“To know the spirit of a place is to realize that you are a part of a part and that the whole is made of parts, each of which is a whole. You start with the part you are whole in.” - Gary Snyder The system of illustration I’ve devised for photographing edible plants has two parts. Part one: the plants are photographed in front of a modular black backdrop. This allows the viewer to easily identify the plant and recognize the type of environment where it is commonly found. Part two: the plant is excavated, photographed, then illustrated digitally in such a way as to render the edible parts in color while the remaining parts, less emphatically, remain in grayscale. It is my hope and ambition that this art offers people concrete information that if activated leads to positive transformation. While this type of art may appear atavistic its redeployment, in the precise moment of history, is vitally relevant to issues of sustainability. By ingesting or simply recognizing these plants that grow abundantly all around us anyone can directly experience the wonder of our symbiotic evolution with the natural environment, gain a sense of place based upon bioregionalism, activate possibilities for creative economies, and gain a vested awareness of local environmental issues. These edible plants grow all around us, in yards, alleys, ditches, and empty lots. Each testifies to our symbiotic evolution with all of life, and I hope, function as both metaphor and proof of our intimate tether to the natural world. I envision this as a thoroughly inclusive catalogue that will result in hundreds of photographs. The aesthetic consciously combines empirical and romantic traditions, but takes advantage of digital imaging’s capacity to create rhetorical shifts in the photograph as information system – that is the images are engaging, semiotically layered, historically aware and readily adaptable to a wide variety of displays and modes of communication.
I recently earned a Master in Fine Arts at WCSU with a thesis in poetry and essay from Western Connecticut State University. I worked on the manuscript, called All Things That Rise, over the last 4-5 years in spurts of research in public archives and online, wandering the abandoned and often crumbling mills by the river in Holyoke, Massachusetts, writing, outlining, re-writing, and finally writing some more and then shaping, editing a lot away.
I also hold a Masters in Public Health (Policy) from Yale University and work as the Director of Strategic Planning for the Connecticut Department of Social Services. Before this I was a graphic designer and I love the intersection of graphics and data.
I am interested in travel and minimalist living, studying Russian language and history, making artist's books, and researching the social sciences. I like architecture but don't do enough about that interest (yet). I live and work in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Lorie Setton Ofir
Artist Lorie Ofir has formal artistic training from Parsons New School University, Florence University of the Arts, and the University of Florida. Informally, she observes the world both objectively and emotionally to create compositions that place realistically painted objects in abstract and atmospheric environments, treading the line between real and imaginative.
As an artist based in Miami, Florida, Lorie lives on flat land, but paints mountains. She has emotional connections to places that are only physically far away. This dichotomy has moved her towards her current series of paintings and collages titled "Hybrid Landscapes”. Sitting on a horizon that one can never reach, each piece is an impossible world: an overlap of different colors, objects, weathers, textures, and terrains that only exist together in fantasy. By exploring the elsewhere and fusing it with the familiar, Lorie paints large-scale landscapes of undulating sand dunes, stars of broken glass, infinite mountains of fabric, and underwater raindrops. Her most recent works are inspired by the American landscapes from her travels, and their surreal and expansive qualities. She currently paints and collages at Yo Space Studios in Little Haiti, Miami, Florida.
Sal Strom is a native Oregonian, nurtured by the spirit of the Northwest. Sal has studied many places around the world and earned an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art. Strom’s video work has been presented at Portland International Film Festival, the DaVinci Festival, and the Newport Performing Art Center. Her film “Arctic Christmas” was accepted into the NW Film Festival and is traveling this year as part of a 39th NW Filmmakers’ Festival Tour. She was awarded a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council in 2012. Her paintings have been exhibited at the Frye Museum in Seattle, WA, Whatcom Museum of Art in Bellingham, WA, Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, WA, the Provincetown Art Associate Museum, MA. She has shown her videos and paintings nationally and internationally. Strom has been the recipient of fellowships at IPark in Connecticut, St. Gertrude’s Monastery in Idaho, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Playa at Summer Lake, Oregon, Elsewhere Studios in Colorado and the Hungarian Multicultural Center, Hungary. She implemented an Arts program in Romanian Orphanages in Pietra Neamt & Bucharest in conjunction with the Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation. She has been published inWomen’s Journal, Statesman Journal, InkFish, Newport News-Times, amongst others. In March 2013 a feature article about her WWII project entitled “Saving Veterans’ Stories ~ with a Twist” was distributed in dozens of small communities in Oregon.
