WINTER 23/24 AIR BIOS
Open house & Artist talk Monday Nov 20th
Ellen Zahniser: I am a Providence-based performing artist and writer; I have presented work at FringePVD, The Wilbury Group, AS220, The Dirt Palace, Vanishing Performance Festival (NOLA), Philly Fringe, The Brick (NYC), and other delightful venues around the east coast!
To me, performance is one of many diverse tactics of world building in a generative ecosystem of kinship. Towards this end, I aim to develop interdisciplinary, experiential work that fuses language, movement, sound, and technology through a rigorous process of research, writing, improvisation, and collaborative dialogue with other artists. I focus on stories rooted in my own experiences to explore transcendent themes of corporeal malfunction, self-ness, queer transgression, spirituality, and animacy. By engaging in ridiculous experimentation with the medium of performance, I attempt to develop rigid, structured containers wherein the volatile properties of beauty and ecstasy can euphorically proliferate! Find me at https://ellenzahniser.tumblr.com/ or on Instagram (@shmelzs).
Joanna Tam is a Hong Kong-born, Boston-based interdisciplinary artist. Using video, photography, installation, and performance, her work examines the issues of migration, construction of national identity, meaning of safety, and one's connection to a place. Joanna's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include American Studies 2019 at the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University, Wasenstraße Story at Chrom VI in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, and Let's Story at the Boston Children’s Museum. Her film Reduction Study (Ping Pong) has been awarded Best Art Film at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York, UK. She is also the recipient of the 2020 SMFA Traveling Fellowship. Joanna has been awarded artist residencies at the Center for Photography at Woodstock, the Boston Children’s Museum, and the Vermont Studio Center. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Boston Art Review, Artscope, and Emergency Index.
website: www.joannatam.net | ig: @joanna_tam
Kia Thomas is a recent graduate of the City College of New York. She has a bachelor’s degree in Black Digital Studies, an interdisciplinary major developed at CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies. A Harlem native, Kia has a deep passion for history, particularly that of the African Diaspora. She is a writer, poet and part-time singer. She is an aspiring journalist who aims to center the narratives and perspectives of Black people of all ethnicities in their respective communities. Her inspirations include Zora Neale Hurston, Ida B. Wells, Shonda Rhimes, Billie Holiday, and James Baldwin. She hopes to extend the legacy of Black Americans achieving “wholeness” by seeking their truth in creative ways.
Laura Chow Reeve is a writer & illustrator living in Richmond, Virginia. Her fiction has been published in The Rumpus, Catapult, Joyland, and elsewhere. Her story in Hyphen Magazine was a 2017 winner of the Pen/Robert J. Dau prize and featured on LeVar Burton Reads. She has a MA in Asian American Studies from UCLA, is a Blackburn Fellow at Randolph College’s MFA program, and has attended workshops at Tin House and VONA. Her debut short story collection, A Small Apocalypse, is forthcoming with TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press in March 2024. She is currently working on a novel and graphic memoir.
Lovers Fight Tonight was founded by multimedia artist Hi Tiger. Their latest work integrates apparel, visual art and live performance inspired by a fictional small town bad girl and the redneck outlaws she hangs out with. For this residency, Hi Tiger will share music from the accompanying ep, Fags and English Majors as well as apparel from the 23/24 Lovers Fight Tonight collection. Expect deconstructed house beats, brooding vocals, freshly dropped one-of-a-kind hoodies and tees.
Luke Dani Blue (they/them) is the author of PRETEND IT'S MY BODY (Feminist Press 2022), a Kirkus Best Fiction Book of 2022, longlisted for the Story Prize. Luke's fiction draws inspiration from 20th century Latin American fiction, Yiddish humor, shaggy dog stories, and 1980s daytime television. Originally from Michigan and prone to geographic instability, Luke resides in Providence, RI where they are working on a time-travel novel and seeing clients in their astrology practice. They can be found at: lukedaniblue.com, seagoatastrology.com, and @lukedani (IG).
Sara Lautman is a cartoonist and teacher in Baltimore, MD. Her comics and cartoons have appeared in The New York Times, Playboy, Mad, The Paris Review, and regularly in print issues of The New Yorker. She is the author of the collection I Love You (Retrofit, 2019), illustrator of The Humble Simple Thing (an e-book collaboration with the novelist Sheila Heti, published at Electric Literature in 2017), and The Ultimate Laugh (Tinto, 2017), which was nominated for an Ignatz Award. She also illustrated Emily Danforth's award winning adult horror novel Plain, Bad Heroines, which was a national bestseller in 2021. Her most recent book, the graphic novel Jason, is available for download on slaut.itchi.io. Lautman teaches comics in the liberal arts department of MICA in Baltimore and just designed her first skate deck, which she used to perform her first shuv-it. Photo credit: Joanna Eldredge Morrissey, 2019.
