Awardee: Sean McElroy

Performing Arts, 2016

Sean McElroy holds a degree in Classics from Brown University and a degree in Painting from the University of Washington. He uses sculpture, installation and performance to explore mythologies of love, power and pleasure. His work has been exhibited at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle; Koplin Del Rio Gallery in Los Angeles; and at JACK, the Public Theater and Kate Werble Gallery in New York.

Project: The Art of Luv

The Art of Luv is a multi-part series of performance-rituals addressing the mythologies behind popular codes of romantic conduct. Plumbing popular media to deconstruct the romantic comedy genre and other contemporary romantic mythologies, ROKE will isolate, unpack and rearrange these conventions to create an exhaustive body of work, a “Lexicon of Love.” These works will be created in a storefront studio that serves as a porous creative public space for research, performance, ritual and community events. Planned performances include: Elliot—a group meditation addressing masculinity, insecurity and longing; Starbucks Infinity—the group passes from Starbucks to Starbucks and revisits pivotal moments in romantic comedies; and Two Love Stories for America—a mash-up of You’ve Got Mail and The Starr Report.

Collab: Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble

Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble (ROKE), the creative partnership of artists Tei Blow and Sean McElroy, is a musical priesthood that explores the metaphysics and mythologies of love, desire and courtship at the end of the 20th century. ROKE’s current project The Art of Luv has been shown in-progress at Under the Radar Festival’s Incoming!, Gibney Dance Center, and through a PS122 RAMP Residency. In May 2015, ROKE opened The Luv Pavilion, a non-denominational polytechnical spiritual exploration hub, pop-up event center, and studio, which was open to the public and operated in an unoccupied storefront in Ridgewood, Queens. The Art of Luv (Part 1): Elliot will premiere in January 2016 at Under the Radar Festival. Their work has also been presented at JACK, Participant, Inc. as part of Special Effects Festival, Kate Werble Gallery, Immediate Medium’s The Future at the End of the World at the James Farley Post Office, AUNTS and FringeArts Philadelphia. ROKE has been awarded a Franklin Furnace Fund grant (2013) and a BAX Space Grant (2014), and are part of The Public Theater’s Devised Theater Working Group and PS122’s RAMP Residency program. In summer 2014, they were residents at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine.