Launched in the fall of 2016, the Grum Project is Williston’s five-year visiting artist program. Funded by a generous alumna from the Northampton School for Girls, the Grum Project brings artists of all kinds—musicians, actors, visual artists, dancers, and more—to campus for mini-residencies so that the entire Williston community can participate.
2019-20 Grum Presenters
Lorelei Ensemble, A Cappella Performers
Heralded for its “warm, lithe, and beautifully blended” sound (New York Times), “impeccable musicality” (Boston Globe), and unfailing display of the “elegance, power, grace and beauty of the human voice” (Boston Music Intelligencer), Boston’s Lorelei Ensemble is recognized nationally for its bold and inventive programs. Lorelei is an all-professional vocal ensemble, comprising nine women whose expertise ranges from early to contemporary repertoire, and whose independent careers as soloists and ensemble singers across the globe lend to the rich and diverse vocal palette that defines the ensemble’s thrilling delivery of “exact, smooth, and stylish” programming (Boston Globe). Under the direction of founder and artistic director Beth Willer, Lorelei has established a remarkable and inspiring artistic vision, curating culturally relevant and artistically audacious programs that stretch and challenge the expectations of artists and audiences alike.
On October 17, the Lorelei Ensemble perform a private concert in the Phillips Stevens Chapel after which Caterwaulers and Widdigers will attend a reception and Q-and-A session with them in the Reed Campus Center.
Kiel Johnson, Visual Artist
Kiel Johnson‘s drawings and sculptures tell tales; layered narratives speak of his travels and adventures through everyday life. Johnson received his MFA at California State University, Long Beach (CA). He has received prestigious awards and honors including the Pollock-Krasner Grant, Durfee Foundation ARC Grant, and the CSULB Outstanding Creative Achievement Award.
In residence at the Williston Northampton School for a week in January 2020, he specializes in crowd-sourced projects with many components. Watch one of his TED talks about that here:
Rosemary Fiet Covey '72, Visual Artist
Rosemary Feit Covey was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her work is housed in more than forty major museum and library collections worldwide, including the original collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the New York Public Library Print Collection, the National Museum of American History, Harvard University, and the Papyrus Institute in Cairo, Egypt. During the winter trimester, she will share her environmentally-focused art and work with students on learning to think creatively in order to innovate.
Shamsia Hassani, Visual Artist
Shamsia Hassani is the first woman graffiti artist in Afghanistan. She teaches art at Kabul University. In April 2020, Hassani will work with Williston Northampton School students to create a mural for the recreation room in the basement of the 194 Main Street dorm.
Dancer, filmmaker, and five-time-regional-Emmy-award winner Ben Needham-Wood in January 2019 worked with dancers on a special number for the forthcoming spring dance performance. He screened his film BaseBallet, which celebrates the athleticism of dance and the artistry of sports.
Following numerous trips to Cuba, Mark Guglielmo created large collages using 4″x6″ photo prints he took on the island. Landscapes to intimate portraits of family life hung in Grubbs Gallery in October 2018. Guglielmo also spoke in a variety of classes, from Latin American history to Spanish class, and brought to campus a four-piece local Cuban band.
Tectonic Theater Group
In the run up to the Williston production of The Laramie Project, Tectonic Theater Group, which created the play—conducting 200 interviews in the aftermath of the hate-crime murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998—arrived on campus in October 2018 to work with students and reflect on how theater can be a vehicle for social change.
Two-time National Poetry Slam champion Anis Mojgani brought his wit and insight to campus during a three-day visit in April 2018. The author of five books of poetry worked with students and performed alongside them during a Friday-night spoken word festival.
Dan Phakos '06
Film director Dan Phakos and a crew came from NYC in April 2018 to help execute the vision of student Aidan Bourbonnais ’20. Her PSA, meant to draw attention to the dangers of texting and driving, was inspired by the death of her cousin. Williston students and the crew plotted out the ad and shot over a three-day period.
In a wide-brimmed hat and tap shoes, musician and music historian and three-time Grammy winner David Holt performed songs on an array instruments with his musical partner, Josh Goforth, in December 2017.
Rutty, an American painter living and working in Boise, Idaho, in April 2017 lead classes, worked with individual students, and created a large oil painting that will remain at the school.
Pitch Slapped, a co-ed a cappella group based at Berklee College of Music in Boston, performed at assembly and lead workshops with singers in February 2017.
In November 2016, photographer and artist Tanja Hollander spent three days on campus with students exploring the intersection between art and social media.