I am a Honduran-born, self-taught visual artist based in Grinnell, Iowa. In my art, I am constantly seeking a sense of belonging and finding my home in the natural environment. Using bright fabrics as my working surface, I contrast solid-colored figures in the foreground with multicolored, translucent tints to create mixed media paintings of baroque excess. In my most current work, I challenge two dimensionality and experiment with textile sculptural forms.
ISABEL BEAVERS is a transdisciplinary artist and creative producer based in Los Angeles. Their work explores ecologies, examines environmental histories and postulates about climate futures through multimedia installation + new media. Beavers’ work has been presented, exhibited, and screened nationally and internationally. Recent honors include the 2021 AICAD/NOAA Fisheries Art + Science Fellowship and 2022 Creative Impact Lab Amman Lead Artist with ZERO1. They are the Artistic Director of SUPERCOLLIDER and Visiting Lecturer at Claire Trevor School of the Arts, UC Irvine. Beavers holds a B.S. from the University of Vermont and MFA from SMFA at Tufts University.
Kayla Shomar-Corbett is a multi-talented producer, composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist on a mission to bring her unique brand of indietronica, dream-pop, and progressive electronica to the world. Incorporating elements of plunderphonics, she creates music that pushes boundaries and defies convention. She is currently a student at Oberlin Conservatory as a Technology in Music and Related Arts major. Armed with a deep knowledge of REAPER and a passion for experimentation, she has been honing her craft since the age of 12 when she first started producing on GarageBand.
With a background in musical theater as a vocalist, dancer, and actor, Kayla has honed her improvisational skills and developed a dynamic and powerful voice that she incorporates into her heavily processed tracks, treating her voice as just another instrument. The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t slow down her creative pursuits; she organized an online URL festival via Discord with over 200 participants, released an EP, and even took on the role of mentor, teaching students at her high school about singing and using DAWs like REAPER and GarageBand.
Kayla’s ultimate goal is to become a well-rounded audio engineer, with a focus on live performance. She understands the importance of making music education accessible, especially for those from marginalized communities. By using her platform to share her passion and expertise, she hopes to inspire others and promote a more inclusive and diverse music community.
Edward Kelley and Emily Newman, Parts Per Million Collective, are contemporary artists and educators based in Des Moines, Iowa. Both artists maintain individual artistic practices while also being married with a family. As the collaborative team both artists come from backgrounds steeped in object making.
Edward received a BA in art from the College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, and an MFA in sculpture from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY. Edward is a faculty member and studio technician in the Department of Art and Design at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Emily holds a BFA in sculpture from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY and an MFA in studio art from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She is an Associate Professor of Art at Drake University in Des Moines.
As educators, Edward and Emily connect past and present visual language and explore cross-discipline approaches to find global solutions. Edward uses an interactive mixed media approach to subjects of social and personal concerns through a lens of humor and the absurd. Emily’s artwork is made using found and recycled packaging as an observed commentary on the domestic habits of consumption. Her intimate objects highlight the craft of the handmade and the design of the mass-produced.
And as parents, Edward and Emily aim to be good stewards to our Earth. Their collective, Parts Per Million, explores the current direction of artmaking and presents an alternative, sustainable model merging current scientific research with sculpture.
Lyndsay is an Ames based artist, primarily working in performance and community engaged art. Lyndsay uses music, sculpture and ritual to create environments. These spaces foster participation and connections between people and place.
Sara Suárez is a filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist working across experimental film, sound composition and social practice, interested in sensory and spatial perception, shared spaces and landscapes, collective memory, and co-creative processes. Her works include visual and sonic studies of landscape expressed through moving images, audio collage, and electronic composition. Her work has been presented by LA Filmforum, Slamdance, Alchemy Film Festival, ICDOCS, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Materials & Applications, and other venues. Suárez is also the co-founder of virtual care lab, an interdisciplinary project platform and creative community interrogating issues of care, solidarity, co-creation, and trust in virtual space. She completed her MFA at CalArts, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Johnny DiBlasi is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher whose practice sits at the intersection of art, science, and technology and explores various processes and forms. He works with computational media, data, networks, and artificial intelligence to create interactive installations or computational works that fuse site-specific data structures into a physical architecture. Through various works, he explores the aesthetic possibilities of data gathered in real time and how these aesthetic experiences can connect an audience to the pulse of the landscape in which they coexist. DiBlasi exhibits his works and installations nationally and internationally, and in 2021 he was awarded a Fulbright US Scholar Award for his research and creative project conducted in Vienna.
DiBlasi is Assistant Professor of Scientific Visualization and Digital Media in the Department of Art and Visual Culture at Iowa State University. He earned an MFA from the Photographic and Electronic Media program at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. DiBlasi teaches studio courses in video, 3D modeling, web design, creative coding and interactive media. Recently, he co-founded a new arts collaboration named [phylum] which brings together other artists and researchers working at the intersection of science and technology. Prior to teaching, DiBlasi worked as a photographer and web designer.
