Over the past 20 years I have organized over 300 performances, conferences, festivals, music series, lectures, screenings, workshops, dinners, celebrations, readings, tours, and more. Below are select highlights from that history.
James Allister Sprang: Aquifer of the Hum & Aquifer of the Ducts
May 15 & 16, 2021
On the Boards Merrill Theater
Philadelphia-based multidisciplinary artist James Allister Sprang premiered Aquifer of the Hum, a newly commissioned 10-minute sound meditation alongside his 2020 work Aquifer of the Ducts, a 40-minute soundscape of layered tape recordings and modulated synths accompanied by dance. These screenings were presented as part of Lux Aeterna, a year-long platform tracing and troubling the currents of technical migration, and through a collaboration between Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Northwest Film Forum, and On the Boards.
In Conversation: Prem Krishnamurthy + adrienne maree brown
Friday, April 23, 2021
Presented in partnership by Cranbrook Art Museum, Jacob Lawrence Gallery, and The Black Embodiments Studio
Multidisciplinary creators and community builders adrienne maree brown (Emergent Strategy, Pleasure Activism) and Prem Krishnamurthy (Wkshps, FRONT International 2022) came together for an online conversation exploring ways artists contribute to community and propel structural change. Amidst this time of great loss, yet also change and possibility, what are emerging roles for artists and designers? How does an individual’s creative practice relate to collectivity, collaboration, and interdependency? How can design processes and organizing learn from each other? Krishnamurthy posed these questions and more, as he and brown discussed potential futures for art, community building, and mutual care, as well as essential tools for today’s artists and organizers. An audience Q&A follows their dialogue.
Descendance Panel Discussion
Friday, February 23, 2021
A panel conversation that explored the themes of Ariel René Jackson’s Descendance, such as lineage, generational change, and the ways in which history is carried in the body. The panel features five leading artists and scholars whose work focuses on elements of Black culture and identity: Jackson, the 2021 Jacob Lawrence Legacy Resident; tap dance artist Michael J. Love, who collaborated on Descendance; and artists Nikita Gale and Betelhem Makonnen. Curator and writer Jamal Batts moderated the discussion. The panelists discussed the way their own practices relate to history and identification, considering how the self transforms in relation to objects over time.
Voices + Voids: Reclaiming and Transcoding Our Data as Performance
Friday, November 20, 2021
Video on the Seattle Channel
Voices and Voids is a project by University of Washington Assistant Professors Audrey Desjardins, Afroditi Psarra, and Bonnie Whiting responding to the increased presence of voice assistants through a series of interdisciplinary, virtual performances and vignettes that challenge AI and ML technologies and considered the ways in which they corroborate the impact of Late Capitalism and the Anthropocene. Desjardins, Psarra, and Whiting came together on November 20 for a Zoom conversation moderated by Jacob Lawrence Gallery Director + Curator Emily Zimmerman. Voices and Voids is made possible with funding from the Mellon Foundation and the University of Washington College of Arts & Sciences.
Marisa Williamson: Angel of History opening lecture performance
Friday, February 7, 2020
Jacob Lawrence Gallery
A lecture performance in conjunction with Marisa Williamson’s exhibition Angel of History, which presented newly commissioned work as part of the 2020 Jacob Lawrence Legacy Resident at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery in the University of Washington School of Art + Art History + Design.
In Walter Benjamin’s interpretation of the Paul Klee painting, Angelus Novus (New Angel) in his Theses on the Philosophy of History, he explains Klee’s angel as moving away from something he is fixedly contemplating. Since 2013, Williamson has been fixedly contemplating the life, work, choices, and legacy of Sally Hemings, enslaved mother of four of Thomas Jefferson’s children. This exhibition moves out from that extended contemplation, engaging with questions of monument and memory.
Playfulness as Resistance: Jacob Lawrence Gallery 25th Anniversary
Saturday, February 16, 2019
Jacob Lawrence Gallery
The Jacob Lawrence Gallery celebrated it’s 25th Anniversary with Playfulness as Resistance featuring DJ sets by SassyBlack, Felisha Ledesma (S1 Portland), and dos leches + Eve Defy (TUF Collective, Seattle); live screen printing by PartyHat; a ball pit by Colleen Louise Barry; a temporary tattoo by Claire Cowie; cocktails created by Timothy Rysdyke; donuts from General Porpoise; an installation by Disco Nap; and inflatables by Seattle Design Nerds. Photos: Jin Park.
Kerry Tribe Outdoor Screening for Seattle Art Fair
August 4, 2018
An outdoor screening of Kerry Tribe’s Exquisite Corpse in Occidental Square in conjunction with the Seattle Art Fair and Tribe’s concurrent exhibition Standardized Patient at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery. The film was introduced by Tribe and followed by a Q+A with the artist.
Exquisite Corpse is a 51-minute film that traces the 51-mile LA River from its origin in the San Fernando Valley to its terminus at the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, Tribe’s camera captures its varied landscapes, neighborhoods, creatures, and communities through a string of meditative encounters that collectively describe the river at this juncture in its history.
Material Performance Events
Jacob Lawrence Gallery
Material Performance presented three events that marked the beginning (Leon Finley), middle (Jono Vaughn), and closing (Margie Livingston) of the exhibition.
Thursday, November 9, 6:30 pm: Leon Finley, Whistling at the Wall Until it Becomes Everything and Me
A performance in which Finley tried to become one with a wall, Whistling at the Wall Until it Becomes Everything and Me is a study of interdependence and becoming. Finley states, “The sound of the whistle penetrates the wall and my body. The whistle becomes solid and the wall and me become sound.”
Friday, November 24, 7:30 pm: Jono Vaughan, Dyeing to Draw
Jono Vaughan’s Dyeing to Draw (featuring stylist Keri Scherbring, and UW School of Art professor Claire Cowie) highlighted the material transformations that we enact on our bodies through dyes. In the performance, Cowie’s hair was dyed purple and then cut over paper in the gallery, where the dyed hair created a drawing informed by Scherbring’s movements as she completed the haircut.
Saturday, December 9, 1 pm: Margie Livingston, Artel
Artel was a participatory performance in which six people dragged a painting across the University of Washington campus using an artist-made harness, expanding the gesture of painting from solitary and private to public and collaborative. Inspired by Ilya Repin’s painting, Burlaks on the Volga, the title was taken from the semi-formal associations for craft, artisan, and light industrial cooperatives formed during the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. To be a member of an artel, all that was required was the capacity and willingness to work (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artel). Drawing on a history of performative dragging sited in the street by artists such as William Pope L., Francis Alÿs, Papo Colo, and Christian Marclay, Artel reflected on collective effort, chance operations, and the violence of production.
The Untuning of the Sky
Locations across Seattle
The Untuning of the Sky was a series of outdoor events throughout the summer that brought together music, poetry, and film inspired by the mystery and wonder of the sky at night. Held at venues across Seattle, the series linked such divergent cultural traditions as the Music of the Spheres and afrofuturism with contemporary astronomical theory. The series took its name from John Hollander’s 1961 book by the same name that examines the influence of music on poetry.
June 24, 8 pm: The Untuning of the Sky Poetry Reading at the Center for Wooden Boats
August 18, 8 pm: Moon Gazing in the Skyspace with Melvin Moti screening
August 26, 8 pm: SAM REMIX at the Olympic Sculpture Park with Erik Blood
August 27, 8 pm: Hair and Space Museum at the Seattle Waterfront
September 30, 7 pm: SassyBlack in Concert at the Volunteer Park Amphitheater