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!




































Saturday, January 2, 2021

REPORT 2020 - A Year of Pandemic Performance

An extra eye! ... Asheville Fringe Festival "Follows No Rules" award. Photo: CEB Selfie

Cilla Vee Life Arts – REPORT 2020


A Year of Pandemic Performance






Thank you for tuning into this year’s Cilla Vee Life Arts report.


January 2020 began with quite a bang!


From "RARARA dadada" at the Asheville Fringe Festival. Photo by Jennifer Bennett


Asheville Fringe Festival


By far the largest number of artists participating in a single CVLA performance to date (34) and in probably the most crowded venue.

“RARARA dadada” was a 3-hour minefield of spontaneous artistic occurrences! Held at the Sly Grog Lounge as part of the Asheville Fringe Festival, it featured a myriad of Asheville’s finest performance and sound artists – plus guests from Roanoke Virginia’s Marginal Arts scene.

AND … we won the AFF “Follows No Rules” award! 


RARARA dadada PHOTOS– Flickr link:





The previous weekend, Cilla Vee made an appearance at another well-attended happening – Swannatopia. This was an enterprising pop-up gallery group show produced by Glowspace Arts. It was held in an old 1940s grocery store space in Swannanoa, NC. The (loose) theme was ‘texting’ and I created an interactive performance installation “I Sent You a Text! … did you get it?” wherein those were the only words out of my mouth for the whole 2 hours.


I Sent You a TextVIDEO – YouTube link:

(Video capture by Jeff Davis)





After the mayhem and cacophony of these two packed venues, the sense of community a heaving mass, walls bulging at the seams …

pandemic lockdown was a startling and cruel contrast.


Gone … was a whole season of bookings:

The Asheville Art Museum Gala, the New Dance Festival at the BeBe Theatre, the Black Mountain College Museum’s {Re} Happening on Lake Eden, a summer tour – North East USA and Canada, The Watermill Center.



Okay, well fine … Actually there’s plenty of other things to be getting on with. Building an improved administrative infrastructure with our new assistant Chloe, working on house renovations for the new community art center …



"VIGIL: Prayers of Healing for the Living and the Dead" - From final performance. Photo by Fred Hatt



Enliven NYC


And then …

Late June – suddenly …

All systems GO – one week to prepare – an Enliven NYC grant award funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts. A month-long residency through July at Chashama’s Brooklyn Bridge Park waterfront gallery.


"VIGIL - Day 6 Handwashing" This picture shows a nice reflection from the window of the park and chance audience members! Photo by Robyn Thomas


When the people can’t go to see performing arts because venues are shut down, how do you SAFELY bring performing arts to the people?

Through a storefront window – that’s how!


"VIGIL: Prayers of Healing for the Living and the Dead" From final performance. Photo by Juliette Buffard Scalabre



Enliven NYC sponsored seven artists throughout the summer of 2020 to present performative installations in different storefront spaces around New York City.


"VIGIL - Day 9 Touch". Photo by Fred Hatt



Mine was a 30-day VIGIL “Prayers of Healing for the Living and the Dead”

I have created a day-by-day report of this incredibly intense time that I would like to share with you:


VIGIL REPORT –site link:



Virtually There


But alas … “no rest for the weary” (or “the wicked” – whichever version of the saying you prefer)


Immediately following the final VIGIL performance – an all night de-install, hit the road home by morning, car breaks down in Maryland, tow truck the rest of the way back to Asheville …

Back in time to get on-line for the Sacred Dance Guild festival ‘Virtually There’ via Zoom, where I had my first virtual workshop facilitation experience. “Wondering Hands” – a motion sculpture movement meditation on the hands while exploring the Zoom ‘box’ as a spatial medium.

(I was also given the great honor of being the Sacred Dance Guild featured member of the month)


"Wondering Hands" Zoom workshop for the Sacred Dance Guild Festival.


Sacred DanceGuild – 2020 Festival page link:



Collaborations and Virtual Possibilities


Throughout this pandemic year, artists and creatives have continuously sought ways to push through the barriers of lockdown. They have utilized virtual platforms to the utmost potential, created new recording projects or held outdoor, covid-precautious events.


"Muddying The Waters" with Billy Zanski and Linda Go at Asheville Art Museum. Video still



The Asheville Art Museum Gala was finally possible via livestream and a beautiful collaboration developed between Cilla Vee and sound healing artists Billy Zanski and Linda Go in response to the museum’s “Muddying The Waters” clay exhibit. 


Muddying TheWaters VIDEO – Youtube link: 




Cilla Vee performed in the persona “Go Go Dancer” for the band ‘Peacock Party’ at the French Broad Outfitters outdoor concert series on Hominy Creek – Asheville, NC.


