What Is It About Trees – Video

I am pleased to share the results of my work for the exhibition “What Is It About Trees” at El Camino College Art Gallery from Feb 18 – March 12 (now extended through April 3). This post focuses on the video art piece “El Camino Tree Meditation” I created for the exhibition based on a process of visiting the campus several times between November and January to record video footage of the trees after the meditation practice.

A short excerpt from the 15 minute video

Artist Statement for “El Camino Tree Meditation”

The video was created from a conceptual process of spending time with and meditating among the trees on El Camino College campus from Nov 2019-Jan 2020. After several sessions of quietly listening and observing the trees and the surrounding environment, the vision of creating the final form of the video became clear.

There were numerous elements of particular note in the process of spending intimate time with the trees. Of course, the visual pleasure of enjoying the colors of the leaves and finding beautiful patterns in the bark are most evident, but from there a profound sense of how a tree provides home, shelter, security, and sustenance for various animals unfolds. The more one spends time with a tree, one further appreciates how truly alive and life-giving a tree is.

One becomes aware of how life in contemporary society separates humanity from close connection, but how innately bonded we truly are. Our own lives on this planet depend on trees, and we must restore proper balance and respect for them. Rooted in one place, trees act as silent sentinels and landmarks of location, and remind the ever-moving human to slow down their rhythm and tap into a deeper sense of connection to the surroundings.

There is a desire to anthropomorphize and this video reflects that impulse, yet trees have a very distinctive perspective of the world. Unlike humans, trees experience life with a consciousness both under and above the ground. Science now confirms that they communicate and share both food and information with each other through their roots. There is an endless amount of insight and inspiration to gain from spending time with trees.

What Is It About Trees – Mandala

I am pleased to share the results of my work for the exhibition “What Is It About Trees” at El Camino College Art Gallery from Feb 18 – March 12 (now extended through April 3).

My installation for the show evolved from a process of visiting the trees on the El Camino campus between November through January in order to observe and meditate underneath the trees. About once a week or so, I spent time with several different types of trees on the campus, using a range of techniques and methods for centering myself and slowing down. This was a most welcome change of pace from a typically hectic schedule, and I am grateful the campus is not too far from my home and the Torrance Art Museum where I work.

As a result of the meditation, a vision of a mandala made from the tree leaves came to mind. I saw clearly a distinct ring of gold-leaf sycamore leaves creating an outer halo – with various smaller leaves creating the inner circle. That vision became the guide for collecting fallen leaves from the trees and applying them with both gold and bronze leaf in certain places to create a vibrant accent – but the leaves themselves were already such beautiful works of art. Once the installation was underway, it became obvious that the mandala could also serve as a meditation spot inviting people to have a seat on a stump and reflect upon their relationship with trees and to view the accompanying installation by Vojislav Radovanovic across the way. It also served as a “selfie station” (as much as I can be against those, why resist it in this case?), so the stump was also adorned with gold and bronze leaves to match the mandala.

This post focuses on the “El Camino Tree Mandala” created site-specifically in a special room of the gallery across from Vojislav Radovanovic’s installation “House for Angels” – the two pieces were a lovely conversation, which was described as “honoring the energy of sun (my mandala) and the moon (Vojislav’s work which were in shades of white, black, silver, and blue).” See another post which focuses on the video art piece that was created as a result of the meditation process as well.


A quick glimpse and ODE to the year of JOYOUS performances in 2019!

Thank you to everyone involved in making them happen – it has been a truly amazing year, I am filled with gratitude for the variety of events and opportunities.

Looking forward to what 2020 brings and wishing all the very best to face the various challenges of life – oh this remarkable and daunting shared existence on the planet!

