Loghaven Artist Residency announces inaugural artists and completion of 90-acre campus

cabin door with a painting easel

Nothing like a secluded cabin in the woods to get the creative juices flowing…

cabin in the woods

Loghaven is located on ninety wooded acres near the southern bank of the Tennessee River in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Loghaven Artist Residency — a newly created residency for emerging and established artists in the fields of visual art, dance, music, writing and theater — has announced its inaugural group of artist residents and the completion of its campus.

The launch of Loghaven Artist Residency is the culmination of years of planning, research, design and input from artists, arts leaders and the Alliance of Artist Communities.

The residency features artist housing in historic, rehabilitated log cabins, as well as a newly constructed Performing Arts Studio and Visual Arts Studio and a 3,900-square-foot Gateway Building with additional studio space and facilities for artists (all located on 90 acres of woodland, minutes from downtown Knoxville).

“We have meticulously planned every detail of Loghaven Artist Residency, from the sprung floor in the new Performing Arts Studio and the types of equipment available for visual artists, to financial support for travel and freight, as well as a weekly stipend grant,” said Director of Loghaven Artist Residency Sarah Swinford in a statement.

Swinford is no stranger to the arts, having served for nearly a decade at the Wexner Center for the Arts before joining Loghaven.

woman on the balcony of a cabin

Photo courtesy of Loghaven Artist Residency and the Aslan Foundation.

“This residency gives artists the opportunity to take risks, to hone or to expand their practice, and to concentrate exclusively on their work,” Swinford continued.

“There is one principle that has guided the years of work and every decision in creating this artist residency: measuring Loghaven’s success by the success of its artists.”

The Loghaven Artist Residency is fully funded by the Aslan Foundation.

“We believe that the arts are integral to the human experience, the health of our communities, and to a vibrant civic society,” said Executive Director of the Aslan Foundation Andrea Bailey in a statement.

“Loghaven is designed to have an enduring impact on artists’ careers. We look forward to bringing together a community of artists who will make critical contributions to contemporary art practice and discourse, and to communities across the country and the globe.”

On June 1, Loghaven will begin an open call for applications, accepting submissions from emerging and established artists across the nation who are 21 or older. The chief criteria for selection are artistic excellence and creative potential.

For more information on Loghaven, visit Loghaven.org or follow the residency on social media.

Loghaven Artist Residency offers:

Facilities for dancers and theater makers — there are limited residencies that offer dancers and theater makers the facilities that are essential for their work. Loghaven has a professionally designed Performing Arts Studio and a Multidisciplinary Studio to support these practitioners.

Spaces for collaboration — the number of artists working collaboratively has grown significantly, and few residences are designed to accommodate this type of practice. Loghaven’s studio spaces serve the needs of collaborative teams: all are large enough for group work, and three of the artist cabins are suited for an intensive live/work experience for a collaborative team.

A stipend grant — Loghaven provides artists a weekly stipend grant for art supplies and other expenses associated with completing the residency. The stipend grant advances Loghaven’s commitment to removing financial barriers for artists and allowing the broadest possible participation in the residency.

Ongoing support for Loghaven Artist Fellows — Loghaven supports artists during and after their residencies-helping to advance recognition of their work and fostering their careers over time. As just one part of this ongoing support, Loghaven Fellows are eligible for the annual Loghaven Prize of $25,000, as well as the opportunity to return to Loghaven for future sessions, including a two-week, alumni-only residency. Loghaven will launch a competitive microgrant program for Fellows in the near future, to provide financial support after their residencies.

Diverse cohorts of artists — Loghaven is dedicated to supporting diverse cohorts of artists. The first group of artist residents includes individuals with a range of backgrounds, disciplines, and ages-from emerging artists in their 20s to established artists in their 80s; practitioners who are African American, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian; artists who are LGBTQ+ or whose work addresses LGBTQ+ themes; artists working in a range of disciplines across a variety of media with both traditional and multidisciplinary practices.

Artists invited to participate in Loghaven’s 2020-21 by category:

The artists noted below were nominated by a national committee of artists, curators, performers and other arts professionals. Loghaven’s first residency session begins on Feb. 3.


