Meet The Residents!

We would like to introduce the current Artists in Residence from Session One! Get to know who they are and learn about what they've been up to here at Salem Art Works!

Intern Artists

Ashley Goldstein

Ashley is 23 years old and a native South Floridian, currently living in West Palm Beach. Ashley became a mother at the age of 16 and uses art to express, explore, and educate others about the hardships of teenage motherhood, her family life as a direct result, and navigating the in-between world of childhood and adulthood while raising a son. She is currently studying Photography at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. Her work, including sculpture, focuses on abuse, relationships, the physical body in relation, and memories. Ashley incorporates body language and symbols to express a concept through visual dialogue and believes that the process and purpose of materials in which we use to create in any medium is important to the concept.

“I am working on a sculpture for the iron pour. In this piece I am expressing the sporadic nature of memory in relation to my teenage mother experiences that have brought me to become an artist. I am building a platform that has hand sculpted symbols to convey different parts of each memory, creating a story to connect the four panels. On top of this platform hands or a female figure will cradle a glass form. During my residency I hope to build a network with the other residents, refine my mold making skills, and learn the craft of glass blowing. I plan to take these experiences and further my career in the artistic community.
The best part about being at SAW is being in a supportive and dedicated community of other working artists in different stages of their careers. Everyone is full of ideas and it creates inspiration among one another so it's interesting to see what comes out at the end.”


David Fricke


Originally from west Tennessee, David received his BFA in Sculpture at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston this past May 2016. Before he moved to Boston, David developed an appreciation for darkroom photography. Using his father's old equipment, David built his very own darkroom in his bathroom. This first love eventually flew him to Boston to study photography at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. His path changed when he decided to leave AIB and found his second love, Carpentry. David worked as a carpenter for four years before attending Massart. The skills and processes he learned from cabinetry, built-in furniture, and construction, lead him to pursue his new love of sculpture. David works in a variety of materials from wood, glass, and ferrous metal creating large sculptures.

“I am constructing a large scale interactive public sculpture utilizing turned wood and forged steel that encourages auditory interaction.
Having group meals at SAW means I actually eat well, with all of us rotating as cooks each night. There are enough shops and space to build damn near anything! Also there is always coffee, endless streams of coffee.”


Maddy Jason

From Buffalo, New York, Maddy moved to Rochester, NY in 2013 to attend Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) working towards her BFA in Fine Arts Studio as well as a minor in Psychology. Maddy’s artwork has been a combination of making silicone-rubber molds of skulls/bones of deer, possums, and raccoons, to then reproduce and manipulate them into a variety of mediums including plastic, beeswax, iron, and bronze. She has also experimenting with several printmaking techniques such as mono print, copper-plate etchings ext. The most rewarding process for Maddy is cast iron, and was recently awarded a scholarship from the Central New York chapter of the American Foundry Society.

“I am currently working on sculptures that incorporate animal bones that will be cast in iron and glass. I've collected some pieces of old, junked cars from the nearby scrap yard to combine with my cast iron sculptures. I've also worked with ceramics to be fired in the Anagama kiln here, as well as working in the glass and blacksmithing shops.
I love the mountains, woods, and rivers around Salem. Taking a walk around the woods and hills at SAW or going for a swim at the river is fun to do with a group.”


Michael Messer

Michael completed his BFA at UNCG December 2015. Michael is a sculptor, potter and illustrator. His work explores selfhood and relation to the exterior world through the use of philosophy, cultural and religious studies, and the social sciences. He assisted with the Coraddi (UNCG’s art and literature magazine) working on promotional events, and designed two playing card decks, one of which was published last year, and the other is in the process of publication.

“My main project here is wheel thrown ceramics. I'm practicing throwing with some hand built aspects, as well as learning to operate a Wood Fired Kiln, Raku, and pit firing. I'm also trying new methods of surface treatment, including burnished Terra Sigillata, flashing slips, and Saggar firing. While I'm here, I'm also learning woodturning on the new lathe, from whole blocks as well as segmented turning. 
'During my residency thus far, I've most enjoyed swimming in the river, the excellent group-cooking meals, and the view here is phenomenal. You can also see the Milky Way at night, which is a first for me. 
When I return to North Carolina, I hope to join the talented community of potters in Seagrove, NC, and assist them in firing their wood kilns.”


