November 8, 2013

Sensitive Beasts

Friday, November 8, 2013 at 7PM

Polish Slavic Center
177 Kent Street
(b/w Manhattan Ave & McGuinness Blvd)
Brooklyn, NY 11222

FREE Admission

Painting Exhibition titled Sensitive Beasts by Prof. Artur Popek, Dean of the
Art Department, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland.
Curator: Dr. Przemyslaw J. Moskal

Prof. Artur Popek

Prof. Artur Popek
Prof. Artur Popek

Artur Popek was born in 1960 in Szczebrzeszyn, Poland. He graduated with distinctions and with two degrees, one in psychology, and second in fine arts from Maria Curie-Sklodowska University (MCSU) in Lublin. He started his teaching career at the Institute of Fine Arts as an assistant professor and conducted his doctoral work at the Academy of Fine Arts under the direction of Prof. Rafal Strent. In 2011, he received the presidential title of the Professor of Fine Arts. He was elected as the Dean of Art Faculty of the Art Department at MCSU for 2012-2016 term.

Prof. Popek is a member of the Association of Polish Artists, Association of the International Triennial of Graphic Arts in Krakow and ADOGI (Association for the Dissemination of International Graphic Arts) in Barcelona, Spain. Since 2000, he’s been associated with group KRAK – Hollywood, LA and has been the artistic director of the Society of Arts in Chicago. In years 2001-2010 he worked as an illustrator for Polish daily Nowy Dziennik in New York.

Prof. Popek has exhibited his art in over 70 individual exhibitions, 50 international exhibitions and over 70 group exhibitions, including Polish Institute in Bratyslava, 2000; Society for Arts in Chicago, 1999-2003; Director’s Guild of America, Los Angeles, 2000; Unlimited Art Gallery, Charlotte, 2002; CMU Art Museum, Chiang Mai Thailand, 2013; Canisius College Montante Cultural Center, Buffalo 2013, among others. He has designed over 100 catalogs, books and other publications. He’s a laureate of many prestigious awards and mentions in the field of graphic arts and painting. His art works are in collections in international galleries, museums and private individuals.

Artur Popek ArtProf. Popek’s creative work focuses on graphic arts, specifically on traditional metal techniques (etching, drypoint), and since 2003 he has consequently been involved in painting. He has developed his own unique style and recognized technique that is a sum of his experiences from a variety of art forms: graphic arts, painting, sculpture and digital media. His latest paintings are a pilgrimage – containing reflections, experiences from his journeys around the world. They refer to the human condition of contemporary people, raising questions about the origin of love and cruelty. Bestiarium is a deep contemplation on a human archetype, an attempt to ask the most important questions through the medium of painting.

Prof. Lechoslaw Lamenski summarizes artist’s work in the following words:

“Art Popek uses shapes that have their origin in the collective consciousness, he dislikes directness. It seems, as if the artist loves beyond all understatement, allusiveness, ambiguity and provides us with a multitude of interpretations. His art is for most of us a dual puzzle. First, it is possible to analyze individual forms, but that leads us to naming parts of a composition without a chance for drawing clear conclusions. Second, the work of art reveals itself almost at the point of touch where the message, bright idea, or prophetic thought, despite the challenges of logical interventions and abstract thinking, cannot be fully comprehended and resolved. And it’s quite all right, because Artur Popek’s art evokes sublime, aesthetic feelings and through saturation of purely plastic forms, they fulfill and expand themselves with literary content, they become mysterious and unexplained such as the works of art of the great masters of renaissance. Perhaps it is the reason why his art will survive the test of time and will stay with us forever.”


India Czajkowska – voice, piano, flute
Elektra Kurtis – violin
Nicole Verderosa – cello
Ian Baggette – double bass

Agni is a new project of Polish vocalist, composer and pianist,  India Czajkowska, performed with musicians from the United States. The compositions, rooted in post-classical ideas, are influenced by experimental music and jazz.

