Artist

Visiting Artist

Jamie Kruse

Jamie Kruse is an artist, designer and Assistant Professor at Parsons, The New School for Design (New York, NY). In 2005 she co-founded smudge studio, with Elizabeth Ellsworth, based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, The New School Green Fund (Office of Sustainability, The New School); New York State Council for the Arts (2010, 2011) and the Brooklyn Arts Council. She has exhibited and presented her work both nationally and internationally. In the spring of 2014 she was a guest researcher for Future North (AHO Oslo). She is the author of the Friends of the Pleistocene blog, (fopnews.wordpress.com) and has co-edited a collection of essays with Elizabeth Ellsworth entitled, Making the Geologic Now: Responses to Material Conditions of Contemporary Life (punctum books, 2012).

smudge studio | a collaboration between Jamie Kruse and Elizabeth Ellsworth

Our media include photography, performative research, multiples, installation and micro-productions. We use these media to connect daily life experiences to vast, generative forces of cosmological change. We take this to be a vital aesthetic-ecological act.

In the midst of the massive and disorienting changes that are altering our own species’ habitat, we slow and pause to perform local, ephemeral, unrepeatable acts of aesthetic hospitality, and invite audiences to pay close attention to the ever-shifting and impermanent conditions of life on Earth. Our works enframe seemingly commonplace activities of everyday life (the drinking of tea, the awareness of sunlight) within perspectives on time, landscape, and interactivity that are geologic in scale. By offering embodied experiences of the Anthropocene nested within the cosmological, we aim to deepen collective abilities to re-scale human expectations of stability and predictability, without sinking into distraction or despair, and to creatively inhabit Earth’s ever-changing conditions.

smudge is a member of the Atomic Photographers Guild and selected work (2007- present) is archived at the Center for Art + Environment, Nevada Museum of Art.

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Fellow

Natasha Holmes

Natasha Holmes is a visual artist and educator specializing in photography, ceramics, and design. Currently living and teaching in Upstate New York and loving the northeast cold, she is a westcoaster born and raised in southern California. She undertook a year of post-bac in ceramics, and then received her MFA in Photography from Indiana University. Prior to that, studied for her BFA in both Ceramics and Creative Photography at California State University, Fullerton while also chasing Plan C there, gathering a minor in Anthropology. A craftsperson at heart, she worked in commercial print shops, custom darkrooms, and photojournalism.

Attending and working at schools in mixed locations across the US, and abroad in Kyoto and Venice, she practices cultivating curiosity and understanding. Learning has become her trade. Her classes have included University as well as small workshops and Community Ed. In each, she challenges participants to consider phenomena and presence with criticality and to become socially alert. 

In her work, she blends ephemera with queries of consumption and mass production that mingles with absence and presence. She is enamored with objects and evidence and calls attention to the ubiquity of plastics and the resulting temporary nature of items and the disposability of our era. She focuses on planned obsolescence; fast production, plastics, and other common materials that have made items substandard and expendable. Those cycles ensure the need for more production. Holmes inspects objects, especially technology laden equipment, that is made, wrapped, packaged, and shipped to our hungry little hands faster than ever. And then, just as quickly, these are tossed aside, thrown away, or forgotten, along with their empty packaging, but captured with her lens.

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Fellow

William Fillmore

William Fillmore was raised in Fullerton, California. After earning his Bachelors in Business Administration, he pursued his desire for making art, and earned his MFA in Sculpture in 2013, from Indian University, Bloomington, Indiana. Since graduating William has participated in numerous Artist in Residence programs, including The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, Canada, Core Clay Studios, Cincinnati, Ohio, Franconia Sculpture Park, Schafer, Minnesota, Campos De Gutierrez, Medellin, Colombia, and Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont. William has had the great fortune to profess his passion for the studio arts for the last eight years as a professor of visual arts and sculpture at colleges and universities, from Indiana, California, North Carolina, and now currently at Sage College in Albany, New York. William’s creative style and tastes are as eclectic as varied as his career. He takes great pleasure in questioning what is possible with material and ideas, and above all else he loves fucking with people’s expectations… 

