January 2019

JASON LIVINGSTON


PELA: Jason, where are you from?

JL: I am originally from Upstate New York, and came here through Iowa, of which I lived for 7 years.

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PELA: How do you spell your name?

JL: Jason Livingston, Like the Livingston seagull.

PELA: What are you working on during your time at elsewhere?

JL: I am working with video film I've shot for the last three years here in mountain west and southwest. Mainly material based on coal mining, fracking, or other mining things.

PELA: Would you consider that geological, almost?

JL: In a way it is… so far its a way of thinking about fossil fuels as what some people call ancient sunshine. So the power of the sun baked in or embedded into these resources.

JL: What lead you to ask that question?

PELA: You described mining and coal. I thought of the mines mainly in Somerset.

JL: Have you all been up there? Or do you have any family that work up there?

PELA: I don’t personally have any family that have or do work up there.

JL: What about you?

PELA: I have seen it but I have no family members in the mines either.

PELA: Are you basically just recording what goes on?

JL: That's also a great question. I am very interested in documenting sites and communities where there’s mining work or fracking work but, I hope that it's not just a document. I really want to transform that material into more questions. Like what is our connection to other life forms. What is our relationship to other animals, or plants, or even what our relationship to carbon is. These questions are fundamental to life. And so what I hope to do and it may sound a little weird, is to combine some of this footage of a little documentary in nature with footage of animals; like the stuff I’ve shot on my iPhone. It’ll include friend’s cats and dogs, or visiting farms and goats. I don’t know yet where this will go, Come back here at the end of the month to our show uhhh… I’ll share my results.

PELA: What inspires your art?

JL: That’s a hard question… other filmmakers, other artists, musicians, and human beings who I find thoughtful or proven in the world. I think when I see film or read books or hear music that it expands my view of what’s possible.

PELA: So would you say you like observing stuff?

JL: Yeah I’d say so, yeah I like observing stuff.

PELA: Have you read “How to Steal Like an Artist”?

JL: No.

PELA: Is this your first artists residency?

JL: This is my third arts residency, but it’s also the longest with the most people I’ve ever shared a space with and it’s the furthest away from home.

PELA: Why did you choose Elsewhere?

JL: I chose Elsewhere because of its location, here in the west, considering the material that i’m working with and I might want to shoot as much as possible while i’m here.

PELA: How do you get people interested in your art?

JL: My work is primarily seen at festivals, micro cinemas, and art spaces, art centers and media centers. Increasingly the internet is also a big part of how I get my work out there.

PELA: What do you think of Paonia so far?

JL: I love it!

PELA: If you could live here would you choose to do so?

JL: Well I have chosen to live here for a period of time, based on seeing how I have lived here for a week I could see myself living here for 3-6 months. Then take it from there.

CB BRYAN


PELA: Where are you from?

CB: I am from Albuquerque, New Mexico. That’s where I went to school, work, and where I am currently living.

PELA: What are you working on during your time at elsewhere?

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CB: So a lot of my work is based around an idea I was working on a couple of years ago and it is based on documenting vehicles I see on the road piled with interesting things. I call the project “Dat Rig”.Rigging is a word used for boats and cars to just describe securing something and so i'm interested in how this becomes a sculptural phenomenon. I'm on the road a lot, so it's something I notice and take interest in. I'm exploring how I can “rig” my own work. I am using the characteristics of “Dat Rig” and the things that I notice in my art practice.

PELA: What inspires your art?

CB: Albuquerque. New Mexico is an amazing place, I'm a little biased because I'm from there. It has such an old history. New Mexico is also one of the most poor states. People there learn to make the most out of what they have. It’s human ingenuity, how you take something small and expand it so it's really how people get from point A to point B that inspired me, the way humans  live and can make life enjoyable and interesting.

PELA: Have you been to Colorado before?

CB: Yes, My mom actually grew up right outside of Denver she moved there when she was 14. She grew up around Golden. I also have a lot of friends that live in Colorado, but I’ve never been to this part.

PELA: What do you think of Paonia?

CB: I really love Paonia. I love how tight knit the community is. It seems like everyone does something creative. My favorite so far has been the fact that I’m able to walk everywhere. I haven’t used my car since I got here, a week ago, and that’s really refreshing. The part of town I live in in Albuquerque I have to drive everywhere. I feel more at peace here.

PELA: Is this your first artist residency?

CB: No, I did a residency in 2016 with a friend of mine, we did a collaboration thing, but we didn’t get much done. It was difficult but a great experience. So this is technically my second residency.

PELA: What made you choose Elsewhere?

CB: There's a website called “artist communities” and they post residencies all the time and I kept seeing Elsewhere pop up over and over again. I’ve wanted to do a real residency for, at least the last three years. It's funny, I met Carolina in Albuquerque in the summer of 2017 so it made Elsewhere stick out more. I also love the southwest and I wanted to have a residency that was around here.

PELA: How do you get people interested in your art?

CB: Social media is a huge part. I share my work on instagram and facebook and also have my own website. The way that I connect with people in my own city is just participating in community events.

PELA: What motivates your art?

CB: That’s a hard question. It’s hard to explain It’s just a feeling, it’s just a desire I have. It’s the way I interpret the world.

Leah Aegerter


PELA: Where are you from?

LA: I grew up in Seattle, Washington but I'm currently living in the Roaring Fork Valley, Snowmass village.

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PELA: What are you working on during your time at Elsewhere?

LA: I am doing some carving, I usually work in wood but I am carving in blue foam because it is a lot faster

PELA: What inspires your artwork?

LA: I look a lot at architecture and furniture, take from the world around me and distill elements of forms that I see in the world to create my own. I am really trying to make objects that I have never seen before.

PELA: Is this your first art residency?

PELA: Why did you choose Elsewhere?

LA: Yes, it is my first residency.

LA: I chose it because it is close to where I live and I can just drive here which is nice. It looked like a cool place to come to. I had never been to Paonia and had heard that it is a great art community, and it is a cool town in general. 

December 2018

Emma Gilfix


PELA: Where are you from?

