The Artist Accelerator Program is comprised of professional development programming, networking events, and residencies for emerging artists. Artists in Residence receive studio space and participate in supportive peer development through casual critiques, professional development lectures, progress meetings, and preparation of a body of artworks to exhibit at The Arts Center. Artist Accelerator residents are selected for professional and personal growth potential, as well as an ability and willingness to contribute to a thriving artist community.
2019-2020 Resident Artists
The Artist Accelerator and The Arts Center are excited to welcome Kristie Potwora, Margot Dedrick, Sabra Comins, and Shagufta Mulla to the 2019-2020 Artist in Residence program. Work in Progress Gallery >>
Kristie Potwora | Painting & Printmaking
Kristie (Johnson) Potwora grew up in a greenbelt of old-growth redwoods that ran through a small coastal town near her Great Aunt Elsie’s farm in Northern California. Her Aunt Elsie said that Kristie “just came into the world wanting to rescue and protect every caterpillar, kitten, and cow that crossed her path.” She loved animals and her aunt’s farm so much, that she now lives on 16 wooded acres in rural Oregon where she keeps a small flock of pet chickens. These chickens have inspired her to begin work in egg tempera and work towards writing and illustrating her first children’s book. As a member of the Artists in Residence group, Kristie is thrilled to be part of this wonderful community of supportive and creative artists and excited to finally embrace the work she’s always longed to do.
Ms. Potwora holds an MFA and a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Oregon and a BA in Art Education from Humboldt State University. She is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators (GNSI) and Print Arts Northwest (PAN). She teaches art courses at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. Website: Kpotwora.com
Margot Dedrick | Painting
Margot Dedrick is an artist living and working in Corvallis. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from St. Olaf College (2006) and a Masters of Science in Arts Administration and Museum Studies from the University of Oregon (2018), where she was the recipient of the Laurel Award Curatorial Internship at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Her paintings have been exhibited throughout Minneapolis, including a solo show at the Stevens Square Center for the Arts (2010). Margot grew up in rural Wisconsin and spent much of her childhood outside, building tree forts with her imaginary animal friends. Her earlier work explored the sense of home, changing landscapes, and urban sprawl through the use of abstract maps and microscopic imagery.
Margot’s current work explores childhood memories by depicting whimsical creatures in abstracted, colorful compositions using watercolor, ink, and acrylics. For this artist residency, Margot is most excited about the opportunity to be surrounded by other artists, learn from working professionals, and to have a studio space outside of her home. She resides on a farm on the edge of town with her husband and two adorable cats.
Sabra Comins | Mixed Media & Writing
Sabra Comins grew up at the end of a dirt road in Anchorage, Alaska. She spent much of her time submersed in nature, where she felt most at home. When her family moved to town and her longing to connect with people intensified, she discovered the safety of self-expression in art and writing. These early years have shaped Sabra’s drive to find what connects people with each other and with the landscape. Sabra’s love of nature steered her to earn a Master of Environmental Management degree at Portland State University (2000). Her love of self-expression engaged her in ceramics and writing. She received grants for public art, completed the Institute of Children’s Literature course, Writing for Children and Teenagers, and had a ceramic sculpture show at the J. Crist Gallery (Boise, ID 2004).
For the past 15 years, Sabra has focused on raising her family. She developed homeschooling lessons, kept illustrated journals, and took art and writing workshops when possible. Today, Sabra feels compelled to impart what is sacred to her in journal and letter writing. She is currently writing 30 letters in 30 days, making abstract ink maps, and experimenting with the union of text and art. Sabra loves being an Artist in Residence for its guidance, education, and most of all community.
Shagufta Mulla | Painting
Shagufta Mulla, DVM is a wildlife artist living in Independence, OR. After a 20 year career as a small animal veterinarian, she changed paths in 2019 to pursue her lifelong passion for art. In contrast to her authoritarian upbringing, her oil and acrylic paintings celebrate individuality. Largely self-taught, Shagufta’s work frequently depicts a solitary subject, with birds, in particular, representing voice and freedom. Her work has been in the Salem Art Association’s Salem Salon show (2019), The Art Center’s 8 x 8 show (2019), and at Keizer Art Association’s Celebration of Flowers (2019) where she was awarded third place for her painting, “Steadfast.” She has also contributed work to Chintimini Wildlife’s annual art auction, Art Is Wild (Corvallis, 2019.)
Shagufta will begin a Master Naturalist program in January 2020 through Oregon State University to pursue her interests in ecology and natural history. Her goal is to offer art and inner healing workshops to the public that include nature outings. She looks forward to talking with the public about her work during her residency at The Arts Center.