@slautow on instagram
@saralautman on twitter
slaut.itch.io on itchio
Open house & Artist talk Tuesday January 30th
Amanda Beard Garcia (she/they) is a multiracial Chinese American muralist, illustrator, and brand designer. She holds a BFA in Illustration from RISD. Her work typically incorporates punchy colors, typography, and portraiture while exploring concepts surrounding belonging and activism. Amanda is co-founder and principal of Likemind Design in Dracut, MA, a mural and branding studio with a mission to elevate the brands of independently-owned businesses “just like us.” In 2022, Amanda was an artist-in-residence with Residence Lab (ResLab), an innovative program by Pao Arts Center and the Asian Community Development Corporation that empowered residents and artists to collectively preserve Chinatown through creative activation of underutilized sites in the neighborhood. She has been a participant of many local public art initiatives and has designed custom artwork and brand identities for small businesses all over Greater Boston.
Anne Elizabeth Moore was born in Winner, SD. She is the author of Gentrifier: A Memoir (2021), an NPR best book, the Eisner Award-winning Sweet Little Cunt (2018), Unmarketable (2007), and other titles. She was the founding editor of the Best American Comics and is the former editor of the Chicago Reader and Punk Planet. She has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Yaddo Corporation. She is a Fulbright Senior Scholar, has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and was the Mackey Chair of Creative Writing at Beloit College. Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes was expanded for the pandemic and released this year in a new edition by Feminist Press; selections have been adapted for David T. Little’s newest opera Sin-Eater, premiering in Philadelphia in October. Her latest project, My Inevitable Murder, is a true-crime podcast about her untimely demise, and was short-listed for a Press Gazette Future of Media Award for Best Podcast. She lives in New York with her cats, Captain America and Mitakuye Oyasin Moore-America, teaches at the School of Visual Arts, and makes hot sauce.
Elizabeth Duffy Trained in sculpture, painting, drawing, jewelry, and textile conservation, Elizabeth Duffy is a multidisciplinary artist whose compulsive process and love of material culture drive her to mine the revelatory in the ordinary. Her recent work examines the intersection of domestic life and surveillance. Her work is influenced by feminist art, an itinerant way of life, and looking at the overlooked.
Emily Pelstring is an artist and filmmaker, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Media at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Her work across media installation, experimental film, and performance situates the moving image and sound in relation to overlapping concepts drawn from science, magical traditions, and religious texts. Her projects have been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council, and exhibited internationally in museums, galleries, DIY spaces, and festivals. Emily is engaged in ongoing artistic collaborations with Jessica Mensch and Katherine Kline, her “sister-crones” in the trio The Powers, and was a core organizer of an international symposium called The Witch Institute, which brought together scholars, artists, and practitioners to explore the figure of the witch in art and media.
Emma Singer is a mixed media artist based in Brooklyn, NY who creates sculpture pieces of wire, recycled fabric, and found material. Her work seeks to explore the resilience and fragility of bodies, the objects required in a life with disability, and change, the only constant. Her work is influenced by the wide range of craft she has explored throughout her lifetime including figure painting and drawing, sewing, quilting, and collage. Emma graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Urban Studies and a belief that a different world was possible and necessary. This belief led her to work at a number of non-profit organizations before pursuing a career as an artist. She currently studies with Bruce Dorfman at the Art Students League.
Gina Favano is a self taught visual artist, musician, and writer currently living in the Midwest, originally hailing from the East Coast.
She is the creator of Back Channel Radio, a podcast and oral history archive that documents the history of the Latsch Island boathouse community, where she lived in a floating home on Wolf Spider Island for ten years. Favano writes music solo and with the Pittsburgh based trio Come Holy Spirit, and has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe. She has been fostering and contributing to DIY arts communities for over 25 years. She can often be found painting on wood, fawning over small dogs, and obsessing about where our garbage goes.
Uriah Bussey is a non-binary archival Hoodoo interdisciplinary trauma informed artist, writer and educator from Cobbs Creek, Philly. Bussey has a deep care for self narrative work, grief, housing and disability justice. Their collaborative film with Abdul-aAliy A. Muhammad, titled, “#MEDSTRIKE, Confronting the Nonprofit Industrial Complex” (commissioned by Visual AIDS), recently screened at “ENDURING CARE” (Montreal, CA) with a world premiere in over 100 countries released on December 1st, 2021. Bussey received their BFA from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania with concentrations in Printmaking and Applied Digital Arts. Recently Bussey experienced their first international residency, Officina Stamperia del Notaio in Tusa, Sicily. Bussey’s practice spans photo, prose, printmaking, painting, and video. Offers a dialogue with their personal & inherited archive, disability, sexuality, death, living spaces, magic and memory. Black spaces are portals. Reflecting on technology and print as a function in keeping, sharing and remembering. Bussey has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally along with two solo shows in their emerging artist career.
