“Every image is a little different,” Ory said. “I don’t think we know when we’re getting into it what we want to capture, but we know when we capture it. Sometimes it’s something that surprises us.”
Browar has a lot he tries to do with the pictures. He tries to capture the artists and show them as celebrities. Sometimes the image tells a story, but that isn’t necessarily the idea behind it. “It’s not just the movement, but I want you to understand a little bit of the weaknesses and strengths within the subject we’re looking at,” Browar said.
The dancer will try a couple of things, the photographers will make some suggestions, and together the artists are fine-tuning the performance until they get three or four shots that everyone is happy with.
“They are as tough as we are on precision of what they want,” Browar said. “You are shooting lines, and in dance, it’s very precise. They’re very conscious of where the hand is, where the foot is. … It can be quite intense with dancers, in a good way.”
It was also a process of learning to work together for Browar and Ory.
“I didn’t understand that collaboration between certain photographers, when you see two names on a photo,” Browar said.
“Being a photographer, you’re really by yourself,” he said. There may be assistants and others on set, but the work is usually really done by just one person. So they started out with two cameras, and eventually moved to just one camera, getting past working around each other to using each other’s strengths to their advantage and supporting each other. It became a pleasurable and special process, Browar said.
Building Relationships
Photographers Ken Browar and Deborah Ory, creators of the NYC Dance Project, at their home in Brooklyn, New York, on Nov. 15, 2016. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
On set, it was often just Ory, Browar, the dancer, and maybe a hair and makeup artist.
The duo started out with a costume stylist as well, but they quickly realized that trying on multiple outfits, some suited for dance and others not at all, was not what they wanted for the process. Ory soon took over all the costuming.
Ory had previously worked in commercial photography, including portraits, lifestyle, and food, plus she worked as a photo editor for magazines like House & Garden and Mirabella. She had done everything from hiring photographers to producing shoots, from communications to budgeting, and that became useful knowledge for this project.
She would call up designers and ask to borrow clothing; dancewear companies sent pieces, and sometimes the dance companies could lend their costumes for the shoots as well.
One time, they received a couture swan-inspired gown worth thousands of dollars from Denmark, stuffed in a FedEx box. It was for a shoot with ballerina Misty Copeland, incidentally capturing the historic event of when Copeland became the first African-American dancer promoted to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre and cast in the leading role for “Swan Lake.”
They were not able to borrow the costume, so Ory did some research and found a woman in Denmark who made incredible feathered dresses. She sent her a message on Facebook, and the designer wrote back asking for her address.
“She’s an amazing designer, and to this day, she’s still posting pictures of our book and our images, saying how much she admires our work, and it’s been this mutual admiration,” Ory said. “When we got married, she made my wedding dress, from a distance.” They eventually met in New York. Many relationships have been like this, Ory added.
The dancers and their communities have been incredibly supportive as well.

The most important part of the shoot is to capture the images that everyone is happy with. It is a labor of love for all of the artists involved, and the photographers want the dancers to be able to use these images for self-promotion as well. After the photo sessions, the photographers do a question-and-answer session with the dancers to capture their stories and background. Through the project, they become friends and supporters of each other’s work.
From the beginning, social media has been an important part of Ory and Browar’s project.
When the project first began, Simkin posted the images on his social media accounts to the delight of his tens of thousands of followers. There was not much out there quite like Browar and Ory’s photographs, and almost immediately people were reaching out to the couple from around the globe, curious and full of questions.
Throughout the project, they have continued to post images on social media and have gained many supporters and fans. Even after getting a book deal, they fought to be able to continue to share the images online (which are cropped differently from the images in the book).
After this year’s jarring election week, when many were feeling the backlash from the incredibly polarized atmosphere, people were reaching out and thanking them and asking them to keep posting their images “because we need a lot more beauty in this world,” Ory said.
“Everyone will take something different from it,” Ory said. “Some people are just going to like the beautiful bodies, and some people are going to love the beautiful dresses, and some people are going to respond emotionally.”
“And some people who are not interested in dance all of a sudden discover it,” Browar added.
“The Art of Movement” by photographers Ken Browar and Deborah Ory, creators of the NYC Dance Project. The book features over 70 dancers from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Alvin Ailey, Royal Danish Ballet, the Royal Ballet. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
Becoming a Book
The idea of creating a book had always been there, but it was also sort of a dream.
For so long, the project was purely digital, Ory said, so it was an exciting moment when she finally had the book in her hands.
“It was like, this is the real deal,” she said. It also wasn’t easy getting the book deal; publisher after publisher told them dance books just don’t sell well.
Browar said they realized afterward that for dancers, it is all about the performance, all their hard work culminating in the moment on stage. And for photographers, that ultimate experience is creating a book.
They’ve progressed to creating short videos as well, which follows a different creative process and form but is just as fulfilling, and they have plans to move out of the studio and perhaps photograph more dancers on location.
It’s beautiful that you can have a language that is completely through movement [and] that is so universal to everyone.— Deborah Ory, photographer

Through the project, Browar says he learned about dance, and Ory was able to once again connect with the art form she feels so passionate about.
Dance and photography both feel universal and timeless to Ory. A photo is a moment frozen in time, but people can still relate to the image and moment years later. She remembers photographing her daughters at dance class, listening to the same music she heard in classes and performing the same movements she had learned. These are music and steps that have been performed by people for years and years, and that will continue to be heard and performed for years and years to come.
“It’s beautiful that you can have a language that is completely through movement that is so universal to everyone,” Ory said. “Pretty much every culture worldwide has some form of dance and some form of communication through movement.”
Three years later, the photographers say they’ve only just cracked the surface of capturing what the dance world has to offer.
Photographers Ken Browar and Deborah Ory, creators of the NYC Dance Project, at their home in Brooklyn, New York, on Nov. 15, 2016. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

