I am a Illustrator from Germany, born in the former German Democratic Republic as a children of a traditional farmer family. „Working“ implies here most of all physical work, not artistic work at all. But somehow, I made it to the University of the Arts in Berlin, where I finished the Master of Arts degree in illustration. By the end of 2012, I noticed by a lucky coincidence that there exists an Residency Program in Alaska. Alaska was always on my „To Do In Life“-list and I happily became a Sitka Fellow in 2013, where I was working on his graphic Novel about outsiders. Since that, I totally fell in love with Sitka. So I came back to Sitka in 2014, right after finishing my Master of Arts degree, to work for 9 months as a After School Arts Coordinator for the Sitka Fine Arts Camp. Here I coordinated a After School Arts program, taught several drawing and streetart classes, did the graphic design for the Fine Arts Camp and did also stage set paintings for the Young Performers Theater. That time was a great experience and a huge inspiration for my entire life I guess. In July 2015, I sadly had to go back to Berlin, where I work since as a freelance Illustrator and Illustration-docent on a university. Sitka became my second home, and I’m happy to visit again this summer.
After Sitka, Zoë moved to Port Townsend, WA, to work as an Editorial Intern at Copper Canyon Press. Her life then took a completely different tack; as of March 2014, she has served as the Public Programs Coordinator for the 104-year-old schooner Adventuress. In addition to handling logistics and occasionally sailing, she documents the stories of the thousands of people who have stepped aboard in the ship’s century-plus of history. During her time with Adventuress, she also finished the novel she began as a Sitka Fellow and has since started on a new project. In September of 2017 she will enter a creative writing MFA program. For now, she remains in Port Townsend, where she bikes home each night to a tiny house with a blue door, sits at her kitchen table, and writes.
When Jarrett arrived in Sitka for the Fellows Program, he had been editing a contemporary art website in New York and regularly moderating panel discussions with artists, critics, curators, and activists. At Sitka, he delivered a TEDx talk about the toll that growing economic inequality had taken on the art world since the 1960s and produced an essay film about the tensions between the claims of art and politics, inspired by the work of art critic John Berger and filmmaker Chris Marker.
Since participating in the residency, Jarrett has continued these investigations into the histories of aesthetics, criticism, and political thought. He traveled to the Bodleian Library at Oxford and the Ruskin Library at Lancaster University to research an M.A. thesis about the economic thought of nineteenth century Britain's great writer on art and architecture, John Ruskin, and his influence on a subsequent generation of British liberals and social reformers. Jarrett is currently a Ph.D. student in the history program at the Graduate Center, CUNY, where he is writing about the idea of culture in nineteenth and twentieth century liberalism. He also teaches a course on the history of radical politics and aesthetics at John Jay College.
Sarah DeLappe is a playwright who came to Sitka to write a play about an Alaskan radio station. She never finished that play, but she wrote a few others, and returned to Brooklyn to write some more. Last fall, her play THE WOLVES premiered off-Broadway at The Playwrights Realm at The Duke on 42nd St, after an engagement with New York Stage and Film, and development with Clubbed Thumb and The Great Plains Theater Conference. THE WOLVES won the American Playwriting Foundation’s inaugural Relentless Award and Marin Theater Company's Sky Cooper New American Play Prize; it was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Yale Prize. Other plays have been produced or workshopped by Clubbed Thumb and Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival. She is currently the Page One Writer at The Playwrights Realm, a Resident Writer at LCT3, and a Member of Ars Nova Play Group. She is an alumnae of the Clubbed Thumb Early Career Writers Group, the New Georges Audrey Residency, and SPACE on Ryder Farm. Since Sitka, she has begun an MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College, which she will earn in the spring of 2017.
After two very productive and serene summers in southeast Alaska, Ben has continued working on, recording, and releasing music out of Brooklyn, including two LPs - 2014's "Ben Seretan" (which was re-released on CD in Italy in 2015) and 2016's "Bowl of Plums" (which was also released in the EU) - and a cassette tape called "Yellow Roses" as the Ben Seretan Group. He has toured internationally, including one memorable show at the National Gallery of Albania. From 2014 to 2016, Ben curated a concert series for Lincoln Center called Sound + Vision Live which showcased live performers paired with new work for video. He has also done some acting, appearing as the lead in a web series called "Snug" about a professional cuddler-for-hire. In 2017 Ben will publish his first collection of writing - an assortment of poems, journal entries, and ephemera from a summer of traveling Italy - entitled "Past the Breakers." More information about his projects and upcoming shows can be found at his website: http://www.benseretan.com
Bessie Young is an artist committed to documenting aging and the elderly. Currently completing an MFA in Photography at the University of Ulster, Belfast, as a Mitchell Scholar, Bessie has been interviewing Northern Irish women with dementia and making video pictures that aim to explore memory and encourage compassionate action towards the elderly. Since first gaining interest in the subject during a psychology seminar as an undergraduate at Amherst College, Bessie has gone on to photograph seniors and senior living facilities in Turkey, France, Japan, and the United States with the Kathryn W. Davis 100 Projects for Peace and the Henry Luce Scholars Program.
Christian Ervin studies technology, develops software to streamline architecture design, and makes interactive objects of his own invention—recent examples include Multi-Sensory Byte Displays and a Computer Vision helmet. A creative technologist with a special interest in the cultural implications of his field and its close relatives, Christian recently graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he completed thesis work on the legacy of pre-war military research in contemporary interactive systems, and how they dictate our social and political agency. He is also a musician, having spent many years performing in the critically acclaimed band Le Loup.