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Lisa Bulawsky

Lisa Bulawsky
2015 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz
M.F.A., University of Kansas

Lisa Bulawsky is an artist whose practice conceptually and strategically examines ideas of private life and civic space. These ideas have grown organically out of her practice as a printmaker. Through discrete series of works on paper, installation, and ephemeral projects in the public sphere, she explores the relationship between the individual and the larger social body. For nearly two decades, her work has been widely exhibited, including at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the International Print Center in New York, Sweden’s Dalarnas Museum, and the Opole Contemporary Art Gallery in Poland. Her public works have been executed across the United States and abroad. Her work has been featured in Printmaking at the Edge (A&C Black, 2006), as well as Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials and Processes (Prentice Hall, 2009). She heads the printmaking program in the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis and is the director of the school's Island Press. Bulawsky received her B.A. in studio art from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her M.F.A. with honors in 1995 from the University of Kansas.


"Covet," woodcut, monotype, India ink, collage, 18 x 15" 2012
Ben Grasso Ben Grasso
2014 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.F.A., The Cleveland Institute of Art
M.F.A., Hunter CUNY

Ben Grasso's work features large-scale paintings that display a realm of the kinetic chaos depicting familiar objects such as houses and trees that have been exploded and float in space. His paintings convey the appearance of transformation mid-genesis, and, according to Artforum magazine critic Ara H. Merjian, evoke images that are "coming undone and revealing how it might be put together again." His numerous accolades include a 2011 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and the 2010 New York Foundation for the Arts Painting Fellowship. His work has been exhibited across the United States and in Europe as well as being featured in Artforum, Art in America, Harper’s and others. Grasso lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Ben Grasso image

"Untitled, (House with Orange Leaves)," oil on canvas, 50 x 70" 2013.
Dan Estabrook Dan Estabrook
2013 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.A., Harvard University
M.F.A., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

For over twenty years Dan Estabrook has been making contemporary art using a variety of 19th-century photographic techniques. Recently he has focused on the earliest paper photographs – calotype negatives and salted paper prints – as sources for hand manipulation with paint and pencil. He balances his interests in photography with forays into sculpture, painting, drawing and other works on paper. Dan has exhibited widely and has received several awards, including an Artist’s Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts in 1994. He is also the subject of a recent documentary by Anthropy Arts. He is represented by the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York, and Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Message in a Bottle

"Message in a Bottle," salt print with watercolor and gouache, 2006.
Beverly Rayner Beverly Rayner
2012 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.F.A., M.F.A., San Jose State University

Beverly Rayner was born and raised in Connecticut, but has spent her adult life in California. She has a B.F.A. in sculpture and an M.F.A. in photography and teaches both photography and mixed media art.

Rayner learned the art of resurrecting forlorn objects from her father and inherited a photographic eye from her mother. She has always been fascinated with cameras, and started taking photographs when she was 11. In college, the two creative streams merged into her signature approach: creating diverse mixed media constructions around photographic imagery, often in a very sculptural way. Rayner uses all kinds of photographic materials, either her own or found, which she often alters and physically manipulates. She integrates images into some combination of objects and materials (both cast-off and new) in a process that fuses them into entirely new, hybrid objects.

Conceptually, Rayner is fascinated with the everyday psychological workings of human nature. Individual and collective perspectives color our perceptions and hold sway over our actions, affecting everything from emotional relationships to world politics. Her work takes a look at how we set up systems to navigate through life in this world, how we relate personally and socially to each other, and how we negotiate with nature through science and technology. Rayner has been represented by Braunstein/Quay Gallery in San Francisco and G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle for many years, and she has been in a multitude of solo and group exhibitions at galleries and museums in the U.S. and abroad. Her work is in the collections of the Oakland Museum of California, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Berkeley Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, as well as in many other prominent public and private collections. She received the Rydell Visual Arts Fellowhip in 2007.
Surveillance Apparatus

