MEKLIT HADERO and TODD BROWN – At The de Young Museum

Light, Shadow, and the Quiet Song Between
June Artist-in-Residence de Young, Kimball Education Gallery

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

The de Young Museum hosts Meklit Hadero and Todd Brown: Light, Shadow, and the Quiet Song Between through June 27th as part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Artist-in-Residence Program in the Kimball Education Gallery. Hadero and Brown incorporate visual art and musical composition into a sculptural installation that is also a working music studio. The two artists hope to spark creativity in visitors and inspire them to think about their own personal surroundings.



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MEKLIT HADERO

The artistic centerpiece of the Kimball Education Gallery is a 9.5 x 33-foot painting started by Brown at the Red Poppy Art House. This enormous painting is set to be completed during their residency. Brown’s additional paintings-in-progress, painting tarps and working materials cover nearly every available wall and floor space in the gallery. The artwork is undergoing continuous change, thereby allowing visitors a rare look at the artistic process. 



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Man With Too Many Kites, 36 x 48, mixed media, 2006. Todd T. Brown.

The Kimball Education Gallery is also transforming into a sonic journal. Hadero and Brown are writing and recording new compositions daily. Recordings are drawn from the natural soundscape of the de Young, as well as from visitors who stop in.  As songs develop from recordings, the gallery becomes a composer’s workbook with lyric sheets, chord notations, and ideas collaged onto the walls.

The Artist Studio Program is presented by Cultural Encounters at the de Young and is free to the public. Visitors are invited to spend time in the Kimball Education Gallery Wednesday through Sunday, 1–5 pm and Friday, 6–8:45 pm.

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MEKLIT HADERO

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Ethiopia native MEKLIT HADERO is a singer, musician, cultural activist, and previous director of the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco. Meklit has lived in twelve cities, on three continents, and her musical explorations span cultural influences and genres. In December of 2007, Meklit released her first recording, titled Eight Songs. She is the recipient of a 2008 Individual Grant from the Belle Foundation for Arts and Culture. Currently, she is organizing a group of Ethiopian Diaspora artists from across North America to return to Ethiopia for a festival of traditional music at the end of this year. Meklit was selected as a 2009 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Global Fellow. The TED conference is a large gathering of artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and designers who are at the cutting edge of their fields. Along with Brown, she is a central composer, lyricist and co-founder of the musical ensemble Nefasha Ayer. Listen to Meklit’s work: MEKLIT HADERO.

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The Faltering of Perception, 60 x 84, mixed media on canvas, 2007. Todd T. Brown.

TODD BROWN is a painter, musician, and cultural innovator/activist. Brown’s background represents an eighteen-year process of integrating the artistic initiatives within intercultural context of community development. His academic and artistic training spans a degree in fine arts, intensive studies (both in the U.S. and abroad) in flamenco and folkloric music and dance of the African Diaspora, with additional studies in political history. He has trained and worked as a facilitator in human resilience, with three years teaching in correctional facilities and centers for domestic violence education. In 2003, Brown synergized his diverse talents into founding the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco, of which he remains the artistic director. Later that year, Brown initiated the MAPP (Mission Arts & Performance Project), a non-centralized bi-monthly intercultural neighborhood arts festival that has featured over 700 artists since its inception. Musically, Brown is a central composer and guitarist for Nefasha Ayer, the ensemble he founded with Meklit Hadero in 2007. Click here to visit: TODD BROWN

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untitled abstract, mixed media, 2008. Todd T. Brown

ATTEND THE PROGRAMS:

THURSDAY, June 11th: 3:00 pm
Painting Demonstration
Kimball Education Gallery

THURSDAY, June 18: 3:00 pm
Music demonstration led by Meklit Hadero and Todd Brown

de Young, Wilsey Court



FRIDAY, June 19: 6–8:30 pm
Nefasha Ayer performs the composition, The Space of In Between. The music ensemble created by Meklit Hadero and Todd Brown

de Young, Wilsey Court



THURSDAY, June 25: 3:00 pm

Music demonstration led by Meklit Hadero and Todd Brown

de Young, Wilsey Court


FRIDAY, June 26: 5–8:30 pm. Closing Reception

de Young, Kimball Education Gallery

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They’ll Come For You One Day, 24 x 36, mixed media. 2007. Todd T. Brown.

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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