Zahra Jewanjee (B. Pakistan 1983) is an artist and educator living and working in the UAE. She received her BFA from the National College of Arts, Pakistan, and MFA in Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, USA. She is a recipient of the Salama Bint Hamdan Emerging Artist Fellowship, Abu Dhabi 2016. Zahra has shown in Lahore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London, Gdansk, New York, and Providence. Her work was featured in ‘Dimensions of Citizenship’ for the Venice Architecture Biennale – US Pavilion 2018, RISD NatureLab, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, MAS Context Chicago, Guernica Magazine, and among other publications. Zahra is currently an adjunct professor at the American University in Dubai. She investigates how structure comes into play in the order of things, the subtle nuances of human fragility that are both singular and multiplied, individual and collective, distinguished by similarity or difference, shifting and probing poetics that embody mystical and scientific questions through painting, sculpture, and print.
Julia Orquera Bianco was born in Argentina and lived in Mexico before moving to the United States. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in Drawing and Painting from Universidad del Museo Social Argentino (Buenos Aires, Argentina) in 2012. In 2018 she graduated from the MFA program at Roski School of Art and Design, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. In 2020, Bianco earned a Certificate in Sustainability from University of California, Los Angeles.
Bianco works through interrogating constructs resulting from Modern Western Culture, collective memory, and the experience of migration and gender. This allows her to speak about an identity constantly being renegotiated and in motion, in deep relation and conversation with the environment. Her explorations use her family legacy of labor as a strategy to connect with worlds that she is foreign to, experiencing them while remembering. She currently teaches at University of Cincinnati, Ohio. Her work has been showcased in Argentina, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and the United States.
Mariceliz Pagán Gómez is an artist from Puerto Rico. Her work focuses on the transformative qualities of the body and nature and the relationship between biological process and artistic process explored through printmaking drawing and sculpture. Recent work explores the aesthetic and emotional engagement with the natural environment and conveys the experience of living and creating between different places by portraying abstracted local landscapes and natural specimens and structures from the Midwest and the Caribbean.
Mariceliz graduated with a Bachelors of Art from The University of Puerto Rico- Rio Piedras in 2017 and is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Iowa’s Printmaking Program. Her work has been featured in the University of Iowa’s Levitt Gallery, Utah State University Tippets and Eccles Galleries, Museo Francisco Oller, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Diagonal, El Cuadrado Gris, Tres 50 Espacio Cultural, Galería Guatíbiri, among others.
Through stories we create experiences, form memories, and hopefully find connection. While Sharon Stewart’s work has ranged from costume design to performance, her inspiration stems from collaboration and a desire to foster authentic connection and community. In her current role as owner and manager of an art-focused and community-driven cafe, Stewart works to understand and develop a physical space that builds bridges of understanding through accessibility, shared comfort, and curiosity.
Dayna Kriz is an artist, teacher and cultural worker from Umoⁿhoⁿ, Póⁿka, Meskwaki, and Ho-Chunk nations. Her upbringing within the upper Mississippi Valley and former tall grass prairie land region inform her approach, position and offerings to the work of earth mending.
Her work is inspired by the animate world she forms relationships with. She sculpts, writes and looks for collaborative, creative ways to contribute to the healing and care of our natural world and steward meaningful connections. Kriz attained an MFA from Washington University in Saint Louis, a BFA from Iowa State University and is a Fellow of the Regional Arts Commission’s Community Arts Training Institute and is a member of the Anit-Racism Organizing Collective in Saint Louis.
Austin Stewart is an artist whose work critically considers the dynamic relationships between technology, culture, human behavior, and ecological crises. The work is best defined as SocialPractice and manifests in a variety of different media from video to robotics, performance to software design, and from virtual reality for chickens to vegetated floating islands. He frequently collaborates on projects with other artists, musicians, designers, and scientists. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Iowa State University teaching in the Department of Art and Visual Culture. He received his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his MFA from The Ohio State University.
His work has been selected to appear in the 18th Annual Japan Media Arts Festival; ISEA 2015; at the Science Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg; Dutch Design Week 2017; among others. In 2015 he was recognized by the Des Moines Art Center as part of the Iowa Artist series. His work has been featured extensively by the international press including, The Economist, The Guardian, Le Monde, The Smithsonian, Vox.com, and other outlets.
Be it space or soil, artist or scientist, farmer or gardener, there is always a gradient to explore within our dichotomous natures. Omar de Kok-Mercado, a soil microbiologist and pastoralist, explores the imaginary boundaries that separate nested systems. He combines his expertise with visual imagery, environmental data sets, sculpture and modular synthesis developing a unique medium that peers into the spaces between art, science, and music.
Clay (he/him) was born in Kentucky and grew up there. He spent much of his childhood playing music, and started composing at a young age. He moved to Ann Arbor at eighteen, where he studied composition at the University of Michigan with professors Paul Schoenfeld, Kristen Kuster, Evan Chambers, Stephen Rush, and Erik Santos.