Ann Carlson is a dancer, choreographer, and performance artist who uses solo and ensemble dance, site-specific performance projects, and performance video to explore contemporary social issues. Some of Carlson’s awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship and a CalArts/Herb Alpert Award.

Joanna Kotze in a yoga pose

Dancer Joanna Kotze (Photo courtesy of Loghaven Artist Residency)

Sebastián Escalona is an artist, scholar, and leading theatrical set designer. In his practice, he blends traditional disciplines with experimental hybrid languages to explore such concepts as bodies, landscape, and memory. His work has been selected by Marina Abramovi and Robert Wilson to reside in The Watermill Center in New York. Recently, his investigations have been part of Bauhaus 100 years and he has represented Chile in the Prague Quadrennial as a set designer.

Rudy Gerson & Jonathan González, González works at the intersections of performance, text, sculpture, and time-based media, while Gerson’s practice reflects the intersections of his backgrounds in applied theatre, site-specific performance, and ethnography. The two artists collaborated on Lucifer Landing I & II, presented at MoMA PS1 and the Abrons Arts Center in 2019.

NIC Kay is an interdisciplinary artist and their performances and performative spaces explore the act and process of moving the change of place, production of space, position, and the clarity/meaning gleaned from shifting perspective. NIC was a performance artist in residence at the Museum of Art and Design and a resident artist at Pioneer Works.

Visual Arts

Aldwyth has for decades been creating intricate, often epic-scale collages and assemblages that utilize art history, technology, and everything in-between to not only fuel her work, but also to expand her knowledge. The recipient of various residences and fellowships, Aldwyth strives to create and illustrate the art of circumstance and wit through any medium she can. Her art combines her experience of painting, bricolage, and collage, and — now at the age of 84 — she is adding printmaking to her array of multimedia works.

Calvin Brett‘s work documents an African American identity shifting through the world today, considering its relationship to society and the environment. Inspired by nature, folk traditions, and the desire to reimagine these traditions in a contemporary context, his work employs re-use as a way of intuiting the creative potential of all things. His work has been exhibited in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and he has completed residencies at Elsewhere Museum, Perkins and Will, the Chautauqua Institution and Liberty Arts.

Sandra Brewster is a Canadian visual artist based in Toronto. Her work engages notions of identity, representation, and memory, centering a Black presence. The daughter of Guyanese-born parents, she is especially attuned to the experiences of people of Caribbean heritage and their ongoing relationships with back home. Brewster’s work has been featured in the Art Gallery of Ontario (2019-20). She is the 2018 recipient of the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Artist Prize, and her exhibition It’s all a blur… received the Gattuso Prize for outstanding Featured Exhibition of CONTACT Photography Festival 2017.

Aurora Robson in her workshop

Artist Aurora Robson (Photo courtesy of Loghaven Artist Residency)

Tia-Simone Gardner is an interdisciplinary artist and Black feminist scholar from Birmingham, Alabama whose practice draws on the colonial and labor histories embedded in the Southern landscape. Using photography, video, and drawing, her work builds on ideas of geography, mobility, and stasis-particularly in relation to creating a Black sense of place. Gardner participated as a Studio Fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program and has held residencies at IASPIS in Stockholm, Sweden, and the Center for Photography in Woodstock, New York.

Mark Steven Greenfield focuses on the complex issues surrounding the African American experience in contemporary society. Through his work, Greenfield explores the psychological dimension of African American stereotypes, little known histories and spiritual practices, reimagined religious iconography, and subconscious mental cartography. He is a recipient of the L.A. Artcore Crystal Award, Los Angeles Artist Laboratory Fellowship Grant, City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship, and California Community Foundation Artist Fellowship.

Daniel McCormick & Mary O’Brien work as artists, designers, researchers, and writers to create ecological installations with remedial qualities, designed to restore the equilibrium of adversely impacted ecosystems. They have received awards from Headlands Center for the Arts, the Center for Cultural Innovation, the McColl Center for Visual Art, Marin Arts Council, the Puffin Foundation, and The George Sugarman Foundation.