Peacock Party VIDEO– Youtube link:


A video of Cilla Vee by Fred Hatt (“VIGIL: Day 22 – Red”) was included in ‘The (Not So) Short Film Festival’ – a compilation of works by Transart Institute faculty and alumni curated by Jean Marie Casbarian. (Currently hosted by Ely Center for Contemporary Art)


The (Not So)Short Film Festival – Ely Center website page link:

"VIGIL - Day 22 RED" Video in 'The (Not So) Short Film Festival. Photo by Fred Hatt


I’ve also had the opportunity to work with some of my closest and dearest on a number of video projects:


The ‘Asphalt Drawing Series’ is a project of Colombian artist Martha Skinner. She creates these fascinating birds-eye-view, time-lapse videos – while at the same time causing a public street performance intervention.

I joined her in creating one of these this autumn in downtown Marshall, NC.


Working on an 'Asphalt Drawing' project with Martha Skinner. Photo by Martha Skinner


Asphalt DrawingRED VIDEO – Youtube link:


(Video concept and capture by Martha Skinner. Set to music by Kimathi Moore. Such a charming piece - you must watch it!)



Asphalt DrawingRED (behind-the-scenes) VIDEO – Youtube link:


(A VERY entertaining behind-the-scenes capture by our friend Tony Torn - featuring Lee Ann Brown and a number of Marshall town residents!)


Asphalt DrawingRED PHOTOS – Flickr link:



"Past and Future" (Golden Queen section) Project with Elisa Faires. Video still


My long-time friend, musician/composer/performing artist Elisa Faires invited me to join her in some immersive video projects – on location in the Swannanoa River (with filmmaker Hannah Sommer) and also at her November/December residency in Asheville’s Revolve Gallery – where we collaborated on her project “Past and Future”.


Past and Future VIDEO– Youtube link:



 (Short video piece by Elisa Faires using some of the footage from our collaboration set to music by Ivan Seng. "Past and Future" symbolizes a psychological and spiritual journey of self-healing through archetypes, alchemy and magic.)

Past and FuturePHOTOS – Flickr link:


"Past and Future" (Lost Child section). Project with Elisa Faires. Photo by Elisa Faires



Re-Cultivating Compassion

Re-Cultivatng the tender shoots of compassion. Photo by Robyn Thomas

A new sister project of CVLA has been in the works over the past year.

Together with my RCC partner Robyn Thomas; we have metomorphosized what was to be a local Providence, RI real space/time symposium into a global, virtual, spiritual community!

‘Re-Cultivating Compassion’ is a platform for creatives addressing themes of compassion in their practice. Although still in its infancy, RCC has already garnered some truly impressive individuals and we anticipate watching this community grow and flourish in the coming months and years.


Re-CultivatingCompassion Blog site Link:

Re-CultivatingCompassion on Instagram:


Re-CultivatingCompassion on Facebook:

Kik Williams' article "Pandemic Laughter Yoga" is one of the posts you will find on the re-Cultivating Compassion site.


The Center for Connection and Collaboration


I mentioned earlier about “house renovations” and a “community center”.

My vision is to convert my humble abode in the lovely mountain town of Asheville, NC into a small, intimate venue for the purpose of creative connections.

CCC-AVL (or Triple C for short) is really a continuation of the community already established in the home by my family since 1992. Music salons, garage concerts, garden parties, devotional gatherings. My intention is to better equip the space to facilitate these events.



Work Party on the CCC front porch! Thank you Martha Skinner, Roger Munch and Andy Kelley.



… More on RCC and the CCC to come. We’ll keep you posted.





Mail Art Exhibition


$1 Mail Art from Adam Larsen. Photo by Chloe Harnett-Hargrove



And finally …


Our first ‘$1 Fundraiser Mail Art Exhibition’


CVLA Admin. Chloe Harnett-Hargrove - counting dollars and sorting through mail art.



Every spring since 2006, CVLA has been running the One Dollar Fundraiser. Occasionally contributors will enclose a creative offering – such as a poem, drawing or other art object – and mail it along with their dollar(s)

So this year we decided to make it a THING!

Our virtual ‘$1 Fundraiser Mail Art Exhibition’ can be viewed here:


CVLA $1Fundraiser Mail Art Exhibition 2020 PHOTOS – Flickr link:



("Angel of Light - on the Darkest Night". The Angel of Light holds vigil on the Winter Solstice. We would also like to thank all of our supporting Angels!)


