fbpx

PLAYA News

renee couture

renee couture

Motherhood is the current focal point of Renee Couture’s work. Created from within her mothering experience, she has a diverse practice, encompassing sculpture, photography, and drawing. Couture has a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Studio Art and Spanish from Buena Vista University . In 2010, Couture earned her M.F.A. in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Art. She has been granted artist residencies at Jentel Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, and Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and Ucross Foundation. Couture currently works as a Project Manager with the Percent for Art/Art in Public Places program managed by the Oregon Arts Commission.

meredith star

meredith star

Meredith Starr is an interdisciplinary artist living in NY who creates interactive moments in her installations using AR and VR. She earned her BS in Studio Art from NYU, her MFA from LIU. She has three apps published to the App Store for iOS devices- Plastic Swim AR, You Are Here VR and Balancing Act AR. Her work has recently been published in Suboart Magazine, Art Seen: Curator’s Salon, and is featured in the fall 2022 publication of CALYX, A Journal of Art and Literature by Women. She has shown nationally and internationally, notably in Oslo, Norway, Seoul, Tokyo, and New York. She recently exhibited work from Are You There? in an installation at the Great Portland Metro station curated by ArtSpace Innovations and has shown Plastic Swim at Local Projects, in Queens NY, Balancing Act AR as part of the Turning Tides exhibit at the Target Gallery in Alexandria, VA, and You Are Here VR at Tomato Mouse Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. In the summer of 2023, she completed a residency at Zero Foot Hills in Connecticut. Starr is an Associate Professor of visual arts at SUNY Suffolk, and is the Vice President of Membership for the FATE (Foundations in Art Theory and Education) Organization. When she’s not in the studio you can find her on a run, pausing to photograph a sculptural arrangement of trash at the curb.

paige kaptuch

paige kaptuch

Paige Kaptuch’s work has appeared in Swamp Pink, Epiphany, Door is a Jar, The Masters Review and Hayden’s Ferry Review, with a feature forthcoming in Runner’s World. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Arizona and has received fellowships from The Volland Foundation, Jentel, and Vermont Studio Center. She lives on Colorado’s Western Slope and is working on a novel.

alice langlois

alice langlois

Alice Langlois is a stop-motion animator and musician from rural Western Massachusetts, the place which fostered her deep love for nature and the environment. From leaves and seed pods to feathers and scales, elements of the natural world are an integral part of Alice’s artistic process, making their way into her films, music, and sculptures. Currently living and working in the animation industry in Portland, OR, Alice can often be found discovering strange creatures or gathering moss in old-growth forests.

mackenzie evans smith sajan

mackenzie evans smith sajan

Mackenzie Evan Smith Sajan’s writing has appeared in the North American Review and ZYZZYVA and has received support from Hedgebrook, Hawthornden Castle, the Elizabeth George Foundation, and the U.S. Fulbright Commission. She lives in Oregon with her family.

Melissa hart

Melissa hart

Melissa Hart is the author of the memoirs Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood (Seal Press) and Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family (Lyons Press), as well as the creative nonfiction book Better with Books: 500 Diverse Books to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens (Sasquatch Books). Her short memoir has appeared in Longreads, Real Simple, CNN, The Washington Post, Slate, The Advocate, and numerous other publications. She lives in Eugene, where she loves to bike and hike, run and ski, read and wander through the forest taking pictures of slime molds. Website: www.melissahart.com

mary welcome

mary welcome

Mary Welcome is a multidisciplinary rural cultural worker. As an artist- organizer, her projects are rooted in community engagement and the development of intersectional programming to address equity, cultural advocacy, inclusivity, visibility, and imagination. She brings a nuanced perspective to the contemporary field, as an organizer working in service to small towns; as a cultural producer across American geographies; and as a facilitator of place-based arts programming. She currently serves as the Artist-in-Residence for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). Her partners include Cabin- Time, Homeboat, M12 Studio, Brokeback Palouse, the Department of Public Transformation, Art of the Rural, Springboard for the Arts, and the USPS.

lynn robb

lynn robb

The artist Lynn Robb lives and works in Santa Monica, California. Her photographs and prints have been exhibited in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica. Recent projects include explorations of architectural construction and of wildfire burn sites in California. She has published two monographs of her photos: Morning Walk One, and surface | tension.

juan alvarado valdivia

juan alvarado valdivia

Juan Alvarado Valdivia was born in Guadalajara, Mexico to Peruvian parents and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the author of ¡Cancerlandia!: A Memoir and Ballad of a Slopsucker, which was a 2020 International Latino Book Award finalist for Best Collection of Short Stories – English or Bilingual. In 2021, he served as a mentor to two aspiring writers in the Latinx in Publishing Writers Mentorship Program. His short stories and personal essays have been published in Prairie Schooner, The Acentos Review, Black Heart Magazine, The Cortland Review, Mount Hope, Origins Journal, and Thread.

jenny noyce

jenny noyce

Jenny is a fiction writer who recently completed her first novel. She is a school and community booster, nature enthusiast, former academic, and proud parent of two young kids. She works as a freelance writer and editor.