EG: I am originally from Nordstrom, Massachusetts, and six years ago I moved to Vermont where I went to college. Now I am currently living Burlington Vermont

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PELA: What are you working on during your time at Elsewhere?

EG: So far it has been a lot of landscapes that I have been working on. I would like to do some figure studies as well. Everyday I learn about what I want to be working on, it has been that sort of a process. I’m not entirely sure what is going to happen this month. The past few days I walked up to P hill and took a couple photos of the scenery. I have just been comparing the views. I work with painting mainly acrylic but right now I am using watercolor.

PELA: What inspires your art?

EG: I graduated from college with a degree in political science and primarily in anthropology. I am very inspired by environmental issues, activism, culture. I have been learning all about the fracking debate during my time in Paonia.

PELA: Is this your first artist residency?

EG: yes .

PELA: Why did you choose to come to Elsewhere?

EG: I heard about the Inspired: Art At Work project that Elsewhere did through a supervisor from college. They told me about a website that is a vault for different artist residencies. I got really interested in the project and started communicating with them and I was encouraged to apply for the regular artist residency.

PELA: How do you get people interested in your art?

EG: My own excitement about talking about my work gets people interested. A lot of it is relative to finding ways to talk about it. I also use social media.


Hilary Helfant


PELA: Where are you from?

HH: Long Island, New York

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PELA: What are you working on during your time at Elsewhere?

HH: My original idea here at Elsewhere was to build bigger ceramic sculptures, which is kind of a problem because a kiln is only so big. So, i'm going to try to make pieces that I can put together into a larger sculpture. I am also trying to work with the inspiration of the area, like the nature, you see. This is only my third day so I don't have a very specific project yet, I just sort of start working and I'm never really sure where it's going to end up.

PELA: What inspires your art?

HH: Well, definitely nature inspires my art, my artwork is nature based but is not from nature. Some of my artwork looks like it could come out of the sea, but it doesn't. My main idea with my sculptures is for people to stop and appreciate them just the way they would look at and appreciate nature. When I give them titles I have my political ideas that go with them, about things like global warming, or ocean acidification and things like that.

PELA: Do you always work with ceramics?

HH: No not at all, I started out as a painter, I was a painter for twenty five years. It has been really great for me going into ceramics. I was a painter and then I had my son and I was a teacher, I taught elementary school for about seven years. I was the art teacher, and I think through teaching it is like a way of connecting with people, so with me I was connecting with my students. I was working so much, but then it closed down because it was a catholic school. I started taking a ceramic course and my mother is a ceramicist too. She was a teacher too, then she retired from teaching and did ceramics for 30 years. And then when she retired from ceramics she gave me her whole studio, so it was almost obligatory for me. I got the kiln, I got all the materials and it was really terrific. I've only been doing ceramic for five years. It was what I loved when I was nine or ten. I think what you love when you were little is what you are meant to be when you're older. I really enjoy making ceramics more than I did paintings.

PELA: Is this your first time staying at an artist residency?

HH: No, I've stayed at different artist residencies. This one is very different from the other residencies. I like it a lot, I really enjoy this community, it is very interesting.

PELA: why did you choose Elsewhere?

HH: I like the philosophy of Elsewhere, where they don't just have painters, you could be a teacher, you could be an activist. It just seemed like a really magical place, when I saw the pictures of the inside and the little house outside, it just seemed like a really nice place to come to. This is my first residency in a while because when I had my son I didn't really feel like I could just leave and go away for a month so this is my first residency after a long lapse.

PELA: How do you get people interested in your art?

HH: I guess through the galleries, they show the work. I've also showed my art at museums and things like that. I don't really do any self promoting, I don't even have a website although I should. In New York I did exhibiting and you have to keep up with your work every two years and have the same style. Now that I have so much art it is just inviting itself to get into the world.  

LUCIANNA FARAONE COCCIA


PELA: What’s your name?

LFC: Lucianna Faraone Coccia

PELA: Where are you from?

LFC: Originally I am from Rhode Island but currently, I am living in Los Angeles and have been for the last 4 years.

PELA: Where did you live in Rhode Island?

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LFC: Exeter, just the woods pretty much.

PELA: Are you going to move back to Los Angeles when you leave Paonia?

LFC: Yes, I am currently living there. I’m just taking a month off to come here and then I’ll go back home to Los Angeles.

PELA: What are you working on during your time here?

LFC: My time here is kind of like a time for new growth. In L.A. I am focusing a lot on city life and also the trash that exists in the city from everyone. Out here I am feeling a little more connected to nature. I’ve also been working with ceramics which is a medium that I haven’t really worked with since high school so I am really getting into working with them which is new for me and I have been inspired by the nature so I’m just going to make just some new stuff in my time here.

PELA: So you have been working on art since you were in high school?

LFC: I took some art classes in high school and then when I went to college I studied film and writing and then I got into painting when I first moved to L.A. Then I really got into the human consumption and the trash, so I started making these mixed media more sculptural pieces and recently I have been experimenting with different techniques and different materials to use in my sculptures. I'm really digging the ceramics because I feel like that's a very cool medium.

PELA: What inspires your art?

LFC: Humans mostly. I think humans don't really think of themselves as a species as much as they should and so I just like to bring awareness and social commentary to consumption first of all, consumerism. Just like what it really means to be human and that experience so I find myself really that comes out a lot in my art in different ways

PELA: Is this your first residency?

LFC: Yeah it is it's my first one

PELA: Why did you pick Elsewhere?

LFC: I was just looking online and honestly it was a last minute opportunity. A spot opened up and for me I was just like everything kind of worked out perfectly. I was going through some stuff in my life and I kind of was like i’m just gonna apply for some residency’s and see what happens and everything kind of worked perfectly so now i'm here.

PELA: So you were looking for residencies online and you just found it?

LFC: Yeah I just stumbled across elsewhere and it was also the only one that was coming up so quickly where it was like oh i could do this next month whereas a lot of them you have to plan for the future so it kind of timed out perfectly.

PELA: How do you get people interested in your art?