Veterans Celebrated in Upbeat New York Parade

NEW YORK—The pop of the snare drum, the boom of the bass drum, and the sound of marching footsteps echoed down Fifth Avenue Friday, as crowds lined up and waved their American flags to say thank you during the annual Veterans Day Parade in which over 25,000 marched in.
Participants march in the nation’s largest Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamain Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Mayor Bill de Blasio was in one of the first processions. Prior to the parade, de Blasio laid a wreath at the Eternal Light Monument in Madison Square Park. The monument commemorates the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918, which officially ended World War I.
A woman gives American flags to spectators during the Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
The theme of this year’s parade was commemorating the the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, with special recognition of the troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, and other post 9/11 veterans. This year is also the 25th Anniversary of the Desert Storm operation.
The groups who participated in the march spanned from veterans of all eras, military units, civic and youth groups, businesses, top high school marching bands, along with various ethnic groups who really take to heart the freedom we have here in the United States.
People from the Falun Gong meditation, march in the in the Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Students from the Knickerbocker Grey School, founded in 1881, march in the Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Members of the Tian Guo marching band which is a part of the Falun Gong meditation, march in the in the Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Participants march in the nation’s largest Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamain Chasteen/Epoch Times) Participants march in the nation’s largest Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamain Chasteen/Epoch Times) Dancers perform in the Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Spectators show their support as parade participants walk by during the Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Participants march in the nation’s largest Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamain Chasteen/Epoch Times) Participants march in the nation’s largest Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamain Chasteen/Epoch Times) Mrs. USA Universal in the Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Participants ride in a Jeep during the nation’s largest Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamain Chasteen/Epoch Times) Participants march in the nation’s largest Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamain Chasteen/Epoch Times) Spectators show their support as parade participants walk by during the Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Members of the Tian Guo marching band which is a part of the Falun Gong meditation, march in the in the Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Participants march in the nation’s largest Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamain Chasteen/Epoch Times) Woman dressed as Heavenly Maidens, march in the in the Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Dancers perform in the Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Participants march in the nation’s largest Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamain Chasteen/Epoch Times) Woman dressed as Heavenly Maidens, march in the in the Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Spectators show their support as parade participants walk by during the Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) A band performs on a float during the Veterans Day Memorial parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Members of the Tian Guo marching band which is a part of the Falun Gong meditation, march in the in the Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Servicemen march in the Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Participants march in the nation’s largest Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamain Chasteen/Epoch Times) Woman dressed as Heavenly Maidens, march in the in the Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) An all woman Waist Drum Troupe, who are part of the Falun Gong meditation, march in the in the Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

Participants march in the nation’s largest Veterans Day Parade in New York on Nov. 11, 2016. (Benjamain Chasteen/Epoch Times)

Classical Music Producer Leonid Fleishaker: The Classics Lead Us to See the Colors of Life

Accompanied by a pianist, 11 violinists in formal evening attire (only two of them men) stood across the stage and bodily engaged with the music as they played. The concert on Oct. 23 at Brooklyn’s Kingsborough Community College by the ensemble Siberian Virtuosi included repertoire from Johann Sebastian Bach to Astor Piazzolla, and so precise was the playing, it sounded at times like one stringed instrument.
According to Leonid Fleishaker, who as president of World Touring LLC manages the group, the ensemble’s performance nearly always brings the audience to its feet at concert’s end and then the musicians accommodate the enthusiastic response with an encore.
Fleishaker notes that the wide range of classical music is just one of the attributes that makes the ensemble from the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) unique. It’s not a chamber orchestra, which is typically smaller than a full orchestra but contains a variety of instruments—Siberian Virtuosi has only two. They don’t sit in front of sheet music—the repertoire is memorized. It’s not a contemporary ensemble—they play mostly traditional pieces, but the arrangements for violin and piano are original.
Founded in 1994, Siberian Virtuosi is led by directors Larisa Gabysheva and Stanislav Afanasenko. The ensemble has garnered many international awards, including an International Festival Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia; “Music Week of Tours” in France; the Grand Prix at a festival in Cremona, Italy, as well as at a festival in Miskolc, Hungary.
In addition to these countries, they have toured Italy, Israel, the United Kingdom, Austria, Portugal, the Ukraine, China, Germany, Croatia, and South Korea. In 2012 they presented 20 concerts in the United States for the first time, Fleishaker explained, before they journeyed to South America for a sold-out series of concerts there. Last December they played at Carnegie Hall, and they are currently in the middle of another North American tour.
Despite their successes, Fleishaker is concerned for the group—at least in the United States. As he explained on Oct. 24, he’s concerned for classical music as a whole.

Surviving Today
As a professional violinist turned manager, Fleishaker speaks from close vantage about the inner workings of the professional music world. In the last 5–10 years, he says, interest in classical music has declined in the United States.
One factor contributing to the decline is that the way venues operate has changed. Previously, executive directors of performing arts centers had control of decision making. If they liked a group, they simply would sign up that ensemble as the calendar allowed. These directors have retired or moved on.
Their replacements no longer control the roster of artists appearing in venues. The new directors must submit a proposal to a board, which ultimately makes the decision. Thus, the director’s enthusiasm must be able to sway a group who may not have expertise in the arts, who may only see the bottom dollar, or who may have their own artistic agendas.
And, if the board contains members of the younger generation, who, given changes in education over the years, have little exposure to the fine arts, classical groups may not be seen as a high priority, he said.
In any case, it’s no longer a simple process for classical performing artists to secure performance dates.
This new booking system is not to the advantage of the arts. For one thing, it forces artists to find ever-increasing ways to market themselves as unique entities. For another, if artists don’t find venues, they won’t be able to perform for the public, and if these traditional works are not presented, they will disappear.
Siberian Virtuosi performs at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York, on Oct. 23, 2016. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
Classics: Our Bridges to the Past
“If you don’t present classical ballet, if you don’t see ‘Swan Lake’ being performed, people will forget about it,” Fleishaker said. Once people forget the old works, museums, concerts halls, and venues for the classics will be replaced “by arenas for 50,000 people to see rock-and-roll stars or pop singers.”
This loss, the diminishing access to the classics, is happening very fast, he said. In very short order, we’ve moved, for example, in photography from film to digital photography and now to omnipresent iPhones and apps.
People who haven’t seen this transition, who have only known iPhones, lose perspective. In order to have perspective, you need at least two points of view. By seeing where we were in the past, and seeing the line from the past to the present, we can visualize a trajectory beyond to the future.
This is true of all the classics, he said. Without them, the young cannot compare then and now to gain perspective.
He’s particularly concerned about how growing up without access to the classics will impact the younger generations. For this reason, Fleishaker’s company uses some of the proceeds from paid concerts to support music outreach to elementary schools. He wants youngsters to regain the perspective that past generations always had of knowing their own culture’s past.
“The classics are bridges between the past and the present and should not be burned,” he said.