"Surveillance Apparatus, Infiltration Network Cell" (detail), acrylic dome, plastic mesh sleeves, plastic tubing, fiber optic lenses, photographs, wood, wire, paint. Detail, 2008
Helen Frederick Helen C. Frederick
2011 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.F.A., M.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design

Curator and internationally recognized artist Helen Frederick is an active participant in the Washington, D.C., and metropolitan area arts scene. She is Professor, School of Art, at George Mason University and has fulfilled speaking engagements around the world. Frederick has regularly maintained an emphasis toward collaboration with artists across disciplines. With her own work and in the creation of Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Silver Spring, Maryland in 1980, prior to that in New York, and earlier at Rhode island School of Design, where she met German artist Dieter Roth and experienced experimental approaches to printed media, Frederick has been interested in the process of group activity leading to new critical awareness.

Her recent exhibitions include in 2009: Matrix, Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee State University, FL; Indefinite States of Emergency, Washington Printmakers Gallery, Washington D.C.; Movement and Debris, Hamiltonian Gallery, Washington, D.C.; From Sketchbook to Suspension: Trajectories in the Age of Synthesis, St. John’s College, MD. Her solo exhibitions include Following the Scent, Fine Arts Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, 2008; The View Is Daunting, 2002, University of Athens, Georgia; Scieran/Shorn/: Suspension at the Southwest Craft Center, San Antonio, Texas, 2001; Revealing Conditions at the Art Center, South Florida, 2001, and Under Construction: Relay, Rewind, Record at Dieu Donne’ Gallery, New York, 1996. Frederick’s work is included in the Whitney Museum of Art, New York, National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress and Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., and numerous collections throughout the world.

Armored for the Monkey Horde IX

"Armored for the Monkey Horde IX," oil base monotype and artist-made paper and digitally-printed chine colle’, 30 x 22" 2010
Stanley Lewis

Stanley Lewis
2010 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.A. Wesleyan University
B.F.A., M.F.A., Yale University

After receiving a B.A. from Wesleyan University, Lewis went on to receive a B.F.A. and M.F.A. from Yale and was a Danforth Fellow. Solo exhibitions have included Dartmouth College, NH; the Bowery Gallery, NY; and the Dorry Gates Gallery, MO. A major retrospective of his work was shown at the American University Museum, Washington, D.C. in 2007.

Group shows include the Delaware College of Art and Design; the Commission for Arts and Humanities in Washington, D.C.; and Swarthmore College, PA. His work is in the collections of the Albrecht Gallery, MO; and the University of Indiana among others. Lewis' teaching experience includes The American University in Washington, D.C.; Smith College, MA; and Parsons School of Design, NY. Awards include both the Altman Prize and a Henry Ward Ranger Fund Purchase Award from the National Academy of Design, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Stanley Lewis

"12th Street and 4th Avenue," oil on canvas, 35 x 40" 2006

Christine Carr

Binh Danh
2009 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.F.A., San Jose State University
M.F.A., Stanford University

Binh Danh was born in a fishing town in southern Vietnam in 1977, two years after the close of the war. In 1979, he and his family escaped the country on a boat, and were placed in a refugee camp in Malaysia. Eventually, the Danh family emigrated to the U.S. and settled in San Jose, California. Danh was raised in a traditional Vietnamese household, where many of the family's Buddhist rituals were focused on the worship of ancestors, thus meditating on death and its influence on the living. The themes of mortality, memory, and spirituality became a lifelong inspiration for Danh, and a primary influence on his artistic development.

As a college student, Danh invented a unique process for transferring photographic images onto the surfaces of leaves via photosynthesis, yielding what he termed "chlorophyll prints." This was an interesting new mode of expression for Danh, but it was his first return trip to Vietnam that catalyzed a revelatory body of work. There, he was confronted by the subtle but ubiquitous physical remains of the war, such as bomb craters that had been converted into rice paddies, and numerous other examples. Danh observed that the tacit memories of the war's devastation were internalized in daily life. In order to articulate his reaction, Danh made chlorophyll prints of archival images of the Vietnam-American War with native tropical leaves, sharing his epiphany that the memory of those people and events will reverberate forever through the country's landscape.