LFC: I just try to share it as much as I can. I have had some group shows back in L.A. which is cool and then I try to post it on social media so people can see what I am up to. With a lot of my art I feel like I spend more time thinking about it then making it so it's kind of conceptual. I just hope to get the feelings across to people so I hope that by igniting those feelings in people they might become interested and start following my art.

PELA: How are you liking Paonia?

LFC: I love it. Its so awesome and magical to be here I've also been in the city awhile now and I was thinking of the next place I want to live. I think I want to go somewhere a little more rural. I really love animals and would like a more simple life so its been really refreshing to be here just with nature, genuine people, and animals. It's a really sweet little town, i’ve met some cool locals and I am really enjoying it.

PELA: Would you consider moving here?

LFC: It’s a little too cold for me here. I think I need to be somewhere where there is not really winter because it’s not really my thing. Winter is nice for a short amount of time but not for more than a few months. I grew up in New England and also went to college there. The winters, ya know, they kill. I would like to go somewhere a little warmer and more rural place after L.A.

KELLY Ciesla


PELA: where are you from?

KC: I am from new jersey, specifically the south, closer to Philly actually. 

PELA: what are you working on?

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KC: While I'm here I'm planning on kind of intuitively painting and seeing what happens. I stopped painting for a while when I got a full time job and I left that to come here and see what I can do. I think I'm going to predominately work with oils since I'm most comfortable with those. But I'm not really limiting myself I'm just seeing where it'll go. 

PELA: what inspires your art?

KC: There's kind of a backstory behind it, In college I wanted to be a musician and since then my plan kind of back-fired. Ultimately, I knew it wasn't meant to be, but its still kind of hard thinking you're going to be one thing then not achieving that. After that art became very therapeutic for me and in going through that experience I became a very spiritual person. Art can be very meditative, I really just get lost in it and I kind of forget the world is existing. So that's what really draws me and there's really no rhyme or reason to it; sometimes I'll just see a color or i'll see something that is inspiring to me but manly its just the process that is inspiring to me. 

PELA: is this your first artist residency?

KC: Yes, and I love it so far. And this environment is totally me, Its very quirky and fun. 

PELA: why did you choose elsewhere?

KC: Well speaking of my spirituality I'm very into signs, and what is meant to be. And actually started looking last year, but every time I started looking for residencies there was always something leading me back to elsewhere, like there was a residency that I was looking at and the person stayed here or something else, so I was like "I have to go here!"

PELA: how do you get people interested in your art?

KC: I never really had to make people interested, they would just see it and they would be interested. So, I'm an abstract painter and I think what makes people interested with my art is that everything always comes to a conclusion. People like conclusions and they like the feeling that things are finished. I think people connect to it because I use a lot of colors of shapes. I think the principal behind my art, what inspires me, is also what connects with them.

PELA: what does inspire you?

KC: It's pretty much the meditative practice, but a lot of it is colors and environments and the energies of people that surround me. Here my work is getting very metallic and earthy, which is cool to see. 

PELA: what do you think of Paonia so far?

KC: so far its super cute! Its very different from where I grew up. Its very quite and peaceful here, and the energy is really good. Everyone is so nice. It's like a secret hide away, and very self sufficient too, which I really appreciate. 

November 2018

Stevi MatiJevic


PELA: Where are you from

STEVI: The New York Connecticut area                      

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PELA: What are you working on during your time at Elsewhere?

STEVI: I’m working on large scale sculptures, and big drawings, and doing body prints of people which are almost like castings where you take plaster and cloth and cover yourself with them or another human and they stand alone, it’s kind of a healing process where you’re being cloaked and then pulling it off and then you have to see it.

PELA: What inspires your art?

STEVI: I think experience, definitely experiences with my friends, just in terms of my life and my family, relationships.

PELA: Is this your first artist residency?

STEVI: No this is my second, my first one was in North Carolina called Black Mountain School— it was an experimental residency where artists come together as teachers and we learned from each other, and could teach our own courses.

PELA: Why did you choose to come to Elsewhere?

STEVI: There’s a couple different reasons, I actually have some friends here who mentioned it to me and told me how great the program is, and the people which are amazing!

PELA: Do you like Paonia?

STEVIE: Yes I love it!

PELA: How do you get people interested in your art?

STEVIE: I think having friends in a weird way, having a lot of people who are supporting you, and you’re hanging out together. People are interested to see what you’re doing and then it just spirals.

PELA:  What are your sources of inspiration for your artwork?

STEVI: I think to be true, live your true self especially with your artwork. You have to be honest with what you’re doing and that really is my motto.

PELA: Do you ever get tired of making art?

STEVI: No never, I think it’s something that whenever I wake up, if I’m not doing something creative I feel like I’ve wasted time. I love working with my hands and I love being outside or indoors building something, I love getting crazy questions answered and constantly asking things.

Chelsea Rowe


PELA: Where are you from?

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CR: I am from Saint Petersburg, Florida, which is around the Tampa Bay area.

PELA: What are you working on during your time in Elsewhere?

CR: It’s funny because originally my plan was to work on some drawings that I was going to pair with some writings I was doing, but after getting to know the group that is staying here right now I decided to make some video projections to go on a sculpture made out of aerial silks that you’ll actually be able to get inside of. There’s also some experimental sound to go along with it.

PELA: What inspires your art?

CR: I’ve been working for a while in this sort of multimedia realm where one thing kind of leads to another. A sculpture, is also a painting, is also a video. And, I draw a lot of my inspiration from my hometown, in Florida, and also leaving Florida, and how alien other places are. Also, I get inspiration from the biology of different places and some very strange aquatic creatures. I think the weirdness of landscape is a big thing and the idea of communicating through biological means in a way that human beings are incapable of doing. I like to operate in that sort of headspace. I’m also really inspired by music. My art practice is sort of meditation. I like to build on ideas.    

PELA: Is this your first artist residency?

CR: This is actually my second time being here, at Elsewhere. Yeah, I was here for four months in 2016 and this was an awesome last minute opening they had, the timing was perfect, so I was able to do this residency and then go to grad school for two years, I just graduated, and then came back right after.

