Artist Paula Wilson Named a 2022–23 Lunder Institute Senior Fellow

We are thrilled to announce that artist Paula Wilson will serve as a Lunder Institute senior fellow and will be the recipient of the 2022–23 Alfonso Ossorio Creative Production Grant.

Established in 2019 and supported by the Ossorio Foundation, the Alfonso Ossorio Creative Production Grant provides financial support to artists affiliated with the Colby Museum and its Lunder Institute to further their intellectual pursuits, research, and the creation of new artworks that expand the boundaries of American art.

Wilson (born 1975) is a mixed-media artist who enlists an extensive range of techniques to create hybrid works. Using sculpture, collage, painting, installation, and printmaking methods such as silkscreen, lithography, and woodblock, Wilson explores perceptions of light, form, and the body in space.

Each year, the Lunder Institute supports scholarly and creative research by naming one or more scholars, curators, or artists whose work aligns with its priorities and initiatives. Chosen by invitation, senior fellows’ appointments last from nine to eighteen months. During that time, the fellows contribute to the Colby College community through academic engagement and one or more public programs related to their research or artistic practice.

“We are both excited and honored to have Paula Wilson as our Ossorio fellow this year,” said Erica Wall, director of the Lunder Institute.

“Her work is exemplary, and she is a true force. Her practice perfectly reflects the Lunder Institute’s commitment to the intersection between art making, interdisciplinary research and scholarship.”

During her fellowship, Wilson will be a featured artist in Ashley Bryan / Paula Wilson: Take the World into Your Arms, a highlight of the Colby Museum’s inaugural season in its new Joan Dignam Schmaltz Gallery of Art at the Paul J. Schupf Art Center in downtown Waterville. The exhibition pairs works by Wilson with those of Ashley Bryan (1923–2022), a celebrated teacher, author, and artist best known for having illustrated more than fifty books of poems and stories.

Though Wilson and Bryan never met, their passionate and open embrace of the world unites their multifaceted creative endeavors. Through their art, they channel the beauty and spirituality to be found in humanity and nature, using texture, color, and light to convey magical lyricism. With knowing and critical eyes, Bryan and Wilson also examine cultural history and tropes of identity and self-representation.

The exhibition, on view from February 17 through July 31, 2023, will introduce Wilson to Maine audiences and offer a new perspective on Bryan, an artist who made Maine his chosen home and who, though beloved for his illustrated books, is insufficiently recognized for his contributions as a contemporary artist.

Born in Chicago, Wilson received her bachelor of fine arts from Washington University in 1998 and her master of fine arts from Columbia University in 2005. She has served as a visiting artist at several art schools, and her growing exhibition opportunities include a two-person project with artist Nicola López at the Albuquerque Museum and the solo show, Paula Wilson: Toward the Sky’s Back Door, at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College, opening July 15, 2023.

In 2007, Wilson moved from Brooklyn to Carrizozo, New Mexico, where she lives with her woodworking partner and collaborator, Mike Lagg. In 2015 Wilson and Lagg, along with Warren and Joan Malkerson, cofounded Carrizozo AIR, a residency program designed to provide space and time to a range of creative practitioners. Wilson and Lagg also cofounded the arts organization MoMAZoZo, which, since 2010, has hosted weekly art activities and children’s workshops.

Wilson will visit the campus two times during the year to engage with Colby students, faculty and community members. There will also be opportunities for students to be in virtual conversation with the artist during the school year.

Connect with Lunder Institute Senior Fellow Oscar Santillán

The Lunder Institute will host a dialogue session with senior fellow Oscar Santillán, faculty, and students via Zoom on November 16th at 5 p.m. EST.

Santillán’s practice emerges from the notion of “Antimundo,” which he understands as “a way of identifying and generating realities that do not fit in the world.” For this purpose, he has resorted to forms of knowledge production and imaginaries overlooked by mainstream Western thinking, such as cybernetics, science fiction, ancient cosmologies, a more inclusive history of science and plant intelligence. This ”Antimundo” toolbox is complemented by disrupting paradigms, such as artificial intelligence and synthetic biology. Santillán (b. 1980, Ecuador) splits his time between Ecuador and the Netherlands.