Since receiving his M.F.A. in studio art in 2004, Dahn's work has been widely exhibited and collected, and was the subject of an issue of Contact Sheet, published in conjunction with his residency at Light Work, Syracuse University.

The Leaf Effect: Study for Metempsychosis #7

"The Leaf Effect: Study for Metempsychosis #7," chlorophyll print and resin, 23 x 14.5 x 2.5" 2006

Holly Roberts

Holly Roberts
2008 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.A., University of New Mexico
M.F.A., Arizona State University

Holly Roberts grew up and still resides in New Mexico, a region surrounded by desert. Known for its Native American heritage, New Mexico is a place where indigenous ideology and Western beliefs merge, creating a magical area filled with a sense of history and spirituality — elements essential to Roberts and her work.

In 1980, while living on a Zuni reservation in New Mexico, Roberts quietly painted on photographs she had taken of her husband, children, animals and friends. The results of her efforts was startling, as her work was embraced across the country for its innovative style and psychological dramas which confront the anguish, joy, challenges and complexities involved in daily life.

Roberts uses paint to define the photographic image, allowing the brush to guide her through a piece — to move forward while still being led. A portrait of a mother and child can become a piece about ambiguity of feeling — of being a mother, wife and artist and the responsibilities that define these roles. Questions are at the core of Roberts work, allowing the viewer to exchange the personal identity of the subject for an archetype, wherein we all can reside.

Through her steady and unflinching gaze, brutal honesty and tempered toughness, Holly Roberts invites us to look inside ourselves to discover our own fears and truths.

Text courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago

Lost in the Forest

"Lost in the Forest," mixed media, 11 x 12"

Michael Ananian

Michael Ananian
2007 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design
M.F.A., Yale School of Art

Michael Ananian lives and works in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he is an Associate Professor of Painting at University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

Ananian's work can be described as 'gritty realism,' 'expressive realism' or 'painterly realism.' His influences and concerns cover both extremes of the figurative tradition and while he seeks particularity, description and nuance of form, he also loves bold, brusque and vigorous paint handling and execution. The rough and raw treatment of paint and form in his paintings echo the visceral reactions and mental states of the people depicted them, with the end result being a fusion between the visual and psychological elements.

Ananian's paintings also explore how narrative frameworks and narrative ideas influence each other. He is interested in how narrative ideas can express and create aesthetically exciting pictorial framework and gives equal importance to the specific ideas expressed in narrative form and to the resultant form and visual structure.

Michael Ananian will teach a special-topics class while at Hollins, have an exhibition in the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, and present a public lecture about his work.

Dolinger sculpture

"Saint George," oil on canvas, 65 x 70" 2005

Jan Baltzell

Jan Baltzell
2006 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.F.A., Philadelphia College of Art
M.F.A., Miami University

Jan Baltzell, a painter who lives and works in Philadelphia, is a professor of painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

She has established her place in the long and distinguished lineage of painters in Philadelphia who have made a personal vision based on the 20th century's Modernist idiom of color structure. Her paintings value the picture plane as the surface upon which the forms are created, accepting the plane's inherent two-dimensional character.

The hallmarks of Baltzell's paintings are exuberance and sensuousness. Her works grow from her visual and tactile engagement with nature; her forms are as nature itself, gestural and reaching for the light. Her paintings, often made on translucent Mylar sheets, are full of color that suggests the richness of a garden in full blossom.

Baltzell will teach a special-topic class while at Hollins, have an exhibition in the Wilson Museum, and give a public lecture about her work as a painter.

Jan Baltzell: oil on mylar

Oil on mylar, 25 x 32"

Ruth Miller

"Ruth Miller Working in Orchard," c. 1980, photo courtesy of Lorraine Barstow

Ruth Miller
2005 Frances Niederer Artist-In-Residence

B.A., University of Missouri

Ruth Miller is a painter whose meditative engagement with nature is revealed in her quiet and subtle works. It is not uncommon for Miller to return again and again to the same motif or source, an old tree at the end of a road or a table full of cabbages and search for its significant form. Miller's sense of touch; of brush to canvas or pencil to paper, is shaped by the feeling she has for the space that is sensed moving out and around her and the feeling of space is revealed by her decisive and expressive images. Searching for the right mark, in a physical way, is the counterpart to her searching for the rightness of the visual metaphor for her experience.