PELA: Why did you choose Elsewhere?

CR: The first time I came it was just really serendipitous. It was like “I got in?”. And a lot of the times it’s not easy to get into artist residencies. I had never done it before so it just seemed perfect. This time I just missed the place. I missed Colorado so much so then it just worked out perfectly again.

PELA: How do you get people interested in your work?

CR: I guess my website (chelseamrowe.com) is a big part of promoting myself. Also I really like to involve people that I’m around and communities that I’m a part of because I really like that aspect of interactivity in my work. I like making things that are sturdy enough that they aren't precious anymore.  

Matthew Couper


PELA: Where are you from?

MC: New Zealand but currently living in Las Vegas

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PELA: What are you working on while your at Elsewhere?

MC: I'm working on two groups of paintings; ones for an exhibition in February in New Zealand, the other set is for a show in LA in May. 

PELA: Why did you decide to become an artist?

MC: That's a really good question. when I was young, I was one of those kids that could draw accurately and very well, even though now that is not what I am really interested in any more. I think it was an inquisitiveness into symbols and wanting learn what symbols meant because LISA(name of interviewer) is a language that looks like a symbol. Like LISA, a symbol  literāriās is originally a symbol. So it's wanting to kind of join together all these ideas of how symbols are used throughout society and history. So that's what I primarily do in my paintings.

PELA: How do you work best?

MC: I think I get inspired from working a lot. When I work really hard on my art I get a lot of inspiration from it.

PELA: What are your influences?

MC: I think as artist you see things most people don't see, so I am influenced and inspired by everything around me. That is also why I come to residencies, so that I can meet new people and see different places, it really inspires me .One of the big things that I am interested in is Spanish colonial art. I really like it because it is a great example of clashing cultures mixing together to make a new kind of art.

PELA: Is this your first artist residency?

MC: No. I have done a few other residencies. I started doing residencies about fifteen years ago.

PELA: Do you ever get tired of making art?

MC: Physically, yes but mentally, no.

PELA: What do you do to get others interested in your art?

MC: I'm still trying to figure that out. I use symbols in work because people usually have some sort of connections with symbols. 

PELA: What do you think of Paonia so far?

MC: It's beautiful. It reminds me a lot of my home town.

October 2018

Chantel New


 PELA: Where are you from?                 

 CN: I’m from Victoria B.C

PELA: What will you be working on during your time at Elsewhere?

CN: I am going to be working on drawings and paintings for an exhibition I have going on in Victoria in January 2019.

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PELA: Why did you decide to become an artist?

CN: I grew up loving art and always wanting to do art. My mom and dad went to architectural school so I was always encouraged to be creative. All throughout high school I wanted to be an architect. To be an architect you have to get a masters degree, so I thought that for my bachelors degree I would do an art and design type of portfolio, but I ended up loving art too much to do anything else.

PELA: What do you want to do with your art career?

CN: Right now I do graphic design for a marketing company in Victoria. It’s a good way of being creative at work without having it being my fine art practice. I love that for this month and i'm hoping to do more residencies in the future so I can spend more time focusing on my fine art.

PELA: Where do you work best/ what helps inspire your art?

CN: I really love old photographs and history, finding antique shops or just things that seem odd or photographs that seem out of place. I grew up by the ocean, so I also find a natural landscape very inspiring. I love hiking and being outdoors so that’s another source of inspiration for me.

PELA: What and who are your influences?

CN: Barnett Newman is one of my favorite artists, he is an abstract expressionist teacher. I find the minimalist era to be really inspiring, that's a good influence for me because I find that my art is very minimal. I also find feminist artists as well as different feminist movements to be a big influence as well.

PELA: Who do you look up to and who do you want to be like?

CN: More contemporary artists like Sophie Jodoin, she is an artist in Montreal and I love her work, she's pretty prolific.

PELA: Is this the first residency you have ever done?

CN: This is my second, however my first one was a bit different in the sense that it wasn't as much about making art but rather collecting inspiration. There was a little bit of art involved, but i've never had an opportunity to just work completely on my art.

PELA: What did you take away from your past residency?

CN: The residency I did previous to arriving at Elsewhere didn't have much of a tangible achievement afterwards, I think it was more so affirmation of wanting to pursue art and gaining inspiration as well as the encouragement from other artists.

PELA: Do you ever get tired of making art?

CN: So with my job at home I only work Monday to Thursday and Fridays I try to make an art day, but it's amazing how even one day of creative work can make you really tired.

PELA: Do you have anything else to add/what are you thinking about the residency so far?

CN: I just showed up yesterday, so it's pretty new but i'm excited. I've never had so much time and space just to work on art. Even in university you always have other classes and other projects. So this will be the first time that I will have nothing to do but make art.

PELA: What do you think about Paonia so far?

CN: I spent yesterday afternoon exploring and so far I love it. I grew up in a small town but my small town was dingey, and this is pretty nice.

PELA: How different is Paonia from where you grew up?

CN: It actually reminds me a bit of my home, but my small town was a logging community and there wasn't really a sense of community, but here it's like everyone knows every one. There's always so many events and different things going on, I really love that and my community was nothing like that.

Mingyu Lane Shi


PELA: What's your name?

Lane: My name is Mingyu Lane Shi. I was born near Shanghai in south China but I moved to Guan Ju, but now I've been living in the U.S. for 9 years.

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PELA: What are you working on while you are here at Elsewhere Studios?
Lane: I'm working on a performance set divided by two languages, one is Chinese and one is English so I’m composing songs in both of those languages and I want to explore the differences of the emotional impact on linguistic varieties, that's my focus and I'm going to perform my set with all my gear in the Studio.

PELA: Why did you decide to become and artist?

Lane: I think artist is more like a name people put it on. You can be an artist just by asking me these questions. For music wise I just feel it and I just want to do it.

PELA: How do you work best, what inspires your art?