Open house & Artist talk Monday Feb 12th
Ines Bellina is a writer, translator, and bon vivant. She is the 2021 winner of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Emerging Voices Award, a 2021 recipient of the Individual Artist Grant from Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and an alum of Ragdale and the Tin House Summer Workshop. Her work has appeared in outlets like The Cut, Saveur, Daily Beast, The Takeout, Chicago Magazine, Wine Enthusiast, Shondaland, The A.V. Club and in the anthology Open Heart Chicago, and she is the co-author and lead translator of LGNSQ, a bilingual photography book on gentrification in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. Her co-translation of Gabriela Mistral’s seminal work, Desolación, is forthcoming from Sundial House Press. Ines is currently working on a series of essays that combine Peruvian history, family history, and food.
Lili Chin is an artist based in New York City. Combining installation, video and sculpture, her practice focuses on nature and architecture to explore rituals in time, bridging contemporary and ancient ideas that investigate themes of memory, duration and spirituality. Selected international exhibition venues include The Drawing Center, NY, Below Grand, NY, Bronx River Art Center, NY, Island Gallery, NY, STPI Gallery in Singapore, as well as several other art organizations in the US, Scotland, Latin America, Europe, Japan and China. Her films have screened at Anthology Film Archives, 601 Art Space, Microscope Gallery, Edinburgh Film Festival and the Pacific Film Archive. She has created commissioned installations for the He Xiangning Museum in Shenzhen and the Ely Center of Contemporary Art, CT and her work is part of the White Columns Artist Registry. She is a recipient of numerous fellowships and residencies at MacDowell, the Visual Studies Workshop, Akiyoshidai International Art Village, Mass MoCA, BRIC, the Galveston Artist Residency and more. She was awarded an LMCC Creative Engagement grant and additionally curates projects and screenings. She received an MFA from the University of California San Diego, a BFA from Pratt Institute, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
Sophia Karina English (they/them) is a latinx crafts person, sculptor, and performance artist from San Francisco, CA and currently based in Chicago, IL. They received their BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, with an emphasis in sculpture and fiber arts in 2019. Presented with a series of eradicated cultural and personal histories due to colonization, poor record keeping, and family secrets; English uses their work to ask questions and keep track of what feels important at the time. From their home studio, English uses beadwork to reference the Latin American tradition of storytelling through beaded textiles.
Carrie Hawks confronts self-imposed and external assumptions about identity in order to promote healing, particularly in relation to Blackness, gender, and queer sexuality. They work in animation, drawing, collage, sculpture, and performance, often incorporating humor. Their film black enuf* was nominated for a New York Emmy, won Best Documentary Short at Trans Stellar Film Festival, was broadcast on American Public Television’s World Channel, and screened at over 40 festivals including Ann Arbor and BlackStar. They have received grants from the Jerome Foundation (2014, 2019), Black Public Media, and Brown Girls Doc Mafia. They curated programs for the Ann Arbor Film Festival and ASIFA-East, and were a fellow at the Leslie Lohman Museum. Their recent documentary, Inner Wound Real premiered at Tribeca Festival in 2022 and they lead a corresponding mental health workshop for the New York DOE. They are an Assistant Professor of Illustration at Parsons, The New School.
Heather Kapplow & Liz Nofziger - Based in the Greater Boston area, Heather Kapplow and Liz Nofziger bring radical attention to the precious unloved. We do it playfully, but in earnest, using a wide range of materials and media.
Our (sporadic) collective practice goes back to 2010 when we worked as a part of a larger team on an alternate reality/immersive game for Grant Makers in the Arts to help them gain a more realistic sense of the lived experiences of artists applying for their funding. Since then we've run a health clinic that provided the cure to ordinariness of everyday life; given 1500 people an individual opportunity to experience a standing ovation on the baseball field in Fenway Park; intrigued visitors to an extremely dirty bike repair shop into touching every possible surface of its bathroom; and hosted Boston's first underwater art exhibition.
