The Commotion Festival concluded June 30th, 2012. Click here for festival highlights.
Lead Artist

Commotion includes a roster of award winning artists from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. These artists have collaborated with students and community members in the realization of this project.

  • John JH Phillips

    John JH Phillips is a sound and video artist. John creates interactive sound pieces, video works, and collaborative sound/sculpture/video installations which have been sited in museums, alternative spaces and various university art galleries. His grants include a Fellowship in Sound Art from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships in Media Arts. John is the lead artist and project director of Commotion.

  • Ed Shockley

    Ed Shockley is the author of more than 50 plays, dozens of these produced, as well as numerous professional articles and educational materials on the arts of playwriting and directing. He has designed and taught theater courses at Temple University, NYU, and Nassau Community College and continues to teach play/film writing and World Theater history at the University of the Arts and Rutgers Camden. Ed was raised in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Philadelphia and is a pioneer in community engagement theater.

  • Jebney Lewis

    Jebney Lewis is a musician, visual artist, and history enthusiast who graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Technical Theater Production. He has played a variety of musical instruments in projects that range from folk to pop to experimental. Since 2005, Lewis has been a go-to technical director for experimental theater artists like Pig Iron Theatre Company and Thaddeus Phillips. A recent notable work was "Yard Songs," a multimedia elegy for the American train industry. Built with salvaged industrial steel, Lewis constructed a hand-pumped vintage railcar that glided down abandoned trolley tracks in South Kensington to the sounds of live period music.

  • Subcircle

    Subcircle is the collaboration between choreographer Niki Cousineau and designer Jorge Cousineau. Since 1998, Subcircle has been transforming theatrical and site-specific spaces, merging dance, sound, set design, lighting and film. Collaborative in nature, the work strives to engulf audiences in created environments. Cinematic and introspective, Subcircle makes visible and vulnerable the inner lives of characters, citizens and bodies.

  • Team Sunshine

    Team Sunshine makes and performs original devised physical theater works through its own brand of collaborative play-making and writing. The result comes in the form of live performance events that are hilarious, dark and surprising. The company's pieces are rooted in an exploration of a life that is undeniably American, squarely placed in our culture and our time. TSunPCo's collaborators are multi-faceted creators who focus on upending theatrical convention to create shows that explode and leave a kind of tragic joy on the walls. With character and charisma, actors aggressively pursue the kind of pinpoint moments that steal breath from the audience.

  • Tim Fitts

    Tim Fitts earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland and a BA in English from the University of South Florida. His short stories have appeared in journals such as The Connecticut Review, the Xavier Review, Columbia Journal, and The Gettysburg Review, among others. His visual art has been featured on the cover of the New England Review and the American Literary Review. Tim is represented by the Thomas Deans Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia.

Student Artist

Student Artist Contributors. A diverse group of University of the Arts students from a wide variety of disciplines have been collaborating on the overall ideas leading to Commotion as well as working with the community and the lead artists to realize all the components of the project.

  • University of the Arts Students
    Tyler Bailey is a multidisciplinary visual artist from York, Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from the University of the Arts in 2012. Bailey has volunteered for organizations such as York Arts where he has taught art classes to young people ages four to fifteen. He brings an enthusiasm for interaction with the public to the Commotion project.

    Olivia Diehl is a graduate of the University of the Arts with a major in sculpture. She is enthusiastic about taking time to share, make, discuss and experience art with the community. She believes that hands-on learning and making is an empowering process that benefits all who engage in it.

    Trey Dunlap, BFA sculpture, lives in Philadelphia. Born and raised in Western Michigan, he attended Grand Rapids Community College 2006-2008 and transferred to UArts 2008,graduating in spring 2012. He was the assistant supervisor of the UArts Sculpture facilities during the summer of 2011 and wasthe student shop supervisor's assistant.

    Aimee Goldsmith was introduced to art at an early age. Over the years, her skills developed and her interest turned into a passion. Her goal: to make a difference in people’s lives through the power of creativity. Aimee is a graduate of the University of the Arts,majoring in Sculpture, where she has been on the Dean’s List three years in a row. Aimee has exhibited in galleries across Philadelphia; her current body of work uses sandblasted glass to project sunlit images.