Lane: What inspires my art? Experiences. I take in every interaction with people and take it into my thinking. I remember the first trigger that inspired me it's actually a book that I read when I was 13, it was a story about a girl being abandoned but she found her way to live her life with all the step brothers and sisters and I found it very inspiring. I was studying classical piano at the time and I started to compose some ideas and I guess that's how I feel the most is when emotions comes to one another.

PELA: what are your influences and what else inspires you?  

Lane: I really like mountain scenes and nature definitely is one of the biggest inspirations. Also one of my favorite things  is to watch a lot of films; for example I like Jean-Luc Godard a lot. I like Alejandro Jodorowsky; the Director of Holy Mountain quite a lot, but I don't agree with everything he does in the film but I appreciate his talent of pulling everything together in such a rare raw quality and that gives me a lot of colors and transferring colors to a musical spectrum is very much my favorite sport.

PELA: Is this your first residency?

Lane: Yes it is.

PELA: Why is it your first residency

Lane: Because I've been living in New York for a little bit and i feel really inspired living there and i didn't really come out for a more fun reason than to go to residency. However, my friend told me about Paonia and i always wanted to be closer to nature and kind of let it influence my singing a little bit so that's why i like Colorado. Paonia is perfect. why not? so I applied and got in. I am so grateful.

PELA: Do you ever get tired of making art?

Lane: I don’t get tired of making art but I get angry, especially dealing with social aspects of people. I often go to parties and perform in New York and usually people will ask you about your position rather than focusing on being your friend and exploring together.

PELA: How do you get others interested in your art?

Lane: By performing, and whether they are interested in it or not, it doesn't really matter.

Nandan Sam He


PELA: Where are you from?

SAM: New York

PELA: What are you working on well at Elsewhere?

SAM: I am planning to work on some little installations. I basically work with mix media, so my sculpture will be moving. I connect motors and electronics.

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PELA: Why did you decided to be an artist?

SAM: When I was young I never thought I would be a professional artist but later in my life I went to art school for painting and then changed to interdisciplinary media.

PELA: What inspires your art?

SAM: Everything in my life, including youtube. I like to use a serious way to describe really ridiculous things or use a ridiculous way to describe really serious things.

PELA: What are your influences?

SAM: I really like filmmaker young spanksmire I really like his stop motion. I also like an artist named mika rotenberg.

PELA: Is this your first residency?

SAM: Yes this is my first residency, I really like it so far.

PELA: How do you think this residency will help your art?

SAM: I picked this residency because it’s in such a small town that is so surreal and quaint. also it’s so close to nature which is a lot different from New York where I live.

PELA: Do you ever get tired of making art?

SAM: Yes I do. I think every artist does but once you change your environment and then do something else and then come back to it you’ll feel alive again.

PELA: What do you think of Paonia?

SAM: I think it’s super cute and different from New York where I live.

September 2018

Tiffany Lang


PELA: Where are you from?

TL: I was born in Platteville, Wisconsin and lived there for 18 years. Then I moved to Menomonie, Wisconsin to go to the University of Wisconsin Stout.

PELA: What are you working on while at Elsewhere Studios?

TL: I am working on sculptures that revolve around “women’s work” and every day tasks. I am interested in the idea of taking something that we deal with every day and being able to hang it up on the wall.`

PELA: Why did you decide to become an artist?

TL: Ever since I was little, I knew what I really liked to do. I grew up in a day-care that my mom owned. We would do arts and crafts all the time. I went off to summer camp and would always be in the arts and crafts area. I actually never took an art class until the end of high school. When I decided to be an artist I was genuinely interested in the way the world worked, I was curious to learn how to use paint, how to draw, and explore all the materials that artists use.

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PELA: How do you work best?

TL: I really love having a studio separate from my living space. When I am ready to work I can go to my space. I have a repetitive thing that I do every time I get into the studio. I like to sit down and read a little bit and from that experience I am able to get in the mindset of making and then I get started.

PELA: What are your influences and what else inspires you?

TL: I am really influenced by Dianna Molzan. She worked a lot with manipulating canvas in a particular way that is unconventional for painting. She decided to cut up her canvas and sew onto it as well. I found out about her in college and she has been really influential. Other things that inspire me are nostalgic colors, pastel colors that are put onto young girls. For example, girls are pink, boys are blue. When I was growing up, the colors that surrounded me were given to me. For example my room was painted in a soft lavender color. Every day this color surrounded me. And now these colors from my past influence my work.

PELA: Is this your first residency?

TL: This is actually my second residency. I had a residency during school at the university of Wisconsin about art in technology. I used a UV light printer to print onto canvases.

PELA: Why do you like residencies?
TL: I think residencies are really important for artists. They give them the time and space to be allowed to have a community, meet other people, and completely focus on your work. There are so many distractions in the world and a residency really allows you to focus on your art.

PELA: Do you ever get tired of making art?

TL: I don’t get tired of making it, but art making can be a tiring process. You get so engulfed in it that it becomes overwhelming. After my thesis project in college, it took me about six months until I was ready to make art again. In school there was no stopping making art right up until the very end. It was a lot.

How do you get people interested in your art?

I think an important part of being an artist is not only just making the art, but being able to communicate about it well. So being able to write an artist statement, or give talks or interviews like this. It’s Important to be able to explain why you are making the things you make.

What do you think of Paonia?

I love it so far. I think it is a tight knit community. I think it is nice to have a community that is supportive of the arts.

Anna WELSH


Where are you from?:

I’m from Peterborough New Hampshire but I travel a lot!

PELA: What are you working on while at elsewhere?:

AW: I am making Crankies right now. They are also called moving panoramas. It is like A small toy theater or stage for shadow puppetry. I like mixing giant charcoal illustrations with shadow puppetry and cutouts.

