"The residency affected my work by engaging actively with the land. Having the opportunity to work undisturbed in an environment that enabled me to fully concentrate on my work and the land itself or its particles became part of my work. Plus the amazing people I met here, the critical and inspiring exchange we had on an artistic but also very personal level made it possible for me to grow in my own practice. Future collaborations were planned and like-minded fellows in the environmental art found." Christina Gruber (2017)
Lisa K. Blatt, San Francisco, CA. Media/Visual Arts
Blatt often works in extreme landscapes. Cindy Sherman chose and wrote about Blatt, when asked which one photographer Sherman thought was doing groundbreaking work (Smithsonian Magazine, (March 2012). Blatt’s art has been exhibited widely, on five continents including many museums. Her work has been shown at the Shanghai Biennial, China; the Havana Biennial, Cuba; Museo de Tigre, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Reykjavik Museum of Photography, Iceland (solo show); Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Contemporary Art Platform and Freud Museum, London; Kunstverein Haus, Germany; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA (solo); Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA; Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA; Bellingham National (Whatcom), Bellingham, WA; Santa Cruz Museum, Santa Cruz, CA; San Diego International Airport; Phillips Collection Museum, Washington, DC; and Sean Kelly, New York, NY.
Michael Campbell, San Francisco, CA. Visual Arts
Campbell explores our perception of the eternal, the divine and the otherworldly through surreal artifacts. These objects bring about an alternate mythological narrative spoken through the voice of nature. This narrative suggests, counter to Judeo-Christian teaching, that we are all connected to the natural world and its ecosystem. A new earth-centered liturgy is offered by saintly objects and altars that seem to grow from the forest floor.
Renee Couture, Glide, OR. Visual Arts
Influenced by the personal and the political, Couture draws inspiration from the historical and social landscape of “place.” She uses her own rural community as a starting point for her work in examining the complexity and range of the public’s relationship with their nearby landscape. She has exhibited as a solo artist at Blend Studios, Nashville, TN; Chemeketa Community College, Salem, OR; Eastern Oregon University, LaGrande, OR; Minot State University, Minot, NE; Southern Oregon University’s Center for Visual Arts, Ashland, OR; The Brink Gallery, Missoula, MT; Pearson Lakes Art Center, Okoboji, IA; and The Wood Gallery, Montpelier, VT. Her group exhibitions include: Disjecta, Portland, OR; TSA Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA; Work Gallery, Detroit, MI; WomanMade Gallery, Chicago, IL; and Target Gallery of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, VA. She has received two Career Opportunity Grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, and two Project Grants from the Douglas Country Cultural Coalition. Couture was a featured artist on OPB’s Oregon Art Beat, and has participated in artist residencies at Jentel, Banner, WY; Playa, Summer Lake, OR; Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Nebraska City, NE; Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT; and Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Woodside, CA. She received her BA in Studio Art from Buena Vista University and her MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Jessica Dunne, San Francisco, CA. Visual Arts
Dunne’s solo shows include the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, the McAllen Int. Museum in Texas, the Fresno Art Museum, and the Flaten Museum at Saint Olaf College in Minnesota. She also has had solo shows at Texas A and M University, Cabrillo Gallery, and B. Sakata Garo. Dunne has been included in shows at Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the SFMOMA Artists Gallery, both in San Francisco. Artist residencies include the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Yaddo, Ucross Foundation, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and Kuenstlerhaus Salzburg in Austria. She received the James D. Phelan Award in Printmaking, a Ludwig Vogelstein Grant, a Kala Art Institute Printmaking Fellowship and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. This year, Atelier Empreinte in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, awarded her a Fellowship. She has work in the collections of the Oakland Museum of California, Stanford Special Collections, University of California at Berkeley Special Collections, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, The New York Public Library, Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art, and the Library of Congress.
Brad Erickson, San Francisco, CA. Literature
Erickson is a playwright, actor and arts administrator based in San Francisco. For the past 14 years he has served as executive director of Theatre Bay Area (TBA), one of the nation’s largest regional performing arts service organizations, with 300 theatre company members and some 2,000 individual artists members. Under his leadership, TBA has gained a national reputation for innovative programs and services to the field. A fierce advocate for the arts, Erickson serves on the executive committee of Californians for the Arts and California State Captain for Americans for the Arts (AFTA) where he helps to lead the fight for increased support for the arts. In 2016 he won AFTA’s Alene Valkanas Award for Statewide Arts Advocacy. An award-winning playwright, his works have been produced from San Francisco to Indianapolis, including the following premieres: Benediction at The Marsh, San Francisco 1996; Sexual Irregularities at Theatre Rhinoceros, San Francisco, 1998; Woody & Me at the Phoenix Theatre, Indianapolis, 2002; The War at Home at New Conservatory Theatre Center (NCTC), San Francisco, 2009; American Dream, el sueno del otro lado at NCTC, 2013. New projects in development include Milagro a full-length play, Burning Louise a full-length piece of music theatre, and 80! The Musical in collaboration with composer and lyricist Min Kahng. Erickson received a BFA in Acting from the Goodman School of Drama, now The Theatre School at DePaul University.
