Harcourt House is pleased to welcome and introduce Jen Mesch, our 15th Artist in Residence.
From November 1, 2016 to October 31, 2017, Mesch will continue her artistic practice with support from our art education courses and facilities, culminating in teaching opportunities and a final exhibition at the end of her residency. Mesch will be exploring performance and installation during this residency. She has three goals to achieve during this time. She is currently engaging in video and film studies to support dance for video in a gallery context. She will also use the education resources at Harcourt House to create practical and aesthetic scores for dance. Additionally, she plans to develop some of her fibre arts skills on a larger scale. Throughout the residency, she plans to host discussions on visual arts analogs and relationships with performing and recording arts. This will culminate in an exhibition that includes performance and installation in the gallery. Soft Red / Hard White will open October 5, 2017 and run through November 25, 2017.
Jennifer Mesch began as a self-taught dance improvisor until she started studying dance formally in early adulthood. Her dance training includes study at: Wellspring/Cori Terry and Dancers, Princeton Ballet School, and Merce Cunningham Dance Studio. She has performed with Dawn Cargiulo Berman (Momix), Penny Hutchinson (Mark Morris Dance Group), Jack Magai (Troy Chainsaw Ensemble), Linda Mannheim (Martha Graham Dance Company), Jennifer Monson (Birdbrain Dance), and Gerry Morita (Mile Zero Dance).
She directs Jen Mesch Dance Conspiracy based in Edmonton, Alberta, and has created more than 200 works for dance performance and experimental theatre. Her compositions are generally inspired not by dance, but by science, literature, visual arts, film and random situations, and are often categorized as performance art.
Over the past 15 years, Mesch has primarily performed with live musicians, most recently Allison Balcetis, Now Age Ensemble, Sandra Joy Friesen, Scott Smallwood and Nate Wooley. While she has trained technically for more than 25 years, she continually strives to return her original spontaneous impulses to dance. Since moving to Edmonton seven years ago, she has been involved in more than 30 dance productions and is co-curator for SubArctic Improv and Experimental Arts, produced by Mile Zero Dance.
Mesch is a freelance dance critic for Dance Current magazine (Canada) and she has her own blog about dance in Edmonton and beyond at dance-conspiracy.blogspot.ca. Her dance activities can be viewed on her professional website: dance-conspiracy.org