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PELA: Why did you decide to become an artist?:

AW: It is just something that has always been a part of my life; growing up I was always drawing and painting and and making kayaks out of cardboard shoe boxes. I was also really encouraged by my parents. I was really lucky to have parents that were artists and musicians. I was really encouraged to keep going with my drawings. In high school I wanted to be a biologist which would have worked out fine but I also had applied to a few art schools and then I got into Maine College of Art. When I visited it I was just like, this is it this is what i want to do, I didn’t think I was going to do it because of the price but they gave me a lot of financial aid. So I decided to follow my dream and do this thing I was really good at instead of doing something else because I felt obligated to make a lot of money. I have always been drawing. I am a pretty introverted person. I just spent a lot of time drawing and my friends were also kind of introverted and liked to draw and it was a good way of spending time with people and being myself but still creating. In many ways it’s like a security blanket. I'm down to play frisbee or be crazy but I mostly want to be calm and spent time drawing. That is a lot more intimate and chill.

PELA: How do you work best?:

AW: My art is my life and my life is my art. I am very process oriented. I work best by going through life and experiencing things to the fullest without even thinking about art. Then I work to document it. I like experiencing stuff as presently as I can. I don't feel like we are encouraged to do that. People want to speed stuff up and do it as quickly as possible. I want to feel the breeze and experience life to the fullest. Then I set aside time; setting aside a month to comb through all of these experiences and smaller sketches and then focus on what can I do with this and make a bigger more finished piece.

PELA: Is this your first residency?:

AW: It is my first residency like this. Last month I was in a residency called Carnival Day Resistance and that was a collaborative artist residency for musicians, circus performers, visual artists, activists, and people with faith. It was a very different experience, but i loved it. I've always wanted to be part of a radical political theatre social justice circus. which i got to do with Bread and Puppet a year ago, but that was an internship not a residency.

PELA: Do you ever get tired of making art?:

AW: Not exactly. I need a brake sometimes. These giant charcoal drawings I work on for like 6 hours at a time without a break. Then I realize I am physically drained and I just need to do something else for like a day. Also going to college was really intense and I was really physically tired after that so I spent the last year not doing that much art, just small amounts. It's important to maintain a good balance.

PELA: How do you get others interested in your art?:

AW: With social media and building relationships with other artists, then you will get to know others. Just talk about your art and don’t be shy to put yourself out there. Trust that what you are making is good and really love what you are making.

PELA: Is there anything else you would like to add?:

AW: Never take art too seriously, never take anything too seriously, it is a legitimate profession that I respect and others should too. Being too serious about art makes it so it isn't fun anymore.

PELA: What do you think of Paonia?:

AW: It is so cute. I really like it. It’s like Hobbiton. It also reminds me of my home town. I feel like there is this vortex of beauty, maybe it's the landscape but it feels really beautiful. It’s sweet how you walk down the street and people talk to you and ask you questions. It’s not like most towns.

Jolanda van de Grint


PELA: Where are you from?

JVDG: The Netherlands

PELA: What are you working on while at elsewhere studios?

JVDG: Elsewhere Studios invited me for the alternative firing method (ceramics), and I will be doing two workshops while I am in Paonia. For myself, I would like to experiment with other kinds of firing if I have time because four weeks is not very long for making ceramics.

PELA: Why did you decide to become an artist?

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JVDG: I have always loved doing things with my hands, and after high school I got fed up with studying so I wanted to do something with my hands instead.  I went to a teachers training school for arts and crafts and after that I did lots of other stuff that had nothing to do with art. Later I discovered ceramics again in 2006 and that's what I am doing now.

PELA: How do you work best?

JVDG: I have my own studio so that's really great. I can make messes and it won’t bother anybody. I also like to have some music playing.

PELA: What are your influences, what else inspires you?

JVDG: I am very drawn to things that are altered over time and that many people have worked on. These objects usually tell a story, that is also the feel I want to have in my work.

PELA: Is this your first residency?

JVDG: Yes, it's the first official one. I have been to one in Spain that you don't have to apply for and its not like Elsewhere Studios where you get to do a showing.

PELA: Do you ever get tired of making art?

JVDG: Every now and then something doesn't work out the way I like but then I come back the next day and I have another idea.

PELA: What do you think of Paonia?

JVDG: It's great, I felt at home right away. There was a potluck the first night I was in Paonia so I met a few people and they were all very friendly and nice.

 

Henry Kunkel & Alessandro MaIone


PELA: What are you working on while at Elsewhere studios?

AM: We are a collaborative team, we are making a graphic score and sound art piece around the life cycle of the cicada.

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HK: I’m a painter and Alessandro is a musician/ sound artist. We were traveling and happened to see the Cicada’s hatch the same day we began learning about graphic scores. We both found inspiration in this and thought it could be a great a way for our two mediums two meet on a shared experience that we both are excited about. We’ve just been fleshing it out over the past year and now we’re in the making stage which is exciting.

PELA: Why did you decide to be a artist?

HK: I’ve wanted to be an artist since I was a little kid. My parents encouraged it really well. I remember my Dad taking me to museums when I was little and being so impressed and filled with wonder with what I saw and learned and it's been stuck with me since.

AM: I started taking music lessons when I was eleven or twelve and for some reason it seemed like the most logical thing to do.

PELA: How do you work best together?

HK: We are still figuring that out. Since we have such different mediums, the two of us are finding common ground and that's part of the process of being here is figuring out languages that we can both talk in that make sense,

AM: So that means trying new things, failing and succeeding, and just hoping to get to a point where it makes sense. We have to learn a lot about each of our mediums and that involves teaching each other as well.

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PELA: What are your influences what else inspires you?

HK: Nature is a huge influence on my work as well as people. I am interested in understanding how perspective is shaped.

AM: I've always found philosophy inspired a lot of my work. But also the melding of nature and the mechanical industrial sounds of society.

PELA: Is this your first residency?

AM: It is my first.

HK: It is my sixth. I have been hoping between residencies for the past few years. It is great to be around other artists and have the space and time to focus on your artwork. plus, experience new places and cultures. It is fantastic.

PELA: Do you get tired of making art?

HK: When you are doing it professionally, sometimes it can take the fun out of it.

AM: But, you need to put the fun back into it.

PELA: What do you think of Paonia?

AM: The first two days it was kind of weird with having altitude sickness.

HK: it is kind of a surreal little place that unfolds the longer you are here.

