Friday, April 1, 2011


Cilla Vee Life Arts

NEWSLETTER – Spring 2011

Dear friends of Cilla Vee Life Arts,

Aaron Copeland’s music for Martha Graham’s “Appalachian Spring” comes to mind amidst the fresh green buds, pink blooms & bird-song here in the land where the Blue Ridge and the Smoky Mountains meet.

Likewise, Cilla Vee Life Arts is opening up to fresh new horizons as well as revisiting and deepening familiar projects and partnerships.

This is CVLA director Claire Elizabeth Barratt, I’d like to share with you some of the highlights of the past season and reveal up-coming plans for the future.



We caused quite a scene this summer in the heat of July, right in the middle of downtown Asheville on a Sunday afternoon at Pritchard Park.

As part of the Pritchard Park Cultural Arts Program sponsored by Arts 2 People with the City of Asheville, CVLA presented “Splat!”, an interactive live-action-paint piece.

Renowned local guitarist Shane Perlowin rocked the center of town with some highly amplified virtuosic riffs as I created colour and shape on canvas through dance and the help of a few recruits from the audience!

Please follow this link for a lovely review in Mountain Xpress by Jaye Bartell


To counter-balance the sunshine of “Splat!”, July’s other highlight was “LUNA”, a cool and mysterious sound and movement installation created in collaboration with electronic soundscape artist Kimathi Moore.

Originally designed for the Spring 2010 {Re}Happening on the old Black Mountain College campus, we presented the work as it’s own show at Flood Gallery in the Phil Mechanic building – a place which propels the pulse of Asheville’s RiverArts District.


For the month of August I had the privilege of being an artist-in-residence at the 30-year anniversary of The Improvisor Festival.

Originally founded by LaDonna Smith and Davey Williams to establish an improvised music and performance scene in the South, it is still going strong.

I was fortunate enough to have the experience of working with such inspiring great musicians as Gino Robair, Chris Cochrane, Andrea Cenzzano and Jill Burton.

Venues included Sloss Furnaces, Moundville (sacred Native American site) as well as a tour through Chattanooga, Athens and Atlanta.


In September CVLA presented a variety of collaborations in conjunction with artists and organizations throughout the North East USA.

These included “Line Breakers”, an evening of dance, music and poetry with poet John Roche and guitarist Steve Greene in Rochester NY, the creation of “Ode To Ohno” experimental sound and movement video with Walter Wright at Gallery 119 in Lowell MA, a Motion Sculpture Movement Installation in the Chrysler Center at a reception for Mark Lamb Dance NYC and “Ghost Dancers” with steel pedal guitarist Susan Alcorn at the High Zero Festival in Baltimore MD.

Returning from this to hit the streets with Shane Perlowin again! This time in the piece “Titled”. Based on the Cage / Cunningham concept of “chance composition”, the performance was part of an opening event for a large Black Mountain College conference to be held at UNCA.



This year really started off with a bang!

CVLA presented the video installation “Dance is the New Visual Art” at Flood Gallery over the month of January.

This work consisted of six video pieces playing simultaneously on a variety of screens and monitors. The technology was concealed in a sprawling sculptural installation of white and black paper, fabric and wire.

The sound for each individual video could be listened to on headphones, as well as there being an environmental sound installation of manipulated paper recordings by composer Rick Nance.

Each video was a “movement character” created in collaboration with artists from a variety of disciplines.

For a review of the piece by Ursula Gullow for Mountain Xpress, please click on this link …

Also in conjunction with this show was an article about me in Verve Magazine …


A very special event for the Western Carolina arts community is “{Re}Happening”. Now on it’s second year, this extravaganza takes place on the old campus of the famous Black Mountain College.

This year’s {Re}Happening is on April 9th. Leading up to it, there has been a series of {Pre}Happenings in various locations around Buncombe and Madison Counties.

For more information on this amazing event and it’s host organizations – the “Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center” and “MAP” (Media Arts Project) –

Please follow this link …


Also over the month of April is a CVLA residency at FBI – the French Broad Institute in Marshall NC.

Named after the river that runs straight through this little town, FBI is located in an old church building now owned by poet Lee Ann Brown and filmmaker Tony Torn.

Throughout the month I will be developing a dance, music and poetry project with musician Steve Davidowski and poet Jeff Davis.

This will culminate in an informal showing of work on May 1st.

As well as fostering inter-disciplinary collaborations CVLA also serves as a presenting organization for touring artists.

This year we have hosted “Joyful Sonic Wash” from Japan (by way of NYC), “Loup Garou” from Lowell MA – and this April 21st, in conjunction with MAP, we will be presenting “David Linton: Bicameral Sound & Image Projection System” from NY. This will take place at “The Artery”, the Asheville Area Art council’s new venue in the vibrant, up-and-coming RiverArts District.

For the rest of 2011 until November, I will be based in Nottinghamshire, UK.

On the administrative front, CVLA endeavors to move onward and upward! After a year of re-gaining lost ground after hard-drive and mailing-list crashes, we appear to be back on track.

Now with the help of a fabulous new Administrative Assistant, Sarah, we should be able to make some progress.

Sarah Bonner is a recent graduate of Western Carolina University and a talented artist and photographer in her own right.

Thank you for taking the time to share our news and please donate to the annual One Dollar Fundraiser.

Next time you’re on FaceBook stop by and check out the Cilla Vee Life Arts page, where you can find images and video of recent projects.

Blessings & good wishes,

Claire Elizabeth Barratt

Director – Cilla Vee Life Arts

April 2011

PS - Apologies for the variety of fonts in this letter ..... this blogger site is totally incorrigible!