PICKENS, SC RESIDENCY
BETSY ANDREWS is an award-winning poet, essayist, and journalist who lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her book New Jersey (University of Wisconsin Press, 2007) received the Brittingham Prize in Poetry, and her book The Bottom (42 Miles Press, 2014) won the 42 Miles Press Poetry Prize. She is also the author of four chapbooks: SuperCollider, with artist Peter Fox, created for the show “Push Me, Pull You: Ellisions, Incision and Collisions in Collaboration” at the I.S.E. Foundation (New York, NY, 2006); In Trouble/C3, with Bruce Andrews (Boog Press, 2004); She Devil (Sardines Press, 2004); and New Jersey (Furniture Press, 2004). Betsy’s poems have been appeared widely in publications including Fence, Matter, Ocean Review, Academy of American Poets’ “Poem-a-Day,” and in translation in the Yemeni newspaper Culture. Her essays appear in anthologies including Fierce: Essays by and About Strong Women. (Nauset Press, forthcoming 2018); Best Food Writing (Da Capo Press, 2016); Biting the Error: Writers Explore Narrative (Coach House, 2005); Dangerous Families: Queer Writing on Surviving (Routledge, 2004); and Before and After: Stories from New York (Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, 2002), as well as widely in literary journals and magazines. She is the recipient of two New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, an Astraea Foundation Award in Poetry, the Philadelphia City Paper Poetry Prize, and a Folger Library Lannan Fellowship, as well as numerous residencies in poetry and creative non-fiction. She has been a visiting writer at Franklin & Marshall College, University of Rhode Island, Carlton College, Indiana State University, George Mason University, and Georgetown University. She makes her living as a journalist. She is the former executive editor of Saveur magazine, a former New York Times dining critic, and has been nominated for writing awards by the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
GAVIN MCCALL’s short stories, essays and one poem have appeared in dozens of literary
magazines, including Eyeshot, Every Day Fiction, Paradigm, Bamboo Ridge, and Off Course. He’s also a regular contributor to Splice Today. He won Hawai‘i Review’s first Sudden Fiction Award and a scholarship to attend the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and spent three years as an intern for the literary magazine The Normal School, while helping to organize readings and craft talks featuring writers like John Jeremiah Sullivan, Helena Maria Viramontes, and Dorothy Allison. He earned an MA in Honolulu and an MFA in Fresno, but now he lives and writes New Orleans.
VANESSA BLAKESLEE is the author of the debut novel, Juventud (Curbside Splendor, 2015) hailed by Publisher’s Weekly as a “tale of self-discovery and intense first love” Her story collection, Train Shots (Burrow Press) won the 2014 IPPY Gold Medal in Short Fiction. The book was also long-listed for the 2014 Frank Connor International Short Story Award and has been optioned for a feature film by writer/director Hannah Beth King. Vanessa’s writing has appeared in The Southern Review, Green Mountains Review, The Paris Review Daily, The Globe and Mail, and Kenyon Review Online, among many others. Finalist for the 2014 Sherwood Anderson Foundation Fiction Award, she has also been awarded grants and residencies from Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Banff Centre, Ledig House, the Ragdale Foundation, and in 2013 received the Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. Her third book, Perfect Conditions, is forthcoming in August, 2016 (Curbside Splendor). Find her online at www.vanessablakeslee.com.
COURT LURIE has been exhibiting nationally for over 15 years. Her work has been featured in many design and lifestyle magazines, on television, and in several industry publications. She has been commissioned for public and private installations, and shows in 5 galleries around the country. Her work exhibits a sophisticated, refined aesthetic, yet is raw and powerful in its intensity and energy. She generates and manipulates a beautiful tension where chaos meets control, and her compositions contain both spontaneous bursts, as well as intentional balance. This dialogue creates a unique visual language. Having served on an advisory committee at Art Alliance Austin, been the Program Manager for the Albuquerque Art Alliance, and been the Education and Volunteer Coordinator for the prestigious contemporary arts organization, 516 Arts in New Mexico, she has spearheaded collaborations with other artists, organizations, and community government for the past two decades, advancing support and dialogue around issues regarding arts and culture. She is genuinely invested in making art accessible. She draws on her experience as a leader and a passionate arbiter of change to facilitate effective communication between diverse groups of people and organizations. She mentors several young artists, has interns and apprentices that work directly with her in the studio, volunteers within the arts and health care communities, and is committed to sharing her experience, knowledge and gifts with others.
THOMAS HEISE is the author of Horror Vacui: Poems (Sarabande, 2006), Urban Underworlds: A Geography of Twentieth-Century American Literature and Culture (Rutgers University Press, 2011), and Moth; or how I came to be with you again (Sarabande, 2013), which was nominated for ForeWord’s “Book of the Year.” He is the recipient of the Gulf Coast Prize in poetry, a Robert Frost Fellowship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and residencies from MacDowell and the Millay Colony for the Arts. His work frequently focuses on the unstable relationship between time and memory, place and desire in prose and poetry that returns repeatedly to real and imagined losses, centripetally swirling around them out of a need to understand, re-experience, and represent their singular nature and the aftereffects they accrue. About his latest book, Moth, the novelist Carole Maso has kindly stated: “It’s impossible to convey in a few lines the enormous pleasures of this book – the beauty of the design, the incandescent prose, its rigor and intelligence. A deeply melancholic and moving work of art.” In addition to his three books, Heise’s writing has been anthologized in Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (2006) and The Brooklyn Poets Anthology (forthcoming, 2017). He has taught at the University of California – Davis, New York University, McGill University, Ryerson University, and is currently an Assistant Professor at the Abington campus of Pennsylvania State University where he teaches creative writing.
ARTEMIS HERBER has exhibited widely throughout the United States and in countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, Italy and Spain. Highlights from her international exhibits include “Lost Spaces” Kunstverein Paderborn, Germany, Room Installation at Munich International Airport, purchased by the State of Bavaria, Associazone Culturale Piazza, San Placido, Italy and the UK’s “The Open West” exhibition. Herber’s national exhibitions include “Cardboard City” at the Goethe-Institut, Washington DC, “Beyond/In Western New York” at the Albright-Knox Gallery NY and “This End Up – The Art of Cardboard” at the San Jose Museum of Art CA. Herber was the prize recipient for the Baltimore Sculpture Project in Patterson Park, Baltimore and the Maryland Federation of Art at MD in College Park. Her solo exhibition “No Man’s Land” at Artisphere in Arlington, VA, focused on geopolitical and ecological issues. With her “Biennale Project”, in Marfa, TX she was awarded the Winner of Sculpture. Her work was featured in the publication, LandEscape Now! and in an Artist Interview Series through the Linus Galleries in LA, CA with particular emphasis on concepts of non-places and liminal spaces. As the president of the Washington Sculptors Group she has initiated and curated landart and land use projects with the Agricultural Center in Baltimore County and the Sandy Spring Museum in Montgomery County, MD. She is the 2016 curator for the Transatlantic Cultural Projects, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Herber has created an exhibition entitled “Micro-Monuments” at the Salzlandmuseum. Selected artists created small sculptures that relate to recently discovered prehistoric archaeological sites. With “Micro-Monuments”, small-scale sculptural works communicate a global perspective on aspects of monumental phenomena informed by diverse cultural backgrounds in dialog.
Educated in Germany, she completed her studies in Fine Arts and Arts Education at the University of Paderborn, achieving scholarships and prizes. As a teacher, she received several awards for her projects in art and art education. And, as an art supervisor, Herber organized community and statewide advanced education workshops and exhibitions by activating historic spaces and places. She initiated projects to engage students between former East and West Germany for collaborative projects.
CHELSEA WHITTON is a southern-born poet and essayist, based in New York City. Born and raised in the Carolinas, she received a BA in Literature from the University of North Carolina-Asheville and an MFA in Poetry from the New School. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in various web and print publications including Cimarron Review, Sixth Finch, Bateau, Ilk, Forklift-Ohio, WomenArts Quarterly, Valley Voices and Stand, among others. She lives and writes in Ridgewood, Queens with her husband, Matthew, and their cat, Puck. She is a passionate advocate for an unplugged creative process, rooted in the tangible, and enjoys knitting, collecting vinyl, and over-zealous annotation.
