Jessica Merchant is a multimedia artist living in Madison, WI. A product of academia, intergenerational learning, and the rural Midwest, she is well-practiced in drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles, bookbinding, and sculpture. Drawing on these skills, Jessica creates contemplative works meant to evoke in the viewer emotions and sensations experienced by the artist during her creative process. Using her mediumâ€™s inherent qualities as a guide, she combines play and methodical process to manipulate familiar and perishable materials, creating images and objects that demonstrate the flexibility, mutability, and endless expressive potential of the ordinary.
Through this work, she invites viewers to consider their own relationships with and enjoyment of the rich physical world around them. Jessica has exhibited in the United States, internationally, and completed residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Penland School of Craft. A graduate of UW-Madison with an MFA in printmaking, Jessica is currently a member of SGC International and Vox Populi Print Collective.
Matthew Darmour-Paul is a spatial researcher and practitioner based in London, UK. Born in Illinois and Iowa-bred, his work explores architectureâ€™s entanglement within conflicts of ruralisation, political ecology and the financialisation of nature.
He is currently working as a researcher in collaboration with the artist duo COOKING SECTIONS on projects in the US and the UK and has worked internationally on architectural and urban design projects and competitions in the United States and Australia.
In July 2018, together with Dika Terra Lim, Yujun Liu, and Chijen Wang, he was awarded the Demanio Marritimo Km-278 commission for the design and construction of a pavilion that hosted a day of cultural events in Marzocca di Senigallia, Italy, a project organised by MappeLab and published on Domus, and Art Tribune.
Matthew has a BA in Architecture from Iowa State University (USA) and is completing the MA in Architecture programme at the Royal College of Art (UK).
Megan Kaminski is a poet and essayist. She is the author of three books of poetry, Gentlewomen (forthcoming, Noemi Press), Deep City (Noemi Press, 2015), and Desiring Map (2012). Her poems and essays have appeared in the American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, American Letters & Commentary, Denver Quarterly, Diagram, Seneca Review, and other journals. She is an associate professor in the University of Kansas’ Graduate Creative Writing Program and a Keeler Intra-University Professor researching embodied memory, trauma, and arts-based healing in the School of Social Welfare. She also curates the Taproom Poetry Series and the Ad Astra Community Poetry Workshops in downtown Lawrence. She is currently working on a book about indeterminacy, attraction, and plant thinking.
Julianna Villarosa is a filmmaker and moving image artist from Texas. Her work addresses human-environment relationships. Select features and screenings include Vimeo Staff Picks, Hong Kong Arts Centre, The Atlantic, Athens International Film + Video Festival, Discovery Channel, the National Park Service, and more. She is an Iowa Arts Fellow and MFA candidate in Film & Video Production at the University of Iowa.
Melanie Johnson uses drawing as a vehicle to construct stories and as a forum to exercise the physical process of combining the observed with the imagined. The large-scale work seeks to engage the viewer through space and scale and through the immediacy of recognizable and relatable subject matter. Each drawing is also a record of the history inherent in its own manifestation. In a very basic sense, it is a record of the act of looking, of touching, and of constructing meaning through relating one mark or image to another over a periodâ€”a physical testament to the passage of time and a series of visual decisions. Johnson is interested in the simultaneous read of an immediately recognizable image that asks the viewer to linger over a history and meaning that unfold more slowly.
Johnson received her MFA in Painting from Indiana University, and is Professor of Art at the University of Central Missouri. She lives with her son, two dogs, and two cats in Kansas City.
Alexandra Robinson grew up in the military and has lived all over the world. Because of the semi-transient nature of moving every two years she has a longing for place and truth and explores these themes in her work. Robinson grew up with her immediate family; the intersection of her Mexican and Jewish heritages has cultivated a complexity in how she sees and experiences the world. Since 2012, she has been living in Austin, Texas by way of Kansas City, her adopted hometown. She received her MFA from the University of Cincinnati and currently teaches at St. Edward’s University in Austin. Robinson has exhibited throughout the country and internationally. Her most recent exhibition with collaborator Michael Kellner entitled, A little accident, like any other, opens at Mass Gallery in Austin this summer.
Letitia Huckaby has a degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma, a BFA from the Art Institute of Boston in photography and her Masterâ€™s degree from the University of North Texas in Denton. Mrs. Huckaby has been blessed to exhibit as an emerging artist at the Dallas Contemporary, the Galveston Arts Center, Renaissance Fine Art in Harlem curated by Deborah Willis, PhD, the McKenna Museum in New Orleans, the Camden Palace Hotel in Cork City, Ireland, and the Texas Biennial at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum. The work is included in several prestigious collections; the Library of Congress, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, the Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia, and the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection at Scripps College in Claremont, California. Letitia is represented by the Liliana Bloch Gallery in Dallas and the Anzenberger Gallery in Vienna, Austria.
Jessica Zeglin is a sound and visual artist interested in understanding humans, biotic and abiotic entities, and ecosystems as emergent systems of consciousness and vocality. Her work uses sound, drawing, and installation to invite relationships, engaging skills of listening and empathy for ourselves and our human and more-than-human kin. She has exhibited and presented collaborative public and performative works at the University of New Mexico Art Museum, the Albuquerque Museum, the Tamarind Institute Gallery, the Weisman Art Museum, and Albuquerque Open Space. She holds a BA and MPH from the University of Minnesota and is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in Art and Ecology at the University of New Mexico.