This session will be an opportunity for the Colby community to be involved in his proposed project and research. If interested join live here.  

Colby students who are interested in supporting Santillán’s work through a paid research assistantship are encouraged to apply here or contact Karen Platt

Open Studios this Friday

Drop by the Greene Block + Studios at 18 Main Street in downtown Waterville between 6 and 8 p.m. on Friday, November 4, to get to know Lunder Institute of American Art resident fellows Tess O’Brien, Shasha Dothan, Gamaliel Rodríguez, and Dylan Hausthor during the first Lunder Institute Open Studios of the 2022–23 academic year.

Lunder Institute residential fellowships provide artists with spacious studios as well as opportunities for collaboration with Colby College faculty, students, staff, and the Waterville community. This studio program encompasses artists at all stages of their careers and working in a range of artistic disciplines and mediums.

Be sure to come a bit early to experience Songs From Here at 5 p.m. in the first floor performance space.

Songs From Here is a new initiative to connect poets, composers, and performers in the beautiful state of Maine, to promote local talent and foster a greater sense of community across creative disciplines. Waterville is just one stop for an inaugural series of performances given by pianist Bridget Convey and classical vocalist Sarah Tuttle throughout the summer and fall of 2022. Songs featuring texts by some of New England’s best-loved writers, including Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow comprise some of the program material.Maine composers are at the heart of this program, featuring a brand-new set of songs commissioned in 2021 and written specifically for this project by Portland-based composer Erica Ball. Dan Sonenberg has put together a new song arrangement for the initiative, and the program will include solo piano works by John Newell and John Knowles Paine.

2022 Miles and Katharine Culbertson Prentice Distinguished Lecture: Oscar Santillán

Gather live in Ostrove Auditorium on the Colby College campus for a talk and Q&A with Oscar Santillán, who will present the 2022 Miles and Katharine Culbertson Prentice Distinguished Lecture virtually. The artist will speak about his practice and introduce the research and work that he will be doing at Colby College during the 2022–23 academic year.

The talk and Q&A will be followed by a reception in Ostrove Auditorium. Those who are unable to attend in person are invited to view the talk via Zoom.

Santillán is a 2022–23 Lunder Institute Senior Fellow, in partnership with Colby’s Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence. The Ecuadorean artist, who resides in the Netherlands, works across the fields of artificial intelligence, performance, sculpture, anthropology, Indigenous studies, geography, biology, and critical theory.

This will be the first event with the artist, who will be on campus for several extended visits this spring and will work with students, faculty, staff, and our local and regional community. In addition to the Lunder Institute fellowship, Santillán is one of five artists selected by the Holt/Smithson Foundation for The Island Project: Point of Departure, a project that invites each artist to develop proposals responding to an island in Maine that was purchased sight-unseen by Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson in 1971.

The Miles and Katharine Culbertson Prentice Distinguished Lecture is cosponsored by the Colby Museum and its Lunder Institute for American Art, the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment.

Image: Oscar Santillán, Chewing Gum Codex.

Artist Oscar Santillán Named 2022–23 Senior Fellow


For the 2022-23 academic year, the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art, in collaboration with the Holt/Smithson Foundation and the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence at Colby College, is pleased to announce that visual artist, cybernetician and writer Oscar Santillán has been selected as a 2022–23 senior fellow.

His practice emerges from the notion of “Antimundo,” which he understands as “a way of identifying and generating realities that do not fit in the world.” For this purpose, he has resorted to forms of knowledge production and imaginaries overlooked by mainstream Western thinking, such as cybernetics, science fiction, ancient cosmologies, a more inclusive history of science and plant intelligence. This ”Antimundo” toolbox is complemented by disrupting paradigms, such as artificial intelligence and synthetic biology. Santillán (b. 1980, Ecuador) splits his time between Ecuador and the Netherlands.

