Category: Awards and Honors

Bernheim Regional Artist In Residence

Lots of long deep breaths taken in front of this tree.


So thrilled to announce that I have been awarded the first Regional Artist in Residence at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky.  This prestigious and highly competitive Artist in Residence program has been established for over 30 years and have hosted the likes of national and international artists Ray MetzkerLynn Geesaman, Shinji Turner-Yamamoto, Julia OldhamNicholas Dowgwillo, Firat ErdimJaime Bull, Tomasz Domanski, Carlotta BrunettiHideki Kanno,and Madison Cawein to name just a few.  This is an incredible honor and the recognition of my work means so much to me.  It also validates the decisions I made a few years back in being less career focused and more passion driven, encouraging me to stay on this path.


Art as seen on Lake Nevin!


(Click HERE to see the read more about the 2017 Artists in Residence at Bernheim)


Upon sharing my news, I have gotten a lot of “What exactly does that mean?” kind of questions.  Generally, an Artist in Residence means that you take actual residence at a place somewhere away from your usual environment and obligations.  Most often there is a fairly extensive application to submit and only a handful of artists get selected.  The granted experience provides time for reflection, finding inspiration and production of (usually) an already proposed project.  Some residencies cost money to stay there, others are free…some offer stipends, but most do not.


Dogwoods…a week ago when they were crazy in bloom!


Bernheim is providing me a stipend and temporary living quarters in exchange for a work of art to be left to the Bernheim Foundation.  This particular residency is also unique in that I have access to all horticulture and operations departments, as well as ecologists, scientists, naturalists and forest managers.  I am also allowed admittance to most scheduled hikes and eco classes offered throughout the calendar year.   I have literally been invited to become part of the entire ecosystem at this amazing place and I love how this program enhances the visitor experience through arts interaction.   This is an experience/opportunity I will not be taking lightly!


Little baby pine cones in the making.


I am encouraged to use this residency to further investigate, experiment, and explore new avenues in my work.  My project proposal for the Artist-in-Residence program is to create a large scale, multi paneled, photographic installation for a currently undetermined space in the arboretum.  The imagery will be captured during extensive exploration of the Bernheim grounds while in residency.

I currently explore the hands-on process of integrating photographic images with surfaces like wood, glass, and aluminum.  I find that the substrate is just as important as the image itself and the incorporation of the two has the power to transcend the traditional boundaries of the photographic medium.  I am enamored with aluminum as a substrate and have explored it thoroughly in the forms of both foil and plate.  It’s shiny, reflective surface is ever changing as you move around it and the material harkens back to the vintage Tintypes of the past.



But instead of simply transferring an image onto plain aluminum, I intend to “cook” my aluminum plates to distress and age them.  Cooking can be done in a handful of ways with simple gear that ranges from a dish washer to a turkey roaster as well as homemade designs using readily available materials.  The agents for change are cleaning products such as Cascade and TSP.  The objects I intend to use for distressing and creating unique, unduplicated patterns onto the aluminum plates are natural materials such as fallen trees, debris and plant material collected while exploring the grounds of Bernheim.  Essentially I am “developing” these plates with the natural legacy of this beautiful place that I will then transfer photographic images onto.   Working in this fashion lets chance intuitively dictate my work while asking the image to surrender to the process.

For more information about this process and my prior results, check out this blog post from a few months ago.


Early in the residency and days long past…magnolia blossoms for days!


I have been staying in their artist cabin for most of April, and will be returning methodically through out the year.  When I can, I’ll also be making work in the Lake Nevin Studio.  If you make a trip…and I highly recommend you do…let me know…it’s likely I could be there too!

This story has only just begun my friends!


(See the full list of former Artists-in-Residence and learn more about the Arts in Nature Program at Bernheim.)

2017 Great Meadows Foundation Artist Professional Development Grant Recipient

2017 has already started off on the right foot!!  It brings me great pleasure to announce that I have been awarded an Artist Professional Development Grant from Great Meadows Foundation!

Great Meadows Foundation is a grant giving foundation, launched in 2016 by contemporary art collector and philanthropist Al Shands.  The vision and purpose of Great Meadows Foundation is to strengthen and support the visual arts in Kentucky.  There are accomplishing this by empowering artists and visual arts professionals to research, connect, and participate more actively in the broader contemporary art world.

Examples of professional development grants awarded include travels to attend conferences, major exhibitions, art fairs and biennials.  These experiences will enable recipients to connect with professionals in the field and help them develop their practice.  In pursuit of their proposals, grantee artists are traveling to American cities such as Boston, L.A,, Chicago and New York, as well as to countries as diverse as Cuba, Dubai, Greece, Iceland, and Korea to name just a few.

