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Past - page 2

Sasha Wortzel

 (November 2017) Originally hailing from Florida, Sasha Wortzel is a New York based artist and filmmaker working primarily in time-based media. Her work explores the politics of space in relation to race, gender, and queer desire. Her current project with artist collaborator, Reina Gossett, Happy Birthday, Marsha!, follows iconic transgender rights activist and artist, Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson in the hours before she initiated the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. Sasha has recently presented at the Berlin International Film Festival, DOC NYC, Tribeca Interactive, Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the Guggenheim Lab, and New Museum. Her work has been supported by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Art Matters Foundation, the Astraea Foundation’s Global Arts Fund and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). Sasha is a participant in Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace program and was a 2012-2013 fellow of filmmaker Ira Sach’s Queer/Art/Mentorship. Sasha received her MFA from Hunter College. Sasha is also the Director of Access and Community Programs at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

While in residence, Sasha will be in development of an essay film that makes connections between the historical treatment of the “river of grass” and the pressing environmental and socioeconomic issues Florida faces today.


Dana Wildsmith

Dana Wildsmith

(October 2017) Dana Wildsmith grew up in south Georgia, the daughter of a Methodist minister who was active in working for social justice. She attended college wherever her Navy husband’s career took them, finally obtaining a B.A. in Sociology from Virginia Wesleyan College. In 1999, she returned to her family’s land in north Georgia, where she and her extended family work to preserve a 125-year-old family farm in the midst of encroaching development. She teaches English to adults of many nationalities in the English Literacy Program of the Adult Literacy Program of Lanier Technical College.

In 1992, Wildsmith was named a Poetry Fellow in the South Carolina Academy of Authors, and her second chapbook, Annie, won the Palanquin Press competition of the University Of South Carolina, Aiken. She has worked as a Writer-in-residence for the Devil’s Tower National Monument and the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska. She worked as an Artist In the Schools for the South Carolina Humanities Department. She teaches poetry workshops throughout the United States. Her poems and essays have been widely published in both literary and commercial journals, including Yankee, The Kentucky Poetry Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. She is among the writers featured in the University Press of Kentucky’s Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia. Her other published works are: Alchemy, Our Bodies Remember, Choices (an audio collection), One Good Hand, and Back to Abnormal.

Nick Gilmore

Nick Gilmore (July 2017) is a Miami-based artist. He received an MFA in Visual Arts (2014) from Florida International University, Miami, FL; and a BA in Studio Art (1999) from Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL. His work generally finds form through printmaking and sculpture. Often informed by his experience in the construction trades, his projects explore dialectical relationships and history, with frequent nods to Taoist philosophy.

He is very grounded to Miami itself and continually mines from its local culture and history to fuel his artwork, which typically uses local themes to reference culture at large and aspects of the general human condition. He has exhibited in Miami at Locust Projects, 6th Street Container, Turn-Based Press, Dimensions Variable, The Phillip and Patricia Frost Art Museum, and the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood.

Cherry Pickman

Cherry PickmanCherry Pickman (June 2017) received her BA from the University of Florida, where she studied English, with a focus in poetry writing. In 2009, she received her MFA in poetry writing from Columbia University, where she worked most closely with Timothy Donnelly, Mark Strand, and Lucie Brock-Broido.

Her work is detail-oriented and focused in the specific. While, for the most part, she eschews traditional forms, her poetry is highly governed by sound—not typically through end rhymes, but often internal half rhymes and the overall rhythm of the poem. She sometimes invents and adheres to certain forms—usually when working on a series of poems—in order to push and explore the efficacy of the line (and line breaks). These invented forms act as both a way of unifying and intentionally disrupting the poems. Although her poems are not narrative, they do contain persistent themes, such as isolation versus connection, claustrophobia, and temporality. Other unifying elements of her work come from recurring images, particularly stemming from nature: the ocean, geological formations, birds, and specific flora.

Her work has appeared in 32 Poems, American Poetry Journal, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Dossier, Indiana Review, Jai-Alai Magazine, The Laurel Review, Maggy, and West Branch, among others. Her collection, Theory of Tides, was chosen by Lucia Perillo for the Poetry Society of America’s 2012 Chapbook Fellowship. Her work was featured in Jai-Alai books’ anthology, Eight Miami Poets (2015). Additionally, Ms. Pickman has been shortlisted for the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and has been a finalist for the Snowbound Chapbook Competition, The Missouri Review Editors Prize; and, most recently, her full-length collection, Islanders, was a semi-finalist for the Alice James Book Award.


