2021 REEF Residency Artists

  • Casey Baden is a visual artist, art worker, and textile designer with a plural practice engaged with craft in contemporary art. Born and raised in Houston, TX, she obtained a BFA from New York University, 2014, and an MFA from CalArts, 2020. Living and working between Los Angeles, CA and Austin, TX, in her art practice she explores the idea of embodying and inhabiting – both the physical body and the domestic space.  The works that result range from large-scale paintings, textile and architectural installations, weavings, fabric works, cyanotype and dyed pieces, ceramics, and mixed-media collages. She has worked in galleries, for artists, and arts institutions in New York, Houston, and Los Angeles, and has exhibited work across the US and in Europe.  Baden has been awarded residencies at Haystack Mountain School of Craft, Vermont Studio Center, The Reef LA, and AZ West.  In Los Angeles, exhibitions have included the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, The Wing, 00LA, Other Places Art Fair, and CalArts.  Presently, she is the co-founder of an artist-run space and arts fabrication project called Full Service.  She is also developing a textile resource center and fibers studio with fellow textile artist, Minga Opazo.

  • Minga Opazo is a textile environmental artist who was born and raised in Chile until the age of 16. Currently living and working in the Los Angeles area and Joshua tree, CA. She obtained a BFA from University of California Berkeley ,2015, and an MFA from CalArts 2020. Most of her work is textile based, exploring with installation and sculpture in the discourse of political displacement and global warming.Opazo exhibited works across the US and Latino america, including the Museum of Visual art of Santiago, Chile, The CAM gallery at Carnegie museum of the arts,  ACRE gallery in Chicago and the Architectural foundation of Santa Barbara. In Los Angeles, exhibitions have included the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Dabart gallery,and CalArts. She has been awarded with various residency including Banff art center, ACRE residency and Haystack mountain school of craft, The Reef residency and Anderson Ranch Art center.

Details of our REEF Project:
This residency opportunity will provide us with the space to develop the fiber studio, that as-of-yet, has not been accessible to us, and to make this facility open to other practitioners.  Our objectives include exploring process and collaboration, offering skill sharing through workshops and by-appointment access to tools, advocating for the handmade, and curating contemporary craft exhibitions.  We plan to set up a full-scale fibers studio that includes: 2 floor looms, several sewing machines, 1 rug-tufting gun, various frame looms, an area for dyeing equipped with hot plates, a collection of plant-matter and dye-stuff, 5 and 10 gallon vats, clotheslines for drying, a library of craft-based books and resources, and more.  In addition to setting up the space, we will develop a program of workshops and artist talks on topics like mending, embroidery, quilting, steam dyeing, backstrap weaving, planting a dye garden, sustainability in the textile industry, talking fiber waste, and repurposing materials.  During our time in residence, Minga and I will create a collaborative body of work that will result in an immersive installation for exhibition.  We believe our practices have been developing on parallel paths and in close proximity over the last 3 years, but as of yet, have not directly intertwined.  After developing close personal, pedagogical, and materials-based relationships between our work and ourselves, we want to finally create a time and place to collaborate, intersect, and to further develop the correspondence between our works.

  • Sarah Sophia Yanni (Critical Studies MFA 20) is a writer and editor in Los Angeles. She holds a BA in Narrative Studies from the University of Southern California and completed her Creative Writing MFA at CalArts last year. A finalist for BOMB Magazine’s 2020 Poetry Contest, her writing interrogates religion, gender, and cultural hybridity.
  • Christine Imperial (Critical Studies MFA 20) holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Ateneo de Manila University and an MFA in Creative Writing from CalArts with concentrations in Image + Text and Documentary Strategies. She was awarded the Emi Kuriyama Thesis Award in 2020. Her writing has appeared in several publications and attempts to enact a poetics of ambivalence through various modes of translation.

