Anthe Capitan-Valais Artist and Executive Director Graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
"I have always been an artist of some sort. When I was a child I would take the cardboard pieces out of my dad's laundered shirts to paint and draw upon. I couldn't wait for the next delivery of clean shirts as it would be loaded with many a blank canvas for me to make my creations. I use to get paint by number kits and I was never one to stay in the lines so with those paints, my imagination and my Dad's shirts I would paint.The arts are my passion... Creating work is much like breathing, I simply do it because I must to stay alive. The creation of my art is a means for me to express my faith in God, glorifying him, and giving Him honor." Years ago I was a dancer which was fun and exciting way of expressing myself.
However, I was hit by a drunk driver and that put an end to my dancing career but not to the passion of what I felt when dancing which remained within. Now through my love of art, I am able to once again express the movements I remember so vividly through the digital collages I am creating along with paintings. I am creating works which are inspired by drawings that I have done by monitoring classes or attending performances.
Nothing in life is exactly what it appears to be and art in my estimation should reflect the same as life, the unexpected. Anthe's goal is to use her art to touch lives and spark the creative spirit within each of her class participants. Teaching Drawing-From-Dance affords her such an opportunity.
Artwork created by Anthe from Carrie's dancing as a moving model.
Carrie S. Brzezinski, MFA, owner, director, teacher, choreographer, has been dancing her entire life, with a strong foundation in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Tap, Hip Hop and West African dance techniques. Carrie started dancing at the age of 2 1/2 , and began studying dance under the instruction of her mother, Lois Butcher-Poffley, PhD. Over the years has had the privilege of training with very talented and esteemed artists such as Henry Roy, Viktor Eliohin, Eva Szabo, Caroline Bones, Shandra Staley-Walker, Ione Nash, Leon Evans, Ann Vachon, Eva Gholson, Jeanne Ruddy, Merian Soto, LeVaughn Robinson, Roni Koresh, Wayne St. David, Fernando Bujones, Molly Misgalla, Kun Yang Lin, and Ruth Andrien to name a few. Carrie is also the lead singer and performs with the group, The Velvet Tones in the Tri-State area. The AnA Project is so very honored to have her involved as our Director of Performers.
The AnA Project is a grassroots association created to bring Drawing-from-Dance and Music to people of all ages from all walks of life. Pairing performers with instructors in workshops settings and providing a platform for performers in a variety of forms. This fledgling organization started in spring of 2013 as the brainchild of local artist Anthe Capitan-Valais when she paired up with a ballerina, Amy Margaret Unks. A former dancer in her youth, Anthe was hit by a drunk driver which ended her dancing career Always an artist of some sort she continued to go to school and graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Anthe was invited as an artist in residence in Montreal, Canada. When there her host took her out to see the Winnipeg Royal Ballet. She sat in the darkness of the audience, pulled out her sketch book and began to draw the dancers as they glided across the stage. Unable to see what she was drawing she focused on the lit stage and continued to draw. When the lights came on, her new work was revealed. She was able to once again express the movements that she remembered so vividly. On her return to the states she began attending performances to recapture that feel of drawing during live performances. It is at the Pennsylvania Ballet that she met Jon Sherman, who was the head of ballet at Swarthmore College. Upon seeing what Anthe was doing, looking over her work that she had sketched, an invitation was extended for her to attend his classes to draw the students. It was only a matter of time when she was invited to attend all classes in all dance genre to draw the dancers. Eventually she began to teach through a grant and in a satellite program Drawing-from-Dance to youngsters at Swarthmore. Venus Dance Co.#2 performs at Bethlehem Village for the AnA Project.
In the summer of 2013 Anthe extended to teaching a program of Drawing-from-Music to the Chester Children’s Chorus. It was in this class that she saw the value and the joy that Drawing-from Dance and Music brought to the participants.
Anthe felt the need to share with all ages and all walks of life this joy and Artists in Art known as the AnA Project took flight. The AnA Project is designed to fully integrate Fine art, music, and dance while educating people through the concept of drawing movement from dance and music. The two art forms of drawing and dance are combined in such a way that the essence of the movement is captured in the artwork and given permanence. Art taps into a form of expression that connects with the joys of living. The AnA Project merges the mind and body into one dynamic work of art for the 21st century.
In the first workshop, 38 residents of the Philadelphia Nursing Home participated, as Amy Margaret Unks, a ballerina volunteered her time to dance and Anthe taught the Drawing-from-Dance. Out of the residents that were there, only 3 that claimed to have seen a ballet or a ballerina. They were mesmerized by what they saw. The process of drawing what they saw helped them to release their inner child.
An active member of the Flourtown community, Anthe wanted to reach out and work locally in her own community. Shortly thereafter, Anthe teamed up with local talent and entrepreneur, Carrie Susan Brzezinski. Carrie is the owner of Pulse Dance Center located at Acme Shopping Center in Flourtown. She is an award winning dancer, director and choreographer for Venus Dance Co 1 & 2. The vision for the AnA Project is connectivity of the arts to people of all ages from all walks of life. Each artist works within their own community while building on giving back to each artist’s own community. As the AnA Project organization grows, each community is enriched with artists and performers bringing the joy of art to people of all ages from all walks of life within their own communities.
In the fall of 2014, Carrie, her dancers and Anthe worked on a collaboration for the Temple University (re)Union Show. The AnA Project was introduced to the public. The artwork that Anthe had created was used as backdrops and segues in-between dance numbers. The junior dance troupe, Venus Co. 2 also danced with animation created by Anthe for their dance routine.
In the summer of 2015, The AnA Project visited Bethlehem Village to the spread joy through dance and music with residents. Anthe introduced The AnA Project, the concept and idea to the residents. A day later Venus Dance Co.2 performed several award winning numbers. Later that week, Anthe and Carrie returned where Anthe instructed a class on Drawing-from-Music and then Drawing-from-Dance as Carrie danced and was the moving model. The residents enjoyed themselves. A second workshop was scheduled and completed.
The AnA Project goals for the upcoming year are to visit several senior living, nursing homes, and art centers. If you are interested in our project and bringing it to a local residence community center or nursing home, please contact us. The AnA Project a non-profit corporation. For more information e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Anthe at 215-233-3916 You can also follow us Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/anaprojectonline and on twitter at #AnA_Project .
*Determination 501(c)(3) Status Date November 20, 2015. The IRS recognizes us under IRC Section 501(c) (3) as a public charity - status 170(b) (1) (A) (vi). Donations to our organization is tax deductible as it applies by the letter of the law.