What I Learned from Red Shoes

First and foremost – THANK YOU! Thank you to everyone who came out and saw my first one woman show. Thank you to my friends and family for the constant support and encouragement. Thank you to the Boulder Fringe for pulling my name out of the hat and providing a space for me to explore my art completely uninhibited.

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This show has been a huge portal for me. I have been saying for years and years and years and YEARS that I want to create a one woman show and put my artistic voice and vision fully on stage. And now it’s over and I feel so pleased having completed the process. After my opening night show wrapped, and I was flooded with praise from my audience, I felt truly triumphant. What a rush!

IMG_0264I learned several lessons on this artistic venture. The first one being, You are not alone. I have a tendency to dig in my feet and feel safer doing everything by myself. As a one woman show there are certainly a lot of aspects to the creating that were extremely individual and solitary. However, as the days ticked by, I found my stress mounting and my doubts growing the longer I kept the creative process to myself. When I finally reached out and starting asking for feedback and guidance and assistance, that’s when the piece really began to solidify and become real magic. AND everyone I reached out to was so honored and excited to be a part of the process. Thank you to all the people who helped me ask for help.

I learned to Trust my timing. I’m sure many creative types struggle with procrastination like me, but over the course of this six month period I reframed my procrastinator as a powerful ally. Instead of letting my inner critic shriek endlessly about the time I was wasting, I calmed that voice and realized I was letting things simmer, allowing creative ideas to dance about, rather than beating them into the shapes I wanted them to be. One piece of choreography in the show was stumping me over and over again. I had formed an idea for the segment, and yet continued to ignore working on it. Finally it dawned on me that I didn’t feel comfortable with the original idea, and procrastinating helped me ease into that reality. After addressing my fears, and pivoting to a new possibility, I fell into a piece of choreography I truly loved.

People have asked me if I would do this kind of project again, and I know for sure if I did, it would look radically different to this show. What I do know is that I will continue to be an artist. I will continue to dance and perform. And I’m excited to see what new opportunities will come my way now that I have passed through this artistic portal.

If you saw the show I would love to hear your feedback. Follow this link to the Boulder Fringe Website and leave me a review. I appreciate it SO MUCH!

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Red Shoes – The Boulder Fringe Festival

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Red Shoes

A one woman spectacle that cobbles together the dramas of losing your shoes, looking in all the wrong places, weathering the storm, and finding your wings instead.

Save the Date 

Friday AUG 17, 8:45 PM

 Saturday AUG 18, 5:45 PM

Thursday AUG 23, 6:45 PM

Saturday AUG 25, 8:15 PM

Pine Street Church – “The Parlour”
1237 Pine St. Boulder, CO 80302

RSVP on Facebook.

Red Shoes is my Debut One Woman Show

Red Shoes is the first solo show written, produced and performed by local Boulder artist Khiri Lee. Inspired by fairy tales such as “The Devil’s Red Shoes” and “The Wizard of Oz,” this multimedia performance riffs and coalesces into a poetic journey of losing oneself, to finding personal power, to diving deeply into creative freedom. The show magically weaves dance, improvisational theatre, video, poetry, and music, showcasing the wide variety of creative practices Khiri explores in her artistic process. Like a collage, each vignette creates unexpected connections and new thoughts around womanhood, freedom, individuality, fairytales, loss, cultural expectations, and red shoes. Khiri’s work is heavily influenced by her time as an arts educator, belly dancer, and mixed media painter. Learn more about Khiri at khirilee.com or on instagram and twitter @magick_socks. RSVP on Facebook.

The Boulder Fringe Festival

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The Boulder Fringe provides a platform for artists to showcase their artwork often in non-traditional spaces. We educate about independent art that is accessible, and affordable. We present a year round way of life capped by an annual 12-day performance art festival, that brings together local, national, and international shows and other events in Boulder.

Canvas to Cuff

Thank You to everyone who voted for me in the 2017 “Canvas to Cuff” Contest.  

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The 2nd annual event is happening now, and my beautiful cuff, which your votes helped make a reality, is still available for purchase. Visit Walters and Hogsett today to learn more about the contest or treat yourself to a beautiful piece of wearable art!

