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Processional Arts Workshop

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    Vizcaya commissioned New York-based Processional Arts Workshop (PAW) to create three site-specific performances over the course of three years, each built and performed by local participants.

    In close collaboration with Vizcaya, PAW has designed three immersive performances that draw on a distinct aspect of Vizcaya’s history and culture. For each project, Vizcaya hosts a series of workshops for local community members to work closely with PAW artists Sophia Michahelles and Alex Kahn. During these workshops participants build all the giant lanterns and other visual elements, and ultimately bring them to life in the final performance.

    2018: Float: A Caravel’s Journey
    The final performance of the trilogy – FLOAT – will explore James Deering’s romance with the sea, and his concept of Vizcaya as a nautical fantasy. For more information on the upcoming project, and to register to help build and perform, please visit the Programs page.

    2017: Bloom: A Caretaker’s Diary
    On June 17th, 2017, in one of its first events open to the public, the long-dormant spaces of Vizcaya Village came to life in an immersive performance. For Bloom, PAW combed through the 1922 farm diary of Vizcaya garden supervisor I.N. Court. A litany of everyday tasks, agricultural challenges, and human dramas took shape as wandering lanterns, recreated architecture, and ghostly projections of archival imagery, all woven together by an ambient soundscape composed from Court’s own words. Guided by illuminated rose blooms, over 1000 visitors found themselves immersed in the Village’s life of a century ago, and, as the lost greenhouse was recreated in front of their eyes, looking toward its future as Vizcaya’s newest public space and incubator for new growth.


    2016 - WHIRL: the Worlds of RW Chanler
    A twilight performance on July 30th, 2016 transformed the paintings of artist Robert Winthrop Chanler (who created Vizcaya’s famed pool ceiling) into a bestiary of animated lanterns. More than 500 visitors were invited to roam the Gardens at night, encountering Chanler’s creatures in every corner of Vizcaya’s landscape. Performers and audience merged onto the East Terrace, circling into a final swell to recreate the spiraling maelstrom of Chanler’s pool.



    About Processional Arts Workshop (PAW)
    Processional Arts Workshop (PAW) creates site-specific works and Carnivalesque performances worldwide, always involving local volunteers in the creation of pageant puppetry, mobile architecture, and illuminated structures. They have created community-based performances for NY’s High Line, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Columbia University’s Miller Theater, Socrates Sculpture Park, Katonah Museum of Art, and as master puppeteers for New York’s Village Halloween Parade. Globally they have collaborated with communities in Kiev, Istanbul, rural Italy, and Trinidad. Their work has been recognized with a Fulbright Scholarship; grants from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and CEC Artslink; and a Witt Fellowship at University of Michigan. Learn more at
    www.processionalarts.org.

    programs-events