The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Author: Hannah Palacios (Page 2 of 2)

Men’s Hockey Excites the Crowd With Close Win Against WIT

Bates’ men’s hockey team started out the second half of their season with a bang at Underhill Arena Saturday, January 13. After losing some key games to end the first half of the season, including a devastating 13-4 loss to Thomas College, the team was back and ready to fight in the first competition of 2018 against Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT).

The two teams seemed to be equally competitive and matched one another with each goal for the majority of the game. The Cats set the tone early on. They played a high energy and smart game and used time and space to put together some effective plays throughout the whole night.

It truly was a night for the seniors. Senior captain Nick Barker ‘18 made completing three goals look easy and started the year off right with a hat trick. Dangling past the WIT defense, Barker sent one to the top shelf and brought the Cats up three to one.

However, despite the team’s best efforts, the Bobcats just kept the Leopards at bay with the score at 6-6 late in the third. Senior captain Sam Levin ‘18 came to the rescue and made an unbelievable shot. He scored with about a minute thirty left, pushing the Cats up seven to six. Turning out to be the game winning goal, the Bates Bobcats sent the WIT Leopards back home with their tails between their legs.

In a hallmark moment that got the crowd wild, first-year defenseman Ben Stratton ‘21 scored his first goal of the game and fifth goal of the season with a well-placed snipe. Ever humble, Stratton speaks about the team’s win and says, “It was a solid effort from the whole team. We responded quickly and simply out-worked them. It definitely feels good to get a win on home ice.”

Stratton is not the only first-year on the team. There actually is a pretty heavy representation from the class of ‘21. Brooks Clement ‘21 of Hartford, Conn. earned some good minutes this past game.

“Nothing better than putting one in the win column after a skid of bad games, especially in the way that we did. Top to bottom, everyone played well,” says Clement.

Not to be left without credit where credit is due, seniors and assistant captains David Katzman ‘18 and Andrew Cahill ‘18 rounded out the superb skill set of the class of ‘18 with great showings all season through to last Saturday’s game.

“Our captains [Barker and Levin] really led the way tonight” Katzman says when asked about the game. “They were flying all night.”

The matchup versus WIT also marked the return of a couple of players from abroad who are eager to get back into the swing of the season. Looking forward, the Cats will face local rival Central Maine Community College next week at 7 p.m. and hope to put another notch in the win column.

“Practices have been uptempo and productive as we are working hard to get the results we desire,” adds Barker.

 

Pondick and Feintuch: World-Renowned Artists Featured at the Bates Museum of Art

On a particularly rainy Friday afternoon, I timidly crept into the Olin Arts Center and lingered around the opening of a new body of work on display in the museum. The exhibit, entitled Heads, Hands, Feet; Sleeping, Holding, Dreaming, Dying, was the first time Rona Pondick and Robert Feintuch had shown their works together.

Pondick is world renowned, with a Masters in Fine Arts from Yale, and countless awards and grants such as the Anonymous Was a Woman Award. She also has shown her work at MAMBo (the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bologna Italy). Feintuch also attended Yale and has received prestigious grants such as a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rockefeller Fellowship, and has been on display at the Peggy Guggenheim museum in Venice. He was a senior lecturer at Bates during several of the past years and will return this winter to teach his last semester here.

My first impression of the exhibit was an eclectic and nuanced mix of Roald Dahl and Salvador Dali. The vibrant pastels and abstracted forms in Feintuch’s work reminded me of The BFG or James and the Giant Peach. The effect was unsettling and uplifting at the same time, and seemed to satisfy exactly what Feintuch intended for his work. He aims to use the body to provoke a psychologically suggestive reaction from the viewer.

I felt the contrast and oxymoron within both Pondick’s and Feintuch’s work, both juxtaposing their own physical forms with common ideas or myths, like the sphinx in Pondick’s Dog and Hercules in Feintuch’s Fat Hercules. Both of the artists use their own body forms as a key piece of their work. In each of Pondick’s sculptures, the hybridized human form is a cast reproduction of her own body. Feintuch draws inspiration from his own forms, and then builds upon them.