At the university, he was exposed to music from the American experimental tradition. He became enamored of the work of Cage, Young, Oliveros, M. Monk, J. L. Adams, Eno, free improvisors, folk musicians, and Fluxus artists. He was inspired by how alive performances from this cannon felt, and he sought to infuse his music with the chaos, patience, and radical simplicity at the heart of these artists’ work.
During this time, he founded the Suburban Piano Quartet with three friends. They became active around Ann Arbor, making intermedia performance art and staging guerrilla performance events around town. They explored a radical, queer alternative to traditional paradigms of music making, making all decisions collectively and operating without hierarchy. They have, to date, produced nine evening-length works of original material and one album.
After graduating, Clay worked as an intern on farms in the Lake Superior region, moved to Spain, and undertook a number of self-supported backpacking trips. These sustained, mindful encounters with diverse communities and landscapes opened him to new affective and sensory worlds he would later evoke in his work. Conceptualizing his compositions as landscape paintings, rather than as narrative or emotional journeys, he sought to immerse audiences in the spare and organic beauty of the natural world.
As an artist, Clay strives to promote mindfulness and foster bonds of community, using his work to bring people closer to place, each other, and the natural world. Clay currently lives in Ann Arbor, where he continues to compose perform. In addition to music-making, he teaches English and is an active backpacker.
Wild Prairie Winds is a professional wind quintet based in Iowa City that uses chamber music to promote environmental awareness in the Midwest. The ensemble recently established a partnership with Iowa National Heritage Foundation (INHF), a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of Iowa’s land, water, and wildlife. A portion of all the ensemble’s profits are donated to INHF in keeping with their mission of environmental protection and awareness.
Since its formation at the University of Iowa in 2017, the group has established itself as an ensemble committed to community engagement and educational outreach by performing regularly at schools, libraries, retirement homes, and other public spaces. The Wild Prairie Winds have been selected to participate in numerous national and international concert series including Moveable Musicale in Wisconsin, Western Illinois University’s Chamber Concert Series, Music Study Club in Iowa City, and the International Double Reed Society annual conference. In Fall 2020 they will be performing regularly in North Liberty, IA in an educational concert series for seniors and adults with disabilities.
Members of the quintet have won numerous national competitions, perform regularly with orchestras around the nation, and retain collegiate teaching positions and private studios in Iowa.
Adrian Wood creates soundscapes, videos, transmissions and live works featuring sounds of water and wind, howls, whispers, seismic vibrations, and radio interference. Their work deals with sonic overlaps across identity and landscape.
Adrian has shown work in the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Gene Siskel Film Center, Links Hall (Chicago), Joan Flasch Artist Book Collection, Experimental Sound Studio (Chicago), Institut für Alles Mögliche (Berlin), Hundred Years Gallery (London), Gallery 062 (Chicago), LITHIUM gallery (Chicago), and the College of William & Mary. Adrian’s work has been featured in online broadcasts and publications like Hyperallergic, Radio Borealis, Collective Terrain and Bivouac Recordings. Adrian has received a number of scholarships and grants from Mana Contemporary Chicago, the Vermont Studio Center, The University of Michigan, Ox-Bow School of Art, Second Street Gallery (Virginia), Experimental Sound Studio (Chicago), the College of William & Mary (Virginia), and the University of Chicago.
Adrian earned a Masters in Fine Art in Sound from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2019, and a BA in Studio Art & Art History with a focus on painting and printmaking, and a minor in Environmental Science and Policy, from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA in 2014.
Roundhouse Platform is a collaboration between designers, educators and curators Noémie Despland-Lichtert and Brendan Sullivan Shea investigating the perception, documentation, and preservation of landscape and site-specific histories.
Noémie Despland-Lichtert is a curator and an urban historian. She holds a BFA from Concordia University, a Post-professional Master of Architecture from McGill, and a Master in Curatorial Studies from the University of Southern California.
Brendan Sullivan Shea is a designer whose work spans architecture, technology, and collaborative practice. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies from the University of California Los Angeles and a Master of Architecture from Princeton University.
Despland-Lichtert and Shea are currently Visiting Instructors at theTexas Tech University College of Architecture.
Space Saloon is a design laboratory on the move. We are a collective of architects, artists, and researchers who support students, young professionals, and communities through a non-hierarchical form of making, learning, and knowledge exchange. Our pedagogical projects build communities, promote tolerance, and foster engagement through the production of transdisciplinary forms of knowledge.
Danny Wills is an architectural designer, educator and researcher. His work explores the limitations, histories and biases of tools and the representations they produce.
Gian Maria Socci is an architect, urban designer and educator. His main interest lies at the intersection between architecture and the tangential disciplines of geography, earth sciences and landscape architecture.
Rebecca van Beeck is a scenographer, artist and educator. Her approach links across spatial design, urban and participatory research, stage and costume design, and live and visual art.
Originally from rural Eastern Iowa, Calee (she/they) is a DIY academic, designer, multimedia artist, and aspiring bass player. Calee works and plays in the fields they love most: art and design—the blurred line between those worlds is where she thrives. Calee is a maker in many mediums, working to blend handmaking and digital practices.
