Fine Artists at Five: Nicholas Mueller, Fae Dremock, Alison Wahl, Wendy Mehne, and Steven Banks


Contributed by Gordon Rowland

Join us at 5PM each day. The Zoom link is available in the Fine Artists at Five Forum on the Keep Teaching Sakai site. Our artists this week are:

Nicholas Muellner, Monday April 20

Fae Dremock, Tuesday, April 21

Alison Wahl, Wednesday, April 22

Wendy Mehne, Thursday April 23 

Steven Banks, Friday, April 24


Nicholas Muellner is an artist, writer and founding Co-Director of the Image Text MFA and Press at Ithaca College. His books include Lacuna Park: Essays and Other Adventures in PhotographyIn Most Tides an Islandand The Amnesia Pavilions. His work has been widely published and exhibited, and recognized by Guggenheim, MacDowell and Yaddo Colony Fellowships.

Fae Dremock was born in Texas, the daughter of a second-generation gypsy father and a second generation Hispanic mother. She earned her MA in fiction at Johns Hopkins University (working under John Barth) and her doctorate in English (environmental) Literature and  Creative Writing at the University of Southern Mississippi (working in fiction under Steve Barthelme), She is the author of the  poetry chapbook And the Baby Gods Sprout Like Milkweed (Dancing Girl Press), Her one-act play 48, Suddenly was directed by Edward Albee in Baltimore in 1984. Fae also won the AWP Intro Journals Award for fiction in 2014, and her stories have been published in Artful Dodge and New World Writing, among others. Her work is informed by the issues of social justice and resilience. 

Alison Wahl has been praised for her "appealing" and "bright, vibrant soprano" (Chicago Tribune). She has recently been seen as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Rochester Philharmonic, Ithaca New Music Collective, Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Festival, the Chicago Arts Orchestra, and the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago. She has sung significant roles in operas; she has been a member of major choruses; she has been a Fellow at Tanglewood and a Young Artist at Ravinia; and she has won numerous awards, competitions, fellowships and scholarships. Wahl is also a composer of classical music, and is an active singer-songwriter. Her folk repertoire includes songs for vocals and guitar, piano, harp, mandolin, banjo, and ukulele. On the singer-songwriter side, she can be heard at events and open mic nights in the Ithaca and Rochester areas.

Wendy Herbener Mehne is the principal flutist with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra. With Pulitzer prize-winning composer, Steve Stucky, and colleagues from Ithaca College and Cornell University, she was a founding member of the new music group, Ensemble X. Mehne has been a guest artist and given master classes throughout the United States and has performed with the Chautauqua Symphony and at the Skaneateles Festival. As a member of the Ithaca Wind Quintet, she gave the world premiere of Karel Husa's Cayuga Lake (Memories) at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and Dana Wilson's Mirrors at the 1993 National Flute Association convention in Boston. As a soloist, she gave the convention premiere performance of Dana Wilson’s The Conjurer. She has also performed at Carnegie Hall, Constitution Hall, national ACDA and SEAMUS conferences, the International Guitar Festival in Fort de France, Martinique, numerous National Flute Association conventions, and in broadcasts by affiliates of National Public Radio and Public Television. Mehne has recorded for the Koch and Albany labels, and her CD, The Conjurer: Chamber Music for Flute by Dana Wilson, was released in August 2016.

Steven Banks is recognized for his “glowing mahogany tone” (Seen and Heard International) and “breathtaking” (Classical Voice of NC) performances. He is a classical saxophonist, chamber musician, music educator, advocate for diversity and inclusion in classical music, and composer. As a recital soloist, Banks regularly performs on various music series and as a guest artist at universities around the country. He also has an ongoing relationship with The Cleveland Orchestra, having performed with the legendary ensemble in Severance Hall, Carnegie Hall, and at the Blossom Music Center. Banks has performed as a concerto soloist with the North Carolina Symphony, Indiana University Symphony Orchestra, Durham Symphony, Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and Baldwin Wallace Conservatory Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Banks is the baritone saxophonist of the award-winning Kenari Quartet. And as a jazz saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, Banks has performed alongside members and former members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Buddy Rich Big Band, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, among others. 

Fine Artists at Five is hosted by the Center for Faculty Excellence