News & Events February 2019


Interdisciplinary artist Deanna Pindell's past project Squiggle Salal undertakes the restoration of both the woodland ecology and the social ecology through the important native shrub, Salal.​ The forest-habitat remediation began with removing invasive vegetation and replacing with native Salal, a keystone Indigenous shrub. Handmade wattles meander 200 feet through the forest, along the trail and under trees. The wattles serve to mulch salal seedlings.​ Text is hand-stitched into the hand-made burlap wattles, using black wool. The text includes the word for Salal in eight Pacific Northwest Indigenous languages, and English poetry. Eventually the wattles will decay, becoming mulch and nesting material for the resident flora and fauna. 

Lushootseed Language/Salish Lands Acknowledgement project
In 2019, alumna Deanna Pindell (MFAIA-WA '11) will lead her first major decolonial public art project on three Olympic College campuses in Washington state. Indigenous students at college and pre-college level will create numerous ceramic-and-concrete markers with Lushootseed words (the local Salish language), to be distributed across the entire campus grounds. This artist-initiated, community-based project was funded with a Robinson Grant from the Olympic College Foundation.

Deanna Pindell focuses on forest and water quality issues through sculpture, installation, and public art. She explores the complexity of these concerns and proposes functional, remediative solutions when possible. ​ As a citizen scientist and community-engaged artist, she has worked with climate scientists, marine biologists, water-quality chemists, soils scientists and a variety of community stakeholders. For more on her work, please visit Deanna's website here.

Image Top Left: Communal meal with horses, humans and bacterial cultures at Kultivator in Dyestad, Sweden, as part of Multispecies Storytelling exhibition and conference. Photo: Anton. Image Top Right: Three-part video installation, True Knots of Possible (culturing m<other tongues) in Multispecies Storytelling exhibition at Vaxjo Konsthall in Vaxjo, Sweden. Image bottom: K-Haw Hart culturing m<Other Tongues at Kultivator in Dyestad, Sweden in preparation for Multispecies Storytelling.
Images courtesy of the artist.

Multispecies Storytelling in Intermedial Practices
Alumna Karin Bolender Hart aka K-Haw Hart (MFAIA-VT '07) was invited to Vaxjo, Sweden in January to take part as a keynote speaker in an exhibition and conference called Multispecies Storytelling in Intermedial Practices. In the days prior to the conference, she collaborated with Swedish artist-farmers, Kultivator, to create a pre-conference round-table event in which horses, cows, and humans on the farm were invited to share in a communal meal in the barn, along with various acts and figures of bacterial culturing. That table was then brought to the conference space, where participants were invited to follow the lines of bacterial traces by embroidering on the communal tablecloth. This collaboration was called Kultivating m<Other Tongues.

Karin's related work in the group exhibition at Vaxjo Konsthall, called True Knots of Possible (culturing m<other tongues), is a three-part video installation and invitation to participate in the ongoing evolution of her Welcome to the Secretome workshop. These projects all grow out of continuing activation of microbial culturing as a way of framing "untold" stories. For more please visit Karin's website here.

Left photo: Ronee Penoi, photo: Amber Wilkie. Middle photo: Scotti Clifford & Spirits Cry, photo courtesy of the artists.
Right photo: Storme Webber, photo courtesy of the artist.

Indigenous Rising
Alumna Storme Webber (MFAIA-WA '14) will be performing at the Indigenous Rising, An Evening of NextGen Native Artists - spoken word, incisive theater and "Alter-Native" rock by a rising generation of indigenous artists. Northwest-based arts activist Andre Bouchard (of Kootenai and Ojibwe descent) guest-curated this program of a rising generation of Indigenous artists.

Playwright Ronee Penoi's (Laguna Pueblo/Cherokee) work-in-progress, The Carlisle Project, uses song and satire to tell the harrowing history of Carlisle Indian School and the brutal assimilation enforced under its motto "Kill the Indian, Save the Man." Solo performance poetry is delivered by Storme Webber (Alutiiq/Black/Choctaw), a Two Spirit, poet, playwright, educator and interdisciplinary artist who creates blues-influenced, socially engaged texts and images exploring identity, art activism, and the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, memory and spirit. Scotti Clifford and Spirits Cry, a rock-blues trio from South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation, fuse rock, blues and alternative rock in honor of Grandmother Earth and their Oglala Lakota ancestry. Please join the artists for a pre- and post-show discussion on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, at 7pm & 9pm, Warner Bentley Theater, Hopkins Center for the Arts, 4 East Wheelock Street, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755. For more information, please visit the Dartmouth College website here.