I was honored to win the first annual Canvas to Cuff. This annual event provides Boulder professional and student painters the opportunity to have their original artwork replicated on an ÉVOCATEUR gold leaf cuff. Winning designs will be inducted into the Walters & Hogsett Boulder Artist Series, and winning artists will be rewarded with an ÉVOCATEUR cuff with their artwork and share in the proceeds of every future sale online or in-store!

What was your inspiration for the piece you submitted?

 Khiri Lee: I recently collaborated on a project called “The Good Box” with Turning the Wheel. The project was focused on reclaiming the word good as a positive meditation word and resulted in the creation of 30 affirmation cards all with a phrase about the innate goodness in all of us. My art is featured on the cards, and I played an important hand in the final design. After the completion of the deck of cards I felt activated to create more paintings inspired by the goodness all around us. The “Celestial Beings” Series grew organically from this starting point.

Read the Full Interview on Walters and Hogsett’s Blog.

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Walters and Hogsett

2425 CANYON BOULEVARD
BOULDER, CO 80302

303.449.2626

M-F 10AM – 5:30PM
SAT. 10AM – 4PM

Motivational Charms

Who knew so much happiness could come from inch and a half circles and colorful notions. 

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I truly cannot believe that the holidays are already upon us. I have had a quite a blurry time falling into fall and have missed you all and my art practice. So to jump back in with two feet I have created a new collection of motivational and inspirational manifestation charms on Society6! 
 
These 12 charms speak words of wisdom that I wish to cultivate in my own life and came from a project I did this past spring to share a little piece of art with many of my closest friends. The charms were just too sweet to not share with the rest of the world, and so now you can collect all 12 on shirtsmugscanvases,tote bags, and more through Society6! I am especially found of the stickers

Summertime Studio Swap and Sell

IMG_8472.JPGI am excited to be selling art and some costumes on July 22nd at A Place to B Studio’s Swap and Sell Event. Stop by and say hi!

I will be premiering my new collection of mini butterfly canvases. They are so CUTE! They make a perfect little gift or you can buy a few to create a colorful and fun grid of butterfly magic in your home. Learn about the process here.

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I will also be selling my Dance Shrines which honor all the wonderful dancing that happens at the studio. These are one of a kind sculptures created by your truly. Learn more about them here.

See you there!

 

From A Place to B: Join us for our Summer belly dance swap and sell. Not only will you find wonderful items for dance, but summer festival wear too! Many more wonderful creations and gently used selections.

A Place to B Studio

Saturday, July 22 at 1 PM – 5 PM

1750 30th St, Ste 64, Boulder, Colorado 80301

 

Canvas to Cuff Contest – Please VOTE!

c2cI am one of the 10 professional artists chosen as a finalist in the first Walters & Hogsett Canvas to Cuff Contest!

My design has a chance to be selected for the newest addition to W&H’s Boulder Artist Series by being produced on to an EVOCATEUR cuff. If I win, I will share in the proceeds of every future sale of that cuff.

Now is the time to vote!

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My Entry for Canvas to Cuff Celestial Being #6

Two winners will be chosen (1 professional and 1 student) by in store and online voting. Follow the link for online voting and share with your friends and family. The Boulder community is deciding, so spread the word! Voting began April 10th and ends at midnight on April 21st.  Winners will be announced the following week.

Walters and Hogsett will host back-to-back Gallery Nights for each category. The professional Gallery Night will be on April 21st from 5-7pm with light hors d’oeuvres and sparkling drinks. Voting will continue during the event.

I would love to see you there! RSVP

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Art for the Temple: Baggage

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After Burning Man 2014 I had the idea of physically carrying my baggage from one place to another. Originally I was thinking this would be a street theatre piece. After a wild year of relocations and heartbreaks and generic 24 year old confusions, Black Rock City sounded like the perfect place for my performance.

I couldn’t have predicted the emotional impact physically carrying my baggage to the Temple would have on me. Each moment around the journey was perfectly serendipitous. I wanted to drop into the process, into the walk, into the memories, into my surroundings – and thats exactly what I got. 

