What are you working on in your studio practice this month? I’m working on grant research to fund a social practice project. I’m looking to engage communities by understanding what they consider as lost knowledges, lost skills and histories. Through the lens of sustainability, ecology and regional agriculture I have constructed three seed starter greenhouses. The glass holds images of lost seed populations, lost apple varieties and vanishing family farms. My goal is to obtain funding to build more so they can interact with classrooms and public spaces as functional seed starters, repositories and archives for ideas and collections. With material concerns in mind, I’m also working on locating a barn or other agricultural building in my region that has been abandoned as source material to build the seed starter greenhouses from.

How does the Nomad/9 curriculum challenge you and support you? The Nomad/9 curriculum is immersive and fully engaged in its commitment to interdisciplinary practice. Because we are working in a burgeoning practice that is still being defined and understood the potential for my own authorship and investment is limitless. As an artist/educator I find that as the best of challenges.

What has been the most transformative experience, interaction, or realization while on residency? There has been so many, this is truly hard to define and categorize. The practice of listening, especially to things you think you already know, has come forth as a powerful tool for me. We had the enormous honor of working with members of the Dakota Tribe in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Being welcomed into their culture, listening to their histories and seeing first hand how they are carving out space for their voices and presence in their community as indigenous peoples and artists was a deeply valuable experience for me.

Please share a story that reflects a surprising or interesting aspect of the Nomad/9 community. The diversity of backgrounds that we all come from is so informative and powerful. I don’t know another way to have had the exposure and impact of knowing others, knowing their communities and experiencing this journey through so many lenses and voices outside of my own if I was not a learner in this program.

What have been your favorite classes so far, and why? For me it’s impossible to have just one favorite class. Although I will share a list of some of my favorite experiences. Working with Ernesto Pujol on the nature and source of my art practice. In the hills of upstate New York learning timber frame harvest and building. Designing and building a cob oven for a community garden. Standing on the banks of the Mississippi with the Dakota and learning about their culture and relationship to the river. Working with the city artists of St. Paul. Captivated by Allison Smith in her studio in Oakland, Ca. Learning how for profit and non profit artists find space and voice in their communities in the San Francisco Bay area. Experiencing the museum and curatorial culture of the cities and regions we have visited. Continuously being immersed, through travel and course work, in ideas, cultures and regions that are not my own. And finally, finding family and support in the incredibly talented and like minded folks in my cohort.