Presented by Voices Rising: LGBTQ of Color Arts & Culture, an organization founded in 2007 by Storme Webber. Nights at Washington Hall presents InD.IGen.X - stories, songs, confessions of Indigenous ex-patriots living on stolen land. Featuring Dian Million, Tanana Athabascan (ex-pat 1962-2019), Ernestine Hayes (Tlingit ex-pat 1961-1986); Storme Webber (lifelong Sugpiaq ex-pat); with readings from the works of Mary TallMountain (Dené ex-pat 1930-1994). Voices Rising is an incubator/repository/nurturer of QPOC art. This event will be held on Friday, February 1, 2019 at 8pm. It is a free event located at Washington Hall, 153 - 14th Avenue, Seattle.

For more information, please visit the Facebook event page here.
For more on Storme's work, please visit her website here.

Washington Hall has been a welcoming place where people gather, create, entertain, and celebrate since it was built in 1908. The Hall has been a cultural home to many communities and art forms, and for a long time embodied the soul of Seattle's Central Area. As Seattle magazine noted: "Washington Hall is the place where many Seattleites were introduced to contemporary avant-garde dance and performances from around the globe. An important venue where some of the greatest American musicians performed - Marian Anderson, Mahalia Jackson, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Count Basie all graced its stage. It was also the place where W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey and Joe Louis spoke during their Seattle visits, at a time when many venues were closed to people of color."

The Journey to Black Liberation - Harbourfront Centre Black Daddies Club. Image courtesy of the artist.

For the Love of Money: A Conversation Around Sex Work and Black Bodies
This Is a conversation that looks to create space for sex workers to debunk some of the myths around their profession, challenging the hyper-sexualization of Black bodies and examining how the stigma of the sex worker profession intersects with identities experienced by Black sex workers globally. With current MFAIA-VT student Akynos (NYC Black Sex Worker Collective), Akio Maroon and Mz Lady Ice. Moderated by Rania El Mugammar. Co-curated by Brandon Hay (Black Daddies Club/Toronto), Twysted Miyake Mugler (Toronto), Michael Roberson Maasai Maison-Margiela (NYC). The event is on Friday, February 1, 2019, 8:00pm-10:00pm, at the Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Canada. For more information, please visit the Harbourfront event page here.

Images from Cara Hagan's Shedding Skin series. Photos: Adela C. Licona.

Shedding Skin

"Shedding Skin: A Photo Poetics Exploration of the Im/Possibilities of Cohabitation" is from an ongoing collaborative project titled Shedding Skin. It consists of three photographs by scholar-photographer, Adela C. Licona, and a work of creative prose titled "Creation Story" by scholar-artist, alumna Cara Hagan (MFAIA-WA '12).

These works emerged during their recently awarded arts residency at PLAYA in Summer Lake, Oregon. Working from a shared perspective on the body and its relationship to the natural world, Adela used photography to create visual images of Cara in the dried alkali lakebed of Summer Lake, Oregon. Their collaboration is an exploration of ways of experiencing and expressing the world through a visual and textual framework of relational inseparability in search of understandings of what it might take to achieve sustainable cohabitations.

PLAYA in Summer Lake is located on the ancestral homelands of the Klamath Tribes. It was traditionally Yahuskin Paiute terriorties as well. The federally recognized Klamath Tribes are three confederated tribes, the Klamath, Modoc, and Yahuskin. To learn more about the tribes please visit their website: For more information on this project please see the artists' Collective Terrain webpage.

Cara's poem "Dust Dancer" from the Shedding Skin series is also published in Zócalo Public Square online, click here for link.

Image left: Cygnus, (2018), directed by Cara Hagan and Robert Uehlin. Image right: Production still from Sound and Sole (2018) a film by Cara Hagan. Images courtesy of the artist.

Cara Hagan has two films on the festival circuit at the moment. Cygnus has been accepted into ten festivals nationally and internationally, and Sound and Sole has been accepted into seven festivals nationally. Sound and Sole was just awarded "Best Southern States Documentary" at the Southern States indie Fan Film Fest in Biloxi, Mississippi. Cara spent nearly 18 months creating Sound and Sole on local clog and buck dancer Arthur Grimes. View the Sound and Sole Trailer here.

