Alumni Highlights and News

Gianna Marino

Visual artist and BFCA alumna Gianna Marino recently completed a children's literature collaboration with Chelsea Clinton entitled Don't Let Them Disappear. The duo worked together to depict the stories of several endangered species and what threatens their future existence. Paired with Clinton's prose, Gianna's warm and engaging art gives life to the pages and provides a kid-friendly and inspiring tale for animal-lovers of all ages. The book was #4 on the New York Times Best Seller list and the #2 Indie Best Seller.

"A winning heads up for younger readers just becoming aware of the wider natural world."
-Kirkus Reviews

"An inviting . . . appeal to care for the planet and its most vulnerable creatures."
-Publishers Weekly

Nika Belianina

Trailer-The River of the Kukamas from Nika Belianina on Vimeo.

From New York to Sao Paulo and beyond, director and BCFA alumna Nika Belianina's short film is travelling around the globe. The River of Kukamas holds 29 festival selections in 14 different countries, including the largest U.S. environmental film festival held in Washington, D.C., Femcine in Santiago, Changing Perspectives in Turkey and a premier in Belianina's hometown of Toronto.

"Nika Belianina brings a rare perspective to the screen. A love-cry to the RIVER OF THE KUKAMAS; the body of water that gave life to this Amazonian culture. At once a mythological tale and reverent prayer for nature. A Kukama man shares his thoughts on the dying of his culture as it gives way to the modern world."
WaterDocs Film Festival

Richelle Gribble

Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary artist Richelle Gribble has an abundance of new projects slated for spring and summer of 2019. Gribble, who is also the director of The Nook Gallery, displayed artwork that she created during her residency at BCFA at the Art Market San Francisco in April.

In addition to working on several commissioned pieces, Gribble is also preparing for a residency at The Arctic Circle. This unique program invites artists, scientists, architects, and educators to explore the high-Arctic Svalbard Archipelago and Arctic Ocean aboard a specially outfitted Barquentine sailing vessel.

Laura Buchan

Columbia Center for the Arts presents the work of BCFA alumna and sculptor, Laura Buchan in an exhibition for the month of May 2019. The Hood River, Oregon, gallery plays host to the Off the Wall exhibit which features three-dimensional art forms and non-traditional mediums and methods that can be viewed from all sides.

Laura will be in good company as her work is showcased along side several other artists including Amirra Malak, Donna Woods, Nell Parker, Debora Lorang, Alan Root, Matt Jensen, Chas Martin and Becky McQueen.

For more about the Off the Wall exhibit, click here.

Crystal Hana Kim

The Washington Post, ALA Booklist, Cosmopolitan, Literary Hub, People Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, and many others recently took note of author and BCFA Alumna Crystal Hana Kim. Her first novel was named best book of 2018 by these and numerous other outlets. It was also longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.

“Kim’s debut novel tells a story of star-crossed love during the Korean War. A young refugee chooses security over her heart, setting in motion a plot that spans the war years and beyond, following the implications of her difficult decision.” — New York Times

Fans of Kim's debut novel have more to look forward to - during her residency at BCFA, she began work on her second novel.

Read an excerpt of If You Leave Me here.

Misako Oba

“L.I.P.Y.” (quadriptych) Encaustic Mixed Media on cradled wood panel

Japanese visual artist, and BCFA Alumna Misako Oba has long been creating a series of works relating to the stars, desert and our lives. Through these pieces, Misako reflects and explores the conceptual and psychological approach to the nebulous that extends far beyond human knowledge and understanding.

Misako's Cosmos series was featured at Trestle Gallery in New York in 2018, with her latest celestial-related works L.I.P.Y. - L'essentiel est Invisible pour les Yeux, which translates to "what is essential is invisible to the eye," includes mixed media paintings, printmaking, a photography. The series was featured at In The Details gallery in Tokyo in early 2019.

Douglas Hedwig

During his time as a resident at Brush Creek in June/July 2017, Douglas Hedwig worked on a composition that received its long-awaited world premiere in January 2019. The Chattanooga Symphony Wind Quintet performed Four Third Streams – a four-movement, 20-minute composition for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon. The style of music, called Third Stream, is a fusion of Western classical music and American jazz. In Hedwig's “Four Third Streams,” each movement is influenced or inspired by jazz, yet it remains within a contemporary classical chamber music setting.

Douglas will be the Composer-in-Residence at the Siena Institute of Art in Italy in Summer 2019. 

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.

Clarissa opened the doors of her mind - and recently 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

Former Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts resident Alex Hirsch's work was recently 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 stunning 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, 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. 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 an exhibition at Howard’s art gallery in Athens, GA.

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 had a 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

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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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