Thursday, June 15, 2023



Dear Friends,


A brief summary of last year’s events for Cilla Vee Life Arts.


Most of my time and energy over the past two years has been absorbed into renovations and programming here at The Center for Connection + Collaboration – the home of Cilla Vee Life Arts in Asheville NC



However, I have still managed to push the extra mile to produce some creative projects in 2022 and I’d love to share some highlights with you …






Smoke & Mirrors

at Black Mountain College {Re}Happening #10


After a two-year pandemic delay, the tenth annual {Re}Happening ‘happened’ at Lake Eden, the historic site for American contemporary arts of the FIRST “Happening”.

Smoke & Mirrors is a multimedia collaboration of CillaVee (movement) with Geo Lynx (generative video) and Pax (sound) – creating illusions quite literally with the use of smoke and mirrors.

 Smoke & Mirrors video capture by Kimathi Moore

Smoke & Mirrors images album:





performance / ritual / installation with Elisa Faires

at Revolve – Asheville NC


Temple was a culmination of work created with long-time friend and collaborator Elisa Faires, along with Nina LaFerla, during Elisa’s time as artist-in-residence at Revolve art space in Asheville’s River Arts District throughout 2021/22. Elisa created a mystical environment using layers of digital audio-visual with live performance and installation.




On the very same night I was virtually in two other public events:


Circle Modern Dance 30th Anniversary concert at the Bijou Theatre in Knoxville TN

A celebration of thirty years for this dance company that I was a co-founding director of for a decade in the 1990s!

My presence here was in a screening of Resplendent (art video collaboration with composer Debbie Danbrook and video artist Sara Baird)



moveMINT NFT group show at Lavan 541 gallery NYC

Here my dear collaborator visual artist Martha Skinner was presenting our video collaboration Red, part of her Asphalt Drawings series.



(Other presentations of our Asphalt Drawings collaborations took place over the year at: Adelia Art Gallery - Liverpool UK sponsored by TIME Magazine, Super Chief Gallery - Los Angeles, CA and Upstairs Artspace - Tryon, NC)





Smoke & Mirrors at CCC-AVL


Another opportunity to present this piece, this time on home turf as part of the Center for Connection + Collaboration summer programming.







Modus Operandi at Story Parlor – Asheville NC


A fun comedic audience interactive improvization project with Elisa Faires since 2008, this iteration of Modus Operandi was presented as part of Story Parlor’s AVL REVUE: On Air where local Asheville arts and culture radio hosts could invite artists they wanted to feature. CillaVee was invited by Matt Peiken of BPR (BlueRidge Parkway Radio – our local NPR station)




Legend of Sekmet at Surreal Sirkus – Asheville NC


Taking one legend out of the Temple installation project with Elisa Faires and Nina LaFerla and condensing it down into a narrated story-line, we presented the Legend of Sekmet as part of an all day Surreal Sirkus event at Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville.








Ready Made Humans at Thang – Somerville Armory MA


My friend and collaborator Robyn Thomas (in Providence RI) and I have a duo project we call The Ready Made Humans through which we explore a performative version of Duchamp’s readymades concept. In November we gradually invaded the space of the Somerville Armory during the day long event Thangsgiving: Mashed Potato Gravy Reservoir Edition produced by Paul Kafka-Gibbons (who produces two Thangs a year – goodTHANGpassing at Passover and THANGsgiving for Thanksgiving) By the end of the day our installation of objects connected by red string was surrounding the event participants, who we then invited to interact with it.


 how-long-is-a-piece-of-string? images album:





Psychosomatic Transformations

– RAW MATERIAL / Living Art / Motion Sculpture

at STOA Center for Body Arts and Studies – Sirince, Turkey


Psychosomatic Transformations - workshop information blog:


In December I spent two weeks facilitating a workshop series at Stoa Center for Body Arts and Studies up in the mountains of the Izmir Province of Turkey. It was part of a longer six week Butoh dance intensive including workshops offered by Julie Becton Gillum and Joan Laage.

My work focused on movement meditations, environmental site work and durational performance utilizing my Living Art performance pedagogy with an emphasis on Motion Sculpture movement and the Raw Material modes of inquiry.


 Turkey images album:





Over the past couple of years I have been converting my Asheville NC home into a small, grass-roots creative community center – as well as functioning as a home-base for Cilla Vee Life Arts.