My Place, or Yours? Two exhibitions curated by Cara Hagan
Artist Cynthia Ling Lee shares her work with North Carolina high country artist Jessica Green as part of My Place, or Yours? a set of two overlapping exhibitions Cara Hagan is curating to open in the spring of 2019. Cynthia Ling Lee's online blog can be found here. My Place, or Yours? features forty artists from across the world collectively, working in a variety of mediums. The work centers around "Artistic Surrogacy," a model of long distance collaboration that aims to subvert institutional bias, mitigate the financial and environmental impacts of artist travel, and close the gender gap in the arts landscape by creating opportunities for a democratization of the art experience for makers, audiences and presenters. There are several Goddard College MFAIA alumni involved - Natalie St. Martin (MFAIA-WA '12), Elizabet Elliott (MFAIA-WA '13), Suzanne Ostersmith (MFAIA-WA '13), in addition to a large group of artists from the US and abroad.

The show opens on April 5th at Revolve Asheville located at RAMP SOUTH Studio, 821 Riverside Dr. #179 Asheville, North Carolina 28801.

The show at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at the Appalachian State University, 423 West King St. Boone, North Carolina 28608, opens on June 7th with receptions in July and September. 

Sokoloff Creative Arts Fellowship
Alumna Tess Howsam (MFAIA-WA '19) is a recipient of a 2019-2020 Sokoloff Creative Arts Fellowship along with Charlotte Arnoux & Alex Parrish, Nikko Benson, Éamon Boylan, Maximus DeFrancesco, Molly Powers Gallagher, Rachel Lin, Anna Lublina, Lacy Marie Meyer, Ben Moniz, Marina Montesanti, Zach Morris, Mark Murray, Tara O'Con, Noah Reece, Tidtaya Sinutoke, Alex Spieth, Jeff Tang, Greg Taubman, The Mother Line Story Project, Will Thomason, Isaac L. Thompson Jr, Rebecca Vineyard, and Emma Rosa Went.

Sokoloff Arts has been dedicated to telling artists' stories and sharing their passions since its foundation in 2012. The Sokoloff Creative Arts Fellowship, in conjunction with Town Stages in New York, provides a home for artists, entrepreneurs, writers, content creators, movers, shakers, and makers of all disciplines. Fellows receive access to free workspaces to host meetings, develop, write, practice and collaborate. Click here to apply for the 2020 Sokoloff Creative Arts Fellowship. Town Stages, 221 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013 (212) 634-7690

Neel Murgai. Photo: Indra Gill and Barry Reeves.

World Premiere of Jungle Book Ballet
In new ballet based on Rudyard Kipling's iconic collection of stories alumnus Neel Murgai (MFAIA-VT '10) will be the featured composer and Indian music director. The Jungle Book will feature ballet and contemporary choreography by Gabriel Chajnik. An exciting collaboration with classical Indian dance teacher Sudha Shekhar Devulapalli, this Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater production features a fusion of Bharatanatyam and ballet performed by a cast of professional dancers and talented young trainees, as well as dazzling visuals and costumes by acclaimed designer José Solis and striking masks and headpieces designed by Tentacle Studios, whose clients include Lady Gaga, Kesha, and the Royal Ballet. The Jungle Book runs Saturdays: February 2nd & 9th at 8pm; Sundays: February 3rd at 3pm, and February 10th at 1pm & 5pm, at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, 100 Grant Avenue, Deal Park, New Jersey 07723. For more info see Neel's website here.

Discussing public art in Chinatown, Vancouver, Canada. Image Left: Kendall Yan, Paul Wong and Debbie Cheung. Image Right: with Laiwan at far left and Tatiana Mellema at far right. Photos by Carolina de la Cajiga.

身在唐人街 / Occupying Chinatown Public Art Panel
Multidisciplinary artist Paul Wong officially launched his year-long residency Occupying Chinatown to coincide with the City of Vancouver's April 2018 formal apology for the historical discrimination against Chinese residents in Vancouver. On January 19, 2019, a public art panel discussing issues surrounding public art projects in the area of Chinatown, along with Paul's moving tribute to his mother through her letters and medicines, thus also a moving tribute to our elders. Panel participants with Paul included Kendall Yan, Debbie Cheung, Tatania Mellema, Vincent Kwan and MFAIA-WA faculty advisor Laiwan, in the exhibition hall at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver Canada.

Paul created a series of multidisciplinary artworks based on 700 letters in Chinese sent by 90 writers to his mother Suk-Fong Wong from 1946 to 2016. The residency includes exhibitions, screenings, collaborations with other artists, workshops, performances, events, a website, and a book. Occupying Chinatown is commissioned in partnership with the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and the City of Vancouver Public Art Program.

Spring exhibition | Ordinary Shadows, Chinese Shade
Summer exhibition | 鹹水埠溫哥華/咸水埠温哥华/Saltwater City Vancouver
Summer event | Pride in Chinatown
Fall exhibition | 媽媽的藥櫃/Mother's Cupboard
Winter exhibition | 淑芳你好嘛/Suk-Fong, How Are You?