Studio@620 The Studio@620

Portraiture: In Three Movements

Presented by image-maker Alice Ferrulo of Black Horse Theatre, in collaboration with Thomas Murray and Donna Sweigart

Portraiture: In Three Movements

by Alice Ferrulo of Black Horse Theatre ... Dark at its brightest... in collaboration with Thomas Murray and Donna Sweigart. 

A solo performance art piece inspired by a series of portraits First Name Only by fine artist Thomas Murray.  Portraiture: In Three Movements reveals the harrowing complexities of the character of Olivia... witness her journey.

The character of Olivia will be performed by Alice Ferrulo.  Costume designed by Brazilian fashion designer Rogerio Martins.  Jewelry designed by Donna Sweigart.

Alice Ferrulo

Alice Ferrulo began her formal training in dance with the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen, Denmark.  She holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Theater with an emphasis in Directing ~ 1995, a Master of Arts Degree in Dance, Theater and Film with an emphasis in Performance, Choreography and Directing ~ 1994 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance ~ 1985  - all from Ohio University.

Ms. Ferrulo was a company member of Paris and New York based Calck Hook Dance Theater with artistic directors Wendy Shankin and Doris Seiden and producer Thomas King Flagg from 1984 to 1986 and New York based Blondell Cummings Dance Theatre with artistic director Blondell Cummings from 1985 to 1988. 

As image-maker, Ms. Ferrulo pursues her artistic endeavors under the umbrella of BLACK HORSE THEATRE, which she founded in September of 2006.  She is currently artist-in-residence for The Studio @620 with artistic directors G. David Ellis and Bob Devin Jones in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Rogerio Martins

I am Rogerio Martins.  I was born and raised in a small city in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil.  My memories of my childhood are the best ones that anyone could have.  I grew up with a sense of freedom, surrounded by loving people who made me become a better human being.  Food, colors, aesthetics, music and nature were the things that nourished my soul.
I have a BA degree in Advertising and Publicity from the University of Sao Paulo.  I previously worked for a public broadcast television network in Brazil.  Since I moved to the USA, I have experienced many things that I never anticipated.  To overcome my homesickness I started painting and making art. Since then, I have had many art exhibitions.   My art nourished the sense of fashion that was already inside of me.  That was the starting point for a new fashion career.

At the moment I am studying fashion design at Tampa International Academy of Design.  My future plans are to work for a company that produces ready-to-wear clothing, to design costumes for theater, dance companies and movies, as well as continuing to produce my art work.

“Portraits; First Name Only” by Thomas Murray

Phrenology, physiognomy, those ghosts that lead us to believe we know someone, to make judgments, before we have met them.  Labels function in this way; alcoholic, gay, addict, whatever conjures the feeling of “dirty” in our society, whatever conjures the word “black”.  

Portraits have historically been either the look up at the subject or the look down, intended to bring the viewer to a position either beneath or above, longing to be immortalized, or grateful for being who we are.  These portraits are intended to do neither.  They are a straight across the table into the eyes of persons formerly wretched and drunken, strung out, sots.

I honor you, you who have seen your demons through.  You’re no hero.  Sometimes you’re no mystic, either.  Hidden beneath your gray skin is the past and the future.  And all the judgments we can heap on a bent back.  I am the heaper and the heaped.

The history of portraiture seems to be the history of the ego.  I look up at the princes who have sought to have their faces preserved in pigment and long to be them.  I look down at the poor saps who are in situations beneath my own and I feel blessed. 

Gray seems to be the color of “not-there”.  The sensation of being buried, hazy.  And yet potent.  As if something here may be unearthed at any moment.  The background is that which the portrait is built upon.  The past that which the present is aware of.

The addictions, and the trauma, remain in temporary remission.  Tendencies towards Phrenology do not.  We are all Black and Blue at some level. 

The portraits leave a lot unexplained.  Skin color, background information, almost half a face.  The color and shallow contrast keep the persons just out of range, as well as the identity of the subjects.  It is not important to me to be able to inspect the pores on the faces of the subjects.  However, I believe it is necessary to reference actual people.

We are neither looking up to our heroes nor gazing down at the dregs (the dregs, not “our dregs”).  Heroes are easy.  No subject is so focused as to be permanent.

Thomas Murray

Thomas Murray earned his Masters in Fine Arts degree at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.  He has received numerous awards such as the Florida Artists Fellowship and several awards of distinction.  Thomas resides in Edinburg, Texas and currently teaches at the University of Texas-Pan American.

Donna Sweigart

Donna  Sweigart earned her MFA in Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM/RP at Tyler School of Art, Temple University and has shown in Florida, Washington, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Edinburgh, Scotland.  Her work has appeared in Jewelry Arts and Lapidary Journal, and Art Jewelry Today 2.  Locally she has been an Artist Organizer for Project: HOME as well as having shown at the Florida Craftsmen Gallery. 
Donna creates her works by both traditional hand-building and computer design utilizing unusual materials including those made by 3D printing.


Alice Ferrulo…Image-Maker

BLACK HORSE THEATRE is committed to addressing the human state of being.  It does so with great intensity and passion.  Always intimate and vulnerable, the work is set forth in hopes of rattling the mind and spirit.  To achieve its mission, BLACK HORSE THEATRE uniquely draws upon components of dance, theater and film to design signature images that are urgent and impactful.





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