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2016-2017 Flint and Steel Residents


In its third cycle, our newest residency series, "Flint and Steel: cross-disciplinary combustion," is designed for artists to join forces with invested academic partners. Each selected artist has been paired with a Tulane or Xavier University faculty member to inspire each other in the development of new work, to excite the public, and to fuel social change. In 2016-17 we will offer five 6-week residencies to competitively selected artists from all disciplines that have demonstrated an established dialogue with art as social practice and a commitment to sparking creative discourse. 











The selected artists are:

Byron Asher (Louisiana, 2016) will write a major piece of music for clarinet and large ensemble that explores and is in service to the New Orleanian Creole traditions of clarinet virtuosity and political radicalism. His writing process will be aided by deep research, including an oral history project of collaborative design with faculty partner, Sharlene Sinegal DeCuir (Xavier, History), which will document the experiences of the older generation of Creole and New Orleans musicians still performing today. byronasher.bandcamp.com

Byron Asher plays the clarinet and the saxophone in New Orleans. Raised in Maryland, he has performed across Europe and the US. As a composer, his works have been heard on festival stages and have accompanied theatre and film. Byron completed an M.M. in jazz studies at the University of New Orleans, and he can be seen regularly performing in New Orleans with the Smoking Time Jazz Club and Los Poboycitos, among many other groups. He is one-third of Nutria, a trio dedicated to original instrumental music, named in honor of the swamp rat.

Sarah Dahnke’s (New York, 2017) Dances for Solidarity is a community based performance choreographed by incarcerated people in solitary confinement. It borrows from the personal narratives of 50 people in prison in Texas and Louisiana and will be danced by a group of people, not necessarily trained as performers, whose lives have been impacted by the incarceration system. Faculty partner Stephen Ostertag (Tulane, Sociology) will be able to contribute a wealth of knowledge around the history of incarceration in the state of Louisiana. www.sarahdahnke.com, dancesforsolidarity.com

Sarah Dahnke is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, multimedia artist, and arts educator. She creates performance experiences that often feature non-performers, highlighting and celebrating the nuances of natural, untrained human movement. She works with public school students to facilitate the creation of their own choreography and video projects, makes giant group dances to teach to the general public, and films instructional videos to disseminate dance sequences widely. Her work has been showcased by organizations such as Dance Films Association, The Kitchen, The New York Transit Museum, Ruth Page Center for the Arts, and chashama, and she is a recipient of a grant from The Puffin Foundation and the Fellowship for Utopian Practice from Culture Push.

Jacqueline Ehle Inglefield (Louisiana, 2016) and Mark Gstohl (Xavier, Theology) will build a shrine to the bottomland hardwood forest to reignite a reverence for nature. Referencing religious scriptures and past spiritual practices, the shrine will encourage contemplation of the global impact of habitual consumption and waste and how our spiritual relationship with the natural world may influence our individual acts and determine our collective impact on our environment. www.jackieehle.com

Born and spending summers in New Orleans, Jacqueline Ehle Inglefield grew up in Alexandria, Virginia.  Jackie is currently creating and teaching art in the Irish Channel and elsewhere across New Orleans.  Jackie graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Two of her large, vibrant sculptures were featured in the 2015 Louisiana Contemporary Show at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.  And subsequently, as an Artists and Sense of Place resident, Jackie and students from Lafayette Academy filled the Ogden’s education gallery with a colorful, fantastical wetlands installation, called “ Swamp, Tall Tales and Debris.”  Jackie uses basic hand tools when quilting together repurposed plastics to weave curious, imaginative, provocative sculpture, as she discusses the sustainability of our planet at workshops she conducts.  Jackie is currently working on a piece for the Lake Ponchartrain Basin Foundation’s “Derelict Crab Traps Project” using crab traps and debris found while cleaning the lake and its shores to highlight animals inadvertently trapped that perish in crab traps lost and left behind.  Her work is in the private collections of Mary Tyler Moore, Bernadette Peters, Wynton Marsalis, interior designer Mitchell Gold, Jeanette and Ben Jaffe of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and at Arcade Fire’s Regine Chassagne and Wynn Butler’s restaurant Argikol in Montreal, Canada.

Esther Solondz (Rhode Island, 2017) is designing a Bee Palace, a beautiful sculpture that will also function as a nesting site for wild bee pollinators. Faculty partner Claudia Riegel (Tulane, Entomology), also of the New Orleans Mosquito Board, will provide information about bee behavior and habitat. Through volunteer work days, they intend the project to serve as an educational tool to communities about dwindling bee populations worldwide.

Esther Solondz is a visual artist who lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island. She received her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design, where she was also on the part time faculty for many years. Esther has been the recipient of several grants and awards, including three Rhode Island Arts Council fellowships and a New England Foundation for the Arts/National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. For many years Esther has been working with ordinary materials such as salt, water, soap, and rust to create work that transforms over time. Most recently she completed “The Hummingbird Palace,” a 15’ outdoor sculpture, located in an urban park, that also grows and changes. It attracts hummingbirds with flowering vines and nectar.

Rachel Wallis (Illinois, 2017) will create a community quilting project that uses quilting circles to explore the historical relationship between textile work and the slave economy in Louisiana. With the assistance of Blakeslee Gilpin (Tulane, History), she will research and map the international nexus of commerce centering on the port city of New Orleans that connected slave grown cotton and textiles from the US, with trade goods from Europe, textile imports from Asia, and the slave trade. In tandem with public quilting circles, she will piece a quilt which can be hand embroidered with an illustrated map of this textile trade, connecting local economies and histories of slavery to national and international movements of goods and people. This process will create a community space to discuss textiles and issues of race, labor, and value.  www.rachelawallis.com

Rachel Wallis is a self-taught crafter, artist and activist living and working in Chicago. She is interested in transgressing the lines between fine art and craft, and engaging in questions of identity, labor and value when it comes to the creation and appreciation of art. Her current work focuses on collaborative community quilting projects. She is currently collaborating with the grassroots group We Charge Genocide on Gone But Not Forgotten, a community quilting process creating a memorial quilt for individuals killed by the Chicago Police Department. She previously collaborated on Untitled (Homicide Quilt), created with El Stitch y Bitch, embroidering the names of people murdered in the city of Chicago in 2013 in the neighborhoods where they lived.

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