Alumni Highlights and News

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 will be featured in a new exhibition at Howard’s art gallery in Athens, GA through October, 2018.

Eleanor Ray’s small paintings depict locations she has recently visited, and possess a sensitivity to place and memory. This group includes 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. The Awards are $30,000 each and will be presented to the six recipients on September 13th in New York City.

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 to us the wonderful accomplishment and release of her latest book, Perfect Conditions: stories.  This book will debut in July 2018 from Curbside Splendor Publishing. 

Vanessa explains, "I've been working on these stories on and off for years, 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.".

We are so happy for you, Vanessa!  

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


                                                Maxim Loskutoff


Montana resident, Maxim Loskutoff, was a writer in residence at BCFA in March of 2017.  He is a multi-talented author of books and short stories.  He has just revealed to us the news of his debut of Come West and See, a collection of stories. 

Maxim explains, "My debut collection of stories Come West and See will be published next month by W.W. Norton. It's set in an isolated region of Idaho, Montana, and eastern Oregon, where an armed occupation of a wildlife refuge is escalating into civil war. The twelve stories, however, focus on ordinary lives in the small towns and cities around where I grew up. People dealing with love and heartbreak, parenthood and loneliness, and the struggle to find a place in the new West, as class divisions widen, the environment teeters, and the long history of genocide and destruction looms above a landscape still possessed with staggering beauty."

We are so excited for the accomplishment of this artist!  Be sure to check out more information on his debut work and preorder your copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or iBooks. 

An early review from Booklist called it "Arresting...A unique and thoughtful evocation of a past, present, and future West by a writer whose powerful new voice deserves our attention".

Congratulations, Maxim!

For More Info, visit:

Artist Website:


                                                Tamara Dean


Tamara Dean was a resident writer at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts during January 2017.  She writes fiction and nonfiction stories, articles, essays and is also the author of various books and her recently completed novel.  She describes herself as being fascinated by nature, technology, arts and sciences.  

We are please to announce that in the recently released Winter 2018 Midwestern Gothic Issue, Tamara is one of the featured nonfiction writers.  This publication includes new fiction, poetry,nonfiction and photography about or inspired about the Midwest, featuring the region's finest voices.

Congrats, Tamara!

More Details on Midwestern Gothic;

Visit Tamara Dean's website:

                                                    Sri Prabha


Mixed media visual artist, Sri Prabha, was a resident at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in July of 2015.  The shot above was taken in his studio during an Open Studio presentation at the ranch. 

During his time at BCFA, Sri started a project (Night Lands 3) which explores the connection between humans and the ocean, and our dependency on the water cycle.  His final project is now complete!  Follow this link to read more on the project and this award winning artist:

Congratulations on this great accomplishment and thank you for sharing, Sri!

Artist Website: 

                                               Nell Shaw Cohen 


We are so pleased to announce this exciting news from past music composition resident, Nell Shaw Cohen.  Nell is a composer and multimedia artist based in New York City.  She completed her two week residency at BCFA during September 2017.  During her time here, she found the inspiration to compose her first piece for solo piano that she has named Walks at Brush Creek.  Nell explains, "Walks at Brush Creek" was inspired by my daily walks through rural Western scenery as an Artist-in-Residence at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts.".

The World Premiere of Walks at Brush Creek will be December 10, 2017 at McArdle Theatre in Houghton, MI and will be given by MTU faculty pianist Jon Ensminger on Music of the Landscape: Compositions Inspired by Our National Parks and Other Special Places, a concert coordinated by composer Libby Meyer in affiliation with Nell's group, the Landscape Music Composers Network.

Check out all of the details and more at Nell's website, blog and MI Tech:

Nell Shaw Cohen

Taking "Walks at Brush Creek" from Wyoming to Michigan

Michigan Tech Events

"My artist residency at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts for two weeks in September was simply a phenomenal privilege and gift." - Nell Shaw Cohen

What a joy for all of us here at BCFA to witness the connection between time, space, and creative works once again.  These residents make it happen!

Congratulations on all your hard work, Nell!


                                                Richard Kattman


Richard Kattman is an award winning artist, landscape architect and photographer who completed a residency at BCFA in June of 2017.  His work consists of paintings and drawings.  Surrounded by vast, beauitful landscape at Brush Creek Ranch, we were inspired while watching him work outdoors on his large-scale abstract canvas paintings during his time here.

His work will be displayed at Open Studio at The Holliston Mill in Holliston, MA on November 4th & 5th of this year. 

Follow this link to learn more about the open studio and to find his artist statement:

For his website:


                                                    John Chang


John Chang was a visual artist in residence at BCFA in June of 2017.  We are excited to help spread the word about his upcoming solo show "Rememory" at The Mildred Cox Gallery in The Glady's Woods Kemper Center for the Arts. From all of us here at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, congratulations!

 - John Chang

For more on the upcoming show:

For more on this artist: 

                                                  Heidi Kumao  


September 2016 BCFA resident and visual artist, Heidi Kumao recently exhibited a rebuilt version of her kinetic girl's legs sculptures in Singapore at the Art Science Museum as part of the show, "Human + The Future of Our Species." It is up until Oct 15, 2017.  Check out more on this artist, her amazing work, more images and details on this exhibition through the following links.  Nice work, Heidi!



                                                  Kim Kimmons


Kim Kimmons was a visual artist in residence during February of this year (2017) at BCFA.  He fit right in at Brush Creek Ranch as his paintings are primarily focused on western life, cowboys, and livestock.  He will be featured as one of the visual artists in the upcoming Cheyenne Arts Festival held at the Depot Museum over August 18th and 19th.  Check out the recent article below for more information on Kim and the festival. Or, visit the direct link  Congrats, Kim!

