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.


THOMAS BRAMEL - Musician/Composer

Thomas was awarded an EMMY for his score to the film The Potomac: American Reflections and a CINE Golden Eagle for his score to the film George Mason and the Bill of Rights. His chamber music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles in Armenia, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Netherlands, Spain and the United States. He has composed two full-length ballets, symphonic band music, choral scores, music for plays, music for electronic media, music for children’s television and documentary film scores. Most recently, the Galan Piano Trio of Athens, Greece, commissioned and recorded his Piano Trio No. 2. 

During his residency, Thomas will be composing music for a patriotic chamber opera.

MARK BARNETTE - Visual Artist

Mark Barnette photographs natural and human landscapes.  
Born in 1956, and raised in New England, Mark was brought up to revere the 19th and 20th century landscape artists that informed American notions of the nation’s character and how it ought to look. His work synthesizes these influences with the effects of time, economic violence, and the human longing for order and beauty. 
Mark’s arts education has been lifelong and largely self-directed. Beauty without sentimentality is a goal of all his work.

While at Brush Creek, Mark plans to further two series begun in 2015 and 2016, one explores the intersections of earth, air, water, and light. The other is a series of trees, plants, and brambles that allude to the "magic eye" images of the 1990's where the apparent chaos is is the subject.

VINT VERGA - Literary Artist

As the country’s leading veterinarian specialized in wild animal behavior, Dr. Vint Virga works internationally as an advisor on wildlife conservation and welfare for nature preserves and refuges; zoological parks and gardens; animal stewardship foundations; and governmental agencies. He teaches as an invited lecturer at leading colleges and universities as well as animal, conservation, and environmental symposia. Outside of clinical practice, he has served as an advisor to leading corporations and foundations; a veterinary liaison to the U.S. Congress; a climate leader with The Climate Reality Project, and an expert on wildlife welfare and conservation legal issues.

Dr. Virga’s first book, The Soul of All Living Creatures, is a winner of the Silver Nautilus Award. As a writer, he posts a blog for Psychology Today and is an invited contributor to literary journals and consumer magazines.

He has been profiled in The New York Times and featured on NPR Fresh Air, ABC World News, National Geographic Explorer, and PBS Nature.

In recognition of his writing, he’s been awarded three MacDowell Fellowships, a Brown Foundation Fellowship, a Hathornden Fellowship, and literary residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Maison Dora Maar, Ucross, Yaddo, Hambidge, The Bloedel Reserve, and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts.

SHANNON VESELY - Literary Artist

Shannon Vesely is a retired educator, mother and grandmother who has spent the last 40 years teaching English/Language Arts in college and K-12 classrooms throughout the Midwest. As a part of this work, she conducted writing workshops and developed writing curriculum for teachers. Since retirement, she is an adjunct English instructor and full-time writer.

Currently, she writes weekly pieces for her website, Sanctuaries, collaborates with local composers, and works to finalize a collection of poetry and creative non-fiction. Her father and mentor, Nebraska poet Don Welch, claimed that we all have at least “one good poem in our hidden heads.” Shannon writes with the hope of uncovering her one “good poem.”

TORREY CRIM - Literary Artist

Torrey Crim lives in Brooklyn, New York. She holds a BA from Middlebury College and MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. Her stories and reviews have been published in a number of journals, including Epoch, American Literary Review, Gulf Coast, Nimrod and The Brooklyn Rail. She has received a work-study scholarship to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Monson Arts and Yaddo. She is at work on her first novel.

BAILEY RUSSEL - Visual Artist

Bailey Russel is a professor of photography at the University of Wyoming. Originally from New Jersey, Bailey attended Princeton University for a BA in Art History and NYU for an MA in Photography before moving west to join the faculty in Laramie at 2012. Bailey teaches all levels of photography with a special interest in alternative and historical processes.

Bailey plans to use this residency to explore alternative processes of interest and hopes to emerge with a better understanding of methods and a suite of completed photography books.


Elizabeth Courtney is an emerging artist from Connecticut, that has studied painting all over the world for the last couple years, including Rhode Island, Vermont, Florence, Italy, and most recently in Chautauqua, New York. She has done a number of Residencies and has been in many National Juried Exhibitions.  


                                               PAST RESIDENTS

 Summer-Fall 2019  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