2024 Arts for ME! exhibition is now open.

In Conversation: Agency of Things

past event

April 12, 2024

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Open to the public

Agency of Things

An informal performance and conversation between choreographers Lauren Simpson and Galen Rogers and visual artist Lee Running.

Lauren and Galen’s creative interests lie at the intersection of bodies and objects.

“We were drawn to Lee Running’s work because the objects she creates are often made from the material of the body, specifically the bodies and bones of deer that have been struck by vehicles. The skeletal structure of a deer and that of a full grown human are similar in dimension, shape, and weight. This offered a starting point for a collaboration. Through the careful and attentive practice of choreography, we hope to discover a new perspective on the sculptures, as well as open up a conversation about embodiment, violence, healing, and connection.”

Event Details:

Begins at 5 PM
Free – registration is recommended but not required.

Please use the West Entrance of the building that is facing 12th Street when you arrive.

Lauren Simpson is an Omaha-based choreographer and educator. She created Moving Truck, a mobile and socially-distanced show performed on front lawns at residences throughout Omaha in 2020. Recent projects include Duos_POST, a site specific performance with Annie Schenzel in collaboration with Sarah Rowe’s exhibit at KANEKO; Smithereens, a site specific performance in Joslyn Art Museum with music by Omaha musician Miwi LaLupa; Celestial Real Estate, a collaborative performance at Generator Space gallery featuring local artists Nick Miller (painter), Celeste Butler (textile designer), and Dereck Higgins (musician); Self-Leveling a performance at ODC Theater San Francisco in collaboration with dancer Galen Rogers and visual artist Emma Strebel. Collaboration across disciplines is at the heart of her art making.

Lauren was an ODC Artist in Residence in San Francisco from 2018-2022. She has received grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission and Nebraska Arts Council. She danced for MacArthur Genius choreographer Liz Lerman and New York City/Oakland-based choreographer Risa Jaroslow. Lauren has taught dance at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Harvard College and University of San Francisco. She serves on the board of Amplify Arts and is a member of Omaha’s Alternate Currents Working Group, a cohort of Omaha-based artists. She offers a monthly movement workshop to artists of all kinds called, “Horseplay.” She has an M.F.A. from the University of Colorado-Boulder, Ed.M. from Harvard University, and B.A. from Carleton College.

Galen Rogers grew up in San Francisco studying taiko, aikido, capoeira, gamelan, and tablas. These forms provide the foundation of his physicality and musicality and cultivated curiosity, sensitivity, and an expansive vocabulary from an early age. At Oberlin College he earned his BA in ethnomusicology and founded Oberlin College Taiko. After graduating from Oberlin College in ’12 he joined Jiten Daiko, a taiko ensemble based in San Francisco that focuses on pioneering new expressive territory for taiko arts. He has been the director of this ensemble since 2014. In 2013 he also began studying Gaga with James Graham. He performed professionally and toured with James Graham Dance Theater in 2016 and 2017, and has continued to dance professionally ever since. He also currently teaches taiko at Rosa Parks Elementary, John Muir Elementary, and Marin Academy, and he teaches  taiko, capoeira, gamelan, and ethnomusicology at  San Francisco Ruth Asawa School of the Arts. 

Lee Emma Running is an artist based in Omaha NE who creates monumental public installations on windows, and arresting objects using cast iron, enamel, glass, bone, and handmade paper. For the last 15 years, she has been using this work to engage audiences in conversations about the impact of human-built systems on the natural world.

She was a 2023 Foundry Resident in the Arts/Industry program at Kohler and a 2022/23 Artist in Residence with Opera Omaha. Permanent installations of her work can be viewed at the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, the Bernheim Arboretum, and Upper Iowa University. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Des Moines Art Center, National Taiwan University of the Arts, Form and Concept Gallery, and PACE Gallery, Council Bluffs. She has been awarded residencies at Ucross, Jentel, Santa Fe Art Institute, and Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts and Agriculture.

Running is the recipient of a 2023 Populus fund grant from the Union for Contemporary Art in Omaha and was a 2017 Iowa Arts Council Fellow. She was a Professor of Art at Grinnell College from 2005-2020. 


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