In a word, Anderson Center residency season underway
The 2017 residency season at the Anderson Center begins this month with a group of seven women representing a broad range of disciplines: poetry, fiction and nonfiction writing, printmaking, and mixed media art.
"It's going to be a fabulous year," Executive Director Christopher Burawa said. "The quality of the applicants was exceptional. It was difficult for the panel to chose the awards."
From May through October, the artist community will play host to a total of 39 individuals in creative fields including music, theater, visual arts and various forms of literature.
Printmaking is well represented. The Anderson Center is refurbishing its printmaking studio and has purchased an etching press for working with visuals.
"We are one of the few residencies in the country with both letterpress and etching presses," Burawa said. They are part of Red Dragonfly Press in the historic granary building at Tower View.
The 2017 residents were selected from among 239 applicants from all over the country — the most ever, he said.
He noted that for the first time, the center accepted online applications. The August session for emerging artists, sponsored by the Jerome Foundation, drew 75 applications by itself.
Applications from other countries were down, however. Burawa attributed that to the negative climate in the United States regarding foreign travel. The annual artist exchange with Salzburg, Austria, was not affected.
This is the first year for Shawn Niebeling, Anderson Center communications manager, who coordinates the residency program. She works directly with the residents, answering their questions and providing what they need to pursue their projects while in Red Wing.
As in the past, all of the residents will perform a community service activity during their two-week or four-week stay. Any local organization or group interested in scheduling a presentation by a visiting artist/writer/humanist this summer should contact the Anderson Center at 651-388-2009.
The May residents follow.
Sara Pirkle Hughes
Amy Pirkle from Cottondale, Ala., will spend the month in Red Wing working on a collaborative project with her twin sister, Sara Pirkle Hughes, who lives in Macon, Ga. They are creating a series of 10 "tunnel books" tentatively titled "Passages." Each book explores how a shared place can influence identical twins in different ways.
Amy Pirkle has a master's degree in book arts from the University of Alabama, where she is now an instructor. She is the recipient of several awards and fellowships; her work has been widely exhibited.
Sara Hughes holds master's degrees and a doctorate from Georgia State University, and is currently a lecturer at Middle Georgia State University and a guest lecturer at the University of Alabama. She also has been awarded fellowships and other honors for her writing. Her poetry is widely published, and her first full-length manuscript will be published in 2018.
Community service: Tower View Alternative High School
Erin Malone from Seattle, Wash., will devote her four-week residency to completing her second book of poems, "Site of Disappearance." In it she grapples with trauma, the fragility of memory and grief, all related to incidents from her childhood.
Malone was educated in Colorado and Washington and currently edits a poetry magazine and teaches at the University of Washington. A book award winner, she has been widely published.
Community service: Twin Bluff Middle School
Mixed Media artist
A web designer in Milwaukee, Paula Schulze will spend two weeks at Tower View working on a series of charcoal drawings titled "The Promise of Geometry" and possibly experimenting with solar prints. She is trained as a printmaker and has recently been pursuing an interest in medieval and Renaissance art and Islamic geometry and design.
Schulze was educated at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and has completed residencies in Spain, Italy and the United States. Her artwork has been featured in group and solo exhibitions.
Community service: ArtReach
Minnesota writer Kate St. Vincent Vogl received a Minnesota State Arts Board grant to complete a draft of her book, "The Narrows," which is in its final stages. Her first book was a memoir about what happened after her birth mother found her through her adoptive mother's obituary. Vogl has presented that story at conferences and at adoption events.
A former attorney, she studied at Cornell University, the University of Michigan Law School and Hamline University. In recent years she has been a teacher, a writing instructor and a freelance editor in the Twin Cities. She has received numerous honors, and has had several short stories and essays published.
Community service: Pier 55
Elissa Favero, a nonfiction writer from Seattle, will be at the Anderson Center May 16-31. She is exploring the form of essay writing by incorporating history, geography and her experiences as a reader, walker and Master Gardener into her art criticism.
She studied art history in Massachusetts and Washington and worked at museums before turning to writing and research. Favero teaches college-level classes and provides critiques of Seattle area events, and has a blog about the intersection of art, architecture and landscape.
Community service: American Association of University Women
An art professional with international experience, printmaker Roberta Restaino comes to Tower View from Boulder, Colo. Her two weeks here will be spent working on a multimedia printmaking-based project depicting real and imaginary creatures or plant life that has been affected by human activity.
Restaino, who studied art in Italy and Colorado, has lived in several countries and worked in many arts-related positions. Currently a teacher of studio art at the University of Colorado, she has conducted numerous workshops. Her award-winning art has been exhibited in the United States, Italy, Europe and Korea.
Community service: ArtReach