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Fellowship grants acknowledge the work of 27 of Rhode Island's finest artists in a variety of arts disciplines. Meet the recipients of our 2017 Fellowship Awards:
Ava Delasanta is a choreographer and arts administrator. A native of Rhode Island, she received her BA in Dance Performance from Rhode Island College. During her time at RIC, two of her choreographic works were featured at the American College Dance Association's New England and Northeast conferences. She also performed for two years as a company member for Providence Ballet Theater. Upon graduating from RIC, Ava worked as the Programming and Production Associate at Dance Place, a professional theater and educational dance center in Washington, DC. While in DC, she choreographed for The Field/DC, and performed in Kitchen Sink Fest, a mega-collaborative movement-based performance project. She is currently the instructor and choreographer of the North Smithfield High School after-school dance team.
Danielle Genest is Co-founder and Associate Artistic Director of Janusphere Dance Company, as well as, Company Teacher and Rehearsal Mistress for Island Moving Company. She was previously Co-Artistic Director of Part of the Oath. Danielle's choreography has been commissioned by New York Theatre Ballet, Tallahassee Ballet, Island Moving Company, IMC’s Junior Company, Texas A&M University, Salve Regina University, and Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance. Her work has been showcased at Hartford Ballet's Arts Exclusive, the Elan Awards in New York City, and the 10th International Ballettmeeting in Austria. Danielle has also created for video, in collaboration with Dennis Diamond and for commercial use by PC Connection. In addition to her choreographic career, she has been dancing professionally, performing and touring both nationally and internationally with companies including Hartford Ballet, New York Theatre Ballet, Island Moving Company, Providence Ballet Theatre, Spindle City Ballet, and Cadence Dance Project among others. Danielle has also been teaching ballet at Ballet School New York, Providence Ballet, The Dance Academy, and currently Newport Academy of Ballet. She resides in Newport, RI with her husband, Petar, and their sons, Niko and Rafael.
Sean Riley holds an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Pennsylvania and a BFA in Painting from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He has been using inherited clothing in his work since 2008 to reflect on personal and collective experiences of loss, memory, and time. The latest work in this project involves the deconstruction of denim blue jeans by methodically removing individual weft threads to alter and reshape the woven structure of the fabric. His work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout the Northeast including; Danese/Corey in New York City, TSA NY in Brooklyn, NY, Gallery 263 in Cambridge, MA, Lamont Gallery in Exeter, NH, Arthur Ross Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, NY, and several others. He has received grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and the Berkshire Taconic Foundation. Riley has also been an artist in residence at the Joan Mitchell Center, Yaddo, and the Vermont Studio Center. Riley lives in Providence, RI and works from a studio in Pawtucket, RI.
Steven Lubecki is an artist living in Providence RI. He has been a working as professional goldsmith for over 10 years. Steven has also been studying to become a master bladesmith and has taught classes in both subjects. He is a graduate of the Maine College of Art with a degree in Metalsmithing and Jewelry. He was born in Rome NY, and has been an artist since he could manipulate instruments of creativity. He currently owns Steven Lubecki Designs; Jewelry trade technical services, custom knives, and jewelry.
Suzanne Schireson’s work includes painting, drawing, and video. In recent work, Schireson addresses her great grandfather’s medical practice during the infancy of plastic surgery. These drawings and animations explore inherent contradictions that underlie his work: the necessity of precision vs. the risk of invention and the power to heal vs. the fostering of insecurity. She is the recipient of numerous awards including two Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grants (2007 and 2009). Schireson holds an MFA from Indiana University (2008), a BFA from the University of Pennsylvania (2004), and a certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (2003). In 2015, she had a solo exhibition at Smith College entitled “Ears May Talk Behind Your Back” and in 2014 her work was included in “Selfies and Friends: Contemporary Portraiture” at Cade Tompkins Projects, Providence, RI. She displays her work nationally and internationally, including The Sori Art Center in Jeollabuk-do, South Korea (2012), The Beijing World Art Museum in Beijing, China (2015) and The Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra, Guwahati, Assam, India (2016). Suzanne Schireson is Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and lives in Providence, RI.
Artist Meredith Stern obtained a BFA in Ceramics at Tulane University in New Orleans. She is a member of the International printmaking group called The Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative. Her art practice includes printmaking, ‘zine publishing, gardening, and making ceramic fermentation crocks. Meredith has collaborated on several large scale art installations at Space 1026 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; UWM Union Art Gallery at The University of Wisconsin at Madison; The Miller Gallery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as part of the Pittsburgh Biennial; and in Ljubliana, Slovenia as part of the 29th Graphic Arts Biennial. Her work is in the permanent collections at the Library of Congress, The RISD Museum, and the Book Arts Collection at the MOMA in New York.