The Colors of Life
“Why is it important to remember the works of Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky?” Fleishaker asked.
These are our cultural treasures. “Call me traditional or old-fashioned, but these works make people richer inside. You learn how to explain your thoughts; you can appreciate life.”
Consider that we use a lot of popular music—popular versus classical—as a background to life, he said. We call it elevator music, and we also jog or exercise to music that we don’t pay much attention to.
But classical music grips us, takes us away and engages us. “It lets you imagine; it can make you think, laugh, feel,” he said.
When he listens to Ravel, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, or Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” he experiences a scene that the composer intended.
Bach, for example, who composed for the church, has a certain intended effect. The “music of Bach always transferred me to a house of God,” Fleishaker said.
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The classic arts, he says, allow us to see life through different lenses for each of the artists we are exposed to. Listening to classical music by composers of varying eras and from different countries allows us to understand the way things once were, the way people from different countries see things: “This thought can relate to knowing different languages; the more languages you know, the more times you are a human being.”
In sum, the richness of these perspectives helps us see the colors of life. When you learn about the composers, when you experience in your imagination what they intend for you to experience, “you understand that things around you are not just black and white. Everything we look at has colors. We just need to learn how to interpret them and understand.”
Seeing colors is important for the soul, he said.
Samira Bouaou in New York contributed to this report.
In our series “The Classics: Looking Back, Looking Forward,” practitioners involved in the classical arts respond to why they think the texts, forms, and methods of the classics are worth keeping and why they continue to look to the past for that which inspires and speaks to us. For the full series, see ept.ms/LookingAtClassics

Cultures Shared Through Live Arts at Met Museum

NEW YORK—Live music, dance, oral storytelling, and theater performances took place between great works of art from seemingly boundless eras and regions at the Metropolitan Museum’s first World Culture Festival.
Spirited and upbeat music from the Afro-Caribbean music group Legacy Women welcomed visitors at the entrance of the museum, setting a festive tone for the full house of attendees the museum tends to draw on weekends.
The theme of the inaugural festival was Epic Stories, and performers sought to tell larger-than-life stories through art, with the goal of connecting cultures.
“In our genre, it doesn’t get more epic than ‘Hamlet,'” said Lenny Banovez, artistic director of the theater company Titan, which specializes in updated and accessible retellings of classic pieces. In the American Wing of the museum, the group put on Tom Stoppard’s “The Fifteen Minute Hamlet”—basically the “greatest hits” of the play, with all the memorable lines for those who know “Hamlet” and a primer to the classics for those who don’t.
The classics are universal: Love, joy, grief, sorrow—all the themes in “Hamlet” can also be found in everything from soap operas to political dramas today, Banovez added. And, the story works as both a tragedy and a comedy.
Actors Laura Frye and Gregory Couba hear the cries of a ghost during the performance of “The Fifteen Minute Hamlet,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
There was full-bodied laughter and actual knee-slapping from the audience, irrespective of age. Young children took to the front row for all of the different performances of the day, learning stories, new verses from songs, and words in other languages throughout.
“If this gets them really interested at such a young age to want to see more Shakespeare, then we’ve done our job,” said Laura Frye, co-founder of Titan, who was playing the Ghost, Horatio, Osric, the Gravedigger, and Fortinbras. The production is madness: Six people form the entire cast, costume changes happen in the midst of delivery, there’s a one-minute version of the play as an encore, and the actors still work to deliver the lines the way they were meant to be said in Shakespeare, knowing it’s all a comedy.

“We are just slightly walking that fine line between the way they would’ve been played with a little bit of that ‘SNL’ sprinkling in there, a little tongue-in-cheek in there,” she said.
Sophie Kirsch, in the audience, said, “It does really make sense, bringing live theater into a place that’s all about interacting with art.”
“It’s also not detracting from still art, and creating a good sense of motion in the galley itself. And it’s a good way to re-energize the people,” Kirsch said.
Martha Redbone sings Native American songs as she teaches the audience words in the Cherokee and Choctaw languages, at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on Nov. 5, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
In the space for the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, children and adults burst into song.
Songwriter Martha Redbone shared stories of the Cherokee and Choctaw cultures, pairing words of greeting and well wishes in the Tsalagi language of the Cherokee and the Choctaw language with easy and memorable melodies.
“The whole idea of Southeastern tribal singing is congregational,” Redbone said. “And it’s about bringing people together and inviting people to learn about who we are and to make people feel welcome.”
Music is universal, Redbone added, and she has always felt that no matter your message—whether it be family stories, pieces of your culture, or even something political—it has more reach through music.

At the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, the East-West School of Dance performed songs and storytelling with colorful costumes, voice-over, and pantomime.
Performers told the story of Rama, a central figure in the Hindu epic “Ramayana.” It included exile, struggle for the throne, heartbreak, battles with powerful figures and magical beings, and ultimately peace and prosperity.
Surrounded by paintings from the Civil War era, Brooklyn-based storyteller Tammy Hall spoke of the African-American journey, recited poetry by Maya Angelou, and told an African folktale of an eagle that thought it was a chicken.
“Anything that will bring people together and help us understand that we are more alike than we are not alike will only facilitate world peace,” said Hall. “The more we love ourselves and we love our cultures, the more we are able to love others and other cultures.
An African American journey storytelling performance by Tammy Hall, at the Peter M. Sacerdote Gallery in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on Nov. 5, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Good storytelling is a conversation, Hall added. It keeps the audience engaged, and that enables the story to “take you out of your everyday norm; it transports you somewhere else.”
Sylvia Bradfield-Mitchell, an associate pastor in the audience, has dedicated her life to connecting different cultures and said she thoroughly enjoyed being able to listen to the stories being told at the museum.
“To me, knowing your story, where you come from, and the richness and the heritage that you have is something that I did personally, and now I have stories from my family members of black, Asian, all over the place. It is a way of peacefulness and reconciliation which the world so needs today,” Brad-Mitchell said. “If you know someone’s story, there is compassion.”
I think this is a festival that is going to grow not only in size, but in impact.— Carol Frazer Haynesworth, founder, Black in the World

Hall created the program with Black in the World, and was able to highlight a slew of accomplishments of African-Americans that was little known to many. Carol Frazer Haynesworth, founder of Black in the World, had traveled around the world extensively from childhood and then as a journalist, and witnessed so many untold stories and what she realized was a knowledge gap about the existence and contributions of people of color.

