2015 Artists in Residence

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Date: January 22, 2015
Contact: Kris Fister, (907) 683-9583

Four artists and three writers will visit Denali National Park and Preserve in 2015 through its Artist-in-Residence program. This year’s group includes the program's first fine arts photographer, and first outdoor participatory artist. Three of the residents will visit in February and March as part of a winter program. Four others will take part in the traditional summer program that takes place between June and September.

Since 2002 more than 50 accomplished artists, writers, and composers have participated in the program. Following a 10-day residency, each participant leads a public outreach activity with visitors and donates a piece of artwork to the program collection. Residents are challenged to create pieces that offer visitors a fresh and innovative perspective of the park drawn from the artist’s experience.

Pieces created by artists-in-residence from previous years will be on display during the 2015 visitor season at venues in the park and beyond its borders, including the Denali Visitor Center, Eielson Visitor Center, Murie Science and Learning Center, Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station, Alaska Public Lands Center (APLIC) in downtown Anchorage and the Fairbanks Public Lands Center located in the Morris Thompson Visitors Center.

The artists and writers who will experience Denali this year are:

  • Marianne Boruch, of West Lafayette, Indiana is a poet whose collections include the recent Cadaver, Speak and The Book of Hours (Copper Canyon Press, 2014, 2011). She’s also written two essay collections about poetry, and a memoir, The Glimpse Traveler (Indiana, 2011). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, London Review of Books, American Poetry Review, and other publications. Boruch was a Fulbright/Visiting Professor in 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. She teaches in Purdue University’s MFA program which she established in 1987.

  • Sonja Hinrichsen, of Oakland, California engages communities worldwide with an ongoing, participatory community arts project entitled “Snow Drawings.” She has won numerous artist residencies, including the Bemis Center in Omaha, Djerassi in California, the Santa Fe Art Institute, Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, Valparaiso in Spain, Fiskars in Finland, and Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan. Her exhibitions include the DePaul Museum in Chicago, Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, Chandra Cerrito Contemporary in Oakland, and the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery.

  • John Kooistra is a poet and essayist who has lived in Alaska since 1973 and in Fairbanks since 1981. He has taught philosophy at the University of Alaska, Purdue University, and the College of Wooster. He fished commercially in Cook Inlet for 30 years, and worked at various times as a tradesman. His travels by thumb, car, motorcycle and bicycle over the past 50 years have provided experiences and inspiration for his writing. His poems are grounded in the world, in season and place, and go on to consider the timeless human nature we share.

  • Yelizaveta P. Renfro, of West Hartford, Connecticut is the author of a collection of essays, Xylotheque, and a collection of short stories, A Catalogue of Everything in the World, winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous publications, including North American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Reader’s Digest, and Bayou Magazine. She holds an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska. David Rosenthal, of Cordova, Alaska grew up in Maine. He moved to Alaska in 1977 and has lived in Cordova ever since. Between 1989 to 1999 he spent four austral winters and six austral summers in Antarctica, either as a participant in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Antarctic Artist and Writer Program or working for a NSF contractor. In 2014 he spent three months at Summit Camp on the Greenland Icecap as a science tech and painted in his spare time. He continues to pursue his interest in high latitude landscapes though travel in Alaska and the Arctic.

  • Camille Seaman, of Emeryville, California strongly believes in capturing photographs that articulate that humans are not separate from nature. A TED Talks Senior Fellow and Stanford Knight Fellow, her photographs have been featured in National Geographic and TIME magazines. She has won several photography awards, including a National Geographic Award and the Critical Mass Top Monograph Award, and in 2008 had a solo exhibit, “The Last Iceberg,” at the National Academy of Sciences.

  • Brooks Salzwedel, of Los Angeles, creates landscapes that reflect the subtle friction between urban development and nature. Evoking the fragility of our environments, his medium of choice is graphite, a natural mineral, resin, a byproduct of plant materials, and mylar, a manufactured film, through which he creates ethereal artworks with a sense of depth. Some of these pieces are cast in vintage medicine tins and corroded pipe-ends, lending an intimate quality to the works.

This year the park received 300 applications from 226 artists and 74 writers from 35 U.S. states and eight countries. Selection panels made up of program subject matter experts, past artists-in-residence, community volunteers, and park staff based their recommendations on multiple rounds of deliberations over more than a month. The next open call to determine residencies for 2016 is scheduled for May 1 to September 30, 2015 and will include applications for a new annual residency in music composition.

Learn more about Denali's Artist-in-Residence program



Last updated: September 28, 2015

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PO Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755

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(907) 683-9532
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