WorkArtOut is a multimedia performance about the funny, strange ways people act when they enter sports work-out facilities, and some creative alternatives to it. WorkArtOut tugs at the soul of America by playing with the absurd aspects of sports culture - from the CEO making millions on the backs of athletes, to Joe Schmo's clothes serving as a billboard for corporate logos, to the fan who can’t live without affiliating herself with a team, to the narcissistic hothead at the gym. The absurd is balanced with Whittle’s distilled video imagery of her art making in highly funded sports facilities across America. Humorous contemporary performance, viscerally innovative dance and sonically compelling live music by Paul Sprawl make WorkArtOut a multi-sensory experience. The show brings art into the sports arena, on basketball courts, in lieu of a theater or concert hall, as the performers co–opt sports culture for two nights.
Leralee Whittle has toured her grant awarded multimedia Contemporary Performances as Whittle and Sprawl Multimedia and Leralee Whittle – Forces on the West Coast and in the Southwest. Now based in Kansas City, she’s working with long time collaborator Paul Sprawl with Rocket Grant support and an Urban Culture Project Performance Residency to present WorkArtOut to Midwest audiences.
Paul Sprawl is an original, working in genres Heavy Wood and Psychedelic Americana. Percussive guitar techniques with bottleneck, tapping, and harmonica carve out untrendy grooves to accompany forward thinking lyrics with a mysterious sonic something that makes us remember why we listen. His sound is seasoned, rough, smooth, worn and new in all the right places. Paul Sprawl has toured extensively around the US and Germany for 12 years. Since his 1999 cd, Blue Suitcase, produced by Lee Townsend (Bill Frisell, etc.) for the German label, Intuition, he's put out seven more full~length cds on his own labels, Vagabond Music and Blue Moon Scarecrow. www.paulsprawl.com
About the Rocket Grant: With support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art are partnering to fuel the dynamism of our region’s art ecology by providing direct support for innovative, experimental, artist-driven, and artist-centered projects. Rocket Grants will fund projects that exist outside of established institutions, occur outside of traditional forms of support, challenge traditional methods of production or presentation, add energy and diversity to the field of arts activity in our area, and provide opportunities for the creative growth of those involved. Elevating the presence of unconventional or under-recognized art forms is a strong priority for this grant program. Rocket Grants will enable individuals and groups of artists to take new risks with their work, push the scope and scale of their activities, develop and pursue collaborative projects, and/or engage with the public and public realm in inventive and meaningful ways. In doing so, these Rocket Grants seek to create ripple effects, as artists, processes, and projects supported engage, inspire, and propel other artists; spark new ideas and ways of working; and contribute to a regional culture characterized by unconventional and expansive forms of interaction, exchange, provocation, and surprise.