I have always loved the place where ritual and performance blend together. They hold so much in common requiring focus, commitment, witnesses and some sort of procedure. Choosing to do this performance at Burning Man, and walk my baggage to the Temple, charged the event with aspects of ritual for me. The Temple at Burning Man is a sacred contemplative space. I don’t actually know if Burning Man prescribes anything more onto the Temple, but people leave all manner of things and memories they wish to release there. People also leave manifestations, have celebrations and marriages, meditate, or witness and contemplate the choices other people have made. On Sunday they burn the temple and all three years I’ve attended it has been a solemn and heartbreakingly beautiful event.

This project had blossomed during a frustration driven bout of artistic angst. I devised the idea of writing all my potentially inflammatory sexual history on bags in bright garish colors and walking around some city, probably San Francisco, as a big “F*** You! I do have sex!” to all the haters that had bred a deep-seated shame into my psyche around my supposed vices. The ideals of radical self-expression and radical inclusion made Burning Man seem like a really safe place to perform and process

I decided to carry five bags of different sizes. I wanted enough bags that it would be impossible for me to carry them all at the same time. I wrote words on my baggage, although not all of them were focused on my sex life. I also wrote the word Acceptance on one of the bags which at the time seemed irreverent but in the end became a critical point in my performance turned ritual.

I am a very kinesthetic learner. I’m still reeling from the amount of information I got about myself from this seemingly simple act of carrying some old vintage bags from my theme camp in the city to the Temple, a mile or so away.

I could only carry two or three bags at a time so I was constantly going two steps forward one step back, essentially leap frog-ing my luggage along the road. I had heard the phrase “one step forward, two steps back” a thousand times but to actually walk it for over an hour taught we that there was nothing wrong about oscillating between moving forward and backtracking. I can be terribly critical on myself for backsliding around certain emotional issues. My inner critic is on me all the time for pining over lost connections, or feeling sad or angry about something “I thought I had gotten over.” What I learned walking it was that:

  1. Things take time
  2. Different issues process at different speeds
  3. 3) If i’m going to try and tackle everything at once there is going to be some backsliding.

I think the way I chose to take my bags says a lot about me. I decided I wasn’t going to talk and initially imagined I would do it all by myself. I was going to carry the bags, not cart or bike or drive them. I was going to take it all at once. I’ve since thought of other ways one might have decided to deal with the concept. You could carry each bag, one at a time, from camp all the way to the temple, making 5 shorter easier trips but in the end probably taking more time. You could test your endurance and take all 5 bags, strapped onto your body, and carry them without stopping, potentially at the risk of hurting your body. I feel like the path I chose was a good metaphor for how I deal with my emotions on a daily basis.

I hadn’t gotten very far down the road with my leapfrog system, which was suiting me fine, when two young men on bikes approached and simply picked up the extra bags I couldn’t carry. I briefly attempted to pantomime that it was my task to carry them, but they weren’t having any of it. They insisted on helping me. If they had to help they at least had to follow some of my procedures. I wouldn’t allow them to put the bags into their baskets on the bikes, explaining through pantomime that they had to be carried in the hand. Happy to help the men on bikes accompanied me all the way to the Man, the namesake of the festival, which resides in the middle of the playa. They joked and sang and pondered who I was and what I doing, while I walked alongside in silence. I was astonished at my reaction to someone else helping me. It was very hard. I really wanted to do it all myself. In hindsight I’m so thankful to those two gentlemen, and a third friend they summoned halfway through, because if they hadn’t helped me get through a third of my trip I would have been truly exhausted.