I’ve been working hard to get the ball rolling by producing regular community programming here … my hope is that now local community members will pick up the ball and run with it, using the space to present their own projects – as I need to re-focus my energies back into Cilla Vee projects!


Here is the CCC 2022 news report:






THANK YOU so much for taking the time to read this year’s epistle!


If you would like to support CVLA and the CCC our renovations fundraiser is still open and our goal still not yet reached … 


 CCC - Renovations Fundraiser link:



"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." - Maya Angelou



“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.” - Austin Kleon



“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” - Edward De Bono



“Don’t wait for inspiration. It comes while working." - Henri Matisse


Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Cilla Vee Life Arts - REPORT of 2021 HAPPENINGS



image from Reflection - photo by Julie Becton Gillum



Greetings dear friends,


It’s already the Spring Equinox as I write this and I’m scrambling to complete my annual report that usually goes out at the beginning of the year!


Most of my efforts this year have been invested in the time, money and labor-intensive occupation of renovating my humble adobe in Asheville NC into The Center for Connection + Collaboration – a local and global creative community hub.


… But more about that later …


In spite of this diversion Cilla Vee Life Arts has still managed to pull together a decent collection of creative projects throughout 2021.

I will share some highlights with you … 





VIGIL: Angel of Light at Asheville Art Museum - capture by Rebecca MacNeice






VIGIL: Angel of Light was a one-hour solo durational Motion Sculpture Movement Installation performed inside the oculus window of the Asheville Art Museum overlooking Pack Square below.


My intention for the project was as a continuation of the VIGIL: Prayers of Healing for theLiving and the Dead 30-day installation at Chashama NY in July 2020 for the NEA / NYSCA sponsored Enliven NYC series.

I wanted to bring a healing VIGIL ritual to my home-base community in Asheville. …. I also had my eye on that wonderful oculus window at AAM as a performance space for some time.


I invited the citizens of Asheville to bring bells and chimes to play in response to the performance as they viewed it from the square.

The Angel of Light bringing hope for the future on the one-year anniversary of pandemic lock-down.


With gratitude to AAM curator Hilary Schroeder and the supportive museum staff who made this happen.



"Behind the scenes" Angel of Light waiting for darkness so the show can begin!



VIGIL: Angel of Light documentation by Rebecca MacNeice


Angel of Light stills – Flickr:


Angel of Light short excerpts – YouTube:






REALIGNMENTS video series with

Debbie Danbrook HEALING MUSIC

(REALIGNMENTS is part of the on-going RAW MATERIAL project to promote an awareness of our nature environments as sanctuary.)


I’ve known Debbie Danbrook for many years. She is a gifted multi-instrumental musician and composer based in Toronto and is a Shakuhachi flute Master. It is her work with Shakuhachi that led her into the life of Healing Music to which she dedicates herself wholeheartedly.

We met through our work with the International Sacred Dance Guild and have also collaborated on other performance projects together.


During pandemic lockdown Debbie reached out to me to consider how we could approach a collaboration. The result was our year-long project Realignments – a music and movement video series marking the Equinox and Solstice days of each season.


For each piece I invited a local Asheville area, female video artist to collaborate with me on creating the visual element, which was then sent to Debbie for her musical response and final production with her partner Steve Raiman at Kensington Sound Studio in Toronto.


Each video was released on the date of the Equinox/Solstice.


RENEWAL - video artist Martha Skinner


RENEWAL – Spring Equinox

RESPLENDENT - video artist Sara Baird


RESPLENDENT – Summer Solstice



RESTORATION - video artist Liz Lang


RESTORATION – Autumn Equinox



REFLECTION - video artists Julie Becton Gillum and Claire Elizabeth Barratt


REFLECTION – Winter Solstice

(photo montages by Chloe Harnett-Hargrove)


For a complete project exposition, please visit the REALIGNMENTS blog:





RADIO ART commission for



For a small Southern Appalachian town, Asheville’s got some heavy hitters of the avant-garde!

… Three of these local contingents combined forces last year on an unusual project to commission five regional sound artists to create a short Radio Art piece.

Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center, Make Noise modular synth manufacturers and Asheville FM Radio put out a call for proposals.


