New York sculptor, writer, choreographer at Tower View


People representing a wide range of creative fields — music and writing, dance, sculpture and printmaking — are in residence this month at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.

The August residencies are funded by the Jerome Foundation. Participants are emerging artists from Minnesota and New York City.

"This is a group of people who have shown great talent and promise," said Anderson Center Executive Director Stephanie Rogers. "It's exciting to be able to support them early on in their careers."

The six men and women will do community service with the full spectrum of local residents, from children to senior citizens.

Jo Stewart


A resident of Brooklyn, N.Y., Jo Stewart is a movement-theater artist and a writer whose works combine dance with found texts. She studied literature and was trained in dance, and is now a teaching artist at Pierrepont School in Connecticut, working with young people, in addition to performing as a member of Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble.

While at Tower View Stewart plans to work on a dance-theater work for which poetry and poetics are an integral element. While here, "I'd like to develop a solo piece that details a fugitive's flight from a country called Fright," she said, and create work that "would bridge the gap between spontaneity and script."

Community service: 4-H workshop at Goodhue County Fair

Kimarlee Nguyen

Fiction writer

Kimarlee Nguyen, who also lives in Brooklyn, earned a master's degree from Long Island University there and current teaches English at Brooklyn Latin School, a specialized high school in New York City. Teaching and studying have not allowed time for her to focus on her project even in summers, so she hopes to complete an outline of her novel and revise or complete the early chapters.

"My family survived the Khmer Rouge, lived in refugee camps for years and eventually was granted immigration to American," Nguyen explained. Her noel is an attempt to imagine the history of her people and her family, and relate the persistence and determination that were needed just to survive. The female characters are drawn from women she has known and admired all her life.

Community service: Reading at Deer Crest

Jarrelle Barton

Music performer, teacher, composer

A musician whose passion for his instrument cannot be denied, Jarrelle Barton of Prior Lake, Minn., will spend the month at Tower View composing new music for a December concert. Barton plays the guzheng, a Chinese zither. He fell in love with its sound the first time he heard it.

Barton built himself his first guzheng out of a wooden tea tray and taught himself Chinese (Mandarin) in order to learn how to play it.

Barton moved from Ohio to Prior Lake to be take lessons from a master. His goal is to perform in China, but first he would like to record a CD and prepare for the travel. He received a Knight Foundation grant that will enable him to perform Dec. 13 at the Ordway Concert Hall. He plans to incorporate some contemporary sounds with traditional music.

Community service: Universal Music Center performance

Rachel Castro

Nonfiction writer

Rachel Castro, a nonfiction writer from Minneapolis, studied creative writing in North Carolina and worked as a teacher before moving to Minnesota. An essayist who frequently writes about race, language and immigration, she is working as a specialist at Hennepin County Library and teaching a summer youth class at the Loft Literary Center.

During her month at Tower View Castro will write about housing discrimination, moving north after growing up in the south, and an aunt who is returning to the family roots in Ecuador. She plans to revise old essays and write new essays and poems about identity and class.

Community service: Camp Pepin Woods

Lindsay Packer


A sculptor from Brooklyn, Lindsay Packer will spend the first two weeks of August working on her ongoing series of light-based, temporary installations. She studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, R.I., and has continued her studies through several residencies and fellowships. Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions, mostly on the East Coast.

Her current work builds on years of color and light studies and work she created for a "Day for Night" exhibit in Brooklyn. The installations are made with a combination of red, green and blue colors of light, which she treats as material. "I create temporary immersive environments," Packer said, incorporating ordinary objects on a temporary basis.

Community service: SparkZ workshop

Jonathan Herrera


South Minneapolis resident Jonathan Herrera studied at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He has exhibited regionally, including shows this year in Minneapolis, Duluth and Chicago. Herrera has received several awards and residencies/fellowships, including a Minnesota State Arts Board grant. He participated in residencies this year in Utah and Vermont as well as Minnesota.

Herrera's recent work has explored "state-sponsored violence and trauma inflicted on politicized bodies," he said. "I construct print-based objects, installations and environments that echo lived experiences of those who are no longer with us." During this residency he will explore "issues of bodily disappearance and loss of identity."

Community service: Minnesota Correctional Facility-Red Wing