Through the REEF Residency, Sarah and Christine are collaborating on a project titled Persistence & Rupture. Their work investigates cross-cultural friendships that operate within but also exceed a dominant, colonial presence. Over the last few months, they have researched the historical trade relationship between the Philippines and Mexico and have used those texts, along with Derrida’s The Politics of Friendship, to write a series of documentary poems. In 2021, they plan to produce a series of chapbooks and digital readings centered on cultural loss and objects.

  • Misael Oquendo (born in Puerto Rico, 1993) is a Los Angeles based writer, video artist, and graduate from CalArts in the MA Aesthetics & Politics program. In 2016 Oquendo received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where his studies focused on video production, film history and visual critical studies. Oquendo’s graduate thesis focused on the historical emergence of institutional critique and conceptual art, its politics of commercial mystification and the speculative, often predatory forms of art market financialization strategies which concurrently developed. Oquendo’s current research project focuses on the genre of parafiction in video art history, media culture and politics. This research has been heavily influenced by the film & media scholarship of the archival institutions in the city of Chicago (such as the Video Data Bank and the Media Burn Archive).
  • Holly Harrell is a Los Angeles based artist working across video, performance and sculpture, from Staten Island, New York. She completed her MFA at the California Institute of the Arts in 2020 and holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Through research, character studies and displacing actual locations with fantasy spaces she explores themes related to nationalism, chaos theory, American mythologies, class consciousness and grief. She received a grant from the Roger Brown Study Collection in 2015 to conduct tours of the White House as Jackie O at different vernacular art environments throughout the Midwest as well as junkyards and grocery stores. She has participated in various screenings and performances throughout New York and Chicago and has performed at Jan Weenix, Other Places Art Fair and Hosting Projects in recent years in Los Angeles. Most recently, she exhibited at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture (Los Angeles) and she is currently working with Cirrus Gallery (Los Angeles) on a four part performance series with accompanying sculptures, as a part of the exhibition.

For Harrell and Oquendo the REEF residency will tenure collaborative media research into the subject of parafictions. Throughout our residency period we will produce writings and reading lists which survey archival materials from video distribution sites such as the Electronic Arts Intermix (New York City, NY) and the Video Data Bank (Chicago, IL). The survey will include readings of the writings of the art historians Hal Foster, Kathy Rae Huffman, the scholarship and art of Martha Rosler, Vito Acconci and Sadie Benning among many others.

  • Jenny Eom is a multidisciplinary artist whose current body of work focuses on creating discursive platforms that hold (and are held by) bodies, inquiries, thoughts, communities, criticality, and multiplicity. Through installations, interventions, performance and workshopping, the opportunities of artmaking are viewed as a way to engage deeply with viewers and participants, often blurring the line between viewer/audience and work/performer. Institutions, organizing, food and labor are common materials used to reveal the power dynamics within the systems, spaces, and relationships we occupy while explorations of rituals, gifting, and hospitality are used to suggest new ways of structuring our society by digressing from conventional categories and boundaries. Jenny received a BFA in Photography & Imaging from New York University and an MFA in Art from the California Institute of the Arts.
  • Woohee Cho is an LA-based artist working with video installation and performance. The key theme of his work is self-identification. The aim of his work which stems from his personal experiences is to expose and queer the structural irony of patriarchal, heterosexual norms. He is a co-founder of critical curating project Nomad Pavilion since 2019. He received an MFA in Art from California Institute of the Arts, and a BFA in Visual communication Design from Seoul National University. His works have been shown at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, REDCAT, and Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery among others.

Work Description
2021 Home Banner Organization (working title)
Nomad Pavilion, a curatorial project organized by artists Woohee Cho and Jenny Eom, opens its second biennial with “Home Banner Organization,” planned to set forth in mid-April 2021. In this ongoing project, Nomad Pavilion invites fellow artists to submit image(s) and/or text(s) that are related to the idea of home. In light of the global pandemic, homes have become a place for work, leisure, shelter, and quarantine. For many artists, homes have become their studio as well as platforms to showcase their or their colleagues’ works. The theme of home within the project could hold a multitude of interpretations, including but not limited to domesticity, homeland, family, nationality, mother tongue, comfort food, permanence/temporality, public/private, and more. Artists will submit image(s) and/or text(s) to be printed on two 4ft by 5ft banners and exhibited on the facade of Jenny Eom’s home and project space in La Crescenta, CA. After the exhibitions, banner works will be upcycled and sold to self-sustain the pavilion.