Rob Hackett

Rob is a DC-based sculptor and printmaker from Pittsburgh, PA. Across two- and three-dimensions, Rob’s work questions notions of space, navigation, and the corporeal effects that arise at their intersection. He received his BA in Studio arts and Economics in 2012 from the University of Pittsburgh and his MFA from the University of Maryland in 2015.  He has been featured in recent exhibitions at museums and galleries including Hillyer Art Space, Washington, DC (2015); VisArts, Rockville, MD (2015); Ground for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ (2015); and The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (2013). 

“I'm currently working on a sculptural archway that can be walked through and used as a vantage point to overlook the park and the mountains across from the park. This endeavor is a big change for me as someone who always produces indoor work. I plan to finish and install the sculpture while also working on some drawings and two dimensional pieces.
The best part of SAW is the incredibly immersive experience that it provides. It is an "always on" environment that supports its participants in numerous ways.”


Sophie Najjar

Sophie was born and raised in State College, PA and is currently a rising senior within the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University, earning her BFA in Drawing & Painting and a BA is Geography. She primarily works in acrylic paint and different drawing media, but has recently expanded her interests into woodworking. Specifically, she is interested in repurposing, modifying, and reimagining reclaimed wooden furniture that has been discarded. Sophie’s recent accomplishments include completing her first year BFA candidacy reviews, learning how to make dovetail joints, and finally escaping the clutches of her hometown to come to Salem for the summer.

“Most of my work here merges real and imagined landscapes, and at Salem I want to take advantage of all the curious, serene, uncanny, and paradisiacal moments this landscape has to offer. I'm particularly interested in working in new scales and sensibilities of drawing and painting. Above all, I hope to observe and take in as much as I can, and use this space as a time for compositional and conceptual exploration. 
I love the range of what this place has to offer. I'm learning about gardening and cooking and living in a tent while at the same time painting and drawing, having studio visits, and watching people participate in so many different art-making processes.  The union of life and art here is pretty incredible and it evidences why such a union is so valuable.”

Emerging Artists

Brie Flora

Brie is an Artist from Boston, MA preparing to move down south working with three other artists on a new artistic endeavour. She graduated with departmental honors from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in May 2015 with a dual degree in Jewelry & Metalsmithing and Art Education. Her first year out of college she began teaching beginner/intermediate Jewelry classes and weekend workshops at Metalwerx, Lexington Arts and Craft Society, and Cambridge Center for Adult Education. She has aslo worked for Monique Rancourt as an assistant jeweler for the past four years. Brie co-curated two contemporary Jewelry exhibitions; "67 Facets" held during the Society of North American Goldsmiths, SNAG Boston conference (2015) as well as the Radical Jewelry Makeover, RJM Massart show (2015).  Brie curated her very own exhibition "ALLOY", held at Lincoln Studios in Waltham, MA (2015) including work of three other artists who work with ferrous metals . Brie primarily works in non-ferrous metals, creating sculptural body adornment, hollow forms and vessels. She is interested in pushing the formal ideas of adornment, and creating objects that relate to the human body in unexpected ways as well as playing with functional vs. nonfunctional objects.

“Coming from a Jewelry and Metalsmithing background, it has been exciting and challenging to work in a space that isn’t meant for the type of work I’m used to doing. I have been rigging up a make shift “jewelry” studio down in the blacksmith shop, making the most out of what they have to creating some raised copper forms. But my main focus has been to work with materials and shops that I am not as acquainted with. My big project while I am here is designing and building my own Jewelers bench out of Beech and Birch plywood, with adding elements of blacksmithing and iron casting that will be found in the drawer handles and tool hooks. I have also been experimenting with plaster casts and concrete in relation to the human form to create a series of “site specific adornment” that will act as a portrait of another Artist and their work here at SAW through photographic documentation.
It has been refreshing to live on such a beautiful property, being forced to spend most of your days outside has brought me close to nature again. From living in the city the past seven years, this experience has been very needed. The first night we had a clear sky, and I saw the Milky Way for the first time since I was little and was blown away by its beauty. The SAW community is awesome. Hanging out, listening to music, and playing pool in the "Cribby" with the other Resident Artists has been a lovely way to chill out, build new friendships and contacts at the end of a long day.”