Just as I completed my first walk around the exhibit, the room gathered to have an informal conversation with the talented couple. Both artists were passionate, and had a fabulous and quirky sense of humor. Rona started with a soft quip that there were “no smart questions and no dumb questions,” which elicited a sputter of laughter from the crowd. The group of spectators was filled with friends, colleagues, and former students, each person invested in the two people standing up there in front of them, so full of passion and pure artistic talent.

When asked by another audience member about their style, Feintuch replied that he had to make a “long, uncomfortable, transition from abstract to figurative painting.” He elaborated on his tendency to use classical forms and ideologies, and then distort them until he finds it funny. He likes the unproportional idea of Ingres’ Odalisque, and then combined that with the Greek mythological figures Bacchus and Dionysus, to form an unorthodox representation of strength. Feintuch redefines classical motifs of strength and the male form. Pondick also works towards eliciting a thought-provoking reaction, and said, “I’m an object maker and a control freak and I want to make an object that occupies its own space.”

Another person from the crowd wondered to what extent Pondick and Feintuch’s art influenced each other, to which Pondick responded that they had never really realized any similarities until ten to fifteen years after the creation of each piece. I chimed in and asked what it meant to them to finally be exhibited together after all this time, and they gave each other a quizzical look, as if they didn’t quite know what I meant. Perhaps the two artists are both so confident in their own work and so proud of the other that they were puzzled by the idea that the message of their work would be changed just because their work was together.

The key to why Pondick and Feintuch’s pieces are so evocative is their lifelong commitment to breaking convention, to creating art that really makes the viewer think. Together they combine contradictory themes such as the digital age and growing old with traditional artistic theory and an unconventional medium. Each of these artists are strong and prolific on their own, but the combination of their work brings each of their creations into a new perspective, allowing their work to continue to evolve years after the pieces were originally made.

The exhibit Heads, Hands Feet; Sleeping, Holding, Dreaming, Dying, will be on display at Bates College until March 23, 2018, after which it will move on to other national museums.

A True Oasis of Music

On a particularly scorching day in September, this author timidly approached the Trinity Church in downtown Lewiston. Expecting a group of teenagers, or maybe a choir, I passed through the doorway quietly, and as in typical fashion, I was late. I snuck into an empty pew just as the performer in front of me was finishing up a story. Around me was a scattered few; two couples on the other side of the aisle listened intently and two more men joined me on my side. A little girl sat in the corner, and every once in a while she bounced up and down impatiently, but even she couldn’t resist the pull of the music she was about to hear.
The first song was called “Barefoot Banjo Player,” inspired by someone the performer, Greg Boardman, knew. He laughed as he told of how this man was so barefoot that when he bought a chevy convertible, he rode with the top down all winter. I still wasn’t sure what to expect, but once he started to play I was entranced. The beautiful melody was haunting but still bright, and I half expected Passenger to start singing. When the fiddle started playing a harmony, I couldn’t help but close my eyes and get lost in the music.
His next song was inspired by a woman named Kate, and was equally as evocative. The best part was as the duo played each song, I imagined it playing along with each anecdotal story he told. It was more than just a good chord, or the right note, or even the perfect harmony— it was about how the music described the moment, and how it shifted a little every time it was played to reflect the moment now. I felt as if I was part of something special, but also so every day. I felt like a longtime neighbor or a trusted friend. I wasn’t being a spectator, but an active participant in the experience that each song conjured up.
The next song was accompanied by a tale about one of his students named Gabe, and consisted of the notes G, A, B and E, and bridged into a cheerful song with a classic fiddle melody, and everyone in the room couldn’t help but smile and bob their heads. The next song was built directly around playing an F sharp on an E chord, a sliding sound that was, for lack of a better term, purely cool. Boardman said that everything he plays he wants not only to sound good, but to feel good as you play it. The song was originally likened to a call to arms, a battle cry, but the talented strings player at the head of the room settled for something more positive, “Gandhi’s War Cry.”
His final song, played just on guitar without the fiddle, was gentle, yet penetrating. Boardman jumped up to turn off the overhead fans, stressing the importance of listening to every single note. It started slow, each plucked string reverberating throughout the room. You could hear every single person breathe, hear the cars move past outside, and in that moment it was like the room came alive with the energy of the piece. He had never played it in public before, and yet it became a natural soundtrack, entitled “Watchful.”
As he played each song, it was like the music flowed directly from Boardman’s soul out into his fingertips as they graced the strings of each instrument he played. At a time when there seems to be so much hostility between Bates and the Lewiston-Auburn community, I felt unburdened, and right at home.
The Oasis of Music is held every Wednesday from 12:30 to 1:00pm at Trinity Church in Lewiston, and hosts a variety of musical and poetic local talent — I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this wonderful artistic offering right down the street from campus.

