Sweet Bird of Time and Change Margot Knight wrote a farewell letter in the latest edition of Art//Sky Read the full letter
Margaret Wilkerson Sexton nominated for Hurston/Wright Award Congrats to Margaret Wilkerson Sexton (Djerassi 2017), who was nominated for a 2020 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for her novel, "The Revisioners." The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award recognizes literary excellence by Black writers from the United States and around the world. Read the list of nominees
Matthew Baker releases new story collection Matthew Baker's (Djerassi 2017) new story collection, "Why Visit America,", was published on August 4 by Henry Holt. Named one of Esquire's "20 Must-Read Books of Summer 2020," the book received a starred review from Booklist, and includes nine stories that have already been optioned for film and television by studios such as Netflix, Amazon, Fox Searchlight, Fox, and FX. Order a copy
Margot H. Knight steps down as Executive Director After nearly a decade of leadership and direction, our Executive Director, Margot Haliday Knight, has stepped down from her leadership role at the end of July. Margot has been instrumental in providing leadership and direction to the organization since she joined in November 2011. “Djerassi Resident Artists Program has opportunities to advance the work it does to support artists in what I call the 'next-normal.' Our mission has never mattered more,” Knight shares. “The self-inquiry provoked by sheltering-in-place has been transformative. I have been a cultural worker in public history, art and the humanities for over four decades. Now I have books to write, protests to make, candidates to support and countries to see.” Read the letter from the Board
We stand for Black Lives and Black Voices Djerassi Resident Artists Program stands in solidarity and support of Black Lives Matter; we are committed to foregrounding Black Lives and Black Voices in all forms. Truth and justice is ringing like a bell that we all want to hear, from the protests in the United States to the moving demonstrations that are now being heard around the world. We condemn the systemic racism plaguing our country, and believe that our country is at a crossroads to reimagine and to rebuild a new reality. This has been... Read the full letter here
Wanda Coleman featured in The New Yorker Wanda Coleman (Djerassi 1990, 1991) was recently featured in a beautiful article in The New Yorker. Although she passed away in 2013, she has left an everlasting mark with her poems that "both tally and transcend the difficulties of an often broke black woman, working in perhaps the world’s least remunerative profession." Full article
Lisa Marie Rollins featured by American Theatre Lisa Marie Rollins (Djerassi 2018) was dubbed one of "6 Theatre Workers You Should Know" by American Theatre. In light of COVID-19, she is fostering "creative work that centers a love of humanity, and prioritizes safety and protection for us all.” Read the article
Kimi Eisele writes a timely article for Guernica magazine Kimi Eisele (Djerassi 2014) recently wrote an article, "Becoming Animal" for Guernica magazine. It's a captivating story that deals with face touching, dog ownership, coronavirus, and so much more. Read the article
Ann Fisher-Wirth receives NEH grant Congrats to Ann Fisher-Wirth (Djerassi 2005, 2016) for receiving a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to help develop the Environmental Studies minor at the University of Mississippi! The funding will allow for the university to revamp their gateway humanities course so that it will emphasize the interdisciplinary connections of the humanities with the social and natural sciences, including biology, psychology and public policy leadership. Read the full news release
Julia Bradshaw receives Individual Artist Fellowship Congratulations to Julia Bradshaw (Djerassi 2018) for being awarded a 2020 Individual Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission - as a direct result of artwork that she started working on during her residency at Djerassi, no less! The $5,000 award will go towards the construction of her studio-shed. Read more
Application Deadline Extended To March 30 **APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR 2021 DJERASSI RESIDENT ARTISTS PROGRAM EXTENDED TO MARCH 30, 2020** In recognition that this last week has been surprising, difficult, and distracting for everybody, we are extending our application deadline for all 2021 residencies with no increased fee. We are actively monitoring and responding to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, and at this time we anticipate that we will continue to host residencies for artists and scientists for the foreseeable future. For more information, please see our most recent update to 2020 residents here: https://djerassi.org/…/uplo…/2020/03/djerassi_c19update1.jpg. Let us hope that this public health crisis is largely in the rear-view mirror by the time our 2021 residency season begins next March. We look forward to reviewing your applications!
