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The Merriweather District Artist-in Residence program, in partnership with Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission and Soulful Symphony, began in 2018 to bring together artists to work, live and create amongst the Downtown Columbia community. The four artists, selected through an international selection process, represent a diverse range of multimedia disciplines. They will be provided with a $12,000 stipend, studio space and housing throughout their six-week residency.
This year’s AIR program artists are Johannes Barfield, Amy Reid, Ying Zhu, and Peter Krsko. Under the theme of commUNITY, they will execute bold new art that will provoke important conversation and strengthen our community. Follow our social channels to connect with resident artists, explore their work and learn about upcoming virtual workshops and live performances.
A PAINTING. A PERFORMANCE. A SOUND. A SCULPTURE. All mediums with the power to strengthen community and stir the soul. In a time when we’re seeking togetherness, reflection and release, four new Artists in Residence come to Merriweather District with bold new inspiration and purpose.
Tune into Amy Reid’s sound sanctuary and adjust your frequency. Explore the American Black experience through Johannes Barfield’s eyes. Pique your curiosity through Ying Zhu’s intuitive use of color, material and design. Learn about how Peter Krsko recreates the magic of the woods and constructs walk- through sculptures. Bring your open minds and hearts to the virtual experiences that will enlighten and unite us.
Winston- Salem, NC
Johannes Barfield is a multimedia artist from Winston-Salem, NC who works in photography, video, sculpture, and sound. In his work, Johannes examines his childhood memories, acts of violence provoked by poverty, internet age lynchings by police who receive immunity, the music played at family cookouts, and how systems of control are implemented through the open road and car culture.
Barfield received an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Photography + Film. He is also the recipient of several awards, fellowships, and residencies including the Mint Museum Atrium Health Best in Show Award, The Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship, The Merriweather District AIR residency, The Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship, The Lighthouse Works Fellowship, the ACRE Residency, and the MASS MoCA Residency.
Amy Reid is a Baltimore-based electronic musician, sound, visual artist and curator striving to transform spaces sonically, socially and visually. Her work often explores the constant intersection of the natural and man-made world, expressing both their fight for power and harmonious balance through the use of field recordings, vocals, and electronic instruments.
Reid received a BFA in painting and a MAT from Maryland Institute College of Art. She has performed at The Carnegie Museum, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Walters Art Museum, The Modell Lyric Opera House and has received residencies and fellowships including the SPACE Gallery Residency, The Merriweather District Air Residency, and The Smithsonian Katzenberger Fellowship.
Ying Zhu was born in the Midwest region of China. As a young adult she chased a big city dream to Beijing—but it somehow led her to Omaha, Nebraska, and currently to Washington, DC. Zhu’s work has always been tied to the self in the context of the world around us. In her site-specific installations, she methodically draws out the relationships between action and consequence. Through intuitive manipulations, material becomes the threshold of her work with its color, texture and inherent functions.
Zhu received a M.F.A. from University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was a former artist-in-residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Vermont Studio Center, and at Headland Center for the Arts. She is the recipient of the NAC Distinguished Artist Grant and her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions all over the world.
Peter Krsko hails from Wisconsin and is a multi-disciplinary artist and biophysicist utilizing community art, participatory murals and sculptural environments for connecting the audiences with their environment as well as cultural heritage and social sphere.
His art career emerged from the post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, where his interests expanded into larger sculptural projects, medically-relevant communities, bioinspired art, colors and vision and the combination of science and art in order to develop unique lesson plans for young students, especially those in marginalized communities. Krsko’s art projects are designed to encourage the participants to reflect on self and their community by relating the social and cultural issues to natural forms, movements and complexities. This unique approach was awarded by University of Wisconsin – Madison by a semester-long residency in Spring 2017.
The AIR studio space is located in Merriweather District’s newest state-of-the art office building, 6100 Merriweather, on a vacant floor. The vast open space allows artists to have the freedom to work on a large scale.
Vice President, Marketing at Howard Hughes
Vanessa is at the helm of culture development for the Merriweather District.
Founder of Wild Dogs International and curator for OPUS Merriweather.
Ken has been connected to cultural development in the Merriweather District since its inception.collaborates with multidisciplinary artists to create site-responsive installations and experiences.
AIR Alumni 2019
New York, NY
Ram Devineni is the creator of the popular augmented reality comic book series Priya’s Shakti, which features India’s first female superhero. Named as a “Gender Equality Champion” by UN Women, Ram sheds lights on global issues that affects women through his comic book series. The creation of Priya Shakti is a collaborative process. Ram works with a variety of resources to assist him with the writing and illustrating. Then Ram creates the augmented reality experience for all to enjoy. While in residency, Devineni announced that the third chapter, Priya and the Lost Girls, will be released during the UN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in December 2019.
Sara Stefana Smith
As a post-doctoral fellow at American University, Sarah’s research and artist practice focuses on the notion of repair, disrepair, and individual differences that all create a specific identity and narrative for society at large. During her residency, Sarah developed works in her series A|Mends, which explores embodiment and abstractionism as a means to respond to difference (racial, sexual orientation, class & ability) and ecological change. As a native to Columbia, MD, Sarah spent time and energy converging her macro-level focus on identity and differences, with her personal identity of being back in her home town.
Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann
Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann is a Washington D.C. based mural and installation artist that incorporates her previous training as a traditional Chinese landscapist and personal motifs to create abstract landscape. Her work confronts the challenge: the resuscitation of landscape painting in a world where “landscape” is represented and defined through an ever-widening field of digital, graphic, and visual forms. Each piece combines a lexicon drawn from a personal mythology informed by her identity as a biracial, first generation American woman. During the residency, Katherine created a site-specific window and wall treatments that was inspired by the landscape in the Merriweather District and her experience while in residence.
AIR Alumni 2018
New York, NY
Sophia Brous is a cross-disciplinary artist and performance-maker based in New York and Melbourne, Australia. A musician, composer, vocalist, and musical director, alongside a curator and festival director, Brous creates new commissioned performance works collaborating with artists, companies, festivals and concert houses internationally. During her residency, Brous developed a site-specific commission for OPUS that explores spinning inertia and timeless recollection in collaboration with the Annapolis Chorale led by Music Director J. Ernest Green.
Hoesy Corona has shown compelling works and inventive sculptures fitted to the human body extensively at various institutional, private, public and underground venues including among others The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; The Baltimore Museum of Art; The Walters Art Museum; The Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival. While in residency, Corona continued to develop his on-going series of climate ponchos, a wearable sculpture component, for his multi-media site-specific installation project “Climate Immigrants” that considers the impending plight of climate-induced migration worldwide and its effects on people of color.
Eric Dyer is an artist and educator who brings animation into the physical world. As an animator, music video director, and experimental filmmaker, he began exploring the zoetrope, an early animation apparatus, popular in the 19thcentury. The device consists of a slitted drum whose interior is lined with a sequence of images. By replacing the drum with the fast-shutter digital video camera, Dyer invented the process of making films from spinning sequential sculptures. While in residency, Dyer developed Flora, a motion-portrait of Eadweard Muybridge’s wife that premiered at the Atlas Obscura event Into the Veil, in Chicago, IL.