Men’s soccer falls to Wesleyan, ties Williams

After an insanely successful start to the season, the men’s varsity team set off on a road trip this past weekend (Saturday September 23rd and Sunday Saturday September 24th) to face Wesleyan University and WIlliams College. Hoping to extend their winning streak, the Bobcats set off to Wesleyan on Saturday.

Trying to meet some of their season goals, Coach Stewart Flaherty noted that “a long road trip serves as an excellent opportunity to spend quality time together”. This weekend was successful for the sophomores, because despite the loss, both Antonio Heredia ‘20 and Peder Bakken ‘20 had personal bests, scoring the first and second goals of their careers respectively. Wesleyan got up on the board first with a well-placed cross and a nice finish in the 16th minute of the game. Determined to even out the game, the Bobcats put in some hard work, and tied it up in a pretty celebratory fashion in the 36th minute. Heredia scored Bates’ first goal with a drive down center and a beautiful strike from 20 yards out. However, the game was not without mistakes, and in a frenzied attempt to get the ball out of a dangerous zone, Bates scored an own-goal in the 43rd minute, putting the Cardinals up 2-1. Frustrated, but focused, the ‘Cats matched up the score with a strategic goal shot by Bakken and assisted by Morgan Dewdney ‘19. A free kick provided the opportunity for Dewdney to place a great ball for Bakken, who, with a volley, found the net. This marked Bakken’s first goal of the season, and second of his career.

Unfortunately, this was not enough to keep the Cardinals at bay, with a goal landing in the 83rd minute, bringing Wesleyan up 3-1, and another goal at nearly the 90th minute, sealing the Bobcats’ fate. Although the team walked away with a loss, there were several great plays, and they found elements of which they can improve going forward.

“So far it has been nice to see the number of quality attacks we have put together, and if we had a sharper edge, we could have had more than the eight goals scored during the previous three games. It’s also pleasing to have six different players having all found the net so early in the season” said Coach Flaherty.

Building on that loss, the Bobcats went into Sunday’s game versus Williams fired up and ready to win. They knew it was going to be a tough game, as Williams is known for being a strong team, finishing third in the conference last year.

Bates got off to a striking start with star Nate Merchant ‘18 scoring just after the start in the fourth minute. A corner kick served up by Ben Lyons ‘19 was snatched by Captain PJ DiBenedetto ‘18 and after a misstep by a Williams defender, Merchant found the net with a one touch by the back post. The Eph’s fought hard to tie up the score, but the Bobcats put on a beautiful defensive game.

Nevertheless, Williams played well off a corner kick and got up on the board in the 16th minute. The rest of the game was an exhaustive defensive struggle. A highlight was definitely Robbie Montanaro ‘19’s goalkeeping as he recorded seven saves.

Bates almost walked away with a win in overtime: after only 34 seconds of play, Eric Opoku ‘20 had a strong shot on goal that was barely saved by the Williams keeper. The Bates defense showed tremendous resilience, and fended off the Ephs to walk away with a tie game.

“This is a great group of guys and we worked really hard this weekend” said keeper Owen Lindenfeldar ‘20 upon return. “Not the results we were looking for necessarily, but we have a great foundation to continue building on. I’m excited for what’s to come and I think the fans should be as well.”

The Bobcats face off against Trinity this Saturday September 30th at 2:00 p.m., back on home turf at Russell Field.