COVID-19 Update #1 An update for 2020 Artists & Scientists in residence Greetings 2020 Djerassi Resident Artist Program artists and scientists, As the circumstances and ripple effects surrounding COVID-19 evolve, we know that you may have questions. For now, we do not anticipate cancelling residencies or other programs this year. If you can get to SFO, we will pick you up. If you can drive here, your studio awaits. We recognize that status may change and will tell you right away if anything that might affect your residency develops. Generally speaking, as a relatively cloistered and remote place with very limited access, the Djerassi Program Artists Ranch should be a safer place than most. That said, we are monitoring best practices and preparing for the possibility of the virus showing up on the ranch. We're washing our hands, we're trying not to touch our faces, and we're stocking our pantry and will talk more about COVID-19 at our orientation, and with any luck your time here after that will be free of anxieties about personal exposure to the virus. Please consider your own needs as you pack. Meanwhile, we recognize that COVID-19 is introducing a variety of other factors (eg. travel restrictions, school closures) which could prevent you from spending a month at Djerassi. If you have an upcoming residency and believe that you might be unable to participate due to personal health or other issues, please get in touch early so we can monitor the situation (and, if need be, find someone from our lengthy wait-list for your spot!). So long as we are open, we are committed to filling our studios - please help us do that with open communication. We must ask, if you are showing symptoms of the illness (the big three being cough, fever, and shortness of breath) or have been exposed to someone with similar symptoms, please do yourself and your fellow residents the courtesy of staying home. If you need to cancel your residency due to Covid-19 related issues (again, let us know as soon as possible), we will put you at the top of the relevant "wait-list" for spots in another session in 2020. We want to honor the work you did that earned you a 2020 residency. Our goal continues to be to work with each of you so that you may have a joyous and productive (and transformational, Djerassi-magic experience) while in residence. Care and respect, Margot H. Knight, Executive Director Peter Bradley, Deputy Director of Programs See original letter
Artist-Trustee Jeanne Finley Premieres New Film Finley’s new film “Journeys Beyond the Cosmodrome” (2019) will premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival 42. The experimental documentary explores the imagined futures of a group of teenagers graduating from an orphanage on the Kazakhstan Steppes. Tickets available here
Interview with Viet Thanh Nguyen (‘08) on NPR Nguyen discusses his Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Sympathizer" with Fresh Air host Terry Gross, diving into how his family history influenced his writing. Nguyen and his family fled their village in South Vietnam in 1975, and "The Sympathizer" is a spy novel set during and just after the war in Vietnam. Listen to the interview here.
Laura Viale (‘02) Exhibits in GHOSTS Viale and sixteen other artists are working under Bruce Sterling to create Artmaker 3, a melding of the tech inspired art and prototypes. The Share Festival is a cross-disciplinary event hosted in Turin, Italy this May. The theme for the festival this year is the melding of the paranormal and technology, all under the banner of art. Learn more about GHOSTS here.
Summer Intensive with Dušan Týnek (‘16) Dušan Týnek’s Dance Theatre, or (DT)2, is holding a week long intensive camp, offering an excellent opportunity for dancers between the ages of 12 and 18 to train and work alongside seasoned professionals. It will be held July 14th through 20th at the Windhover Center for the Performing Arts. Learn more about the intensive here.
Djerassi Program Recognized as a Top Writers Retreat Poets & Writers named Djerassi in the top twenty-two most inspiring writers retreats in the nation. Leni Zumas (‘05) reminisces on her experience at Djerassi, saying “[to] be immersed in mountain beauty, given good meals and a cozy room, free to sleep and read and walk and write as I chose—it was heaven.” Read the article here.
Robin Tewes to be Featured in “Words in Pictures” Robin Tewes ('97) will be participating in the exhibition "Words in Pictures" through the Adam Baumgold Gallery from January 10-February 18. You can only get in by appointment, so be sure to book your reservation in advance! You can find more info here!
A.M. Rousseau To Exhibit at Launch LA Art Gallery A.M. Rousseau (1988) will be exhibition photo collage drawings in the show, "Drawing Near" at the Launch LA Art Gallery. The opening reception is January 12, 2019 from 6-9 PM.
Nina Wise To Perform at the 2nd Annual Playground Solo On February 9, Nina Wise will perform her piece, Current, at the Playground Solo Performance Festival. Wise (1990, '06, and '13), will create an evening-length improvisation based on the events of the past 24 hours. It's sure to be a lovely performance! You can buy tickets here.
