Anna Macleod is a visual artist and independent researcher based in Leitrim, Ireland.
Her work mediates complex ideas associated with contemporary, historical and cultural readings of place through a variety of methods, strategies and processes. She employs quasi-scientific methods, interdisciplinary collaboration, performance and socially engaged activism to critique contemporary landscapes and to build metaphoric spaces for re-imagining the future.
‘Water Conversations’ is the umbrella term for an ongoing series of projects in progress since 2007. Articulated as a series of actions, small sculptures, posters, drawings and public interventions, the project explores the complex interstices between landscape, science and technology, culture and geopolitics. The collaborative aspect of the work has led to working partnerships with artists, scientists, cultural geographers, activists, engineers and local historians.
Anna Macleod is a former lecturer and Programme Chair of the Fine Art programme at Dublin Institute of Technology and completed a Masters in Visual Art Practices, through the Institute of design, Art & Technology, IDAT, Ireland in 2009.
Anna is here as part of Inspired: Art at Work project.
John is an international artist nurturing community dialog on a meaning of ecology relevant to society. He typically up-cycles materials that have passed their traditional use. He has created public art exhibitions for over 14 years, and has become increasingly involved with works that highlight ecological concerns and interconnectedness of systems.
In 2017, he completed a major site‐specific project, Curbing Entropy, in Siem Reap, Cambodia, highlighting plastic pollution in partnership with several local environmental NGO’s. The sculpture, composed of 10,000 reclaimed single use plastic bottles, was exhibited twice. First at 1961 Art Hotel, then displayed inside the International Arrivals terminal of the Siem Reap Airport, near Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia. Curbing Entropy highlighted the issue of plastic pollution to thousands of tourists per day.
John is here as part of the Inspired: Art at Work project.
Kelly Spivey has been making films since 1998. Her films focus on themes of class, gender, women's roles and more recently, anxiety, especially in relationship to our increasingly frenetic urban lifestyles and information overload existence. Her work has screened nationally and internationally and has won various awards. Several of her film projects have received support from the Queens Council on the Arts and The New York State Council on the Arts, and she was a New York Foundation on the Arts Fellow in 2005. She works at Brooklyn College as the Technology Manager and teaches Sound Design and Experimental Cinema. She has her own audio and video production and post-production company named KinoPixel. She earned an M.F.A. in Integrated Media Arts in December 2014 from Hunter College.
I use moving images with an awareness of the power of visual media to shape our sense of identity, to frame history and shape culture. I reconstruct meaning, often by appropriating media from various contexts (pop, industrial, scientific) in order to repurpose those “signs” for alternative meaning. The found images in my work still communicate their older contexts, while simultaneously reopening them to newly understood truths. I deploy subtle humor and focus on the emotional, or more hidden feelings of cultural anxiety, tension and alienation in my work.
Eric Dyer is an artist and educator who brings animation into the physical world with his sequential images, sculptures, and installations. He spent years working at a computer to produce images for the screen. Longing to “get my hands back on the work,” Dyer returned to a tactile creative process. He began exploring the zoetrope, an early form of animation. The device, popular in the 19th century, consists of a slitted drum whose interior is lined with a sequence of images. When the object is spun, the viewer peers through the apertures in the drum and the forms appear to move. By replacing the drum with a fast-shutter digital video camera, Dyer invented the process of making films from spinning sculptures. Dyer continues to innovate with new tools and applications, moving his work off the screen and into real spaces.
His work has been widely exhibited at events and venues such as the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art, Ars Electronica, international animation festivals in numerous countries, the screens of Times Square, and the Cairo and Venice Biennales. He has been honored as a Fulbright Fellow, Sundance New Frontier Artist, Creative Capital Artist, and Guggenheim Fellow. Dyer's fervent exploration of expression through motion has placed his work in books such as Re-imagining Animation: the Changing Face of the Moving Image, Pervasive Animation, Animation: A World History, and A New History of Animation. He has been a visiting artist at institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University, ECNU in Shanghai, and CalArts. Dyer teaches visual arts and animation at UMBC in Baltimore, MD and is represented by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York.
