NEWSFLASH: book just published: 4 June 2013
"The Art of Shop", created for the ipad.
Each sculpture is a reflection of the journey I experienced while creating it. Through the language of sculpture, and throughout the work-process of sculpting, I am embarking on personal discovery. Though the piece is tangible and the process manual, these are the means by which I am stepping out of the present day into the world of my own aesthetics, experiences and timeless spirituality.
Roberta Berman was born in 1951 in Newport, R.I. around the corner from the original Newport Jazz and Folk festivals. To witness this slice of music history as well as to experience her small, homogeneous town turn into a multi-cultural gathering every summer, created an indelible impression that is reflected in her inter-active artform, Percussive Sculptures, an artistic path that melds the mediums she loves: sculpture, drawing and music .
Like jazz, each sculpture is both premeditated and improvisational, incorporating structural forms of ancient-styled instruments with her personal, sculptural journey. While the sculpture emerges, it finds its own voice, a palette of pitches and textures. Viewers are invited to explore them. Performance artists are invited to compose with them.
Berman exhibits in traditional and untraditional settings: galleries, jazz clubs, television, theatres, hospitals, parks, colleges and homes. She has had both solo and group exhibits/performances/jam sessions in and around New York City and abroad, including The Gallery at Lincoln Center, Studio Gallery 88, The Museum of Natural History/Kwanza festivalR), Schomburg Museum, The Vivien Beaumont Theatre/Marie Christine, Brooklyn Academy of Music/Force of Nature Dance Co.; Bank Street College/Jazz with Sculpture, a collaboration with percussionist, David Pleasant (www.davidpleasant1.com), often joined by vocalist, Miles Griffith (www.milesgriffithmusic.com) and guest musicians, University of Haifa, Israel/performance & lecture about Jazz with Sculpture collaboration, Experimentation Festival, Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition/performance with Paula Jeanine, lyricist, musician (www.paulajeanine.com). Percussive Sculptures are also the stage set for phatLiterature, a literary T.V. series presently being aired nationwide on cable TV, which includes her video biography, Visual Signatures.
Berman's Site-Sculpture series, "The Dance Company". had its first piece, "Black and Blue", fabricated and installed in Morningside Gardens, NYC on July 2009. It has survived two hurricanes.
See documentary film by Dylan Morgan, "The Making of "The Dance Company" sculpture series, featuring "Black and Blue": 7 min https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjXxiQC1trU
and by Berman: "My Sculpture Survived Hurricane Irene" a 3 minute video on: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvkanrpuIZc
In Progress: directing and producing her sculpture-inspired film: "Midnight to Midnight", starring the sculpture, The Dance Company, inspiring choreography by Mary Seidman and Dancers (www.keystonedance.org), film-making by John Regis, and music scored by composer, Frank Ponzio (www.frankponzio.com).
Berman, also author and art educator with a Ms. Ed. in Leadership in the Arts. For 21 years, at Bank Street College of Education and School for Children, she created and implements a developmentally appropriate, inter-disciplinary sculpture and musical instrument-making curricula for ages K-8 for all learning styles, including those with physical challenges. She also teaches graduate students, teachers and administrators, in the private and public schools, how to create and teach sculpture and musical instruments in any setting with any budget.