Calee’s creative interests include code as an artistic medium; design and mental health; queer and femme voices in art, design, and music; intersection of digital and physical production methods; and surface and repeat pattern design. As a designer and multimedia artist, Calee has won more than 25 awards for her work, including several Editor’s Pick awards from Minted for repeat surface pattern designs; a Best in Show award for their digital mixed media piece “Formerly Occupied Spaces;” and an Excellence in Teaching Award from Iowa State University.
Calee is currently an assistant professor of graphic design at Minnesota State University, Mankato and an instructor for Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s master of web and graphic design program. Their courses and work emphasize creative play, code as a design medium, design thinking, and design for good.
Wen Yu is a multi-media artist currently working in Boston. She comes from Suzhou, the same hometown of the prominent architect I.M.Pei, which is the cultural center of China for more than 2500 years. Wen has developed a keen interest in art and human sciences especially in the field of political philosophy, semiotics, and biology. Graduated from Boston University in 2017 and currently working as the principle artist at Arnox.ai in Boston. She has been creating research-based projects that integrate art, technology, story-telling, and tangible materials. Her inter-disciplinary approach also includes exploring the line between digital and handcraft.
Jess Holz (b. 1985) creates artworks which give the viewer a peek into invisible worlds, as well as a chance to reflect on the influence of scientific visual culture on our collective imagination. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Art+Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; previously she has worked in several labs and imaging facilities, gaining valuable technical experience with a number of microscopic imaging techniques. The discrepancy between what can be perceived by eye and what is imaged has fostered her fascination with perceptual systems along with the optical properties of materials. Jess actively exploits this in photography and installation.
Naomi Friend is a professional artist in Central Iowa. She makes art about the land and life based on farming, or “agrarian” art. She is most interested in the intersection of wild, urban, and rural environments and the work of humans as caretakers of creation.
Her work has been shown in solo shows in Iowa, California, and Nebraska, and other group shows. It is recognized in local radio, newspaper, published in Diffusion magazine, and resides in public and private art collections. It has received awards in national juried art exhibits. She exhibits in a variety outdoor public art events including the Des Moines Arts Festival.
She earned a Masters of Fine Art in Integrated Visual Arts at Iowa State University in 2013 and grew up in the community of Sioux Center, Iowa. Her undergraduate degree is from Dordt College where she studied fine art and graphic design. Naomi worked for three years at the Octagon Center for the Arts in Ames, Iowa as the Exhibits Director. Naomi operates a small 3 acre farm, Friend’s Flowers, where she grows flowers for local markets.
Makayla Carlson is an artist from Ogden, IA. She just recently received her Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art from Grand View University in April of 2019. Makayla works primarily in mixed media paintings and in sculptures. Her body of work revolves around a symbiotic relationship between humans and nature. The intention of her work is to close the gap between humans and nature and she strives to do this by depicting common experiences that both nature and humans go through such as adaption, neglect, stagnation, and how the seasons affect them. To reinforce her endeavor of expressing a symbiotic relationship between humans and nature, she uses objects that are found in nature, never taken directly from the living source, with objects that are human made in her sculptures and mixed media pieces.
Makayla has exhibited her work in various places including the Introspections Senior Exhibition and Student Art Competition at Grand View University in Des Moines IA, the BraveArt Pop-Up Show at The Base in Des Moines, IA, the Art Walk in Ames, IA, the Artist of the Month Exhibition at Des Moines Area Community College in Boone, IA and at the Boone Local Art Show at McHose Park. in Boone, IA.
Jeremy Eichenbaum is a filmmaker born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. With a primary focus on documentary film making, music videos, and a passion for cinematic exploration, Eichenbaum has developed a unique visual language that allows for an expressive and honest depiction of the subjects within his stories. Finding connectivity through a wide range of characters, Eichenbaum’s work seeks to highlight the humanity that transcends a diverse audience.
Amba Klapwijk is a dutch composer born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
She grew up in an artistic family surrounded by fine arts and music. From the moment she could sit, she would improvise on the piano next to the babybox in the living room. From the age of four she started to get violin and piano lessons.
Currently she studies composition at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague with Calliope Tsoupaki, Peter Adriaansz and Cornelis the Bondt.
Nature, visual arts, poetry inspires her in her work. Often one of these forms a starting point for a new composition.
She created an installation with 15 speakers ‘als ik nu ga zal het zachter zijn’, in which instruments and voices that read a poem from Dutch poet Hans Lodeizen are sounding.
Besides composing for conventional instruments she is the founder of the Royal Trash Ensemble, for which she composed a number of pieces.
She had masterclasses with Kate Moore, Michael Pisaro and Ivo Medek.
In the last year, her compositions were performed by the Herz Ensemble, the Residentie Orchestra The Hague and the New European Ensemble.