 

Marsden Hartley at the Bates College Museum of Art

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Work on display at the Bates Museum of Art. JAMES MACDONALD/THE BATES STUDENT

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Projector images on display as a part of an exhibit at the Bates Museum of Art. JAMES MACDONALD/THE BATES STUDENT

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Artwork on display at the Bates Museum of Art.  JAMES MACDONALD/THE BATES STUDENT

If you are from Maine, or even from the Northeast, you have probably heard the name Marsden Hartley. Born right here in Lewiston in 1877, Hartley was a major force in the American Modern Art movement, dubbing himself “The painter of Maine” shortly before his death. His parents immigrated to New England to work in the Lewiston textiles mills, and after the death of all of his male siblings, Hartley was left as the only male heir, still five years younger than his nearest sister. Hartley often referenced his early childhood as a time of supreme loneliness, and credits it for much of his artistic inspiration. Entering his exhibit in the Bates College Museum, one descends the staircase into a peaceful space, one that was serene early on a Monday morning. Contrasted with the contemporary live-action exhibit on the first floor, it really was almost like going back in time. The first piece to catch my eye was photograph of Hartley, which below was accompanied by a narrative that shaped this exhibit in a way that not many others have. Each work had a crisp piece of white paper next to it, telling an anecdote about Hartley’s life at the time and how it related to the piece. Not only was this particular collection almost another side of Marsden Hartley’s works, but it was a succinct timeline of his life and how each moment shaped not just the art, but the artist. It felt as if I really was with Hartley at home, each piece acting as a piece of his existence, telling a story as much as a stained couch or a framed family photograph. I felt almost as if I was intruding, but part of that was the fact that I was the only one in the room, creating a silent dialogue between myself and the exhibit. This collection was formed particularly from the donations of Norma Gene Berger, Hartley’s niece and one of his biggest correspondents throughout his lifetime. My favorite pieces were a collection of drawings all from one notebook, all pen and ink on paper, and simple, with effortless strokes and an everyday energy that is calming yet has a certain reverence. Throughout the entire exhibit, I felt as if I was getting to see Marsden Hartley as a man, not just as an artist. I got to see what was important to him, what hurt him, what inspired him, and even just the everyday world through his eyes. Another piece that caught my eye was an eclectic painting that is unmistakably cubist, but had a softness that I usually find absent in traditional cubists like Picasso or Braque. I was drawn in, letting my mind absently construct images out of the warm colored shapes, wondering whether I was truly seeing Hartley’s work, or my own. However my favorite part was the pieces by other artists, all seeming out of place, but are revealed to each have a story that was integral to understanding Marsden Hartley as a whole. Hartley was known to run in important modernist circles, for example his first exhibit was at Alfred Stieglitz gallery in New York. He was also known to be influenced by the writings of Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Upon leaving, my narrow minded and naive ideals of what the quintessential Maine artist would be like were shattered. Marsden Hartley continues to challenge those preconceived notions, even seventy-four years after his death.

 

Boba: a local gem nestled in an Unassuming Neighborhood

Nestled in a Lewiston neighborhood just off Scribner Boulevard is an unassuming building reminiscent of the diner from the Archie comics. The flashing “Open” sign propped up in the window invited me in, hoping singularity for some bubble tea. My expectations were thoroughly exceeded. With original flavors like taro (a sweet Taiwanese root), red bean, and green tea, to more exotic flavors like honeydew and mango, it’s nearly impossible to choose just one. I started with the taro, and was presented with a perfectly chilled milk tea. The color was almost lilac, and the bubbles were perfectly thawed and was the right mix of soft and chewy. The tea was light and creamy, and the taro flavor was sweet and crisp. I was so impressed that I returned the following three days (and with three new friends) and got the mango, classic and green tea.

However, even though my search started with bubble tea, I was even more happily surprised with the food options. On my first visit, I tried the pho. First, you order in a sort of DIY style. You choose your broth, your meat and your noodles. I went with the most original, with beef broth, local beef and vermicelli noodles. If I do say so myself, I am kind of a pho snob, and even so I was thoroughly impressed. The broth was smooth and not too thick, but still had the weight and flavor I was seeking. The beef was flawlessly cooked, just tender enough but still had a firm texture. My favorite part, however, was the toppings. It is very difficult to create the perfect blend of herbs, but I was given just enough to season to my liking. Topped with bean sprouts and mint, I settled down in my dorm room with a thoroughly amazing meal. I returned the next day not just for my mango bubble tea, but also for a sandwich. I opted for a BBQ pork mi, which was served on baguette with pickled carrots, dikon, cilantro, onion, and the perfect amount of a tasty aioli. Other community favorites include the ramen, and the bacon fried rice.