[Wyoming Tribune Eagle] Cheyenne Arts Festival to begin this weekend

Article By Ellen Fike, Wyoming Tribune Eagle 08/12/2017

Even though he isn’t from the West, Kim Kimmons is in love with it.

The Tennessee-based artist fell for the area and the modern versions of cowboys after he spent time working on a ranch in Montana years ago. 

Getting the opportunity to dive into ranch life and seeing how hard the people out in the West worked inspired him. He wanted to capture that imagery, telling stories through paintings that conveyed the beauty he saw during his time out here.

“It’s not just the can-do attitude that people out West have that entices me,” he said. “They just have this quality of life that you don’t see really anywhere else. It’s a lot different than Tennessee, and I think that’s why I love it. I’d live there in a heartbeat.”

Kimmons has such a passion for the West that he’ll be making his way out to Cheyenne from his home in Knoxville, Tennessee this week to be one of the featured visual artists at this year’s Cheyenne Arts Festival.
The annual event will be held at the Cheyenne Depot Museum. It will begin on Friday evening with an opening reception, running until Sunday evening.

There will be performances over the weekend from artists such as singer-songwriter Josh Gonzales, the Cheyenne Guitar Society and country duo Amy and Annie.

There will be youth workshops on Saturday and Sunday, where children can learn how to make balloon sculptures or paint one of the community pianos stationed around town.

Besides Kimmons, the other visual artists who will be stationed inside the museum will include oil painter Melinda Cummings, watercolor painter Jennifer Morss and mixed media artist Tara Pappas.

This will be Kimmons’ first time coming out to the festival, but it won’t be his first time visiting Wyoming.
“I think Cheyenne is a city with great character, which is what I’m drawn to,” he said. “Plus, the depot is amazing. I fell in love with Wyoming earlier this year after spending a month in Saratoga, so I’m ready to come back out there.”

He’ll sell a variety of pieces at the festival, which will range from $150 for a small print all the way to $3,000 for large, complex works.

Kimmons mainly works in watercolors, painting imagery focusing on the modern American cowboy, the work they do and the environment they live in.

His preference for using watercolors began around the same time he became inspired by Western imagery, the late 1990s. 

After working with this media for 20 years, he feels like he’s learned how to respect watercolors more and more.

“Watercolors have a mind of their own,” he said. “They achieve a balance of doing what they want to do when you use them while still managing to evoke an emotion. They can be freer than something like oils and bleed into each other and I love that.” 

To view more on this artist, visit: 

                                                John Sanderson

John Sanderson was a resident photographer at BCFA in June of 2015.  He has since had many articles published about his amazing work.  Today, an exhibition opens at The New York Transit Museum featuring several of his photographs.  Click on the link below for more information on the exhibition and others for recent articles featuring John.  John also happens to be the season photographer here at Brush Creek Ranch this year!  


Terrain.Org: Landscape // Bisected: American Railroads: A photo essay by John Sanderson

New Landscape Photography: Highway Arbor by John Sanderson

BBC News: Empty railways of America

                                                 Alexandre David

Alexandre David was a music composition resident at BCFA in October/November of 2016.  Below you will find the amazing performance of the piece he wrote during his residency.  Alexandre explains, "I'm happy to share the official video of the 100 guitars piece I wrote while we were there. It was an amazing experience, and I can say that 100 guitars makes quite a lot of noise!" 

                                                  Elisa Korenne

Elise was a music composition resident at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts back in 2011 when the organization was emerging.  As a musician, songwriter and author, she is now set to release her book, "Hundred Miles to Nowhere: An Unlikely Love Story", this June.  Read on for more.  Congratulations, Elise!

Elisa Korenne, an award-winning songwriter known for her original songs about oddballs in history, left New York City in 2006 to be an artist-in-residence in rural west central Minnesota. When she fell in love with the local outdoorsman, she moved and became a fish out of water in New York Mills, Minnesota, a town of 1100 people. To survive the culture shock, she wrote and composed about herself and other oddballs. “I felt lonely and disconnected,” Korenne says. “So I channeled my loneliness the only way I knew how.”
In smooth, well-crafted prose, Korenne’s new memoir “Hundred Miles to Nowhere: An Unlikely Love Story” tells the story of finding somewhere, and someone, in the middle of nowhere. The book is an unlikely love story about a musician, intra-American culture shock, and discovering that sometimes lost is on the way. In her journey to span to rural-urban divide, Korenne describes adventures such as a three-day canoe-camping trip of a blind date, roadkill for dinner, and living through a tornado.
Hundred Miles to Nowhere: An Unlikely Love Story by Elisa Korenne will be available at bookstores across the country,, and in June of 2017.

                                                   For more information, visit:

                                                 Gianna Marino

Gianna Marino was a resident at BCFA in September 2016.  See below for news on her latest release! For more of her work, visit   Congratulations, Gianna!


                                                   Matt Holman


Matt Holman was a music composition resident in August 2013 at BCFA.  He has just released his album "The Tenth Muse".

Holman explains, "It changed my life and FINALLY, today, I have released the recording of the music I composed while in the old schoolhouse on that incredible Steinway D. Thank you for that opportunity!" 

Click here for the exciting press release and full story! :

Congratulations from all of us here at Brush Creek Foundation for The Arts and thanks for the shout out! 



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Brush Creek Arts Foundation enables artists to professionally develop their work in a relaxing and inspiring setting. Deadlines for application submissions are March 1 and September 1 each year.

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