All News

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 a long time coming. Amidst the upheaval of COVID-19 and the pandemic of racism and intersectional oppression, a new truth and a new honesty about our history is coming forward. We mourn the painful loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and the many others who have died unjustly in senseless acts of violence—Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Walter Scott, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Layleen Polanco, Tony McDade, Nina Pop and Eric Garner. We say their names and seek that their stories be told so that our laws and social patterns change for good. The Djerassi Program stands with the transformative work happening in protest to make lasting and immediate change in our everyday lives, with all those seeking an end to police brutality, to end white supremacy, and a new day for us all. Like many institutions, Djerassi Resident Artists Program is deep listening— How can we help to dismantle white supremacist frameworks, how can we better amplify Black and indigenous voices, and how can we help to build true and lasting change? How can our land and our mission reflect a regenerative oasis for diverse artists to thrive and tell the diverse stories that need to be told? How can we build true inclusion into every step of our Program and our overall approach? These are urgent times, and we will do our best to keep improving how we support artists, how we hire, how we collaborate and lead, and how we support our communities. We stand with Black Lives, and with the many artists, activists, and brave communities at the front line creating incredible breakthroughs in this movement even as we write this. We renew our commitment to share a spectrum of artists’ voices. We will act by creating new ways to share pivotal dialogues with artists through our platform. We seek to cultivate a regenerative environment where artists thrive and new ideas that transform society can grow. At the Djerassi Program, we will do all we can to encourage sustained dialogue, and to create a space, a haven for a greater shift in our collective imagination. We believe that together we will create a way through -- a portal to a new present and future. Thank you for all that you do. Onwards, The Board and Staff of Djerassi Resident Artists Program Image: Aleta Hayes (Djerassi 2007, 2008, 2017) performance with The Chocolate Heads, 2017 "If we could create the next California, how would it appear? This performance diorama, an imaginary and constructed place, is set in the present, but proposes a future that hopes to rival the beauty, diversity and inventiveness that is California." - Aleta Hayes 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

Nathan Yungerberg

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

Simmons Buntin

Melissa Gould writes about her residency Melissa Gould (Djerassi 2002) tells the story behind her site-inspired work pictured here. She calls it a "Landscape Wink," and it's a wonderful testament to the power of the land at Djerassi to spark creativity in artists. 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

Rodney Sharman featured in VSO “meet the composer” video Rodney Sharman (Djerassi 2020) is featured in this "meet the composer" video by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, which was filmed right from the composer's studio at Djerassi! Rodney is one of a handful of artists who chose to stay sheltered on the mountain after the COVID-19 shutdown began, yet he has continued to write music and contribute to arts education. See the video

COVID-19 Update #2 A letter from our executive director in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep (Djerassi) Dreaming With Us See complete letter

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:…/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!

Julie Mayo’s (’13) Newest Dance Premieres in NYC Julie Mayo's newest dance, Terrific Freight, is set to premier at The Chocolate Factory in NYC from October 25-November 3, 2018. Tickets are $20 each and the performance begins at 8 pm each night. You can buy tickets 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.

Valetin Popov’s (1990, 2002) Face Marathon Valentin Popov's new book, Face, chronicles his traveling exhibition of the same name, which explores the mysteries and nuances of the human face. You can pick up a copy of the book here.

Camille Acker’s (2018) Book is One to Read Camille Acker's debut novel, Training School for Negro Girls, has been reviewed to be a beautiful success! The book will be available for purchase on October 9. You can find the review 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.

Kara Maria (2003) at Townsend Center for the Humanities Kara Maria's show, Luminous Disturbances, will be up at the Townsend Center from September 10th to December 14th, 2018. An opening reception will take place on September 12th, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. More information can be found here.

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.

Camille Dungy (2014) 's book Trophic Cascade has won the Colorado Book Award for poetry. Camille's other book, Guidebook to Relative Strangers was also named a finalist. Guidebook to Relative Strangers was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Photo: Camille Dungy

Avantika Bawa (2014) has been selected as a Hallie Ford Fellow for visual arts for 2018! Avantika is one of five Oregon Artists selected for the fellowship in honor of Hallie Ford, who believed that artists should be given the opportunity to realize their talents.

Photo: Harold Hutchinson

Lisa Locascio (2014 + 2015) is featured on a Village Voice article highlighting her upcoming book Open Me. She and other writers' debut novels are featured as summer must-reads: visceral and exciting like the season itself. Lisa's book is out August 7, 2018.

Photo: Lisa Locascio

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

Hillary Jordan (2009) Hillary Jordan's novel Mudbound is now a feature film, and it's receiving its share of Hollywood buzz. Read the CNN review of the film directed by Dee Rees. Read the review

Photo: Jason Mitchell, Garrett Hedlund in 'Mudbound'

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

Taylor Ho Bynum (2013) released the recent recording "Enter the Plustet" with Firehouse 12 Records. Album details

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