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Current Roster

January 2018

Open Studios featuring the January Artists in Residence will be held at our Arts Center on Saturday, January 27 from 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Leland Cheuk, Literary Arts (Brooklyn, New York)


A MacDowell Colony fellow, Leland Cheuk authored The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong (CCLaP, 2015), a novel, and Letters from Dinosaurs (Thought Catalog, 2016), stories. His work has been covered in VICE, The Millions, and The Rumpus, and appears or is forthcoming in Salon, Catapult, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere.

Masayoshi Ishikawa, Performing Arts (Saint Peter, Minnesota)

Masayoshi Ishikawa web

Masayoshi Ishikawa’s music has been performed in multiple countries including China, Japan, and Italy. His composition “Hotaru” (firefly) was selected as the winner of 2014 DownBeat Student Music Awards in graduate original composition for small ensemble. Masayoshi premiered a multi-movement big-band jazz work titled Suite for the Forgotten in 2015. The suite is dedicated to people who are currently living in Fukushima under the risk of exposure to radiation. Several of his compositions have been published by UNC Jazz Press. As an active pianist, Masayoshi has performed at various jazz festivals/concerts in the United States. He was recently selected as one of the five finalists for the 2016 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition. Masayoshi currently serves as visiting part-time assistant professor of music at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, where he teaches piano class and applied jazz piano, and also directs the Gustavus Vocal Jazz Ensemble.

Palmarin Merges, Visual Arts (Beaverton, Oregon)

Palmarin Merges web

Palmarin Merges is an artist whose work draws from the desire to become more sustainable by reusing materials close at hand and by adapting restriction as a generative force for creation. Working primarily in mixed media, printmaking, and painting, she takes common materials formed from the fabric of her daily life and transforms them into new work. Hopefully descended from mighty Filipino headhunters and raised in Hawaii and California, she has also spent considerable time in Japan. Palmarin incorporates the rich visual languages of her experiences with the inspiration of the natural beauty of her adopted home state of Oregon.

Marina Peng, Visual Arts (St. Louis, Missouri)

Marina Peng web

Marina Peng, born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a multimedia installation artist based in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her BFA from Washington University in St. Louis. Her work combines built structures with video or performance to create interactive installations that examine the implicit biases that restrict marginalized identities. Marina has been awarded residencies at Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles, CA) and Paul Artspace (St. Louis, MO). Take Care, a solo exhibition of her work, opened at 50/50 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Carolina Pfister, Media Arts (Portland, Oregon)

Carolina Pfister web

Carolina Pfister is a writer, media artist, nonprofit professional, and entrepreneur, interested in social justice, bioregionalism, and everyone’s right to a good life. She is crafting a portrait of her gentrifying neighborhood through a 2017 Regional Arts & Culture Council grant. Starting off as an art director in the ’90s for MTV Brasil, Carolina has worked with media in commercial and nonprofit organizations in both Brasil and the US. A dystopian/utopian story enthusiast and in-between-cultures mother of two, Carolina remains hopeful that an informed and caring populace can participate, build, and maintain a free and fair society. Hailing from the very large city of São Paulo, she is now making her home in a very small Columbia River Gorge town.

Blanca Villalobos, Performing Arts (Portland, Oregon)

Blanca Villalobos web

Blanca Villalobos is a multidisciplinary artist and a queer proud daughter of Mexican immigrants. With roots in Southern California and the Sierra Madre Occidental of Jalisco, she weaves stories of relationships inspired by her dreams and memories as a way to heal and empower. Blanca is the founder of queer Latinx collective Pochas Radicales, which seeks to empower community through the arts, activism, and education. As an educator, she has had the honor of working with community and youth of color for the last seven years in the Pacific Northwest within the context of social justice, non-Western healing modalities, and the prevention of gender-based violence.

Tali Weinberg, Visual Arts (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

Tali Weinberg web

Tali Weinberg fuses text and textiles to address gender violence, the housing crisis, climate change, labor exploitation, and other traumas and insecurities that are experienced at once as social and personal. Her work is held in multiple collections and has been exhibited at the Berkeley Art Museum; the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles; Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art; and other galleries across North America. She was included in the 2016 Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art in the Zhejiang province of China. She has taught and lectured at California College of the Arts (CCA), Penland School of Crafts, the Textile Arts Center in New York, and Headlands Center for the Arts. Her research has been supported by a Collins Foundation–funded residency at Oregon College of Art and Craft, the Lia Cook Jacquard residency at CCA, and now by a George Kaiser Family Foundation Tulsa Artist Fellowship. She holds an MFA from CCA and an MA from New York University.