GREG SHELNUTT lives in Clemson, South Carolina where he is a Professor and serves as the Chair of the Department of Art at Clemson University. From June 2000-2011, he was a member of the Visual Arts faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts teaching sculpture. In 2005, he was appointed Director of the Visual Arts Program at UNCSA, serving in that capacity through May 2011. From 1988 to May of 2000, he taught sculpture at the University of Mississippi, also teaching for the University of Georgia’s Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy, in 1991. In 1992 he was a Visiting Artist at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia. He has had residencies at the Community Council for the Arts in Kinston, North Carolina, the Association for Visual Artists in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the New York Mills Arts Retreat in New York Mills, Minnesota, and most recently at 121 View Street, La Trobe University’s Visual Arts Centre in Bendigo, Australia. Grants supporting these residencies have come from the Jerome Foundation (1994), Mississippi Arts Commission (1994), the Arts Council of Winston- Salem Forsyth County (2003), and the Surdna Foundation in New York (2008). Through the support of a Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts’ 2009 BREATHE project award, Gregtraveled with fellow UNCSA faculty member from the School of Drama, Kelley Maxner, to Houston, Texas and New Bern, Alabama to study Project Row Houses and the Rural Studio. He has recently received a Mellon Grant to study at the Penland School of Crafts in the summer of 2011.
His work has been exhibited in over 350 solo, invitational and group exhibitions, in galleries and museums such as: Art in General, New York, New York; Berlin Kunsproject, Berlin, Germany; C.A.G.E., Cincinnati, Ohio; Color Elephante, Valencia, Spain; COMUS Gallery in Portland, Oregon; Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, North Carolina; Conemara Conservancy, Plano, Texas; Delta Axis, Memphis, Tennessee; Downey Museum of Art, Downey, California; Durham Art Guild, Durham, North Carolina; Galeria Mesa, Mesa, Arizona; Greenhill Center for North Carolina Art, Greensboro, North Carolina; Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey; Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee; John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, Washington; Meridian Museum of Art, Meridian, Mississippi; Ministry of Finance Gallery, Melbourne, Australia; Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, Mississippi; National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis, Tennessee; New York Arts Gallery, New York, New York; Palazzo Casalli, Cortona, Italy; Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago, Illinois; Ringling School of Art, Sarasota, Florida; Redux, Charleston, South Carolina; SECCA, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; SODARCO, Montreal, Canada; Strathmore Hall, Bethesda, Maryland; Taiwan Museum of Art, Taichung, Taiwan; Three Rivers Arts Festival, PPG Plaza, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; University of Hawaii at Manoa; Washington University Medical Campus, St. Louis, Missouri; and the William King Regional Art Center, Abingdon, Virginia, to list but a few.
SARAH STICKNEY holds an MFA from the University of New Hampshire. She is a former Fulbright Grantee for the translation of Italian/Albanian poet Gëzim Hajdari. Her co-translations of Elisa Biagini’s selected poems, The Guest in the Wood, received the Best Translated Book Award for poetry in 2014. Her poems and translations have appeared both in the U.S. and abroad in publications such as La Questione Romantica, Rhino, The Portland Review, Drunken Boat, Mudlark, The Notre Dame Review, Structo, Bateau, and others. Originally from Santa Fe, NM, she currently lives in Baltimore, MD.
SARAH POLLMAN works at the intersection of art and art history to connect contemporary imaging culture with its historical counterparts. Her research and projects examine the role of photography in the creation of memory and planned amnesia for personal events, looking specifically at how vernacular snapshot photography functions in American culture. Her visual projects have been shown internationally, including exhibitions at the Danforth Art Museum, the Griffin Museum of Photography and the Rourke Art Museum. She is the recipient of a 2013 Art Writing Workshop from the AICA-USA and Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program and a 2014 Curatorial Opportunity Program grant at the New Art Center in Newton. In addition to writing introductions to artist monographs, her written work has been published in Art New England, Big Red & Shiny and other art journals. Her first book, The Distances Between Us, was published in 2016 by Trema Förlag (Stockholm, Sweden). Sarah Pollman holds a BFA and MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University.
KEITH ANDREWS bills himself as a “more-than-competent sculptor and an en earnest humanist.” After 40 years working in Central America attempting to make the world a better place through rural development in technological, educational and institutional settings, Keith is now attempting to have a positive impact through his sculptural project, “100 People Who Deserve a Better Monument Than I Can Make Them, But Will Never Have One Until I Do It for Them.” Keith is an author of five books and over 100 refereed publications. He is presently a full time sculptor working in the USA and MesoAmerica and was president of TEA, the sculptors’ association for El Salvador. He as exhibited extensively in the USA, Central America, and his bronze works are in private collection on four continents.
NAT SCHMOOKLER, a native of New Mexico and the Shenandoah Valley, started writing fiction as an undergraduate at Harvard College. After graduating in 2011, Nat went to Montlucon, France, to write a biweekly column for the newspaper, La Montagne. From there he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to work as a science writer and ghostwriter at Los Alamos National Labs.
Since completing his projects at LANI, NAt has split his time between Virginia and New York City, where he serves as the Intervviews editor for The Utopian. Since 2015, his fiction has recieved support from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers.
His stories, which have appeared in many journals including, Juked, Hobart, and Green Mountains Review, explore the sutuggle for meaning and intimacy in a world of increasing isolation. He is currently at work on his first book.
HANNAH LEE JONES is a poet and fiction writer with recent work in Superstition Review, Literary Orphans, The Boiler, Limehawk, Yes, Poetry, Apogee Journal, and Orion. She holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Washington and worked in the corporate and non-profit worlds for over a decade before turning to literature. Jones founded and edits Primal School, a blog resource for poets pursuing their craft without an advanced degree, and lives with her husband, cat, and a marginally productive year-round garden on Whidbey Island in northwest Washington. News and recent publications can be found on the “News” section of her site at http://hannahleejones.com/news.
AIJUNG KIM is an artist, printmaker, and writer who is fascinated by the intersection of visual arts and language. She enjoys writing and illustrating stories, and creating drawings, linocut prints, and mixed-media artwork. Her inspirations include plants and animals of our natural world, comic books, children’s illustration, and magical everyday moments.
Aijung received her BFA in Fine Arts/Printmaking at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York in 2004, and has exhibited her work in galleries throughout the United States and in England including Rivermont Studio in Virginia and The International Print Center in New York. She has been commissioned to create illustrations for Art 180, Hardywood Brewery, and other organizations. Currently based in Richmond, VA, Aijung connects with her community through teaching printmaking and book arts classes at venues such as The Visual Arts Center of Richmond, the Richmond Public Libraries, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Studio School, and Studio Two Three, a community printshop where she is also an artist resident.
Aijung believes in the democracy of reaching a wide audience through affordable art and books. In 2007, she began making small illustrated booklets of poetry and personal musings. She started selling her prints and zines online, through craft fairs, and in stores. In 2012, Aijung successfully ran a Kickstarter campaign to create and print a deck of illustrated oracle cards called The Golden Moth Illumination Deck, regarding divination as a tool for self-reflection and storytelling. In 2013 she began to develop stories and illustrations for children’s books and fairy tales. You may view her artwork at www.aijungkim.com.
FRANZ NICOLAY is a composer, performer and writer called “a natural-born star…really something special” by Pitchfork. He was a co-founder of the non-profit composer/performer collective Anti-Social Music. In addition to several neo-vaudeville solo records, has been a member of several well-known bands including cabaret-punk circus World/Inferno Friendship Society, “world’s best bar band” the Hold Steady, Balkan-jazz quartet Guignol, and agit-punks Against Me! He has recorded or performed with everyone from Leftover Crack to The Dresden Dolls. He has written scores or directed music for several works of dance theater, for choreographers including Alison Chase (founding artistic director of Pilobolus and Momix), Ivy Baldwin, Chelsea Bacon, and Diane Carroll, as well as for film and television. He teaches at Bard College.