Reading at AlleyCat Books with Allison Cobb Allison Cobb ('15) will be reading from the re-release of her book, Green-Wood, at AlleyCat Books in the Mission on January 18th, at 7 pm. If you're in the area, it may be the perfect way to spend a Friday evening. You can find out more here!
Remote Preparation Premiered December 8th Djerassi 2010 alum, Mel Day, curated a screening called Remote Preparation featuring 7 artists on December 8th. Two of the featured artists were also Djerassi alum! Angela Willetts (2018) shared her work, Escape Raft, while Jeremiah Barber (2015) showed the short video, Advocate. This was all possible due to Vtape. Congratulations, alum!
Melanie Bishop (’16) Featured in The New York Times Melanie Bishop wrote an article in the Modern Love column for the New York Times, describing her feelings as she assisted her mother who was afflicted with dementia. The story is real, powerful, and worth the read. You can access the article here.
3 Djerassi Alum Participate in Recology Artist Residency Kathy Aoki ('06), Alicia Escott ('12), and Genevieve Quick ('04) are three of the six recipients of 2019 artist residencies at Recology San Francisco. Each residency is four months, with exhibitions being held at the end of each residency. Congratulations to these esteemed alumni!
Patricia Colleen Murphy (’16) Wins the 2019 Press 53 Award Patricia Murphy has been named the winner of the 2019 Press Award of her collection of poetry, Bully Love. She was selected by Editor Tom Lombardo from a pool of more than 400 entires from 45 states and her work will be published on April 1, 2019. At that time, Ms. Murphy will receive ten copies of her book and an advance of $1,500. You can read about her win here!
Lydia Conklin (’17) to Receive Rona Jaffe Foundation Award Fiction writer and Djerassi fellow Lydia Conklin will receive a 2018 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award, which is given annually to six women writers who demonstrate excellence and promise in the early stages of their careers. You can read about it here.
Shelley Jordon (2015) at the Maine Jewish Museum Shelley Jordan's show, Forest Leaves & Family Trees, will run from Thursday, September 6th to October 26, 2018 at the Maine Jewish Museum. The paintings are a series of oversized studies of leaves gathered from the forest floor. In her work, Jordon manages to find a macabre beauty within the decaying surfaces of the leaves and branches. Shelley Jordon has a second show, Still Streaming, in New York City which also opens in September 2018.
Ann Kresge (2015) will be an AIR in several sites this upcoming year: Foundation Ace, Buenos Aires; Playa Summer Lake, OR; and Women's Studio Workshop, NY. She was recently an AIR at Vermont Studio Center, VT for which she received an OAC/ Ford Family Foundation Opportunity Grant. While in residence Ann will continue to work on her printmaking based Installations and artists' books.
Tearrance Chisholm (2016) + Lisa Marie Rollins (2018) will premiere HOODED, or being black for dummies regionally at CustomMade Theater in SF March 8-31, 2018. Written by Tearrance Chisholm, Directed by Lisa Marie Rollins, with A Producing Partnership with Playwrights Foundation Learn more and find tickets
Peter Walter (2017) Biochemist and sculptor Peter Walter (2017) was presented with the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. Peter was here for Scientific Delirium Madness 4.0 and demonstrated his skills at Open House. One of his sculptures now graces our property. Learn more
Photo: Elisabeth Fall
Nancy Karp (1990, 2011, + winter 2014) + Dancers Presents: On Beauty Produced in collaboration with the David Brower Center. Inspired by the Brower Center’s current exhibition, Douglas R Tompkins: On Beauty, which celebrates the life and work of the late conservationist Doug Tompkins, Karp will make a new site specific performance work for the company. February 9 - 11, 2018 Friday, 8:00pm; Saturday and Sunday, 6:00pm and 7:30pm Learn more and find tickets
Lava Thomas (2003 + winter 2009) Sabbath: The 2017 Dorothy Saxe Invitational, group exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum through Feb. 25, 2018 The Contemporary Jewish Museum has commissioned works from fifty-seven artists to interpret the diversity of meanings associated with the day of rest. Learn more
Emily X.R. Pan (2017) has an upcoming book, The Astonishing Color of After, and that book has a cover! The YA novel behind the cover will be presented to the world in March 2018. The book has already made the American Booksellers Association’s “Indies Introduce” list of potential top sellers for independent bookstores. Watch this space (and Facebook and Instagram) for more Emily news. Cover as shown by Paste Magazine
Cover: Sasha Illingworth