With deep and humble gratitude, we would like to acknowledge all who supported Cilla Vee Life Arts this year – 2020:





One Dollar Fundraiser Mail Art Exhibition Artists


Greg Congleton, Knoxville TN USA

Carol Zakaluk, Bronx NY USA

Sam Attrep-Wallace, Flagstaff AZ USA

Chloe Harnett-Hargrove, Asheville NC USA

Linda Mary Montano, Saugerties NY USA

Linda Larsen, Asheville NC USA

Adam Larsen, Asheville NC USA

Coco Palmer Dolce, Asheville NC USA

Fred Hatt, Brooklyn NY USA

C. Mehrl Bennett, Columbus OH USA

Gerry & George, Almonte, ON CAN

Lynn Bernatsky, Candler NC USA

Cree McCree, New Orleans LA USA

Julie Van Ridge, Asheville NC USA

Emma Parnam, Black Mountain NC USA

Giles Collard, Asheville NC USA

Minerva Durham, New York NY USA

Donald Miller, New Orleans LA USA

Jenni Cockrell, Asheville NC USA

Kaz Kuken, Asahikawa JAP

James Bailey, Toronto ON CAN


Financial Supporters


Robin Barratt

Alan and Debbie Wood

Brenda Flanagan

John Frey (in loving memory of Kathleen Frey)

Anita Durst


Fundraiser Contributors


Pat and Paul Jamie

Roger Munch

Diana and Richard Brewster

Y Sok

Janet Robbins

Rob Wallace and Kara Attrep

Joe Burgio

Deb Pollard and Marty Kaz

John Roche

Andrea Spaziani

Russ and Lesley Howell

Marc Dale

Alisha Earo


Andrew Dewar

Laila Alamiri

Elisa Faires

Linda and Ron Larsen

Adam Larsen

Coco and Tom Palmer-Dolce

C. Mehrl and John Bennett

Emma and Nick Parnam

Susan and Giles Collard

Greg Congleton

Carol Zakaluk

Fred Hatt

Gerry & George

Lynn Bernatsky

Cree McCree and Donald Miller

Julie Van Ridge

Jenni Cockrell

Kaz Kuken

James Bailey

Minerva Durham

Linda Mary Montano


RARARA dadada Performers


Martha Skinner

Chloe Harnett-Hargrove

Janet Robbins

Andre Cholmondeley (We Are Ants To Them)

Walker Farrell

Valeria Watson


Amy (Eithne) Hamilton

Liz Lang

Elisa Faires

Chandra Shukla

Brandon Quinn

Jeff Davis

Geo Lynx

Edwin Salas

Dr. Wayne Kirby

Leslee Reiter

Madalyn Wofford

Byron Brown

Giles Collard

Emmalee Hunnicutt

Ben Hjertmann

Nina LaFerla

Sharon Cooper

Jim Julien

Mike Anderserson

Wayne Llywelyn

Wilheim Katastrof

Olchar Lindsann

Mr Thursday

Cambria Storms

(some dropped out, others dropped in – but that’s pretty much the cast!)


Enliven NYC Residency



Anita Durst

Hayley Ferber

Juliette Buffard Scalabre

Rachel Cohen

Bryn Pennetti

Fred Hatt

Kayoko Nakajima

Hisayasu Takashio

Michael Evans

Susan Hefner

Andrea Haenggi

Cheryl Eugenia

Chad Becker

Elisa Faires

Trish Faires

Chandra Shukla

Liz Lang

Robyn Thomas

Enno Fritsch

Janet Robbins

Stina Anderson

Jocelyn Reese

Judy Canestrelli

Rev. Kate Jamie

Marianne Giosa

Daniel Carter

Linda Mary Montano

Keigos Coffee



And all collaborators, contributors, supporters, work party participants and friends – including:


Asheville Art Museum

Circle Modern Dance

Sacred Dance Guild

Roger Munch

Kristen Boddy

Devon Fero

Billy Zanski (Skinny Beats)

Linda Go

Kimathi Moore

Ben Brill

Richard and Diana Brewster

Andy Kelley

Meg Mulhearn

David James Lynch

Louly Peacock

Martha Skinner

Liz Lang

Elisa Faires

Wendy Morrell

Debbie Danbrook

David Gwaltney

Robert and Carey Baldwin

Helen the cat lady



Additional extremely very special thanks to:


David Barratt (Dad)

Chloe Harnett-Hargrove

Robyn Thomas

Geo Lynx



… I do hope I haven’t missed anybody!



With much love and gratitude,




From "Asphalt Drawings" with Martha Skinner. Photo by Martha Skinner



Cilla Vee Life Arts


Claire Elizabeth Barratt – Director


Chloe Harnett-Hargrove - Administration