Scenes from:

1) “Temptations in Fairyland” – at Leonard Greco’s art exhibition Fairyland at MOAH:CEDAR (Museum of Art & History Lancaster)

2) “Rear Opening: A Performance Tribute to Stephen Varble” for photographer Greg Day & curator David J Getsy at ONE Archives Gallery & Museum in West Hollywood

3) “OutLoud 2019: Queer Futures” in Long Beach, Art Theatre

4) “LET LOVE FLOURISH: Queer Poetry Pop-up” for the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival in West Hollywood

5) “A Man’s World” for Exhibition Opening Reception of MAN at MuzeuMM Art Gallery

6) “eXtremities” at SelectionArtShow Closing Reception, Touchon Gallery

7) “Dimensionalizing Narcissus” at Redondo Beach CA 101 TEDx “Create Change”

8) “Rose/Mary” at Opening Reception for My Youth Exhibition at TAG Gallery

9) “Qreatures: The (w)Hole Story” for glendaleOUT exhibition ACE/121 Gallery in Glendale

Ecstasy – “Behind” the Scenes

Check out the teaser trailer for ECSTASY FOR EVERYONE!
Get your tickets for all three events today: https://vashoncenterforthearts.org/kay-hall-events/big-joy/

This teaser is a tongue-in-cheeky look “Behind” the scenes getting ready for the production. Ok, so it may not really have anything to do with the actual performance other than containing some of the the spirit and fun of the show. This is definitely a show I’m thrilled about doing.

James Broughton’s poetry contains so many elements I love. His poetry is rich with interpretation and inspiration. He uses a LOT of humor in them while containing very deep and meaningful explorations of humanity. They are wise and wise-cracking. They’re bawdy, outrageous and tickle the private parts! They make you think and leave you inspired.

Here’s one sample – making use of humor to explore the macabre

Thinking About Death 

How often do you think about Death?
Death thinks about you all the time
Death is fatally in love with you and me
And his lust is known to be relentless 

Life is an equally persistent lover
He was desiring each of us before we were born
I try to remain faithful to him but I know
The relationship can’t go on forever

Life relishes my body heat my heart beating
My blood my semen even my steamy notions
Death cherishes what is cool and mysterious in me
All that is shadowy and perverse like him 

I like to think of Death awaiting our rendezvous
In a candlelit corner of an intimate café
Where he will regale me with scandalous tales
Of misbehavior in other worlds 

Yet in the end it is Life that wears us out
At that crosswalk what will the traffic bear?
Shouldn’t we think about Death more often?
Death is thinking about us all the time. 

I believe in “Ecstasy for Everyone!”

It’s official – Ecstasy for Everyone! returns to the stage in 2020! Starting with a performance at the Vashon Center for the Arts in Washington (just outside of Seattle) on January 11, 2020 at 8pm as part of a BIG JOY festival weekend to celebrate the visionary filmmaker and poet James Broughton. More dates and locations will be announced as the year progresses, but this is definitely a show to share with many more audiences who are going to need some BIG JOY and Ecstasy for Everyone! in the days ahead.

I’m beyond thrilled to present an updated version of my 2014 show. This newly commissioned production allows me to add in some new poems and expand the show from four to five sections and take place in two acts with an intermission.

One of the best parts is getting to work with an incredible production team. I’m working closely with Art Director Vojislav Radovanovic to create new visual elements, scenic and costume design. And Dr. Kathy Nigh is director and along with Vojislav serving as a skillful outside eye to find and encourage new possibilities. They have been working together on a remarkable theatre production of a show called “Ladybird: A Holiday Posada” at Pasadena City College, and I’m pleased they could work together again on this show.

More details to come – in the meantime – enjoy a few photos from the 2014 production. Photos by Gregory Frye.

Art & Cake Profile

I’m grateful for the past year of incredible creative experiences and events that have led up to this fabulous article/interview/profile by the writer Genie Davis for Art & Cake (A Contemporary Art Magazine with a Focus on the Los Angeles Art Scene). It’s been quite a ride lately and I’m looking forward to sharing a lot more in 2020 – some of those mentioned in the article!