But beyond the delicious food, I keep coming back to Boba because of the feeling I get when I’m there. Almost immediately upon entering my friends and I were engrossed in conversation with the Chef Zach. He and his partner Keshia cheerfully said hello and asked as if we went to Bates. We chatted about starting school, the workload, the parties, and all the while being fed delicious samples of steamed buns. You can tell instantly how much he cares about and loves what he does. That passion comes through in not just the food, but in the friendly neighborhood atmosphere. Every single person who walks through the door is greeted with a smile and an animated hello, as if every customer is a close friend. And no matter how many times I go, Keshia still doesn’t mind reading out every single bubble tea flavor for my forgetful mind.

Although it isn’t quite in walking distance, Boba is definitely a spot for Batesies to make a staple. Even better still, they deliver on Fridays and Saturdays; a perfect option for the late night snack, or fuel for an all-nighter. Through the hectic daily schedule, it’s nice to slow down and take the time for some affable conversation and heart-warming food, and Boba is the perfect place to do so.

 

Men’s Soccer off to an Impressive Start as They Kick off the 2017-2018 Season

Beginning the 2017-18 season, the men’s soccer team is already off to a strong start. While the official start of the season, originally scheduled for Tuesday, September 5th against the University of Maine Farmington, was postponed, it clearly didn’t break these athletes’ stride.

Four days later, the men’s team was ready to approach Hamilton, a team that was a finalist in the NESCAC championships last year, in what they knew was going to be a tough, but winnable game.

Strong defense, coupled with a new mix of offensive players, gave the Bobcats the edge they needed to set the tone of the game early. In the fifteenth minute Beaufils Kimpolo-Pene ‘20 scored his first career goal with a well-placed header. Shortly after, however, Hamilton returned with a goal, but just shy of halftime a well-placed throw-in allowed another header goal, spectacularly executed by Nate Merchant ‘18. With the Bobcats now in the lead, the Hamilton offence worked hard in the second half but were no match for Bates’ defense, ending the game with a 2-1 win.

Merchant is shaping up to be a key member of this year’s team, scoring two of Bates’ three goals in last week’s game vs. University of New England. After an unpopular penalty call that landed Ben Lyons ‘19 with a yellow card, UNE was able to get on the board with a well-placed free kick. However just 28 seconds later, a good ball from Merchant allowed Lyons to easily sink a shot past the UNE keeper, tying up the game. The second half was well matched, and after some close shots, Merchant was able to outrun his defender and place a nice goal, bringing the Bobcats into the lead. Less than a minute later Merchant was back at it again, scoring the game winning goal with a beautiful shot coming off a UNE defender.

Merchant continued to be a force on the field in Saturday’s game at Newbury College, scoring the first goal of the night with another well-placed header. Eric Opoku ‘20, got his second assist of the night, setting up Beaufils Kimpolo-Pene ‘20, who sent the ball nicely into the top corner. With Bates now leading 2-0, the Newbury offence responded with energy, snatching themselves one goal late in the second half. The Bobcats quickly retaliated, using a corner kick to their advantage, with Austin Sansone ‘20 scoring the winning goal.

A strong string of games has Bates sitting 3-0 so far this season, and the team hopes to extend that streak with a win at Wesleyan this Saturday September 23rd. The ‘cats have a strong group of returning players, like Merchant and Robbie Montanaro ‘19, one of the team’s goalkeepers who almost tied his career number of saves in the first game.

“I would say that this is the hardest working team I have been a part of in my three years here at Bates and all the work everyone put in in the offseason is really coming to fruition. As far as goals are concerned we’re taking it one game at a time but we completely expect to be fighting for a top spot in the league this year,” said Montanaro.

There is also a strong group of incoming first-years who are eager to do their part: Goalkeeper David Goodstein, Defenceman Blaise Marceau, Midfielders Josiah Krul, Jordan Cannon, and Eli Eshaghpour, and Forward Jason Seeger.

One of the goals for the team this year is not limited to those on the field. “This year we are really looking to improve the team culture.” said Seeger, “But that doesn’t end with the team. We love to see people out at games and want to be a team they can be proud of.”

James Woods ‘21, a spectator at the home opener vs. UNE, said, “It’s a great group of guys, and they work hard every day, in and out. Watching that hard work translate into strong performances out on the field and a win for the crowd is nice to see and great for the program.”_DSC6962

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