TM Sisters

tmsisters_joinmeina02TM Sisters (April 2017) TM Sisters are a Miami based sibling duo who work in multi-media realms of digital video performance, collages, installations, sculpture, fashion pieces, video games, and VJing at night clubs. Their techno, tropical aesthetic shines along with their do-it-yourself ethic started by being home schooled together on the sands of South Florida. The sisters’ colorful geometric research includes scientific truths and psychologically stimulating spiritual adventures. Prismatic shards connect behavior, relationships, and bodily energy through muscle testing.

The sisters have professionally created work together for 15 years and their work has been included in international exhibitions and touring performances such as “Uncertain States of America: American Art in the 3rd Millennium” curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Daniel Birnbaum, and Gunnar B. Kvaran, SiTE:LAB curated by Paul Amenta, Untitled Art Fair curated by Omar Lopez-Chahoud, the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, and PERFORMA. Their work has been seen and written about in publications like L’Officiel magazine, The Guardian, STEP Inside Design, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Vogue Italia, and on the cover of ARTnews magazine.

Anne Jennings Paris

Anne Jennings Paris (May 2017) is a writer and visual artist whose work focuses on the intersection of American popular culture and natural history. During her time in the Everglades, Anne will study the intersection of the human and nonhuman across several media, including poetry, acrylic, watercolor, and encaustic. Anne is a two-time recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, and her book of poetry, Killing George Washington, explores the opening of the American frontier through the lives and voices of five real but little-known figures who played a roll in shaping the West. Anne’s visual work explores resonant imagery that intersects with and makes use of her written works. Though she now resides in Oregon, Anne is a Florida native who has spent 26 years in the state. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and received her MFA in Creative Writing from San Jose State University. Anne lives on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, where she teaches art and writing.

Magnus Sodamin

infinity Magnus SodaminMagnus Sodamin (March 2017) Born in 1987 in Manhattan, Magnus Sodamin uses an expanded painting practice that is at once hallucinatory and precise, employing a variety of techniques to blur the frontier between abstraction and landscape painting. His singular installations often begin with painting the walls and floors of an exhibition space with vibrant splashes of color, and then installing the space with similarly emotive, yet complementary canvas or panel compositions. The result is entirely immersive. Sodamin attended the New World School of the Arts (BFA, 2012) as well as the Nansen Academy in Lillehammer, Norway. He has exhibited in Norway and the United States, showing work at the 2012 BFA Exhibition held at the Cisneros-Fontanals art foundation (CIFO), the 2010 Lotus House Women’s Shelter Fundraiser at the Margulies Collection, a two consecutive solo exhibits at PRIMARY in 2014 / 2015. He has been in residence at the Deering Estate (2014), the Museums Quartier Residency, Vienna (2015), and Summit AIR, Eden, UTAH . Sodamin lives and works in Miami, where he is represented by PRIMARY.

Laura Gibson

Laura GibsonLaura Gibson (February 2017) an Oregon born singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist currently living in New York City, where she is completing an MFA in Fiction Writing at Hunter College. Laura’s 2008 SXSW performance was the inspiration for NPR music’s Tiny Desk Concert series.She performed the first and 200th Tiny Desk Concert. In 2015, Gibson was principal composer and lyricist for Up the Fall, a musical production created for performers with developmental disabilities, for the Portland-based Non-Profit PHAME Academy. She has also collaborated with Oregon Ballet Theater and Portland Playhouse.

Gibson currently records for the US Independent Label Barsuk Records, and the Berlin-based label City Slang. Gibson’s new album “Empire Builder” was released April 1, 2016.

Jenny Larsson

Jenny LarssonJenny Larsson (January 2017) lives and works in Hollywood, FL. Receiving her B.A. in Dance Pedagogy from the University of Dance and Circus in 2004 followed by her MFA in Dance in 2012 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is currently on the faculty at the Broward College Performing and Visual Arts Department. Her medium spans over performance, site-specific installation, photography, video and collaborations with dancers, artists and musicians.

Her work has taken her through Spain, Thailand and New York before settling roots in South Florida. Jenny has received the Emerging Choreographer Award in 2011, the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s Chancellors and Regents Award for outstanding achievement in 2012 and the Creative Investments Program Grants from Broward County Cultural Division in 2013, 2014 and 2015. She has been commissioned by the Miami Light Project, Girl’s Club and Grass Stains to produce new work for 2016.


Nathaniel Sandler

Nathaniel Sandler was a writer in residence in 2015 and returns to complete his term in the summer of 2017. He wrote the following essay after his 2015 residency.