So where am I headed?  I will be attending CONTACT, the world’s largest photography festival in Toronto during the month of May 2017.  Each day of this week long trip will be devoted to exploring the broad spectrum of programming presented at this internationally respected photography festival, with the ultimate goal of initiating meaningful interaction and exchanges with the individuals who are making, presenting and viewing these works alongside myself.

CONTACT is a photography festival that is committed to advancing knowledge, creativity and innovation in photography.  As a photographer whose heart lies beyond the click of the shutter, I too seek ways to advance knowledge, creativity and innovation in my work.  The impact of this deeply educational experience is sure to be present in my output for years to come, not only by inspiring new ways of creating but also incorporating conceptual ideas in my practice.  It could also be the impetus that broadens my audience and advances my career.

It was a true pleasure applying for this grant.  The wide parameters and narrow time constraints of the application made me super aware of current and upcoming exhibitions as well as potential development opportunities worldwide, several of which I have already submitted too!

Thank you Great Meadows Foundation!!

The Great Meadows Foundation region encompasses the 120 counties of Kentucky, and the Greater Louisville area of Clark and Floyd counties in Indiana. The next deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday March 19, 2017.  Travel in this cycle must be carried out between May 1 and October 31, 2017.  Click HERE to learn more and apply!


Creative Capital Professional Development Program at 21c

The life of an artist isn’t easy.  It may look glamorous from a distance or it may seem like we are always traveling or living the life of leisure.  But that could not be farther from the truth.  Being an artist in the modern world is a lot of hard work.  Not only are we responsible for the conception and production of our work, we must promote ourselves, get our work into galleries, elevate our status on social media platforms and constantly update our websites, oftentimes while we have a day job that pays our bills, our studio rents and our art supplies.  The life of an artist is not for the feeble either.  My work has been rejected for numerous juried exhibitions, fellowships and residencies…more than I can count actually.  But I’ve received my fair share of acceptances into shows, awarding of fellowships and selling of my work too…and thats why I continue to keep putting it out there (besides the fact that I simply like the process of making the work itself)!

So it was with sheer pleasure to learn that I had been selected to participate in the nationally renowned Professional Development Program of the Creative Capital Foundation of New York, which took place one Sunday this past October at 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville.  This was BIG!

Developed by artists for artists, the Professional Development Program provides career, community and confidence building tools to help all artists become successful artists.  The day long workshop was led by professional consultant Colleen Keegan and artist/educator/Creative Capital awardee Beverly McIver.


Spending a lot of time post-workshop with this workbook!

The Professional Development Program teaches artists about self-management, strategic planning and goal setting to attain increased satisfaction in your life and career.  Ummmm…yes please, I could use that!  Other topics included communication, with tips on improving verbal communications in negotiations and the importance of developing of a strong “elevator pitch” as well as descriptive written materials for promotion and fundraising.  After lunch we spilt into groups and addressed the specific topics of Time and Art Business Management and Financial Planning.  One hell of a full day!

Can you say inspiring…overwhelming…mind-blowing???!  I’m still processing it…and I think that’s the point!!

While I got so much from each part of the day, the one about financial planning hit home the most.  More than any other profession, artists go out of their way to accommodate their clients, reducing their fees to please and overextending their time without proper compensation.  This session in particular gave me the tools I needed to access a value to my time and work.  I now feel more confident knowing what my work is worth, taking into consideration the time and skill behind all of it.  I was also inspired by how far ahead the program motivated me to think about my life and career…what do I want to accomplish in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years?  What do I want my obituary to say??  This is something great for us all to think about!


The other KY artists I was fortunate to spend my day with. (From Left to Right) Back row: Gaela Erwin, Vian Sora, Carrie Neumayer, Rosalie Rosenthal, Cynthia Norton, Scott Massey, Carlos Gamez de Francisco, Matthew & Mitchell Bradley, Emily Sheehan, Jacob Heustis, Ewa Perz, Jennifer Palmer, Claire Pope.  Front Row: Ying Kit Chan, Letitia Quesenberry, Valerie Sullivan Fuchs, JZ (me), Aron Conaway, Thaniel Ion Lee, Julie Liedner


If you’re and artist and have the opportunity,  take a Creative Capital Professional Development course…you won’t be disappointed!  They also have webinars on their website that can be purchased and viewed on your own time.

Thankful for the opportunity to participate in this most productive experience!



Founded in 1999, Creative Capital is a groundbreaking organization that gives substantial grants and guidance to artists pursuing adventurous projects in a range of media and practices. The professional development program, which has been presented in cities all over the United States, is designed to help artists learn how to manage their artistic careers, fund and market their work, communicate effectively, and develop sustainable practices.