Greg Esser is currently the Desert Initiative Director for ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, a program that seeks to link desert communities regionally and globally through interdisciplinary arts-based research and projects. He has lived and studied arid land agricultural policy, agroforestry and desertification in the Middle East and Africa. He has directed three of the largest municipal public art programs in the United States: the City and County of Denver (1991-1996), the City of Phoenix (1996-2004) and Los Angeles County (2009-2011). He also worked at the national level as Public Art Manager for Americans for the Arts in Washington, D.C. (2004-2006). He is the founder and former executive director of the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization focused on community revitalization through the arts and culture in downtown Phoenix where he also established several contemporary art venues and businesses including eye lounge gallery, 515 gallery, MADE art boutique and Sixth Street Studios.
Andrea Polli is currently an Associate Professor in the Art & Ecology program and Mesa Del Sol Endowed Chair of Digital Media at The University of New Mexico. Her work with science, technology and media has been presented widely in over 100 presentations, exhibitions and performances internationally, has been recognized by numerous grants, residencies and awards including a NYFA Artist’s Fellowship, the Fullbright Specialist Award and the UNESCO Digital Arts Award. Her work has been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Art News, NY Arts and others. She has published several book chapters, audio CDs, DVDs and papers in print including MIT Press and Cambridge University Press journals.
Kim Stringfellow is an artist and educator residing in Joshua Tree, California. She is an Associate Professor at San Diego State University’s School of Art, Design, and Art History. Her professional practice and research interests address ecological, historical, and activist issues related to land use and the built environment through hybrid documentary forms incorporating writing, digital media, photography, audio, video, installation, mapping, and locative media. Stringfellow’s projects have been commissioned and funded by leading organizations including the California Council for the Humanities, the Creative Work Fund, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the Seattle Arts Commission. She was the 2012 recipient of the Theo Westenberger Award for Artistic Excellence administered by the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. Stringfellow has authored two books; Greetings from the Salton Sea: Folly and Intervention in the Southern California Landscape, 1905–2005 (2005) and Jackrabbit Homestead: Tracing the Small Tract Act in the Southern California Landscape, 1938–2008 (2009) both published by the Center for American Places.
Copy Editor: Marilyn Welch
Hadley Arnold and Peter Arnold
Hadley Arnold and Peter Arnold are co-directors of the Arid Lands Institute (ALI), an education, outreach, and applied research center of Woodbury University in Burbank, California. ALI serves as both a training ground and a nonprofit planning and design-advisory firm, working with partner communities urban and rural. Hadley was trained in art history at Harvard, served as Associate Editor at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, received her M.Arch. from SCI-Arc, and has taught history, theory, and design studios at SCI-Arc, UCLA, and Woodbury. Peter, a native Coloradan, studied environmental design at Boulder, architecture at SCI-Arc, and has photographed the infrastructural landscapes of the west extensively. With support from the Graham, LEF, Bogliasco, and Frankel Foundations, and a major grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development/Office of University Partnerships, they have focussed their teaching, research, and practice on drylands design since 1997.
William L. Fox, Director of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada, has variously been called an art critic, science writer, and cultural geographer. He has published thirteen books on cognition and landscape, numerous essays in art monographs, magazines and journals, and fifteen collections of poetry. Fox is also an artist who has exhibited in numerous group and solo shows in eight countries since 1974. Fox has researched and written books set in the extreme environments of the Antarctic, the Arctic, Chile, Nepal, and other locations. He is a fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and Explorers Club and he is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Science Foundation. He has been a visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute, Clark Art Institute, the Australian National University, and National Museum of Australia.
Bill Gilbert has served on the faculty in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of New Mexico since 1988 where he holds the Lannan Endowed Chair as director of the Land Arts of the American West program. Gilbert is also the co-founder of the new Art & Ecology emphasis in studio art and has recently been appointed as Acting Dean of the College of Fine Arts. Gilbert has exhibited his place based, mixed media installation and video works internationally since 1981. He received a Lila Wallace Arts International Grant in 1994 to work with the Quichua people of Ecuador and has curated numerous exhibitions and written essays regarding the work of indigenous artists from the US Pueblos, Juan Mata Ortiz Mexico, and Pastaza, Ecuador. In 2009, the University of Texas Press released Land Arts of the American West, co-authored with professor Chris Taylor. Gilbert served on the steering committee for the LAND/ART New Mexico project and has authored the introduction for the culminating book to be published by Radius Books.
Catherine Page Harris
Catherine Page Harris, Assistant Professor, teaches Art and Ecology in the Art and Art History Department at the University of New Mexico. She received her BA from Harvard University in 1988, her MFA from Stanford University in 2005 and her MLA from UC Berkeley in 1997. Harris received a fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center, created a Sustainability Master Plan for their campus, and a solo art show. She works with the Center for Land Use Interpretation and spent a funded residency in Wendover, UT. She has practiced as a landscape architect, working on public and private projects. Harris participates in a working group for the Long Term Ecological Research Network on Arts and Humanities at the LTER. Harris is a founding member of Topographia Collective and Survival Kit Collective. Harris’s art work has been shown in venues from the Lab in San Francisco to Emily Harvey Gallery in New York City. Permanent built work resides at Deep Springs College and The Violin Shop in Albuquerque,NM among other sites. She is currently working with Mark Nelson, Env. Engineer and Meridel Rubenstein, artist, to design and build a wastewater treatment garden in Southern Iraq. Her current work looks at ecological flows and human habitation – in particular water.
Rijin Sahakian (b. 1978, Baghdad, Iraq) has developed multidisciplinary arts programs in the United States and internationally. Sahakian has presented work on contemporary Iraqi art and culture at universities and cultural institutions including the World Bank, Arizona State University, Stanford University, the Dubai Film Festival, and the Arab American National Museum. She has also consulted and acted as a producer on various film and exhibition projects, including feature film Detroit Unleaded; the Iraq:Reframe project at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California; and the Desert Initiative at the ASU Art Museum. She received her M.A. in Contemporary Art and Cultural Policy from New York University. Sahakian served as public programs curator as well as catalogue essayist for the Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2011. She was awarded a graduate Fulbright Fellowship for her research on contemporary Iraqi art in Amman, Jordan, where she was also a visiting scholar at the Columbia University Middle East Research Center. Sahakian founded Echo/Sada for Contemporary Iraqi Art in 2010, which she currently directs.
Kade L. Twist is an intermedia artist and one of the co-founders of contemporary Indigenous artist collective Postcommodity. As an individual artist and member of Postcommodity he has exhibited work nationally and internationally, including the Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ; Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, CA; Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY; National Museum of the American Indian, Gustav Heye Center, Smithsonian Institution, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, NM; Nuit Blanche, Toronto; Contour: 5th Biennial of the Moving Image, Mechelen, BE; and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum. In 2012 Postcommodity will be featured in the Biennale of Sydney, Adelaide International and Site Santa Fe. Postcommodity have been recipients of grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and Creative Capital. Mr. Twist is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and currently resides in Phoenix, AZ with his wife Andrea Hanley.