This fellowship will directly advance Santillán’s commission from the Holt/Smithson Foundation for the The Island Project: Point of Departure, to create new work and respond to Little Fort Island, a small island off the midcoast of Maine. The artist Robert Smithson purchased the island in 1972 but never made an artistic intervention there. Partnership is integral to all that Holt/Smithson Foundation does, and the Island Project partners with artists to consider how this island site can generate ideas, raise questions and inspire artworks. The first idea to come to fruition is by Oscar Santillán, and his senior fellowship at the Lunder Institute will move the ideas forward. Santillán will research, develop and pilot a project that conjures Little Fort Island as a sentient entity and imagines the possibilities of communication and expression among biological, technological, human and animal realms.

Lisa Le Feuvre, Executive Director of Holt/Smithson Foundation, says, “Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson transformed the world of art and ideas. Since our inception, working in partnership has been at the heart of Holt/Smithson Foundation’s activities. We are honored to be working with Oscar Santillán and with the Lunder Institute at Colby College to think through what Land Art might be for our times.” The making of this speculative artwork will draw from artificial intelligence, indigenous knowledge, haptics, psychology, neuroscience, ecology, creative writing, performance and other fields of knowledge and practice. In the spirit of Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson, The Island Project sets out to develop innovative ways of exploring our relationship with the planet.

“It is a real honor to develop this new project as part of the community of curious minds at Colby,” said Oscar Santillán, who added, “I am looking forward to learning from the community, igniting some fires, and making sense out of the unknown as a collaborative effort.” As part of his fellowship, Santillán will interact with students, faculty and staff across campus through courses, workshops, talks and discussions. Additional public engagements will be offered through the Colby Museum and the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Santillán will visit Maine and the Colby campus during the 2022–23 academic year, including the month of January, when he will teach a course related to his research and practice.

Santillán will virtually present the 2022 Miles and Katharine Prentice Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, November 10, cosponsored by the Colby Museum, the Davis Center for Artificial Intelligence and the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment. The talk will be followed by a live Q&A and a reception for those physically in attendance in Ostrove Auditorium, on Colby’s campus.

“We are very excited to collaborate with the Holt/Smithson Foundation and the Davis AI Institute, to bring such an amazing artist, innovative thinker and practitioner to Colby,” said Erica Wall, director of the Lunder Institute. “Oscar Santillán’s research and practice is a perfect representation of how one artist and his ideas can generate new realities, through and around a diverse group of disciplines. Oscar’s work demonstrates how beautifully and naturally artists, scientists and ecologists work alongside one another.”

Meet Our 2022–23 Residential Fellows

Over the coming weeks, a new cohort of Lunder Institute resident fellows will take up residence in Waterville for a year of community building and creative collaboration.

Established in 2021, Lunder Institute residential fellowships provide artists with spacious studios as well as opportunities for collaboration with Colby College faculty, students, and staff, the Waterville community, and the Maine arts community. This studio program, based out of the Greene Block + Studios in downtown Waterville, Maine, encompasses artists at all stages of their careers and working in a range of artistic disciplines and mediums. Resident fellows are provided with housing and a stipend, have access to Colby College campus facilities, and are in dialogue with local organizations and community members.

Joining the program this year are Shasha Dothan, a Brooklyn-based artist working with video and installation, Tessa Greene O’Brien, a Maine-based artist and curator with a multi-faceted painting practice, Dylan Hausthor, an artist based on the coast of Maine, and Gamaliel Rodríguez, a visual artist based in Puerto Rico who works with pencil, ink, acrylic, and ballpoint pen.

Learn more about this group of artists and read their bios on our 2022–23 Resident Fellows page.

Image (clockwise from top-left): Shasha Dothan, Gamaliel Rodríguez, Tessa Greene O’Brien, and Dylan Hausthor.