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Alumni Troupe/Fellow

Mauricio Cortes

Mauricio Cortes Ortega is a Mexican-American multidisciplinary artist living and working in New York. His work explores and questions the intricacies of colonial Latin America, working in a range of mediums like painting, sculpture and drawing he proposes a narrative of loss hinged on the promise of gain. His work reimagines history by transforming recognizable symbols of famous crowns and textiles, using abstraction he renders subtle presences of emerging figures. Cortes attempts to separate the condition of the physical body and push to augment the psychological consequences of absence. His projects commence with research on specific objects from colonial history, be it known historical crowns like the Crown of the Andes of Colombia or textiles from a certain era and location like the Rio Grande Sarape from the southwest, Cortes looks to history for visual clues to better understand the complex history of colonialism. 

In his 2-d work Cortes pays homage to the colors and style of Mexican textiles. His mark-making closely hugs the surface, the abundance of stripes and colors slow down the read of a tattered history of colonialism, conquest, and crossing. Cortes uses a wide range of media and processes from intaglio printmaking to drawing by hand using oil pastels, bingo markers, spray paint, acrylic paint and ink. The repetition, symmetry, and line-work in the image is akin to weaving, lines bow upward and outward forming structures that sit center in the composition. His sculptural work oscillates between traditional ceramics to found-object installations. His recent clay work uses slab construction to make biomorphic forms comparable to crowns and finished with a deep-black mirror glaze, the sculptures redact the decorative, proposing forgotten and faceless rulers. In his found object sculptures he uses air conditioning units, t-shirts, mannequins and terra-cotta colored siesta men figurines. 

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Visiting Artist

Adi Dukic

Adi Dukic was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1982, and is based in Norway. He received a Bachelors of Arts at the Kunstakademiet in Oslo and is currently completing an MFA at theKunstakademiet i Trondheim. He Works With conceptual art dealing With decoloniality and globalization, genocide, migration, sexism, exile and transcendental pain, confronting the politics of representation and Production and distribution of images and knowledge in mass media. His Works include photography, sculpture, video, sound and installations. He has exhibited in Oslo, Trondheim, Ramallah, and Bogota.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers 2015.

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Advisory Council, Visiting Artist

Ed Keller

Director of the Center for Transformative Media at The New School, and Associate Professor at Parsons School of Design.  Designer, professor, writer, musician and multimedia artist.  Prior to joining Parsons, he taught at Columbia Univ. GSAPP [1998-2010] and SCIArc [2004-09].   With Carla Leitao he co-founded AUM Studio, an architecture and new media firm that has produced residential projects, competitions, and new media installations in Europe and the US.   His work and writing has appeared widely, in venues including Punctum, Praxis, ANY,  AD,  Arquine,  Leonardo Electronic Almanac,  Architecture,  Precis,  Wired,  Metropolis,  Assemblage, Ottagono, and Progressive Architecture.  He has spoken on architecturefilmtechnology and ecology internationally.  Ongoing courses at Parsons include Design for this Century,  Post-Planetary Design  and The Radical Future of Guitar.  Ed has been an avid rockclimber for over 35 years.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018

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Alumni Troupe/Fellow

Jesse Kreuzer

As a boy, I told my mother that an adventure is when you are almost bitten by a wolf. In my work, my playfulness is given substance through risk. Balance and weight are constant themes. The pull of the earth, the vibrations between images, the space between objects and the emotional forces of current events are all opportunities for adventure and exploration.
I grew up with an obsessive-compulsiveness for "body equilibrium" (right arm gets bumped => left arm is bumped to equal it) that is now manifest in my art practice as a desire for balance that is different than symmetry, but still compulsive. My drawings are struggles to find a compositional balance. My performances are physical searches and demonstrations of it. My sculptures use balance as structural imperatives. Balance is required both to dance gracefully and to thrash wildly...
I try to understand why I want to make things through the process of making them. Drawings become structures, structures become symbols and personal narratives emerge. Each structural event adds meaning- The weight breaks through a cage; the weight floats above the ground; the weight is dragged through a city. In performances I move through buildings without touching the ground and create intimacy between myself and a space- I know details of hallways, doors, the tops of walls because I have measured them with my body. 
My body is the point of reference for my drawings. Visual style is manipulated like materials, like stone and wood, leveraged against each other and built into compositions around bodily forms. The format of facing pages in my sketchbooks- the series of diptychs- emphasizes this diversity of stylistic material. Different positions are taken, tried out, obfuscated. When I draw I open myself up to all possible images- I'm riffing and mixing from memory, magazines, porn, from art history and how-to-put-your-cabinet-together manuals, the round stretch and itch of cartoons and the incidental still-life of crumpled paper in front of me to make kaleidoscopic mash-ups of crudeness and grace. 
Like someone falling down the side of a mountain, grabbing at vines, I'm trying to show something anxiously candid. Keeping between the dual electric-fence of too cheesy and too hip, I veto anything dishonest. The path through my books is linear even when it folds back on itself, like the route through a labyrinth, or the drawing a rock makes through a city, or the path across walls and above the floor. I let the lines lead me like the architecture leads me like the materials and their physical limitations lead me: to honest places.