His first book, The Humorless Ladies of Border Control: Touring the Punk Underground from Belgrade to Ulaanbaatar, will be published by The New Press in May 2016. He has been a contributor to Vice, Blender, Impose, and other magazines; was a regular columnist for the literary journal InDigest and has released several collections of essays. His first story collection, Complicated Gardening Techniques, was published by Julius Singer Press in 2009.
In 2008, Melissa Reddish graduated with an MFA from American University. Her short stories, poems, and reviews have appeared in both print and online journals, including decomP, Prick of the Spindle, and Northwind, among others. She has a chapbook of flash fiction entitled The Distance Between Us (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2013) and a book of short stories entitled My Father is an Angry Storm Cloud: Collected Stories (Tailwinds Press, July 2015). She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Web. In 2008 and 2013, she received a Soaring Gardens Artist Residency. She teaches English and direct the Honors Program at Wor-Wic Community College. When not teaching or writing, she enjoys doing stereotypical Eastern Shore activities, like eating crabs smothered in Old Bay and taking her Black Lab for walks down by the water.
JODIE GOODNOUGH is a Providence, Rhode Island-based artist who combines photography and other media to create installations that examine the various coping strategies we employ to find comfort in an often uncomfortable world. She attended the photojournalism program at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine and received her MFA in Visual Art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University in May of 2013.
Her work has been shown nationally in both solo and group exhibitions, including at the Midwest Center for Photography, the William Morris Hunt Library of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and at Spring/Break Art Fair in New York City, and has been reviewed in publications such as Art New England and the Boston Globe. Goodnough is currently on the faculty at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.
MATTHEW MOORE, Sudbury, Massachusetts
Matthew Moore has worked for the publishing house Europa Editions in New York City and for a K-12 mentoring program in Boston. He holds a BA from Kenyon College and an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2011, he met the poet Tomaž Šalamun, with whom he translated a manuscript of Šalamun’s poetry, working together sporadically over the next 3 years, until Šalamun’s death in December 2014. The result of that effort, Opera Buffa, will be published by Black Ocean in 2018. Moore’s poems have appeared in journals and magazines such as the Denver Quarterly, Prelude, Sonora Review, Washington Square, and West Branch. His manuscript, “The Reckoning of Jeanne d’Antietam,” was a finalist for Krupskaya Books’ 2014 open reading period. His co-translations, with the author, of Tomaž Šalamun’s poems have appeared in the online poetry and poetics archive, Likestarlings. With the poets Logan Fry and Caroline Gormley, Moore edits and publishes an online journal of poetry, Flag + Void, which had its inception in 2012.
JANELLE ADSIT is an Assistant Professor of Writing Practices at Humboldt State University where she teaches environmental writing, creative writing, and literary publishing. Her works include the poetry collection Unremitting Entrance and a chapbook titled Press Yourself Against a Mirror. Her poetry, reviews, and essays have appeared in literary journals such as The Cultural Society, Mid-American Review, Colorado Review, and Requited. She has also published several articles on the teaching of creative writing, including a chapter in Creative Writing in the Digital Age (Bloomsbury, 2014). Janelle also serves as the reviews editor for the Journal of Creative Writing Studies. She lives in Arcata, CA.
MARIA STABIO (b. 1985 San Francisco) is a first generation Filipino-American artist and curator. Her current work addresses feelings of loneliness and isolation through the use of comedic text combined with the painted image.
She graduated with a BFA in Painting from Boston University and an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University. In 2012, she was a recipient of the Artist in Residence Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, serving as artist in residence and adjunct faculty for one school year in Doha, Qatar.
She is a cofounder of Trackside Studios and Torrance Shipman Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. She currently lives and works in New York. For more information, visit mariastabio.com.
EMMA REDMOND is a textile artist and clothing designer who creates hand crafted, one of a kind pieces for the home and adornment. As a clothing designer she only uses ethically sourced materials that are mostly vintage and dead stock. All of her pieces incorporate hand sewing, reflecting her love of traditional methods, as well as her fear of technology. Many of her sewing and design techniques are also used in her quilt making practice. All of the quilts are hand dyed and hand quilted with her two hands. Her work is influenced by American folk art, near east textiles as well as a love of 1970’s kitsch.
Her work explores labor and the historical and social importance of textiles and craft. As an artist she believes strongly in the preservation of traditional techniques, which are rapidly disappearing in our current industrialized, fast fashion world.
When is not sewing or quilting she can be found weaving and teaching at Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn, New York.
KATHRYN FIELD, for the past 30 years has been actively engaged in making sculpture ranging in scale from the intimate size of 6 inches to large-scale public sculpture weighing tons. She primarily worked in steel and bronze. For the past 15 years most of the sculptures were commissions for public spaces or private collectors. The time line for projects spanned over many months and for some over several years. They required teamwork and very specialized machinery. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the Midwest, the East Coast, and Sydney Australia. Her paintings and sculpture are in numerous private collections nationwide.
In 1999 Kathryn began to investigate watercolor, drawing and painting in oils as a way to explore the more contemplative and quiet aspect of her creative life. It satisfied a need to work alone, quietly and to see immediate results. She painted outside and became sensitive to the ever-changing qualities of light and color on form. Now her paintings merge her fascination with sculpture and painting by applying oil paints and gold leaf to stainless steel panels and cut metal forms.
She taught sculpture and design at Ohio State University, Washington University in St. Louis, the School of the Chicago Art Institute, Western Michigan University and Lake Forest College; was a Lecturer in Art at Plymouth State College in Plymouth, New Hampshire and taught for many years at the Holderness School in Plymouth, New Hampshire.
Kathryn Field was raised in New York City, educated at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, and earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She has now returned to her home and studio in Sandwich, New Hampshire, after spending the past two years in Sydney Australia.
MONIKA GROSS is a playwright, director and performer. She is artistic director of At-A-Site Theater:
Theater in unusual spaces.
Theater in familiar spaces in unusual ways.
Theater and audience meeting unexpectedly.
Taking time to bring meaning to space.
Monika grew up in Chapel Hill NC and holds a BFA in Drama from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Actors Equity Association, an Associate Member of Stage Directors & Choreographers, an original member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, the New York Theater Workshop Usual Suspects, and The Women’s Project & Productions Directors Forum. She is the recipient of the 2015-16 NC Artist Fellowship for Playwriting.
She worked intensively with Open Theater director Joseph Chaikin in the early 1980’s, trained with Ariane Mnouchkine and Le Theatre du Soleil in Paris in 1993, and worked in Peter Brook Company member Robert Langdon Lloyd’s ongoing Shakespeare Event from 1987-88 at La Mama ETC in New York City.
In New York City, Monika was artistic director of Theatreworkers (1982-90) and of Smarty Pants Theatre (1990-2001). She has written, adapted, created, or co-created over 30 productions and has given dramaturgical support to the development of over 50 plays. She has been a script reader for Literary Departments of many professional theaters, including the NY Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, NY Theater Workshop, The Lark Theater, and Lincoln Center Theater.
Monika is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique since 1985 and served on the faculty of the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University from 2011-12. She has been a guest artist and taught theater and movement workshops at numerous colleges and institutions, and at international conferences as an Alexander teacher.
ABBY MINOR is the daughter of Appalachian tinkerers and Jewish New Yorkers. She holds a degree in American Studies from Smith College, an MFA in poetry from Penn State, and has studied quilt-making and textile design at the Penland School for Crafts. A community writing teacher, Minor leads outdoor poetry workshops for girls, teaches after-school art classes, and directs Being Heard, a creative writing program that honors the voices and imaginations of her county’s elders. She’s worked as a deck hand, farm hand, and pre-school teacher; she has also taught composition and creative writing at Penn State. Her poems and book reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Weave Magazine, The Fourth River, Hold the Line!, Calyx Journal, AGNI Online, The Georgia Review, and others. She now lives in the same county in which she grew up, albeit several valleys east, where she writes in response to issues of gender, race and racism, environment and region, and reproductive justice. A chapbook of poems called Plant Light, Dress Light is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press.