Founding editor of Drunken Boat, teaching faculty at the New York Writers Workshop, and award-winning author, editor and translator, Ravi Shankar's 10 books include W.W. Norton & Co.’s "Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from Asia, the Middle East & Beyond," the National Poetry Review Prize winning "Deepening Groove," "Instrumentality," the finalist for the Connecticut Book Award and translations of 9th century Tamil poet/saint, Andal, "The Autobiography of a Goddess." He has appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Financial Times, India Today, as well as on the BBC, NPR and PBS Newshour. Winner of a Pushcart Prize, a Hackney Literary Award and a Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner, he has held fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Blue Mountain Center and the Corporation of Yaddo, and has taught and performed his work around the world.
Stephanie Reents is the author of The Kissing List (Hogarth/Crown, 2012), an Editors Choice in The New York Times Book Review. Her short stories have appeared in the O. Henry Prize Stories, Best of the West, and numerous other journals and been noted in the Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses. She teaches in the English Department at the College of the Holy Cross and lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband and small son.
Steven Subotnick received his MFA from Cal Arts. He has received a RISCA Fellowship, a MacDowell Residency, awards at the Holland and Hiroshima Animation Festivals, and grants from the LEF Moving Image Fund, Harvard Film Archive, and the American Film Institute. His work is in the collection of the ICA Boston and has shown at Gallery 5 in Richmond, Sert Gallery, Art Space in Raleigh, AS220, Chazen Gallery, and the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art. His work uses varied imagery – from cartoon to pure textural abstraction, unusual editing techniques, and carefully structured sound design to make human vulnerability, conflict, and history concrete and to convey a deeply personal aesthetic experience to viewers. His filmmaking has explored non-objective imagery, stories with unusual characters, and animation based on actual historical events. While covering a wide territory of content, he has worked to create a more precise “language” of animation forms. He currently teaches animation at Rhode Island School of Design, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and Brown University.
Chief Daryl “Black Eagle” Jamieson of the Pocasset Wampanoag Tribe (pictured above in the middle), composes, performs and writes traditional Algonquin music and drum songs. He is the founder and lead composer of the Eastern Medicine Singers (EMS) since 2008. He performs in venues all over New England. He is an accomplished hand drum player as well as the tribal powwow drummer. He also organizes several cultural events including the Big Drum Powwow in Providence and the 1st Light Powwow at Niswasocket Park in Woonsocket.
Venus Reels is a traditional cultural bearer who creates Northeastern Woodland Style Appliqué Beadwork. Her process begins by determining the Native American tribal affiliations and origins of an old style beaded piece. She determines the materials involved and gathers the materials to duplicate the style in an authentic way. By practicing this form of art, she continues the integrity of her ancestors' authentic style of beadwork. Her aspirations are that this type of beaded art tradition honors her ancestor's lives and traditions and are carried into the future generations by passing the knowledge from one generation to the next.
Venus has practiced her art for approximately thirty years. She has taught her children and have been hired by regional tribal nations to teach their membership. She has demonstrated at numerous powwows and Native American events such as socials and conferences throughout the New England. Her work is shown at many Native American events and in museums and galleries such as the Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill, Peabody Museum, Mashantucket Pequot Museum and the Warwick Museum of Art.
Cellist/electronic musician Laura Cetilia is a performer, composer, educator, and presenter. A daughter of mixed heritage, she is at home with in-betweeness. As a composer, her music has been described as “unorthodox loveliness” by the Boston Globe and and her debut solo album was hailed as “alternately penetrating and atmospheric” in Sequenza 21. The Grove Dictionary of American Music describes her electroacoustic duo Mem1 as a “complex cybernetic entity” that “understands its music as a feedback loop between the past and present.” Mem1 has held artist residencies and toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. In her viola/cello duo, Suna No Onna, she has worked closely with and premiered works by composers André Cormier, Jürg Frey and Antoine Beuger, among others. As a product of the now-dwindling public school music program, Laura believes in the right to accessible music education and is a Resident Musician at Community MusicWorks, a non-profit organization that provides free stringed instruments and lessons for children in urban neighborhoods of Providence, RI. There she teaches cello, is co-director of the media/sound lab and the curator of the Ars Subtilior experimental music series. She is also a proud mother of one.
Peyman Farzinpour enjoys a diverse career as composer, conductor, and music educator. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and he also serves as Artistic Director and Conductor of ENSEMBLE / PARALLAX, a new music and multimedia consort in Providence, RI. Previously, he was a Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where he headed the composition studio.