India Czajkowska

India Czajkowska
India Czajkowska

Vocalist, composer and pianist, India Czajkowska, studied at the Secondary School of Music in Lodz (Poland). She also graduated the Institute of Philosophy at Warsaw University Her classical education in music was the first step to the deep research in vocal experiments, integrating various techniques and aspects of voice. She is working with some modern concepts of music being as well definitely connected with chamber acoustic sound, the post-classical and minimal music influences. The music she creates, partly based on the acoustic instruments is combined with experimental electronics and sonoristic vocal soundscapes. An important area of her artistic interests is contemporary improvised music.

Her solo, experimental/ avant-garde album Cosmospir was released by the label Hic Sunt Leones, (Milano, 2008) “She is able to seduce her listeners’ ears into a wide range of emotions and imaginal worlds” the American reviewer of her first solo album wrote. The other review described this album as a“cutting through genre barriers like a fiery sword.” She also created the multimedial performance, Cosmospir-Summum, the project involving butoh dance, analogue visuals, video.

One of her last improvised projects is Mermago-Trio with Ryszard Latecki (trumpet) and Maciek Cierlinski (hurdy-gurdy, loop station) The album was released in the end of 2010  by Obuh Records. In  cooperation  with Alio Die (Italy) and Parallel Worlds (Greece), the analogue electronic album Circo Divino was released in 2010.

The contemporary improvised music and interdisciplinary performance connected with movement and video-art is one of the main interests of her artistic activity. One of her new project is international ARTRANCE –multimedial group created with: David Kollar-guitarist (Slovakia), Gergo Borlai-drummer (Hungary) and Andrea Ladanyi- dance(Hungary).She also performs concerts with her group –MERU. Secretia is a new electronic album recorded in duo with Mirrorman and released in 2013 by Zoharum.

As a vocalist and pianist she has various experiences including free-jazz, trip-hop, post-rock, etno-jazz. India has been performing concerts and recording with Elektra Kurtis, a Greek violinist from U.S.A. and her group Ensemble Elektra (The Book Of Time,1999). She cooperated also with French guitarist – Noel Akchote, Tadeusz Sudnik (Freelectronics, Tomasz Stańko), Raphael Roginski, Italian pianist and composer-Mario Mariani, Drum Freaks-ethno jazz band, Bob Steward, Don Conreaux. As a guest musician she appeared on the Lux Occulta’s album presenting trip-hop songs (The Mother And The Enemy, 2001, Maquiavel Music Entertainement, Portugal ). She has been described in reviews as an impressive vocalist with a “hipnotic, sensual” voice.
Yet another area of her artistic interests is creating sound-tracks for films and music for the theatre. Cooperations: Andrzej Titkow, Piotr Uklanski, (Summer Love, 2006), NRS GROUP from Sydney (“Poland’s New Jews”), the Theatre of TVP, the experimental and move theatres: Te’artKam, butoh dancer -Sylwia Hanff , Wytwornia Theatre, Adekada.

Elektra Kurtis

Elektra Kurtis
Elektra Kurtis

Elektra Kurtis a violinist and composer of Greek origin, leader of world fusion group Ensemble Elektra, New York Jazz Philharmonic and a string trio Chamber Ensembles. She graduated from Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki, Finland in 1986, majoring in violin performance and education and from the School for Strings Suzuki Teachers Course in New York (in 1988). Elektra lived in Poland, Greece and Finland. Now a resident of New York City, she is a faculty at the Harlem School of the Arts and at Hoff Barthelsson School of Music, and works as a freelance violinist in the New York’s tri state area.

Ms. Kurtis has played with numerous symphony orchestras, most recently: Connecticut Grand Opera and Orchestra, Bronx Symphony Orchestra, New England Symphonic Ensemble and Harlem Festival Orchestra. She has also performed with such notable jazz and world artists as Lester Bowie, Gerry Mulligan, Paquito d’Rivera, Lionel Hampton, Max Roach, Ray Barreto, Simon Shaheen and Israel “Cachao” Lopez. Elektra has worked with contemporary composers such as Anthony Davis, John Zorn, Henry Threadgill, Akua Dixon and Craig Harris. In 1997 she recorded with Steve Coleman.

