In 2020, Erie Arts & Culture received a special grant from the Erie Community Foundation to launch a visiting artist residency program. To implement this program, Erie Arts & Culture partnered with Jacksonville-based Long Road Projects, a non-profit arts organization that has successfully administered a residency program in Northeast Florida since 2016.
Through this program, Erie Arts & Culture and Long Road Projects provide contemporary artists with dedicated time and space to reflect, research, and create new bodies of work – outside of their usual environments. This program also creates opportunities for new perspectives and creative processes to be shared, which in turn positively impacts the cultural and creative landscape in Northwestern Pennsylvania.
Presently, the residency program is by invitation only. Erie Arts & Culture and Long Road Projects have a concentrated focus on rising voices in the contemporary art community, artists who are exploring new mediums and processes through their work, and artists who are actively making work that is relevant to the present time and is intended to promote a deeper understanding of the human condition. Artists are expected to be able to demonstrate a clear ability to communicate both their processes and the ideas that fuel their work.
During their residencies, artists are provided with direct opportunities to explore Erie County and Northwestern Pennsylvania, examine the region’s built and natural environment, interact with local industry, engage with the cultural community, and access educational institutions. Artists in residence also imprint on the local community through a variety of engagement opportunities, including studio visits, exhibitions and presentation of work, public lectures, and demonstrations/master classes.
Tommy Coleman is a Florida grown, Brooklyn based interdisciplinary Artist, Designer, and Educator who produces masterfully crafted objects, and staunchly sincere albeit witty images. Coleman’s practice implores investigations of honesty and intimacy while observing the perceptional break downs that accompany anxiety and identity in the contemporary climate- all done by way of navigating nuances of control and what is considered permissible within the internal and external boundaries of public and private space. His work has been exhibited and published internationally through institutions like The Museum of Art and Design, The Atlanta Contemporary, Homesession, and UCLA.
KCJ Szwedzinski was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and grew up in New England and South Florida before moving to Jacksonville, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Printmaking and Art History at the University of North Florida. She received her Master ofFine Arts from the University of Louisville in Kentucky with a concentration in sculpture and glass. Her recent work investigates the intersection of Jewish legacy and lived experience - asking questions about what we choose to embody, embrace, or deny from our inherited legacies. She was recently the 2018 recipient of the Mary Alice Hadley Prize for Visual Art and spent part of the year traveling to do research at the Holocaust Center and The Jewish Contemporary Museum in San Francisco. She exhibits her work regularly across the country and recently received merit and juror awards for the 10 x 10 x 10 show in Tieton, Washington and The Blue Grass Biennial in Morehead, Kentucky. Recent exhibitions include In the Hot Seat at KMAC Museum in Louisville, KY and the Glass Art Society + Refract NW Member Showcase at Gallery Mack in Seattle. She has studied and assisted at Penland School of Craft and Pilchuck Glass School and has been an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center. Upcoming, she will be an artist in residence at the Chulitna Research Institute in Alaska. KCJ currently lives and works in Seattle, Washington.
Rachel Libeskind is a multi-disciplinary artist, often merging her installations and performances with her studio practice. Born in Milan and raised in Berlin, Libeskind is now based between New York and Berlin, Germany. She holds a B.A. with honors from Harvard University.
An artist who is constantly pushing the boundaries of available mediums Libeskind draws inspiration from themes both personal and public, creating a body of work that intelligently marries historical and contemporary notions of identity, gender, re-appropriation and reproduction, creating a situation where social commentary and materiality go side by side.
Libeskind has presented solo exhibitions, installations and performances at Center for Jewish History, New York; Watermill Center, Long Island; Pioneer Works, Brooklyn; Bombay Beach Biennale; and Mana Contemporary, Miami. She has also been included in group exhibitions at institutions such as ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; Alabama Contemporary Art Center, Mobile; Carpenter Center at Harvard University, Cambridge; and National Media Arts Festival of Lithuania, Vilnius. She has been awarded residencies and fellowships at Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Kaneohe; The Watermill Center, Long Island; and The Scuola di Grafica, Venice, Italy.