2018-2019 Resident Artists
The first resident artists were featured in a catalog documenting artwork created during their residency, shown in tandem with the Art of Being an Artist, and exhibit for mid-career artists Pete Goldlust and Kristy Kún. A video documents the results of the first artists’ four-month residencies, and in the video below residents talk about their time as residents:
Justin Lodge | Painting
Kimberly Long | Ceramics
This opportunity has opened a whole new world to Kim and her work. Growing up in Pueblo, Colorado she was fortunate enough to be surrounded by local artists. The Sangre de Cristo Arts Center invited school age students to engage with the arts and the artists. This left a lasting impression on her to always create and make. Kim is excited to be a part of a program with an encouraging community again. After recently moving to Corvallis, her imagination started to run wild and anytime she looked outside, she began to understand the origins of folklore.
In the trunks of trees there are hidden entrances. After a rain and during a sun break, the gems of raindrops sparkling on the branches. Moss grows to soften some of the roughest surfaces. It is almost as if there are tiny whimsical wanderers out there trying to make our lives a little more enchanted. Naturally, Kim wanted to encourage these wanderers to stay. She began making Gnooks. Gnooks are doors and dwellings that invite whimsical wanderers to open the eyes of humans to all that is naturally enchanting. Getting to work at The Arts Center provides an artistic development opportunity that she never anticipated. Kim is eager to grow professionally, artistically, and confidently with an inspiring community. Kim’s Instagram >>
Tara Robinson | Painting
Tara Rodden Robinson, Ph.D., is an artist and illustrator. A biologist by training, she presents natural organisms with biological realism while expressing emotion and narrative through color and subtle anthropomorphism. She explores the spiritual nature of the natural world by depicting animals as sacred and worthy of recognition as individuals. Her current series of paintings, entitled “Prayers for Irrational Beasts,” reflects her deep love for nature as well as her anguish over the destruction of habitats and the loss of biodiversity. Her intent is to give the viewer an intimate and personal experience of each animal. She works in acrylics, watercolor, and colored pencil. When asked what she valued most about being an artist in residence at the Arts Center, she said, “As someone who works at home, I love coming to the Arts Center every day to be part of a community of creatives. I love meeting people and sharing our stories. Most of all, I value the opportunity to contribute to the lives of others through sharing my art and my love of nature.” Tara’s Website and Blog >>
Claire Elam | Ceramics – Peer Mentor
Claire grew up with a very close relationship with nature and small communities. These relationships developed throughout her adolescence and when it came time to leave for college she followed the course and chose to go somewhere very small, in the woods, and community focused. Claire has always sought arts education even when she was a small child. Never satisfied with the camps or community college classes she attended, it wasn’t until college that she felt like her limits were fully stretched. Claire has always been in love with painting and the tactile nature of paint. However, along the way her community convinced her to explore ceramics. She spent the following 4 years covered head to toe in clay, plaster, and glaze. The historical connection that paint has with natural elements has always intrigued her and clay has been no different and is very obviously connected to the earth. Claire focuses much of her artwork on the physical connections between nature and communities. She is inspired by the determination and practice of Yoko Inoue, and how she manages to keep a strict practice filled with humor and whimsy. She recently re-discovered the work of James Turrell and his focus over the decades while still creating work that is disorienting and hauntingly beautiful, astounds Claire. Vija Celmins is a long time favorite of Claire’s and she adores the attention to detail and the painstaking processes Celmins uses. Claire is excited to be mentoring Kimberly Long and sharing her ceramic knowledge in such a close and intimate manner.
2019/2020 Residency Expectations & Details:
- There are 6 Residencies available. 2 painting and 2 ceramic on-site at The Arts Center and 2 open media (not needing ventilation) off-site.
- Off-site residencies are generously hosted by the Downtown Corvallis Association and are open to artists working in any media that does not require ventilation. This can include, installation, sculpture, music/sound, some painting, writing, drawing, and other media. This does not include ceramics or spray painting.
- Residency cost is $800 with up to $200 in scholarships as available.
- Residencies run Sept. 30 – Dec. 20 with studio clean out no later than Jan. 4
- Residents are expected to attend the majority of Wednesday evenings events Oct-Dec 2019 and monthly Thursday evening events on the first and third Thursdays. Wednesday evening events are Progress Meetings and Professional Development Lectures. Thursday events are the Artist Meetups (soft critique and discussion) and Corvallis Art Walks (CAW).
- Professional Development Lectures will cover:
- Going into Business (Business basics)
- Professional Artist Practices
- Money Matters (Taxes and Finance)
- Applying to Galleries & Exhibitions
- Selling Online
- Marketing & Branding
- Residents are required to host open studios during CAW evenings in Oct. Nov. and Dec. 2019
- Residents are required to participate in the end of residency exhibit that will run Feb 25 – March 28 . Residents are expected to work with the Exhibit Director and meet exhibition deadlines, during and after the residency.
Questions? Contact Claire Elam