The Holiness Project is a multi-media performance event and art show exploring the intersection of the sacred and the mundane. What does holiness mean on the most personal level? What happens when the ordinary objects of our bodies/lives/minds/hearts cross paths with something greater? Join us for an immersive/interactive evening of film, dance, performance art, poetry, music, and kirtan.
Ashley Oakley is a Baroque specialist, pianist and educator currently residing in the Phoenix metro area. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Arizona State University in piano performance and is an Adjunct Professor at Paradise Valley Community College.
Ashley began studying piano with her mother at age nine and began working with Debra Richter, Walla Walla College, at age eleven. Throughout the next eight years she won dozens of first place prizes, gold medals and distinctions from adjudications and competitions throughout the Northwest. Ashley gave numerous solo and collaborative performances including solo performances at the WSMTA State Convention and concerto performances with the Mid-Columbia Symphony, Oregon East Symphony, Spokane Symphony, UNL Symphony and the Italian orchestra I Solisti di Perugia. Ashley also toured Europe playing violin and viola in the orchestra Cantabile.
Ashley studied with Dr. Paul Barnes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and received her Bachelor of Music degree in 2007. Among various solo and chamber performances during her time in Lincoln, Ashley won first prize in the Nebraska State MTNA Competition and performed twice as a soloist with the UNL Symphony. She was invited to give a solo performance at the National Convention in the National Liszt Society Concert Series, and was also the recipient of a two year
U-CARE grant during which she assisted Dr. Barnes in transcribing the operas of Philip Glass into solo piano music. Two scores are currently available from Chester Music: Trilogy Sonata and Orphée Suite for Piano.
Ashley has spent summers at the International Bösendorfer Academy in Austria, MusicFest Perugia in Italy, the Tel-Hai International Piano Masterclasses in Israel and also served as a Head Resident Advisor at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina. She was selected twice to perform with I Solisti di Perugia once with the Bach D minor Concerto and once with a selected quartet performing the Brahms F minor Quintet.
Migrating west for her graduate degrees Ashley graduated with her Masters and Doctorate in piano performance from Arizona State University, studying with Dr. Baruch Meir. An educator as well as performer Ashley was a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Arizona State University throughout her graduate degrees. From 2007-2010 Ashley taught undergraduate classes in piano performance and technique.
In 2010 she was appointed the Competitions Coordinator and in 2013 as the Competitions Producer for the USASU International Bösendorfer and Schimmel
Ashley recently relocated back to Phoenix from the Bay area where she served as the Staff Accompanist in the vocal department at California State University, Stanislaus, an Adjunct Professor at Diablo Valley College and taught privately at the Radayeva Russian School of Music.
Akiva Yael finds holiness through her body. Sweat, endorphins and intense activation of muscles and nerves flow into ecstasy. She loves you and believes your body is holy, too.
Cassandra has dedicated her life to service. Ten years ago she opened Gilbert Yoga, a center for whole-being health, where she currently teaches. Through the years her yoga practice has evolved into a heart-centered lifestyle which includes seeing the Holiness in all of creation. As a Bhakta, she enjoys Kirtan (call-and-response chanting/singing) and offers this practice to you as a way into your own heart and soul.
John Elliott Oyzon is a musician, dancer, and performer by way of New York City where he performed both on and off-Broadway. Most notably, he was in Disney’s Tarzan, the touring production of STOMP, and in the off-Broadway hit, De la Guarda from Argentina. He has performed with Lady Gaga, Bill Irwin, and he co-founded the aerial theater company 2nd Species. He is currently the head recording engineer at Downtown Phoenix’s Epicentre Recording Studio, and a teacher of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and meditation.
Patrick Michael Finn is the author of the novella A Martyr for Suzy Kosasovich and the short story collection From the Darkness Right Under Our Feet, winner of the Hudson Prize and named a Best Book of 2011 in GQ Magazine. He’s currently at work on a novel as well as a new collection of stories, both of which are set in the American Southwestern deserts of California and Arizona, where he has lived since 1989.
ART IN EVERY FORM, is my life’s motto. Whether it’s creating music, painting or drawing, making food, teaching yoga or just my relationships with people I will always be striving to make every act a work of art. It doesn’t take a whole lot to make simplicity into masterpiece. I want to make people Feel. Think. Question. and inspire those around me to create in anyway they can imagine. When everyone is an artist, the world becomes one big work of art.
I’m a performance artist with a background in theater. I make films to project on gallery walls in front of live rituals, and sometimes there are moments of live and recorded theater that play in these same spaces. The content of the pieces varies, but they often include classical myths, Lucumi (Santeria) cosmology, presence and absence, grieving and longing, revolution (and repetition), post-structural anxiety, desire, and the cycles of decay and creation. I work in a combination of digital media and live performance because I’m interested in how we experience and represent ourselves, moving between rituals that speak to the flesh and projections that speak to the imagination, and how they might be even more complicated than anyone suspects. I am based in Phoenix, and my work has been shown here, in New York, Minneapolis, Seattle, Yucatán, Mexico City, Dublin, Laval, Vienna, and Berlin.