Adele Balderston is a place-based storyteller from Kailua, Hawai‘i. Working at the intersection of geography, art and activism, Adele promotes awareness of socio-spatial inequality through mapping and interaction with urban environments. She holds an MA in Geography from Hunter College (CUNY) and a BA in New Media Communication Studies from New York University. Her involvement with storytelling through mapping, public art and urban exploration began at Soundwalk where she produced audio walking tours of neighborhoods, institutions and museums all over the world. In 2010 she served as assistant director of Conflux, New York City’s annual festival for contemporary psychogeography. She is cofounder of the Brooklyn-based artist collective, B&AB Projects, which from 2010-2012 produced pop-up exhibitions in unconventional spaces including garages, rooftops and inside a refrigerator. In 2014 she created 88 Block Walks, an ongoing series of walking tours in Kaka’ako, a Honolulu neighborhood currently undergoing large-scale redevelopment. Inspired by the atlases of Rebecca Solnit and the Detroit Geographical Expeditions of William Bunge and Gwendolyn Warren, 88 Block Walks aims to remove the lens through which landowners and developers present Kaka’ako’s narrative to the public and invite the community to create their own. In 2016 Adele received a grant from the Hawai’i Council for the Humanities to produce the fifth walking tour in the 88 Block Walks series—a multimedia living history experience featuring actors and projections entitled “The Living Archive”—which will debut in fall 2017.
Deirdre is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Her research interests include: systems and practices of standardization and
categorization by government institutions and their consequences; engaging in a ‘reflexive’ sociology that interrogates the analytic categories employed in the social world; and correctional and justice systems with an emphasis on the historical formation of offender management and supervision practices. Her current research explicitly addresses issues central to social equity, by looking to not only sociology, but to history, anthropology, law, policy, art, advocacy, and activism, among other disciplines. Through her work she seeks to cultivate meaningful and integrative thought across disciplines and national borders. This approach highlights the interconnectedness of her work to the work of others and to the broader social world exhibiting barriers to social equity. She views her involvement in the engaging locale provided by the Santa Fe Art Institute’s Sponsored Equal Justice Residency as an extraordinary opportunity to work in new mediums and to expand her work across creative fields of inquiry directed towards interrogating structural issues of social inequity.
After B.A. at the University of Montreal, she was hired as a communication specialist for a company. She worked for eight years until multiple sclerosis forced her to stop. After taking some time off to cope with the diagnosis, she went back to study something that fascinated her for a long time: East Asian Studies. From learning Mandarin, to Chinese philosophy and history, she found herself learning Chinese calligraphy, which strangely led to acrylic in 1998. She has been painting with passion ever since. Since 1998, she did more than fifteen exhibitions; from Magdalen Islands to Montreal, Bothell (WA) to Japan, where she won the FIRST PRIZE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION 2013-2014, BIG-I ART PROJECT for the painting: “ Frank’s desert” in Osaka, Japan. And, awarded for the “2016 Hiroaki Nakatsugawa Prize” at the same event, for her painting “Singing With Her Soul”. She is Raw Art fanatic. She likes this form of art because it comes from artists who experienced what it is to be on fringes of society like her and where technic doesn’t matter, only expression. Her life is marked by practical limitations. She has her own way of working which is partly due to her disability. Strangely, while this limits her, it also gives her complete freedom.
This collaboration is generously supported by La Familia Medical Center (Santa Fe, NM), and aside from Jackie Munro, all artists are patients in LFMC’s Substance Abuse Treatment Program for pregnant women.
Jackie Munro is a filmmaker, photographer and educator working at the intersection of storytelling and community engagement. She believes in the ability of intimate documentary work to help us know individuals who seem very different from us as well as more deeply understand ourselves, our place in our communities and our ability to affect change. Jackie produces communication campaigns for mission-driven organizations with her company Stories for Change in Santa Fe, NM. Using collaborative, storytelling-based processes, she co-produces the content for her campaigns with those most affected by a social issue. Her first feature-length documentary, Una Nueva Tierra (A New Land), is currently on the festival circuit. The film traces the struggles of three families living on the Pajarito Mesa, a breathtakingly beautiful but perpetually trash-ridden swath of desert overlooking Albuquerque, NM without access to water or electricity. As a director, Jackie’s work has screened on NoBudge.com, at Cinema Club in Brooklyn, NY and the Ashland Independent Film Festival in Ashland, OR. Jackie has taught photography at the International Center of Photography, New York University, PhotoManhattan and Santa Fe Community College. She has implemented community-based photography education projects in Nicaragua and Paraguay. She is currently developing a documentary film set in rural Nicaragua, where she has taught photography and made photographs and videos for 10 years. She holds a BFA in Photography & Imaging from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and has studied Spanish through Instituto Cervantes in New York City and Albuquerque, NM.
