musicWitness®: The Art of Jeff Schlanger

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12pm – 6pm
Tuesday – Saturday

presented in partnership with Ars Nova Workshop

Opening Reception: Tuesday, May 5th at 5pm.
Pre-Show Discussion: Tuesday, May 5th at 7pm featuring John Szwed and Jeff Schlanger
Live painting:Tuesday, May 5th at 8pm during the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound + Don Byron concert

Jeff Schlanger, a New York City native, is a visual artist and sculptor whose public art projects draw connections between peace, war and music. As musicWitness,  Schlanger has been painting and documenting live avant-garde jazz performances since 1976. He has been a regular fixture at all 19 Vision Festivals, the William Parker-curated annual festival presenting free jazz, the avant-garde, and other liberatory music, visual art, dance, and poetry.

From 2010-2014, projections of Schlanger’s performance paintings were integrated with live performances on stage. In 2010, a long scroll of 30 paintings was created live over eight nights of performances, while an exhibition of his work honoring Muhal Richard Abrams, Rashied Ali and Billy Bang was installed outside the main auditorium. musicWitness  was awarded Vision Festival Lifetime Recognition in 2014. In addition to his participation in the Vision Festival, Schlanger’s performance paintings have been exhibited numerous times over the years, including shows at the Academy of the Arts Berlin, Hunterdon New Jersey Art Museum, Abrons Art Center, the old Knitting Factory, and Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco.

His paintings have also graced the album covers of many of the artists he has “witnessed” over the years, including the World Saxophone Quartet’s Live in Brooklyn (1985), Marty Ehrlich’s Falling Man (1989), Muhal Richard Abrams and Roscoe Mitchell’s Duets and Solos(1990), William Parker’s Lifting the Sanctions (1997), and Julius Hemphill’s Five Chord Stud (1993), to name only a few.

This exhibition will feature works depicting many of the jazz avant-garde’s luminaries, including Wadada Leo Smith, Joe McPhee, Milford Graves, Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor, and Julius Hemphill.