Dimensionalizing Narcissus

On Thursday 10.10.19 from 6pm-10pm I will take part in the TEDx Redondo Beach Salon at the Main Gallery of the CA 101 Art Gallery as part of their yearly art exhibition. TEDx “Create Change” features pre-recorded TEDTalks and facilitated discussion is curated by artists Peggy Sivert and Ben Zask, moderated by artist Bernard Fallon.

My special live presentation of “Dimensionalizing Narcissus” will take place from 6:40-7:00pm in a loose (but unofficial) TEDx meets performance art style. The performance examines the concepts of Narcissism we’re experiencing on an accelerated level in our contemporary culture (in the American system in general, in social media, and most notably at the moment in the POTUS). I will be examining the classical Greek myth from a different perspective, offering another view of the original Greek myth that provides much needed depth. The Narcissus we know of is shallow and self-centered, or two-dimensional. I propose a vision for reinterpreting the Myth what I call a three-dimensional way, in which Narcissus is not so much interested in the reflection he sees on the surface, but to “Know thyself” and dive into the waters of his true nature.

Tickets are available at Eventbrite.


This Saturday, October 5 – in addition to exhibiting three collage works on canvas, I will be presenting an new performance art piece called “eXtremities” at 9pm

In a durational performance piece that moves through the gallery space, Jason Jenn transforms the everyday hands and feet into peculiarly articulating delivery apparatuses for exploring a range of human desires and contemporary concerns.


This will be an art evening celebration of
the last day of the 3rd S E L E C T I O N Art Show ‘First Time in L.A.’,
showing artists from Japan, Iran, Russia, Belarus, USA
exhibiting in L.A. for the first time and their artworks which were never shown here before!

• O C T O B E R 5, 2 0 1 9 | 7 PM – 10 PM •

Alex Sher (UKR, USA), Amina Kerimova (RUS, USA), Andrey Tat (RUS), Christine Jatkowsky (RUS), Emma Tsugunyan (RUS), Jason Jenn (USA), KENDY (JPN), Maria Virge (RUS, USA), Nadezhda (RUS, USA), Olga Lvova (RUS, USA), Parjam Parsi (IRN), Pasha Shappo (BLR, RUS), Rinat Shazam (RUS), Roman Bitner (RUS), Victoria Kochetkova (kovikky) (RUS, USA), Vita Kamliuk (RUS), Vojislav Radovanovic (SRB, USA), Yana Germann (RUS), Yulia Volosenok (YUVO) (RUS), Zach Touchon (USA)

☞ 20 artists, more than 60 artworks
☞ Painting, Photography, Graphic art, Collage
☞ 2 levels of the gallery in a heart of DTLA
☞ Prices from $50-$3000

☞ DJ & Life Music
☞ Free Champagne & Cheese & Fruits
☞ Special Performances from the artists
☞ The last chance To see & To buy the works you like!



Audience Appreciation

Scenes of beautiful audience interaction during the closing reception of glendaleOUT at ACE/121 Gallery on July 13 and the performance of “Qreatures: The (w)Hole Story” – such joy shared uplifting 🌈! So wonderful to see children and adults enjoying creative play space designed into the structure of the performance – an immersive and participatory experience.

I am grateful for the opportunity and responsibility that comes with crafting performance art, and my training has emphasized the essential role of the audience in the creation – the magic isn’t complete without. This particular manifestation required some fun for the inner child – and the several actual children who attended midway through the performance!

Having heard what was happening outside in the courtyard, a few adults living in the nearby apartment complex turned off their TVs, grabbed their children, and they all headed outside to get a real all-ages treat (with the more adult moments going over the kids heads). Their contribution added to the awesome community vibe. The outpouring of support and willingness to play while exploring some weighty themes was beautiful to behold and it was a glorious way to close out a season of wonderful Pride-themed performances. Heart continues to receive lessons and knows there is much more work to be done in this world. But for now, I hope you enjoy these delightful glimpses captured so magnificently by Andrew Adam Caldwell

the ReBegin is here