Nicole Romero is a mother of 3 from Santa Fe, NM. She believes strongly in women’s rights and supporting women who have been victims of domestic violence. She has felt the effect of the stigma of addiction in her life, as someone who was formerly addicted to heroin, and hopes that by sharing her story she can open peoples’ minds. Nicole attends many domestic violence and parenting support groups and strives to be the best mom she can be by teaching her daughters the difference between right and wrong, how to take care of themselves and how to be emotionally stable. She hopes to soon complete her Community Health Worker certificate at Santa Fe Community College so that she can help others in her situation. Her message to those suffering from addiction is to not give up on their health, which is the source of life. Nicole likes to take afternoon walks with her family, make photographs and appreciate her daughters’ laughs. According to her daughter, “my mom should believe that she can do anything.”
Candice McKim was born and raised in Santa Fe, NM. She was addicted to heroin and crack for 7 years and decided to change her life when she learned that she was pregnant. She has not used for 5 years. Candice was sexually assaulted at a young age and then repeatedly assaulted when she lived on the streets. She suffers from PTSD from these assaults. She believes that women have the right to be in control of their own bodies and that there is never an excuse for sexual assault. She hopes that by telling her story through photography, she can draw women together to engage in conversation about these issues and ultimately move toward justice for victims. “Being raped takes everything from you,” she says, “but getting help and having your story listened to helps you reclaim yourself.” Candice enjoys spending time with her family, taking her daughter to the park, the movies and swimming. She couldn’t be so successful without the support of her boyfriend and her family. She also appreciates ongoing counseling and the friendly staff of La Familia Medical Center. Candice hopes to complete her GED and advance her career to build a better life for her daughter. She is also happy to report that she is Hepatitis C-free. Candice likes taking pictures because it’s soothing and fun, and she has learned a great deal about herself by doing so. She enjoys being able to see clearly and live a sober life.
Jolene Martinez is a mother of 3 from Santa Fe, NM. She believes strongly in God, that things happen for a reason and that individuals can recover from addiction if they are committed to making it happen. Jolene has struggled with domestic violence and not having a stable home. She used heroin for a year and a half and entered treatment after getting out of jail for the last time. She credits her time in jail for helping her get her head clear through bible study. “But when you get out, it’s hard,” she says, “Everything you planned, you have to make it happen.” When Jolene learned she was pregnant with her third child, she committed to staying off heroin. Jolene loves photographing her kids. Her two older children are being put up for adoption through the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD), and she visits them every opportunity she gets. She likes taking pictures of moments with them and their fleeting expressions. She hopes that her story can expose the injustice of CYFD and how it is separating her family and making her recovery more challenging. Jolene likes to draw, share food and chat with her family, make art, play games and joke with her kids and see how much her baby changes and learns every day. “I didn’t know what love was until my son was born, and I held him in my arms,” she says, “All I want to do is be a good mom to them.”
Minoosh Zomorodinia is an Iranian-born interdisciplinary artist and educator who employs video, photography, installations and performance to make visible for audiences the emotional and psychological reflections of her mind’s eye inspired by nature. Her work exposes and experiments with humanity’s relationship to the natural world. She lives and works in the bay area. She is a member of the Environmental Artist group Open Five in Iran, and serves on the Board of Women Eco Artists Dialog in the bay area. She earned her MFA in new genres from San Francisco Art Institute in 2015, and holds a Masters degree in Graphic Design (2006) and BA in Photography (1998) from Azad University in Tehran. She has thought Photography in Tehran, Iran, Video Production and Photoshop at Berkeley City College, and Environmental Installation and Video at Public Education program at San Francisco Art Institute. Zomorodinia has received an MFA Fellowship from San Francisco Art Institute (2013) and First prize of The Anne Bremer Memorial Library’s Artists’ Book Contest (2015), the Photography Award from Pocono Arts Council (2015), and was finalist of the Tosa Studio Award, San Francisco, CA (2017). She awarded I-Park Artist Residency, East Haddam, CT (2017); the ACRE Artists Residency, Steuben, WI (2017); and the Affiliate Artist in Residence program at Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA (2016-2017). Her work has been exhibited locally and internationally such as Everyone Is Hypnotized at ProArt Gallery, Far From Home at Gallery Route One, The Ocean After Nature at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Night Light at SOMArts, Living Spaces at Transylvania Art Center Romania, Nietzsche Was A Man at Pori Art Museum, American Gun Show at WORKS San Jose, California Dreamin at Marin Community Foundation, and The Altered Landscape at the Nevada Museum of Art.
Moses Tan (born 1986) is a Singaporean based artist who is interested in ideas revolving queer melancholia and resistance through poetic forms. Employing drawing, sound, video and installation in works, he hopes to create pockets of experiences for viewers. Referencing ideas from Karen Barad and Judith Butler, his research deals with notions of shame, melancholia and the political undertones of these affects while also attempting to expand on ideas of understanding of sexuality. Currently an adjunct faculty with LASALLE College of the Arts, he holds a Bachelors in Fine Arts from LASALLE College of the Arts, a Bachelors in Chemistry and Biological Chemistry from Nanyang Technological University and is the recipient of the LASALLE Award of Academic Excellence 2016, Winston Oh Travel Research Award 2016 and the Noise Singapore Award for Art and Design in 2014. He has also exhibited in The Substation, Sabanci University and recently in Indiana University as part of Videotage’s cross campus exhibition.