Jenie Gao is an artist, curator, and entrepreneur. Her specialties include ink drawings, large-scale woodcuts, murals, and public installations. Her work connects the health of nature’s ecosystems with human relationships and systems. As an artist, she creates work for public and shared spaces and believes that art has the power to make us pay attention to and care about our surroundings. She partners with other artists and organizations to use creativity to transform spaces and focus teams around a shared philosophy.
Prior to building her own business, Jenie worked in both for-profit and nonprofit, in the arts, education, and lean manufacturing. She has helped several organizations improve their systems, become less wasteful, and align their day-to-day operations with their long-term visions. She believes that interdisciplinary work and diverse people are necessary to building a strong, sustainable society.
As a business owner, Jenie works to set a precedent for her field. In addition to her own art projects, Jenie takes on curatorial projects and consulting work with arts organizations. She curated a show on politics and the environment, called “Intertwined,” at Promega Corporation in the summer of 2017. Jenie also currently works with Dane Arts Mural Arts (DAMA), as a lead artist and to help them to develop solid pricing models, project management tools, and an infrastructure that supports both the youth that they serve and the careers of artists. She seeks projects that allow her to put challenging, meaningful work in shared spaces and to invest in the careers of fellow creatives. She believes that cultivating creativity is vital to building a prosperous and resilient culture, and uses her diverse experience to advocate for this vision.
Jenie received her BFA in Printmaking/Drawing from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been the artist-in-residence at Proyecto ´ace in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at Museo de Arte Moderno in Castro, Chile, and at the Bubbler at Madison Central Library. She has artwork in both public and private collections across the states and internationally, including artist books at the Kohler Art Library. Her work as been reviewed and published in The Capital Times, StudioVOX, BRAVA Magazine, SGC International’s Graphic Impressions, and Aesthetica Magazine in the UK. She serves on the curatorial board at Arts + Literature Laboratory and as a committee member on the Madison Arts Commission. She was a TEDx Madison speaker in 2016.
Jenna Bonistalli creates works of embroidery through handmade paper. She is fascinated and inspired by the myriad relationships within and among species of the plant kingdom. Her work explores ecological interactions and phenomena, time and devotion. She designs installations and environments using light and projection.
Jenna earned a BA from New York University’s Gallatin School, an MSEd from Bank Street College of Education and has studied at Penland School of Crafts and Paper & Book Intensive at Oxbow School. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Sculpture at the University of Iowa concurrent with a Graduate Certificate at The Center for the Book.
She is a member of the Aquarium Gallery and Studios in New Orleans, LA. She lives and works between New Orleans and Iowa City.
Christine Carr is a photo-based artist interested in the human impact on the environment. She collects evidence to bring visibility to the ephemeral or overlooked. In recent work she has made detailed scans of cigarette debris and photographed airborne particles produced by agricultural and industrial practices.
Carr grew up in Virginia and received her MFA from the Tyler School of Art and her BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, both in photography. She is a recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship and the Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Grant. Her work has been exhibited in solo shows in Virginia, Texas and Washington, DC, and in numerous group shows throughout the United States. She is currently based in Story City, Iowa and teaches photography at Iowa State University.
Ellen Hanauer is a sculptor and installation artist who has focused much of her work on science based art, gender issues, interior spatial relationships of the natural world and the psychological effects of the human condition. In the past four years, she has worked primarily in fiber and digital arts.
Hanauer has exhibited nationally in museums, universities and galleries and has had several one person exhibitions including a recent solo at the Noyes Museum in New Jersey, a current solo in Montsalvat in Etham, Victoria, Australia and two additional upcoming solo shows slated for 2018 and 2019. Her work will be included in the 3rd BioMedical Conference, Sophia, Bulgaria this year. She has been awarded the First Theoretical Prize from Oxford University, UK, and has received many national commissions including those installed in Rockefeller Center and Riverside Park, NYC. Her work is in the permanent collections of The Noyes Museum of Art, NJ; Montclair Art Museum Education Collection, NJ; (the late) Ivan Karp, OK Harris Gallery, NY; The Princeton Review, NY; Organon, NJ; Lynda Zycherman, Chief Conservator of Sculpture, MoMA, NY; Kevah Konner Bus Company, NJ; Tarpon Springs FL, Atlanticare Foundation NJ, and National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC.
Growing up on a farm that has been in my family since 1849, I gained an admiration and reverence for the land that so many of my family members have worked. Like ghosts or spirits that walk the place, monument-like markers exist signifying the actions and lives of those who came before me: a tractor may remain parked as it has been for years since the last time it was driven; a broken crock full of metal now slowly sinks into the earth under years of maple leaves falling from the massive trees that my grandfather planted when he was six year old. A winterkilled field of grass frosted with a light snow cracks like eggshells under my rubber barn boots and a dead cow dies in a pasture to be consumed by coyotes. I find stories on my family’s farm and record, document and preserve them almost obsessively in my art.
