Monday, Sep 7, 2020

Session (47) Artist Talks


Please join us on Zoom, on Tuesday, September 7 at 5 pm to meet our Session 47 Fellows – David Gilbert, Ndinda Kioko, Luis Mejicanos, Gretchen Schrafft, and Sarah Smiley – and hear about their work. Email [email protected] for an invitation.

David Gilbert is a discerning scavenger of poignant and beautiful things. He composes ephemeral vignettes from simple materials such as fabric, yarn, and cardboard and then photographs them. The resulting photographs capture moments of true spontaneity and accident paired with a studied airiness and grace. The images, evocatively lit, become a theatrical record of the transitory scenes Gilbert constructs in his studio.

David Gilbert (b. 1982, New York, NY) lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He received his MFA from UC Riverside in 2011 and his BFA from the Department of Photography + Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU in 2004. His work has been shown internationally in group exhibitions in Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin, and New York, and he has had four solo exhibitions with Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in New York. In 2019, he had his first solo show in California at Rebecca Camacho Presents in San Francisco; writing about the work in that show for Art in America, Matt Sussman said Gilbert is “like a drag queen fashioning a gown out of trash, [he] proves glamour is not so much about what you have as what you do with it.”

He was the artist-in-residence at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2015 and a resident at Yaddo in the spring of 2019. In 2015, he presented Duets (a performance with Paul Pescador) as part of Performa15 in New York. His work has been written about in The New York Times, The New Yorker, XTRA Magazine, BOMB, and Art Review, and is in the collection of LACMA. In a feature appearing in the February 2019 issue of Artforum, Wayne Koestenbaum wrote Gilbert is “a photographer whose beat is the afterlife as it takes place now, in this studio, this room, among these bedclothes and paint stains and wigs and strings.”

Ndinda Kioko is a writer and filmmaker with an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from the University of Oregon. Her work has appeared on several platforms and publications including The Black Warrior Review, The Trans-African, BBC Radio 4, Wasafiri Magazine, DRR, and Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara. She has written and produced two TV shows for South African pay television channel M-Net. She is a winner of the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, the Wasafiri New Writing Prize, and the Black Warrior Review Fiction Prize. From 2018-2020, she was an Olive B. O’Connor Fiction Fellow and a visiting assistant professor at Colgate University. Ndinda has also received support from the Blue Mountain Center, MacDowell, and Yaddo. Ndinda is currently a story editor at the Global Press Journal and a mentor for the Aspen New Voices Fellowship. She is working on her first novel.

Luis Mejicanos (b. 1995) is a Guatemalan-American artist living and working in Miami, FL. He graduated magna cum laude from Fordham University in 2018 with a dual degree in Visual Arts and Art History. His residencies include Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art and Music, Vermont Studio Center, and the Wassaic Project. He has shown in New York, Connecticut, and Miami; recent exhibitions include a solo exhibition with Deanna Evans Projects and The Wassaic Project’s annual summer exhibition.

Gretchen Schrafft is a writer and educator, currently a PhD candidate in Literary Arts at the University of Denver. Her fiction, reportage, and reviews have appeared in Carve, Joyland, Hobart, The Rumpus, The Huffington Post, and San Francisco magazine. She’s received support for her work through fellowships and scholarships from Hawthornden Literary Retreat, San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, Mineral School, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers, and Vermont Studio Center. She’s at work on a novel and a short story collection.

Sarah Smiley is a painter based in Los Angeles. She received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work will be included in upcoming exhibitions at Lowell in Portland, OR, Here Gallery in Pittsburg, PA and SPRING/BREAK in New York, NY.