Alumni Highlights and News

Clarissa Callesen

After finishing her residency at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, visual artist Clarissa Callesen showcased some of the work she produced during her time in Wyoming at exhibitions in her home-base of Washington. Callesen's works, made mostly with post-consumer recycled materials, were part of a two-person show at i.e. gallery in Edison with Patricia Hagen, OHorizon and Approaching Awe. Her work was also featured in a group exhibition at Allied Arts gallery Organic Reaction. Recently, Clarissa had her installation, Unbalanced Trails, presented at Surge at MONA Museum of Northwest Art in Laconner, WA.

This fall, Clarissa opened the doors of her mind - and even her studio - to individuals interested in crafting their skills in two intimate classes taught by Callesen. Clarissa's Fiber Sculpture class touched on experimental surface and form, while the Ancient Textures class focused on Abstract Painting.

Learn more about Clarissa Callesen on her website,

Alex Hirsch

The summer of 2018 brought good reason to celebrate for Former Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts resident Alex Hirsch. Hirsch's work was released in A Way Home, a beautiful collaboration with author Scott F. Parker. This "love letter to Oregon and an ode to living in the present moment" features the thoughtful writing of Parker while Hirsch's detailed watercolors and drawings evoke the mood of the book.

Hirsch lives in the Pacific Northwest where she specializes in painterly architectural art glass and watercolor on paper.

A Way Home is available on Amazon.

Anne Kauff

Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts alumna Anne Kauff is known for paintings of the rural landscape that are imbued with a quiet sense of place. Often painting en plein air, Anne's square or almost square oil paintings provide a pared down sensibility with a contemporary view of pastoral scenes. 

Her work resides in numerous public and private collections, and this fall, Anne's stunnig collection "Inspired By Light" was featured at Positive Strokes Art Gallery in Palatine, IL. Working out of her Chicago area studio, Anne's time is divided between painting, accepting work on commission, and teaching. 

Stacey Steers

Every September, the beautiful city of Ottawa plays host to the Ottawa International Animation Festival, a gathering of animations' best minds and talent. Artists present the world’s most cutting-edge and important animation during this major event, and this year, BCFA alumna Stacey Steers was among them. Stacey spoke on the value of process in building and colliding worlds of cinematic and arthropodic surrealism. Her showcased work used complex and time-consuming collage techniques with integrated elements of silent film to produce meditations on the self and the phenomena beyond. For more on Stacey's work, visit

Trine Bumiller

It's been a busy year for visual artist and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts alumnus Trine Bumiller. After finishing her residency at BCFA in April, Trine's work was incorporated into several group shows including  Pink Progression: Group exhibition at the Center for Visual Art in Denver.

"I was thrilled to include this installation of 128 paintings in the show at CVA curated by Anna Kaye," Trine said. "It references all of the national monuments in the US. They speak to our need to remember, honor, and preserve places of environmental and cultural importance."

Trine also made a trip to Korea where she participated in Liminal States: Group exhibition at the DMZ Museum.
Her works depicted the Kumgang Mountains of North Korea, an area of great natural beauty and cultural history, overlaid with an image of the border between the Koreas, dissipating into stars.

For more on Trine's work and upcoming shows, visit her website.


John Sanderson

Float in collaboration with Usagi NY was pleased to present The Vernacular of Landscape featuring Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts alumna, John Sanderson. Running through October 19, 2018, the exhibit showcased contemporary landscape photography by 58 artists from around the world. The Vernacular of Landscape is a survey of contemporary landscape photography curated by Subjectively Objective founder Noah Waldeck and co-edited by Float Photo Magazine. To view the exhibit online, click here.

Eleanor Ray

Wyoming Solstice, oil on panel, 6.25 x 8 in, 2018

The stunning works of Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts alumna Eleanor Ray were featured in a new exhibition at Howard’s art gallery in Athens, GA in October 2018.

Eleanor Ray’s small paintings depict locations she recently visited, and possess a sensitivity to place and memory. This group included American landscapes of Wyoming, Texas, and New Mexico.

Additionally, Eleanor has a forthcoming solo show with Nicelle Beauchene in New York in January, 2019. She has recently shown her work with The Landing in Los Angeles and Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects in New York, and in a solo exhibition, Works from the Louis-Dreyfus Family Collection at the Univerity of Tulsa. Recent group shows include Marinaro Gallery, NY; Galerie Mikael Anderson, Copenhagen; Andrehn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm; and the Atlanta Contemporary.

Lydia Conklin

We are pleased to announce that fiction writer and former Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts resident Lydia Conklin will receive a 2018 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, which is given annually to six women writers who demonstrate excellence and promise in the early stages of their careers. Celebrating its 24th year, the Rona Jaffe Awards have helped many women build successful writing careers by offering encouragement and financial support at a critical time. 

Lydia is currently working on a collection of short stories, Rainbow Rainbow; a novel, Cat Monkey Horse; and a graphic novel based on her comic series, Lesbian Cattle Dogs, which appears serially in Lenny Letter. Her work has been widely recognized, including two Pushcart Prizes, and has appeared in Tin House, The Southern Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and The Gettysburg Review, among others.

