A Performance Art Extravaganza: Celebrating Earth Day at Teatro Scarpino

A Performance Art Extravaganza: Celebrating Earth Day at Teatro Scarpino

TFW-04.16.15-Earth-dayLong before the greens of spring began to reemerge, and certainly before anyone gave a moment’s thought to the upcoming Earth Day, Donna Mulhollan was letting her imagination flow.

It was during this flow, during this space of brainstorm, that the foundation for what has evolved into a huge Earth Day event was laid.

After reading a thought provoking text, “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows,” Donna Mulhollan was inspired to create 3D collages—of animals wearing vintage corsets.

This was the first physical manifestation in an effort to raise awareness about the commercial confinement of animals.

From there, as great ideas tend to unfold, Donna and her partner, Kelly Mulhollan, began to work on a massive shrine dedicated to all cows.

Quickly snowballing, she began to plan a related fashion show. It would showcase six models, all of which would represent different animals.

Three models, she planned, would work to bring attention to the confinement of factory-farmed animals through use of corsets & wearable chain. The other three would represent the ideal — the free animals that are no longer ushered through slaughter lines or “fenced in.”

With this, an event name was created. “Don’t Fence Me In” became the official title for OMNI’s annual Earth Day celebration.

“We think Earth Day should be the most coveted time of the year. I mean, why not, it’s celebrating the earth!” said Kelly Mulhollan on their involvement with the holiday.

For years they have been helping coordinate community involved Earth Day events for OMNI, but this year’s will perhaps be the biggest celebration yet.

Held at Teatro Scarpino, a lovely event room just off Dickson Street, they hope this unique space will bring a wide array of individuals.

Donna and Kelly Mulhollan both made it clear that people don’t need to be a practicing vegan or vegetarian to attend this event. Rather, they hope it will bring in a wide crowd, simply interested in opening their minds and considering the essence of the meat industry as it currently exists.

“We’re all on a journey,” said Donna Mulhollan. “This event is not to point fingers. It’s about encouraging dialogue and conversation. Ever since day one I wanted this to be an event that was evocative, and a way for people to start thinking about reducing.”

Animal activism is nothing new to the Mulhollans. Long-time vegetarians, the duo has most recently been heavily involved with raising awareness about the CAFO-hog factories along the Buffalo.

According to Kelly Mulhollan, reducing meat consumption is the quickest way one can move towards healing the earth.

“At some point we’re going to have to make a transition, partly because climate change cannot be solved without addressing animal agriculture. It’s not just the greenhouse gasses, but (factory farming) is also the greatest source of ground-water contamination. It’s the biggest use of water in general, it’s the biggest use of land, is the biggest source of deforestation. And all those things can lead to war and conflict. It’s not subtle. The repercussions of slowing down on meat could be profound in a political landscape beyond our imagination,” said Kelly Mulhollan.

In efforts to relay this message, the Earth Day celebration will include dozens of local performance artists that help encourage such conversation.

Donna Mulhollan hopes that through these community-involved performance artists, one’s choices and lifestyle can be playfully pondered and explored.

As mentioned, there will be a fashion show of sorts. Six models will walk the stage, performing the emotions and drama related to the animal they are disguised as.

Models will move to “soundscapes,” musical collages pieced together by Kelly Mulhollan. These creations blend animal noises and contemporary classical music.

Three of the models will be wearing local creations by designer, Rebecca LaTourette. The other three will be essentially nude — sporting body painting from award winning artist Sue Lomolino.

Throughout the space will be large photographs showcasing different sustainable modalities from the creators of the Dig In Festival.

The mysterious “Madame Bovine” will have her thought-provoking pieces of art displayed on the walls of the event.

Tree art will also be on display and sold as a way to raise money for OMNI.

Other performance artists include a hip hop dance performance by local duo, Progression of An Obsession, a flash mob song performance, a band of women “veggie rappers” (including Big Bad Gina’s Jory Castella), and various other related song performances.

Donna Mulhollan said that this event is just “apart of planting the seeds to help change begin to happen.”

There will be a “finger-food feast,” as Donna Mulhollan put it. “A combining of friends and family, and good healthy food.”

This performance art extravaganza will take place on Earth Day Eve, Tuesday, April 21, from 6-8 p.m . Tickets can be purchased at Teatro Scarpino for a suggested donation of $5 to $10 that will benefit the OMNI Center.

Categories: Music