Frank Spigner

Frank is an artist, composer, and technologist who has been actively creating an evolving array of works in the form of sculpture, installation, music and sound works, and electronic media. His work has appeared at such venues as Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation, New York’s The Stone, Experimental Intermedia Foundation, Judith Charles Gallery, Issue Project Room, Basilica Hudson, and Silent Barn among others. His performances include numerous collaborations such as performing the works of John Cage at the National Academy Museum & School with composer-performer, Du Yun, performing the work of composer, Joel Thome, at the International Music Therapy Conference, and working with sound art pioneer Liz Phillips on several installations and multimedia works. Much of his current work takes on an inter-media approach, often involving the melding of several different mediums such as interactive audio-visual installations, welded metal sound sculpture, kinetic sculpture, homemade synthesizer circuitry, and socially mediated public works. He studied Music Composition and Visual Arts at SUNY Purchase and is a recent graduate of the MFA program at Columbia University.

“During my residency, I have been working on a few metal sculptures including freestanding pieces and mobiles that use movement as a primary descriptive element in the work. I have been doing some creative coding and computer based works while experimenting with materials I don't often use such as clay and glass. I am also working towards a new piece which will be a metal sculpture and will include sonic and kinetic elements that I will use for an upcoming show in the city in August
I have enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with artists who are experts in their creative practices and to work with materials that I haven't previously worked with, such as glass and marble.”


Kelly Wilton

Kelly Wilton is a sculptor from Arizona where she received her BFA at Arizona State University in 2012.  Exploring the ideas of inferred memory through objects and landscape with their relationship to the idea of home, Wilton creates multi-layered installations using cast metal, found objects, plastics, kinetic work, video and sound.  She has shown in galleries nationally and internationally, including Phoenix, Rochester, Brooklyn, London, Latvia, Scotland, and China.  Her research in foundry, along with working as an wax artisan at Bollinger Atelier, has culminated in being a panelist speaker at the 7th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art in Pedvale, Latvia, and at The National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art at SLOSS Furnances in Birmingham, Alabama.  Recently she did a residency at the Sanbao Ceramic Institute in Jingdezhen, China. Kelly completed her MFA at Rochester Institute of Technology, focusing on large-scale sculptural installation work.

“I’ve been focused on expanding on my MFA thesis work and utilizing the opportunity to try new techniques that I haven’t been able to do previously. I’m creating a large iron casting of a CNC map of the Phoenix Metropolitan area to pair with cement castings of clothes to be the mountains surrounding the Valley of Phoenix. I want to be able to install it outside on the hill so you have the combination of viewing my memories of home with the landscape that surrounds SAW. I’ve also been exploring wood fired clay work since I’ve never done that type of firing before. Creating more humorous work of fat little creatures in cat poses has been refreshing in being able to take a break from my more conceptual work.
SAW has been such an amazing place to get started on creating work outside of school. The freedom that we have here to create work has enabled me to be more relaxed about art making while still having the push to make by being surrounded by so many talented people. I’ve been able to work in materials that I haven’t had the opportunity before and create a whole new body of work. SAW is this little paradise to make, play, explore, and make so many new friends. I also can’t leave out Toby, who has become my surrogate cat here with plenty of shoulder chilling while I’m away from my cats."

Fellow Artists

Gabrielle Duggan

Gabrielle was born in Buffalo, New York and has a Master of Art and Design in Fibers and Surface Design from North Carolina State University. Her work has been exhibited at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, and the Cameron Art Museum (NC 2011-2012) as well as at Ponyride (MI, 2016), and the Indie Grits Film Festival (SC, 2015). She was the recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council’s Regional Artist Project Grant (2011), Artspace’s Regional Emerging Artist Residency (2013-2014), and the Governor’s Island Art Fair Residency (2014). She has taught Textile Art and Design as Visiting Lecturer at Georgia State University (2014-2016), and is preparing for a two person show in Manhattan, NY (2016).

Gabrielle Duggan's work is rooted in fundamental principles of fiber work, yet deviates widely from the discipline in materials, scale, and context. Her installations and performance pieces challenge traditional gender expressions, labor value systems, and address larger social issues through the use of tension, repetition, and by twisting the multiple meanings imbued in the medium itself.