February 2018

Open Studios featuring the February Artists in Residence will be held at our Arts Center on Saturday, February 24 from 12:30-3:30 p.m. 

Eroyn Franklin, Literary Arts (Seattle, Washington)

Eroyn Franklin web

Eroyn Franklin has been making comics for the last decade and has written many short works and two graphic novels, Detained and Another Glorious Day at the Nothing Factory. She sees stories and images not as two separate parts, but as elements that are intrinsically tied and act as one language. She learned this language from her sister, Tory Franklin, who is also a visual storyteller and a vital influence. They grew up blending their personal and creative worlds—so homes became art venues, friendships turned into collectives, and arts organizing led Eroyn to cofound Short Run Seattle, an arts nonprofit. That fundamental belief in intertwining community and art drove her to seek collaborations with her partner, sister, and many friends. Whether making things alone or in tandem, she moves fluidly between mediums and sizes ranging from miniature books to public art.

Michelle Fujii, Performing Arts (Portland, Oregon)

Michelle Fujii web

Michelle Fujii, codirector of UNIT SOUZOU, creates contemporary work as a fourth-generation Japanese American through the art form of taiko and Japanese folk dance, placing “traditional” ethnic art within the present. She started her taiko training as a performing member of San Jose Taiko. After graduating with a degree in ethnomusicology from UCLA, she was awarded a fellowship from the Japanese government to study with Japan’s foremost traditional folk dance troupe, Warabi-za. Michelle has played with numerous North American taiko groups, including TAIKOPROJECT, On Ensemble, and Shasta Taiko.

Tessa Hulls, Visual Arts (Port Townsend, Washington)

Tessa Hulls web

Tessa Hulls is a multidisciplinary artist/writer/adventurer who is fascinated by the concept of home. As the daughter of two first-generation immigrants who landed in a tiny town of 350 people, she spent her formative years reading her way through the public library and roaming alone through the hills, and this love of solitude, research, and forward motion informs much of her creative practice. Her restlessness has joyously dragged her across all seven continents, and she lives a seminomadic seasonal lifestyle that allows her to conduct creative field research in exceedingly remote places. She is currently working on a nonfiction graphic novel exploring loss of language, cultural divides, immigration, mental illness, mixed race identity, mother-daughter relationships, and the American fascination with the frontier as told through the life story of her maternal grandmother, Sun Yi.

Bill Cravis, Visual Arts (Bend, Oregon)


With a strong background in ceramics, Bill Cravis’s current practice encompasses mixed media, sculpture, installation, and video. His recent projects emphasize audience interaction and include a variety of collaborations with other artists. Bill earned a BFA in ceramics from California College of the Arts and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. His distinctions include a full fellowship to Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture (2004); a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant (2006); and a funded McKnight Artist Residency at Northern Clay Center (2011). He has held full-time teaching positions at Ohio University and St. Cloud State University. In 2012, Bill joined the full-time faculty of Central Oregon Community College, where he has established the 3-D and sculpture areas in the Visual Arts program.

Ryan Sullivan, Visual Arts (Portland, Oregon)

Ryan Sullivan web

Ryan Sullivan is a graphic designer focused on data visualization and cartography for projects concerning architecture, urban planning, transportation, and the built environment. His passion for graphic design and urban planning led to a career focused on the intersection of these two fields. In 2010, he founded Paste in Place in Portland, Oregon, a graphic design studio that focuses on information graphics and data visualization for projects concerning urbanism and “place.” Ryan has worked for design firms in Baltimore, Boston, Portland, and Washington, DC. He taught and developed curriculum for classes on information graphics and wayfinding in both the School of Architecture and Department of Art + Design at Northeastern University. In 2005, he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to work with Jan Gehl at the Centre for Public Space Research in Copenhagen, Denmark. He earned a master of architecture degree in 2003 at the University of Maryland.

Nina Vichayapai, Visual Arts (San Bruno, California)

Nina Vichayapai web

Nina Vichayapai attended the California College of the Arts, where she studied studio art. She has shown her work across the West Coast in various galleries and community spaces. Her interdisciplinary art practice is focused on sculptural installations that commemorate the immigrant home and the relationship of homemaking to resistance, assimilation, and identity. In addition to her fine art practice, she works and volunteers with various museums to promote accessibility for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Jessica Yen, Literary Arts (Portland, Oregon)

Jessica Yen web

Jessica Yen is a Chinese American essayist and novelist whose work focuses on the intersection of identity, culture, family, and memory. Her personal essays have appeared in Oregon Humanities, 1001 Journal, and The Drum Literary Magazine.



