In my first collaboration with a dancer / choreographer, I couldn’t be luckier to work the amazing Maura Garcia. The fact that another collaborator is a stellar musician I’ve been following for years, Amada Espinoza, is just icing on the cake. We’re all coming together for a work commissioned by Open Spaces, a nine-week city-wide arts extravaganza, headquartered in Swope Park.
I’ve made sculpture which will be part of the performance, Uncle Jimmy’s Table. Intention, thought and form all coalesced in the creation of this sculptre. In short, all the work is literally consists of the written phrase, “Everything is connected.” First written by hand, then scanned and copied / mirrored / radiated, the final digital composition is laser-cut out of felt and fabric. The resulting lace-like text is then combined with different resins using forms to create the final sculpted branches and a vessel form. Taking direction from Maura Garcia, the colors used for the branches represent cardinal directions according to Cherokee tradition and the myriad of greens of the vessel represent a centering and new beginnings.
Blurring the divide between language and form is an increasingly fruitful vein to mine in my varied work with lace. The work of Uncle Jimmy’s Table represents a new methodology for my sculpture in the coming years.
Here is poet / writer Anne Gaschet’s breakdown of the dance:
9/15 Maura Garcia Dance’s Uncle Jimmy’s Table, performance on the Village stage
Maura Garcia Dance offers performances featuring choreographic works of Artistic Director Maura Garcia (non-enrolled Cherokee/Mattamuskeet) and collaborating artists. Garcia’s new work,Uncle Jimmy’s Table, will premiere on the Open Spaces Village Stage on Sept. 15 and 16 at 2 p.m. The work expands on her longtime commitment to themes of connectedness. The practice and teaching that characterize Maura Garcia Dance focus on Indigenous traditions, ancestry and a sense of community with both the natural world and other human beings.
Uncle Jimmy’s Table, a deeply collaborative production, will also exhibit a rich connection to our local artistic community. Kansas City visual artist Rachelle Gardner-Roe has created pieces for the set that are literally made from fabric cutouts of the words, “Everything is Connected.” Gardner-Roe, who has worked extensively with incorporating text in her graphic and sculptural art, adds a material connection with writing and language to the staging of Uncle Jimmy’s Table. Andean musician Amado Espinoza will bring his renowned musical vitality to the stage with music inspired by indigenous culture and the natural elements, themes central to the artistic vision inspired by Maura Garcia Dance. With Uncle Jimmy’s Table, Garcia weaves these and numerous other local talents into a one-hour celebration of community and connectedness through time and space. This free performance will take place on the Open Spaces Village stage in Swope Park at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15 and Sunday, Sept. 16.