Carl Joe Williams is a contemporary African American artist known for his multimedia paintings , sculpture , installations , and interdisciplinary works Williams creates paintings and painted sculpture from found objects. He describes his works as “symphonies of colors” that present a powerful visual experience. Williams’ installation, Journeys, was featured at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Atlanta, GA in 2002. And his Sculptural Trees public art installation in Metairie, Louisiana was described as reminiscent of “lollipops in a Candyland forest,” with their custom acrylic light boxes attached to crepe myrtles.
Williams is one of the founders of Blights Out, a Creative Capital supported project in New Orleans along with artists Lisa Sigal and Imani Jacqueline Brown. Blights Out is a community- and artist-led initiative to activate agency in neighborhood development. This initiative was initiated as part of Prospect New Orleans, the largest biennial of international contemporary art in the U.S.
His visual interpretations are enhanced by his vision of art and music as extensions of one another. An accomplished musician as well as a visual artist, Williams incorporates his musical compositions into videos and installations. Found objects play an important role in Williams’s works by becoming elements a narrative continuum that addresses societal and historical concerns.
Williams attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Art, NOCCA where he received formal training. Williams continued his studies at Atlanta College of Art earning his BFA.
Williams is a founding member of Level Artist Collective, which includes artists Ana Hernandez, Horton Humble, Rontherin Ratliff, and John Isiah Walton.
Williams has had a variety of exhibitions including at the George Ohr-O'Keefe Museum Of Art in Biloxi, Mississippi; at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas; at Convergence: JMC@P3 Exhibition in conjunction with Prospect 3+ New Orleans, Curated by Deborah Willis and Sponsored by the Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans Museum of Art, Ohr-O'Keefe Museum Of Art, at McKenna Museum of African American Art, Hammonds House Galleries, Atlanta, GA; permanent public art installations in Atlanta at Sweet Auburn Curb Market (as part of 1996 Summer Olympics) and at the Washington Park Tennis Center. In 2013 he was a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Center NOLA Studio Artist Residence Program. His work is included in the Crystal Bridges Collection.
2020 exhibitions include PerSister Incarcerated Women of Louisiana at Ford Foundation NYC, MOCA Jacksonville Project Atrium, Arthur Roger Art Gallery-Art in the Time of Empathy and Gryder Gallery The Effect of Color
Padma was born in Klang, Malaysia in 1985, and as a child, she moved to many places- Saudi Arabia, Wales, within the US: New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Iowa. She studied at Bryn Mawr College and received her M.F.A. at Rhode Island School of Design. She teaches at SUNY Purchase and Parsons School of Design and is a teaching artist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has taught workshops at Anderson Ranch Center for the Arts and was an instructor and guest critic for New York Crit Club in 2019. She has had solo exhibitions at Ortega y Gasset Projects (Brooklyn) and Bric Arts Media (Brooklyn). She has exhibited at High Tide Gallery (Philadelphia), Crystal Flowers Art Salon (New York), Field Projects (New York), Beers London (UK), the Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY), Unpaved Gallery (Yucca Valley, CA), September Gallery (Hudson NY), Blackburn 20/20 (New York), Transmitter Gallery (Brooklyn), and Trestle Gallery (Brooklyn). Her print edition from the 2018 Prints for Protest portfolio is part of the RISD Museum’s collection. She has completed residencies at Ortega y Gasset Projects, the Studios at Mass MoCA, Women’s Studio Workshop, Lower East Side Printshop, and the Ox-Bow School of Art. She has been interviewed for Art Spiel, Kajal Magazine, the Art Maze Magazine blog, AF Art Magazine, and Maake Magazine. Her work has also been featured in New American Paintings and Chronogram Magazine.