Colby Islands Convening

Through its Lunder Institute for American Art, the Colby College Museum of Art is holding a two-day convening in Waterville and Allen Island. Artists and curators came to Maine to inform the conceptual development of a future Colby Museum exhibition in its early phase. The Islands Project centers the creative production of artists with cultural heritage ties to Cuba, Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. The intertwined histories of occupation and colonization by both Spain and the United States link these islands, inflecting the cultural heritages of their constituencies. By situating into dialogue works by artists tied to these islands against the contextual grain of U.S. imperialism, the Islands Project aims to fundamentally reframe key understandings of American art. More importantly, the project seeks to generate new avenues of meaning and opportunities for solidarity across constituencies currently living with these shared historical legacies.

The Lunder Institute incubates innovative research and creative practice for projects in their early stages through fellowships and convening programs, redefining how American art is made, taught, studied, and shared.

The cohort of Lunder Institute Project Fellows for Summer 2022 include Micki Davis, Sara Jimenez, Jerome Reyes, Marina Reyes Franco, Edra Soto, and Marina Tyquiengco. They are joined by Richard Blanco, a former Lunder Institute Fellow, now on the Colby Museum’s Board of Governors, as well as Colby Museum staff members and students who have also contributed to the project. The Islands Project is organized by Jessamine Batario, Linde Family Foundation Curator of Academic Engagement.
IMAGE (Clockwise, from top right): Micki Davis, Marina Tyquiengco, Jerome Reyes, Edra Soto, Sara Jimenez, and Marina Reyes Franco.

David Thomson Returns for an Intensive Residency

The Lunder Institute for American Art is excited to welcome visiting artist David Thomson back to Colby College for an intensive ten-day residency. Thomson and his collaborators, Katie Workum, Jaguar Mary X, Nehemoyia Young and Katrina Reid, will be here working through the final development and preparation of the production VESSEL, which is premiering this October at the Chocolate Factory Theater in New York City. This visiting artist engagement also provides members of the Colby College community with an opportunity to experience work in progress and meet the artists.

VESSEL is the latest development of Thomson’s research on the perception of identity, extending to questions on how presence and absence operate within the human experience. 

In this durational installation the performers are visually obscured by a thin membrane of material. Through a practice developed within this project, they enter into journeys of transformation and forms of trance.  The audience is there to witness, listen and feel.

Thomson, an interdisciplinary artist whose practice borders on choreographic situations and installations centered around questions of identity, unconscious narratives, and the expression of presence and absence as performative states, visited Colby in March to present a pair of workshops for students, faculty, and staff on how to reconceptualize care within work ecosystems.

Meet Our Summer 2022 Residential Fellows

Over the coming weeks, a new cohort of Lunder Institute resident fellows will converge in Waterville for a summer of community building and creative collaboration.

Established in 2021, Lunder Institute residential fellowships provide artists with spacious studios as well as opportunities for collaboration with Colby College faculty, students, and staff, the Waterville community, and the Maine arts community. This studio program, based out of the Greene Block + Studios in downtown Waterville, Maine, encompasses artists at all stages of their careers and working in a range of artistic disciplines and mediums. Resident fellows are provided with housing and a stipend, have access to Colby College campus facilities, and are in dialogue with local organizations and community members.

Joining the program this summer are textile artist, painter, and art educator Bryana Bibbs, the performance duo of Millie Kapp and Matt Shalzi, José Santiago Pérez, an artist and educator based in Chicago who traces his ancestry to the Nawat people of Kuscatlán (El Salvador), and Unyimeabasi Udoh, an artist who works across various media, including print, installation, sculpture, and embroidery.

Learn more about this group of artists and read their bios on our Summer 2022 Resident Fellows page.

Image (clockwise from top-left): José Santiago Pérez, Unyimeabasi Udoh, Bryana Bibbs, Matt Shalzi, and Millie Kapp.

Erica Wall Named Director of the Lunder Institute for American Art

The Colby College Museum of Art announced today that Erica Wall will become the new director of the Lunder Institute for American Art. A creative, collaborative, and dynamic educator, curator and arts leader, Wall brings extensive community-building experience to Colby, where she will advance the mission of the Lunder Institute as a leading incubator and convener of scholarship and artistic practice in ways that evolve how American art is understood and how it is studied, taught, interpreted, and made.