“I think this is a festival that is going to grow not only in size, but in impact,” she said. “We are touching all these people who are already interested [in cultures], making an impression with them that also goes past the beautiful art.”
Throughout the museum, children were able to create arts and crafts, and adults could participate in discussions in various galleries.
“It’s one of the first times that we’re approaching cultural celebrations at the museums through cross-cultural connection and collection themes,” said Emily Blumenthal, senior educator with the museum. The Met often has festivals for one specific cultural celebration, like the Diwali: Festival of Light event, and the upcoming Lunar New Year festival in February. But this is the first of many festivals to come that will aim to bring together many different cultures.
The idea for Epic Stories came out of bridging together many of the exhibitions currently at the Met, like Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven, and bringing in many other curatorial departments for conversations, and working with the Met’s partners.
The festival gives people an opportunity to get to know the museum in a different way, and really engage, Blumenthal said. It lets people “come in and make a connection, not only with works of art but with each other.”
“You get to see the museum as a creative space and as a lab for ideas, but also we can make connections to our personal heritages,” Blumenthal said.

Vigil Outside Chinese Consulate Shines Light on Deadly Persecution

SAN FRANCISCO—It’s impossible to tell at a glance that Wang Liansu, a gently-spoken native of northeastern China now living in San Francisco, was brutally beaten and shocked with electric batons on multiple occasions during a 12-year incarceration.
“Some bruises remain,” he said, and directed me to touch his left rib. An egg-sized bump can be felt beneath the white cloth of his shirt.
Wang Liansu at a candlelight vigil of Falun Gong practitioners in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
In the evening of Oct. 22, Wang and over 1,500 other practitioners of Falun Gong from around the world gathered in front of the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco.
Seated in neat rows on Laguna Street and along the sides of the consulate building, the practitioners lit candles in memory of the untold numbers killed in a brutal persecution that is now in its 17th year.
Jiang Zemin, the former Chinese leader, had vowed to “eliminate” Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline whose practitioners perform slow exercises and live by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, in 1999. The regime’s propaganda apparatus mounted a Cultural Revolution-style hate campaign, and overnight about 70 to 100 million Chinese citizens found themselves targeted for arrest, detention, and torture.
In September 2001, Wang Liansu, then a 49-year-old mechanical engineer at a state-owned company, was printing literature aimed at exposing the propaganda about Falun Gong in a small print shop in Changchun, the capital of Jilin Province, when police barged in and arrested him.
While in detention, Wang’s minders subjected him to severe torture, sleep deprivation, and other forms of abuse in a bid to make him renounce Falun Gong.
Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Once, police officers tied him to a special metal chair and took turns beating him; when they grew tired, they shocked him with electric batons. “My privates were charred black, and I suffered heart palpitations,” he recalls.
On another occasion, Wang thought that he was finished after prison guards repeatedly shoved his head into a black plastic bag and choked him to the point of near death. Several times, Wang was tortured to the point where he required medical attention.
Wang Liansu performs the exercises of Falun Gong in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Despite the harshness of prison, Wang never once thought of giving up his faith. “I firmly believe that my adhering to truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance isn’t something wrong,” he said.
Wang once shared a cell with a practitioner who was beaten so badly that green bile dribbled out of his mouth, before he died the following day.
Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Wang Liansu was eventually released near the end of 2013. Last year, he secured travel documents to the United States—under fortuitous conditions— and was finally reunited with his wife and adult son.
After Wang left prison, he hoped to share his “12-year experience in the Chinese regime’s jails to the world’s people.”
Today, outside the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, he is doing precisely that.
Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Kimberly Almanza from San Diego joins over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners for a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

Over 1,500 Falun Gong practitioners from over 30 countries hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, for those who have died during the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