“I am presently making an installation in Barn 3 of construction tape. This is a nice 'spatial workout' for me. I intend to weld more, particularly after this weekend, to translate some of these forms to metal. My goal is to create modular frameworks within which I can create contained installations incorporating magnets. I am also sampling different pattern/color results with the construction tape in 2D, and am finishing up prints from and framing a 'webword' diptych I brought with me.
Everything is so nice here. I like that people are doing their own thing and working together on big things, and that it all meshes pretty nicely considering there are so many individual minds involved! There's a nice sense of teamwork and respect, and I am so glad the setting is so environmentally-oriented. For instance, there's a groundhog that lives under my tent platform, and I have found 6 four-leaf clovers in the 5 days I've been here."


Jemila MacEwan

Jemila is a Scottish-born interdisciplinary artist based in New York. She received a Masters of Contemporary Art at the Victorian College of the Arts in Australia. Her practice is guided by a desire for reconciliation between our cultural past and present. Her work is often characterized by the reconfiguration of the body and familiar objects into uncanny beings. She has exhibited at Arquetopia (Mexico), Governor's Island Art Fair (New York), the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (New York), the Melbourne International Arts Festival (Place of Assembly, Melbourne) and the Gertrude Street Projection Festival (Australia).

“My recent body of work has included painting and sculptural work depicting volcanoes, glaciers, lakes and rivers. This work engages with the sensual, bodily qualities of geological flux: vitality, movement and transformation. It is inspired by the history of alchemical allegories as a philosophical melding of mythology and science together as a method for finding meaning. This allows the poetic and the scientific to support one another in generating meaning from multiple positions of knowledge.
I have come to Salem Art Works specifically to create a body of work for the large anagama woodfire kiln firing. The pieces I am firing are predominantly volcano and crater forms. Ceramicist Jordan Becker has been guiding my understanding of the wood-firing process. I have been learning how to consider the passage of energy, heat, air and ash as it blasts through the kiln at over 2300 degrees F (the same temperatures reached by molted magma and lava). Understanding and yielding to these natural forces is ultimately what completes the work. In contemplating woodfired ceramics one is reading the elemental language of energy, matter and form. This is my first time working in the woodfire process and I hope the discoveries made through this process will inspire future projects.
Saw has a wonderfully supportive, productive and social atmosphere. There is enough space to really create big if you wish, and the staff and residents are incredibly. And if you want to try something new like foundry pouring or glass work the staff and residents are there to help. generous with their knowledge and time. The environment of Salem is beautiful – I live in Brooklyn, NY so having the opportunity to go swim in a clean river or go for a walk in the woods is  revitalizing and not something I usually have access to. I discovered I love living in a trailer! It is nice and homey and at night I am surrounded by fireflies!”


Justin Mastrangelo

                                             *Photo provided   by Artist

                                             *Photo provided by Artist

Justin Mastrangelo is an artist, art educator, designer, and printmaker raised in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Justin earned his BFA and MA from the State University of New York at Oswego and has previously worked as a commercial graphic designer and industrial silkscreen printmaker. Justin is an Adjunct Professor of Art at the State University of New York at Oswego and Cayuga Community College. Justin is the 2016 Syracuse Salt Quarters Local Artist in Residence. He is a recipient of the Gifford Foundation’s “What if… Grant“ which has supported his “Art Cart” and “Syracuse Coloring Book” projects.

“During my fellowship at SAW I focused on creating work for the wood fire kiln and gaining more experience in the wood firing process. My time at SAW allowed me to dedicate time to the practice of ceramics and gave me a potter’s wheel. During the three week residency, I created a total of sixty-five pieces of various sizes that were fired in the kiln and became confident in my abilities on a pottery wheel
Being at SAW is an awesome experience because of the amazing people drawn together as a creative community during a residency. Collectively, SAW empowered me to take steps forward in my creative process and the community has always supported and collaborated with me to create successful outcomes within my two residencies. Living with a community of artists has given me unforgettable experiences that have shaped my perspective of what the world can be and how I see my life taking shape in the future. SAW and the town of Salem, New York provide a warm and welcoming landscape for artists to explore and be inspired by.”

 *Published by Brie Flora and Photographs by Ashley Goldstein