As an interdisciplinary artist I have experience working in a variety of media. I consider anything as a potential material for art-making, so I have worked with sound and have an understanding of the specific genre of Radio Art. However, I didn’t think I stood much of a chance, given how many devoted sound artists there are in the Western North Carolina region. But at the last minute on the night of the deadline I decided to give it a shot … When my proposal was accepted I then had to follow through with creating the piece!

It all turned out well and I enjoyed the process of making my Radio Art piece Public Service Announcement.


Public Service Announcement is a commentary on the authority and self-control possessed by the voice of the radio announcer. There is a nod towards the famous Orson Welles “War of the Worlds” radio drama in regards to the ultimate trust that is placed on the radio announcement as a voice of authority. However, during this announcement the voice is interrupted by the human compulsions of the anatomical construct of “voice”, cracking the veneer of superiority and revealing the vulnerability of the human condition.




Public Service Announcement on BMCM SoundCloud:


Listening Session – BMCM event website link:


Interview with Jess Speer on Asheville FM Radio – Ecstatic Listening:












A continuation of my collaboration with artist Martha Skinner on her Asphalt Drawings series. This one entitled Displaced Drawing when we had to find an alternative location after being banished from the street by the Marshall NC law enforcement!


Displaced Drawing YouTube link:





The Body and Collaborative Movement in Quarantine.


A roundtable discussion as part of the Transart (notso) Short Fest curated by Jean Marie Casbarian and hosted by Ely Center of Contemporary Art in New Haven CT.

This artist talk between myself and these two phenomenal Canadian movement artists really brought on a serious bout of “imposter syndrome” but I think I managed to fool everyone okay!


Event page on Ely Center website:


Symposia Roundtable Talks page:



Sacred Dance Guild


Living Art article for the International Scared Dance Guild Journal:


SDG Sacred Sundays online presentation about the VIGIL project:



Regional NPR – Blue Ridge Parkway Radio


Interview with Matt Peiken about my work in general:

(Click LISTEN button to hear feature)



Performance with Charlotte NC gothic rock band Solemn Shapes at Club 27 Asheville.





Interview with Matt Peiken about the CCC on feature spotlighting new regional art residency spaces:

(Click LISTEN button to hear feature)



the Asheville Cesspool of Synths summer event at the CCC


As I mentioned in the introduction, most of my daily blood, sweat and tears this year (and actually for the past two years) have been spent on the renovation project of converting my home into a creative community center.


So far …


Kitchen renovation.


From master bedroom to Costume Shop conversion.


From living room to Studio conversion. 



New garage roof



Plus many other construction and improvement jobs.




We rescued the entire Cilla Vee Life Arts costume collection from it’s cramped, mildewy life in the basement, washed it all, aired it out in the sunshine and established it in the new CCC costume shop! 


"From the Deep" sea-creature costumes airing out in the sun




This spring … Garage to performance venue/workshop space conversion.


This summer … Study room to resource library/tech lab conversion.



For more details about my vision for the CCC and the renovation process, please visit:






The CCC was put to the test as a Local and Global hub this past winter when we produced a whole season of poetry events. A Winter of Poetry.


My Dad, David Barratt who is a literary artist and retired professor, has been compiling his lifetime’s work of poetry over the past couple of years. As he was going to be spending the winter here in Asheville it seemed appropriate to have him as our winter artist-in-residence and create a full season of events.


Throughout December, January and February we had three different concurrent series:

- Six David Barratt poetry workshop sessions.

- Four regional guest poet sessions.

- Four winter holiday community readings.

Culminating in a big Poetry Collaborations night hosted by Poetry Cabaret Collective.


All events were offered in-person and via Zoom – and we were joined by people from around the world!



Winter of Poetry pictures






Thank you so much for taking the time to read this year’s report.

In spite of 2021 being so focused on the hard work and labor of construction/renovation for the CCC plus the hundreds of hours invested in production and administration for our Winter of Poetry, Cilla Vee Life Arts still managed to come through with some satisfying creative projects!


We look forward to many more CVLA projects and events in the future now that we will have a real home-base studio workspace established in the CCC.


To support this valuable work, please consider making a donation to our on-going CCC GoFundMe fundraising campaign:



Blessings and well-wishes for the rest of 2022!



Creativity and community are antonyms for impotence and isolation

… and therefore antidotes?

Let’s assume so!