Colorful Falun Gong March Brings Serious Message to San Francisco

Late in the crisp, mostly cloudless morning of Oct. 22, thousands of people took part in a march meant to help end a bloody persecution taking place in China.
While the occasion was solemn, the march put on by practitioners of the spiritual practice of Falun Gong was bright and colorful. Led by a marching band in blue uniforms, the parade featured floats, practitioners clad in yellow or wearing traditional Chinese costumes, and a drum corps in bright yellow uniforms that brought up the rear.
Many of the participants had just finished meditating at the UN Plaza before getting into formation to start the parade at 11 a.m. They then made their way from the Plaza through the commercial districts and Chinatown.
Falun Gong was first taught in China about a quarter century ago, and is now practiced in 76 countries worldwide, plus Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of China, and Taiwan, which is independent of China but by treaty is considered part of one China.
Also known as Falun Dafa, Falun Gong incorporates five slow-moving qigong exercises with traditional spiritual teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. After its introduction to the Chinese public, Falun Gong became massively popular, with state estimates putting the number of adherents at 70 million in 1999. Falun Gong sources say the number was over 100 million, or one in 13 people in China.
Over 5,000 practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong from over 30 countries march in a parade in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, bringing awareness to the practice and calling an end to the persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
The head of the Communist Party, however, became hostile towards the peaceful, apolitical group, a development that in July 1999 culminated in an all-out campaign to eradicate Falun Gong. Millions have been detained, and thousands of individual deaths in custody from torture and abuse have been verified.
Over 5,000 practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong from over 30 countries march in a parade in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, bringing awareness to the practice and calling an end to the persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
More disturbingly, human rights investigators have come forth with evidence that the persecution of Falun Gong gave the Chinese regime a massive pool of living donors, to be killed on demand in a lucrative organ trade catering to both local and foreign customers.
The report “Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter: An Update,” released in June, estimates that 1.5 million transplantations whose most likely source was Falun Gong practitioners were done in the years 2000-2015. The report also concludes that in most cases transplanting one organ meant killing one donor.
Because of the total media blackout in China that obscures the scale of the ongoing persecution that Falun Gong practitioners face in China, public events like parades and rallies are crucial for raising awareness.
A woman from New York speaks to passerby about the persecution of Falun Gong in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
“It’s something I didn’t know about,” said retired doctor Richard Brooks, talking about the persecution. “I find it hard to understand why that would happen in the first place.”
Kathy and her husband Aaron Thompson were visiting San Francisco from Texas. “It’s very moving,” she said, saying that she had heard about Falun Gong before but didn’t know that the persecution was still continuing, or that they were victims of China’s organ harvesting industry.
Over 5,000 practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong from over 30 countries march in a parade in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, bringing awareness to the practice and calling an end to the persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Kathy and Aaron Thompson during the Falun Gong parade in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016. (Petr Svab/Epoch Times)
“They’re showcasing their culture while raising awareness about the persecution,” her husband said. With regard to organ harvesting, he said “the first thing I was thinking about was Hitler and what he did to the Jews.”
According to a volunteer helping organize the event, 3,000 people were in the parade, while the police counted 5,000. A Falun Gong conference is scheduled for Oct. 24, and the parade is one of several events taking place prior.
Over 5,000 practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong march in a parade in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, bringing awareness to the practice and calling for an end to the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
A Practitioner’s Story
Over 5,000 practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong from over 30 countries march in a parade in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, bringing awareness to the practice and calling an end to the persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Falun Gong is often spread by word of mouth.
“A parade like this is what made me start [practicing Falun Gong]” said participant Joe Knox.
He saw a parade in Los Angeles and thought: “There’s a meditation practice that’s being persecuted. Well, there must be something about this meditation practice.”
“The most profound change is huge increase in tolerance,” Knox said about how practicing Falun Gong had changed him. “So if I’m driving on a freeway, for instance, and somebody cuts me off, before I might have gotten angry and now I don’t even think about it. So a lot of the things that would normally have bothered me years ago don’t even phase me at this point.”
Joe Knox, a Falun Gong practitioner from Los Angeles. (Petr Svab/Epoch Times)
Knox used to do a lot of athletic activities, like break dancing and surfing, and suffered a lot of injuries. The lingering effects of the injuries went away after he started to practice.
“It’s almost like I have a whole new youth to work with,” Knox said. “All my joints healed up really nice. Everything feels like I have a greater sense of energy.”
As an inner-city high school teacher, he often deals with children that face big challenges and also pose big challenges to him. The increase in tolerance he’s experienced after starting to practice helps him to better do his job. “I’m able to be a support for them,” he said.
“I really feel like a sense of moral obligation to be here and feel it is an honor to be here,” he said. “Since I benefited so much from the practice, I need to be here to make sure that people know about it, that people don’t get killed for practicing it, and people realize how good it is, because it has such a bad propaganda behind it from the Communist Party [of China].”
“It’s not just a Chinese thing. It’s a global thing, a human thing.”
Over 5,000 practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong march in a parade in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, bringing awareness to the practice and calling an end to the persecution in China, which started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 5,000 practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong from over 30 countries march in a parade in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, bringing awareness to the practice and calling an end to the persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Max Chua from Malaysia came to San Francisco just to partake in Falun Gong events and to help bring awareness to the practice and to the persecution in China. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 5,000 practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong from over 30 countries march in a parade in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, bringing awareness to the practice and calling an end to the persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 5,000 practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong from over 30 countries march in a parade in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, bringing awareness to the practice and calling an end to the persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

Over 5,000 practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong from over 30 countries march in a parade in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, bringing awareness to the practice and calling an end to the persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 5,000 practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong march in a parade in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, bringing awareness to the practice and calling an end to the persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 5,000 practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong march in a parade in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, bringing awareness to the practice and calling an end to the persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times) Over 5,000 practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong march in a parade in San Francisco on Oct. 22, 2016, bringing awareness to the practice and calling an end to the persecution in China that started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
Larry Ong and Petr Svab contributed to this report.

Photos of the Devastation of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti

