Meet Our Residents

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.


Leanna Kirchoff


A native of rural Colorado, Leanna Kirchoff describes her music as a pathway through poignant moments, soulful reflections, and beautiful ideas. Her operas, choral music, and audiovisual works have been performed at the International Congress of Voice Teachers (Sweden), the International Congress of Science and Music Technology (Argentina), Carnegie Hall, the conferences of the National Opera Association and American Choral Directors Association, Minnesota Fringe Festival, and Gateway Opera, among others. Kirchoff holds a doctorate degree in composition from the University of Colorado and is a faculty member of the University of Denver. 

Zhiwan Cheung


Zhiwan Cheung (b. Long Beach, CA) received his BFA from Cornell University and MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Zhiwan probes the intersection of national identity and the personal psyche, focusing on how and where they join and diverge. As an odyssey toward a home that does not exist, a rite of passage with no destination, he uses his work to search for a critical understanding of an impossible homecoming. Through sculpture, film, and performance, this journey is guided by an allusive visual language, with a mix of pop cultural, art historical and aesthetical signals and choices that also guide audiences into finding their own rites of passage.

Roxanne Banks Malia


Roxanne Banks Malia holds degrees from St. Olaf College, the University of Colorado, and Lesley University. She lives in Denver, Colorado where she runs a youth outreach program for the nonprofit literary center Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Copper Nickel, CutBank, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. While in residence at Brush Creek, she intends to develop and revise her poetry manuscript, I Forgot and Drove to Wyoming.

Robert Pollien


Maine painter, Robert Pollien earned his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Robert has been awarded a Maine Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in painting and received support from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, the Monhegan Artists' Residency Corporation, the Joseph A. Fiore Art Center at Rolling Acres Farm and others. Pollien’s work is featured in numerous corporate, public, and private collections. He is represented by Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, the Littlefield Gallery in Winter Harbor, Maine and Artemis Gallery in Northeast Harbor, Maine.


Alexandra Hirsch



Alex Hirsch earned a BA and BFA from University of Michigan; MFA from Washington University. Her work is in many collections including Good Samaritan Hospital, United States Embassy (Bulgaria), Oregon State University, U.S. Aid (Uganda), Hallmark, and Southern Oregon University. She exhibits paintings and makes site-specific, permanent glass artworks that are integrated into the architecture. Grantors include the Ford Family Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Linfield College, and the Hallie Ford Foundation. Previous residencies include Caldera, The Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Oregon College of Art and Craft, and Playa. A Way Home, featuring text by Scott Parker and her imagery, will be released this summer. Influences include nature, dancing, and Buddhism. 


 Ching-chu Hu



Ching-chu Hu is an award-winning composer whose music has been performed internationally, with reviews describing his music as “breathtaking,” (allmusic) “richly textured” (Charleston Post and Currier), “incredible” (The Columbus Dispatch), filled with “tender luminous harmonies” (Strad), and “meditative and solemn...the best work [on the CD Violinguistics]” (American Record Guide). He enjoys discovering the overlap between various artistic disciplines, collaborating with poets, visual artists choreographers, and filmmakers. He is also one of two proud dads to four wonderful and inquisitive children. Ching-chu Hu is the Richard Luicer Endowed Professor, and Chair of the Music Department at Denison University.


Julia Zarankin

Julia Zarankin lives, writes, and watches birds with gusto in Toronto, Canada. Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared in such journals as Threepenny Review, Antioch Review, The Walrus, Maisonneuve, The New Quarterly, and PRISM International. She is currently working on a book about becoming an unintentional birder. When not writing, she works as a writing coach to high school students and a lecturer to later life learners.

Rebecca Schultz

Rebecca Schultz is a multi-disciplinary artist and arts facilitator/educator. She grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 20 years before relocating to Elkins Park in 2016. Her creative practice includes painting, drawing, printmaking, and collage; participatory installation and public art projects; and performance.

Rebecca has shown her work at NoBa Artspace, the Mural Arts Kensington Storefront, 3rd Street Gallery, Crane Arts, POST at Herman Street Studios, and the Philadelphia Sketch Club and created a mural in West Philadelphia as part of Mural Arts’ A2O program. She is currently teaching for the Delphi Afterschool Art Club and Art Futures programs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Rebecca is a member of InLiquid, the Cheltenham Center for the Arts, and the MamaCITA collective. 

Rachel Peters

Composer/librettist Rachel J. Peters (b. 1977) writes all manner of works for the stage. Operas: Rootabaga Country (Sarasota Opera), The Wild Beast of the Bungalow (Center for Contemporary Opera), Pie, Pith, and Palette (Atlanta Opera), Companionship (Manhattan School of Music). Concert works: Ethel Smyth Plays Golf in Limbo (Semperoper Dresden), Fronds: The Wisdom of Fanny Fern (Walt Whitman Project). Musicals: Only Children, Tiny Feats of Cowardice (NYC Fringe), Tomato Red. Scores for plays: Stretch (a fantasia) (New Georges), Tania in the Getaway Van (Flea Theater), Transatlantic (Alabama Shakespeare Festival). Songs at Lincoln Center, National Opera Center, Symphony Space, AIDS Quilt Songbook. Alumna, New Dramatists, American Opera Projects, Duffy Institute, Kimmel Harding Nelson, Yaddo.

                                               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