David Bordett (b. 1991) grew up in an 18th century log home in Virginia’s Appalachian Mountains surrounded by his father’s eclectic collections of dubious provenance acquired at farm house estate sale including primitive instruments, tin toys, and a vertebrae bone from a wale allegedly hunted by the Essex, the ship fictionalized in the book Moby Dick. He received his BFA from the Department of Sculpture and Extended Media at VCU in 2014, and shortly thereafter moved to New Orleans to continue his practice. Following a flood in the Summer of 2017 that severely damaged the contents of his studio he moved to Brooklyn, New York where he has lived and worked since. His work invokes the visual language of road side attractions, regional music, and the roll of the journey in the collective imagination fused with the nuances of searching and longing, or witnessing something hidden in experience. Bordett has been included in exhibitions at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Contemporary Art Center, and The Front Gallery in New Orleans, Monte Vista Projects in Los Angeles, Little Berlin in Philadelphia, and Orgy Park in Brooklyn. He anticipates receiving his MFA from the Sculpture Department at Yale in 2023.
Natalie Ball was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She has a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Ethnic Studies and Art from the University of Oregon. She furthered her education in New Zealand at Massey University where she attained her Master’s degree, focusing on Indigenous contemporary art. Ball then relocated to her ancestral homelands to raise her three children. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, including the Half Gallery, NY; Vancouver Art Gallery, BC; Blum & Poe, LA; Portland Art Museum, OR; Gagosian, NY; Seattle Art Museum, WA; Almine Rech Gallery, FR; and SculptureCenter, NY. Natalie attained her M.F.A. degree in Painting & Printmaking at Yale School of Art in 2018.
Christopher K. Ho (b. Hong Kong) is a speculative artist based in New York, Hong Kong, and Telluride, Colorado. He is known for materially exquisite objects that draw from learned material about, and lived encounters with, power and otherness in an unevenly decolonized, increasingly networked world. He has exhibited at, among other venues, the Bronx Museum, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, UCCA Beijing, Asia Society Hong Kong, the Guangdong Times Museum, ParaSite, Storm King, the Queens Museum, the Incheon Biennial, and the Busan Bienniale. He is currently editing an anthology with curator Daisy Nam titled Best! Letters from Asian Americans in the arts. The New York Times, South China Morning Post, Artforum, Art Asia Pacific, Yishu, Frieze, LEAP, RanDian, Art in America, Modern Painters, Hyperallergic, and Art Review have featured his work.
BFA, The Atlanta College of Art, 1991
Tony Rodrigues’ work mostly involves painting, but also includes drawing, printmaking, photography, collage and multimedia combinations. Tony has woven a rich tapestry of appropriated imagery culled from the chronicles of the 20th century such as vintage textbooks, postcards and snapshots. He repurposes and reshapes these images into scenarios and vignettes that subtly convey feelings ranging from quiet levity to somber introspection. There is often an open-ended quality in the work that offers the viewer some mystery to contemplate. While Rodrigues’ style has evolved over the years, there is a sentiment and awareness throughout his work that remains his own and is easily recognizable to those that are familiar with his art. His confident and adroit use of materials as well as his selection and juxtaposition of imagery lends a timeless quality to his work. Rodrigues’ recent exhibitions include Frail History & Future Regrets (When the Past Was What It Used To Be) a solo exhibition at University of North Florida Gallery and 1:1, a group exhibition, at The Front, New Orleans Louisiana.
Rodrigues is Cathedral Arts Project’s Artist in Residence at the John E. Goodman Pretrial Detention Facility in Jacksonville, Florida, where for over twenty years he has instructed juvenile inmates facing criminal prosecution as adults, and has been the recipient of numerous grants and support for this work, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Christina Tsantekidou is a visual artist based in Berlin, Germany. Her practice employs a wide
range of materials to address complex histories of cultural identity and universal themes of human nature. Focusing on social, political, and psychological subject matter, she explores the nature of our existence, where reflections on circumstances of the past bring an awareness of the present.