In the last years Elektra has played for Serena’s Middle Eastern dance company production in New York City’s Pantheon Theatre, Henry Threadgill’s Agregation Orb performance at the Miller Theater in New York City and as guest with Drum Freaks group lead by Milo Kurtis in Warsaw, Poland. In November 2006 she recorded for Nas’ CD”Hip Hop is Dead” on Deaf Jam Records.

Most recently Elektra played with improvising string orchestras in the Vision Festival with Billy Bang in 2007, Jason Hwang in 2008 and 09. In 2009 and 2010 she performed and recorded with Adam Rudolph’s Organic Orchestra and Jason Hwang’s Spontaneous River ensemble.

Ms. Kurtis’ recordings as leader of Ensemble Elektra include Cutting Through (2010), AFROdite’s Smile (2005) and “The Book of Time” (2000) on Milo Records and are available on CD Baby and most Internet music distribution sites.

Nicole Verderosa

Nicole Verderosa
Nicole Verderosa

Background/Education: Ms. Nicole Verderosa, began studying music in the NYC public schools around the age of 10 where she performed in her junior high school & high school bands on the bass clarinet. After graduating high school one year early, Ms. Verderosa attended Five Towns College of the Performing Arts (BM, Jazz Commercial Music/Music Education) and continued her higher education by obtaining a Masterʼs Degree from Queens College (MS, Music Education). Some of her most influential private instructors have been: Classical-Peter Lewy (her mentor and first cello teacher) and Laurinel Owen Jazz- Jack Carmen (lead trombone, Buddy Rich Orchestra), Greg Bobulinski (highly-recognized jazz trumpet virtuoso), and Bill McCrossen (bassist extraordinaire).

Performance Review: Brooklyn born cellist Nicole “Nico” Verderosa represents a new upcoming voice in the NYC jazz community. Her cello playing seeks to synthesize the many different roles traditionally assumed by jazz instruments. Ms. Verderosa uses the phrasing and expression of lead instruments like the trumpet/trombone to create mellifluous lines as well as the rhythmic and percussive nature of harmonic instruments found in the rhythm section to create ʻwalking bassʼ lines and chordal ʻcompingʼ highlights. “My vision for performing jazz on the cello is to successfully integrate the subtleties of a refined classical instrument with the complexities and wide range of styles found in jazz music over its first one hundred years.”

Performance/Recording: Ms. Verderosa is active as a freelance cellist in the music performance arena: Modern Improvising String Ensembles (Fiery String Sistas, Radience Festival 2013, Shape Shifter Lab) Ethnic (New York Napoli Project, John LaBarbera, Delirious Naples Conference, 2011)  Gospel (Leon Lacey Ensemble, Kim Burrell live at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Allen Room, 2009), Jazz (Nicole Verderosa Quartet, Loft Arts Productions, TheaterLab NYC, 2011 ), Rock (Foxy Moon Baby, Dennis Lippe 2003), Experimental (Songs for the American Indian, composer Greg Bobulinski, 2008), Film (Sundown, Greg Bucking composer, 2004) Folk (Veterans of the Quiet Wars, 2002)

Ian J. Baggette

Ian J. Baggette
Ian J. Baggette

Of eclectic midwestern roots, Ian J. Baggette has shared stages with: Abdullah Ibrahim, Mulgrew Miller, Darius Brubeck, Steve Wilson, Frank Lacy, Patience Higgins, Bill Saxton, Dan Faehnle, Phil DeGreg, Sundar Viswanathan, The Roots, Snoop Dogg, Sean Paul, George Benson, Grupo Niche, and Puerto Rican Power. While at Miami University, Ian also studied abroad in South Africa. During his stay he worked with local and international acts including The South African Jazz Orchestra and the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic. 2009 led him to New York where he currently studies with Ron Carter and maintains an active performance schedule.