Wall comes to Waterville from North Adams, Mass., where she serves as executive director of MCLA Arts and Culture at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Prior experience included founding a gallery that gave emerging artists the opportunity to exhibit their work, connected them with curators and patrons long-term, and enabled them to build an artistic community and a framework of support. She has also served as a museum educator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

She begins her new position with the Lunder Institute July 1.

Jacqueline Terrassa, Carolyn Muzzy Director of the Colby College Museum of Art, said that Wall will grow the Lunder Institute and further connect it with the field of American art and contemporary art more broadly, emphasizing principles of access and equity. She also will help Colby continue its effort to integrate and expand the arts across the campus, involving students in national and global conversations about art and the key questions of our time. With research, convening, and studio space in downtown Waterville at the Greene Block + Studios, the Lunder Institute is informed by place, and works in collaboration and in community as it seeks to expand who shapes American art and alters its contours, while demonstrating the value of art as a public good. 

 “I am thrilled that Erica will now lead the Lunder Institute and become a member of the Colby Museum’s senior team,” Terrassa said.

“Erica looks beyond the conventional to ask harder questions that have not been asked. She then partners responsively to create the proof of concept–programs and platforms that sustain artists, curators, scholars, students, educators, and others to not only see what is possible, but to forge relationships and pursue pathways that sustain their work and a life in the arts.” 

Wall will bring that same ethos and strategy to the Lunder Institute, Terrassa said. She will work in partnership with other museum staff, students, faculty, and peers across the College, and with partners in Maine as well as nationally and internationally, to propel and document new ways of understanding art history, new forms of artistic practice, and new models of teaching and curating American art.

Wall arrives at Colby during a time of artistic momentum on campus and in the community. The Greene Block + Studios opened last fall in downtown Waterville, the Paul J. Schupf Art Center is under construction and will open early next year, also downtown, and the Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts will open on campus in fall 2023.

As part of its work, the Lunder Institute convenes artists, scholars, educators, and cultural producers at different stages in their careers. It hosts fellowships, workshops, and public programs and connects artists and scholars with faculty, students, and communities. Fellows, Distinguished Scholars, and Visiting Artists have included Richard Blanco, Phong Bui, Adriane Childs, Romi Crawford, David Park Curry, Torkwase Dyson, Theaster Gates, Adrienne Herman, Jessica Horton, Key Jo Lee, Maya Lin, Dread Scott, Sarah Sockbeson, David Hamilton Thomson, Veronica Perez, and many others.

Conceived as a research and creative arm of the Colby Museum, the Lunder Institute was established in 2017 through the generosity of Peter and Paula Lunder, longtime benefactors of the College, the Colby Museum, and the field of American art. It builds on the Colby Museum’s strengths which, since the founding of the museum in 1959, have included an emphasis on American art, the active involvement of living artists and scholars, its role as a broad resource in Central Maine and the field of art, and its commitment to research, education and access within the context of Coby’s liberal arts mission.

Wall said she was eager to begin her work with the Lunder Institute.

“I am excited and honored to lead an institute that provides the community the opportunity to engage in the discussions and explorations that celebrate, challenge, and illuminate the many layers of American art, its past, its present, and its future,” she said.

“I look forward to expanding my work as a collaborator, convenor, and community builder to create a national and global community around the amazing work the Lunder Institute has done and has yet to do.”

In her current position, Wall has been instrumental in building MCLA Arts and Culture into a nexus for artists, students, faculty, and community members. Its activities include artist residences, a contemporary art gallery in downtown North Adams, and arts-centered collaborations that have included partnerships with Williams College, MASS MoCA, the Clark Institute of Art, and Bennington College. She also has taught as an adjunct professor, continuing a teaching practice at the undergraduate and graduate level that spans more than two decades.