SO HEE KIM was born in Seoul, Korea and lived in Vancouver, Canada for ten years prior to moving to Providence, RI where she studied painting and was noted as an Honors Student at Rhode Island School of Design. So Hee’s work embodies the notion that visual traces in the frames of her paintings, books, installations, and video present different paths and access that affect her choice of materials and surfaces that she plays with.
So Hee has exhibited her works, primarily installations and paintings in Providence, RI, South Bend, IN, and Seoul, Korea. Recently, she exhibited her installation work, “After a Tornado swept over an 80’s Kid’s Birthday Party” in The Commerce Center, South Bend, IN where she was a resident artist at the Birdsell Project. So Hee’s interview at the Birdsell Project can be found at http://birdsellproject.org/interview-with-artist-in-residence-so-hee-kim/.
Last summer in Seoul, Korea, she was both a participating curator and artist for “Birthmarks and Bruises” at Project Broom Gallery.
PAULETTE ALDEN is the author of two collections of short stories: Feeding the Eagles, published by Graywolf Press, and Unforgettable: Short Stories, published in 2014 by Radiator Press; Crossing the Moon, a memoir published by Penguin; and the novel, The Answer to Your Question, which won the Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book of 2013 in the suspense category. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, Mississippi Review, The Antioch Review, and elsewhere.
Paulette was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former Stegner Fellow, she received her M.A. from Stanford, where she taught as a Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing. For many years she taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in memoir and fiction writing as an Edelstein-Keller Writer-in-Residence at the University of Minnesota, receiving a University College Distinguished Teaching Award. She has also taught creative writing at Carleton College as a Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor and at St. Olaf College, as well as workshops at the Key West Literary Seminar and the Madeline Island School of the Arts. In spring of 2013, she taught an online course for Stanford on Writing the Book-length Memoir. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Bush Foundation Fellowship, a Loft-McKnight Award, and several Minnesota State Arts Board grants. Alden lives in Minneapolis, where she blogs on books and writing and critiques literary manuscripts via her website, www.paulettealden.com.
KRISTEN WATSON makes and teaches art in a broad range of media. she’s a Vermont licensed Art educator and masters of Art education candidate at St. Michael’s college. As a teaching artist, Kristen splits her time between her home studio and the classroom. she teaches at Burlington City Arts, the Davis Studio, and Artists’ Mediums. Kristen was also recently selected to be on the teaching artist roster by the Vermont Arts Council.
Kristen’s work focuses on mixed media painting, analogy photography, ceramics, and small scale assemblage. She exhibits her work locally and regionally in both group and solo shows, and has been selected for several juried exhibits. Her work is also held in private collections. She has recently completed an artist residency in mixed media painting at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont.
SETH AMOS was born and raised in South Carolina. He now lives, works, and writes in San Francisco. He is the poetry editor of Rivet: The Journal of Writing That Risks. His poetry, reviews, and other writing have been published in Sixers Review, Dark Sky Magazine, Legends, and elsewhere. He has worked for several literary journals—most recently serving on the editorial staff at Lapham’s Quarterly. His poetry resonates his southern upbringing and his fascination with the past, religion, and the ever-changing state of the world.
LUCIA ROLLOW is a photographer, social entrepreneur and community organizer extraordinaire. She is based in Brooklyn, NY where she runs the Bushwick Community Darkroom, Arts in Bushwick (the organization behind the annual Bushwick Open Studios festival held annually in June) and takes photos and goes to graduate school in her spare time. She earned her BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in 2009 and upon graduation found herself without darkroom access and set out to remedy this problem by founding the Bushwick Community Darkroom. She simultaneously remembered her love of event organizing and began volunteering for the local organization Arts in Bushwick and has since risen through the leadership ranks to the role of primary contact for the organization. Both the darkroom and AiB are expanding independently and exponentially while Lucia continues to focus on her artistic and educational practices. In May 2015 Lucia earned a Masters of Professional Studies in the field of Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute in New York City and hopes to leverage her new level of education towards greater career advancement in the art world.
SUSAN LYNN SMITH investigates the peculiarities that often go overlooked within the ordinary spaces we inhabit. She is interested in revealing an unexpected sense of humor of these environments. Her work has been exhibited at the Visual Studies Workshop, Gulf and Western Gallery, The School at the International Center of Photography, Cantor Film Center, Fort Mason Center, Root Division, San Francisco City Hall, MarinMOCA, Cordon | Potts Gallery, Diego Rivera Gallery, RayKo Photo Center, Inclusions Gallery, and The Bascom. Susan’s work is part of the collections at the Museum of Fine Arts – Houston, TX and the Pilara Foundation in San Francisco, CA. Recently, Susan was an artist-in-residence at Penland School of Crafts, The Hambidge Center, and at Vyt – Art Students League of New York.
Susan has worked as an Art Instructor for NYU’s Community Collaborations, Putney Student Travel’s Excel programs, and the International Center of Photography. She has taught and directed art programs for Good For Kids Foundation, The Oxbow School, and Academy of Art University. Susan is Co-Founder and Director of Green Art Workshop, a Bay Area eco-conscious nonprofit program which encourages students to re-envision everyday materials. Susan grew up in Massachusetts and currently resides in San Francisco. She holds a BFA from New York University and a MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.
SUSAN LENZ was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1959 to German immigrants but didn’t find her way to needle and thread until after graduating from The Ohio State University with a degree in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Susan pursued her interests through workshops with the Embroiderers Guild of America until declaring herself a professional artist. Susan refused to stitch another pattern. Instead, she works to articulate the accumulated memory inherent in discarded things. Susan stitches both by hand and machine, seeking a partnership with her materials, their purposes, values, and familiar associations. Memory, universal mortality, and personal legacy are central themes. Vintage and recycled materials are combined with meticulous handwork. Susan is draw to textiles for their tactile qualities and makes work that is meant to touch and be touched.
AMELIA BLAIR LANGFORD was born in Richmond,Virginia and is a leading illustration artist, creator of the “The Treasure Hunt” project and co-founder of Bonfire RVA’s artist collective studio. She studied at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Arts in the Communication Arts (Illustration & Design) Department and received her BFA in 2012. As a visual artist, her inspiration thrives on the combination of ecology, human interactions, and historical contexts with a concentration in ink and graphite studies.
Langford’s work can be seen in public and private art collections throughout the United States–which includes Wisconsin, Maryland, South Carolina, California, and Virginia. She has since continued to illustrate for several clients such as teaming up with author Sean Mitchell, to create the paper back novel, “Might and Majesty: Baptism by Fire.” Langford has also worked as a make-up artist for the film, “Bloodlines” directed by Charli Brissey, shown in the FRAME WORKS Dance Film Series in New York City in 2012.
As of recently,she has been in several group exhibitions, including: Working Artist Lyceum Experience, Sound Check Studios, Richmond, Virginia; 6×6, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, New York;and Think Small 7, Artworks, Richmond, Virginia. Langford’s recent solo exhibition,“The Hunt” was held at New Normal Apparel Company where her featured artist clothing line was officially released.
RICHARD METZ is a 55-year-old Philadelphia based artist, father, husband, art teacher, and activist with a focus on environmental and social issues. He lives just outside Philadelphia, in Erdenheim, PA. He graduated from Tyler school of Art in 1980 and Maine College of Art in 2000. His artwork since graduating from Maine College of Art’s MFA program in 2000 has included painting on non-traditional materials, sculpture, Installations, performance and street theater, printmaking and recently children’s picture books. His current prints focus on imaginative ways of creating hybrid plant animal characters based on close observation of seed and plant forms. Much of the work can be seen on his website: www.mistermetz.com
Metz has been involved with four summer art residences; in Nova Scotia, Washington State, and Abington, PA. In each, he has created an ephemeral outdoor installation of painted trees, using the trees, local legends, and nearby flora and fauna as a guide to the imagery. These installations have been very favorable covered by the local press in each area. He has been showing prints and paintings in the Philadelphia/NY area for twenty five years.