Haitian authorities were still unsure of the extent of the disaster after Hurricane Matthew plowed into desperately poor Haiti with winds of 145 mph with some communities still cut off. But tens of thousands of homes were obliterated and the dead number in the hundreds.
A boat lies washed up amidst Haitian army buildings damaged by Hurricane Matthew, in a seaside fishing neighborhood in Port Salut, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Guillaume Silvera, a senior official with the Civil Protection Agency in the storm-blasted Grand-Anse Department, which includes Jeremie, said at least 522 deaths were confirmed there alone — not including people in several remote communities still cut off by collapsed roads and bridges.
National Civil Protection headquarters in Port-au-Prince, meanwhile, said Saturday its official count for the whole country was 336, which included 191 deaths in Grand-Anse.
Sadame rests a moment while removing mud of his destroyed house by the Hurricane Matthew, in Jeremie, in the west oh Haiti, on Oct. 8, 2016.(HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
The U.N. humanitarian coordinator made an emergency appeal for nearly $120 million in aid to devastated Haiti on Monday as local aid officials struggled to get food, medicine and water to increasingly desperate communities still isolated almost a week after the blow from Hurricane Matthew.
Power was still out, water and food were scarce, and officials said that young men in villages along the road between the hard-hit cities of Les Cayes and Jeremie were putting up blockades of rocks and broken branches to halt convoys of vehicles bringing relief supplies.
A resident walks amidst damaged buildings and debris in a seaside fishing neighborhood almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Matthew, in Port Salut, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
One convoy carrying food, water and medications was attacked by gunmen in a remote valley where there had been a mudslide, said Frednel Kedler, coordinator for the Civil Protection Agency in the Grand-Anse department that includes Jeremie. He said authorities would try to reach marooned and desperate communities west of Jeremie on Monday.
Men push a motorbike through a street flooded by a river that overflowed from heavy rains caused by Hurricane Matthew in Leogane, Haiti, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)
U.N. officials said earlier that at least 1.4 million people across the region need assistance and that 2.1 million overall have been affected by the hurricane. Some 175,000 people remained in shelters Monday.
The agency said flooding has hampered efforts to reach the most affected areas, and that the hurricane has increased the risk of a “renewed spike” in the number of cholera cases. An ongoing cholera outbreak has already killed roughly 10,000 people and sickened more than 800,000 since 2010.
A girl watches as authorities arrive to evacuate people from her house in Tabarre, Haiti, on Oct. 3. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery) Residents carry food down a street strewn with rubble caused by Hurricane Matthew in Baracoa, Cuba, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. The hurricane rolled across the sparsely populated tip of Cuba overnight, destroying dozens of homes in Cuba’s easternmost city, Baracoa, leaving hundreds of others damaged. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) Haitians wash clothes in a stream in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Jan. 8, 2011. (Mario Tama/Getty Images) Homes destroyed and damaged by Hurricane Matthew in Jeremie, in western Haiti, on Oct. 7, 2016. (NICOLAS GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images) Saint Anne church lays totally destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in Camp Perrin, a district of Les Cayes, Haiti on Oct. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery) A boy stands inside a church after it was damaged by Hurricane Matthew in Saint-Louis, Haiti, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. ( AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery) A resident walks amidst damaged buildings and debris in a seaside fishing neighborhood almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Matthew, in Port Salut, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) Cecile Jean stands in front of her home destroyed by Hurricane Matthew, in a seaside fishing neighborhood in Port Salut, Haiti, on Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) A girl walks on a street damaged in hurricane Matthew, in Jeremie, in western Haiti, on Oct. 7, 2016.(HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images) Homes destroyed and damaged by Hurricane Matthew in Jeremie, in western Haiti, on Oct. 7, 2016. (NICOLAS GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images) Buildings destroyed and damaged by Hurricane Matthew in Jeremie, in western Haiti, on Oct. 7, 2016. The full scale of the devastation in hurricane-hit rural Haiti became clear as the death toll surged over 400, three days after Hurricane Matthew leveled huge swaths of the country’s south. (NICOLAS GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images) Residents clean a street with debris left by the floods caused by Hurricane Matthew in Jeremie, Haiti, on Oct. 8, 2016. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images) Mattresses and clothes dry in the sun, after being soaked by rains from Hurricane Matthew in the small village of Casanette, Haiti, on Oct. 8, 2016. The full scale of the devastation in hurricane-hit rural Haiti became clear as the death toll surged over 400, three days after Hurricane Matthew leveled huge swaths of the country’s south. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images) A child collects water with a bucket in a home destroyed by Hurricane Matthew, in the small village of Casanette, Haiti, on Oct. 8, 2016. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images) The areas of Jeremie, Haiti, destroyed by Hurricane Matthew are seen from the air on Oct. 8, 2016.(NICOLAS GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images) People walk past damaged buildings in a seaside fishing neighborhood almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in Port Salut, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) Residents repair their homes destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery) People carry suitcases as they move to a safer area before the arrival of Hurricane Matthew, in the village Paraguay, Guantanamo, Cuba, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016. A hurricane warning is in effect for Jamaica, Haiti, and the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma and Las Tunas – as well as the southeastern Bahamas. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) A salvaged chair hangs in a tree amidst nearby homes destroyed by Hurricane Matthew, in a seaside fishing neighborhood of Port Salut, Haiti, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

American Masters Art Exhibition at Salmagundi

NEW YORK—Some of the best and greatest American living artists, both known and up-and-coming, are showing their work at the American Masters annual exhibition until Oct. 21 at the Salmagundi Club, one of the oldest art organizations in the country. A gala will be held on Friday, Oct. 14, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
“Portrait,” by Burton Silverman. Oil on linen mounted on board, 12 by 9 inches.(Courtesy of American Masters)
More than 60 artists are participating, including returning artists Joseph McGurl, Burton Silverman, Christopher Blossom, Quang Ho, Curt Walters, C. W. Mundy, Sherrie McGraw, Carole Cooke, Nancy Tankersley, Patrick Saunders, and Michael Klein, as well as those new to the event, including Joshua LaRock, Joel Carson Jones, and Roger Dale Brown.

An art collector for over 25 years and chairman of the board for Salmagundi, Tim Newton started the annual exhibition eight years ago—tightly curating it, every year. “This put us back on the map. It’s a gallery equal to any venue further north on Fifth Avenue,” Newton said at a preview.
Art collector and Chairman of the Board of Salmagundi Club, Tim Newton at the club on Sept. 30, 2016. (Milene Fernandez/Epoch Times)
The exhibition is a fairly eclectic mix, with mostly landscapes or seascapes, about a dozen figure paintings, and another dozen still-life paintings. “If there’s a theme of the show, I would say it is quality. It needs to be a high level of craft and skill,” Newton said.
He gestured toward a Joseph McGurl painting that had a Hudson River School feel to it, still awaiting its frame. “His use of light is beyond belief. This is on a par with Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902), one of the great painters of the American West, and beyond,” Newton said.
“Grace,” by Joseph McGurl. Oil on canvas, 13 by 23 inches. (Milene Fernandez/Epoch Times)
The exhibition also includes a painting by one of the greatest American landscape painters, Curt Walters. “His Grand Canyon pieces are just blockbusters,” Newton said.
“Awe and Silence,” by Curt Walters. Oil, 20 by 20 inches. (Courtesy of American Masters)
Newton showed just as much excitement about the newcomers to American Masters. “It’s a thrill to have Joshua LaRock in the show,” Newton said. LaRock also had his work shown recently at the prestigious National Portrait Gallery in London.
“Narcissus,” 2016, by Joshua LaRock. Oil on linen, 15 by 20 inches. (Milene Fernandez/Epoch Times)
Looking at a still life by another young artist, Michael Klein, Newton just shook his head in admiration. “He’s just got it, he’s just got it, a real young master,” he said.
“Peonies,” 2016, by Michael Klein. Oil, 30 by 20 inches. (Milene Fernandez/Epoch Times)
While American Masters is a non-members exhibition, many artists who participate become Salmagundi Club members.
“The impact on the club has been wonderful,” Newton said. Since he started the exhibition, membership at Salmagundi has nearly doubled.
Newton’s original purpose was to have a show of American Masters not usually exhibiting in New York and to use the proceeds to begin a renovation fund to restore and renovate the main gallery—complete with state-of-the-art lighting, walls, and climate control. The Gala on Oct. 14 will help raise funds for further restoration of the Salmagundi’s historic 1853 brownstone mansion.
The first year of the show, in May 2008, the club sold $412,000 in art—prior to the financial crisis. “Now I can hardly contain my joy when I stand inside the Gallery … It has put the club back on the national map in the minds of artists and collectors,” Newton said.
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Main gallery of the Salmagundi Club in Greenwich Village, N.Y., on Oct. 3, 2016. (Courtesy of American Masters)

