March 2018

Margaret Hester

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


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.



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.