I am at work on a novella, the draft of which I have provided here. This story is centered on the often-overlooked experience of the sibling who grows up close to, and is deeply impacted by, a brother's schizophrenia. Since I was a child in the 1980s, we as a nation have made great strides in terms of talking about or even just acknowledging mental illness. But we have so much more work to do and the topic alone remains so difficult, so stifling and stigma-filled. I have grappled with this silence my entire life, yet I also recognize and honor my own creative urge to define and explore this problem. To ask questions of it. To challenge my understandings and assumptions around it. To sink deeply into it, with the hope of swimming, yes, but also with the understanding that, sometimes, I will not. Sometimes I will simply sink. How, in the enormity of the ocean that is schizophrenia, have we come to lose sight of those who might most often be hit by, and even subsumed by, its many crashing waves? Or is that even the right way to frame such a question? Is hierarchy at play? Is it an issue? Or is this-- this sense of hierarchy, the need for recognition as a younger, highly impacted sibling so close to this storm-- just obscuring greater truths? What are the rights and duties of one so close to significant mental illness? What are its creative potentials and what are its limitations? I hope to continue to produce, define, shape, and refine my novella into the larger, fuller story that I know it is. As a poet, I am further interested in exploring related themes of family, community, connection, and isolation in my poetry.
At Elsewhere and in Paonia, I intend to work on a manuscript mainly about arranging and supporting songwriters, but with excurses related to Frank Ocean, Kate Bush, and Philip Guston. I have plans to work on new songs with a nylon string guitar. I am excited to do plein air painting, using oil paints with small brushes on 10x10" 4-ply cotton rag paper, something I've been meaning for years to try. I intend to visit with as many animals as possible each day I am in Paonia, ideally making a number of new goat friends over the month. I want to hike and ride a bike around the area and swim should I find lake, pond or river water warm enough. I intend to make friends in the town of Paonia and with my fellow artists and all those connected to the residency program, supporting and encouraging all I'm fortunate to meet.
I began researching the material for the “gallant Pelham” series over twenty years ago. What began as essentially a character study of Robert E. Lee, and perhaps other members of the Confederate high command, grew into a complex, multi-faceted story that, in its entirety, will likely cover well over 2,500 pages. Despite having written several (short) short stories during the period, my ever-growing Civil War saga essentially banished all other literary pursuits. My original intention was to write a book employing Civil War mythology as a vehicle to tell a more fundamental human story, but in the course of my research I became caught up in the savagery and sexual exploitation of the plantation system and decided that my true story, the one that needed to be told, required a much larger canvass than anticipated—and thus the “gallant Pelham” series began to evolve. I can honestly say it has been a passionate journey! Although there are many fictional accounts of the Civil War and the antebellum period, most do not confront the horrors of slavery, the “peculiar institution,” so directly. Unlike a good deal of traditional Civil War fiction that portrays the Confederates in the vein of “those who wore gray,” and is marketed primarily to Southern men, many of whom view the era through a romanticized prism, the entire series confronts the darkest side of the antebellum South, namely the savagery and sexual exploitation that was at the core of the plantation system and how it defined manhood for Pelham’s generation. It should be noted, however, that the story empathizes with the common Confederate soldier, however, and distinctly condemns the planter class rather than the Southern people as a whole. This author firmly believes that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Chelsey Becker is a mixed media painter from Claremore, Oklahoma, and she received her bachelor’s degree from the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas. She was
recently accepted to SMFA at Tufts University in Boston for the MFA in Studio Art program. During her time in Arkansas, she became inspired by the Ozarks and her family’s
intertwined history within the region. Her mother’s family converged in the isolated Ozarks over a hundred years ago where the folklore of different European cultures merged to form Ozark mythology. Becker uses materials such as cardboard, textiles, plywood, and found objects to construct the background of her figurative and pastoral oil paintings to represent the overlapping nature of folklore and modern narrative of the South and other rural parts of America.
Growing up, I would pull my mother’s old photos out the back closet of our home. For years, I would fixate on these pictures, staring at the faces of people I knew, yet I didn’t know them in these pictures. In my current paintings and writings, I’m acting as an unreliable narrator in the retelling of my family’s history through these pictures. My mother’s family originates from rural Arkansas amongst the Ozark Mountains, and I intertwine its regional mythology with their contemporary stories to create an ongoing narrative. While my father, descending from a family of travelers, became a blue-collar voyager as a young adult. He worked laborious jobs, yet still held the heart of a poet with his guitar in hand everywhere he ventured, becoming a modern tall tale character in my artwork. I use untraditional surfaces to paint these magical realism stories, including plywood, cardboard, and textiles, to represent the fragility of the stories and to link the materials to the settings of the characters. These fragile surfaces can also be placed upon one another, making an interwoven plane. The figures embedded in the plane are taken from photographs, but they are placed among a setting of native plants, landscapes, and domestic interiors. I use this estranged atmosphere to push the notion of discovery, both in the sense of the figures and the underlining story that aligns with Southern Gothic Literature and modern folklore. On top of the initial realistic drawings, I apply oil paint. By doing this, I am elevating the subjects to a higher level of relevance and prestige by using a paint that has such a deep history in art while at the same time putting oil paint on labored, fragile surfaces as if to say the people of these stories were significant all along
Emily Cannon was born in California, has traveled nearly half the world only to settle back into California. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in Illustration, a subject solely based on the ability to tell a story. Currently she is an art instructor and freelance illustrator. Emily's eye for story and art lead to her studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she graduated with a BFA in Illustration ('15). After a long childhood of moving from country to country, she has finally moved her library of books into an apartment in LA, where she still continues to write and draw with whatever's lying around at the time.
