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Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan’s Crossing the BLVD traveling exhibition of photographs, sounds, and stories create a multimedia experience documenting the lives of new immigrants and refugees in the most polyglot locality in the United States—the borough of Queens, New York. Ninety photographic portraits by Warren Lehrer portray the pride, beauty, struggle and colorful humanity of individuals who have crossed through war zones, borders, oceans, and cultural divides.  Audio sound stations produced by Judith Sloan enable visitors to hear the voices, sounds and music of those portrayed in the exhibition. An ambient soundscape of people praying, voices on the streets, found and composed music, bring visitors into this crossroad of the world upon entering the exhibition. The Crossing the BLVD exhibition premiered at the Queens Museum of Art in 2004 and has since traveled to 15 locations in the United States including MICA in Baltimore Maryland, Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase New York, The Hudson Museum in Orono Maine, Art Museum of the University of Memphis Tennessee, Weber State University in Utah, Urban Arts Space/University of Ohio, Columbus, Tyler Art Gallery/SUNY Oswego.

Crossing the BLVD is a powerful social record… Most of the subjects live in Queens, but their stories resonate far beyond the borders of this multicultural New York borough. What often gets lost in the national debate on immigration is the human dimension, an understanding of the lives of those people who give up everything to come here... Extraordinary people, extraordinary lives… A living work of art.” The New York Times Benjamin Genocchio

Crossing the BLVD—a multi-media installation of photography, text, and sounds  is more akin to watching a movie, because the narratives take time to unfold, and there is an inherent drama in the real life personal accounts… Crossing the BLVD offers an object lesson in the new aesthetic—how it looks, how it generates its meanings—as well as a window on the lives of people who, mostly unnoticed by the rest of us, are steadily enlarging the concept of what it means to be an American.” The Baltimore Sun Glenn McNatt


EVENTS
A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley

Warren Lehrer will be honored by the Center for Book Arts in NYC “for his contribution to book arts and its connection to the broader world of contemporary art.”

“Every year The Center for Book Arts honors three important people who have and continue to inform the book arts field, such as curators, librarians, collectors, organizations, and, of course, artists.” Lehrer will be recognized as one of the 2016 honorees at this year’s Center for Book Arts Gala Benefit on April 4th at the National Arts Club in NYC. The other honorees this year are May Castleberry, librarian at MoMA, and Peter Kraus, proprietor of Ursus Books.

Past honorees include Robert Bringhurst (typographer/writer), Louise Bourgeois (artist), Jonathan Safron Foer (writer/artist), Buzz Spector (artist), Bill Dane (librarian), Martha Wilson (artist and Franklin Furnace), Lesley Dill (artist), Arthur Jaffe (collector), Martha Rosler (artist), Keith Smith (artist), Women’s Studio Workshop (organization), Ruth & Marvin Sackner (collectors), Barbara Moore (artist), Joan Lyons (artist), Mark Dimunation (Library of Congress), and Sue Gosin founder of Dieu Donne.

March 24 University of Texas, Downtown A LIFE IN BOOKS: Bleu Retrospective Exhibition Opening Reception and Warren Lehrer A LIFE IN BOOKS performance O’Kane Gallery, Houston, TX

March 31, 9am AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) Conference Panel Presentation/DiscussionStory By Design: Visual Narratives” Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA

April 4, 6-9pm Center for Book Arts Annual Benefit Gala Warren Lehrer is a 2016 Center for Book Art Honoree! (along with May Castleberry of MoMA and Peter Kraus of Ursus Books). Come celebrate Warren and support the Center for Book Arts at the National Art Club New York City, NY

 A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley is an illuminated novel that contains 101 books within it, all written by Lehrer’s protagonist—Bleu Mobley—a controversial author who finds himself in prison looking back on his life and career. Mobley’s autobiography/apologia is paired with a review of all 101 of his books, each represented by its first-edition cover design and catalog copy, and more than a third of his books are excerpted. The resulting retrospective contrasts the published writings (which read like short stories) with the confessional memoir, forming a most unusual portrait of a well-intentioned, obsessively inventive (if ethically challenged) visionary. A LIFE IN BOOKS explores the creative process of a writer/artist, as it reflects upon a half century of American/global events, and grapples with the future of the book as a medium, and the lines that separate and blur truth, myth, and fiction.

In his funny, thought provoking performance/readings, Warren Lehrer presents an overview of Bleu Mobley’s life in books via many of Mobley’s book cover designs, book-like objects, and other biographical materials including animations and video performances of Mobley book excerpts.

