This image of a Russian Schoolhouse in the town of Serpuxov is a work by Wesleyan graduate (2001) Sasha Rudensky. The Russian-born photographer, who received her MFA from Yale in 2008, is now a Visiting Instructor in the Art & Art History Department at Wesleyan. Her first major solo exhibition opens this Saturday at the Ezra & Cecile Zilkha Gallery on campus and will be celebrated with an Open House tonight (Friday January 23) from 5 - 7 p.m. She'll deliver the Gallery Talk at (approximately) 5:30 and you'll get to view the images fromm 2 of her photographic series, "Remains" and "Demons." Regular Gallery hours are 12noon - 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (12noon - 8 p.m. on Friday and the exhibition is up through February 15. To view more of her excellent work, go to www.sasharudensky.com.
Also on campus tonight, "A Conversation with Tony Kushner" takes place at 8 p.m. in Memorial Chapel. The playwright will discuss his Abraham Lincoln project, his award-winning "Angels in America" and many other topics. For more information about this free event, call the University Box Office at 685-3355.
The Buttonwood Tree has a musical weekend on tap. Tonight, the performance space welcomes the duo of Sonny & Perley. Perley Rousseau is the vocalist and her husband Sunny Daye plays the keyboards. Their program mines the "Great American Songbook", the worldsof Jazz and Latin American music in a delightful and irresistible manner. Over the past 12 years, they've issued 4 CDs and toured venues throughout the Northeast and beyond. The music starts at 7:30 p.m. To get a taste of Sonny & Perley's sound, go to www.sonnyandperley.com. Then, head downtown to catch them live.
On Saturday, The Buttonwood welcomes the high-energy funk, jazz and r'n'b sounds of the Leah Randazzo Group. The septet, lead by the feisty 24-old year vocalist, features a really "tight" rhythm section and a "hot" 3-piece horn section. Randazzo possesses a strong and pliable voice, equally at home in quiet ballads and more raucous songs. The weather is expected to be quite cold on Saturday night; I expect the Leah Randazzo Group will warm you right up. To learn more about the young lady and her band, go to www.leahrandazzogroup.com. For more information about The Buttonwood, call 347-4957.