NV in KC  Judith G. Levy will work with videographers, actors, non-actors, artists and musicians in Lawrence and Kansas City to create a faux documentary that examines difficult subject matter with wit and humanity. This project will consist of an initial 20- to 30-minute video episode, followed by five additional 15-minute episodes, featuring a story that humorously explores envy as a motivating force in a regional arts community.

Levy: “I want to make this series, because envy is a feeling that most artists experience and suffer with silently. Envy is a usually a taboo subject, and it often causes artists to feel alienated from their peers or experience self-doubt and shame. I’m on a mission to create a project that will help artists allow themselves to accept their own feelings of envy along with all the other feelings they have about living their lives as artists. This is a serious matter, like most of the subjects I investigate, so I will treat it respectfully. However like my other work, I will make it inviting, entertaining and humorous, so that it engages viewers in a dialogue that opens up the subject to new and different conversations.”

The project is not meant to be therapeutic, as in therapy or counseling. Like other conceptually motivated art, Levy wants to provoke thoughtfulness about challenging subject matter that includes contemporary and historical perspectives. The subject matter concerns Kansas City’s artists and public and private art institutions, and touches on the historical exploration of power and hierarchy.

The story involves the friends and colleagues of an artist who is obsessively creating very large, hierarchical wall maps in her studio, placing local artists, galleries and museums in various tiers. She calls the work The Big Picture. Throughout the series the artist is the “pilgrim”, who, like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress, is on a journey towards “salvation”. She engages in various and misguided endeavors while trying to understand her own situation. Each segment will be carefully crafted to create dramatic action, content and humor that move the story forward towards a resolution.

The first episode will have simultaneous showings on a dedicated Facebook page, on a dedicated Vimeo site, on Youtube, and at a showing at the Tivoli theater in Kansas City. The interactive aspect of the Facebook page will provide a forum for comments about the issues and themes raised in the project.

About the Artist

Judith G. Levy, a conceptual artist whose videos, public art, installations, performance, and two-dimensional work, explores public and private history and challenging social, historical and political subjects. She has shown her work in various galleries, such as SooVac and Midway in Minneapolis, at NavtaSchulz in Chicago, at Paragraph and Epsten in Kansas City, and at both The Plains Art Museum and at The Indianapolis Museum of Art. She has been awarded public art commissions for work in both in Indianapolis and Kansas City. In 2007 she was awarded a Lilly Foundation Grant to travel to Poland and Germany. In 2009 she had her first solo museum exhibition at The Indianapolis Museum of Art. Since moving to the Kansas City area, she has created public art for City Center Square’s post office window and was included in Pages, a group exhibition at Paragraph in November, 2010. She is also included in The Dining Room exhibition at the Epsten Gallery in March, 2011. Levy will have a solo show at the Paragraph Gallery in September, 2011 that features her work, The Last Descendants, a faux documentary video series in which she interviews that last living family members of famous people, such as Huckleberry Finn and The Lone Ranger.

For more information, visit: http://www.judithglevy.com

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