LAWRENCE — The Spencer Museum of Art will host Kansas City–based artist Mark Southerland as a Rocket Grants Resident Artist for a series of musical performances beginning Wednesday, April 26. Southerland’s residency is in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of Charlotte Street Foundation, which coordinates the Rocket Grants program in partnership with the Spencer Museum. Southerland received a 2013–2014 grant from this program, which supports innovative, artist-driven projects outside established arts venues and is funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
“Partnering with Charlotte Street Foundation has brought us into closer connection with exciting artists in our region,” said Spencer Museum Director Saralyn Reece Hardy. “We are especially thrilled to work with Mark in celebration of Charlotte Street’s 20th anniversary initiative, Every Street is Charlotte Street.”
Southerland’s first performance at the Spencer will occur during the Museum’s Spring Student Night at 7 p.m. April 26 in response to the student-curated exhibition “American Dream.” Performing on saxophone and his signature horn sculptures, Southerland will be joined by Annie Ellicott, vocals; Coleen Dieker, violin and piano; and Brandon Draper, percussion.
“Musicians and poets have always seen through ‘The Dream,’” Southerland said. “They will add a fresh layer of commentary, relating the museum context to current events and personal narratives.”
Southerland’s projects often include performative sculpture and wearable instruments. His Rocket Grants project, “No More Nomads,” combined flamenco dance, sculptural set pieces, experimental music, live video and conceptual apparel in a play about nomadic culture and art.
Southerland’s performance series, titled “Notes form the Void,” will continue at the museum throughout the summer and fall with a rotating troupe of musicians and other collaborators.
Photo: Mark Southerland performs in the Spencer Museum galleries at an event in 2013.