Midori Fujioka, San Francisco, CA. Literature
Fujioka is a writer with a passion for Japanese film, anime, manga, otaku culture, Noh drama, taiko drumming & calligraphy. Since 1989, she taught Japanese Film & Literature, Asian American Studies, and Women’s Studies, connecting with approximately twelve thousand students over twenty-eight years. She is a recipient of the Kathryn Wasserman Davis Fellowship for Peace at Middlebury College, a National Endowment for the Humanities-Asian Studies Development Program Teaching Fellowship at the East-West Center of Hawai’i, and a Freeman Foundation of Asia-Japan Studies Association Teaching Fellowship at the University of Hawai’i. Her essays appeared in Rice Magazine, Tozai Times, and elsewhere. She attended Scripps College; Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan); UCLA; UCB; Middlebury Bread Loaf.
Bruce Johnson, Timber Cove, CA. Visual Arts
Johnson created Torii in 1983. Born in Oregon, he grew up in the SF Bay area and attended UC Davis where he received a BA and acquired his Teacher’s Credential. His studio is a barn and a meadow in rural Sonoma County, overlooking the Pacific. Despite his rural location Johnson has found international recognition with large-scale sculpture in Italy, Spain and Taiwan as well as many private and public collections in the U.S.A. Johnson is also a master builder. Of special importance to him is his work on sacred buildings such as the Sea Ranch Chapel, the historic chapel at Fort Ross, a Moon Gate at the Asian Art Museum and especially the exquisitely beautiful Poetry House.
Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder, New York, NY. Media Arts
Gibson and Recoder live and work in New York. Their work has been exhibited internationally at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Madison Square Park Conservancy, The Kitchen, Performa, Memorial Art Gallery, REDCAT, Young Projects Gallery, Exploratorium, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Ballroom Marfa, Robischon Gallery, Sundance Film Festival, Tate Modern, Viennale, 21er Haus, HMKV, Museum Kunstpalast, EYE Film Museum, TENT, BOZAR, M HKA, STUK, Atelier Impopulaire, CCCB, Museu do Chiado, Solar Galeria de Arte Cinemática, and the Serralves Foundation.
Kara Herold, San Francisco, CA. Media Arts
Herold’s films employ wit, thought-provoking storytelling, and dynamic visual assemblages to comment upon the uneasy intersections between feminist perspectives and dominant cultural expectations and institutions. She has written, directed, and produced a broad variety of films, from short animations to award-winning documentaries. Bachelorette, 34, a humorous take on society’s obsession with marriage expressed through a mother-daughter relationship, premiered at the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam and played at the Documentary Fortnight at MoMA in New York in 2009. Bachelorette, 34 is distributed by New Day Films. Grrlyshow, about the girl ‘zine explosion in the ‘90s, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001, screened at many additional festivals, and is distributed by Women Make Movies. Herold has been a BAN6 Artist at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and has won many additional awards and grants, including support from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Pacific Pioneer Fund, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Film Arts Foundation, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.
Nancy Karp, Emeryville, CA. Choreography
Karp is director/principal choreographer for her San Francisco Bay Area based company Nancy Karp + Dancers. For over three decades, she has created more than 75 dance works for the company, touring the U.S. and internationally, with artist residencies in Germany, India, and Japan. She has been awarded commissions by the Sprachen der Kunste Festival in Berlin, Cabrillo Music Festival, American Institute of Architects, San Francisco, and the Kyoto International Contemporary Music Forum – Kyoto College of Art, among others. Karp has received numerous grants and awards, including a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship to India, a Rockefeller Foundation MAP grant, and Choreography Fellowships and Dance Company grants from the NEA. Within the dance community, she has worked as a mentor through the CHIME program, has been asked to serve on numerous arts panels, was a long-time trustee of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and received a lifetime achievement award at the Bay Area Dance Awards in 2005.
M. McNally, Phoenix, AZ. Literature
McNally is the author of six books of fiction, including Until Your Heart Stops, an NYT Notable Book, Low Flying Aircraft, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and The Gateway, a finalist for the PEN / Faulkner Award for Fiction. His work has recently been included in The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. He directs the Creative Writing Program at Arizona State University.