I hadn’t visited the Man yet but coming upon him I was immediately drawn to the gateway in front of me. The theme for Burning Man last year was Carnival of Mirrors, and the base of the Man was surrounded by a maze and midway. The gateway on this side of the man happened to be a grinning devil, mischievous and compelling. I felt in my gut that this threshold needed to be crossed. My demons had to be faced before I could leave them behind me once and for all. I stopped and thanked the three gentlemen on bikes silently before steeling myself to take each bag through the portal one at a time. Some bags were easier than others, and I was surprised at the adrenal response my body had when I looked the devil in the eye and defiantly crossed beneath him into the sanctuary around the man. It simply seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

I began my system again and passed through the portal facing the road between the Man and the Temple. Looking over my shoulder I saw two dancing elephants intertwined with the words “Leave all despair behind, ye who enter here.” The unexpected contrast from the Devil gate caught me completely by surprise and I was delighted by this other threshold. The words resonated with the “rightness” of my actions. And the elephants felt like a call from the universe to remember my journey and all I learned from it. Filled with a curious uplifted feeling I continued down the road to the Temple.

About halfway to the Temple from the Man I made the discovery that I could in fact carry all five bags at the same time. I carried them a short way but it was extremely taxing on my body, causing my arms to ache and my shoulders to strain. I went back to an even simpler system, as I was tiring, only carrying two bags at any time so it would take me three trips to move forward instead of two. I also decided that despite the pain it might cause me I would carry all of the bags into the temple once I reached that final threshold.

I was terribly worried the the Temple Guardians wouldn’t let me leave so much within the sacred space. In the end there was no cause for worry, but this fear that, taking time to process my own emotions will take up too much time or space, is a relatively constant one. I don’t allow myself to cry as often as I might like to, fearing I’ll be shamed or criticized. I don’t let myself stay angry or upset when I might just need to feel my feelings. So instead I carry them around like a heavy weight.  Having my fear rear its head to absolutely nothing when I arrived at the Temple showcased them outside of my own little inner dialogue. I’m the one most invested in my emotions and for the most part no one is going to be bothered if I choose to express them in healthy ways.

Finally I reached the perimeter around the Temple, bikes scattered all around it. I was preparing to gather up all my bags, strategizing how to get them all at once so no one would bother me, when another man came up with a shining smile and picked up two of the bags. His presence was so sure and so giving, and he didn’t say a word. I gave one small protest, then finally getting it, walked into the temple with a kind stranger from the community helping me. I burst into tears.

I got it. I can process all this crap alone but I don’t have to. There are lots of people out there, some who I know and some who I don’t, that want me to be free of whatever plagues me and are ready to step in as allies. I know this applies to other people because I offer it up all the time, a hand extended to anyone in need. But it finally, truly landed that this also applies to me. Sobbing as I walked, I marched inside and set my bags down. The smiling man gave me a warm hug, looked into my eyes, and then left me with space to wrap up whatever it was I came to do. I arranged my bags somewhat haphazardly, wiping tears from my cheek, half-heartedly choosing which words to have facing outward and which ones to leave facing the wall. I gathered myself for a moment and then feeling like there was nothing left to do began to leave.

Before exiting out the back of the structure I took one last look over my shoulder at the bags. The only word I could see was Acceptance, unintentionally placed by my own hand, a final sign from the universe that the process was done, this leg of the journey was over, and all that was left was to accept what was given to me.

The day had been bright and clear through my whole trek, but as I left the space the temperature dropped and the dust picked up turning the world to white. With my task complete and my baggage left behind it mirrored the way I felt inside. What next? Another friend of mine, after hearing this story, felt that the winds had picked up to sweep my baggage away. Both interpretations feel relevant.

I’m still recalling and realizing things i’ve learned from my process. I would recommend a similar project to anyone curious to physically explore their emotional landscape. I’m happy to chat and collaborate with anyone moved by my journey.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to revisit this journey in an upcoming production with Turning the Wheel, “Stardust and Water.” Learn more about this production on TTW’s Website.

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Photo Credit (Thank You!)

  1. James Wind Photography: http://jameswynd.com/
  2. Curtis and Peggy Mekemson: http://wandering-through-time-and-place.me/2016/01/07/burning-man-themes-reflecting-the-mind-of-larry-harvey/

  3. Curtis and Peggy Mekemson: http://wandering-through-time-and-place.me/2016/01/07/burning-man-themes-reflecting-the-mind-of-larry-harvey/