May Open Studio

Writer and printmaker Tia Blassingame

May Open Studio

Thursday, May 27th

5:30pm SFAI

Admission is free

We have some great residents this month, and you should come check out what they’ve been doing since their arrival in Santa Fe! Some of them have just gotten here, while others have been here for a while. We have a 50/50 split of writers and visual artists this month, so we’ll have a nice bunch of short readings followed by a brief studio visits. Join us!

May Residents:

Jan Beatty – Pittsburgh, PA

Jan Beatty’s third book, Red Sugar, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2008, was named a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize. Books include Boneshaker (2002) and Mad River, winner of the 1994 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, both from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Her chapbook, Ravenous, won the 1995 State Street Chapbook Prize. She worked in maximum-security prisons, as a welfare caseworker, abortion counselor, and waitressed for fifteen years. Awards include the $15,000 Creative Achievement Award in Literature from the Heinz Foundation, the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, and two fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. For the past fifteen years, she has hosted and produced Prosody, a public radio show on NPR-affiliate WYEP-FM featuring the work of national writers. Beatty directs the creative writing program at Carlow University, where she runs the Madwomen in the Attic and teaches in the MFA program.

Wesley Berg – Brooklyn, NY

Wesley Berg received his MFA in 2007 from the University of Florida where he was given an Alumni Fellowhip.  His BFA is from Miami University in Oxford, OH. He has been awarded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Santa Fe Art Institute, and has an upcoming two-month stay at the Nelimarkka Museum in Alajarvi, Finland in the fall of this year.  He has lived and worked in Brooklyn for the past three years.  Some of his exhibitions around the US and the world include:  the Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art; 3rd Ward, Brooklyn; Rabbithole Studio, Brooklyn; Hun Gallery, NY; Gallery Ho, Seoul, South Korea; Redsaw Gallery, Newark; Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute, Yellow Springs, OH; and 18 Rabbit Gallery in Ft. Lauderdale.

Tia Blassingame – Woodbridge, CT

Tia Blassingame is a writer and printmaker exploring the history of African American architects, and the intersection of architecture, race, and perception. She studied Architectural Design at Princeton and UC Berkeley, and Letterpress Printing at the New York Center for Book Arts. This fall, she will attend the M.A. program in the Art of the Book at the Corcoran College of Art & Design in Washington, DC. The former Architecture Editor for New York Arts Magazine, Tia has also published artist interviews and pieces exploring race and architecture in The Brooklyn Rail  and Espace among other publications.  She recently started Primrose Press, an environmentally-friendly stationery company whose name is taken from both an ornamental border and a nineteenth century song-and-dance team that performed regularly in blackface. She has been a writer-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire and the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Red Wing, Minnesota.

Karen Cantor – Falls Church, VA

Karen Cantor, a filmmaker, describes her background as eclectic. Hailing from a suburb of New York City, she received a BA cum laude from Goucher College and an MBA from Wake Forest University. During her 20 years in North Carolina she became well known for her industrial and artistic photographs. In addition, she has been a marketing director and consultant for high-tech firms and taught photography and entrepreneurship on the college level. The year she became a grandmother was when she began her career as a documentary filmmaker. Ms. Cantor co-produced and co-directed The Danish Solution, a documentary about the 1943 rescue of the Danish Jews (released in 2003). Her recently released documentary, Last Rights: Facing end-of-Life Choices, produced in association with Mississippi Public Broadcasting, is a compelling and deeply personal exploration of four families and their terminally-ill loved ones as they face death.

Rita Ciresi – Wesley Chapel, FL

Rita Ciresi is the author of five works of fiction, including Mother Rocket (winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and finalist for the Los Angeles Times’ Art Seidenbaum Award for Short Fiction); Blue Italian (selected by Barnes and Noble for its Discover New Writers Series); Pink Slip (winner of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Prize for the Novel): Sometimes I Dream in Italian, (a Book Sense 76 pick and finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize) and Remind Me Again Why I Married You (a comic novel told in two voices).  She has received support from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Virginia Commission on the Arts, Florida Department of State, National Writer’s Voice, Ragdale Foundation, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Virginia Center for the Arts, Santa Fe Art Institute, American Academy in Rome, and the Hawthornden International Writers’ Retreat.  She is a professor of English and director of creative writing at the University of South Florida.

Carrie Dickason – Deer Isle, ME

Carrie Dickason was born and raised in Indiana. She holds an MFA in Fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and a BFA in Textiles from Indiana University, Bloomington. Her work has been exhibited in Columbus, OH; Detroit, MI; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Jackson, WY; St. Petersburg, FL; and Deer Isle, ME. Her work combines traditional ideas of textiles with post-consumer materials and interests in contemporary culture. She has had residencies at the Corporation of Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY; the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, NE; as well as at the Vermont Studio Center, in Johnson, VT. For the past three years she has worked seasonally in Deer Isle, ME at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. Her solo exhibit titled Cultivating Culture, was recently shown at the Sculpture Center, in Cleveland, OH March 5–April 12.

Greg Edmondson – St. Louis, MO

Greg Edmondson has lived and worked in Germany, the UK, and throughout the US. He is currently Artist in Residence at Thomas Jefferson School in St. Louis, Missouri. For the past five years the primary focus of his work has been an ongoing body of drawings and sculpture collectively titled “SIMPLE”. This collection of work began as a conscious attempt to remove all reference to personal narrative, and to explore the boundaries between intention and response. It has become about mutation, transformation, growth, decay, and inevitable collapse.

Cynthia Hogue – Phoenix, AZ

Cynthia Hogue has published seven collections of poetry and co-edited two collections of work by others. She has received Fulbright, NEA, and NEH Fellowships. In 2005, she was awarded H.D. Fellowship at the Beinecke Library at Yale University, and in 2008, a MacDowell Colony Residency Fellowship and an Arizona Commission on the Arts Artists Project Grant. Hogue taught in the MFA program at the University of New Orleans before moving to Pennsylvania, where she directed the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University for eight years. While in Pennsylvania, she trained in conflict resolution with the Mennonites and became a trained mediator specializing in diversity issues in education. In 2003, she joined the Department of English at Arizona State University as the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry.

Melissa Oresky – Bloomington, IL

Melissa Oresky is a painter based in Chicago, IL. Her work engages a revolving set of concerns including landscape, color, science (and science fiction) the body, and cognition/perception. Solo shows include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Western Exhibitions, Chicago, and Van Harrison Gallery, NYC. Group exhibitions include Proof Gallery, Boston, Lemberg Gallery, Detroit, Mixture Contemporary, Houston, and many others. Upcoming exhibitions include OQBO gallery, Berlin Germany, and a solo show at the Elmhurst Museum of Art, Elmhurst, IL. Oresky was awarded a 2005 Illinois Arts Council fellowship. She has been a resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Schloss Plüschow, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at Illinois State University. You can read more about and view her work at: or

Ruben Quesada – Lubbock, TX

A native of Los Angeles and a first-generation American, Ruben Quesada, holds an MFA from the University of California, Riverside, and is pursuing a PhD at Texas Tech University. Quesada’s seemingly plain-style of writing uses complex and intellectual language with direct and precise imagery to incorporate the individual perspective of the American landscape and culture, while simultaneously documenting his own immigrant heritage and the construction of an American identity. His poetry and translations have appeared in Stand Magazine, Southern California Review, Third Coast, as well as a chapbook of translations, Exiled from the Throne of Night (2008), from Aureole Press at the University of Toledo-Ohio. His awards include residencies at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Idyllwild Arts Program.

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