In 2018, her story Counselor of My Heart appeared in Love Stories for Turbulent Times, a collection of the best prose of the last twenty-five years of the Pushcart Prize. She has received fellowships and residencies from Hedgebrook, Djerassi, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Yaddo, and MacDowell, and scholarships from Bread Loaf.

Lydia plans to use her Writer’s Award to significantly cut back on her freelance work. “Freelancing and hustling for more freelancing swallows the lion’s share of my writing time and is stressful and unstable, which is a difficult place to write from," Lydia shares. "With the mental security and financial stability of this award, I plan to finish these manuscripts over the next year and submit them for publication.”

She currently lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Jean Fineberg

Performing with her octet, JAZZphoria, Jean Fineberg debuted new compositions for the public at a concert in Menlo Park, CA. The event was presented by The Menlo Park Library. The new songs were inspired by and written during Jean's residency at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts.

The Fineberg-led octet bill themselves as "Groove Beat," because their material is contemporary and rhythm based, and their performances are up-tempo and geared toward a general audience.

To hear more of Jean work with JAZZphoria,

Weijun Chen

This past winter, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts had the pleasure of hosting composer Weijun Chen. While in residence, Chen worked on his project, Watercolors for chamber orchestra. Watercolors received its premiere during the 2018 June in Buffalo New Music Festival. The piece was performed by the Slee Sinfonietta (Matthew Chamberlain, conductor).

Chen says the amazing landscape of Brush Creek has unmistakably made a mark on this piece.

Michael Miner

Photographer Michael Miner has compiled some of his stunning images from his time in residency at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts into a new portfolio entitled, Aspen Studies.

(Click to view gallery)

During his time with BCFA, Miner captured the essence of the prolific quaking aspens with his black and white photos that depict the light juxtaposed with the trees’ chalky white bark. Many of the photos featured were taken in the Medicine Bow National Forest that borders Brush Creek Ranch.

Thomas Bramel

While in residence at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, composer Thomas Bramel began work on ballet music entitled, Alchemy at Bollingen Tower. The stunning piece is now complete and can be heard accompanying Bramel’s introduction for the Jung Society of Washington, D.C.

(Click image to listen)

Bramel is collaborating with two other BCFA alumni, Eric Diehl and Georgia Roswell, to supplement the project.

“I am forever grateful for my time at Brush Creek and the lifelong artistic connections and friendships that I made while I was there,” said Bramel.

Diehl will create 15 paintings based on the ballet music, and Roswell’s photos are featured in the video.

Jane Yudelman

BCFA Alumna and photographer Jane Yudelman is passing on her Wyoming immersion experience to others. One of Jane's images (pictured above) created during her stay in the Cowboy State will be included in the Griffin Museum of Photography's 24th Annual Exhibition in Winchester, Massachusetts.

"This past winter I spent a month at an artist residency in Wyoming," Jane explains. "During this time I created a body of work entitled 'Intervals (Wyoming)' in which I wove conventional measures of time together with my visual experience of it. I am delighted to report that one image, 'Mid-month (Wyoming)', from this series is included in the [exhibit]."

View more of Jane's beautiful images at

Rebecca Schultz

Rebecca Schultz is a visual artist who recently re-embraced painting after a 27-year hiatus. This BCFA Alumna used her time and space at our Artist's Camp as part of her inspiration for her exhibit, Rebecca Schultz: Petrology at the Da Vinci Art Alliance in Philadelphia. The show features a series of Rebecca's paintings inspired by rock formations from Wissahickon Creek in Philadelphia, to Iceland and Wyoming.

View more of Rebecca's work at

Andrea Clearfield

Award-winning composer, Andrea Clearfield is a two-time BCFA Alumna. We were pleased to host Andrea for a second time this summer ahead of the 32nd anniversary of her renowned performance series The Salon.

Using 19th-century European salons as her muse, Andrea founded The Salon in September 1986. Over the past three decades, more than 7000 performers and 17,000 audience members have experienced this musical performance that integrates different music genres as well as other arts. The Salon has garnered such praise as “one of the best-known music salons in the country” with a “deep bench of topflight musicians” and “an underground sensation”(The Philadelphia Inquirer), and given the “Best of Philly Award 2008″ (Philadelphia Magazine).

Experience Andrea's magnificent work at


Kathy Weaver

Kathy Weaver is a visual artist and two-time past resident of BCFA (April 2017 and January 2015). Kathy has been busy with several shows throughout the country including the 2018 Rockford Art Museum Midwest Biennial exhibit. Her piece (pictured above), The Fall (After Cranach), is modeled after Cranach the Elder’s many renditions of Adam and Eve in the Garden. Her take reflects a new adventure in the garden, where artificial intelligence may dictate an entirely new and, perhaps, guilt-free outcome.

Find out more about Kathy's work and her upcoming shows at:


                                              Vanessa Blakeslee



Vanessa Blakeslee was a literary artist in residence at BCFA in May of 2016.  She has recently announced the wonderful accomplishment and release of her latest book, Perfect Conditions: stories.  The book debuted in July 2018 from Curbside Splendor Publishing. 

"I've been working on these stories on and off for years," Vanessa explains, "and while in residence edited/revised quite a few of them, as well as drafted a new story or two -- if you read closely some of my residency experience has left its imprint, here and there, in the collection."

Find out more about this fabulous author and her book release at:

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