Prior to his post with E/P, he held the position of Conductor in Residence with Opera Cabal. He has also served as Music Director and Conductor of Erato Philharmonia in Los Angeles and the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra in Massachusetts. Farzinpour has guest conducted orchestras and ensembles throughout North America and Europe and has conducted contemporary music concerts at Tufts University, the Conservatoire Maurice Ravel in Paris, and at Berklee. Prior to moving to the east coast, he was the Director of New Music Programs for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and was also the Manager of the Education and Community Programs at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Farzinpour’s compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe by groups such as the MDI, Cygnus, and Janus Ensembles, the June in Buffalo Chamber Orchestra, the St. Matthews Chamber Orchestra, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Verdi String Quartet, the Empyrean Ensemble, Piano Spheres, and at the Conservatoire Maurice Ravel in Paris and the Tufts University Festival of Contemporary Music. In 2016, he received the Fellowship Merit Award in Music Composition from the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts as well as a Faculty Development Grant from the Berklee College of Music.
Farzinpour holds a B.M. in classical guitar performance from the Peabody Conservatory, a B.A. in English Literature from the Johns Hopkins University, and an M.A. in composition from U.C. Davis. He did post-graduate studies in Italy, where he studied conducting with Emilio Pomarico and Sandro Gorli, and composition with Giacomo Manzoni.
Walker Mettling is a Providence printmaker, cartoonist, and educator. Since 2010, he has directed the Providence Comics Consortium, a micro-publisher that puts out comics by kids and adult cartoonists, as well as parades, pneumatic tube advice booths and other public spectacles. In 2016 he won the Dorry Award in Best Public Art for his Dirt Palace window installation of arcane winter-themed mythological characters. Most recently Mettling edited a few issues of the oversized full-color comics newspaper The Providence Sunday Wipeout.
Benjamin Lundberg is a Colombian performance artist, theater-maker, and educator.
He creates collaborative collisions between public and performer, inviting immersion and participation by creating spaces that script the way audiences engage. His recent work activates his body and archives as unmoored travelers: passing through sites of the national, medical, theological, and familial — leaving remnants in their wake.
Lundberg’s work has appeared in spaces including the PHI Centre (Montreal), SP Escola de Teatro (Sao Paulo), Zona 30 (Lima), El Bunker (La Paz), Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival, Queens Museum, Panoply Performance Laboratory (Brooklyn), Silent Barn (Brooklyn), Fitness Center for Arts and Tactics (Brooklyn), Bowery Poetry Club (Manhattan), Teatro Circulo (Manhattan), La MaMa E.T.C. (Manhattan), the Morgan Library & Museum (Manhattan), Jersey City Art & Studio Tour, JC Fridays (Jersey City), The Mills Gallery (Boston), Villa Victoria Center for the Arts (Boston), Providence International Arts Festival, PVDFest (Providence), AS220 (Providence), AURORA (Providence), and the Pigeon Hole Gallery (Providence).
He is a resident artist at AS220 in Providence, and is a member of the 2012 EMERGENYC cohort at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics. Lundberg is the recipient of NEA funding through AS220’s 2017 Community Live Arts Residency and is RISCA's 2017 Merit Fellow in New Genres.
Kathy Hodge was born in Providence and began to paint in oils as a teenager. She studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and completed her BFA at the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, MA.
On returning to Providence, she was inspired by the drama and light effects of the industrial waterfront and began the first of many series of paintings. These included the stark organic forms of the salt marshes which surround her home on the bay as well as man-made environments: church facades, Russian cityscapes, shoemaking machinery and paintings inspired by the view out a train window. She has exhibited this work in many one person shows.
She has continued to pursue her interest in the natural landscape through the National Park and Forest Artist-in-Residence program. She has been appointed 13 times as AIR in Acadia, Cape Cod, Apostle Island, Rocky Mountain, Glacier, Badlands, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes, Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon and Denali National Parks and the Chugach and Tongass National Forests in Coastal Alaska. Her studio is in East Providence.
Born of Mixed Asian and American Parentage, Richard Whitten grew up in Manhattan, NY.
Richard Whitten earned a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and an M.F.A. in Painting from the University of California at Davis where he studied with both Wayne Thiebaud and Robert Arneson. He has had numerous exhibitions on both coasts. Notable are major solo exhibitions at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington, the Newport Art Museum in Newport, Rhode Island, and the University of Maine Museum of Art.
He is presently a Professor of Painting and Department Chairperson at Rhode Island College.
Jodie Mim Goodnough is a Providence, Rhode Island-based artist whose photographic installations revolve around the use of images in psychology and psychiatry, and can include sculpture, performance, video and sound. She attended the photojournalism program at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine and received her MFA from the Tufts University in May of 2013. Her work has been shown nationally in both solo and group exhibitions, including at the Midwest Center for Photography, the William Morris Hunt Library of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and at Spring/Break Art Fair in New York City, and has been reviewed in publications such as Art New England and the Boston Globe. Goodnough is currently Assistant Professor of Photography at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI.