The Devils Right Hand is a story of an alternate American frontier where witchcraft is not just folklore but fact, where the landscape is rife with jackalopes born from excess magic, and crossroads are the sites of deals with Devils. Most of all it is a story of revenge, loss, and forgiveness. My goal in creating this story was to write a Western that was not dedicated to traditionally masculine values and to create a diverse cast to bring new life into the genre. Drawing from the mythology of biblical figures, Goethe demons, and the sub genre of the Southern Gothic, I sought to create a fully fleshed out world within my words. Along the way I made illustrations to help me understand the figures I wrote about and the themes I wanted to integrate in my writing.. Coming to Elsewhere, my intention was to finish editing my novel and tie up the loose ends of my story into a completed work.
Jessica Normington received her BFA from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette in 2009 and her MFA from the University of Florida in 2014. She incorporates printmaking, painting, and drawing techniques on Okawara rice paper. Her imagery is derived from the natural, terrestrial plane of the physical swamp coupled with the dark, mysterious quality that the swamp embodies within the imagination. Her artwork is about navigating through the deepest, darkest descent of our psyche. It seeks to connect the sublimity of this unmeasurable environment through a visual interpretation of a sense of place not a representation of place. This subject matter is an ongoing research project she began developing in graduate school. She is interested in exploring new landscapes, meditating in them, and finding out how this affects the psyche. The Elsewhere Studios is the perfect location for new research, because the Colorado landscape is the exact opposite of the swamp. She seeks to discover how these two natural elements can come together within her ongoing visual narrative.
la Sun is first and foremost a student of life, and lover of people, ideas, and artistic expression. S/he adamantly believes that true power is in the heart; and only through compassion for all other beings, whom we need to care for and protect, can we achieve social political balance on this planet. Ola grew up on the East coast, and has been in Colorado for 5 years; almost 3 of which have been happily in Paonia. S/he has studied psychology, bodywork, shamanism, philosophy, and art. Ola is currently working on a writing project that deals with these subject matters, called Meta. This work will be the culmination of many years of meditation, contemplative inquiry, and theoretical development. S/he is also a visual artist, often working in abstract, figurative, and impressionist styles.
Emma Balder is a New England-bred visual artist. She received her BFA in Painting and Art History from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Emma was awarded a year long Staff Artist Residency Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center and has received recognition in publications such as Studio Visit Magazine, American Art Collector and Fresh Paint Magazine. Emma has exhibited both nationally and internationally and her works are included in private and public collections such as the Dave Bown Projects.
Emma currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado. She keeps a sustainable art practice, with a "no-waste" policy in her studio. Donated waste from other artists as well as vibrantly colored found materials and scraps from her own studio, keeps Emma's practice full of excitement and constant evolution.
Emma works in a variety of mediums but the documentation of the process is where her visual interest rests. Her recent work reveals a fantasia of handcrafted elements, where various textiles and traditional craft techniques exist in harmony with vibrantly painted abstractions. The process of radical transformation and regeneration is the core of Emma's artistic practice.
Mar graduated with her MFA in studio art from Florida State University in 2016. She previously worked as a copy editor, graphic designer and photographer/photojournalist for over six years. In addition, she also worked as a concert photographer, photographing major musical artists and the traveling festival culture.
“… the boundary between the real and the imaginary is more imaginary than real.”
– Joan Fontcuberta
I see geometry as a visual language. As I explore this language, I try to discover a vocabulary that speaks of the deep connection we feel to our own personal reality.
My photographic sculptures of abstracted landscapes utilize digitally altered photographs and geometric shapes to explore the complex world of the human perception while aiming to challenge the traditional ways of viewing photography. Through the active participation of the viewer, the work is ever shifting, elevating questions about what one identifies as reality and commenting on our continuously changing environmental surroundings.
Born in Wuhan China, Xiaofu Wang works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA in photography from China Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing and her MFA at MICA in the LeRoy E Hoffberger School of Painting. She has a bird’s perspective, allowing her to merge cultures into investigations.
