John C Gonzalez (A ’08) & Thomas Willis

Adventure Dept. on the Shores of Monuments


Adventure Department seeks to provide a curated experiential encounter with its audience during our interactive performance. We three performers have a history of working together on art works, role-play, and games, and plan to merge our collective interests into a new project at Socrates. 

At the core of this performance is the creation and maintenance of a cognitive social space that is unstructured. During the event the performers will be dressed in makeshift costume and shift between roles that will facilitate a context for dialogue. Utilizing adlib and impromptu strategies to engage with visitors, the performers will take on roles in support of a playful unreality where things are changeable and arbitrary and incorporate elements of real and unreal. 

Working in painting, sculpture, and performance, John C Gonzalez is interested in processes of collabo- ration within the creation, reading, and dissemination of artworks. He received an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. He has attended artist residencies at Vermont Studio Center, MacDowell Colony, Jentel, Wassaic Project, and most recently at Bellas Artes (Bataan, Philippines.) Recent exhibitions include Actions Kits at Mills Gallery in Boston, MA and Body Meets City, a public performance in Brooklyn NY, and Secret Garden at Le Petite Versailles in New York, NY. He is based in Brooklyn NY. 


Thomas Willis is a Boston-based artist originally from Las Vegas, NV. Willis received his BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2009. Strongly inspired by his hometown, Willis creates painting-derived projects that range from selling commercial artworks through his conceptual brand “Retrofit Painting,” to sleeping inside a painting for 8 months, to lighting paintings on fire, to even sometimes playfully hiding his paintings from plain sight. His art has shown in numerous exhibitions across the United States, with works in institutions such as the Luo Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Bentley University, deCordova Museum, and the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Willis currently works for the Art Department at Wellesley College and has a studio at the Dorchester Art Project in the neighborhood of Field’s Corner, Boston.