The combination and juxtaposition of Regionalism, with its emphasis upon a particular rural venue and paradoxical mystery of Surrealism, forms the aesthetic precedent that is the basis of my artwork. I enjoy painting every blade of grass while allowing a disconcerting ambiguity to lurk below the surface in order to encourage viewers into a deeper dialogue with the paintings. I strive to find the sublime in the mundane that permeates each life to preserve and portray that for the future. The entire world is portrayed within each individual line of graphite or stroke of acrylic ink from which my drawings and paintings are woven.
Tangential to my 2-D work is an exploration of other media areas and modes of creative exploration. I have dabbled in photography, latex casting, printmaking(primarily woodbock and lithography), site installation, painting using firearms including shooting spray installation, drawing with gunpowder, poetry, have even used a piece of roadkill as a paintbrush. Labels on art are often simplistic ways of dividing media areas and pigeonholing an artist. As artists we should use empathy and an open mind to explore other media and investigate this thing we call art.
Richelle Gribble creates mixed media paintings and drawings, prints, videos, puzzles and sculptures. Her artwork is inspired by concepts of virality, ecology, networks, group dynamics, and social trends that connect us all. She earned a BFA in Studio Arts from the Roski School of Art and Design with dual minors in Social Entrepreneurship and Marketing at the University of Southern California, in 2013. Winner of 2016 Grand Prize Award for solo exhibition and representation at JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY with inclusion in Art Market San Francisco, Texas Contemporary, and Miami Project. Works exhibited on an LED screen in Times Square; Christie’s Salesroom Rockefeller Center; John Wayne Airport; and more. Her artwork is etched onto four Dove satellites in the first-ever orbiting art show in outer space facilitated by Planet Labs. Art acquired by Tides Institute and Museum of Art, Relativity Space, Kala Art Institute, USC Art & Trojan Traditions Collection, Awagami Factory, and various private collections. Work presented in a TEDxTrousdale talk “What is our Role within a Networked Society?” and published in The Creator’s Project, The Atlantic, and VICE Magazine.
Hannah Fisher is a sculptor, scientist, and engineer from Kalamazoo, Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Art from Michigan Technological University in 2017. Hannah’s works explore ecological concepts and aim to form a bridge between complex scientific principles and emotional connections with the environment. Hannah has done research on injectable hydrogels and implantable satellite tracking devices for humpback whales, and has displayed work at several shows in the Rozsa Gallery at Michigan Tech, the state capital in Lansing, Michigan, and has worked at the International Poetry Festival of Auguacatan, Guatemala as an artist-in-residence.
Quin Kennedy is a digital artist working from Seattle, WA. He has a background in dance, theatrical lighting, and programming. His works resolve themselves at times as zines, or (inter)active installations. He is interested in generative systems, cartography, and learning! Quin is always looking for a good pinball game to sink some quarters into.
Mary Claire Becker is an MFA candidate in Printmaking at the University of Iowa and is also working towards a Certificate of Book Arts at the UI Center for the Book. She obtained her BFA from the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 2012. She has spent time at Asheville Bookworks and Penland School of Crafts, and she has served as a volunteer print shop technician at UNCA in Asheville NC.
Mary Claire’s work is inspired by ecology and merges decorative ornamentation with the complexity of scientific illustration. Her compositions question our accepted definitions of nature by exploring the boundary between decorative and wild. She sees each impression as a building block for larger compositional structures, and uses printmaking as an element in relief sculptures, artist books, and stop-motion animations.
Mary can also be found on Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/mcbprint
Eric Andren—better know as Oz—is a creative technologist who currently resides in Seattle, WA. Born in Illinois and raised in Iowa his Midwestern upbringing has influence over his world view which focuses on the importance of character and the rewards of hard work.
An academic career at Iowa State lead him to receiving a BFA in Graphic Design with an emphasis in Computer Engineering and an MFA in Graphic Design with an emphasis in Human Computer Interaction. Through his studies and research in these areas he has earned numerous awards for design and also accolades in excellence for his research efforts during graduate studies.
Focusing on the relationship between human and technology his research has explored areas such as user-device awareness, enhanced learning and communication through multi-sensory interfacing, and experience design through gestural interfacing. More specifically, his MFA thesis “I can so I will, now we must: a creative response to selfie culture.” takes a look at online social networking and its effects on our sociological, psychological, and physical wellbeing.
Opportunity—followed by a constant drive for meaningful contribution—has left him with a broad range of experience and knowledge. A deep respect for physical wellness and the power of question have lead him into roles of leadership such as instructing graphic design studios in higher education, mentoring and children in k-12, and coaching CrossFit classes.
He believes our decisions change the world and together we can keep creating better—meaningful—solutions for a more just tomorrow.
Kassha is a Minneapolis-based multimedia artist and verbal experimentor of questionable neurotypicality and queer persuasion. They grew up in a very small, bad-smelling city in Iowa which happened to have several pockets of readily accessible natural areas of varying ecological health, which contributed to the artist’s sense of self as a member of a vastly diverse living system. A graduate of art and theatre technology studies at the University of Iowa, they use the vocabulary of immersive spaces to transmit and communally process the trauma of the current environmental crisis, as well as to devise potentialities of survival and resilience. Kassha’s literary work has been published in community zines, online publications, and Iowa City’s Little Village; they design sound, light, and video for live theatre productions; and they have performed at a multitude of open mics and curated shows, including most recently the queer-led Patrick’s Cabaret in Minneapolis.