Ruth Miller has long been associated with the New York Studio School as a teacher and critic. She has been a visiting artist at numerous schools across the country and has the reputation as a masterful teacher.

Richard Hensley

"Tree, Rock, the Pond," 1998, 14 x 18"

Gillian Pederson-Krag

Gillian Pederson-Krag
2004 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design, Providence
M.F.A. from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Gillian Pederson-Krag is considered "a painter's painter" because of her lush sense of color, her deft touch of the brush and the quiet sense of brooding that permeates her imagery. Her paintings and prints reveal a sense of poetic quality that requires the viewer to slow down and muse on the connections among the forms and meanings they suggest. Her works show us views of solitary people engaged in familiar undertakings, a child at play on the floor or a woman looking toward the window. Her landscapes are "moments" that express a feeling of grandeur in nature, often with a depicted view that seem much like ones we have seen often in our daily lives. The image evokes feelings within us that transcend explanation and provide a sense of human connection to her resonant works.

Read about Gillian Pederson-Krag's experience at Hollins.

Gilliam Pederson-Krag

"Landscape," 2000, 17 x 16"

Barbara Grossman

Barbara Grossman
2003 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.F.A., Cooper Union, New York; Diplomate, Academie der Kunst, Munich, Germany

Renowned painter Barbara Grossman will be the 2003 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence. Grossman's compositions often include women in groups of two or three involved with music; listening, singing or playing, in interior settings. "The interaction of color and space is my subject. The paintings, oil pastels and monoprints are about figures in interiors. The figures create their own space and are defined by it. The color both participates in this as well as generates it. It is characteristically bright and luminous."

Grossman has exhibited nationally for more than 25 years. Recent exhibitions include: Bowery Gallery, New York; State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pa.; Andrews Gallery, The College of William & Mary; Williamsburg, Va.; and Jaffe-Friede & Strauss Galleries, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H. She is the recipient of the Connecticut Commission on the Arts Fellowship, 2002. She received the National Academy of Design Award for Painting in 1995, 2000, and 2001.

The Lyrics

"The Lyrics," 1999-2000, oil on linen, 72 x 60"


Golden Lotus Beauty Puzzle 20 x 16" Type C pinhole photograph, 2001 [Spencer/Renner]


Woman Crucified as Witch 20 x 16" Type C pinhole photograph, 2001 [Spencer/Renner]


Nancy Spencer and Eric Renner
2002 Frances Niederer Artists-in-Residence

Nancy Spencer
B. A., Hollins College

Eric Renner
B. S., University of Cincinnati; M.F.A., Cranbrook Academy of Art

This spring Hollins University is very excited to welcome Nancy Spencer and Eric Renner to campus as the 2002 Frances Niederer Artists-in-Residence. Spencer '69 and Renner are the world's leading proponents of pinhole photography. Together they publish Pinhole Journal and operate Pinhole Resource, the premier reference and information organization for the genre.

As Artists-in-Residence, Spencer and Renner will be teaching a class in pinhole photography and will construct a Camera Obscura on campus. They will also continue working on a long-running series in collaboration: constructed assemblages dealing with Mickey Mouse, Elvis, Marilyn, and their own relationship. They often translate these three-dimensional assemblages into two-dimensional images, via the pinhole camera, and an exhibition of their work will be on display in the Art Gallery, February 12 - March 18, 2002.

Based in San Lorenzo, New Mexico, Spencer and Renner have received numerous awards, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the J. Paul Getty Trust (for Pinhole Journal). They regularly lead workshops at Pinhole Resource, and at art schools and institutions around the world.

