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Tif Bullard: artist interview podcast

Tif and Dexter Bullard

Tif and Dexter Bullard

Tif Bullard is fabulous. If you don’t know her, you should. I met Tif in 2002 when we were performing in a play in Chicago. Despite her diminutive stature, she stands out in every crowd because of her style — she designs and constructs many of her clothes and puts herself together in a way that would make Hollywood stylists drool. When I grow up, I want to accessorize like Tif. She is a costume designer and performance artist who also happens to be married to Chicago-based theatre director, Dexter Bullard. Cathleen and I were lucky enough to have a chat with Tif to discuss her art-making, her views on being a married artist, and how she manages collaborating with a husband who is an artistic force of nature.

Listen to our podcast interview with Tif here.

Enjoy and comment to this post or drop us an email if you have any questions for Ms. Bullard.

About the artist:

Chicago performance artist and costume designer, Tif Bullard

Chicago performance artist and costume designer, Tif Bullard

TIF BULLARD is a Chicago-based performance artist and costume designer dedicated to process-oriented theatrical research and creation. Her performance work examines the way sound, image, media, clothing, and context create codes that infiltrate and control the body in unnatural and untruthful ways of being. She explores this interest by using her body and identity to sample from resources found outside her self. Her solo and collaborative performance work has appeared throughout Chicago at Links Hall (The DIALogues, Detail of Double Escapement, Surround, 1400 of anything, Caption: Decoded, and echo chamber), MCA (Periphery with Plasticene), Looptopia (Caption: Decoded), Performing Arts Chicago’s PAC/edge Festival (AirTactLight with Brian Torrey Scott and Discarded Landscape with Weather Talking), Rhinoceros Festival (Decline of Ballooning with Brian Torrey Scott and echo chamber), Chicago Artists Month, Chicago Humanities Festival, Sonotheque, Heart of Gold, The Artistic Home, En3my Gallery, The Reconstruction Room, SAIC New Blood Performance Festival, Betty Rymer Gallery, and The Sullivan Galleries, as well as in New York City at the Joyce SoHo for the New Dance Alliance Performance Mix Festival. In 2009, she received her MFA in Performance at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was a recipient of the James Nelson Raymond Fellowship award . This year, she received an Illinois Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship. Tif was a Fall/Winter 2009-2010 LinkUP Residency Artist at Links Hall where she premiered her solo work, Detail of Double Escapement.

She can turn the world on with her smile

She can turn the world on with her smile

Tif’s costume design aesthetics are grounded in the functional and naturalistic with attention to details that enhance the conceptual elements of the overall design. Her design process is unique in that she creates her design in-rehearsal, working directly with the actors – looking at the way the body creates shape into character through motion in space. Tif has costume designed internationally (Reverie for The Second City at Montreal’s Juste Pour Rire), Off-Broadway (Mistakes Were Made at Barrow Street Theatre, and Lady at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater), regionally (Gas For Less at Goodman Theatre, Grace at Northlight Theatre), and Off-Loop in Chicago (Mistakes Were Made, Hunger & Thirst, and In the Solitude of Cotton Fields at A Red Orchid Theatre, Killers for Mary-Arrchie, Will He Bop? Will He Drop? at National Pastime, Florida Styx for Hypatia, Savage/Love for Moving Dock, and Psyche for New Theatre Collective). She has costumed numerous independent films, including the feature film, Oh My Soul that has appeared at Echo Park Film Center in Los Angeles, Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, and at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in the Netherlands. She also does freelance stylist work and has a client list including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Momix Dance Company, Ward and Ames Events for Kohler, Three Arts Club, and DePaul University’s Graduate Showcase. This winter, she will design costumes for Odradek for The House Theatre, The Big Meal at American Theater Company, and Circle Mirror Transformation at Victory Gardens. The hit show, Mistakes Were Made is currently running through March at the Barrow Street Theatre. Tif also designs her own costumes for her own solo and collaborative work.

For more information on her work, visit www.tifbullard.com.

For more information about Tif’s upcoming performance called FEEDBACK click here. It plays December 3, 4, 5 at Links Hall in Chicago.



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