Carlie Todoro-Rickus is a visual artist working in light creating light sculptures, environments, and installations. She works with light as the subject of performance, as performer and partner to people and objects, and is interested in choreography inspired by the dynamics of light. Her work has been seen annually in Torn Space Theater’s site-specific performances at Silo City, a campus of rehabilitated early 20th-century grain silos along the Buffalo, NY waterfront. Her installation for STOREHOUSE (2014) was responded to by Robert Wilson and represented the USA at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space (2015) in the USITT student exhibit. She often collaborates with partner, John Rickus through their company Eclectric Oil and Light. In 2017 some of their work for Torn Space was published in the international performance design magazine, Chance.
Carlie’s work has been shown at UB Center for the Arts, The Anderson Gallery, Big Orbit, 500 Seneca, The Burchfield Penny Art Center, and Satellite Art Fair Miami. She often works with media arts collective Flatsitter on creating pieces integrating virtual reality and installation. She continues to be an active visual artist in dance and has created environments for Jon Lehrer, Anne Burnidge Dance, Nancy Hughes, and Cynthia Caldwell-Pegado. She holds a BFA in Art with a concentration in sculpture and an MA in Theatre and Performance from the University at Buffalo where her thesis installation was titled, “LIGHT SHOWS: The Dynamism of Light in Performance.”
In addition to her own art practice, Carlie is an Artist in Residence at John R. Oishei Children’s hospital and the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. In this program artists working in the disciplines of visual arts, writing, music, dance, and performance engage patients and families in the creative process. In the hospitals she specializes in assisting patients in finding art materials and processes they are drawn to and can explore through experimentation, creation, and collaboration. Carlie facilitates patient centered artistic collaboration with their families, other patients, staff, or with an artist in residence. These sessions are for the patient to explore their own creativity for relaxation, distraction, and self actualization. Carlie is part of the care team and works closely with the child life department, nurses, social workers, and physical and occupational therapists to provide arts integration to their care.
John Rickus is a lighting designer and rigger. He and his partner, visual artist Carlie
Todoro-Rickus, create light sculptures and installations for performances. Their work is temporal with light as the subject that performs solo or as partner to objects and people.
They often work with Torn Space Theater (TST) on performances at Silo City, where they created environments and light sculptures in six of this contemporary theatre company’s visually arresting site specific works in an abandoned campus of grain silos. In 2017 their work for Torn Space was featured in the international performance design magazine, Chance. That year John also worked with the video design collective Projex on EnLIGHTen, a light show on the Richardson Olmsted Campus with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
John is also known for his work as the Resident Lighting Designer for Road Less Traveled Productions (RLTP) where he specializes in new works. John has been nominated for numerous Buffalo Artie awards for outstanding lighting design. He was awarded the honor five times for The Man with All the Luck (RLTP 2009), A Wrinkle in Time (TOY 2012), Clean House (RLTP 2013), An Iliad (RLTP 2014), and Frankenstein (RLTP 2017.) John is also Head Carpenter at UB’s Center for the Arts where he works less with light and more with the rigging and safety of the stages. He has a degree in Television and Theatre lighting from Valparaiso University.