Kelsey spent her life growing up between her birth place of Houston, Texas, and a small valley in central Colorado where her grandparents had a home. It was there where she discovered her fascination with ecology and birds. As she got older, she spent a lot of her time moving and traveling, until she landed permanently in Los Angeles, California four years ago. Here, she is a professional photographer who spends her days working at the Natural History Museum and the California Wildlife Center rehabilitating injured wildlife. Los Angeles is very rich in biodiversity and there is always something new to discover and explore, which is why you can find Kelsey either hiking in a local park or up in the San Gabriel Mountains, or birding at various local hotspots. Her art is very influenced by the outdoors, the unknown, and the history behind the rocks, the mountains, the bodies of water, the animals, and the people of the land which she inhabits.
Brian Schorn is a multi-disciplinary artist informed by contemplative practices and the direct experience of our natural world. His education includes MFA degrees in visual art, graphic design, creative writing and electronic music. Brian’s visual art has been exhibited and published widely since the 1980s. He has taught visual art, photography, comparative art, digital art, sound art, graphic design and creative writing at a variety of educational institutions. Recently, he received an Arts Education Grant in New York where he worked with 3rd–5th graders developing a collaborative, environmental art installation. Brian’s art is in numerous private and public collections throughout the country.
Also on Pintrest: www.pinterest.com/brian_schorn
Jen Liu is an artist, educator, and researcher working at the intersections of art, technology and culture. Using different mediums such as traditional craft, digital media and tangible interaction design, she is interested in exploring ways of using technology to examine relationships between the body and the environment. Her projects uses humor and speculation to draw audiences into a dialogue about how to interact with new technologies on an intimate level. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Emerging Media at Carnegie Mellon University.
Hi! My name is Corey Smith. I’m a composer, writer and performer from Chicago, Illinois. My work is performance based – playing with combinations of music, theatrical performance, and dance. I’m a native midwesterner (I grew up near Toledo, Ohio and went to school for Music Composition in Ann Arbor, Michigan) and my work at the moment is focused on exploring the Midwest. I’m interested in the geography, culture, and mythology of the region that has been my home for so long. Collaboration is also an important part of my artistic practice – I work often with directors, theatre makers, dancers, writers, musicians, thinkers, and friends. I spend large amounts of time looking and thinking about maps.
Scott Dickson was raised in the suburbs of Chicago, graduated from the University of Kansas (2007) with a BFA in Painting, and received his MFA from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2009. He has exhibited in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Kansas City, and at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha. His work is published both online and in print, most recently in Age of Collage, Contemporary Collage in Modern Art, a publication by Berlin-based Gestalten. Through working with aspects of drawing, painting, collage and printmaking Dickson creates images that concern the passage of time and associated memories that occur in solitary engagements with the landscape. In order to further investigations, he seeks out spaces and locations that provide retreat from urban aspects of life. One such escape was during a 2013 through-hike of the Appalachian Trail, taking on a five-month hike from Georgia to Maine. Scott Dickson currently lives and works in Grand Rapids, Michigan and serves as an Assistant Professor in the Drawing program at Kendall College of Art and Design. Images of his work can be found online at www.stateofscott.com
Cynthia Brinich-Langlois grew up in Bethel, Alaska—a small town on the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta. She attended Kenyon College, where she majored in Studio Art and minored in Environmental Biology. While completing an MFA in Printmaking from the University of New Mexico, she participated in Land Arts of the American West and the Tamarind Institute’s Collaborative Lithography program.
Brinich-Langlois has been an artist in residence at Wilson College, Elsewhere Artists Collaborative, RedLine Milwaukee, and the Ucross Foundation, where she collaborated with other artists and scientists to create a multifaceted portrait of place. She has exhibited her prints, books, and video animations in solo and group shows throughout the United States and abroad, including at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Awagami Factory, Yoshinogawa City, Japan, A1LabArts in Knoxville, TN, Dairy Arts Center in Boulder, CO, Harwood Art Center in Albuquerque, NM, Firehouse Gallery in Louisville, GA, Atelier 6000 in Bend, OR, WORK Ann Arbor, Artspace in Richmond, VA, Purdue University Galleries, Creative Research Laboratory in Austin, TX, and Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend, WI, among others. Her work is included in the Iowa Print Group archive at the University of Iowa, as well as the Land Arts of the American West archive collection at the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno.