    Bryant Myers is a Senior at the University of the Arts. He is currently studying Graphic Design with a minor in Web Design.

    Tulissa Parsons earned her BFA in Crafts from the University of the Arts. She continues to work with glass and metal in her studio in Philadelphia and is the co-founder and curator of Lotus Root Art Gallery. In the past, Tulissa has worked for Candlewood Glass, Outcast Studios and East Falls Glass. She has curated exhibitions and shown work at Gallery One in Philadelphia and Wisteria Gallery in Oregon. Her art has also been seen in New York City at Medialia Rack and Hamper Gallery.

    Amanda Scott is a Senior Industrial Design student at the University of the Arts. She is interested in design within the community and is excited to build local interest in the arts.

    Derek Scull is a Senior Film and Video major at the University of the Arts.  Experimental film and video processes are where his interests lie so he naturally chose to be involved with the video components of the Commotion Festival. Derek also enjoys creative photography and is contributing photos that will be featured in the Commotion book project.

    Maxwell VanHook, is a graduate of the University of the Arts with a major in Multimedia. A Baltimore native, he has a background in media design and brand management. After receiving his degree, he is furthering his education in the Media Culture program at the University of Pittsburgh.

    Andrew Cameron Zahn is a multimedia artist, designer, and Master’s degree candidate in the Industrial Design program at the University of the Arts. Challenging the notion of design and fine art as separate entities, his work incorporates high and low technologies and inhabits an ecosystem of interactive applications, installations, and immersive experiences. Visit or to sample his work. 
  • Bowerbird

    Situated at the forefront of artistic experimentation, Bowerbird is a Philadelphia based nonprofit organization that presents music and interdisciplinary events by local and internationally recognized artists at a variety of venues across the region. The mission of Bowerbird is to raise the public’s awareness and understanding of provocative and divergent music traditions by providing numerous and diverse opportunities to directly experience the work of today’s leading artists.

Workshop Leader
  • Byron Westbrook
    Byron Westbrook (b. 1977) is an artist working with the dynamic quality of physical space using multi-channel sound, images, and objects. His audio/video performances under the name CORRIDORS involve the distribution of processed instrumental and environmental recordings through a multi-channel environment. His installation-based work explores unique and participatory listening formats utilizing commonly accessible technology. He has presented at venues such as Tonic, Roulette, The Stone, Diapason Gallery, Issue Project Room, Experimental Intermedia, Exit Art Gallery, (NYC), Les Voûtes (FR), Wien Konzerthaus (Austria), O' (Milano), Cave12 (Geneva), NonEvent (Boston), Sonic Circuits Festival (DC), Institute of Intermedia (CZ). He has worked as technical coordinator of Phill Niblock's Experimental Intermedia Foundation since 2004. In 2007, he was the recipient of the Jerome Foundation Emerging Artists Commission through Roulette Intermedium.
  • Maria Dumlao
    Born in Manila, Philippines, Maria Dumlao currently lives and works in Philadelphia, PA. Her art has been exhibited and screened in Art in General and Momenta Art Gallery in NYC, The Contemporary Museum in Hawaii and internationally in Utrecht, Barcelona, Vancouver, London, Madrid, Berlin, and Tokyo. Dumlao has been awarded two residencies at Experimental Television Center in Owego, NY, and AIRtime residency at free103point9’s Wave Farm in Acra, New York. Dumlao works collaboratively with artists Elaine Kaufmann, Danielle Mysliwiec, and Anne Polashenski as Brainstormers, with whom she has performed at Brooklyn Museum of Art, outside of both PS1 and the Armory Show and collaborated with the Guerrilla Girls for a project featured at the Bronx Museum of Art. They have co-written and co-published articles and photo essays in Women’s Studies Quarterly and Women & Environments International Magazine, as well as artists' books. Brainstormers’ video received an Official Selection award for the 41st BAC International Film and Video Festival.