Photo Gallery: The 2016 Global NTD Martial Arts Competition in Middletown

MIDDLETOWN—The Global New Tang Dynasty Television Martial Arts Competition was held in Middletown this year, the first time since it started five years ago it has been held outside of New York City. The competition brought together 62 martial artists from eight different countries practicing a range of styles that originated in China.
The competition took place from Sept. 17-18 in the gym of the Middletown Recreation and Parks Department. Male and female martial artists competed in weapons and empty fist categories for $5,000 gold, $3,000 silver, and $1,000 bronze cash prizes.
Kuan-chen Chen competing in the male weapons category at the 2016 Global NTD Martial Arts Competition in Middletown on Sept. 18, 2016. (Colin Fredericson/Epoch Times) Eike Opfermann competing in the male weapons category at the 2016 Global NTD Martial Arts Competition in Middletown on Sept. 18, 2016. (Colin Fredericson/Epoch Times) Yung Tang Wang competing in the male weapons category at the 2016 Global NTD Martial Arts Competition in Middletown on Sept. 18, 2016. (Colin Fredericson/Epoch Times) Kuo-chih Chuang competing in the male weapons category at the 2016 Global NTD Martial Arts Competition in Middletown on Sept. 18, 2016. (Colin Fredericson/Epoch Times) Zunlong Li competing in the male weapons category at the 2016 Global NTD Martial Arts Competition in Middletown on Sept. 18, 2016. (Colin Fredericson/Epoch Times) Thomas Tsang competing in the male weapons category at the 2016 Global NTD Martial Arts Competition in Middletown on Sept. 18, 2016. (Colin Fredericson/Epoch Times) Morimoto Suihaku competing in the female fist category at the 2016 Global NTD Martial Arts Competition in Middletown on Sept. 18, 2016. (Colin Fredericson/Epoch Times) Jesus Aiirio Franco Montoya competing in the male fist category at the 2016 Global NTD Martial Arts Competition in Middletown on Sept. 18, 2016. (Colin Fredericson/Epoch Times) Anthony De Simine competing in the male fist category at the 2016 Global NTD Martial Arts Competition in Middletown on Sept. 18, 2016. (Colin Fredericson/Epoch Times) Chris Chappell competing in the male fist category at the 2016 Global NTD Martial Arts Competition in Middletown on Sept. 18, 2016. (Colin Fredericson/Epoch Times) Leon Sun competing in the male fist category at the 2016 Global NTD Martial Arts Competition in Middletown on Sept. 18, 2016. (Colin Fredericson/Epoch Times) Edwin Camilo Camacho Hernandez competing in the male fist category at the 2016 Global NTD Martial Arts Competition in Middletown on Sept. 18, 2016. (Colin Fredericson/Epoch Times)

