Contemporary British visual artist Gemma Marmalade is wrapping up her Rogers Art Loft virtual artist-in-residency with a unique participatory performance art project entitled VODA. Featuring a live telephone call center, the public is invited to call VODA toll free at 1-866-833-9838 on Saturday, June 20 from noon to midnight to get wisdom and reassurance considering the current social and political conditions of our times.

VODA is a character created and performed by Gemma Marmalade, who will talk directly with all callers. Its purpose is to hear the nations’ history spoken back to them and provide comfort and encouragement in disabling and worrying times. This also has new relevance in light of recent protests in Las Vegas and across the USA. Phrases and statements from American speeches made during historical pandemics will be woven into informal conversation.
About VODA
Gemma Marmalade’s project, VODA, provides a channel for any person to connect to and receive humanistic-unifying affirmations from American speech acts and their established values. These wisdoms would be carefully extracted from their original contexts, woven into accessible dialogue and delivered in a verbal exchange between an operator and a caller. Specifically, for VODA, the language would be taken from prominent speech acts during historical pandemics and bring solace through a digital encounter in the wake of periods of enforced isolation, financial loss, illness, grief, and fear. 

Marmalade was interviewed for the local MORE Show on Fox 5 and is the first Rogers Art Loft artist-in-residence to pivot to a virtual residency due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All of Marmalade’s components, videos, and programs from VODA will be live online at the Virtual Studio during and post-residency. Check out Gemma’s Virtual Studio here. The next is Kevin Goodrich from Washington in July and Daniel Melo from California in September. 

The brainchild of local philanthropist and patron of the arts Beverly Rogers, the Rogers Art Loft is made possible by The Rogers Foundation, dedicated to transforming lives through arts and education in Southern Nevada. 

Since launching with its inaugural roster of artists in June 2019, The Rogers Art Loft at The Lucy, has successfully welcomed a number of artists from a variety of disciplines including printmaking, sculpture, video art, fiber arts, and collage, to share their creative insight and practice with the Las Vegas community. 

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