March 2018

Open Studios featuring the March Artists in Residence will be held at our Arts Center on Saturday, March 24 from 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Amna Ahmad, Literary Arts (Brooklyn, New York)

Amna Ahmad web

Amna Ahmad’s heart belongs to the Sonoran Desert, a habitat she fell in love with while studying in Tucson and one that inspired her graduate degree in biology. Her writing has appeared in Adbusters; You Are Here: The Journal of Creative Geography; and other publications. She has been awarded an NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship by the Center for Fiction and a menteeship in AWP’s Writer to Writer program. A former program director at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Amna curated a series of author events during her tenure. Previously, she served as a board member for the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC). Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Arizona and Pakistan, she lives in Brooklyn with her family. She is currently revising her first novel, The Encyclopedia of Hallucinations.

Nika Blasser, Visual Arts (Pendleton, Oregon)

Nika Blasser web

Nika Blasser is an interdisciplinary artist who completed her master of fine arts in drawing and intermedia at the University of Alberta in 2013. She holds a bachelor’s degree in painting, drawing, and printmaking (2004) from Portland State University. Nika works in a wide range of media including video, installation, drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography. Nika’s practice explores the intersections between highly manipulated forms and organic genesis, often mixing synthetic and natural materials. She is particularly interested in ephemeral processes that slip between pure and adulterated states of nature in order to highlight the fragility of our environment. Nika maintains an active studio practice and exhibition schedule.

Tamar Ettun, Performing Arts (Brooklyn, New York)
Tamar Ettun web

Tamar Ettun is a Brooklyn-based sculptor and performance artist and founder of The Moving Company. Tamar received her MFA from Yale University in 2010, where she was awarded the Alice Kimball English Fellowship. She studied at Cooper Union in 2007 while earning her BFA from Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem. Tamar has had exhibitions and performances at The Watermill Center; e-flux; Madison Square Park; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Uppsala Art Museum, Sweden; PERFORMA 11; and PERFORMA 09. Tamar has been honored by organizations including The Pollock Krasner Foundation; the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; Art Production Fund; and Socrates Sculpture Park. She is currently preparing for a major solo exhibition at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art in Las Vegas, which will open in 2018.

Leora Fridman, Literary Arts (Berkeley, California)

Leora Fridman web

Leora Fridman is a writer and educator, author of My Fault (Cleveland State University Press, 2016) in addition to five chapbooks of poetry, prose, and translations, and is currently at work on a book of nonfiction. More at leorafridman.com.

Jason Graham, Visual/Performing Arts (Bend, Oregon)  

Jason Graham web

Chicago-born Oregon-based artist Jason Graham (aka MOsley WOtta or MOWO) is a touring performer, poet, painter, and educator. He is a former slam poetry champion for the state of Oregon, TEDx alum, and Conversation Project leader with Oregon Humanities. MOWO has also used his incredible talent and passion as a Caldera teaching artist since 2007.

Sarah María Medina, Literary Arts (Seattle, Washington)

Sarah Maria Medina web

Sarah María Medina is a poet and a fiction/creative nonfiction writer from the American Northwest. Her writing has been published in Vol. 1 Brooklyn; Prelude; PANK; Split This Rock; Raspa Magazine; and elsewhere. She is an ARTIST UPS Grant LAB recipient for her poetry manuscript in progress, Ochún’s Daughter. Her work is forthcoming in Nepantla: An Anthology, and Bettering American Poetry, Vol. 2. She is also the poetry editor at Winter Tangerine. Sarah is Boricua (United Confederation of Taíno People). She is at work on several projects.

Heather Sparks, Visual Arts (Portland, Oregon)

Heather Sparks web

Heather Sparks is a conceptual artist whose work spans sculptural installation, video, drawing, and socially engaged projects in public spaces. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has been included in the Valencia Biennale; Observatori in Valencia, Spain; and the Lyon Biennale, in Lyon, France. Recent projects have been exhibited at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco; Stanley Picker Gallery; Kingston College, UK; San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery; the Sotheby’s Institute, New York; and the National Atomic Testing Museum, Las Vegas. Her work has been reviewed and featured in Flash Art, World Sculpture News, ART PAPERS, LA Times, Herald Tribune, Haaretz, Studio Magazine, Camerawork: A Journal of Photographic Arts, Surface, ArchitectureNow, Der Freund, San Francisco Bay Guardian, /seconds, Opium Magazine, zingmagazine, and other publications. She has been a Kala artist in residence and is a Skowhegan alumna. Heather received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1994 and an MFA from Stanford University in 2007.