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.



Before painting, I was a photographer in New York City and London. I wanted to capture the female figure and attitude in the form of a personal narrative. I moved to New York City in the early 80’s with the idea of becoming a fashion photographer because I was enamored of the theatrical possibilities, which now translate more purely for me to painting. I spent my childhood near San Francisco playing in my mom’s ceramic studio and the woods, and focused on invented imaginary characters. Ten years ago, I moved with my family to the small town of Bend, Oregon.

I am working on a series of oil paintings that examine concepts about beauty and women and girls, and also references varied lovely rodents, absurdist humor, and political quotes. The effect will be colorful, narrative, puzzling, and funny, I hope

JACINTA CLUSELLAS - Musician/Composer

Jacinta Clusellas is a guitarist, composer and arranger from Buenos Aires, Argentina, currently based in NYC. Her debut album El Pájaro Azul was was released at the Consulate of Argentina in NYC and published in Japan under the record label Inpartmaint Inc. Jacinta has participated as an arranger for performances by A.R. Rahman and Alejandro Sanz; she was the resident composer, music director and guitarist for several theatre productions around the country such as NORA (Jerome Foundation, Lanesboro Arts), I Am (La MaMa, NYC), Azul Otra Vez (BRIC, NYTW). Jacinta holds a B.A. from Berklee College of Music and she is a Teaching Artist at the New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers program.
While in residence at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, I will be working on the compositions, arrangements and orchestrations for “Azul, Otra Vez”, a bilingual play with music  I have been working on for the past two years with a creative team in NYC. I will be developing the music I have already composed, as well as writing new pieces for the play. More info on the project here: I will also be writing new songs and revisiting older compositions to re-adapt them to the ensembles I am currently performing with in NYC.

BARBARA MARTIN - Visual Artist

Barbara Martin grew up on three continents, and has lived in eleven states coast to coast. She currently lives in Oregon where she keeps a studio and teaches art classes. Art is an adventure for Barbara, where each painting is a new exploration of place and emotion. Her work is contemporary in style and leans toward the abstract, and sometimes surreal. Her subjects range from the serenity of a landscape … to the horror of a nightmare. Her art is in many private collections and has been featured in galleries, shows and museums across the country, as well as in Norway and Australia.

I have several goals for my residency. I plan to come away with the practical skills required for painting in multiples on a large scale (eg 48”x60” and up) both in terms of adapting my gestural style to larger pieces and in terms of handling the logistics of painting on large substrates. I will discover which methods and materials (paper or panel) serve me better, and will understand the work flow needed to work in series on these larger pieces. I can test building and using different easels and racks for painting and drying my works. Finally, I will also develop a plan for redesigning my own home studio based on my experiences and experiments painting larger works

RAJNA SWAMINATHAN - Musician/Composer

Rajna Swaminathan is an acclaimed mrudangam (South Indian percussion) artist and composer. She performs regularly with renowned Indian classical musicians and dancers. Since 2011, she has been collaborating with eminent musicians in New York City's jazz and creative music scene, including Vijay Iyer, Miles Okazaki, and Amir ElSaffar. Rajna leads the ensemble RAJAS, which collectively explores new textural and improvisational horizons at the nexus of multiple musical perspectives. She holds degrees in Anthropology and French (University of Maryland), and is currently pursuing a PhD in Music (Creative Practice & Critical Inquiry) at Harvard University.
During her time at Brush Creek, Rajna will be developing a set of text- and graphic-based scores for a new project called Mangal. Rajna specifically wants to explore new ways of conveying rhythmic and temporal information to improvising musicians, while opening the door to new melodic and harmonic possibilities rooted in multiple traditions and experimental methods, within and outside of her own experience and training.

AYSE PAPATYA BUCAK - Literary Artist

Though she was born in Istanbul, Ayşe Papatya Bucak lives in South Florida, where she teaches in the MFA program at Florida Atlantic University. Her short story collection The Trojan War Museum is forthcoming from Norton in 2019. She has published stories and essays in a variety of journals, including Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Kenyon Review and Witness. Her short fiction has been selected for the O.Henry and Pushcart Prizes, and she has recently been awarded residencies at Millay, Willapa Bay AIR, and the Studios of Key West.
During her stay at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Ayşe Papatya will be working on a novel that has to do with citizenship and immigration.

DAVID NAIMON - Literary Artist

David Naimon is the co-author of Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing (Tin House Books) and the radio host of the book broadcast/podcast Between the Covers. His writing can be found in AGNI, Tin House, Boulevard, Zyzzyva, StoryQuarterly, Fourth Genre and elsewhere. It has been anthologized in The Best Small Fictions 2016 and cited in Best American Essays 2015, Best American Travel Writing 2015 and the 2016 Pushcart Prize anthology. He lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

  1. Blurb: In 2010 terrorists detonated a bomb during a Hindu ceremony along the Ganges River in Varanasi, India. Thousands of people were there but when I regained consciousness and looked for my wife among the rubble we were alone. My fragmentary, associative memoir uses this gap, this absence of experience of an event that has changed the trajectory of our lives, as the organizing principle for a meditation on the effect of trauma on our relationship, on the physics of blast wind injuries, on the history of the Muslim-Hindu conflict over the Babri mosque, on how to tell a story one is absented from.

JACK STRATON - Visual Artist

Jack C. Straton is a photographer whose creative expression also extends to quantum scattering theory and music.  He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography from the University of Oregon in 1977, worked as a professional Jazz drummer for three years, and returned to the U of O to earn a doctorate in Physics in 1986. His research ranges from Quantum Scattering Theory to Anti-racist Pedagogy.   
He has been a volunteer and professional diversity trainer since 1985 when he founded Eugene Men Against Rape, and he co-coordinates the Task Group on Child Custody Issues for the National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS).
During his Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts residency, Straton will explore the nearby meadows and the larger landscape, focusing on the unique quality of light that rains down on Wyoming.  Though photography is often associated with the grand landscape, Straton has a particular affection for the pocket paradises the land enfolds, and the abstract images that can be pulled from the natural world.  The unique history of the area will also lend itself to quasi-landscapes that may be extracted from human artifacts.

JANET BOLTAX - Visual Artist

Although I have lived in Montclair, NJ for over 20 years, I am still a New Yorker at heart, having grown up and lived there until my move to New Jersey. I have been painting with oils since I was around 10 years old, and I have always been obsessed with the human figure, particularly portraiture. I have tried other subjects but none holds the same “pull” for me. I have also done a fair amount of printmaking, which I love, as well as collage and mixed media, in which I generally work abstractly. In addition to painting as often as I can, I teach portrait painting at the Montclair Museum and painting to adults who are physically and mentally challenged at another facility. I also do freelance writing related to my past work in publishing. I am married and have three grown children.
While at Brush Creek, I am looking forward to a bit of experimentation, since I have been working in the same format for the past four years during which I did two large series of portraits that were all 36”x36” in size. I plan to work on a series of portraits that are smaller in size and focus on capturing people in unexpected moments when they think no one is looking. I also want to work on my drawing skills and experiment with groups of figures together at la Eric Fischl.

                                               PAST RESIDENTS

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