Visiting Artists 2019
Michelle Castillo is the kind of artist who engages in “social practice,” meaning her medium of choice is people: living, breathing people interacting at her pop-up poetry readings, open-mic nights, and sojourns into the desert landscape.
“I was trained in classical music, so that naturally led me to poetry to express myself and make my way through the world,” says the Coachella Valley native, who earned her MFA at UC Riverside. “I use poetry as a vehicle to help us arrive at those places where a dreamscape may or may not exist.”
Buchanan was born in Manhattan, NY. She holds an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School at Bard College and a BFA in Illustration from Parson School of Design. Buchanan uses video, animation, photographs, illustrations and drawings to create narratives of survival strategies. Buchanan’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at Syracuse International Film Festival, Studio Museum in Harlem, Site: Santa Fe, Slamdance International Film Festival, Hammer Museum/UCLA, Aspex Gallery, 57th Venice Biennale, Society of Illustrators, Everson Museum of Art, Munson Williams Proctor Museum of Art, Urban Video Projects, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Recontres International Paris/Berlin among others. She teaches in the School of Art at Syracuse University, and lives in Syracuse NY and Southern California.
I am an artist who typically works with materials gathered from nature, and often generate my projects specifically in response to sites and landscapes. My goal is to create a dialog about nature and human desire, and the tensions between the natural and the human made world. Laboriously crafted objects and props are typically a part of my activities, and these are often created to help me integrate my presence as a human in nature. Raw material is obsessively collected and gathered on expeditions through natural sites and other more urban environments that I live or work in. These processes force me to slow down and fully experience the world, and they become a daily discipline not unlike meditation. In these personal interactions with the world through my activities and artworks, I work to present the fragility of nature and our ambivalent relationship with it, with compassion, humor and reverence.