Artist Commissioning Program

NON:op’s artist commissioning program provides opportunities for artists, particularly artists of color and artists with disabilities, two groups of artists who have been historically marginalized, and hardest hit by the pandemic. In 2021 we are commissioning the following five artists and teams to create work for Viral Silence and L’s GA : Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Viral Silence Commissioned Artists and Communities

Allen Moore
Allen Moore with the Auburn Gresham 21st Ward, Block Club 21 Community Garden

Allen Moore is a Black American Interdisciplinary Painter, Experimental Sound Artist, Educator, Youth Mentor and Curator born and raised in the Historic Village of Robbins IL. His work examines both visual and experimental music, emphasizing the importance of nurturing the Black Imagination with social representation and converses with the signifiers of African American and popular culture, bringing to view the underlying themes of racial, emotional and socioeconomic conditions. Moore has exhibited and performed across Chicago and the greater Midwest, including exhibitions Experimental Sound Studio, Elastic Arts, Threewalls, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Science and Industry Chicago. His work is featured in the Netflix Original Series “Easy” Seasons 1 and 2.

Honna Veerkamp
Honna Veerkamp & Jay Needham with Carbondale Community Arts

Honna Veerkamp is a community-oriented artist and educator. Her specialties include audio and video documentary, painting, and socially engaged art. Honna’s work explores natural and human-made environments and celebrates creative resistance—from tiny interventions to grassroots social justice movements, and the stories in between. Honna earned a Media Arts MFA at Southern Illinois University in 2015 and a diploma in Audio Engineering at the Institute for Audio Research in 2002. She was a CAT fellow in 2017-2018 and currently serves on the alumni advisory board. She has taught audio, video, writing, and fine art at university and community settings.

Jay Needham

Jay Needham is an artist, musician, writer-editor and cultural producer who utilizes multiple creative platforms to produce his works, many of which have a focus on sound and site specific field research. As a hearing-divergent person, Needham makes work that often involves sensing and experiencing sound across many modalities. His sound art, works for radio, visual art, performances and installations have appeared at museums, festivals and on the airwaves, worldwide. Needham is the founding co-editor of Resonance: The Journal of Sound and Culture, published by The University of California Press. He is a Professor in the Department of Radio, Television and Digital Media at Southern Illinois University and he received his MFA from The School of Art at California Institute of the Arts.

Expressive Resonance
Expressive Resonance (Ja Nelle Davenport-Pleasure & Keith Moore) with Champaign County youth and Urbana Independent Media Center

Keith Moore is a composer and sound artist, writer, curator, and community-media maker currently based in Urbana, Illinois. Keith uses the fields of acoustics and psychoacoustics to compose expressive and conceptually rich works that compel listeners to consider the beauty and breadth of perception itself. He has collaborated with numerous distinguished organizations such as musikFabrik WDR (Cologne), Ensemble de l’itinéraire (Paris), Ensemble Modern and the International Ensemble Modern Academy (Frankfurt), PRISM Quartet (NYC), Talujon Percussion (NYC), Ensemble 21 (NYC), and soloists including Tomas Bächli (Berlin), Karen Bentley Pollick (CO), Kevin Boyer (London), Maja Cerar (NYC), Juliana Snapper (LA), Taimur Sullivan (Chicago) and Kelland Thomas (Hoboken). In addition to creating original compositions Keith Moore pursues his research through writing, performance, curating and teaching.

Ja Nelle Davenport Pleasure is a poet, a recycle/up-cycle artist, fashion designer, dance instructor, and community-media maker, currently based in Champaign, Illinois. For the past 20 years I have gotten involved in making art by reusing and recycling what I already have in my possession. Through this, I have found a wonderful medium to turn trash into beautiful works of art. I use my gifts and talents in the literary world, as well as dance and fashion to bring people together to unleash their creative minds and think outside themselves, to encourage and support one another, and to build community. I am comical, silly, and enjoy bringing people from all walks of life together to share, to explore, and to uplift through art.

L’s GA : Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address Commissioned Responses

Kameron Locke
Kameron Locke

Kameron Locke (he/him) is a classical singer and research-based artist who expresses what he defines as the “facets of Blackness” through music, performance, and study.

Locke navigates cultural, community, and academic spaces as a social justice-centered creative, artistic leader, producer, educator, and musicologist. From within these spaces, he reflects on representation and inclusion, and how to engage and solve challenges that bring equality to continuously evolving communities.

Born and raised in Chicago, he recently emigrated to Berlin after a fulfilling stint in London.

A.J. McClenon

Born and raised in “DC proper,” A.J. McClenon studied art and creative writing at the University of Maryland and The New School prior to receiving a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014. Alongside artistic experiences, A.J. is passionate about teaching and community collaborations with that goal that all the memories and histories that are said to have “too many Black people,” are told and retold again. As a means to uphold these stories A.J. creates performances, installations, objects, sounds, visuals, and writings. These creations often revolve around an interest in water and aquatic life, escapism, Blackness, science, grief, US history, and the global future. A.J. is deeply invested in leveling the hierarchies of truth and using personal narrative to speak on political and cultural amnesia and their absurdities.