Deep-Sea Volcano a Hotspot for Mysterious Life

GEOLOGIST SEAMOUNTS, Hawaii—The turquoise waters became darker and darker, and squiggly glow-in-dark marine creatures began to glide past in the inky depths like ghosts.
The three-man submarine went down, down, down into the abyss and drew within sight of something no human had ever laid eyes on: Cook seamount, a 13,000-foot extinct volcano at the bottom of the sea.
Conservation International marine biologist Greg Stone looks at the Pisces V submersible before diving to the summit of the Cook seamount during an expedition to the previously unexplored underwater volcano off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 6, 2016. “My goal today is to … find out what’s living on them, find out how they support ocean life, what their effect is from ocean currents and essentially what drives the ocean, what makes the ocean what it is,” Stone said. “Seamounts are a key part of that, and something which humanity knows very little about.” (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
Scientists aboard the vessel Pisces V visited the volcano earlier this month to examine its geological features and its rich variety of marine life, and an Associated Press reporter was given exclusive access to the dive. It was the first-ever expedition to the Cook seamount by a manned submersible.
Among other things, the researchers from the University of Hawaii and the nonprofit group Conservation International spotted such wonders as a rare type of octopus with big fins that look like Dumbo’s ears, and a potentially new species of violet-hued coral they dubbed Purple Haze.
An eel swims between two submersibles on the summit of the Cook seamount, seen from the Pisces V submersible during a dive to the previously unexplored underwater volcano off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 6, 2016. Seamounts are either active or dormant volcanoes that rise dramatically from the bottom of the ocean and never reach the surface. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
Conservation International hopes to study 50 seamounts, or undersea volcanoes, over the next five years.
“We don’t know anything about the ocean floor,” said Peter Seligmann, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Conservation International. “What we know is that each one of those seamounts is a refuge for new species, but we don’t know what they are. We don’t know how they’ve evolved. We don’t know what lessons they have for us.”
The Pisces V submersible sits on the deck of a research vessel during an expedition to previously unexplored seamounts off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 8, 2016. Conservation International and the University of Hawaii are exploring seamounts in the area to assess the biodiversity and geological composition of the deep-sea mountains. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
During the Sept. 6 dive, the submarine splashed into the water, and as it dove, the only sounds were radio communications from the surface, the hum of an air scrubber that removes carbon dioxide from the passenger chamber, and the voices of the crew. The thick, hot tropical air inside the steel sphere became cooler and drier as the submarine descended.
“We don’t know what we’re going to find,” said Conservation International’s Greg Stone, a marine biologist on board. “There will always be the unexpected when you go into the deep ocean.”
The Pisces IV submersible sits atop the summit of Cook seamount, as seen from the Pisces V craft, during a dive to the previously unexplored underwater volcano off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 6, 2016. “We don’t know anything about the ocean floor,” said Peter Seligmann, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Conservation International. “What we know is that each one of those seamounts is a refuge for new species, but we don’t know what they are. We don’t know how they’ve evolved. We don’t know what lessons they have for us.” (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
Halfway to the volcano’s summit, which is 3,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific, no sunlight penetrated. The only light that could be seen from the submarine’s face-sized windows was the bluish glow of the vessel’s own bright lights. Occasionally, bioluminescent creatures drifted past in the darkness.
Stone and subpilot Terry Kerby, who helps run the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory at the University of Hawaii, watched as the volcano and its rugged basalt walls hundreds of yards high came into view.
The Pisces V submersible sits on the deck of a research vessel during an expedition to previously unexplored seamounts off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 8, 2016. The group of undersea volcanoes known as the Geologist Seamounts are about 80 million years old and could hold many new animal species, as well as elements such as nickel and cobalt that mining companies could extract. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
Seamounts are either active or dormant volcanoes that rise dramatically from the bottom of the ocean and never reach the surface. They are hotspots for marine life because they carry nutrient-rich water upward from the sea floor. Seamounts are believed to cover about 18 million square miles of the planet.
Cook, situated over 100 miles southwest of Hawaii’s Big Island, is part of a group of undersea volcanoes known as the Geologist Seamounts that are about 80 million years old and could hold many new animal species, as well as elements such as nickel and cobalt that mining companies could extract.
A Dumbo octopus swims toward the Pisces V submersible at the summit of the Cook seamount during a dive to the previously unexplored underwater volcano off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 6, 2016. Seamounts are hotspots for marine life because they carry nutrient-rich water upward from the sea floor. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
“My goal today is to … find out what’s living on them, find out how they support ocean life, what their effect is from ocean currents and essentially what drives the ocean, what makes the ocean what it is,” Stone said. “Seamounts are a key part of that, and something which humanity knows very little about.”
Within minutes of the vessel’s arrival at the summit, life began to appear — a starfish clinging to a rock, joined shortly after by eels, sharks, chimaera (also known as “ghost sharks”), shrimp, crabs and two rare Dumbo octopuses. One of the octopuses changed color from white to pink to reddish brown as it swam by.
Pisces V submersible pilot Terry Kerby, with the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory at the University of Hawaii, loads the deep sea vehicle before a dive to the summit of the Cook seamount, seen from the Pisces V submersible during a dive to the previously unexplored underwater volcano off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 6, 2016. Conservation International and the University of Hawaii are exploring seamounts off Hawaii to assess the biodiversity and geological composition of the deep-sea mountains. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
Several types of deep-sea corals were found along the seamount’s cliffs, including a vibrant purple one.
“I need to go home, look through the literature … and also go and run some genetic analyses,” said Sonia Rowley, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii who is taking part in the project. “But as this is a new seamount … that no one had dived on before, it won’t be any surprise to me whether this is going to be a new species.”
An eel swims toward the Pisces V submersible at the summit of the Cook seamount during a dive off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 6, 2016. Seamounts are either active or dormant volcanoes that rise dramatically from the bottom of the ocean and never reach the surface. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
Two other seamounts were studied over three days of expeditions: McCall, home to a large number of small deep-sea sharks, and Lo’ihi, an active volcano.
Lo’Ihi has been extensively surveyed by manned submersibles over the past 30 years. The past few times Kerby was there, he saw a large Pacific sleeper shark lurking about the volcano’s crater.
Deep sea coral sits at the summit of the Cook seamount, seen from the Pisces V submersible during a dive to the previously unexplored underwater volcano off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 6, 2016. Seamounts are believed to cover about 18 million square miles of the planet. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
As hot vents shot out volcanic gases around them, the team released bait in the water and the 7-foot shark appeared in front of the submarine. Kerby was delighted to see his “old friend.”
The team also saw 6-foot eels and a number of new geological formations around the crater. Scientists say Lo’ihi is likely to someday become the newest island in the Hawaii chain as volcanic activity pushes the summit upward.
Conservation International’s Greg Stone, a marine biologist, left, and pilot Terry Kerby, who helps run the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory at the University of Hawaii, travel in the Picses V submersible to the summit of the Cook seamount off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones) Pisces V submersible pilot Terry Kerby looks through his log at the summit of the Cook seamount during a dive to the previously unexplored underwater volcano off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 6, 2016. Seamounts are believed to cover about 18 million square miles of the planet. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones) Researcher Sonia Rowley logs coral samples taken from deep ocean seamounts during an expedition to unexplored underwater volcanoes off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 7, 2016. Conservation International and the University of Hawaii are exploring seamounts off Hawaii to assess the biodiversity and geological composition of the deep-sea mountains. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones) Robotic arms on the Pisces V submersible open a bag of bait on the Cook seamount during a manned dive to the previously unexplored underwater volcano off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 6, 2016. The Cook seamount is a 13,000-foot extinct volcano at the bottom of the sea whose summit is 3,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones) Coral samples taken from deep ocean seamounts sit in a lab aboard a University of Hawaii research vessel during an expedition to unexplored underwater volcanoes off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 7, 2016. A group of undersea volcanoes in the area known as the Geologist Seamounts are about 80 million years old and could hold many new animal species, as well as elements such as nickel and cobalt that mining companies could extract. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones) Deep sea coral is seen through an observation window of the Pisces V submersible during a dive to the previously unexplored underwater volcano off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 6, 2016. Conservation International and the University of Hawaii are exploring seamounts off Hawaii to assess the biodiversity and geological composition of the deep-sea mountains. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones) The Pisces V submersible descends to the Cook seamount, an underwater volcano off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island, on Sept. 7, 2016. Conservation International and the University of Hawaii are exploring seamounts off Hawaii to assess the biodiversity and geological composition of the deep-sea mountains. (Luis Lamar/Conservation International via AP) Dolphins swim next to a transport boat after an expedition to previously unexplored seamounts off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 9, 2016. “We don’t know anything about the ocean floor,” said Peter Seligmann, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Conservation International. “What we know is that each one of those seamounts is a refuge for new species, but we don’t know what they are. We don’t know how they’ve evolved. We don’t know what lessons they have for us.” (AP Photo/Caleb Jones) Deep sea coral and sponges sit on the summit of the Cook seamount, seen from the Pisces V submersible during a dive to the previously unexplored underwater volcano off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island on Sept. 6, 2016. The Cook is a 13,000-foot extinct volcano at the bottom of the sea whose summit is 3,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)