Metz currently teaches art at Abington Senior High School. His two sons Sam and Harry, are musicians, working locally in Philadelphia. His wife Cecilia Dougherty, is a landscape designer, professional gardener, and art teacher at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
ROSE M. BARRON currently works and resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Georgia, an MA in Photo Concentration from Georgia State University, and an MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Photography. Her photography/video, and mixed media art work has been exhibited in several solo exhibitions across the southeast including Atlanta and Huntsville, as well as internationally at the Espacio Común in Panama City, Panama.
Barron has shown in many group exhibitions across the nation including The Athens Center for Contemporary Art, The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Fe Gallery in Pittsburgh, and Umbrella Gallery in New York City. Her films have been in numerous film festivals throughout the United States, Her work is included in several private and public collections including the Four Seasons in Morocco, the Marriott Courtyard in Nashville, the March of Dimes Corporate Office Collection, the APG Collectors Portfolio, the MOCA Educational/Resource Center, and Straw Hat Press where she was awarded an artist publishing residency.
Currently, Rose works as an adjunct professor at the Art Institute of Atlanta in the Foundations and the Photography Department. Most recently, was awarded an artist residency at Hambidge Center and received a grant with her collaborator for the project Botanical Dwellings Art on the Beltline 2014.
WANRUDEE BURANAKORN born and raised in Thailand, Wanrudee Buranakorn is an associate professor of art at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She received an MFA in Book Arts (1997) and an MFA in Photography (2002), both from University of Alabama. She has taught photography and book arts at University of Alabama, Ohio University, Ringling School of Art and Design, University of South Carolina at Salkehatchie, Penland School of Crafts, and Asheville BookWorks.
Her work employs varieties of alternative printing processes including archival pigment inkjet print, traditional gelatin silver print, silver liquid emulsion (Liquid Light), cyanotype, van dyke, kallitype, and platinum. Her work has been exhibited in Thailand and in a number of galleries and museums around the US. Recent exhibits have appeared in Luhring Augustine Gallery and Sara Meltzer Gallery in Chelsea (NY), Janet Carson Gallery (WI), Hardin Center for Cultural Arts (AL), ARC Gallery and Woman Made Gallery in Chicago (IL), Castell Photography Gallery and Asheville BookWorks Gallery in Asheville (NC), Flash Gallery (CO), and Fayetteville Museum of Art (NC). She also exhibited a retrospective show at the Seven Art Gallery in Bangkok, Thailand.
Her artist’s books are in the collection of University of Alabama’s Book Arts program and the Hoole Rare Books Special Collections Library. Her limited-edition book of platinum images of Buddhism in Thailand by Ben Simmons is in the private collection of the King of Thailand.
Gavin McCall’s short stories, essays and one poem have appeared in dozens of literary magazines, including Eyeshot, Every Day Fiction, Paradigm, Bamboo Ridge, and Off Course. He’s also a regular contributor to Splice Today. He won Hawai‘i Review’s first Sudden Fiction Award and a scholarship to attend the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and spent three years as an intern for the literary magazine The Normal School, while helping to organize readings and craft talks featuring writers like John Jeremiah Sullivan, Helena Maria Viramontes, and Dorothy Allison. He earned an MA in Honolulu and an MFA in Fresno, but now he lives and writes New Orleans.
ANN KIM is a mixed-media artist with a soft spot for animals, fuzziness, and translucencies. She has a BFA in Art Practice and BA in Art History from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Studio Art from Mills College. Ever since she can remember, her work has been concerned with “fusions, clashes, and assimilations” of opposing elements, and her current work is focused on this aforementioned theme with a focus on myths and collective memories. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Indiana University in Richmond, IN and lives in Dayton, OH with her husband and two cats.
LINDSAY TIGUE graduated from the MFA program in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University and is currently a PhD candidate in English/Creative Writing at the University of Georgia. As a writer and thinker, she is very interested in landscape and alienation, in how contemporary disconnection from environment is connected to isolation, placelessness, and loss.
Tigue writes fiction and poetry and her work been published in Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, Indiana Review, Passages North, Drunken Boat, CutBank, Rattle, and Ninth Letter, among others. She was a 2013 Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writer’s Conference and won the 2012 Indiana Review 1/2 K Prize.
Her first poetry book, which is currently being sent to presses, is titled System of Ghosts and it examines how environments structure experience and loss. Her poems are interested in how isolation from the natural world affects people at many levels, including connections to other people. Tigue’s poetry manuscript has been a finalist or semifinalist in contests such as the Philip Levine Prize, the New Issues Poetry Prize, the Hollis Summer Book Contest, the Crab Orchard Review First Book Prize, the ABZ First Book Prize, the Crab Orchard Series Open Competition, the Noemi Press Book Award, and the Brittingham Prize and Felix Pollak Prize Book Award.
LAYLA LUNA creates drawings and paintings that examine our relationship with nature and the delicate intersections where the outdoors and the indoors meet. The subject matter for her current body of work comes from visiting off‐view animal specimen collections. The most compelling and unexpected thing she has learned from these visits is the awareness of environment and the unique experience that a particular space evokes. To see something so completely removed from its original context allows for the opportunity to develop a new perception. By layering the imagery of her surrounding environment with her fieldwork, the paintings capture the collection of moments in an attempt to absorb, process, and document her existence.
JUSTINA KOCHANSKY comes from a long line of tinkerers; whether they’re editors, artists, or scientists the impulse to muck around with things is strong. Her background is in puppetry, which was as simple a way of tying together her passions for sculpture, dance, acting, and play as she could find. After creating her own Bachelor of Arts in puppetry (amazingly, her university didn’t offer one), she studied shadow puppetry in Bali. Her work has been seen in Boston, Massachusetts; San Francisco, California; and London, United Kingdom. When not making art, she can be found swing dancing, reading or cooking, and usually covered in cat hair.
INGRID ERICKSON was fascinated by nature, birds, and flight. She nearly became botanist or naturalist, and is drawn to the varied patterns found in nature as well as the beauty and intricacy of the natural environment. She carries her interest in the natural world into her current work as an artist. A graduate of Middlebury College in 2003 with a B.A. in Art History and a Studio Art minor with a focus in printmaking. Erickson spent two years living and working in Asia from 2004-2006, where I studied Chinese paper cuts, screens and scrolls, Burmese lacquer ware, and Thai silks. Such influences have permeated the fabric of her work. Her artistic practice is informed by a variety of global cut-paper traditions, and textile arts, but follows the rules of no particular form.
Erickson was selected for a month-long residency at the Jentel Foundation in Sheridan, Wyoming in August/September of 2012. She was also an artist in residence at the “Owl’s Nest” cabin at Wildacres Retreat in Little Switzerland, NC in October/November 2012, and at Woodway Elementary School in Woodway, TX (April 2011). She will be at the AZULE Artist Residency in Hotsprings, NC in March of this year. New bodies of work from these residencies were exhibited in solo shows at The Caldwell Arts Council’s Art-in-Healing Gallery in Lenoir, NC, Wakeforest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, and McLennan Community College in Waco, TX. In November 2014 she will have a solo exhibition at the United Arts Council in Raleigh, NC. My work was recently selected for acquisition at the Children’s Museum of Winston Salem where she led a workshop earlier this year. Erickson will give an artist talk in spring 2015 at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, based on a new body of work inspired by several months of research in their Bird Collection.
ANN MANSOLINO is an artist who creates symbolic portraits and self-portraits that give visual form to lived internal experience, and explore the relationship between the internal self and external ideas of past, present, identity, and place.
Her undergraduate degree is in English literature, and graduate degree is in photography. Both art and writing have always been important parts of how she experience the world. Mansolino now looking to expand upon her existing photographic work and to incorporate additional media and text in the hopes of combining her interests in photography, books, craft media, and writing into a hybrid practice.
