Blog

Seamlessly weaving together social critique with complex narratives from my own life story, my art sheds light on Western society's unrealistic standards of beauty and perfection. This blog is dedicated to sharing my process and offering a glimpse into the material I draw inspiration from. 

Let the countdown begin

30 days until the debut performance of Restriction, Perfection: the Other Side of Beauty! Click here to purchase your tickets. Make sure you buy them early, only a few tickets will be available at the door

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Restriction, Perfection: the Other Side of Beauty

Restriction, Perfection: The Other Side of Beauty is a unique hybrid of sculpture and dance that pushes the boundaries of contemporary art. It explores the warped perceptions and damaging effects of Western society’s unrealistic standards of beauty, ability and perfection. The performances will offer the audience an opportunity to view an unconventional art form that questions cultural norms and encourages social change, followed by a moderated Q & A with Becca Cerra and the dancers.

This work will debut with the following schedule: (click the date below to purchase tickets)

Thursday, May 26, 8 pm @ The Old Shafer Creamery Event Center, Shafer, MN

Friday, May 27, 8 pm @ Tek Box in the Cowles Center for Performing Arts in Minneapolis, MN

Saturday, May 28, 8 pm @ Tek Box in the Cowles Center for Performing Arts in Minneapolis, MN

*Doors open at 7 pm, performance at 8 pm, Q&A with Becca Cerra and the performers at 9 pm

 

The Story

Born out of my own struggles facing mental and physical disabilities, Restriction, Perfection: the Other Side of Beauty offers insight into the internal consequences sufferers endure and offers hope to those grappling with their own struggles. It invites viewers to question how physically altered states translate to the psyche and how psychological states manifest themselves physically.

The Process

This performance is the culmination of a yearlong project in which I have been working closely with a group of movement artists. Each dancer chose a body part to symbolize her own story of trauma, abuse, disability, illness, or injury. Then using traditional steel fabrication and foundry techniques, I created wearable, steel garments that, when worn, impose physical restrictions on the dancers’ chosen body parts. Through a choreographed performance, the dancers will show how it is possible to overcome physical limitations, defy expectations, and find empowerment in disability. For more details about the process take a look at my post from late last year "Updates from the Sculpture Studio."

*This activity is made possible by a fellowship from the East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) with funds appropriated by The McKnight Foundation and by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the East Central Regional Arts council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

1 year anniversary

This time last year I was shivering in a hospital bed begging for more blankets as I came off of general anesthesia. I looked down at the edge of my bed to see my mom tickling my toes and singing "this little piggy went to the market, this little piggy stayed home," and on and on...I find it amazing to reflect on what a journey this ankle injury has been and all of the lessons I have learned from it.

First, here's a quick timeline of the injury to give you some perspective:

April 2010: I relapsed with my eating disorder in a new way and developed a stress fracture from over exercising. All seemed good by May and I never went to physical therapy.
April - August 2014: I went into a walking boot again with the realization that my stress fracture had never actually healed itself, started physical therapy, and had fleeting episodes of relief.
September 2014: I moved across the country and changed physical therapists, found new doctors, and my ankle got progressively worse.
October 2014-March 2015: I continued to new treatments with little success but I finally found a doctor and physical therapy team that worked just as hard as I did to find an answer and cure.
April 1, 2015: I finally started recovery with the help of an incredible doctor! Surgery went amazing and I went back into a walking boot.
August 2015: my tendon wasn't healing properly and I was looking at a second surgery, in the meantime I went into a walking boot for the fourth (and, hopefully, final) time.
September 2015: my tendon reattached itself and all has been swell since! I've continued to surprise myself everyday with all of my new progress.

As you can see over the course of 2 years I have been on a long and windy rollercoaster with many bumps and close calls along the way and I learned some really important lessons about myself:

  • My body is resilient: My body never ceases to amaze me with its ability to heal itself even when I abuse it.
  • My yoga practice can solve anything: Throughout recovery my yoga mat became my sanctuary where I could face and work through the physical and emotional pain of healing.
  • I do NOT accept defeat: For an entire year I heard countless doctors tell me over and over again "this is as good as it gets kid" "it'll stay like this your whole life" "nothing is showing up on the xrays" "I'm stumped" "I'm not sure what to tell you" "It's psychosomatic" "There isn't anything wrong" "It doesn't make any sense" "I think that's just a shadow on the MRI" "It doesn't seem to be that serious." I didn't accept any of these answers knowing that there had to be a way for me to heal, so I kept pushing back and searching for the right answer that would give me my life back.
  • I have amazing friends and family: Some of the same people that sat with me in my hospital room 7 years ago as I fought for my life against an eating disorder were the same people curling up in bed with me as I licked my wounds and rehabbed my ankle. I have surrounded myself with powerful, loving, supportive friends and family and am grateful for each one of them.

And finally, the most important lesson that came from all of this is that every upset, injury, illness, bump, bruise, failure, miscommunication, wrong turn, accident, etc. is an opportunity for learning and self-growth. I realized early on in this ordeal that I had the option of wallowing in self-pity and denying my reality or I could take this as an opportunity to evaluate my current circumstances and make changes to better support the life I want to live, one that is thriving free of injury and illness.

 

So today I say "Happy first birthday little ankle - may you have many more amazing years ahead of you!"

Updates from the sculpture studio

This past winter was my first in Minnesota and boy was it cold. Instead of curling up with a book by a warm fire I spent the cold days inside perched over my laptop typing grant proposals. The long hours in front of a computer screen paid off when, this summer, I received not one, but two, prestigious grants from the East Central Regional Arts Council. The first grant is the ECRAC McKnight Fellowship Grant, a program designed to recognize, reward, and encourage outstanding professional artists. This has afforded me the opportunity to make art on a more grandiose scale than ever before. The second, the ECRAC Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund Grant provides an opportunity for me to present this work in an open to the public performance which will take place next year. 

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Join me this Saturday, September 12 for Sculpture Inspired Yoga at 10 aM at Franconia Sculpture Park!

 

 

I'll be kicking off Franconia Sculpture Park's 19th Annual Art and Artists Celebration with an unconventional yoga practice created just for the event! As you know my personal art-making straddles the intersection of sculpture, performance, and dance. Join me as I share my passion for yoga and teach you how to blend the world of Franconia into your own yoga practice.

*$10 suggested donation