Paper Landscapes: Arts-Based Research and Environmental Storytelling

This spring, E. Saffronia Downing, residential fellow at Colby College’s Lunder Institute for American Art, will work with Colby’s Buck Lab for Climate and Environment to investigate the impacts of Maine’s pulp & paper industry on social and environmental landscapes. Through oral history and environmental storytelling, this project will unfold paper-stories written on Maine’s woods and waterways. In collaboration with Colby students, Downing will gather a constellation of perspectives from paper-mill workers, engineers, loggers, environmentalists, and land practitioners. If you would like to share your story, please contact [email protected]

We’re Hiring! Lunder Institute Research and Studio Assistant Roles

Lunder-Buck Internship Program on Art and Environment

The Lunder Institute for American Art and the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment seek one Research and Studio Assistant to work on a project related to the intersection between art and the environment. Throughout the spring semester, the RA will assist an American artist on a Residential Fellowship appointment for the Lunder Institute. This person will focus on the environmental impact of Maine’s Paper Industry through arts-based research.

This interdisciplinary internship program will mentor a student with an interest in Environmental Studies and Art or Art History. Duties will include research on Maine’s pulp and paper industry, conducting site-specific research in central Maine, and studio-based assistance. The project includes hands-on fieldwork related to environmental storytelling and industrial histories.

The RA will work 5 hours per week and report to the Lunder Institute’s Manager of Programs. Ideal candidates are rising sophomores and juniors, with an interest in archival research, art-making, material culture, and experimental ecologies. To apply, please send a cover letter addressing your interests and relevant experience, a resume, and a list of two references as a single PDF to Gabriel Chalfin-Piney. Applications submitted by January 25th will be given review priority.

Lunder Institute Research and Studio Assistant (RA)

The Lunder Institute for American Art seeks one Research and Studio Assistant (RA) to assist artist Julia Arredondo, Lunder Institute Residential Fellow, in her studio and with ongoing artistic projects. The RA will work 5 hours per week and report to the Lunder Institute’s Manager of Programs. The RA will collaborate with the artist on social media takeovers, content strategy and TikTok account setup. Ideal candidates are rising sophomores and juniors, with an interest in marketing for the creative industry with a focus on visual art and DIY media. Interested applicants will be working directly with the artist in her studio at the Greene Block in downtown Waterville—experience with Canva or Photoshop is preferred.

To apply, please send a short cover letter addressing your interests, relevant experience and favorite brands to Gabriel Chalfin-Piney. Applications submitted by January 28th will be given review priority.

Lunder Institute Resident Fellows: Creating Community through Art

Lunder Institute residential fellowships provide artists with spacious studios as well as opportunities for collaboration with Colby College faculty, students, staff, the Waterville community, and the region. The program involves artists at different stages of their careers and working in a range of artistic disciplines and mediums.

Adriane Herman, who serves as a professor and chair of printmaking at Maine College of Art, was the first to begin her fellowship last spring, shortly after the unofficial opening of the Greene Block + Studios at 18 Main Street in Waterville—home to the Lunder Institute offices. She was soon joined by the rest of the summer 2021 cohort of resident fellows, visual artist Veronica Perez, musician Jose Barrionuevo ‘16 (a.k.a. Killer Bee), and dancer Riley Watts.

Herman’s Emotional Value Auction was an anchor point for the Colby College Museum of Art’s annual Community Day in July of 2021, which returned after a hiatus . Harnessing the power of witnessing and exchange to facilitate emotional release, this non-monetized auction model is grounded in reciprocity. It allows participants to donate an object laden with personal meaning; a personal story accompanies each object. During the auction, participating “bidders” wrote statements of interest or desire, making a case for why the item should pass on to them. Donors eventually chose from among the bids received.  Herman and Lunder Institute student intern Yan Xuen ’22 completed the exchange. No money changed hands.

Herman notes of the experience, “Authentic written expression and shared vulnerability are rewarded, and are rewards in themselves.”