AM: I have not met anyone that has been standoffish. I have not been made to feel like I do not belong here. In the northeast people can be pretty standoffish and hard.

HK: The landscape is so gorgeous.

May 2018

REN KLEIN

Paonia Experiential Leadership Academy (PELA): Where are you from?

Ren Klein (RK): Originally I’m from Los Angeles California, but I’ve lived in various places. I’ve lived in the north east, and the South, but for the last 17 years or so I have lived in Annapolis, MD.

PELA: What are you working on during your time at Elsewhere?

RK: I am working on my big project which is a collection of literary historical novels set in the antebellum period during the time of the civil war. My project is the last of three books I have written.

PELA: What inspires your art?

RK: I am inspired by actual history itself. I love history and real life events. So I am inspired more by that than other art. I also love painting.

PELA: Is this your first artist residency?

RK: Yes, yes it is.

PELA: Why did you chose to come to Elsewhere?

RK: I applied to quite a few to be honest. This is the first one I heard back from, and I will be here for three months.

PELA: How do you get people interested in your art?

RK: I have also had A hard time doing that. I am working on finishing up a website right now about the books and my main character so hopefully that will draw some attention to my work.

 
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Jessica Normington

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 PELA: Where are you from?

Jessica Normington (JN): I'm from Houma, Louisiana which is about 45 minutes south of New Orleans.

PELA: What will you be working on during your time at elsewhere? What are your goals?

JN: I'm working on an ongoing project...I do a lot of abstract landscapes, where I draw with charcoal, paint with acrylic, and I do print making techniques like woodcut and rubbings, and I cut them up and collage them together and they reflect the swamp landscape. I'm here because the landscape is very different and I want to combine the mountains into the swamp stuff and see what happens.

PELA: What inspires your work? books, movies, music etc...

JN: Definitely being out in nature, that really inspires my work.

PELA: Is this your first residency?

JN: This is my third residency, I did one in Gainesville, one in New Orleans. The New Orleans glass work and printmaking.

PELA: Why did you choose to come to elsewhere?

JN: I chose elsewhere because it is very very different from what I'm used to. I've lived in Louisiana which is all swamp landscape, I've lived in Florida, more swamp. So I came here because It's very unknown to me.

PELA: How do you get people interested in your work?

JN: I do a lot of large scale stuff, and I think a lot of people appreciate seeing large artwork, but then I also make small things which people buy more often.

CHELSEY BECKER

PELA: Where are you from?

 Chelsey Becker (CB): I live in Arkansa but I am from Oklahoma originally.

PELA: What are you working on during your time at Elsewhere?

CB: I am working on cardboard and plywood, portraits, paintings and mixed media. Also showing the history of my parents and family through my art.

PELA: What inspires you and your work, book, movie, etc?

CB: I really like southern gothic literature.

PELA: Is this your first residency? 

CB: It is, I am about to go to grad school so I wanted to do a residency  before I go to school, I am kind of just getting back into the swing of making art.

PELA: Why did you choose to come to Elsewhere

CB: I liked the location, last year I was in New York doing a class it wasn't a residency though, it was really busy in New York so I kind of wanted to be somewhere where I could relax.

PELA: How do you get people interested in your work?

CB: I think I tell a story through my paintings so people connect with the people in my paintings.

 
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April 2018

 
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Paonia Experiential Leadership Academy (PELA): Where are you from?

Ola Sun (OS):  I was born in Washington DC and grew up mostly in Maryland and New Jersey. I have now been in Colorado for about five years.

PELA: What are you working on during your time at Elsewhere Studios?

OS: I working on a book called Meta that is a calmative work of a lot of critical theory and spiritual inquiry. It also has a lot to do with my lifestyle and my spiritual practices.

PELA: Do you have anyy books/songs/movies that inspire you and your art?

OS: I have a few people that over the process of my art I like to check my ideas with. There is also a book called "inner engineering- a yogi's guide to joy".

PELA: Is this your first artist residency?

OS: Yes

PELA: Why did you decide to come to Elsewhere?

OS: I love Elsewhere, I have wanted to be a resident here since I moved here and I just didn't and now it's finally happening and I'm really excited about it.

PELA: How do you get people interested in your art?

OS: I mostly just share with friends, and at poetry readings, and on my website.

March 2018

Margaret Hester

Paonia Experiential Leadership Academy (PELA): Where are you from?:

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MH: Lexington, North Carolina. That's where I grew up and I still live there now.

PELA: What are you working on while at Elsewhere?

MH: I am not exactly sure yet. I applied to make more photo sculptures, which is what I normally work on, but lately I have been interested in the geometrics of quilting. So maybe combining that with photography in some way - is what i am thinking about doing right now.

PELA: How do you work best?

MH: For me, it's a lot of contemplating and planning - more time doing that than executing. I spend a lot of time just by myself, seeking inspiration and deciding what I think is going to work best.

PELA: Do you have any books, movies, or songs that inspire you and your art?

MH: Ya definitely! Robert Irwin's books are very inspiring. They deal a lot with perspective and getting people to see what they don't normally see and it is just really interesting to me.

PELA: Is this your first residency:

MH: No, this is my third residency.

PELA: Why did you decide to come to Elsewhere?

MH: I really feel more inspired in a community where everybody is supportive of the arts, and where I live is not very supportive of that. So it is really nice to be in a space where I can create and be inspired and take that back to where I live and show them that the arts can make such a big impact.

PELA:How do you get people interested in your art?

MH: The thing for me and my work is I like for people to really choose what they want to see in my work. So you will pick the perspective that you like best. That's what I like about it and I think that that's what resonates with people the most.

https://aimlesslight.com/

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XIAOFU WANG

PELA: Where are you from?

XW: I was born in Wuhan China, then when I was eighteen I moved to Beijing and I stayed there for seven years. Next I moved to Baltimore for graduate school and then after that i moved to Brooklyn. Currently i live in Brooklyn New York.

PELA: What are you working on during your time at Elsewhere?

XW: I’m going to be working paintings and drawings with acrylic.

PELA: Do you have any books/song/movies that inspire you and your art?