Amy X Neuburg, Oakland, CA. Music Composition
Neuburg studied classical voice and linguistics at Oberlin, and electronic music at the Mills CCM. She then explored a number of avenues for combining her interests in multi-genre singing, music technology, and language: she worked in experimental music-theater, created text-based scores for dance, sang the operas of Robert Ashley, and formed her electronic band Amy X Neuburg & Men. With the advent of live digital looping she found her calling and concentrated largely on a solo ‘avant-cabaret’ singer/songwriter career that continues to take her all over the world (Other Minds, Bang on a Can, Berlin Intl. Poetry Festival, Christchurch & Wellington Jazz Festivals (NZ), Alterazione in Milan, Warsaw Philharmonic Hall). Along the way she was invited to compose for acoustic and electro-acoustic ensembles and unexpectedly developed a parallel career as a real actual composer; commission highlights include the SF Chamber Orchestra, the SF Girls Chorus School, the Paul Dresher Ensemble and Del Sol String Quartet. Favorite large-scale collaborations have included They will have been so beautiful with the Dresher ensemble (singing 10 songs by 10 composers), The Secret Language of Subways for voice, cello trio and electronics, and Fill as Desired—a song cycle with Solstice vocal ensemble based on recipes gathered by women at a concentration camp. Neuburg was awarded an Alpert/Ucross residency prize and has received grants from Gerbode, Arts International, Hewlitt, EBCF and many others.
Andréa J. Onstad, Willits, CA. Literature
Onstad is a playwright and also writes in other genres. Her work has been read, workshopped, produced, and filmed in venues across the United States and Germany and has been published in collections by Heinemann, Applause Books, and the University of Alaska Anchorage Press. Several fiction pieces have been published by Zimbell House Publishing and Apeiron Press and one is forthcoming in Black Dandy.
Evelyn Jean Pine, San Francisco, CA. Literature
Pine writes about the moments when you feel your life is brand new — whether it is or not. The stories her plays explore include 19-year old Bill Gates’ fight against hobbyists who are sharing his software for the Altair Computer, Queen Isabella’s confrontation with the indigenous people Columbus brought to Spain, and the way the first movie shocks the imaginations of the patrons of the Grand Cafe in Paris in 1895. Her award-winning short plays have been performed around the country. A PlayGround Resident Playwright, she is a June Anne Baker Prize winner, a Djerassi Artists Residency alumna, and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. She teaches performance studies at San Francisco State University.
Melita Schaum, Berkeley, CA. Literature
Schaum is the author of five books: two on the poet Wallace Stevens, two on women’s issues, and a collection of memoir essays, A Sinner of Memory. Her poetry, short fiction and literary essays have appeared in such journals as The Denver Quarterly, The Colorado Review, Notre Dame Review, The Literary Review, New Letters, Mississippi Review, Spillway, upstreet, and The Briar Cliff Review. Three of her essays have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Stanford University in 1980 and taught creative writing and modern literature at the University of Michigan-Dearborn from 1984 to 2014. Schaum currently lives in Berkeley, California, where she has taught writing seminars for UC-Berkeley’s Extension Program and The Writing Salon in San Francisco.
Donna Sternberg, Santa Monica, CA. Choreography (The Vortex Collaboration)
Sternberg has professionally premiered over 90 dances, presented performances, educational programs and taught throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Mexico. She has received numerous choreographic commissions, participated in adjudicated dance festivals and been featured in print, on radio and television. She founded Donna Sternberg & Dancers, a contemporary dance company, in 1985 and has collaborated with artists and scientists from a variety of backgrounds. For the past 14 years science has served as an inspiration to create works on themes such as quantum physics and entanglement, perception and memory, the environment, celestial mechanics, botany and immunology. Her work has been funded by numerous grants from government agencies, corporations and foundations. Sternberg was invited to participate in the 2016 Venice Biennale, choreographing a site-specific work in collaboration with LeeMundwiler architects. In 2014 she was chosen to participate in the first artist/science residency at Djerassi. She has received an Artist-in-Community award by the Santa Monica Arts Foundation, a choreographic fellowship from the Santa Monica Arts Commission, was chosen for an artist residency program at the Julia and David White Artist Colony in Costa Rica, selected to head the dance program at the first Visual and Performing Arts Summer Institute conducted by the Santa Ana Unified School District, and served as Artist in Residence at UC Irvine. Sternberg was appointed to the Santa Monica Arts Commission in December 2001 where she served until 2011.
Dawn Sumner, Davis, CA. Geobiologist (The Vortex Collaboration)
Sumner is a geobiologist interested in how early life evolved on Earth and whether or not Mars may have once hosted microbial life. She explores life in many ways, ranging from describing the ancient remains of bacteria from remote areas on Earth to characterizing modern bacterial communities living in ice-covered Antarctica lakes. She helps run the Curiosity rover on Mars and works collaboratively to develop virtual representations of data for improved scientific interpretations. Sumner has several active collaborations, including with Tromble and Sternberg, that integrate novel visualization technology with science and the culture of science. Tromble, Sternberg, and Sumner are working on a performance piece, “Outside the Vortex,” which focuses on the challenges and successes of scientists who do not fit stereotypes. Sumner also dances and plays capoeira as a means of pushing herself creatively and physically. Sumner earned her B.S with honors at Caltech and her Ph.D. at MIT. She is based in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Davis, where she has been a professor since 1997.
