This just in from theater critic Misha Berson:
Seattle artist Lucia Neare, creator of enchanting and dreamlike, site-specific works in local parks and other public spaces, has received a prestigious 2014 Doris Duke Impact Award. The unrestricted grant of $80,000 is part of a program funded by the Doris Duke Foundation and administered by Creative Capital for artists who have yet to receive “significant national recognition for their work, but who show great promise.”
With commissions and grants from 4Culture, the Seattle Art Museum, Artist Trust and other local arts organizations and agencies, Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders has been staging imaginative visual and live performance spectacles that interact with viewers and the natural world. Neare’s best known piece, “Lullaby Moon,” unfurled over an entire year between 2008 and 2009, conjuring celestial dreamscapes around the Puget Sound region during the evening of every new moon.
In May 2012, Neare’s troupe, garbed in fantastical white costumes and masks, led a community procession and vigil from Cowen Park to Café Racer, to honor the victims killed in a mass shooting at the Seattle café.
On a happier note, on Saturday, May 3, at 4 p.m., Neare and company will stage Recipe of Love, a free all-ages celebration of spring at Great Lawn, Redmond City Hall, 15670 N.E. 85th St. in Redmond. Those who come are encouraged to bring a cake to share, and will be invited to dance around a maypole. Neare is also working on a new piece, “Tea with the Raven Sisters,” conceived as “the largest, free, site-specific performance in North American history.” It is expected to premiere in August 2016.
In a statement on her website Neare summed up her artistic mission this way: “My Wonders are gifts that foster an egalitarian spirit while inviting social bonds and community identity to evolve toward gentle, humane, and sustainable aspirations, nurturing values of stewardship toward the public environment and personal imagination.”