Experience the ‘Beating Heart of the Track’

On Saturday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m., the Merced Arts Council presents “Beating Heart of the Track,” an interactive performance designed by Dawn Trook and based on the poetry of East Bay poet Anne F. Walker.

The event takes place in the Black Box Theater at the Merced Multicultural Arts Center, 645 W. Main St. Ticket prices are “pay-what-you-can.”

Walker’s poems take place during a cross-country train trip and reflect on landscape and bodies and the memories they inspire.

During the event, multiple creative mediums will be represented. Walker will read from her poems, while Dawn Trook creates moving sculptures with objects and bodies that reflect the images and concepts in the poems. Trook will be assisted by students from Tonya López-Craig’s conceptual art class at UC Merced.

Throughout the performance spontaneous music will be performed by UC Merced student Devina Jimenez, while visual art is created by Tonya López-Craig and her students. As part of the performance, photographer Misha Bruk will be documenting, entering the space like a tourist and making still the bodies in motion.

A question and answer session with the collaborators will follow the event.

“Beating heart of the track” premiered at Holy Names College in October 2017 and has been redeveloped for Merced with local collaborators. The piece draws on practices of poetry, visual art, improvisation, and performance art. Walker and Trook are excited to involve students and UC Merced faculty in the event.

Dawn Trook is trained as a poet, actor, and performance artist. A writing teacher at University of California, Merced, Trook also independently develops, produces, and directs theater and performance in the Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also known as her children’s character, Sweetie Pie, who teaches science to kids through interactive cooking performances.

East Bay poet Anne F. Walker’s full-length published poetry books include Six Months Rent, Pregnant Poems, Into the Peculiar Dark, and The Exit Show. Her recent poetry chapbook is when the light of any action ceases. She teaches at Holy Names University. (https://nightmusicjournal.com/2017/05/10/lunar-notes-an-interview-with-featured-writer-anne-f-walker/)

Devina Jimenez is a graduating senior at the University of California, Merced in the school of Psychology. Music, however, has been a continuous passion of Devina’s since childhood. Their first instrument was the beautiful and unique-sounding Viola. Largely self-taught, Devina now works in digital music production, recording and synthesizing small pieces of music, as well as learning various string instruments (such as the ukulele and guitar).

Tonya López-Craig studied studio art, photography and design at the University of Georgia, Athens, and California State University, Los Angeles. Her emphasis, during her studies, was in sculpture and photography. She has exhibited in both media, and her artwork has been published on numerous book covers and featured in book entries by various national and international scholarly publishers.


For more information on this event, call the Merced Arts Council at 209-388-1090 or email project director, Dawn Trook at dtrook@gmail.com

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