Alumni Highlights and News



                                              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:

                                                Kathy Weaver


Kathy is a two-time past resident of BCFA (April 2017 and January 2015). We want to congratulate her and share the latest news of her exhibit in Chicago, IL! Read below.

Kathy Weaver has an exhibit “Synthesis: Sci-Fi to Reality” at The Olympia Centre, 737 N. Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The exhibit site is the magnificent lobby of a Skidmore, Owens, & Merrill tower owned by CBRE, sponsors of the exhibit.

The lobby, with thirty-foot ceilings and exotic wood paneling, has excellent public visibility. It is situated in the North Michigan Avenue area facing the Water Tower, center of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. 

Weaver’s exhibit has four large fiber pieces (Female Cyborg series, 90” x 54”), five drawings done at the Rehabilitation Institute Robotics Lab, three life-scale fiber collaged and airbrushed pieces depicting environmental issues, and several playful, interactive robot sculptures making up a sci-fi family.

One of the large satin and embroidered robot works, “Destroying Angel”, was selected to represent the USA at the 15th International Fiber Triennial in Poland in 2016.

For more information on this artist, visit: 

                                                    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! 




                            Dale Trumbore and Jennifer Garza-Cuen


July 2015 residents, Dale Trumbore (music composer) and Jennifer Garza-Cuen (visual artist), did not come to Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts as collaborators.  However, many beautiful connections are made between artists of different disciplines during the time they spend together here and that was the case for these two individuals.  

March 24th, 2017 is the expected release date of "How To Go On: The Choral Works of Dale Trumbore".  This album will feature the world premiere recording of Dale's 35-minute secular requiem "How to Go On", a piece she worked on during her residency at BCFA. This album is the first release from Choral Arts Initiative.

Another special aspect of this album is the photo on the cover.  This photo was taken by fellow resident, Jennifer Garza-Cuen during her BCFA residency.  

Dale Trumbore explains, "I first met Jennifer Garza-Cuen while we were both in residence at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts last summer. There, I was composing secular requiem How to Go On for Choral Arts Initiative; Jennifer was working on a series of photographs and essays also dealing with themes of loss and grief. Jennifer's landscape photography often favors dark, sprawling skies about to break into a storm, and I found myself drawn to the starkness and originality of her images.
This photo, taken by Jennifer during our residency, will become the cover image of How to Go On, Choral Arts Initiative's first commercial recording."

-Interview with "How To Go On" CD cover photographer, Jennifer Garza-Cuen

Read full interview:

To read more information about the composer reflection on this piece from Dale Trumbore, visit : Spotlight: "How to Go On" Composer Reflection

Press Release!

      Choral Arts Initiative Releases Debut Album Featuring Secular Requiem And Other Choral Works by Dale Trumbore

Newport Beach, CA, February 28, 2017 – Choral Arts Initiative will release their first album “How to Go On: The Choral Works of Dale Trumbore,” featuring the world premiere recording of Trumbore's 35-minute secular requiem “How to Go On” alongside three of her other works for chorus. Led by Artistic Director Brandon Elliott, Choral Arts Initiative recorded the album in August 2016 at St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, CA and will release it for worldwide distribution on all platforms through their independent label on March 24, 2017.

Following the death of a loved one, poet Barbara Crooker asks, "How can we go on, knowing the end of the story?" “How to Go On” answers this question in eight movements that explore our relationship to life and loss, ranging from doubt and introspection to an acceptance of our own mortality. Composed by Trumbore for the versatile singers of Choral Arts Initiative, "How to Go On" ultimately finds beauty and release in the embrace of everyday life, offering up solace in the words of three living poets—Barbara Crooker, Amy Fleury, and Laura Foley— and in music.

Also featured on the album are three other works by Trumbore: “In the Middle,” “Lodestar,” and “After the Storm Passes.” Trumbore accompanies “In the Middle” on the piano. Together, the eleven tracks of “How to Go On: The Choral Works of Dale Trumbore” explore how, even in the face of turmoil, we bring quiet grace back into our daily lives.


Choral Arts Initiative is a non-profit 501(c)(3) choral organization made up of some of the most talented and passionate musicians in the Southern California region. Hailed as one of Orange County’s Best Choirs (CBS News, Los Angeles) and a winner of the American Prize in Choral Performance, Choral Arts Initiative works in partnership with composers and the community to illuminate emerging choral music through vocal collaboration and performance and to inspire musical creativity through unique outreach and education programs. Embarking on their fifth season, Choral Arts Initiative has commissioned ten new choral works, performed twelve world premieres, and given over forty regional premieres. More information about Choral Arts Initiative may be found at

                                                   David Beale

David Beale was a resident of June 2016.  His focus is watercolor landscapes and portraits. Below, you can see a beautiful piece of buck rail fencing he captured from Brush Creek Ranch while he completed his residency at BCFA.

"The Brush Creek Residency provided me with a life-enriching experience that I'm still digesting. It was so refreshing to be able to shut out the daily routine and grind for a while and immerse myself in the beauty of Brush Creek. I found the sharing of experiences and ideas with my fellow artists from other disciplines especially rewarding. I now realize how important time devoted to reflection in such a quiet and majestic environment can be to creativity. I certainly came back rejuvenated! I'm not a writer but wanted to let you know how much the residency has meant to me." - David Beale


                                                                 "Abandoned Buck Rail Fence"

                                             For more on this artist, visit:                  

                                                   Beth Roddy


Beth was awarded a residency at BCFA during June of 2016.  During her stay, she revised her essay I Died of Dysentery.  This essay was recently published online.  Read on for more details! 

"I have such such fond memories of last June at BCR—seems like another world ago." 

"I'm proud to say that the essay that I revised at my residency at BCFA (the one I also shared in open studio about middle school angst and playing the computer game, The Oregon Trail) has gotten published in a great online literary magazine called The Rumpus, and I got to curate the images -- so I chose images from my time I spent at BCFA, since it was very close to where the original Oregon Trail was, to get an authentic feel." - Beth Roddy

Congratulations, Beth!

Click here to read her essay -

                                                  Oliver Caplan

The New Hampshire Master Chorale (Dan Perkins, Director) premiered Oliver Caplan's newest work "Eve – Absinthe – Alice" on November 19 & 20.  Oliver worked on this choral piece at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts while completing his residency during September 2016.  This three-movement choral work, commissioned by NHMC, sets evocative poetry from author Ruth Kessler’s book Fire Ashes Wings (Finishing Line Press, 2013).


To sample his music or find more information on this accomplished composer, visit:

How to get started

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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