XW: Yes, very much. My favorite director whose name is Jean-Luc Goddard inspires a lot of my work. The narrative of his movies talk about very complex things that I try to incorporate into my art.”

PELA: Is this your first artist residency?

XW: Yes.

PELA: Why did you choose to come to Elsewhere?

XW: I wanted to come to somewhere that was surrounded by nature. All my life i have lived in the city so I wanted to see what it was like in the nature and get a different vibe.

PELA: How do you get people interested in your art?

XW: Show them and I just generally talk about the art and what is behind it. I cannot guarantee that everyone will like my art but if someone likes it, then they like it.

February 2018

Erika Lundahl

Erika Lundahl in front of the Gingerbread House

Paonia Experiential Leadership Academy (PELA): Where are you from?

EL: “I grew up in Corvallis Oregon which is a college town in the Willamette Valley. And now living in Seattle Washington."

PELA: What are you working on during your time at Elsewhere studios?

EL: “I am working on a multi-media writing and music project based on my experience biking from Seattle to the tar sands of Northern Alberta. I traveled along the tar sands pipeline collecting stories from farmers, biologists, parents, people from the local first nations, oil and gas workers and politicians with a group of friends and storytellers.”

PELA: How do you work best?

EL: “I tend to start writing around ten o-clock AM. I start out with a free write based off of a prompt from a book or interview that inspires me. After the free writes, I zone in on something that I want to continue working on more of --usually ideas from the free write that I want to further develop. Later in the afternoon I usually switch over to something a little more hands on like writing music or playing the guitar.

PELA: Do you have any books/movies/songs that inspire you and your art?

EL: “I have been reading a ton of Joan Didion lately who is a journalist that writes about sense of place, politics, all through a journalistic lens that is also very poetic. I also am inspired by poets like Adrienne Rich who passed away a few years ago. My earliest big music influence was Ani Difranco, and other lady musicians from the 90’s and 2000’s.

PELA: Is this your first time in an artist residency?

EL: “Yes it is.”

PELA: Why did you decide to come to Elsewhere?

EL: “A friend of mine did the Elsewhere residency last year. He told me really positive things about it so I decided to apply, and I got in and now here I am.”

January 2018

Elaine Shoaf

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This is Elaine's first artist residency! She grew up in Florida, but spent time getting to know winter weather in Chicago. She currently lives in Gainesville Florida, but misses the changing seasons. She came to Elsewhere to experience a remote western town with beautiful mountainous landscapes. She enjoys the calm quiet town of Paonia and the people who live here. Everyone she has encountered has been super nice. She values the locals' conscientious attitudes towards social and political issues. 

Elaine comes from a creative family and was encouraged to dance and perform on stage as a child. As she grew older she developed a preference for visual arts and moved away from the stage. She would rather her artwork be in the spot light. She loves stories about mythology, history, and politics. French New Wave Films and old silent films are also an influence on her work. 

She is looking forward to creating smaller assemblage pieces during her time here at Elsewhere. She has been collecting objects since she arrived in town and will be using them to create low relief sculptural collage. If she has time, she will also create some larger pieces with colored pencil and ink. 

 
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Janika Herlevi from:Vaasa Finland

When Janika first came to Elsewhere studios she had no idea what she wanted to work on but decided to do an illustration project with her friend.

Art was always something Janika had close in her heart. It always came to her effortlessly. A large part of why She decided to become an artist was because of her great art teachers who encouraged her to go to art school, and always reminded her how talented she is. She has never gotten tired of making art. Her influences include: her colleagues, other people in her life, music, and literature. She is a printmaker and works best in a studio with all of the tools she needs.

Janika has been at various other residencies, such as one in Florence. She also attended a few during art school. She enjoys getting others interested in her artwork through galleries, museums, and art shows.

 

Yifan Renxu

Yifan was born in China and now lives in Rhode Island and does ceramics, he is working on ceramics while he is at Elsewhere Studios. He decided to become an artist because he likes to make art and expresses himself through clay. He works best in a studio and anywhere where he can put all his emotion into his clay work. He is inspired by his experiences in life and artists including: Hans Bellmer, Louise Bourgeois, and Francis Bacon.

Elsewhere Studios is his second residency, he enjoys residencies because he gets to communicate with other artists and see how they create their art. Yifan's work is very unique and creative because he suspends his clay work on rope, metal, and other interesting materials. He creates many forms out of clay and makes beautiful sculptures that all represent something. He enjoys Paonia it reminds him of his home town in China he likes that it is convenient and everything is close by.

 

Stephanie Kranstover

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Stephanie is an artist who is 2 months into her 6 month stay at Elsewhere. Stephanie was born in El Progreso, Honduras, and then moved to Virginia. During her time at Elsewhere Studios she wants to keep her art work cohesive, and make an installation. Stephanie is very into growth and fungi, and she works to combine both of them into one clay figure.

Stephanie says that she never decided to become an artist, she was born this way. “Since I was little my happy place has been drawing, it’s like therapy for me.” It’s best for Stephanie when she’s around someone, it helps her when there is energy beside her while working. “I always have music in the background, it kind of just puts me in the mood and helps me do my art.”

Stephanie is inspired by her life. “If I’m having a bad relationship or going through a hard time, you will see it through my art. I don’t speak out about those things.” Her other influence is her old job, she was a pastry chef and she felt that all the work she did on the pastries she could put into clay as well.

Elsewhere is not Stephanie’s first residency, she did one in Fredericks Town, Ohio at a residency called, Open Wabi. That was much shorter than the one she is doing now, it was only 2 weeks.                                                            

Stephanie will never stop doing art. “I think I’ll be doing this for the rest of my life, it really helps me in all situations, and of course it’s fun."  Stephanie shows people her work and asks for feedback, but she never forces anyone to like her work and she doesn’t shove it down their throats, but she has never been rejected.

Stephanie thinks Paonia is a wonderful place. “I come from a Suburb, very city like and not many people are super friendly and you can forget about nature and seasons very easily there. But in Paonia you can take it all in, and everyone is very nice and open minded.”