In many works, she explores historical narratives of which little may be known or where facts are opaque, misconstrued, or disputed. As these stories can frequently be lost to time, Tsantekidou gives voice to the often-unheard protagonists, and sheds light on accepted truths and denied positions present in these particular conditions. Whether autobiographical, collected from firsthand accounts, or originating through research, Tsantekidou’s works find continuity between these diverse themes and subjects, allowing for the consideration of our complex, intertwined histories. Her most recent body of work and research focuses on the Greek Genocide. As a consequence of political and social upheaval in Anatolia (Asia Minor) during and after World War I, the indigenous Pontic Greeks were systematically and methodically forced from their homeland by the Ottoman Turk government, dispersed to other countries both near and far. As many attempted to “return” to what we now know as modern Greece, the situation became highly volatile for many reasons. As is common both then as well as today, an influx of individuals to a particular place can also bring unwarranted fear, prejudice, and discrimination.
These works have been shown in exhibitions such as Common Ground (Berlin, Germany, 2019), Thresholds of Life (Nicosia, Cyrpus, 2019), and Perpetual Lines (Lahti, Finland, 2018).
Christina Tsantekidou was born in 1987 in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg), Russia, and grew up in Thessaloniki, Greece. She lives and works in Berlin.
Alia Ali is a Yemeni-Bosnian-US multi-media artist. Having traveled to sixty-seven countries, lived in and between seven, and grown up among five languages, her most comfortable mode of communication is through photography, video, and installation. Her travels have led her to process the world through interactive experiences and the belief that the damage of translation and interpretation of written language has dis-served particular communities, resulting in the threat of their exclusion, rather than a means of understanding. Alia's work reflects on the politics of contested notions of linguistics, identity, borders, universality, colonization, mental/physical confinement, and the inherent dualism that exists in each of them.
Her work has been featured in the Financial Times, Le Monde, Vogue, and Hyperallergic. Alia has won numerous awards and has exhibited internationally at Galerie Peter Sillem in Frankfurt, Galerie Siniya 28 in Marrakech, Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai, PhotoLondon, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, the Lianzhou Photo Festival in China, the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam in the Netherlands, the Katzen Museum of Art in Washington DC, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College. Alia also serves on the board of Clockshop in Los Angeles, California.
Alia Ali lives and works in Los Angeles and Marrakech, and is currently in residency at the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program (RAiR) in Roswell, New Mexico.
Malcolm Jackson (b. 1993) is an artist and street photographer born in Jacksonville, Florida. Malcolm uses photography as a universal language to study the daily nuances of life in the 21st century. His work has been featured in The New York Times, GQ, Bloomberg, People Magazine, and ESPN.
Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, Stephon now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Stephon works with communities that have been disadvantaged as a result of systematic disparities. Through his current body of work, Stephon explores how school-aged children of color learn about Greek and Roman figures and the virtues they represent, yet are not equally exposed to hero figures who look like them because Indigenous, African, Latin American, South American, and Asian pantheons and paragons are not often equal part of the discourse. While in Erie, Stephon will engage with our community to help shape his ongoing series. His will illustrate a series of complex nonliteral fantastical identities based upon his research in the Erie community. These compositions will then be used to create public sculptures, which once fabricated would be installed in neighborhoods within Erie's urban core.
Though the tail end of her residency was impacted by the current pandemic, Kate created a plethora of new work while in Erie and collaborated with many local and regional community members to create something truly unique and beautiful. The work that Kate created while in residence is slated to be exhibited in May at a gallery show in Los Angeles.
Kate’s work experiments with ways of portraying dialogue, openness, listening, agency, personhood, and collaborative representation. The work she created while in residence represents the faces of Erie in shared speech; characterized by a more democratic balance of vulnerability and power between artist and subject. Kate interviewed approximately two-dozen members of the community, and met many more.
