Graphic Arts; Literary Arts; Multi Arts; Performing Arts: Dance, Spoken Word, Theatre; Visual Arts: Constructions/Collage, Functional and/or Decorative, Graphic Arts, Murals, New Media/Technology, Painting, Performance Art, Performers and Writers; term
A 1987 graduate of UCLA and a lifetime member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, Blake More is an artist with many creative voices and expressions. Blurring the boundaries between disciplines, her work embraces visual art, poetry, video, performance, costume design, teaching, functional mixed media art/life pieces and hand-painted art cars, including her newest artcar, a Mercedes SL500 painted with a metallic palette she calls “Star Yantra” (staryantra.life).
Blake first stepped on stage in Japan in 1994, when she agreed to recite poetry with a friend’s jazz band at a Shinjuku music club in Tokyo. Since then, she has performed her spoken word art in a range of venues—from cafes, art galleries and museums to 1000 seat theaters—in major cities all over the world, including Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York City, Amsterdam, New Orleans, and San Francisco. Her performance art is a fusion of spoken word, music, yogic contortion, dance, trapeze, clowning and costuming. She creates to reveal, questions to inspire and shares to engage the audience in soulful expression.
Among her performance highlights are the time she shared the stage with jazz pianist Cecil Taylor and beat poet Tony Seymour in a Bob Kaufman tribute reading at the Main branch of the San Francisco Public Library, and the International Poetry Festival in Amsterdam (sponsored by the Provost Poets). She has traveled cross country on a performance tour with a group of San Francisco performance artists and musicians that then became the movie “Head Trip”. But her favorite project to date is a multimedia play called Boxing Pandora, which she wrote, produced, costumed, directed and stared in; 75 minutes long, the play itself involved the efforts of over 20 local artists and included an original score, original video (both live and prerecorded), a 13 member Greek-inspired chorus, poetic monologue, dance, audience participation and a trapeze (no monkeys though).
A freelance writer for 15 years, Blake’s work appeared in Utne Reader, Yoga Journal, Intuition Magazine Alternative Medicine Digest and Tokyo Time Out. To date, she has written two non-fiction books, one fiction book, and three poetry chapbooks. Her most successful book is a holistic health book entitled Alternative Medicine’s Definitive Guide to Headaches, which has sold over 100,000 copies sold to date. Her poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals and books, including Heart Flip (CPITS anthology), The Alchemy Of The Word: Voices At the Edge, San Francisco Poets Live At Venue 9, Wood, Water, Air and Fire: Anthology of Mendocino Women Poets, Hard Love: Looking at Violence & Intimacy, The Toaster Broke, So We’re Going To Get Married. Author of five books of poetry, her book godmeat is a collection of poetry, prose, color artwork, and a DVD compilation of poem movies (available at godmeat.com), and her chapbook Up In the Me World is available on her website.
In addition to her writing, she teaches poetry, multimedia art and performance to K-12 youth. A California Poets In the Schools (CPITS) poet teacher since 2000, she is also the Mendocino County Area Coordinator for CPITS. She organizes two annual Mendocino County High Schgool Poetry Slams and serves as the coach of the Point Arena Youth Poetry Slam Team. She also writes grants to do special, longer residencies, including:
One of these projects was entitled “The Poetry Of The Blues”, in which she and New Orleans blues pianist Nelson Lunding guided 2nd thru 8th grade students in the writing of original 12 bar blues songs (with titles such as “Rocks in my Shoes”, “Our Bus Life” “Soap Opera School”), which were then arranged by Nelson and sung by the kids. These recordings were compiled into five original Kids Blues CDs, and one compilation CD entitled “We’re Playing Blues”, which is currently on sale as a fundraiser for “Gualala Arts In the Schools”.
In another especially noteworthy youth project, she and videographer Christian Birk guided six Native American youth in the creation of a documentary film about living on the Pomo Reservations of Kashia, Point Arena, and Manchester in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. Because of its raw power and unadorned honesty, the youth film crew became one of 14 youth groups in the nation to be invited to participate in the 2003 Reel Studio Young Filmmakers Workshop at Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah; the film has been widely shown to diverse audiences, from schools to art centers, from tribal centers to businesses and social service organizations. It even managed to land a spot on the shelf in the Smithsonian Cultural Heritage Library.
She hosts an hour-long public affairs program called Women’s Voices on KZYX&Z FM Mendocino. She is also sits on several non-profit arts and education boards, and volunteers with many local organizations. For an extensive list and exploration of Blake More’s creative world please visit her website: www.snakelyone.com