Articles Tagged with: Interdisciplinary Arts
Mariah Dekkenga

Winter 2020 residency faculty and upcoming residency deadline

SNC MFA-IA winter 2020 residency faculty: Rob Reynolds / Kara Q. Smith / Sameer Farooq / Ashley Stull Meyers / Michael Perrone / Mariah Dekkenga / Amish Morell / Roman de Salvo

There are a few spots still available to start in Winter 2020. Please get in touch with Julia Schwadron immediately should you have an interest in attending this winter.

Priority deadline has been extended for summer 2020 residency! Apply by February 28, 2020. Apply here.

January 3–12, 2020 will mark the next winter session of the low-residency MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts program at Sierra Nevada College. We are thrilled to invite several new faculty members to teach within our program. Mariah Dekkenga and Michael Perrone will be teaching our Focused Studio Practice course. They are based part time in Vermont, where they run a brand-new artist residency, as well as part time in Qatar, where Michael is on the faculty of VCUarts Qatar. Kara Q. Smith will be curating an exhibition in our Garage Door Gallery and working with MFA students during her visit. Kara is a New Mexico based curator, editor and writer who is currently serving as the Executive Director of Gallup MainStreet Arts and Culture District. Amish Morell is an educator, curator, editor and writer. He is currently Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences & School of Interdisciplinary Studies at OCAD University in Toronto. Along with artist Diane Borsato, he leads Outdoor School, an ongoing project that combines social practice-based art, outdoor education and critical land-based practices. We are excited to invite prospective students to join our growing community of artists and thinkers. With rolling admissions, students will complete their MFA in five consecutive residencies regardless of the semester in which they enter.

The program consists of five intensive 10-day, on-campus residencies during summer and winter sessions over the course of 2.5 years. During the fall and spring semesters, students will work in their home studios and continue relationships with faculty mentors and fellow colleagues remotely through online seminars and other points of contact. While in Tahoe, students have the opportunity to explore ideas about site and location, both literally and figuratively, both through experimental practices and long-term projects.

Our summer 2019 residency was a huge success. Current students and faculty participate from a variety of locales, and across media and discourses. A vital and compelling cross-disciplinary community is forming and growing. Faculty for the program continues to include a rotating list of prestigious Visiting Artists, made up of working artists and teachers from across the country as well as current members of the SNC Fine Arts Faculty.

Previous visiting faculty: Matt Freedman / Amy Khoshbin / Walter Kitundu / Macon Reed / Gabie Strong

About Sierra Nevada College’s MFA-IA
Sierra Nevada College is a small, liberal arts college, located three blocks from Lake Tahoe, within a national forest, on an easily accessible campus in Incline Village, NV. The low-residency MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts is a locus for creative problem solving, fostered by creative thinking with an emphasis on community. The experience and exploration of embodied place is a central element of this distinctive program, encouraging students’ multi-dimensional relationship with their environment both in the Tahoe Basin and within their own communities.

Contact: Julia Schwadron,

Image: Installation view, Mariah Dekkenga. Courtesy of the artist and SITUATIONS, NYC.

Article cross-posted from Art + Education

Artwork by Sam Shear - student work from the Low Residency MFA Program in Interdisciplinary Arts at Sierra Nevada College. Upside Down Church in miniature, by Sam Shear

Sam Shear to Install “Upside Down Church” in Virginia City

Upside Down Church + “An Acoustic Gospel Hour with Jenni & Jesse of Dead Winter Carpenters.” Located in Virginia City, Nv. on the site of an old tailings pile, the opening will take place on Sunday, May 27 at 1 pm.

The Upside Down Church a 1/20 (7′ tall) scale replica of a 19th century Midwest style church, pulled, upside down by 1/3 (2′ tall) scale figures of the Artist Sam Shear. The installation is a physical representation of a personal, visceral experience Sam had during his Grandmother’s funeral service. The piece is a depiction of the stress and weight put on individuals caused by religious viewpoints, greed, power, stature or political stance. Through scale and perception with an American pastoral landscape backdrop, the Upside Down Church conjures thoughts of decay, wear, commitment and contribution.

The construction of four walls, a roof, and a steeple represents the purpose of bringing the community together under a spiritual advisor. Churches are places where people come together and form community bonds. They are a spiritual home, a place of communion and divine intervention. These qualities make abandoned and forsaken churches all the more gloomy and unnatural.

Even in its’ dilapidated state, the Upside Down Church casts a strong and overpowering shadow in the presence of the 1/3 scale figures. Whose struggle is captured in their stance as they pull the weight of the church across the picturesque landscape of Virginia City, NV. The deep trench or rift that trails the church is a metaphor for life and as described in the defects above. The trench is the accumulation of the impact on the individuals around everyone.

In addition to the Upside Down Church, 2018 installation, a 20-minute homily by Father Anton of St. Mary’s in the Mountains will take place. Also during the opening, an Acoustic Gospel Hour w/ Jenni & Jesse of Dead Winter Carpenters will be performed. The installation will remain for three weeks at the “Marshall Tailings” site. The Upside Down Church, 2018 will then be moved to Sagehen Creek Field Station in Truckee, CA as the permanent installation site.

Upside Down Church sign, Sam Shear

What is it?
Upside Down Church, 2018 Art Opening + “An Acoustic Gospel Hour with Jenni & Jesse of Dead Winter Carpenters”

When is it?
1pm- 3pm on May 27th 2018 (5/27/18) See Bulletin Below.

Where is it?
“Marshall’s Tailings” at the corner of Union & R Streets. Across from St. Mary’s Art Center, Virginia City, NV.

RSVP and Directions:


Lupita’s Artist Project Grant awarded to Elena Kendall Aranda

We are pleased to announce the selection of Elena Kendall-Aranda as recipients of the 2018 Lupita’s Artist Project Grant.

Elena Kendall-Aranda is an American, Spanish and French artist currently living and working in New York. Through the investigation of gender theories, Internet culture and mass media practices, she addresses issues of identity and embodiment with photography, text, and new technologies. By conjuring narratives that coalesce and collapse, Kendall-Aranda seeks to use online applications that can operate simultaneously in physical and virtual space to create new meaning that makes us reflect about our social-political culture.

The Lupita’s Artist Project Grant will support the continuation of her project Ghost Town Initiative / Los Despoblados which utilizes Google Maps’ Street View features to create an online space where Internet visitors will be able to virtually stroll through abandoned villages in Spain amongst recreated ghost inhabitants, and by doing so, provide a new perspective on our collective past and present.

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Richard Petrucci – SNC MFA-IA Class of 2017 – Tactical Maintenance

Richard Petrucci is something of a landscaper. Or rather, an archivist of landscapes. Petrucci’s work throughout the Sierra Nevada College MFA-Interdisciplinary Arts program has focused on the human management of our appreciation of nature. As Christopher Thacker writes in The History of Gardens, the first gardens were likely discoveries —  “…such spots are the gardens of the gods, or of those favoured by the gods, so that they need do no work to keep the place in order.” Petrucci’s work explores this question then, exploring our enjoyment of nature, and the notion of “enjoyment” itself as a product of our time.

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Sierra Nevada College
Interdisciplinary Arts
Low Residency MFA


1008 Tahoe Blvd
Incline Village, NV 89451


Julia Schwadron
Assistant Program Director
P: (775) 831-1314 ext. 7492


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