Kate documented the interviews, which were also recorded, through dialectical portrait drawings.This work builds upon a previous series of Kate's, "Fusiform Gyrus," in which frames were equipped with external speakers to play audio clips from the interviews. One of the objectives that Kate aimed to accomplish while in residence was to use microprocessors, custom coding, and conductive paint to make the sketches vibrate within the frames - projecting outward the voices of the subject without the use of an external speaker.
Hiromi is a native of Kyoto, Japan. She moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 2004. Hiromi’s work has been showcased in numerous solo exhibitions within the state of Florida. She has participated in group shows throughout the American South, including North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Georgia. Hiromi has also exhibited her work in New York City and London. Kirie is the Japanese art of papercutting. Hiromi creates through a process of addition by subtraction. She doesn't add layers to a paper or canvas using pens, markers, or paint. Instead, she cuts away from a sheet of paper using a blade. When finished, what remains of the paper is an incredibly detailed outline, often integrating the female form, Japanese architecture, insects, and mystical creatures. While in Erie, Hiromi collaborated with many local organizations including Erie ClaySpace, Inner-City Neighborhood Art House, Grounded Print and Paper Shop, Edinboro University's Art Department, and Gene Davis Sales and Service.
Sharon Norwood is an interdisciplinary Artist whose work spans several media to include painting and ceramic. Norwood is a graduate from Florida State University with an MFA in studio Art, and a BFA in Painting from the University of South Florida. Her work has been exhibited in several Biennials including the Jamaica, Atlanta and Florida Biennial. Her exhibition record includes Florida, Georgia, Baltimore, Kansas City, Washington, New York, Canada, South Korea, Jamaica and Germany. Norwood is the recipient of numerous honors including the Exceptional Opportunity Award, the Andy McLaughlin Memorial Award and the Jim Boone Endowed Art Scholarship from Florida State University.
"My work often deals with issues of identity where I use the line as a way to explore complex relationships. My aim is to create works that challenge our passive ways of looking. The subject of my work comes from my own narrative with social, political and cultural content. I am interested in creating a dialogue that speak in nuanced ways to issues of race, gender, beauty and class."
Norwood creates work “that challenge our passive ways of looking.” Her sculptures, drawings, ceramics, and fiber works address a specific “social, political and cultural context” while engaging issues of “race, gender, beauty and class.” Her frequent use of a curly line is sometimes “a metaphor for the black body” and other times a decorative and formal expression, simply “a beautiful mark.
While in Erie, Sharon collaborated with the Inner-City Neighborhood Art House, Erie Arts & Culture's Folk Artists, Grounded Print + Paper Shop, and Edinboro University. Sharon also hosted a discussion titled "The Crown We Wear: Black Hair as Art in Life."
Gonzalo Hernandez is an interdisciplinary artist whose work spans several media to include painting and textiles. Gonzalo Hernandez lives and works between Kansas City and Lima. He holds a BA from Escuela de Artes Visuales Corriente Alterna and an MFA and MA from the Savannah College of Arts and Design in Fibers and Painting.
While in Erie, Gonzalo explored new painting forms and methods, as well as printmaking and silkscreening. Gonzalo works by finding inspiration in everyday moments. Gonzalo collaborated with Edinboro University's Art department to create editions. The editions were printed by Doug Eberhardt, a printmaker and professor, and are now available for purchase online through Long Road Projects.
Brittany used her time in residence exploring the effects the pandemic is having on the human body and psyche, particularly the notions of isolation and personal health, to create unique installation artwork in a blighted property in Erie's historic east side.
Her audio-video work involved costuming, set construction, recording, and post-production editing. Brittany also constructed new remnant paintings. To create these site-specific installations, Brittany scavenged objects and items that have otherwise been abandoned or discarded. Brittany's paintings are constructed using hand-stitching, assemblage, and paint application.
Erie-based artist Alex Staley served as Brittany’s assistant on the project. Brittany's installation is inside a property owned by the Bayfront East Side Task Force at E 3rd and German that is slated for redevelopment. The installation also served as the video performance set featuring several Erie community members.