Meet Our Resident Artists

To get a better idea of the grandeur and scope of the artists who are currently participating in the artist residencies at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, visit this page often for bios and introductions.



Elizabeth Eero Irving is a professional studio artist and third generation Alaskan. She received her BFA from Cornish College and MFA from Northern Vermont University. In addition to her studio practice, she’s an independent curator of exhibits and also teaches art and artist career workshops. 

Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Songs of the River,’ Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center (2018-2019), and ‘A Place To Call Home, International Gallery of Contemporary Art (2019). She is the recipient of a Rasmuson Individual Artist Award and a Connie Boocheever Artist Fellowship. 

When not making art, she’s an avid outdoorswoman and volunteers in feline rescue.


Michelle Mackey is a fine artist and scenic painter living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Mackey has an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute and is represented by Holly Johnson Gallery in Dallas, Tx and Binder Fine Arts in Marfa, Tx. Her artwork has been exhibited in Berlin, Seoul, New York City, Dallas, and various other locations. In fall 2018, she had a solo exhibition entitled, “From the Edge” at Lorimoto Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. Mackey’s work has been reviewed in publications like The New York Sun, Huffington Post, and New American Paintings.

Through my paintings, I seek to communicate our connection to an unfixed environment; we have power as witnesses. While in residence at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, I am looking forward to drawing and painting from on-site observations. To be able to view the contours of the Sierra Madre and Snowy mountains and to observe the vast western expanse is an opportunity uniquely offered by the location of Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts.

IVY FIFE - Visual Artist

Ivy Holgate Fife is an artist and writer based in Montrose, Colorado. Her background includes over 20 years in creative product development for Hallmark Cards, commercial graphic design and illustration, humor writing, short fiction writing, blogging, and teaching art to children.

In 2007, she began painting murals on tipis for Montrose-based Colorado Yurt Company, where she is also the marketing manager and writes the company blog. In nine years of tipi painting, she created nearly 1,000 paintings, mostly based on customer requests. Ivy has researched and learned much about Native American design and culture as well as exploration of the tipi form and space. In recent years, she has also worked on banner style paintings that explore wind and light through canvas.

While at Brush Creek, Ivy will work on creating six child-focused tipi paintings.

MIKE HOLOBER - Musician/Composer

Mike Holober is a New York based jazz pianist and composer. He has released six recordings as a leader, and can be heard on over 70 recordings as a sideman. His work with the WDR and HR big bands has earned him an international reputation as a jazz composer and arranger, and his own projects include the critically acclaimed Mike Holober Quintet, Balancing Act (a jazz octet with voice), and The Gotham Jazz Orchestra.

A professor at The City College of New York, Mike also served as Associate Director of the BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop from 2007-2015.

J.C. HALLMAN- Literary Artist

J.C. Hallman grew up in Southern California, and is the author of six books. 
He is the recipient of a McKnight Fellowship in fiction, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in the “general nonfiction” category. 

Where he lives at the moment is an excellent question…

LYSLEY TENORIO - Literary Artist

Lysley Tenorio is a writer from San Francisco. He is the author of Monstress, and the recipient of a Stenger Fellowship, the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Bogiasco Foundation, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the NEA. His stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Zoetrope, and Ploughshares, and have been adapted for the stage in San Francisco and New York City.

His novel, The Son of Good Fortune, will be published in July of 2020. While at Brush Creek, he will be working on a novel.

TRAPPER ROBBINS - Musician/Composer

Trapper is a multi-instrumentalist rock composer, keyboard player, and singer with a special interest in interwoven rhythmic patterns, creative lyrics and phrasings, and unexpected song transitions. His music moves seamlessly across genres including elements of progressive rock, fusion, funk, jazz, ambient groove, and folk. Trapper manages to consistently craft freshly layered songs that are approachable, sometimes challenging, and always interesting. Through it all, there is a thread of subtle ironic urgency that keeps the music alive and relevant.

The goal on this residency is to compose an original collection of new songs, which will ultimately be recorded, produced, and released.


For the past 40 years, I have been working as a landscape painter. While my preferred mediums have always been oil or pastel, my methods, techniques, and aesthetic aims have all undergone significant transformations since I first began.

I learned my craft in the studio and outdoors. I received my BFA from Swain School or Design and MFA, under full fellowship, at American University. Since then I have participated in numerous one person and group exhibitions and am honored to my work included in public and private collections throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. In the past few years, I am privileged to be featured in the Plein Air and Home and Design Magazines and the book, Drawing 365.

During the residency, I plan to continue my explorations into the possible tensions that evolve when changing the painting’s format from the typical landscape horizontal to an extreme, elongated vertical.


                                               PAST RESIDENTS

Winter-Spring 2019  Summer-Fall 2018  Winter-Spring 2018  Summer-Fall 2017   Winter-Spring 2017  Summer-Fall 2016  Winter-Spring 2016  Summer-Fall 2015  Winter-Spring 2015  Summer-Fall 2014  Winter-Spring 2014  Summer-Fall 2013  Winter-Spring 2013  Summer-Fall 2012  Winter-Spring 2012

Pilot Program 2011