Evans Molina Fernandez is a multidisciplinary artist that experiments in the mediums of painting, performance art, music/sound, and experimental video. He uses documentary, dance and performance as educational tools. He was born and raised in Cuba and moved to the US in 2004. His art is inspired by themes such as heritage, ritual, immigration, family, folklore, colonization and legend. He has participated in numerous exhibitions, events, and festivals in Cuba, Spain, Poland, and the United States. in 2011, Evans founded Gallery La Naive, an international multimedia gallery that brings together all disciplines for artistic expression that featured the work of contemporary artists from Cuba and the United States, in Providence, RI as part of their work in the social arts. Evans continues to work as an independent artist taking on a social and educational role by performing in various schools, cultural centers, galleries and other community spaces, using art as a form of social medicine.
Mthwakazi has pioneered the new Xhopera music genre which synthesizes African bow music, Classical, Opera, Choral and African dance rhythms and has performed alongside musical legends such as Sibongile Khumalo, Hugh Masekela, Jonas Gwangwa, Thandi Ntuli, Sisonke Xonti, Lwanda Gogwana and Madosini. At the heart of this genre is the continentwide calabash bow ("iselwa"). Iselwa is a multifaceted product: It is food, a musical instrument that can be used for music therapy, and an important African tool which can be used for crafts. It represents unity between Africans, elders, youth, different genders and different races; as everyone who listens to bow music feels a sense of ownership and belonging to the music and the message.
Mthwakazi is also a healer and jewellery designer. She studied Masters in Music at the Garrick Theatre (London), Chattelet (Paris) and Luxor Theatre in Holland, representing South Africa as one of the youngest gifted women in the country. Photo Credit: Alexia Webster
Facebook: Mthwakazi Chosi
LinkedIn: Mthwakazi Chosi
X : @mthwakazichosi
March Duo Residencies
Kia (elena) Davis graduated Pratt institute with a BFA in photography in 2013, and went on to work in fine-art printing and marketing at iolabs. Interested in communications through photography and writing, she began working in arts-adjacent public programming and storytelling. Throughout, Kia has explored the still and moving image. She has worked on several film sets as a production designer, (Nos4A2, Donald Cried, Strawberry Shake) has co-written two feature films of critical acclaim (Exit Elena and Soft in the Head) co-wrote and directed a short film (Puppytown) as well as a music video for the Ruffles Repair Ritual series (Prisms Inside). As she continues earning her living through digital marketing for non-profits that bring ambitious visions and creative programming to the public, she is inspired by rich environments to examine the joyous flow state of creation in group settings.
Polina Volfóvich b. 1988 Vladimir, USSR is an artist whose work spans performance, image making, and installation. Her work investigates power and capital within systems of production, revealing decentralized narratives that exaggerate and defamiliarize accepted rules and practices of everyday life, extending the ordinary to the absurd. She is the 2018 RISCA Fellow in Drawing and Printmaking, and her work has been exhibited at the MoCA Skopje, the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts at Brown University, and most recently at the 2023 Wooly Fair in Providence, Rhode Island. Currently, she facilitates access to affordable studio space for artists, designers, craftspeople and small creative businesses as co-director of Partnership for Creative Industrial Space. She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.
Silvia Armstrong’s crochet designs are inspired by woodland birds and flora of her native Uruguay as well as the natural beauty surrounding her home in central NY. Her sewing and needlework have enswathed hearth and family for over 50 years as a mother, abuela, and retired school teacher. Silvia has recently begun sharing her work in broader contexts.
Maralie Armstrong-Rial is a Brooklyn based artist and educator whose work finds heritage in a genealogy of spiritual and sensual expression via technologies. Intermingling audio, video, sculpture, and dance she/they seduce poetics from human-machine interaction. As a vocalist and performer she evokes ceremonial song and ritual - reaching for the unseen or celestial otherness. Maralie has been an artist-in-residence at Signal Culture in Owego, NY, and Coaxial Arts Foundation in LA, presented work in the RISD Museum, and soundtracked Aaron Pexa's videos which are held in the permanent collections of Museum of American Glass and Ringling Museum of Art.
Maralie performs collaboratively as Humanbeast with artist and partner Eli V Manuscript and solo as VALISE. VALISE is a live multimedia performance project which speaks and dances with itself across various media. Recordings as VALISE have been published by Primitive Languages, No Rent Records, Dead Gods, Angoisse, and Devine. Humanbeast abstracts emotion through wet and softwares and has a rigorous history of live performance. Their recordings have been published by Load Records and Gross Domestic Product. Both Humanbeast and VALISE continue to perform in a variety of underground show spaces, forests, funerals, galleries, and museums.
Maralie’s work as a performing and exhibiting artist is enriched by their experience teaching as adjunct assistant professor in the Modern Culture and Media Department at Brown University.