Other experiences facilitated by resident fellows included a release party for Killer Bee’s latest album, Blood From a Stone, and a movement workshop by Watts and collaborator Ian Robinson. Capping off the summer was a Tender Table Food and Poetry Fair—billed as “a celebration of Black and Brown joy”—at Congress Square Park in Portland, which Perez coorganized.

Barrionuevo and Watts concluded their fellowships in August.  Herman and Perez along with new fellows Julia Arredondo and E. Saffronia Downing comprised the fall 2021 cohort.

In its second season, the residential fellowship program built on the momentum created over the summer, with all four fellows engaging with both the Colby campus and the wider community through a series of programs in Waterville and beyond, including serving as teaching artists at Colby Museum sponsored programs and monthly open studios event at the Greene Block + Studios, which allowed the artists to engage with and demonstrate their practice to the visiting public.

Most recently, Arredondo worked with campus and other community partners to bring to life two events, the Elm City Small Press Fest, in collaboration with Colby College librarian Fannie Ouyang and Solon Morning Session #1, an experimental musical event at the historic South Solon Meeting House.

With Herman concluding her time as a Lunder Institute residential fellow at the end of December, Portland-based mixed media artist Golaleh Yazdani joins Perez, Arredondo, and Downing for the spring 2022 semester.

We’re excited to see how this group of innovative creators continues to build community through artistic practice.

Image: Lunder Institute resident fellow E. Saffronia Downing with a studio visitor during a recent Lunder Institute Open Studios event. Photo by Coco McCracken.

Sarah Sockbeson Named a 2021–22 Lunder Institute Senior Fellow and Alfonso Ossorio Foundation Creative Production Grant Recipient



The Lunder Institute for American Art has named Maine-based artist Sarah Sockbeson will serve as a Lunder Institute senior fellow and the recipient of the 2021–22 Alfonso Ossorio Creative Production Grant.

Established in 2019 supported by the Ossorio Foundation, the Alfonso Ossorio Creative Production Grant provides financial support to artists affiliated with the Colby Museum and its Lunder Institute to further their intellectual pursuits, research, and the creation of new artworks that expand the boundaries of American art.

Coming from a long line of Penobscot basket makers, she participated in the Maine Arts Commission Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, apprenticing with renowned Wabanaki basket weaver Jennifer Neptune. More recently, Sockbeson has benefitted from the mentorship of Theresa Secord, a Colby Museum governor and the founding director of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance. Sockbeson’s work is included in museum and private collections, including the Colby Museum and the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine at Orono. Known for her distinctive color palette, Sockbeson began her artistic practice through drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography.  Read more

Golaleh Yazdani to Be the Next Lunder Institute Resident Fellow

The Lunder Institute for American Art is pleased to announce that Golaleh Yazdani, an Iranian-born mixed media artist currently based in Portland, Maine, will be the next resident fellow at the Greene Block + Studios in downtown Waterville.

Yazdani will join Veronica Perez, Julia Arredondo, and E. Saffronia Downing, who each began their fellowships in 2021, in comprising the Spring 2022 cohort of resident fellows.

Lunder Institute residential fellowships provide artists with spacious studios as well as opportunities for collaboration with Colby College faculty, students, staff, and the Waterville community. This studio program encompasses artists at all stages of their careers and working in a range of artistic disciplines and mediums.

Yazdani is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. She received her bachelor of fine arts from the University of Art in Tehran, Iran, and her master of fine arts at Maine College of Art.

Yazdani has exhibited in Iran and the United States in venues such as Mana Art Center, Boston University Art Galleries, SPACE, Able Baker Contemporary, and New System Exhibitions, among others.

Mixed media is Yazdani’s language. She incorporates video, sculpture, stop motion animation, and performance in her work. Growing up in a conservative society with a dictatorial climate is a major influence on Yazdani’s studio practice. Her work references the suppression forced upon her family, friends, and classmates and explores the traces of trauma and grief as the natural consequence of a broken community under such political and cultural conditions.