Meredith Tromble, Oakland, CA. Visual Arts (The Vortex Collaboration)
Artist and writer Meredith Tromble has made drawings, installations and performances for venues ranging from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Southern Exposure in San Francisco, to the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. and the Glasgow School of Art in the UK. She has been artist-in-residence at the Complexity Sciences Center at the University of California, Davis (UCD), since 2011 in active collaboration with UCD geobiologist Dawn Sumner. Their interactive 3-D digital art installation Dream Vortex has been presented at ISEA2015, Vancouver, and Creativity & Cognition, Glasgow School of Art, 2015, and at more than a dozen American universities ranging from Stanford University in Palo Alto to Brown University in Providence. Dream Vortex was chosen as an “Exemplar Project” of interdisciplinary research by the Association for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) in 2015. Tromble’s other recent projects include an art installation developed with a neuroscientist at Gazzaley Lab, University of California San Francisco, and performance/lectures by “Madame Entropy.” Her 2012 blog on contemporary art and science, was supported by the Art Writers Initiative of the Andy Warhol Foundation. From 2000-2010 she was a core member of the artist collective Stretcher; and made flash “guerrilla” performances using a mechanism based on the research of biologist Larry Rome to generate electricity from the motion of her body. She holds an MFA from Mills College, Oakland.
Stephen Vincent, San Francisco, CA. Visual Arts/Literature
Vincent’s most recent published project was the volume, The Last 100 Days of the Presidency of Barack Obama (Book Studio). Some of the days were accomplished last December during a Djerassi Residency. The entire work including a reading was exhibited at the Adrienne Fish Gallery and Bookstore in San Francisco.
Nina Wise, San Rafael, CA. Performance Art
Wise, performance artist, writer and educator is known for her provocative and original performance works, which have achieved critical acclaim in the United States, South America and Asia. Her pieces, devised through extensive improvisational experiments integrating dance, text, sound, and visual elements have been produced in the United States, South America, Europe and Asia. She premiered The Kepler Story, an immersive theater piece designed for planetarium domes created in collaboration with California Academy of Sciences, in 2013 and is currently developing a national tour. As the Artistic Director of Motion Institute, she has spearheaded twelve major works. Her work, which involves intensive collaborations with designers, composers, choreographers, performers, directors, and thought pioneers has garnered consistent critical acclaim, including seven San Francisco Bay Area Critics’ Circle awards, four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and four Marin Arts Council Awards, among other awards. In addition to performing scripted works, Wise has crafted improvisational performances for theaters, international conferences, and think tanks. Her stories and articles have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies including The Sun, Tricycle, and Yoga Journal. Her book, A Big New Free Happy Unusual Life was published by Broadway Books and translated into German and Portuguese. She teaches meditation and performance art.
Astrid Young, Picton, Ontario, Canada. Literature
Young is a multi-disciplinary artist and best-selling Canadian author of the book Being Young, a chronicle of her life growing up in an iconic Canadian family. She is also a musician who has played or sang on more than 40 albums, and a screenwriter who has optioned several scripts/treatments as well as worked on other people’s films in several capacities (art director, producer, music contractor, music editor). She made her own short film in 1999; loosely based on the novel she is currently writing, it won several awards on the festival circuit and was subsequently shown on the Scream Channel. In amongst all this, she also became a sommelier (wine professional) and was once a candidate for Master of Wine. She currently lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario, where she spends her days working as a copywriter and working diligently to finish her second book, a horror novel entitled Haunted When the Minutes Drag.
Chun Yu, Ph.D., San Francisco, CA. Literature
Yu is the author of the award-winning memoir Little Green: Growing Up During the Chinese Cultural Revolution (Simon & Schuster) and a historical graphic novel in progress on Mao and Li Yu (a tenth century Chinese emperor)’s lives as Emperor Poets (Roaring Brook Press). She is also the author of a series of illustrated children’s books to be published in China between 2018-2020. She contributed to the award-winning poetry anthologies Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace and Open Doors. Her new poetry collection in English and Chinese has won a SF Arts Commission Cultural Equity Grant which merges science, art, and spirituality based on her experiences as an immigrant from an old culture in revolution to a new world with transforming science and technologies. She has just won a Zellerbach grant with Two Languages, One Community, a project connects the Bay Area Chinese and African American communities with poetry writing and performance in collaboration with Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC) and San Francisco poet Michael Warr.