It's time to meet Elsewhere's fantastic new residents.
Please join us at 5:30 on Monday, October 5th to welcome the latest additions to the Elsewhere Studios family. Bring a dish to share and look forward to learning about Tara Gilchrist, a brilliant Canadian Ceramicist, Betsy Foster, also a master of clay, and Tony Press-Coffman, an acclaimed playwright. Read on and get ready to be inspired by our new guests. Let's show them what Paonia hospitality is all about!
Toni Press-Coffman was born and raised the Bronx. She has lived in 14 U.S. cities and done artist residencies in 11 more. She wrote her play about Richard III (Two Days of Grace At Middleham) at Hawthornden Castle outside Edinburgh from where she traveled to Richard’s birthplace, to Middleham Castle where he grew up, and to Bosworth Field where he died. Written in a rage about Shakespeare’s acting as a Tudor propagandist, the play traveled to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in summer 2000 following productions in Tucson and San Francisco.
With a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, she wrote Touch at coffee shops and motels along the Pacific Coast as she traveled to and from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The play premiered at Damesrocket Theatre in Tucson and opened Off-Broadway at the Women’s Project in 2003 following a production at Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival.
She wrote La Sangre Llama in Indianapolis in collaboration with that city’s Santeria community and Coyote y Culebre in collaboration with second, third and fourth graders in Tucson public schools. She wrote That Slut! during an NEA/TCG Playwright Residency at the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis, where it premiered. Inspired by our absurd collective obsession with Bill Clinton’s licentious encounter with Monica Lewinsky, the play was subsequently produced in Tucson and San Francisco and as part of The Kitchen Dog New Play Festival in Dallas.
All told, she has written 20 plays, which have been produced throughout the country, including in New York, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Portland (OR), Tucson, Columbus, Miami, and Baltimore. She has had work developed at the Sundance Institute (All Ye Faithful), Playlabs (Trucker Rhapsody), the Minneapolis' Playwrights Center (Touch), and the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference (Stand). Stand subsequently received the Brodkin Award given annually to support the career of a National Playwrights Conference participant, and was produced at The Purple Rose Theatre outside Ann Arbor. Both Touch and Holy Spirit won the Arizona State Playwriting Award. Her play, Armor, written with a grant from the Sloan Foundation, won Arizona Theater Company’s first annual new play award. She has also received commissions from the National New Play Network, the Bloomington Playwrights Project, and the Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis).
Press-Coffman has taught playwriting at the undergraduate and graduate levels at The Ohio State University, The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Chatham College, Stanford University, and the University of Wisconsin, and mentored numerous playwrights through her work as a Literary Manager and Dramaturg. Press-Coffman's most recent play, UNITED, is about the people who died on Flight 93 in the Pennsylvania countryside on 9/11. Winding Road Theater Ensemble produced its world premiere last February.
She lives with her husband Glen, cats Gus and Junior and dog Mareeba in Tucson, where she writes and acts. Most mornings, she is excited to wake up in such a beautiful place.
Betsy Foster is a ceramic artist working mainly with porcelain, making hand built ceramic forms with coils and slabs. She received her B.F.A. from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, New York in 2011. Thereafter, she worked at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, PA and most recently held a Resident Artist position at the Wellsville Creative Arts Center in Wellsville, NY. Betsy Foster currently resides in West Henrietta, New York, just outside of Rochester.
Working primarily with the classic shapes and silhouettes of mugs and plates, the past few months I’ve been interested in the juxtaposition of those utilitarian objects shown hung on the wall as installations. Individual plates are a completed piece within themselves, but when put into a group the synergy between them form the bigger picture.
For my time at Elsewhere I really want to continue to focus on the surface imagery of my pots and investigate new forms of tableware and utilitarian forms. Exploring more into layering differing lines, textures, and patterns on new forms, I want to push myself further to really refine those skills and create a distinct voice in my work.
Tara Gilchrist has been having fun with clay from an early age. Growing up in Toronto, Ontario and spending lots of time at the family cottage in Dorset. Creative exploration in clay took place in primary, high school and at The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax.
Tara began her full time commitment to clay when she opened Chetolah Pottery Studio in May 2007. Currently working, selling and living out of her freshly restored barn in the heart of Dorset, Ontario. The barn also boasts quality espresso and other great drinks for take out. She connects with her natural surroundings to create relaxed & truly unique pottery. Offering a range of ceramic products from practical items like bowls, platters, tumblers and jugs to decorative tiles, her work consists mostly of electric fired functional stoneware that is thrown on the wheel.
Having a great knowledge and love of clay, Tara enjoys to share it with others. Instructing primary aged children within the public school system, private day camp and community demonstrations are events she has participated in. Saturday morning summer clay classes for children ages 6-13 are hosted annually in ‘The Open Space’ which is a covered pavilion behind the studio. This space also hosts summer yoga classes taught by Tara’s wife Caitlin Hutt. Chetolah Pottery Studio welcomes the public year round but with regular business hours during the spring, summer & fall.
Tara’s love of creating with clay is as old a love as travel and exploration. She has spent the past 5 winters travelling and seeking out traditional pottery villages in countries most recently including India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and the USA. Producing works in clay while living abroad and returning to Dorset to sell the new pieces in her gallery. She believes in the art of living and that her own life is an work in progress. This is a link to a video some friends made a year ago this summer that gives good insight on her approach to art and life.