“If I can’t be as successful as I once dreamed I’d be, then I’m going to aim to be interesting instead,” said Mansolino. In recent years, she made art, wrote about art, taught photography in California, Ohio, and Michigan, worked in Ireland, taught English in Russia, taught writing and photography in Singapore, and traveled independently with only a backpack through 35 countries. She can tell stories for hours, and believes that art is a significant means by which we can understand what it means to be human in the world.
Her photographic work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Canada, Slovenia, Northern Ireland, England, Guatemala, Japan, and Singapore.
KELLY MONICO received her MFA from the University of Denver in 2005, and is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She has participated in several artist residencies and her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, some of which include: Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA); Design Aer Dark at The Denver Art Museum; I.D.E.A Gallery at Colorado College; The Ban Centre; Elsewhere Artist Collaborative; Point of Transition in Kassel, Germany and in conjunction with DOCUMENTA13; and URB11 at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland.
MICAILA AYORINDE MILBURN-THOMAS is a visual and performing artist. She is a commercial voice talent, singer-songwriter, actor, poet, percussionist, dancer and play-write. At her core she is a Sacred Activist who uses her talents to bring a message of empowerment and positive social change to everything she does. Her work as a visual artist conjures imagery of a spiritual nature and the future-past. She uses mask making as a way to connect to one’s archetypes and Divinre Nature in order to bring about a sense of inner knowing, inner peace and empowerment to her clients and to create installations that do the same for gallery audiences. As a singer songwriter, she uses rhythms and tones and original music to uplift the environment and enliven the audience. As a performer she invites her audience on an improvisational journey that helps them to hold and engender a collective vision of a more Beautiful World. It is her deepest desire that all who encounter her work in any medium, come away from the experience with a deeper sense of INNER’Tainment.
ROBERT WHITEHEAD is a poet, writer, translator, painter and collage artist raised in New Jersey and currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. He received his MFA in poetry from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013, where he completed his first manuscript of poems titled The Devouring Species. His poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Assaracus, Gulf Coast, Verse Daily,Vinyl, LIES/ISLE, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets and the Ashbery Home School. Currently he works as the Program Manager of the Psychotherapy Center for Gender and Sexuality, a division of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, which provides low-cost therapy to LGBTQ communities and trains clinicians to provide affirmative therapy based on the specific needs of LGBTQ communities. He is also the Publishing Assistant at Guernica, an online magazine of art and politics celebrating ten years this fall. He is currently working on a translation of the Mexican poet Enriqueta Ochoa, a queer translation of the Old Testament, a series of essays focusing on the intersections of genre and gender, and a series of “poster poems,” in addition to honing a second manuscript of poems. He can be found at robertmwhitehead.com, though very infrequently.
XIAOREN LIU was born in Beijing, China in 1992 and lived there until 2011. She moved to the United States to pursue her college education. Now, as a graduate from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, she holds a B.A. in Studio Art, with a primary focus in oil painting and mixed media. She continues to hold fast her cultural background from Beijing, channeling the city’s unique mix of history and modernity into her artworks. her most recent work explores python’s texture.
CHRISTINE OLEJNICZAK received her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and MFA from the School of the Institute of Chicago, in 1994. She moved to Marfa, Texas in 2001. While in attending graduate school in Chicago, she began to do recordings of herself drawing and later made composing with her recordings. Her first instruments were made in 1995 and she has been preforming and collaborating with artists, writers and musicians ever since.
Following graduate school Olejniczak received a grant from the City of Miilwakee working with blind pre-school children. At the time she was also working at the center for Deaf Blind Persons teaching occupational crafts and life skills. Her experience with the deaf and blind still colors her work in her efforts to explore ideas through different senses.
In 2001 Olejniczak started her drawing band, Electric Dirt. In 2005, Duet for Pen and Pencil was included in a film maker and curator, Matt Hulse’s, Audible Picture Show. The show continues to tour internationally. Hulse also chose to highlight her work in his presentation, “Studies in Sound: Listening in the Age of Visual Culture,” which was the closing event at an international graduate student conference at the University of Iowa in February of 2007.
Recently her work was introduced to an audience of poets. This year poet C.A. Conrad included her work as a part of the (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals he created for his book “Ecodeviance, (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness.” Using text from Emily Dickinson’s “733, The Spirit is the Conscious Ear,” Olejniczak created a sound piece for G.C. Waldrep’s presentation of “Poetry as Non-Diegetic Speech” at the AWP 2014 Poetry as Sound’s Potential panel. The paper and sound piece was published online by OmniVerse.
KATHERINE COX draws. The immediacy and intimacy of pencil on paper enables her to capture the simple and the complex all rolled up into one. Most recently she began a series having to do with longing. Whether it’s longing for something as seemingly simple as a new job or longing for a new life in a new land free from violence, we all live with longing. The metaphor for longing in this new series and the object Cox has chosen to depict in these drawings is a raft. She began this pursuit by building a raft from rope and found logs, imagining the ache that a person experiences when they are in the throws of his or her personal longing. After completing several raft drawings with sticks and rope it became clear that water had to be included in the imagery – a little frightening for someone whose art making practice involves close study of stationary objects!
The tranquility and solitude at the Rensing Center provided the perfect setting for Cox to begin her first drawing of water. She started the drawing during her residency and was able to complete it later in her home studio. The drawing is graphite on 26 x 40″ Stonehenge paper. It’s titled, The Disruption.
ANNA LENA PHILLIPS is a poet, teacher, editor, and maker. Her projects include A Pocket Book of Forms, a fine-press guide to poetic forms, and Forces of Attention, a series of printed objects designed to help people mediate their interactions with screened devices. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in the Southern Poetry Anthology, Open Letters Monthly, International Poetry Review, and others, and she is a contributing editor for American Scientist. She teaches at UNC Wilmington, where she serves as editor of Ecotone and its sister imprint, Lookout Books. Her honors include the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg poetry prize, the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Award, the Southern Women Writers Conference Emerging Writers Award, and residencies at Penland School of Crafts, VCCA, and the Rensing Center.
LAURA KASINOF, Colorado/Washington, DC
Laura Kasinof is a freelance journalist, writer and researcher whose work focuses on the Middle East. At age 25, she was the Yemen correspondent for the New York Times during the antigovernment protests of 2011, as part of the Arab spring. Her first book, Don’t be Afraid of the Bullets, about her experience in Yemen, is to be published in Fall 2014 by Arcade. Laura’s work has also been published in the Washington Monthly, the Economist, the San Francisco Chronicle, Foreign Policy, Christian Science Monitor, Al Jazeera International, Warscapes and the Cairo Review of Global Affairs, among others. While at the Rensing Center, Laura worked on the final edits for her first book.
ALI ASCHMAN, Cape Town, South Africa/Chicago, IL
Ali Aschman creates hand-made worlds exploring emotional states and moral grey areas. Hybridity, transformation, alienation and guilt are recurring themes. Her practice includes sculpture, drawing, printmaking, and animation, often combined in installations. She experiments with narrative forms to convey allegory through moving and still images, kinetic and static objects and sculptural tableaux. Aschman earned a BA from the University of Cape Town and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
JOHANNA DEBIASE, Taos, New Mexico
Johanna DeBiase is the author of the fabulist novella Mama & the Hungry Hole (Wordcraft of Oregon, May 2015). She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and her fiction has been published in journals, magazines and websites including Portland Review, theNewerYork, Convergence, San Antonio Current, Melusine, Gravel and Prick of the Spindle. She has received scholarships to attend the San Miguel Writer’s Conference and the Vermont Studio Center. She writes from Taos, New Mexico where she owns a vintage clothing boutique.
COLETTE LUCAS, Peterborough, New Hampshire
Colette’s life as an artist and gardener are closely intertwined.
Her botanical motifs are created from a combination of imagination, observation and research. Childhood favorites like morning glory, milkweed and cosmos are a constant source of inspiration.
She is particularly interested in rhythms created by twining and curvy stems and the structure of plants with seedpods. As a gardener, invasive plant and pest species both fascinate and aggravate her, so references to these gardening headaches are often incorporated into her artwork. While in residence at Rensing Center she became particularly interested in kudzu, and created prints reflecting the plants charms and challenges in the landscape.