Kim Lyle currently lives in Oaxaca, Mexico where she works for the non-profit artist residency Arquetopia. She has a B.A. in both Fine Arts and Psychology from Stetson University in Florida.
Her practice explores the relationships we create with our environment through installation, photography, participation, travel and wonder.
Alexis Fedorjaczenko is a writer based in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Since 2008, Alexis has been researching a post-industrial mill city and writing about the ways we can know a culture through its abandoned architectural monuments. The completed project will be her thesis for an MFA in poetry at Western Connecticut State University.
Alexis also regularly collaborates with her local community of visual artists, exploring the ways that her love of literature can be translated into three dimensions.
Alexis has earned an MPH from Yale University works in health policy, most recently implementing health care reform in Connecticut.
For more information about Alexis’ creative work:
“Elsewhere is a lifeblood of goodwill and creative energy. I am sorry to go, but I leave peaceful and fulfilled.”
Alonzo’s art choices and worldviews are inspired by travel. Through travel he seeks influences, cultural centers, energies, new terrain and the power of both the spoken and unspoken. The magic of the Southwest Untied States, Brazil, Haiti and West Africa has penetrated his work. Southern California, his home for thirty years, has also had an indelible impact and the colors and rhythms of the Pacific Rim continue to infiltrate. His current work involves ladder like forms that are metaphors for higher goals and life’s climb. Some of Alonzo’s installations and sculptures are on display at the Baltimore Zoo, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, Philadelphia International Airport, Nashville International Airport, and the US Embassy in Lome, Togo, West Africa.
"Elsewhere Studios has allowed me to work with out distraction and focus on things I have wanted to experiment with. An example would be the collaboration with Ed Eaton on a solar sculpture."
Kay Lindsey, born in DC and originally a painter, enjoys collaborations with artists in other disciplines, musicians, printmakers, photographers, book artists, a metalsmith and ceramist among them. Her most recently published works “The Zen of Vaulting” appears in the art book, The Bamboo Muse and “Night at Bear River,” published in Hot Air Quarterly.
One time contributing writer to the art magazine Sculptural Pursuit, her work has also appeared inBeyond the Frontier, River Poems, Hawaii Review, Borders: Texas Poetry Review, Wolf Head Quarterly, Earth’s Daughters and Catalyst. A native of Washington, DC, Kay is currently poet in residence at Montpelier Arts Center in Laurel, Maryland.
"Really, four weeks was not quite enough,
six weeks at Elsewhere/Paonia
would have been better...
I left almost undone
by the overflow
Mick Lorusso is an artist focused on energy in its many forms: as sustenance, movement, sensation, electricity and light. He integrates science, mysticism, ecology, and community into his work, which includes drawing, sculpture, and urban intervention. Mick graduated with an MFA in Sculpture at the San Francisco Art Institute, and a BA in Studio Art at the Colorado College. Before coming to San Francisco, he lived and worked in Mexico City and Seattle, WA. He has shown his work throughout Mexico, including galleries and museums in Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, and Queretaro, and at venues in the US cities of Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA, and Durango,CO. He has participated in public art projects that range from mural painting, community mosaic work, and interactive works that function as ecological indicators and symbolic beacons.
As an artist-in-residence at Elsewhere Studios, Mick Lorusso developed an interactive project called Potential Energy: Carbon Conserves, which he brought to the Mountain Harvest Festival in late Semptember. The piece is a sculptural market stand containing jars of coal from local mines and canned fruits harvested from North Fork Valley farms. It was designed to stimulate dialog about energy sources and use in the area. As a record of such discussion and reflection on energy, festival goers contributed quotes on tags that adorned the "Carbon Conserves" jars.
The project can be accessed online, where comments on energy may be added: potentialenergycarbonconserves.wordpress.com
To see more work and contact the artist visit: www.micklorusso.net