2022 REEF Residency Artists

Amanda Bauer is an interdisciplinary artist, working with lens-based media, objects, installation and writing. Inspired by the truths and myths of social order, her work grapples with the complexities of interpersonal connection and documents seen and unseen challenges inherent within relationships. Leveraging memory, humor, history and experience, she explores landscapes, objects and ideologies that mark personal and collective connections through time. 

Fia Benitez is a research-driven artist and educator living in Los Angeles. Their ongoing body of work, Root Rot, encompasses large-scale graphite drawings, collage, turn of the century artifacts, and bisque-fired ceramics. Incorporating research from public archives, works in Root Rot index the legacies of the California citrus industry and its history of indigenous dispossession, erasure of immigrant labor, and privatization of land management practices. Fía is a 2022 REEF Artist-in-Residence and a 2020 Research & Practice Fellow, with recent solo and group exhibitions at The Reef, Tin Flats, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, 7313 Melrose, Newhall Crossings, Other Places Art Fair, and CalArts. Publications include the artist book and catalog re:connections, anthology water / relic / spices, as well as Baest Journal, Sublevel Magazine, The Kitchen Blog, and The Vassar Review. Fía holds degrees from Vassar College and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

Michael Gardner Exploring art in all of its forms brought Michael to CalArts where he completed his MA in Critical Theory and Political Aesthetics in 2020. A good year for being an artist if there ever was one. A painter by practice, Critical Theory enabled Michael to constellate the multiple platforms he works in; writing, performance, music, painting and sculpture, so he might consider them as one field from which his creative output bridges the history we share, and the multiple-potential future that rests, waiting. His REEF Residency will be an exploration of this, posited as a Performance Hauntology of the Infra-Thin.

Marissa Layne Johnson is a writer, advocate, and filmmaker living in Los Angeles, California. Her work has been published in Bustle Magazine, Entropy Magazine, The Rumpus, and many others. Marissa has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry and she completed the Iowa Writer’s Workshop Summer Program in 2018. She recently completed her first manuscript, a memoir entitled The Light That Captured Us Here, and a short film by the same nameShe received her MFA in Creative Writing at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and is a recent Prague Summer Program student. She’s currently an Associate Producer at Company3.

Ruoyi Shi is an interdisciplinary artist working with objects, writings, performances, and video installations. Inspired by folklore, oral history, mythology, and personal memory, she combines humor and fiction to construct her own poetic narratives. Through her practice, Ruoyi plays a world-building game with the figures and creatures she invents. She also invites audiences to participate in her alternative reality. 

Simone Larson Zapata is a poet, printmaker, and educator from San José, CA. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from CalArts in 2021. Her current research draws on theories of cognitive linguistics to explore how grammar and punctuation establish relation between subjects on and off the page.