JUDE HARZER paints figurative works that investigate memories and familial relationships, specifically between mother and child. She is interested in the maternal figure as purveyor of personal mythologies and how these inherited stories perpetuate patterns of thought and behaviors in ones daughters.
Harzer draws upon her life experience and personal history as subject matter for her work. As a child, in a dark and noise-filled house, her search for quiet was a necessary and constant pursuit. Through the process of creating and making images, she discovered silence, solace and the art of telling stories.
RYAN FINNERTY is a Seattle-based artist and educator. He teaches drawing, painting, and art history in Seattle, where he and his wife keep a small vegetable garden. He works with Pratt Fine Art Center, Gage Academy’s youth programs, and the MFA program at Digipen Institute of Technology. His artwork is represented by LxWxH and CORE galleries. Finnerty earned a BFA in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design and an MFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of Washington.
MICHELE FRITZ is a professionally trained artist having earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts, with a major in painting and a minor in printmaking, from the Kansas City Art Institute. She also studied at Memphis College of Art and minored in graphic communication at St. Louis Community College. Michele’s background in non profit arts administration and teaching youth keeps her perspective playful. While her many years of experience in the deadline filled print and graphic design industry reminds Michele to appreciate the calm solitude of fine art studio work.
JENNIFER RABIN is a writer and a conceptual artist. She believes that the purpose of art is to achieve communion with other people, and wants to communicate and to connect in any way she can. As the world becomes louder and busier and we become more isolated from one another, she is drawn to telling personal stories both in her writing and with her sculpture. It’s her way of reaching out into the vast, noisy, disinterested abyss and saying, “I’m over here struggling to be human. Anyone else?”
Seeing photos come in from different states and countries, from places she’s never been, has been such a thrill for her. There are currently stickers on three continents, and it’s her goal to reach all of them. If you’d like to get involved, send her a message here and she will mail you a sticker.
LAINE CUNNINGHAM’s work has won multiple national awards, including the Hackney Literary Award and the James Jones Literary Society fellowship. In past years, the Hackney Award was received by Horton Foote and William Styron, placing Laine in the ranks of Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. She has also received fellowships and residency slots from the Jerome Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, the New York Mills Cultural Center, Wildacres and the Cornucopia Arts Center.
Her most recent novel, He Drinks Poison, follows a female FBI agent who must access the dark power of the goddess Kali in order to bring down a serial killer. The book was shortlisted for the Pirate’s Alley William Faulkner award. Her first novel, Message Stick, touches on social tensions between Aboriginal and mainstream cultures in Australia. The work was hailed as “The best novel in ten years” by the Hackney awards committee. A companion book, Seven Sisters: Spiritual Messages from Aboriginal Australia, is also available. The work retells Aboriginal stories in a way that helps modern people address age-old issues of love, parenting, illness and death.
“[Jody] felt an uncertainty in the air, a feeling of change and of loss and of the gain of new and unfamiliar things.” The Red Pony by John Steinbeck
Virginian born artist Augusta Pittman is pulled to recording lifeʼs transience, the inevitability of change, both positive and negative, that all humans must face. She uses the body, the face, and even the landscape as access points to convey her thoughts and observations about time, age, and human metamorphoses.
Having earned her BFA in Photography and Film from Virginia Commonwealth University, School of the Arts in Richmond, VA in 2013, Augusta currently works as a freelance photographer, photo editor, and graphic designer, as well as a photo assistant.
Ever the artist, she is continuously looking for new creative possibilities that bring her closer to the people and places that she loves.
Virginia based photographer, Adriana Rossi explores the personal and psychological in her portraits and photographs.
The reason She is drawn to take photographs of her little sister Alessandra is because she can relate to her. They are both in a period of transition. Alessandra is right on the cusp of adolescence, which is a time in her life that is marked by biological, mental, and spiritual instability. Everything is uncertain. The same is true of Rossi’s life and the life of her peers right now. About to graduate from college, she is more unsure than ever about her living arrangements and career choices. Although at different ages, together Rossi and her sister search for the meaning to the ever-elusive concepts of “adolescence” and “adulthood”. She notice the different identities that Alessandra explores; Rossi has become aware of the things that she has began to fear, and how she has become self-aware of those fears. Rossi also observe the relationships that she sprouted with the people around her as they are incorporated into her ever growing social latticework of support. She watches Alessandra grow into herself as she approaches this stage of life with an interesting blend of insouciance, curiously, and trepidation. Her images are personal and psychological as they capture humorous, tender, and sometimes awkward moments in Alessandra’s progression toward adolescence and beyond.
AMELIE BEAUDROIT, Tolouse, France
I have long been fascinated by the blur, the fog, the light, all the invisible forces that surround us, modify us and keep us still. In my work I try to relay the emotion born from this contemplation. When it succeeds, the result let a link appear between a personal history and a stolen vision of the nature of things.
Her work intends to paint the blur as it is the best way to express the truth. She finds in blurred visions beauty that can never seen in bare clarity. Haziness incarnates the movement of life, the dynamic of things that keep changing, it is the realm of infinite possibilities, the blur is a space where nothing is fixed and where anything can come into existence.
Man carries within his self this duality of a wandering spirit constrained to a motionless body dragging him to rationality. The myth of Icarus best illustrates this tragedy of the reduced mobility of a Man with an unlimited spirit. Art is an answer to the need to establish connections with the universe beyond this constraint. Painting allows to blend in the complexity of the world by mixing colours on the canvas. It is a way to think aside of thoughts, a way to live and feel without having to conceptualize life.
The artist makes connections with buried resources at the same time that he is the instrument of a force he blindly follows. He does not know where he goes, and does not seek knowing, he abandons himself to colour. It is on the path that the link between Man, Nature and the Cosmos builds up. The painting makes visible this blur we marveled at in secret, this alchemy of forms without edges.
In our present culture, awash as we are in sensory stimuli of every sort, attention is something we don’t have natural access to. It’s something we have to seek: a discipline, in the old sense of that word. Poetry is one way to cultivate and practice attention.
G.C. Waldrep says poetic creation is, for him, a spiritual as well as an aesthetic vocation. Motivated by the words of the 20th-century Romanian poet Lucian Blaga who says, “Our duty, when faced by a true mystery, is not to explain it, but to deepen it, to transform it into a greater mystery,” Waldrep often searches in his poetry for the mysterious boundary between man and nature, a “trans-human idiom, a way of engaging with the environment through language at the very edge of the human.”
Citing poetry as a way to engage more deeply in our world, Waldrep has developed a particular interest in formally innovative poetry, which challenges language itself and its ability to represent — or invent — realism. For the last three years he has been planning and co-editing an anthology, The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral (Ahsahta Press, 2012), that addresses the junction of formally innovative poetry and the environment.
“In my own poetry I’d long been drawing on the environment, while simultaneously trying to find an idiom that would allow me to escape, or transcend, the Romantic inheritances we associate with ‘nature poetry’: Keats, Shelley, et al. I wanted something of a road map, and there wasn’t one. The anthology is such a map — or at least, we hope, the start of a map,” says Waldrep.
Waldrep teaches creative writing with an emphasis in poetry and directs the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets each June. He hopes to impress upon each student the sense of engagement so critical to poetic exploration.
“What I hope,” says Waldrep, “is that my classes teach students to pay attention. One way of thinking about a poem is not only as an act of attention, but also as a unit of attention. In our present culture, awash as we are in sensory stimuli of every sort, attention is something we don’t have natural access to. It’s something we have to seek: a discipline, in the old sense of that word. Poetry is one way to cultivate and practice attention.”
ALYSON SOONCHAN HIGHSMITH (b. 1986) grew up in San Francisco, California of Asian-American descent. She received her BFA in painting and art history at the Maryland Institutes College of Art in Baltimore, MD and then apprenticed as a furniture conservator in Lexington, KY.
Primarily working in oils, her work often explores personal narratives dealing with issues such as body image, identity, eroticism and relationships. Ms. Highsmith recently moved back to San Francisco where she continues her studio practice.