Brinich-Langlois is the Print and Narrative Forms area technician and teaches digital art as an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has conducted numerous workshops and demonstrations, including a steamroller-printing event at Milwaukee Maker Faire, a cyanotype botanicals workshop in Wyoming, and a stop-motion storytelling class for youth in rural Alaska. She has given lectures and shared her work in various presentations, including as the Virginia A. Myers Visiting Artist in Printmaking at the University of Iowa and as an exhibiting artist at the Urban Ecology Center, where she also led a hands-on workshop for high school students to draw attention to the decline of amphibian populations worldwide. Brinich-Langlois has recently displayed work at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and as well as at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University.
After serving as a combat correspondent for five years in the US Marine Corps, Joseph Mougel completed a BFA in studio art from the University of Georgia and a MFA in photography from the University of New Mexico, where he also studied video, performance, and interactive media, and participated in the field-based studio program Land Arts of the American West.
Mougel has presented his creative research at a variety of institutions and conferences, including the Postmodern Documentary Photography Symposium at Purdue University, and as a panelist at the Southeastern College Art Conferences in Richmond, VA, Savannah, GA, and Greensboro, NC, and as a featured artist lecturer at the Society for Photographic Education Southeast and the Midwest Society for Photographic Education conferences. He has spoken as a panelist in conjunction with exhibitions of his work, including Cuban Art, Books, and Contemporary Culture at RedLine Milwaukee, Identity Check at the Union Gallery, and Ucross: A Portrait in Place at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, among others.
Mougel has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, including at the Haggerty Museum of Art in Milwaukee, WI, Cressman Center for Visual Arts in Louisville, KY, San Diego Art Institute, Minneapolis Photo Center, Museum of Contemporary Art in Atlanta, GA, Charles Allis Art Museum in Milwaukee, WI, The Royal Photographic Society in Bath, UK, The Red House in Sofia, Bulgaria, Municipal Heritage Museum in Malaga, Spain, PH21 Gallery in Budapest, Hungary, Bega Valley Regional Gallery in NSW Australia, Axle Contemporary Mobile Gallery in Santa Fe, NM, Elsewhere Artists Collaborative in Greensboro, NC, Portrait Society Gallery in Milwaukee, WI, and PhotoPlace Gallery in Middlebury, VT, among others.
Examples of his work have been featured in catalogs and other publications, including Art Takes Miami, ARTL!ES Magazine, Art Papers, and After Image, as well as in books, such as Land Arts of the American West, End of California, and The Contact Sheet. He has participated in artist residencies, including Elsewhere Artists Collaborative in Greensboro, North Carolina, 35/35 in New South Wales and South Australia, and the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming. Mougel’s photographs are included in institutional collections, including the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Print Study Room at the University of New Mexico Art Museum, Green Street Press at the University of Georgia, and the Nevada Museum of Art. Joseph Mougel is currently an Assistant Professor of Art and the area head of Photography at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Since earning a Masters of Fine Arts in digital media from the University of Miami in 2005, Mark Lee Koven has worked as an interdisciplinary artist whose research merges materials and processes of art with those of science. Mr. Koven’s work has shown in over 100 exhibitions and venues such as the New York Science Museum, StoreFront for Art and Architecture New York, FlashArt Milan, Miami Science Museum, Southern Exposure San Francisco, Taipei Taiwan, and Scope London. Mr. Koven’s work is also included in various public and private collections including the Perez Art Museum, the Frost Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. In addition to being the recipient of both a Florida State individual artist fellowship and North Carolina individual artists fellowship, he has received two National Scholastics Art & Writing Teacher Awards and a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant. Utilizing a wide range of mediums including bioluminescent fungi, SEM imagery, and reactive computer interfaced installations, his subjects of research comprise: anthropological behaviors, data collection/visualization, renewable energy, and micro/macro environments. Mr. Mark Lee Koven is currently an Assistant Professor of Art and Design at Utah State University and Director of ARTsySTEM, a program that focuses on collaboration and integration between the Arts and STEM fields.
Alex Braidwood is a sound artist, media designer & design educator. He has recently been an artist in residence in an Australian National Park, on an Iowa farm and at a mid-western biological field research station. Alex has exhibited work, led creative technology workshops, lectured on his research process, and performed live at a variety of events throughout the US, Europe and Asia. He is currently Assistant Professor in the Graphic Design, Sustainable Design and Human Computer Interaction programs at Iowa State University and is co-director of the artist-in-residence program at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory field research station.
Amanda Breitbach is a photographer and multi-media artist whose research focuses on the complex relationships between people and land. She completed her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2016 and is currently the program coordinator for Art at Cedar Point, a program that blends art and science at UNL’s biological field station near Ogallala, NE. She will join the faculty of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX in the fall as an Assistant Professor of Art.
Rachel Kauff was born in the suburbs of Chicago to a plein air landscape painter and an engineer. She received her BFA in printmaking from Grand Valley State University, and her MFA in printmaking and sculpture at the University of Iowa in 2017. She trained in artist-book publishing as an intern-in-residence at the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY and learned to work in wood through working for sculptor and designer Josh Vogel. Kauff has been the recipient of the Iowa Arts Fellowship and the Gordon Arts Fellowship, and has been awarded residencies at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, and the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute.