Monday, February 5, 2024

Cilla Vee Life Arts – REPORT of 2023 HAPPENINGS

Cilla Vee Life Arts – REPORT 2023


RAW MATERIAL: Re-Wilding The Body - public art installation at NY Port Authority




Thank you for taking a moment to catch up with us and see what we’ve been up to …


2023 Cilla Vee Life Arts artistic projects included:


Participation in local Western North Carolina annual events –   

+ Asheville Fringe Arts Festival

+ Black Mountain College Museum’s {Re}Happening on Lake Eden


As well as –

+ The Readymade Humans at goodTHANGpassing in Boston

+ The “Weird Yoga” Tour with Elka Bong around the South East USA

+ Roanoke Virginia’s annual AfterMAF marginal arts counterculture fest


And then a large scale CVLA produced public art installation project –

+ RAW MATERIAL: Re-Wilding The Body at the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal







Asheville Fringe Arts Festival

CillaVee the DaDa GoGo Dancer for Peacock Planet Party Band


Coming out of winter hibernation in time for the local Asheville Fringe Arts Festival I was jolted into action by being a DaDa GoGo Dancer for Peacock Planet Party Band at the festival opening party!






Peacock Planet Party GIRLZ - The Marquee - Asheville NC





Cactus Care at [Re}Happening


Nina the Cactus Carer - Re-Happening - Lake Eden, Black Mountain

Since the first {Re}Happening in 2010, CillaVee has usually had a presence at this annual event on Lake Eden celebrating the spirit of the revolutionary Black Mountain College. This year I was invited by fellow Transart Institute alum Gwen Charles, who travelled from New Jersey to bring her environmental project Cactus Care. She enlisted Cilla Vee Life Arts to provide some local artists to perform to the cactus! So I recruited a couple of the usual suspects. My dear friends and collaborators Elisa Faires, Julie Becton Gillum and Nina LaFerla joined Gwen in an absolute deluge of rain performing with our spiky friends!









The Readymade Humans – Observations of the Infra-Ordinary


a Listener and a Seer in action on the streets of Somerville MA

Also in the spring CillaVee performed in absentia as part of the on-going duo project The Readymade Humans with Robyn Thomas (who is also my Re-Cultivating Compassion project partner).

Observations of the Infra-Ordinary was a guided audience action piece for Paul Kafka-Gibbon’s THANG series goodTHANGpassing at the Somerville Armory in Massachusetts. These events take place twice a year and are a full day of art happenings.





Listener and Seer pairs preparing for action





Elka Bong “Weird Yoga” Tour


Well we said it was "Weird Yoga"! - at Banditos - Richmond VA

Elka Bong is usually the duo project of the seasoned avant-garde sound-and-otherwise artists Walter Wright and Al Margolis. Occasionally Elka Bong expands to include others, such as for the Weird Yoga Tour – with electronic noise by Tom Law and “Weird Yoga” by CillaVee.

We had a delightful time touring the South East in Tom’s camper van and performed at: Bandito’s – Richmond VA, Art Rat Studios – Roanoke VA, Pilot Light – Knoxville TN, 711 Saluda – Columbia SC, Field Trip – Greensboro NC (where we were joined by my fellow Weird Yogi Cambria Storms.)





The Gang in the van: Tom, Walter, CillaVee, Al



In the middle of the tour Elka Bong landed in Asheville for a three day residency at the CCC to collaborate with locals: Mark Hosler, Kris Gruda, Richard Brewster, Elisa Faires, Liz Lang, Ivan Seng and Scott Gornick.


Elka Bong at the CCC-AVL





Marginal Arts Festival – Roanoke

The Art Rat


I have lost count of how many years this intensive explosion of Neo-dada-ism has been going on now, but in its current form AfterMAF offers a full weekend of truly original out-of-the-box thinkers really getting out of the box!

For AfterMAF 2023 the CillaVee contribution was “I’ll Be There”. This was basically an offer of availability throughout the festival to collaborate with any presenter who wanted to take me up on it! Subsequently I ended up collaborating with: Okapi Duo, Wayne Llywelyn’s Trash Coven, C. Mehrl Bennett, John Bennett’s Be Blank Consort, tENTATIVELY a cONVENIENCE’s Pinball and Olchar Lindsann with “Not Walter”!








CillaVee with Okapi Duo - AfterMAF at Art Rat - Roanoke VA

Be Blank Consort under the direction of John Bennett - AfterMAF






Re-Wilding The Body at NY Port Authority Bus Terminal

Re-Wilding forest section - Lauren plus hand sculpture by Shio


RAW MATERIAL: Re-Wilding the Body was the natural evolution of my on-going RAW MATERIAL project. Installed inside Chashama’s New York Port Authority Bus Terminal open fronted gallery space, we transformed it into a nature environment oasis in the middle of one of the world’s busiest transit hubs. Fusing live performance with technology, a multimedia immersive experience was created. We partnered with six NY based environmental organizations to create a Call To Action.

Re-Wilding the Body was open to the public during evening rush hour times Monday thru Friday for three weeks.

My artistic team: CillaVee, Fred Hatt, Stewart Hoyt, Hisayasu Takashio, Sarah Pope, Lauren Vroegindewey, Marianne Giosa, Gwen Charles, MaryLinda Moss, Susannah Pryce.


Visit the link below for a complete detailed project report …




Re-Wilding water section - Stewart and CillaVee


Re-Wilding - Stewart as an Earthbody in the forest section


Re-Wilding - Lauren as a Waterbody

Re-Wilding - CillaVee creating live sound


Re-Wilding at Chashama - the audience at NY Port Authority Bus Terminal

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +




The Center for Connection + Collaboration


Fringe Festival Open Mic at the CCC


Meanwhile here at the CCC – the home base of CVLA – we’ve had a packed year of events. This included:





Open Mic Coffee Morning for the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival

attentive audience at the AVL Fringe Open Mic



Earthday Birthday Potluck Yardsale Spring Open Day Fundraiser

a sunny Sunday yardsale scene at the CCC



Bad Ties – multimedia beat poetry

Bad Ties with the CCC pet dragon Idris





SoS – Summer of Sound – featuring:


tACoS#8 – the Asheville Cesspool of Synths


Ivan Seng and Elisa Faires at tACoS

Deep Listening Day


a Deep Listening Day soundwalk with Curt Cloninger

The Frere family – artists in residence


Sunny developing her own collage method

Bobbi Rose – Storytelling SoundLab


Bobbi's storytelling SoundLab

Community Sound Installation





Rent Romus from San Fransisco with his band Actual/Actual


Brandon Quinn performing local Southern Appalachian Native American flute and drums plus original Mountain Murder Ballads

Our annual November 5th Guy Fawkes British Bonfire Night





Modes of Process – an all day writers’ symposium in both real and virtual space/time - with special guest David Barratt

Garland Wells new book

Modes of Process writers symposium - Zoom crew

Modes of Process writers symposium - in house crew



For details about those events please visit the CCC NEWS page on our website …







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