artists in residence 2008-2009


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I am striving to perfect a relationship between the sculptural nature of the teapot form and its practical function. Teapots are like puzzles to me, and it’s intriguing to make the parts fit together to create a truly elegant whole. I’m focusing on the dichotomy of the high handle cradling the form below it. I am trying to create both a visual and functional balance for the user. This makes using the teapot a more personal enjoyable experience. I graduated from the University of Tennessee with my B.F.A. in ceramics and this is my second year as a resident artist at the Mendocino Art Center.

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Monica Ani (Zoe) developed her skills in drawing during her travels and forged a unique art education by pursuing opportunities to learn and work in alternative settings. She began painting at The Art Students League in New York City from 1998 – 2002 and worked primarily in oil. In 2005, she transitioned to encaustic painting after attending a workshop at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.
She currently lives and works in the Mission District of San Francisco.

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I design and make functional ceramics that can be used daily, or during a special occasion. Using the surface to create a landscape of thoughts, each piece is treated as a new canvas. Inspired by the mediums rich history the materials and techniques I employ are rooted in tradition. The product however is the result of the absorption and regurgitation of numerous contemporary influences.

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The recent inspiration of a variety of foreign natural environments has encouraged my investigations into the energetic layers of nature and consciousness. I have created space for myself, removed from the complexities of urban technological life, to be left with what is underneath those superimposed layers. The new ideas for the body of work I am currently transitioning into are a result of this space. These ideas are, partially, expressions of the belief that at this point in human history it is vital that there be a progressive reconnection to nature and interpersonal relations.

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Eva M. Connell, from San Diego, CA, is a returning artist in residence. She designs and creates bronze figures measuring 12 inches in height or less. Her work has been exhibited at the Mendocino Art Center gallery and “The Blacksmith” became the cover photo for the May-June 2008 issue of the California Blacksmith Association newsletter. Besides bronze, Eva has been doing blacksmithing and bladesmithing. Examples of her work can be found at

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The idea of memory is central to my work.  My curiosity lies in the narrative role of handmade objects.  This includes their ability to communicate, reflect, and shape time.  I make wheel thrown vessels that exhibit my personal aesthetic and desire for process.  I layer the surface with varied patterns of printing and glaze.

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ARIE GRIE hails from Kansas where she acquired a BFA in Ceramics from the University of Kansas. She's taught her handbuilding techniques in Chicago, IL, at LillStreet Art Center, and at Wichita State University. She's participated in several national and local shows. Currently, Arie's handbuilt work explores the enigma of intimacy.  These sets shape a dialogue between objects and between object and user. Each item functions individually and fits into a structure of multiple components that manifests a more complex personality/reality much like the family and social structures that shape our existence. By using sets of multiple forms designed to fit together, a dialogue shaping the quality of intimacy between objects and between object and user is defined.    


I see my work as trophies meant for a mantle, commemorating issues that reflect the way we live. The ancient Greeks painted imagery on their vessels that recorded and commemorated their society and culture. My imagery represents the contrast between a beautiful form and a crude image. I walk a line between issues of external/internal control and my personal struggle with my perceptions of the world. I see the creation of my work as my own version of media propaganda.



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Lozen photograhySAM LOZEN
Sam Lozen (Fine Arts) is from the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland's eastern shore. This is her fourth year as an artist in residence at MAC. A studio/location photographer/owner of Prints Charming Photography for 22 years, Sam is here to study watercolor while capturing even more beautiful images with her camera of Mendocino's breathtaking coastline. Visit her website at

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Ellen Marsh is an internationally recognized surface designer and artist whose work has been featured in "Design, A Lively Guide for Artists and Craftspeople," "The Fiber Arts Book of Wearable Art," and "Fiber Arts Magazine." She has owned Studio E, a wearable art company since 1996. Her new company, Studio E West, is devoted to the exploration of surface design for wearable art, interiors and fine art.

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My sculptures may cause the viewer to evoke certain forms within nature: marine organisms, forest vegetation, rock formations. These aspects may tantalize the mind to coalesce the various parts in order to satisfy logic. However, in concept the forms transcend any recognizable species. The environments in which these forms might exist may be earthly, but certainly not domesticated. Nonetheless, the viewer may still feel that these objects are not of this world, and this is perfectly acceptable. Their origins could indeed be cosmic – defying a satisfactory explanation and inviting lingering speculation.

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The bast fibers of cotton catch my attention in the form of paper. The pliability to bend into form with strength to hold structure brought me on pursuit of building. Soft and frail yet with a resilience to stand, the organic nature resembles plant life and human life. The gestures and essences of these lives beckon my process. Web page:

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Eva Stramer Nichols was born in Denmark where she grew up on a farm in Jutland. She moved to Pacific Grove, CA, in 1988 and has lived on the Monterey Peninsula since. Eva started painting with watercolors because she wanted to be able to paint little sketches as part of her travel journals when she started kayaking about 5 years ago.  She is mainly inspired by nature in all its diversity and she likes to express moods and use bold colors. The last couple of years Eva has dedicated as much time as her busy life allows exploring and learning from many different teachers and mentors. Her AIR stay at Mendocino Art Center is the start of a sabbatical year dedicated to painting & traveling.  You can follow her progress at

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During the manipulation of clay and other materials my work expands into a complex dialogue. I build up layers intuitively. Pots are slashed and deconstructed like various fruit, collaborating with new, less-organic forms and other curious objects. As I build, each piece takes individual direction, reciting tales of my environment and memory, with the overlying themes of growth, time, and cycles of existence. My task is to channel the direction of the material in conjunction with these stories..

Maleese Schick is a conceptual multimedia sculptor. Her work ranges from large-scale sculptures and installations, to multiples that are cast or printed from her body. She received her B.F.A from Rhode Island School of Design and has currently completed her M.F.A at University of The Arts. While living at the Mendocino Art Center, she hopes to continue her research into the history of orality and language while relating these theories to her work. 

Carol’s work uses an eclectic mix of handmade papers, found objects, silkscreen printing and collage. Her latest show was called "The Altared She: A collection of Folk Art, Whimsy and Shrines." Her current project is an almanac that uses images of goddesses, the tarot and other emphemera. Carol has lived for the past 20 some years in the high desert of southeastern Arizona and is currently traveling, doing art, card readings and looking for a new home.

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Susan McNair Strawn (first year AIR, fine arts) is from Oroville, California. Her medium during her residency is oil painting. She paints plein air whenever possible but takes many photos so she can paint inside. The Mendocino Coast is her favorite subject to paint. During her residency she plans on trying different layering, color, and texture techniques for headlands and rocks. She has taken seascape classes from E. John Robinson and credits him on being the biggest influence on her art. Her residency is a Christmas present from her sons. Her work has been displayed at the Chico Art Center and Avenue 9 Gallery in Chico, California, and is located in private collections.

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Natalie Tyler is originally from Encinitas, CA. She received her Bachelor’s Art from University of California at Santa Cruz. She studied at Academy of Fine Art in Bologna, Italy. She received her Master’s of Fine Art from California College of Art in 2002. At The Crucible she taught bronze casting for two years. In 2004, she moved to New York City. Her work has been exhibited in California, New York, and Dublin, Ireland.

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I have been studying and practicing sculpture in many forms for over 15 years. I became interested in silversmithing during college and have pursued a variety of materials since, including steel, copper, bronze, and glass. My current work explores the human figure and  involves various processes including gesture drawing and painting, sculpting in clay, and bronze casting. Visit my web site at

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