News: Warren Lehrer’s illuminated novel A LIFE IN BOOKS wins three more awards!
The 2015 International Book Award –  Best New Fiction
The 2015 International Book Award Best Cover Design, Fiction
The 2015 Paris Book Festival – Wild Card Award
Also, it was a Finalist for
2015 International Book Award – Best Interior Design
That’s 9 Awards A LIFE IN BOOKS has been honored with (so far), including:
The 2014 IPPY OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD
for MOST ORIGINAL CONCEPT” (Independent Publisher)
“A stunningly unique take on the novel that unabashedly explores the relationship between the narrator and reader, as well as the fragile and often blurry line that distinguishes truth and fiction. With A Life In Books, Lehrer has upended the modern novel form and its narrative limitations, creating a rich and engaging story through visual literature… Mind-blowing… reality bending… a laugh riot and a visual feast.”
The 2014 Best New Fiction Award USA Best Books Awards
and a Next Generation Indie Book Award, a National Indie Book Award, a CBAA Exhibition Prize (College Book Art Association), and a Print Magazine Regional Design Award (NYC).

ORDER A COPY NOW

Visit the A LIFE IN BOOKS website


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Scripps College Performance/Reading + Workshop Claremont, CA
Judith Sloan Performances!

New Work March 17 6pm LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. New pieces performed with Andrew Griffin, Deep Singh, Matt Gould, singer Alicia Waller and dancer Jaqueline Ledesma. Free! in the Little Theater at LaGuardia Community College.

Monday March 21 6:30 pm Judith Sloan hosts Artist as Global Citizens: Building Bridges Through Performance a Gallatin event at NYU School of Journalism. Reservations necessary.

 Judith Sloan is an actor, audio artist, writer, radio producer, human rights activist, educator and poet whose work combines humor, pathos and a love of the absurd. For over twenty years, Sloan has been producing and presenting interdisciplinary works in audio and theater, portraying voices often ignored by the mass media.

Fusing the art of theatre, poetry, and music, Yo Miss! is a sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always truth-telling show about immigrant/refugee teenagers and incarcerated youth grappling with the cataclysmic events that shaped them. Using midi-controllers and an original musical score to accompany her compelling performance, Sloan remixes her own traumatic experiences with those of her students and transforms into a multitude of characters ages 14 to 80 years young.

BUY THE CD! ON BANDCAMP NOW CLICK HERE

EarSay Youth Voices / Transforming Trauma Into Art

Transforming Trauma Into Art
is an EarSay initiative, created and directed by Judith Sloan, born out of our partnership with the International High School at LaGuardia Community College where many teenagers have emigrated to the U.S. from war-zones and conflict-zones. The premise of this workshop is based on healing through artistic expression using a combination of music, movement, theatre and storytelling. This process helps release the stories and stressors that prevent people—who have been traumatized by war, economic or natural disasters—from moving forward. This program brings an understanding of confronting obstacles through artistic expression to communities that are poor, displaced, or don’t have access to artistic training, serving approximately 450 students. The project grows out of our commitment to creating artistic works that evolve out of individual experience and community. In this case, the community is immigrant and refugee teenagers attending school in New York City. At a time of war, global tension, and polarization, our program encourages a depth of scholarship and storytelling that shapes the experience of the participants, giving them tools to make connections between cultures, shed light on the complexity and humanity of each individual, and deepen what it means or could mean to be part of a global community.

Thanks for your support.

Video: About the History of the Project

Globalization: Preventing the Sameness of the World NEW ANIMATION

CLICK HERE OR ON IMAGE TO VISIT SCREENING ROOM PAGE

This video, directed and animated by Warren Lehrer with Brandon Campbell, features the words of Eugene Hütz—leader of the gypsy-punk-cabaret band Gogol Bordello—sharing his views on ‘globalization’ and putting forward an alternative vision of what he calls “multi-kontra-culture.” This animation, with sound production and arrangement by Judith Sloan, is the newest manifestation of Lehrer/Sloan’s multi-media project, Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America, which documents and portrays new immigrants and refugees in the United States.


Read about it in the Huffington Post
Read about it in the Salon.com
Read about it in Imprint

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PROJECTS
1001 Voices: A new symphony / with Music by Frank London, Libretto by Judith Sloan, Visual Animations by Warren Lehrer

Over 800 people of all ages and backgrounds attended the world premier on April 29th, 2012


 

Music composed by Frank London
Libretto by Judith Sloan
Visuals by Warren Lehrer with Brandon Campbell

Premiered by the Queens Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos, Queens Symphony Orchestra music director
Performed by full orchestra and a 190-voice chorus comprised of the Queens College Choral Society and Queens College Choir, James John, Music Director
Featured Tabla Soloist Deep Singh
Spoken word performed by Judith Sloan in English with additional translations in Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic by Dailyn Despradel, Krussia, Haojie Huang, and Catherine Hanna.

Watch Video Excerpt on Vimeo CLICK ON IMAGE or CLICK HERE

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