Space, objects, color and light all evoke feelings, memories and emotions. If the painter can somehow express those associations they might be apparent to the viewer. This would be to express the ineffable. Ineffability is a psychological phenomenon that Dylan Critchfield-Sales see as connected with the Platonic conception of anamnesis: a feeling associated with a new experience cannot be formulated in words but it is familiar and ‘known’. For him it is analogous to the notion of the beatific vision, which Aldous Huxley suggests in The Doors of Perception. Huxley describes it as the quality of naked existence, the idea of fresh experience, of seeing something for the first time.
Having also been involved in creating music for several years Critchfield-Sales has become accustomed to processes of layering tightly wound repetition with patterns of more spacious intervals. His painting process parallels that of the music he make in that the paintings are created in alternating passes of linear drawing and flatly blocked in color or tone, which, gradually refined, come together to create form and light
Another important commonality Critchfield-Sales sees between music and painting is the power to convey mood and emotion. Many of his works have a dark and heavy atmosphere, which is similar to that of the music he am drawn to. He is interested in finding and imbuing subjects with a disturbing, melancholic quietude.
Molly Hayes’ passion for making photographs began when she was 12 years old, wandering the woods behind her home in Maine with her father’s old camera in hand. She moved south to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she earned her BFA in photography in 2003. Since graduating, Hayes has lived in Charleston & Chicago, working as a freelance photographer as well as assisting and traveling with other photographers for national and international advertising, print, and editorial assignments. Her work has been published and exhibited in Charleston, Savannah, and Maine. She enjoys learning about people through photographing them and continues to make this a lifelong focus.
Molly joined the Rensing Center for a 3 month residency, for a portrait project centering around immigration issues in the US.
MOLLY AUBRY is a Florida-based artist, though she likes to live everywhere else. She has traveled, lived, and exhibited in the US, Europe, and Central America. When not making art, she spends her time practicing yoga, hiking, running, designing, reading, and writing.
Molly created a blog to document her time at the Rensing Center. She displayed her work created during her residency at her show Mycophilia on December 15th at the Rensing Center.
ARIANE RODRIGUEZ and GUILLERMI NOGUIERA, Brazil
Ariane Rodriguez and Guillermi Noguiera came to the Rensing Center for a summer-long residency. Ariane is an exchange student from Brazil, and is currently an intern in Environmental Science at Clemson University. Guillermi is a fantastic narrative artist.
MIKE TROYER plans to restore the pool machinery and convert it to more environmentally sound salt water. He will also help with other building plans and implementation as we develop our space.
PHILIP WHITE, Brooklyn, NY
Composer/Performer Philip White came to the Rensing Center to repurpose industrial technology (mass produced integrated circuits) into musical instruments. “While at the Rensing Center, I doubled my electronic performance setup, something I’m still trying to get a handle on. I strongly believe that by building one’s own instruments, one challenges the prescribed functions of music and technology at a fundamental level.” Philip works in NYC as the Technical Director for Brooklyn experimental venue Issue Project Room.
PEACE PAPER, Burlington, VT
For two millennia, humankind has created paper by hand. Whatever the intention behind the paper, be it to represent wealth, to carry spirituality, or to convey messages, every fiber that goes into the making of paper has a story to tell.
Today, Peace Paper works to empower healing arts communities by introducing collaborative art processes that foster positive forward thinking, enhanced communication, and peaceful reconciliation.
Through hand papermaking, writing, book and printmaking activities, we work together to transform significant articles of clothing into works of art that broadcast personal stories, mutual understanding and healing.
CRYSTAL SCHENK, Portland, Oregon
Crystal’s guestbook entry: I showed up feeling creatively bankrupt – unsure what to make and not moved by any ideas.
I spent my time sitting quietly reflecting. I went for walks, visited sheep, collected mushrooms and began to draw for the first time a long while.
I let myself and worries go and started to play. I found materials from the landscape and let them tell me what they wanted to be.
I leave feeling refreshed, although still a little unsure. I am stopping to listen more to Ellen’s words of wisdom and less to my doubts. I know I will carry this quiet time with and it will help keep me calm and inspired when I return to my studio and daily life.
NANCY CARNES, Clemson, South Carolina
An environmentalist and expert in Permaculture, Nancy developed organic gardens, produced two workshops, and introduced national environmental networks to the Rensing Center. Nancy currently works for Sustainable Furnishings Council, bringing sustainability to the home furnishings industry, while still conducting permaculture and theological workshops.
ENSEMBLE PAMPLEMOUSSE, New York, NY
Composer/performer collective Ensemble Pamplemousse was founded in 2002 to provide a focal point for like-minded creators with a thirst for sonic exploration. The ensemble is a close-knit group of divergent artistic personalities, emergent from training in disparate musical fields. Their collective love for the exquisite in all sonic realms leads the ensemble to persistently discover new vistas of sound at the frayed edges of dissective instrumental performance technique. Compositions aggregate each member’s unique virtuosic talents into extraordinary magical moments. In the flexible moments of performance, the ensemble weaves together shapes of resonance, clusters of glitch, skitters of hyper action, and masses of absurdity into impeccable structures of unified beauty. While at Rensing, Pamplemousse prepared a new concert of works, performed a concert at nearby Anderson College, and presented a workshop on their unique performance practice. www.ensemblepamplemousse.org
ELIZABETH STEHLING, New York, NY
Sculptor, MFA Pratt Institute 2010. Liz created a video project on the subject of herds, as related to our sense of home and safety, as well as provided Ellen invaluable logistical assistance in the Rensing Center office!
VALENTINA VELLA, Rome, Italy
Italian Sculptor/Writer/Musican. Valentina furthered her skills in clay sculpting and ceramics and also taught some Italian!
MARTHA BRIM, Columbia, South Carolina
Martha Brim is a professor of dance at Columbia College and founder and artistic director of the Power Company Dance Troupe.
SAM SFIRRI, Charleston, South Carolina
Pianist and Composer Sam Sfirri worked on preparations for a new composition to be performed by the New Music Collective in early July, recording sounds of the natural environment to be used in future compositions.
BOO GILDER, Birmingham, Alabama
A freelance photographer and book artist, Boo assisted in large scale/public art commissions for Mercy Hospital, Charlotte, NC, and SCANA headquarters, Cayce, SC. Boo helped design the Rensing Center residency program and developed work for a successful book arts MFA application.
2006 – 2007
BENJAMIN ROBERT OSBORNE, Marietta, Georgia
Studio Woodworker/Furniture Designer and Maker. Artist Assistant to Ellen Kochansky, produced set for vignette for The Artful Home, November 2007 show in SoHo, New York City, NY, and in 2009-2010 developed structural design and base for Ellen’s major lobby commission for SCANA, power company headquarters, Cayce, SC. Current owner of ThisWasATree Studio in Marietta, Georgia, and partner in RedRooster Coffee Roaster in Floyd, VA.
PAULINE PONCEL, Tours, France
Earning credit in international business at University of Tours, France, Pauline assisted Ellen Kochansky in the manufacture, delivery, shipping, packing, outreach and maintenance of customer database. Also aided in setting up of display at 16 HANDS show in Virginia.
ELIZABETH HEIFFERON was an artist in residence through Clemson University Art Department focusing on environmental sculpture.
QUINN PETERSON was an artist in residence during his senior year at Clemson University. While at the Rensing Center, he developed his own animated film and musical accompaniment.
ADRIENNE ANTONSON currently lives in Asheville, NC. She makes work that is resourceful, sustainable, meticulous, and pretty. She has shown her sculptural art and displayed her designs in galleries and storefronts across the country. Shop Adrienne’s clothing at Nube Green in Seattle, and find her home furnishings and and sculptures in her online shop Odla.
CLAIRE AUSTIN, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Visiting us through the AMBIT program of the US Dept of Commerce, Claire worked together with Ellen Kochansky to conduct a series of workshops with students to explore conflict resolution through the medium of art. Claire also assisted Ellen in the manufacture and installation of Garden Party, a large installation for Bank of America in Charlotte.