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Visiting Artist

Alva Mooses

Alva Mooses studied at The Cooper Union (BFA, 2005) and at Yale University School of Art (MFA, 2014). She has exhibited her work internationally and most recently presented her work in an artist talk at the Swiss Institute in NYC. She received a Yale University Robert Schoelkopf Prize for her fieldwork in Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Norway and a Rema Hort Mann Foundation ACE Grant for the collaborative publication, Correspondence from NYC to PAP. She has completed artist residencies at The University of Chicago’s Arts and Public Life Program, Columbia College’s Center for Book and Paper Arts, the Grafisk Verksted in Stavanger, Norway and the Davidoff Art Initiative in the Dominican Republic. She has taught bookbinding at The Cooper Union and is currently a Visiting Lecturer in the Art Department at Cornell University. She lives in New York City.

My work examines relationships between objects, people, and geographic terrain as a means to explore cultural understanding and political structures. My studio practice is informed by nearly a decade of organizing community art initiatives and informal residencies situated in unused spaces in Latin America. These projects created a platform for over forty New York City-based artists to make their work, collaborate and teach art in new contexts.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers 2015.

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Advisory Council, Visiting Artist

Jessie Shefrin

As an artist/educator and leadership coach, Jessie Shefrin's work has been predicated on a deep and ongoing interest in investigating interdependent, integrative and interactive relational systems as experienced through the lens of art, design and business and their intrinsic connection to contemporary culture.

In the late 1980’s, her work focused on integrating electronic tools and approaches into the fine arts curricula at the School of Art and Design at Alfred University where she was Professor of Print and Digital Media for 27 years. During her tenure there she Co- founded The Institute for Electronic Arts and Chaired the Division of Expanded Media and the Electronic Integrated MFA Program. 

In 2004, Jessie became the Dean of Graduate Studies at The Rhode Island School of Design where she worked with faculty and graduate student populations from around the globe to build interdisciplinary curricula. In 2008, she assumed the post of Provost at RISD and led the school in this capacity for three years. During this time she became more and more interested in ideas around leadership, action and change and how live, renewable systems can become the foundation for innovation. 

While at Alfred, she received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, conferred by the State of New York through the State University of New York in Albany, NY. And more recently received the ‘Rhode Island Women in Higher Education Outstanding Leadership Award’.

Jessie's work has been exhibited in the United States, Europe and China. Venues include: The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Museum of Modern Art affiliate, Long Island City, NY; The Boston Cyberarts Festival, Boston, MA; The Beijing International New Media Exhibition, Beijing, China and most recently at BS1 Contemporary Art Center, Beijing.

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2012 - 2013 and 2016.

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Advisory Council, Visiting Artist

Homa Shojaie

Born in Iran and based in Singapore, with backgrounds in painting, architecture, and installation, Space is Homa’s primary area interest: the space held within things, the space around things, and the space materialized in or on things.

Her persisting questions at this moment are: What is home? What is an image of an image? What is not a painting? 

She studied architecture at The Cooper Union and fine arts at LaSalle College of the Arts, has taught at Pratt Institute, Illinois Institute of Technology, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and LaSalle College of The Arts in Singapore. She has exhibited in Chicago, New York, Izmir, Kashan, and Singapore. 

Visiting artist at Arts Letters & Numbers Summer Workshop 2012 - 2013, 2017 - 2018.

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