2020 REEF Residency Artists

  • Claudia Grigg Edo (Critical Studies MFA 19) is a writer and theorist from London, currently based in Los Angeles. She received a BA in English Literature from Cambridge University and an MA in Aesthetics & Politics from CalArts. She wrote her thesis on correspondences between desire and the intelligibility of bodies, interrogating the stakes of resisting legibility (as a tactical or a pleasurable maneuver). She was awarded the 2019-2020 CalArts Critical Studies Teaching Fellowship, and is currently teaching undergraduate classes on the politics of desire and refusal. She is also Adjunct Faculty at AMDA College of the Performing Arts, teaching ‘Visual Art and Human Experience’. As well as reading at the WHAP series in West Hollywood and taking part in the Critical Studies panel on Art & Pedagogy at CalArts Weekend, she has delivered papers at conferences at the School of British Columbia and San Diego State University. She describes her current work as conspiratorial, proposing adjacency as a critical method, and taking seriously the (provisional, situated) act of rereading. She is working on a piece of writing that reads conspiracy against consent. The Reef residency will offer her the space and resources to further her research, and expand it through collaboration and curation.
  • Kelly Wall (Art MFA 19) is an LA-based artist. She received her bachelors from Otis College of Art and Design in 2012 and completed her Masters at Calarts in 2019. The subjects of Wall’s work vary as much as the medium in which they are portrayed, but more often than not utilize humor to usher in and make palatable themes of solitude and social performance. Wall’s installations take influence from the occult, mundane realities, and mythologies, creating parallel worlds in which to view everyday normalcies from behind a new filter. A multimedia artist whose work includes sculpture, video, performance, and sound, her work is introspective while leaving ample space for the viewer to enter.
  • Lucinda Trask (Art MFA 19) graduated from The California Institute of the Arts MFA Art program in 2019. Before attending CalArts, she worked at Zac Posen and Isaac Mizrahi as a designer, and founded LIKE-clothing, a yearly collection of couture garments. The language and craft of garment making continues to inform her art practice. Lucinda creates landscapes for the body out of plaster, wood, fabric, foam and text by applying draping and patternmaking—and their subsequent systems of notation—to new materials. She explores the politics of care by using construction methods that emphasize sustainability, reuse and modularity. She explores the politics of intimacy by creating new relationships between the body, objects and the earth. Her work takes many forms including installation, performance, sculpture and writing.
  • Molly Jo Shea (Art MFA 19) is an artist, performer and curator living in Los Angeles. Interested in the blending of documentary and speculative fiction, Shea often plays with expectation and reality. Research is a pivotal part of her practice, as it is a jumping off point for fabrication, creating characters and weaving narratives. Last year she travels to Australia and Tasmania from the Felix Gonzalez- Torres travel grant to do research on living archives visiting sites like the Seed Bank and Museum of Human Disease and deextinction laboratories.  For REEF residency she will be working in creating a matchmaking service to unite artists and scientists in an endeavor called the CRISPR institute, named after the gene editing software. She looks forward to creating co-minglings, collaborations and explorations with artist and science in honor of Donna Harraway’s ideas surrounding the Chthuluscene. 
  • Yuxin Zhao (Critical Studies MFA 19) was born and raised in China, finished BFA and MFA degrees in the US, and is now happily teaching the most basic level ESL class to a handful of housewives at Rosemead, CA. Yuxin writes experimental prose, performative pieces, personal essays and everything in between inspired by living between multiple languages, being the queer yet alien self in the US and the closeted but at-home daughter in China. Yuxin is also interested in how creative writing in English as a non-native language can potentially disrupt linguistic colonialism.