George Nick

George Nick
2000 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.A., M.F.A., Yale University; additional study at Cleveland Institute of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art School, Art Students League, New York

George Nick is one of the most respected contemporary realists in the country. A painter of urban scenes, he depicts the Boston area, where he lives, as well as locations throughout the United States and Europe. A plein air oil painter, who has taught for more than 20 years at Boston's Massachusetts College of Art, Nick urges students to look at the large masses and tonal relationships.

Twin Awnings

"Twin Awnings," oil


Martha Armstrong
1999-2000 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.A., Smith College; M.A., Rhode Island School of Design

Since 1990, Martha Armstrong has been assistant professor in painting and drawing at Smith College. Her work has been shown solo at New York's The Bowery Gallery and the Kansas City Art Institute and in group exhibitions at the National Academy of Design and Mulligan-Shanoski Gallery (San Francisco), among others. Her work is included in permanent collections at the Nelson-Adkins Museum of Art, Woodmere Art Museum, and the State Museum of Pennsylvania.

Martha Armstrong
Marjorie Portnow

Marjorie Portnow
1999 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.A., Western Reserve University; M.F.A., Brooklyn College

A native New Yorker, Marjorie Portnow studied at Case Western, Pratt Institute, the Art Students League, and Brooklyn College. She has concentrated single-mindedly on the landscape for years. Her close observations of the atmosphere and climate enable her to make absolutely convincing paintings of grand subjects on an intimate scale. Her work has been shown at the Institute for Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hackett & Freedman Gallery (San Francisco), and the Corcoran Gallery, among others. Her work is included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's permanent collection. She has also been a visiting artist at the Vermont Studio Center.

Goldengate from Marin County

"Goldengate from Marin County," oil, 12 x 14"

Jack Beal

Jack Beal
1998 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

Educated at the College of William and Mary, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Chicago.

One of America's foremost painters, Jack Beal is best know for his figure paintings and as a painter of allegory and myth. His works have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States and Europe. Beal's work has been included in collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Hirshhorn Museum; the National Gallery of Art and the National Museum of American Art in Washington D.C.; the San Francisco Museum of Art; and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. A monograph of Beal's life work, titled Jack Beal (Hudson Hills Press, 1992), reproduces all of his most important works, including 64 in full color, accompanied by a major essay written by Eric Shanes, a painter and renowned art historian.

Sydney and Frances Lewis

"Sydney and Frances Lewis," oil, 72 x 78"

Sondra Freckelton

Sondra Freckelton
1998 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

Educated at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago.

A nationally known watercolorist, Sondra Freckelton has exhibited her work widely including the National Museum of American Art, Yale Art Gallery, and Museum of Modern Art. She has received numerous awards for her work including a Merrill Grant. She has been named master watercolor painter by American Artist magazine and distinguished professor in humanities at Eastern Michigan University. Monographs of her work are included in American Realism (Alvin Martin, Abrams, Inc.) and Realist Drawings and Watercolors (John Arthur, New York Graphic Society). Many of her still life paintings of domestic scenes highlight the plants and flowers that she grows in her gardens at her home in New York. "When I first started gardening I thought I was just growing subject matter, and then I realized that the making of a garden had very much to do with the making of art," she says. She was the curator for the 1996 "Women in the Visual Arts" exhibition at Hollins.

Wheelbarrow Harvest

"Wheelbarrow Harvest," watercolor, 30 x 30"

James McGarrell

James McGarrell
1997 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence

B.A., Indiana University; M.A., U.C.L.A.

In 1997, Jim McGarrell lived, taught, and painted on campus, where students watched him create a "verso variant" painting (two-part paintings which can be reversed to create a new image). He has taught at Indiana University and Washington University, and his work appears in museums and private collections throughout America and Europe, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, and Hirshhorn Museum. In donating his painting "The Holbein Inventions" to Hollins, he said " I've had such a good time here and become so fond of the people and the place that I'm going to give Hollins a major canvas."

Holbein Inventions

"Holbein Inventions," oil, 79 x 53"

This work is in the Hollins University collection (gift of the artist).