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Artists & Elders: Mark Jeffery, Kevin J. Shannon, & Sarah E. Lauzen

Mark Jeffery is a Chicago based performance/installation artist, curator and Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since 1994 Mark Jeffery has developed unconventional collaborations with visual artists, scholars, video artists, sound artists, new media and code artists, dancers, choreographers, curators, and writers. In 2012, he co-founded the language, performance, and technology collective Anatomical Theatres of Mixed Reality (ATOM-r). ATOM-r premiered its first work The Operature in 2014 and in 2017 premiered Kjell Theøry a performance and exhibition created through two residencies at The International Museum of Surgical Science and The Graham Foundation. ATOM-r is currently in research and development of their new work, Rhinestone Cowboy that they anticipate to complete in winter of 2021. He is organizer of the IN>TIME Tri Annual performance festival hosted by multiple venues in Chicago. The last edition was in the winter of 2019. Mark was a former member of the internationally renowned Goat Island Performance Group from 1996 – 2009. Recent performances and exhibitions include: Graham Foundation, Chicago, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Chisenhale Dance Space, London, Alfred De Vrove, Prague, International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago, Performance Arcade, Wellington, NZ, Australian Centre for Moving Image, Melbourne and 606 Trail, Chicago. Since Summer 2019  he has collaborated with Shannon Stratton, Kelly Kaczynski and Kelly Llyod on a 3 year long research and exhibition and performance project at The Poor Farm, Wisconsin that will culminate in a large-scale exhibition summer 2022. Since summer of 2018, Mark has created a performance and exhibition space in his Ukranian Village home, called Ohklahomo. The new space allows for emerging and established artists to connect, make new experimental work and also always has a dinner component. | |

Kevin J. Shannon is a dancer, potter, artist, and teacher creating and living in Chicago, IL. Kevin received his BFA from The Juilliard School and has been dancing with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago since 2007. As a dancer, Kevin has performed works by Kyle Abraham, William Forsythe, Aszure Barton, and Crystal Pite among many others. He has led the Intermediate/Advanced Hubbard Street Summer Intensive, teaches master classes and dance workshops around the world, and is a guest teacher for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s main company. In addition, Kevin is a certified IMAGE TECH for Dancers™ teacher. Currently he is collaborating with the interdisciplinary performing artist and teacher Mark Jeffery through Chicago Dancemakers Forum 10×10 Crossbody Collaborations.


Sarah E. Lauzen Who do you think you are? writer. reader. editor. publisher. literary agent. instructor. administrator. IT analyst. cat rescuer. recovery trainer. artist. worked in literary, academic, and trade/commercial publishing. fiction editor of Chicago Review, culminating in a Special Section on In{Re}novative fiction. (See short memoir of those years in CR 59:4/60, 2016). published in over 30 markets including Chicago Magazine, Chicago Reader, American Book Review, New York Arts Journal, and Postmodern FIction: A Bio-Bibliographic Guide. won an Illinois Arts Council Award. Developed and taught Modernist Creative Writing at University of Chicago, Newberry Library, Columbia College, and independently. Created Other Literary Services to secure publication for beginning writers in literary markets. Since 2014, local meeting facilitator for SMART Recovery and member of the online Facilitator DIstance Training Team. Also volunteer with Hyde Park Cats.  With Indie City Writers, we’ve held readings at 57th Street Books and elsewhere. Several years ago, took my first art class, to explore visual ways of seeing/telling, to not be bound by words, to unblock. Joined the ongoingThursday Salon (65+) where we discuss new artists every week and share work. This contact, these classes, give me hope. Due to mobility issues and covid I’ve been apartment-bound since February. Too much time to think. As tIme passes, I have more questions than answers. How did this happen? Where did time go? Where am I going? What do I need? What do I want? Artists + Elders showed up at the perfect moment. What remains. Traces show through. We might call our project Pentimento. Old paint ageing on canvas can become transparent and reveal what was originally painted underneath, the painter’s earlier drafts. It is a peek into the past, a collaboration of sorts.  Creative collaboration. My artists drew me in, listened, respected, laughed, and produced brilliant transformative performance.  An intimate connection and (re)connection between former strangers. We share the fluidity of movement and memories, light and language. The process of collaboration and friendships are the real gift. In this time of solitude and uncertainty, we can know each other. We look through each other’s eyes. As a teenager I wrote notes under peeling, torn wallpaper in my bedroom (notes left to a house that held too many secrets?) Who was the writing under the wallpaper written for? Perhaps it was written For You.




Posted on December 2, 2020 in Artists & Elders

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