Grapevine March 2014

By Kristin Sanderson

Self Portrait by James Finney ’08 was selected as the promotional artwork for the Woodmere Art Museum exhibition of Germantown Friends School seniors, The Self-Portrait in Process.  Inspired by their reading of James Lord’s book, A Giacometti Portrait, senior students at GFS immersed themselves in a process-driven investigation of constructing and deconstructing their likenesses.  These self-portraits reveal their unconventional approach to experimentation with a variety of materials including graphite, charcoal, chalk, India ink and gesso.

Jessica Hershberg ’98 made her Broadway debut as an ensemble cast member in Cinderella, which opened January 7, 2014.

Maggie Brady Lasota ’95 and her husband Steve welcomed their first child, Abigail Rose, on March 6.  Abbie is the first granddaughter of Miquon’s art teacher, Anne Brady.

Josh McIlvain ’82 just wrapped up his winter series of pop-up performances of new theater, dance, and circus arts in the Northwest Philadelphia area.  Offering live art forms for adult audiences, the Nice and Fresh Winter Series featured everything from short plays to ballet. Next up, Josh’s SmokeyScout Productions brings “American Wisdom” to stages in Philadelphia and Manhattan.

Delia Raab-Snyder ’94 writes: “In 2011 became the director of Tune Up Philly. Tune Up Philly is an after school music program in North Philadelphia that strives to create social change through classical music. The program works with 70 under-served children to provide them with free daily, intensive, music instruction, mentoring, and self esteem building. Thank you to Miquon for instilling in me the desire to see the kind of love and creativity I received in my elementary education extended to every child!”

Television animation producer Kara Vallow ’75, who has worked with well-known Seth McFarlane on several projects — including Family Guy — launches her latest, Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey, on the Fox network this month.  A follow-on to the 1980 PBS mini-series, Cosmos will feature animated historical reenactments and illustrate modern scientific theories. 

Alumni parent Susan Wilder  (mom to Nick Marini ’04 ) just completed her lead role as Polly Wyeth in the Winter 2014 run of the Tony winning play, “Other Desert Cities” at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia.

Greg Williams (dad to Jesse Sharp-Williams ’96), who served as Miquon principal from 1990 to 1993 and later, owner/operator of Walk a Crooked Mile Books in the Mount Airy Train Station, has decided to close the brick-and-mortar shop this August.  Instead, Greg and his business and life partner Cynthia Potter (former Miquon sabbatical science teacher) will focus their efforts as online booksellers.  In total, the  shop has been in business more than 18 years.

Current parent Yolanda Wisher has published her first book of poetry, Monk Eats Afro (Hanging Loose Press).  Her work has also appeared in Fence, Ploughshares, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.  Yolanda is the founder of the Germantown Poetry Festival.