the loosening grip #WorkingWide

For Immediate Release

Miss. Understood #DiscoWitch Pam Ashley Photography

Miss. Understood #DiscoWitch Pam Ashley Photography


jhon r. stronks | 404.668.9317

jhon r. stronks presents the loosening grip #WorkingWide

(HOUSTON, Texas, March 6th, 2019) In collaboration with visual artist donna e. perkins and Archway Gallery, Chorographer/Dancer jhon r. stronks presents the loosening grip #WorkingWide, a performance in conversation with perkins’ current exhibition Spill on view through April 4th 2019 at Archway Gallery.

Performances run March 22nd and 23rd at 7:30pm. Performances are free and open to the public.

Interviews and Open Rehearsals available by request.

Please contact jhon at

About the work

Exploring the trajectory of becoming, arrival, and transformation, jhon r. stronks offers a solo performance in conversation with donna e. perkins’ current exhibition “Spill”. This solo work travels from abstraction to representation. Through this conversation stronks explores the space that exists between internal curiosity of being and the external expression of identity.

stronks’ adds “My body has questions; not about itself but the world that surrounds it and the culture that seeks to condition it. My body proposes softness as solution, a resolute request often violently answered. My body and my being within it are not up for debate. There is no doubt, my body’s’ transgressive response to an invalid cultural request for binary consent and active participation in the erasure of essential parts of my being is clear. The request is denied.”  

Miss Understood #DiscoWitch  Pam Ashley Photography

Miss Understood #DiscoWitch
Pam Ashley Photography

Femme expressive and Genderqueer in its presentation, the choreographic and improvisational structures for this work are conceptualized and explored through stronks’ not so altered ego, Miss. Understood. Combining movement, text, and voice the work engages sensation based improvisation and queer embodiment practices that release a longing for self-discovery spiraling and unraveling a desire for immortality along a landscape of hopelessness and death.

jhon and donna have been collaborating since 2009. “I have found a space within the collaboration between donna and I, that allows me to completely open in the direction of my becoming and developing my artistry/humanity. The space we inhabit together is wide and filled with curiosities that lead me in and out of a lifetime of memories, moments and fantasies. These years spent in collaboration have manifested a world of its own. A world that shimmers and vibrates through all the grit and grime that currently surrounds us,” explains stronks.


Performance Details

WHEN: Fridays and Saturdays, March 22nd – 23rd, 7:30pm

WHERE: Archway Gallery | 2305 Dunlavy St. Houston, TX. 77006

TICKETS: Admission is Free


Biographical Information:

jhon r. stronks is a queer identifying male-bodied dancer/ singer / choreographer, engaged in a practice that generates a genderqueer expression informed by an internal transgender dialogue. Through this practice stronks examines their internal feminine nature and acknowledges how in response to subtle and not so subtle societal requests they have framed and contained the femininity that is their birthright.

As a choreographer stronks has been accused of presenting audiences with seemingly unruly work that reveals itself according to its own logic. Seeing their work as collage stronks choreographic expressions combine the fundamental elements of composition, with a confluence of movement styles and techniques drawn from their personal movement foundation in Modern, Post-Modern, Jazz, Ballet and Africanist dance training. From this place, stronks dives into the deep end playing with alternative structures for dance making that are more intuitive and often unpredictable. The result is the creation of a broad field for the dancing, where the context is clear; the eye has choices, and the viewer gets to decide.

For donna e. perkins making art is, for her, an act of defiance. It is her rebellion from the practical. It is her rejection of the culture in which the practical and the religious formed restrictive rules and beauty was suspect. It is an escape into a world beyond the control of others. It produces objects which quietly take up space, objects which haunt walls. She says “I would like my art to make a strong social statement that would make the world a better place, but I don’t know how to do that. Perhaps there is something vaguely political about going one’s own way in the pursuit of the secular pleasure of paint.”

Primarily an abstract painter, donna has experimented with other mediums because friendships provided opportunities to work with dancers, choreographers, photographers, videographers and writers. Working with dancers has been especially important to the development of her approach to painting. The painting process is, for donna, a passionate, wordless dance with the tactile sensuality of paint. There is an element of play and experimentation in her work. Often the work is brightly colored, but it can be darkly despondent.

“I’m fascinated with the beauty found in the non-precious objects of the ordinary. If I were to write a one word artists statement, it would be “Look!” If I were to stretch it to two words, it would be “Look! Wow!”

ARCHWAY GALLERY  Artist owned and operated since 1976. Archway Gallery, one of Houston’s, and the nation’s, oldest artist-owned and operated galleries, is located at 2305 Dunlavy and is open Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 – 5 p.m.  Since 1976, Archway Gallery has been exhibiting the work of the area’s finest artists, providing a great selection of affordable, high quality art including sculpture, pottery and painting in a variety of media and styles. One of the more than 30 member artists is always on site, providing visitors a unique opportunity to meet the artists who created the work, offering a personal insight into the process. Each month features a special exhibition highlighting member artist(s). The public is invited to the monthly opening receptions that celebrate the new installations and work, usually held the first Saturday of each month from 5 – 8 p.m.  In addition to monthly exhibitions, Archway also hosts a variety of demonstrations and monthly readings for local writers and authors, as well as a “Tea and Tour” program, providing visitors with a free artist-led tour of the current exhibition, followed by tea and refreshments. With 30 artist-members, Archway Gallery is THE destination in the Houston area for affordable art directly from the artist. For more information, visit or call 713.522.2409. Like Archway Gallery on Facebook.

Miss Understood #DiscoWitch Pam Ashley Photography

Miss Understood #DiscoWitch
Pam Ashley Photography

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