Jennifer Wen Ma‘s interdisciplinary practice bridges varied media including installation, drawing, video, public art, design, performance, and theatre. Ma received an Emmy for the U.S. broadcast of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, for which she was on the core creative team and the chief designer for visual and special effects. She has developed projects for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cass Sculpture Foundation, Qatar Museums, Lincoln Center Festival, Vancouver Art Gallery, Guggenheim Bilbao, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the National Art Museum of China, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, among others.

Wendy Red Star was raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation in Montana, and her work is informed both by her cultural heritage and her engagement with many forms of creative expression, including photography, sculpture, video, fiber arts, and performance. An avid researcher of archives and historical narratives, Red Star seeks to incorporate and recast her research, offering new and unexpected perspectives in her work that are simultaneously inquisitive, witty, and unsettling. Red Star holds a BFA from Montana State University, Bozeman and an MFA in sculpture from University of California, Los Angeles.

Rhonda Wheatley is a multidisciplinary artist whose sculptures, paintings, written works, and interactive performance projects explore healing, consciousness expansion, and transformation. She has received awards, grants, and recognitions from institutions such as Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and Ragdale Foundation. She has exhibited at Hyde Park Art Center, David Weinberg Gallery, and Walter Maciel Gallery in Los Angeles, and has performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Music Composition

Lara Downes is a pianist and activist whose musical roadmap seeks inspiration from the legacies of history, family, and collective memory. Downes’ work is noted for bringing attention to the underrepresented and forgotten. A chart-topping recording artist, she has collaborated with artists including Judy Collins, Rhiannon Giddens, Yo-Yo Ma, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove. Her latest recording Some Of These Days is a collection of spirituals and freedom songs that celebrate the resistance and persistence at the heart of American history.

Paul Rucker at his piano

Resident Paul Rucker (Photo courtesy of Loghaven Artist Residency)

Angélica Negrón is a composer and multi-instrumentalist who writes music for accordions, toys, and electronics as well as chamber ensembles and orchestras, creating intricate-yet simple-narratives that evoke intangible moments in time. Negrón has been commissioned by the Albany Symphony, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and the American Composers Orchestra. Her music has been performed at the Kennedy Center, the Ecstatic Music Festival, Bang on a Can Marathon and the 2016 New York Philharmonic Biennial.

Daniel Bernard Roumain, known for his signature violin sounds infused with a myriad of electronic, urban, and African American music influences, is a composer, performer, educator, and activist. Among his achievements are an Emmy for Outstanding Musical Composition, ranking #3 in The New York Times Top 10 Classical Moments of 2003, an American Music Center Grant Award, a Creative Capital Award and a Van Lier Fellowship.

Craig Shepard is a composer and trombonist who creates music related to stillness, inviting people to live in the beauty of the sounds that they move through in their day-to-day lives. Shepard’s work has been featured at the Oklahoma Contemporary, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Moments Musicaux Aarau, the Akademie der Künste Berlin, the Kunstraum Düsseldorf, Experimental Intermedia New York, Roulette NYC, The Stone NYC, Issue Project Room Brooklyn, Real Art Ways in Hartford, and the Deep Listening Center in Kingston, New York. Shepard has also performed at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.


Kleaver Cruz is an Uptown native of NYC, creative, writer, and educator. His work has been featured in various publications in print and online. Cruz has created work and been in community with folks across the African Diaspora in South Africa, the Netherlands, Brazil, and other countries. He is the creator of The Black Joy Project, a digital and real-world affirmation that Black joy is resistance.

Brian Harnetty at his desk

Composer Brian Harnetty (Photo courtesy of Loghaven Artist Residency)

Amy Lam is a contributing editor and co-host of Backtalk podcast at Bitch Media, the deputy editor at diaCRITICS, and the former editorial lead at On She Goes, which explores the world of women of color and travel. She is a Kundiman Fellow and received an MFA from the University of Mississippi where she was the John & Renee Grisham Fellow. She has been awarded scholarships from the Fine Arts Work Center and Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. Her work has appeared and is forthcoming in Tin House, Gay Mag, Indiana Review, Pacifica Literary Review, Utne Reader, and Papercutter.

Reach Michael Aldrich on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @michaelwaldrich.

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