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Anderson Center 2018 residency season ends with poets, artists, musician

A printmaker, a composer, two poets and a mixed media artist are working on their individual projects this month at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.

October is the final month of the year for visiting artist residencies, Executive Director Stephanie Rogers said. While in Red Wing the five men and women also will do community service outreach with students, senior citizens, jail inmates and a local women's group.

H.L. Hix


Poet H.L. Hix is optimistic that spending this October at the Anderson Center will be as productive as the month he spent at Tower View in 2011. The project he worked on then became his book, "As Much As, If Not More Than." This month he is working on a book-length sequence of poems that draw on the earth sciences. Each work will be provoked by a landmark book or paper in the history of science.

He has published 10 collections of poetry plus works of prose, and has also co-translated the works of some Estonian poets. Hix lives in Laramie, Wyo., where he is a professor at the University of Wyoming. He is an award-winning recipient of honors including a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Community service: Downtown Plaza

Irene Chan

Mixed media artist

A resident of Washington, D.C., Irene Chan is a multi-disciplinary conceptual artist who works in print media and performance, hand papermaking, and book, fiber and installation art. Her primary themes are the environment and her experiences, particularly as those themes relate to her being an Asian-American woman. Chan has exhibited and performed widely at events including several fringe and heritage festivals. Educated in California she teaches at the University of Maryland.

Two current projects for Chan include a series of artist book sculptures that also are wearables such as skirts and bracelets, and "A Conversation between Donald Trump and Lao Tzu," a Chinese philosopher. She wants to update that conversation and change it so that audience members participate in reading quotes from the two men.

Community service: Red Wing Area Women's Network

James Lenfestey


Minneapolis resident James Lenfestey returns to Tower View with a list of projects to tackle. A celebrated poet and columnist/reviewer/teacher, he formerly was an editorial writer for the Star Tribune newspaper and also describes himself as a climate science activist. He serves on several nonprofit boards, including the Loft Literary Center and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

He will be working on two manuscripts of poems and an anthology. "Body Odes, Praise Songs and Other Oddities and Amazements" is a collection of longer poems. "Another Cartload: 100 More Poems in the Manner of T'Ang Dynasty Poet Han-Shan" includes poems by inmates at the Goodhue County Jail. "Ars Poetica: Poems on the Art of Poetry" is a collaboration with Robert Hedin.

Community service: Goodhue County Jail

Tony Solitro

Music composer

Tony Solitro of Philadelphia, a composer, will devote his time at Tower View to a libretto adaptation of "A Case of Anxiety," a play by Mark Harvey Levine. He was commissioned by the Boston Opera Collaborative to compose the new work for its "Opera Bites," program. The premiere performance is planned in November.

Since earning his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania he has received several honors and fellowships and has completed numerous commissions. Recently completed projects include a tenor and guitar song cycle and an orchestral overture. In the fall he will be working on a major choral piece for women's voices.

Community service: Red Wing High School

Wendy Fernstrum


An award-winning printmaker, Wendy Fernstrum from Minneapolis plans to spend her time at Tower View expanding the creative process to include nature. She wants to integrate landscapes drawn by nature into her work, and give small creatures the opportunity to also make their marks as she creates drawings, prints and paintings.

Fernstrum studied at the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota. She has done artist residencies and fellowships, and has shown her works throughout the region. Group exhibitions included a show at the Anderson Center. During this visit, she will experiment with transferring drawings to paper using molds as well as photographs to create plates for printing.

Community service: Tower View Alternative Learning Center