Niomi Fawn is a queer artist currently living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She grew up in California and Hawaii. The art of Niomi Fawn developed from a technique dubbed neo-pastiche, which brought digital tools and visions to traditional collage in an effort to recontextualize familiar images and, through creative juxtaposition, to create new statements from old concepts. Neo-pastiche is primarily a two-dimensional technique and, while it remains a vital component of Niomi Fawn’s art, she has been applying the theories of the technique on a wider scale – moving into a third dimension and blurring the boundaries that too often separate art and audience. Her latest works involve the creation of objects, informed but not limited by neo-pastiche, which are placed in natural and constructed environments, gradually transforming the surroundings and fuzzing the lines between the artistic and non-artistic worlds. Niomi Fawn was part of the Meow Wolf art collect 2010-2014. She has since left to form Curate Santa Fe. She also works with Victory Grrrls.
Joshua Adler, Syrus Marcus Ware, and Vanessa Kwan come together as a collective of individuals with decades of experience leading public programs for institutional and community settings. Together, they seek to build methodologies for change that combine the experience of activists and community organizers with the skills and resources of professional artists and artist-networks. They are based respectively in Brooklyn, Toronto and Vancouver.
Joshua Adler is currently senior researcher for National Geographic’s Emmy-winning Explorer television series. He is also Community Director for the Shantigar Foundation, and has programmed cultural events in NYC for over 10 years. He is also poet-in-residence for the U.S. Dept of Arts and Culture.
Syrus Marcus Ware is a Vanier scholar, a visual artist, activist, curator and educator. He is a facilitator/ designer at the Banff Centre and is the inaugural Daniel Spectrum Artist-in-Residence (2016/17). Syrus is a core-team member of Black Lives Matter–Toronto. Syrus uses painting, installation and performance to explore black activist culture.
Vanessa Kwan is an artist, writer and curator. She has contributed to institutions of varying scale, including her work as Curator of Performance for the Vancouver Art Gallery, Curator/ Producer at Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, and Curator of Community Engagement with grunt gallery. She is concerned primarily with works in public space. http://vanessakwan.com/
Pod Liminal is invested in thinking through the practical concerns and philosophical questions around how to build spaces that support artists to explore alterity, increased consciousness and art in the context of social change. Together, we seek to build vocabularies and methodologies for change that combine the experience of activists and community organizers with the skills and resources of professional artists and artistic networks.
Sara Madandar is a US based artist from Iran. She was born in Tehran. She got her MFA at the University of Texas at Austin. She currently works in painting, sculpture,video and performance. Her work is mostly about the relationship of the human to their bodies and covers. She materializes the issues of existing in an in-between space through construction and deconstruction of the canvas. Her work evokes a sensation out of destruction and touches on the cultural displacements of corporeality. Her sculptures are objects related to the human body and are in the actual size of the body. Her video, video installations, and performances are influenced by her emigration and comparison between two cultures. She uses different elements to transmit her concepts such as patterns, hair as lines, women’s body and etc.
Sarah Shotland is the author of the novel Junkette, and a playwright whose work has been performed widely nationally and internationally. She is the Co-Founder and Program Coordinator of Words Without Walls, which brings creative writing classes to jails, prisons, and rehabilitation centers in Pittsburgh, PA. She also teaches in the MFA program at Chatham University. She’s currently at work on a collection of essays exploring her work with Words Without Walls.
Wesley Fawcett Creigh
Wesley Fawcett Creigh lives and works in Tucson, Arizona. In 2008 she completed her Bachelor’s Degree at Prescott College in the self-designed major of Public Art with an Emphasis on Social Impact. Since this time she has engaged in numerous social practice projects, two of which were funded by the Tucson Pima Arts Council through their P.L.A.C.E. Initiative grant program. Her work at this time aimed to bring the arts into community spaces, foster a sense of creative placemaking, and bring overlooked issues into the forefront of a broader community dialogue. Most recently, she has employed animation and multimedia installation for her artwork and received a grant in 2016 from the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona for an animation and installation project that examines the complexity of violence on the US/Mexico border. As an arts collaborator, she frequently works for theater companies throughout the Southwest as a set designer and scenic painter. Currently, she teaches scene design, stage lighting, theater graphics, and stagecraft at Pima Community College. Her work has often focused on sharing personal and community narratives as a means of promoting social justice for individuals and groups. Bringing these narratives to the forefront of the public’s awareness fosters social and political movement that addresses these societal inequalities and injustices. Contributions to the larger discourse are, in turn, contributions to progress.