By Nathaniel Sandler for


Living alone in the swamp is like playing a role in a silent film, except that the music is not Benny Hill; it is the constant murmuring hum of whatever beast lies afoot and in earshot. Were it actually a silent film maybe you’d run into Buster Keaton, but there are not many other people out here aside from park employees you barely know and the tourists who you never will. Over the sound of you not talking to anyone, there is noise, plenty of it. Birds and bugs are the biggest culprits, but I can tell you that in March on the overlook of Anhinga Trail the alligators are lying in droves – sometimes crisscrossed on top of each other –and at night they loudly bellow like the hungry, lustful ancient beasts they are.

In her crucial book Swamplife, FIU anthropologist Laura Ogden claims that, “the Everglades, as we know it, has always been entangled at the intersection of the human and nonhuman worlds.” Of course Ogden is referring to the human element on the landscape, which through mostly subtle manipulation goes as far back as prehistory. Dredging may be a 20th century demon, but all who have lived here, dating back to the Calusa have carved up the muck in their visage. Or at least tried to.

I have spent a month here as the AIRIE Artist in Residence in the Everglades and have thought about Ogden’s statement on countless different levels.  I am interested in the “nonhuman world”, a phrase fully loaded with all of the delicious things that a writer can smear on a cracker. It could be animals, vegetables, or ghosts. Each day is spent trudging along with a faux pioneering spirit as homage to early settlers of this land looking for clues. For animals and other things.

Writers, as some of you may know, have recently begun choosing the swamp more and more to create non-human worlds. Karen Russell’s Swamplandia! immediately comes to mind, a beautifully told magical realist tale of the Florida swamp about the bizarre troubles of a carnie family.  The swamp holds America’s fervent gaze on television, True Detective being the most recent and widespread example, but also True Blood’s vampires lined up against countless reality TV shows like Swamp People, (History Channel), Swamp Loggers (Discovery Channel), Swamp Murders (Investigation Discovery), Swamp Men (Nat Geo Wild), Swamp Wars (Animal Planet) etc.

There is mystery here and with mystery follows fascination.

Earlier in the week and late into the night I saw camera flashing in the distance. It was an odd feeling. What in the @#$% is a camera flashing out here now!? The park employees who live nearby couldn’t possibly be outside taking pictures at this hour. The rain was pattering down steadily enough to stay inside and I had drunk a single sleepy beer. There was no thunder, no lightening before or after.  They were quick enough together and too bright, too close. I began to run through a series of possibilities. Murder, psychopath, voyeur, and deviant: all the good stuff. It was an uneasy sleep and I think just being here created exceedingly fervent and paranoid images.

Part of my work in the Everglades has been in the archive of the park itself. Many people don’t know that there is a massive collection of physical objects in museum storage that the park keeps as a repository for the five major Southeast Florida collections – Everglades, Big Cypress, Biscayne National, DeSoto, and the Dry Tortugas. I have seen Dr. Mudd’s cane, full swords from Spanish shipwrecks, swamp tchotchkes from the time your grandparents visited, and the wallet of the notoriously assassinated game warden Guy Bradley. They all sit comfortably next to every kind of taxidermy, hide, and skull, filed across from plant samples, butterflies on pins, and tens of thousands of tree snail specimens. It is the physical manifestation of Ogden’s suggestion, human and non-human intersection, hardily encased for future generations.

After those ominous camera flashes, I spend the next day trudging through numerous acid free boxes holding 50 years of documents relating to the Florida Panther Recovery Program. The literally thousands of pages show a history of the arduous and exceedingly complex task of preserving our most rare local land mammal. This is again what Ogden means when she talks about the intersection of human and nonhuman: the panther and the people who have spent their lives trying to either save the big cat from extinction or shoot it. Indeed the history of not just the Panther, but the whole of the Everglades is long and intricate with countless decisions being made all the time. At this point, even inactions have become decisions for better or worse.

Digging through the paperwork I noticed some panther sightings had been caught decades before and made further reference to some more recent photographs in another. Motion sensor cameras. Of course. That’s what the flashing outside my window the night before was. There must be tons of them.

I didn’t pull the slides. The reason for this is complicated, and perhaps boring, but they would have required pulling a different box, and I had already looked at countless vague images of panthers, their tracks, and read about even more sightings. And when there’s 18 boxes to go through you have to pick your battles.

But in hindsight I’d like to imagine it as respect. It’s a false projection, but thinking back on the whole incident that harmless wrong becomes coupled with another; a childish hope and the fancy of real live Florida panther caught by one of the many motion sensor activated cameras set up throughout the park. Right outside my window he stalked, with a cautious majesty. I imagine that he was coming to check up on me, to watch over me, in intersection.



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