The work of Chicago artist Sara Heymann ranges from movie sets to large-scale installations to costume design to comic books. Heymann herself often plays an active role in her own installations, engaging onlookers directly with her work. During her one-month residency at the Wormfarm, she constructed a “confessional” in an apple orchard for the 2015 Farm/Art DTour, where she painted over 150 portraits of DTour visitors as they confessed their “sins.”
As a co-founder of community-based grassroots organization LETS GO Chicago, Molly Costello’s work draws heavily on ideas of community, agriculture, and synergy between humans and nature. Working primarily in cut paper and illustration, her pieces combine stark, simple shapes with layered patterns and symbols. During her two-month residency, Costello was a contributor and co-curator of the Wormfarm Institute’s fall resident show, Season of Soil.
Nina Bednarski is a Milwaukee-based visual artist and curator. Working primarily with enamel on glass and acrylics on canvas, her work plays homage to nature’s perfection while blurring the line between urban and bucolic. Educated in ecology and geography, Nina’s residency was a return to the environmental influences that shape her creative work.
Joni Clare Derdzinski
Joni Clare Derdzinski is a composer and musician in transition from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Portland, Oregon. Joni’s band, The City Pines, plays contemporary jazz-folk influenced by her experimental background. While at the Wormfarm Institute, Joni composed and recorded original work and created a series of lyrical installations around the farm to serve as an abstract score for her composition. Joni also led a workshop at the Woolen Mill Gallery during her residency that focused on sound and movement in the garden.
Philip Matthews is a St. Louis-based poet and arts program organizer. His practice mixes poetry and drag performance, and he is interested in the fluidity and complexity of language and gender. His poetry focuses primarily on his drag persona, Petal Faster, a character which he performs through live readings and photographic studies.
Matthews used his time at the Wormfarm Institute to delve further into both the writing and performing of this character, and his residency culminated with an installation and reading that blended poetry, photography and performance.
Writer-in-residence Laurel Radzieski hails from Scranton, Pennsylvania, where she taught at Keystone College before taking a hiatus to pursue her writing full-time. While her background is in poetry and theater, Radzieski’s current project aims to explore her own “trepidatious yet devotional” relationship to food within the larger context of food politics, production and history.
Laurel will be living at the Wormfarm for the majority of the growing season, drawing on her experiences in the garden, the kitchen and the community to further investigate the dynamics of food production and consumption.
A recent Wisconsin transplant, Weymueller studied art at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. A painter and woodworker, her work at the Wormfarm Institute has been an exploration of natural materials and transitional space. Weymueller’s two-month residency was spent creating a series of figurative images using natural pigments brought back from her travels in Ecuador and Morocco.
Austen also collaborated with local artists and organizers to coordinate Reedsburg’s first-ever Art Crawl, where she created an immersive installation called the Sanctuary.
Fiber artist Susan Lenz uses needle and thread to articulate the accumulated memory inherent in discarded things. Using vintage and recycled materials combined with meticulous handwork, Susan plays on the themes of memory, universal mortality, and personal legacy.
Susan’s work during her residency drew heavily from both her physical and cultural environment. Her projects ranged from creating custom dyes with natural materials to printing patterns on vintage garments using rusted machinery found around the farm.