Warren Lehrer is a writer and artist/designer known internationally as a pioneer in the fields of visual literature and design authorship. His work explores the vagaries and luminescence of character, the relationships between social structures and the individual, and the pathos and absurdity of life. His books, acclaimed for capturing the shape of thought and reuniting the traditions of storytelling with the printed page, include: Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a New America (W.W. Norton) with Judith Sloan, The Portrait Series: a quartet of men (four book series, Bay Press); GRRRHHHHH: a study of social patterns (Center for Editions) with Sandra Brownlee and Dennis Bernstein; FRENCH FRIES with Dennis Bernstein (Visual Studies Workshop); i mean you know (Visual Studies Workshop), and versations (EarSay).
He has received many awards for his books and projects, including the 2004 Brendan Gill Prize, the 2003 Innovative Use of Archives Award, a Media That Matters Award, three American Institute for Graphic Arts Book awards, two Type Director’s Club awards, The International Book Design Award, a Best of the Best Award from the New York Book Show, and a Prix Arts Electronica award. He’s received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council and Foundation for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, the Furthermore Foundation, and others. His work has been exhibited widely and is in many collections including the Museum of Modern Art, L.A. County Art Museum, The Getty Museum, Georges Pompidou Centre, and Tate Gallery. The Crossing the BLVD exhibition (co-produced with Sloan) has been to fifteen museums and galleries and continues to travel the country. Lehrer is also a performer and has co-written four plays (Social Security: the basic training of Eugene Solomon with Dennis Bernstein, Denial of the Fittest, A Tattle Tale, and The Whole K’Cufin World and a Few More Things with Judith Sloan), and co-written and co-composed one opera (The Search For IT and Other Pronouns with Harvey Goldman). He co-produces public radio documentaries and audio works with his wife Judith Sloan. Lehrer’s performances and plays have been performed at many venues including La MaMa Experimental Theatre, The Public Theatre, The Knitting Factory, Independent Art at Here, The Painted Bride, the Market Theatre (Johannesberg), and the Theatre Workshop (Edinburgh).
Lehrer is a frequent lecturer and presenter at universities, art and literary centers, and book stores throughout the United States and internationally. Lehrer has been written about in scores of books and in many feature articles and reviews in print and broadcast media (see What The Critics Say.) His essays on design authorship and visual literature have been widely reproduced. Lehrer is a professor at the School of Art+Design at Purchase College, SUNY, and a founding faculty member of the Designer As Author graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. He received his BA from Queens College, CUNY, and an MFA from Yale University. Together with Sloan, Lehrer founded EarSay, in 1999. Over the last few years, Lehrer has been setting stories and text into animation, video, and interactive media. Animations include: Globalization: Preventing the Sameness of the World, and panoramic projections for 1001 Voices: a Symphony for Queens, with libretto by Judith Sloan, and music by Frank London. Lehrer is currently completing A Life In Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley a multimedia project which includes an illuminated novel containing 101 books within it, an enhanced iPad book app edition, a traveling exhibition, and a performance.
Judith Sloan is an actor, writer, radio producer, human rights activist, oral historian, poet, and audio artist whose work combines humor, pathos and a love of the absurd. For over twenty years, Sloan has been producing and presenting interdisciplinary works and sharing voices often ignored by the mass media. Her solo performances include: Denial of the Fittest (nominated for best comedy performance at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival), Responding to Chaos, Peace is Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Kill, A Tattle Tale: eyewitness in Mississippi, The Whole K’Cufin World and a few more things andCrossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America. Her commentaries, plays, poetry and documentaries have aired on National Public Radio, New York Public Radio, WBEZ Chicago, Public Radio International, BBC, and listener sponsored stations throughout the U.S. Her work has been produced in theatres and festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad including: LaMama E.T.C, The Public Theatre, The Theatre Workshop (Edinburgh, Scotland), The Smithsonian Institution, the Knitting Factory, the Jewish Museum (NY), the Market Theatre (Johannesburg, SA), etc. She has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Theatre Week, The London Stage, San Francisco Chronicle, among others.
Sloan has received awards for her audio mixes, radio documentaries and performance work including: 2009 First Place Missouri Review National Audio Competition and First Runner-Up; 2008 First Place, Missouri Review National Audio Competition; 2005 BAXten Artist Award; 2005 Special Merit Award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters; 2004 Best of Indie Culture Award for her mix of Globalization on the Crossing the BLVD CD; Along with Warren Lehrer she co-wrote the Crossing the BLVD book (W.W. Norton) and received numerous awards for the entire multi-media project including the 2004 Brendan Gill Prize from the Municipal Art Society of New York, the 2003 Innovative Use of Archives Award, a Media That Matters Award; grants from Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Franklin Furnace, New York State Council on the Arts among others. Collaborators in theatre, audio, books, music and exhibitions include: Frank London, Warren Lehrer, Elise Knudson, Teresa Kochis, Michael Dinwiddie, Laura Sydell, Terry Park, Scott Johnson, Gogol Bordello and David Krakauer, among others. Her articles and editorials have been published in the New York Times, the Forward, Movement Research Journal and on public radio. Sloan has produced and co-produced several documentaries (video and audio) including: Reclaiming A Past about her work with older European Jews and Holocaust survivors; a documentary featuring excerpts from the play A Tattle Tale: eyewitness in Mississippi was broadcast on National Public Radio and aired on over 250 stations nationwide. She has appeared on Comedy Central and PBS and is a member of the faculty at Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU where she teaches Oral History and Interdisciplinary Arts, and advises students on projects that cross the boundaries between artist and scholar.
Sloan has been a guest performer and lecturer at Dartmouth College, Columbia University, Yale University, SUNY Purchase, University of Hawaii, University of Massachusetts, among others. She conducts workshops for teachers on immigration and diversity, in using theatre arts with young people, (in the classroom and on stage) and performs and teaches from time to time in New York City schools, youth correctional facilities and jails. She is the director of Cross-Cultural Dialogue Through the Arts, an arts mentorship and training program creating collaborations between disparate communities that grew out of EarSay’s Crossing the BLVD project. She is currently consulting with several organizations, training teachers and caregivers about interviewing refugees and people at risk. Sloan has been working with immigrant and refugee teenagers, many who come from war-zones, since 1998. Her work at the International High School at LaGuardia Community College in Queens garnered her the Partnership in Education Award in June 2009. In September 2009, Sloan started a new initiative Transforming Trauma Into Art, to provide theatre, music, and hip hop education to teenagers from war-zones and immigrant youth who have been displaced by natural disasters and poverty. The program provides an internship opportunity for college students and emerging teaching artists. Sloan was commissioned to write the libretto for 1001 Voices: a Symphony for Queens, a.k.a. a Symphony for a New America, with music by Frank London and animations by Warren Lehrer, which premiered in April 2012.