MEET THE 2018 SESSION I RESIDENTS!

Greetings friends and family of SAW! 

Here's a look at our current artists-in-residence:


Fellow Artists


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Amy Butowicz was born and raised in Akron Ohio. She received a BA in Studio Art from the University of Colorado and is a current MFA Candidate at Hunter College in New York City. She has been awarded scholarships to attend Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Colorado, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Summer Studio Program, and Vermont Studio Center. Her recent solo exhibitions include “Inhabit” at Anderson Ranch Arts Center and “A Room to Hoist” at Hunter College, New York City, New York. Through the haptic, Butowicz is interested in works telling their own story. As her paintings move from the wall to the floor, they become anthropomorphized objects, ambiguous bodies positioned in direct relation to the beholder. Questions of revealing and concealment are posed as the works are treated with glaze, stain, paint, and wallpaper to contrast and beautify their original form. Transforming decrepit objects through dressing and decoration serve as contemplations on bodily degeneration and the human impulse to conceal the abject.

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John Ruppert, who received his MFA from the School for American Craftsman at RIT in 1977, has exhibited internationally in numerous solo exhibitions, and his work has been included in important group shows throughout the world. He is the recipient of many awards including the Pollock Krasner Foundation, U.S. Department of State Assistance Awards, as well as Individual Artist Grants from the Maryland State Arts Council. Ruppert, who teaches at the University of Maryland, has received numerous commissions, among them is BWI Airport. Articles about his work have been published in Art in America, Sculpture, and the New York Times.

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Studio Artists


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Jonathan Boles was born in 1984, in a small town in Massachusetts. He went on to receive a degree in computer arts, sculpture, and art education. Jonathan considers art to be a series of relationships; an artist’s relationship with his ideas, the materials, and finally the works relationship to the world apart from the artist. He strives to see beauty and value where others may see none. Jonathan has brought that insight into his art making, often using reclaimed materials to make his work.

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Jen Dwyer grew up in the Bay Area, moved to Seattle for College then Brooklyn for 3 years where she taught and made art, then North Carolina for one year where she did an artist residency and now is an MFA candidate in ceramics at University of Notre Dame.

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Samantha Leopold-Sullivan is a sculptor and installation artist interested in how art and making intertwine as a method of self-exploration and interpersonal communication. Born and raised in Arizona, she migrated north to study studio art and environmental studies at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. After graduating she stayed at Macalester for several years as a graduate apprentice, running the bronze foundry and assisting students and teachers. Currently she is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in Sculpture and Dimensional Studies at Alfred University in Alfred, New York.

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Gabriel John Poucher is an artist from Garrettsville, Ohio. He discovered glassworking while studying at Kent State University, where he quickly found himself pursuing a BFA in Glass and Ceramics. He received his degree in 2017. Primarily sculptural, Gabriel's artwork often utilizes both glass and ceramic media, along with mixed materials such as plaster, steel, and found objects. His artwork is largely concerned with abstractions of the human body, and anatomy as metaphor. Gabriel also enjoys taking a functional approach to both mediums, creating blown glass and hand-built ceramic functional ware when time permits.

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Heidi Zenisek uses sculptural assemblage and installation as platforms to abstract, interpolate, and find a rediscovered relevance within refuse in relation to her perception of lifecycles and regeneration, fertilization and insemination, movement and sentiment as witnessed growing up on a farm. Since receiving her BFA from the University of Iowa in 2015, she has exhibited and participated in residencies throughout the Midwest, Iceland, and Scandinavia. After graduating with a Masters degree from Eastern Illinois University in May, Heidi will be starting the MFA program at University of Maryland this fall.

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Young Artists


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Mahima Kapoor is a Painter and Printmaker from the city of New Delhi, India. Her work is between painting, installation and sculpture. Her works are often site specific. She creates an immersive environment with her artwork and believes in collaborating with the space that her work exists in. She pursued her BFA from College of Art, New Delhi and MFA from Massachusetts college of art and Design, Boston, MA USA.

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Toni Nastasi grew up within the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. She received her BFA from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2017. Toni has exhibited in New York including shows at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art and The Hyde Collection. Inspired by the subtleties and nuance of her rural surroundings, Toni works to investigate the transience and serenity expressed by nature. Her work addresses the complexity and awareness needed to connect with the universality of all environments.

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Jacob Pet is an artist working across mediums to explore communication modes through the lens of hypnosis and trance. He received his BA in studio & art history from Union College in 2012. Raised by two generations of psychiatrists, Jacob grew up with a fascination of talk therapy and the nature of mental health that continues to drive his process. His recent work investigates the intersection of power-exchange, kink and community.

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Miss Expanding Universe was the Fattest Baby of the Month at the Seattle Children's Hospital. The product of a Chinese immigrant and a white polygamist from Fort Scott, Kansas, Miss Expanding Universe has been a performance artist since the day she was ruthlessly shoved out of the safety of her mother’s womb. She works in a wide range of media, from hyperrealist oil paintings to erotic poetry to coloring book memoirs to dinosaur impressions.

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Artist Assistants


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Michael Richard Thron (b.1990) in Stamford CT, currently is an MFA Graduate Student at the University of Maryland, College Park. His work reflects upon ideas of disposition and architecture, by exploring the dark but moral nature of the human condition.

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Sophia Baraschi-Ehrlich is an artist from Chelsea, NYC, focusing on painting, drawing, and graphic design. She recently graduated from Skidmore College in May 2016 with college honors, art honors, and as a member of the National French Honors Society.

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