"My work distorts the logic of natural laws- time, space, and motion warp in a warm technicolor explosion. In the reach of an environment bordering abstraction, recognizable elements become handholds leading deeper into a dream. The viewer staggers between the forms themselves, and their deceptive proclamations, as if the meaning and the appearance were strangers to each other. Bright and cheerful hues seem to hold threatening positions, a jagged line could be the sign of a celebration or an explosion. It is as if we are seeing life-forms and environments blurred and morphed in time. Like watching the flow of turbulent currents in a stream, the distortion shimmering on the surface of the canvas is full, inescapable, and seductive."
Erika Lundahl is a Seattle-based multimedia writer and musician navigating the climate crisis. Her writing has appeared in YES! Magazine, Truthout!,among others. A classically-trained vocalist, she weaves heart forward, original lyrics with words of women poets of past eras. Her albums include “Songs of Shattering” and “Brambles.”
"I write music and articles about connection to earth, climate change, feminist stuff, movement building, and, in true singer-songwriter fashion, my journey and the people in my world who move me. I play 12-string guitar, and show up at your local Wells Fargo protesting in song the funding of climate disaster. I believe in people-powered movements for change, and that we are all starved for more art, music and culture that reflects the changes that we want to see. Or at least I know I am."
“Being at Elsewhere provided me the space to focus deeply, hone my creative work flow, and experiment with new ideas. I would recommend it to any artist or writer who is trying to take their art to the next level and invest in that most valuable of artistic commodities: Time.”
Stephanie Kranstover is Honduran artist who graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011, with a degree in Craft Material Studies, focusing in Ceramics. She has taught several ceramics handbuilding classes for Elementary school children in the DC area, as well as been an artist member at Lee Arts center in Arlington VA. She currently works as pastry chef and continues creating ceramic artwork for local art shows.
"My work is a series exploration of forms inspired loosely by organic growth patterns of fungal matter. By using geometric forms repeated in different scales and glaze textures allows me to create different conversations between each piece. Creating clean abstract interpretations of natural processes helps me display the subtle beauties of reminiscent patterns and shapes seen around our environment. Each piece I make is a depiction of the beauty within decay as well as the cycle of new life that is created soon after."
Elaine began her life as a painter, then illustrator, then somewhere in-between. Lately, her work has become focused on internal mythology as a reflection of social expectations and archetypes. Much of this analysis centers around death, the role of those who witness death and how mortality and violence inform both individual and communal expectations.
Recently, she has begun experimenting with a destructive process of making. This method of drawing, covering, erasing and redrawing using pencil, ink and acrylic is itself telling a story of creation, destruction, and what comes out from in-between. Its other purpose is as a reminder that nothing made is so precious that it cannot be destroyed, nor so rare that it cannot be remade, but that those who love it think it is. To Elaine, this describes the human condition more than anything else she has found.
Elaine graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Illustration. She has since shown in exhibitions across the country, including two solo shows, and has completed a variety of illustrations and personal commissions for national and international clients and publications.
Elaine was able to use her time at Elsewhere to re-center her practice and find renewed motivation in a new environment, while nurturing new ideas and exploring different media. She was able to experiment with new mixed media and collage techniques and incorporated the Paonia landscape into her large-scale drawings.
It could fittingly be said that my works both express and are, paradoxes. Addressing the social paradoxical relationship be- tween homosexuality and conservative society, with forms and frames that express the tensions of this duality.
Whenever I create work with clay, I feel as if we are confidants who sense one another’s emotions. The clay keeps every gesture of my feelings through my fingertips. In return, I keep some of these markings on the burnished surfaces of each piece - believing that in order to work with clay, I must confide in it. Every uneven surface, every shadow, is what the clay has kept of me, and what I have kept of the clay. Occasionally I burnish the rougher surfaces, hiding these story-telling marks; other times I enwrap them in bold colors, camouflaging my concerns with a colorful protective casing.
Each work was created within a wooden frame resembling a cage. Ropes tied to the frame became the “nets” upon which I cradled each piece while molding it. Although I allowed gravity to inform the ultimate form, I kept a degree of control over which direction the shape followed. They became uncontrollable by the natural force of gravity, yet were shaped by me consciously.
Although abstract, my work remains figurative through soft, flesh-like forms. I try to express the fragile feelings of the victims and the secondary hurt from the social prejudice through my work. Working on these pieces is releasing of my thoughts surrounding these issues, and the people related to them. I wish to create work that brings them closer to understanding the suffering involved in the male sexual assault and minority prejudice and let them think about the balance between the ethical standards and the respect for human rights.
Janika Herlevi is a 39-year old visual artist/printmaker living and working in the west coast of Finland in the city of Vaasa. She works mostly with printmaking and mixed media on paper. Her work is formed through interactions and intersections between drawing, painting and printmaking.