Alexandra Broches is a fine art photographer. She lives and maintains her studio in Wakefield, Rhode Island and has been a member of Hera Gallery since 1975. In addition to exhibiting at Hera, she has exhibited her work in New England and nationally including a solo show at The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA. Recent group exhibitions include shows at Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky; Newspace Center for Photography, Portland, OR; Eastern Carolina University, Greenville, NC; PhotoSpiva, Joplin. MO. In 2008 she exhibited her work at the Gail Cahalan Gallery in Providence, RI. Most recently her work was shown in the three-person show Site Specific at the Chazan Gallery in Providence, 19@25 and the Newport Annual Juried Member's Exhibitions at the Newport Art Museum as well as one-person exhibitions at Hera in April 2013 and October 2015.
She has curated several exhibitions including, Hera’s 40th Anniversary Exhibition, Memory, Identity and Place, Sites of Memory and Honor, and Hera Gallery: The First Thirty Years. In 1995 she represented Hera Gallery on a panel sponsored by the Women’s Caucus for Art at the NGO Forum on Women of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.
Broches has an MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College, an MA in Art History from Hunter College and a BA from Bennington College. She was a resident fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in 2008 and 2005. She has taught at Rhode Island College in Providence, RI, Cazenovia College, Cazenovia, NY, and the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, RI.
Rebecca Noon is an actor-creator, playwright, teacher, and arts administrator based in Providence, RI. She began her career in the Bay Area as an actor, before attending graduate school at the London International School for the Performing Arts. She moved to Rhode Island in 2009 and founded Strange Attractor Theatre with cohorts from Providence, Philadelphia, and Juneau, AK. They have created several original shows and experiences in all three of their hometowns, winning multiple grants and awards from Rhode Island and Alaskan state arts councils, the New England Foundation for the Arts, and the Network of Ensemble Theaters. Additionally Rebecca teaches devising to middle, high school, college-aged, and adult students around the country at theaters, camps, universities, and community centers, including several years working in the social services community as both a teacher and support staff of adults and children living with disabilities. As the Community Engagement Coordinator at Trinity Repertory Company, Rebecca creates new relationships through programming and bridge-building in order to engage more Rhode Islanders in the performing arts. Rebecca holds a BFA in Acting from the College of Santa Fe and an MFA in Lecoq Based Actor Created Physical Theatre from the London International School of Performing Arts.
Barbara Schweitzer writes plays, poems, and mini-mysteries featuring itinerate detective Cyjoe Barker. Her first collection of poetry, 33 1/3: Soap Opera Sonnets (Little Pear Press, 2008) was named a Best Book by Providence Journal the year of its publication. Her short plays have been produced regionally in RI, MA, and ME, including in the Boston Ten Minute Play Marathon. Leavetaking and Sub-Zero are published in play and literary anthologies. Her radio essays have been featured on RI’s NPR station in the weekly This I Believe program. She maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Providence and lives with her husband William Karolyshyn in upstate RI.
Mark Baumer lives in Providence Rhode Island. He works in a library.
Eric Paul is a writer and musician from Providence, Rhode Island. He has released two full-length volumes of poetry: I Offered Myself As The Sea and A Popular Place To Explode. Both releases offered by Heartworm Press. Eric holds a BFA in Philosophy from Rhode Island College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Eric's work has appeared in such places as: New York Observer, Impose Magazine, Ninth Letter, The Volta, Word Riot, Lunch Ticket, Spork, Booth and The Literary Review. He is an adjunct professor at Bryant University and Johnson And Wales University.
Raina Belleau creates sculptural narratives inspired by cinema, natural history and environmental issues. She creates surreal scenes with an underlying dark sense of humor that convey personal desires and anxieties surrounding the environment and it’s inhabitants. Belleau received her BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been shown at the Plains Art Museum (Fargo, ND), Not Gallery (Austin, TX), GRIN (Providence, RI) and in multiple group exhibitions around the country. Her recent collaborative work with Caleb Churchill will be presented by GRIN at Satellite Art Show as a part of Miami Art Week this December.
Born in Woodstock, GA, 1962. Received BFA from Georgia State University and MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Married to Peg Miller with three children and living in Cranston, RI. Recent solo exhibitions include; Frank Poor – Rafius Fane Gallery, Boston, MA, 2016, Displaced, 701 Center for Contemporary Art – Columbia, SC, 2015, and TIME AND PLACE, Grimshaw – Gudewitz Art Gallery, Bristol Community College, Fall River, MA, 2015.
Tristan Rodman makes music, websites, and prints as Simulcast. Simulcast’s first EP, Love Songs for the End of the World, came out as a website and printed book in September 2016. Earlier in 2016, Tristan worked under a fellowship at The Design Office, fiddling with ways to print records on cardstock using the Vandercook letterpress at AS220. As the recipient of RISCA's Design Innovation Grant, he plans to formalize the letterpress record process and offer a pressing service to musicians and record labels.