April Residents: Lenny Sideman, Seema Yasmin, Brandon Shimoda, Kathy Conde, Jessica Hankey, Robert Brinkenhoff
Robert Brinkerhoff, Visual Arts; Barrington, RI – Robert is an illustrator, painter and professor, but that constellation of professional activity is always in delightful flux. At Rhode Island School of Design since 1996, he has served many leadership roles at the College, including nine years as Illustration Department Head and, beginning in July 2017, Dean of Fine Arts. His curriculum development—for both RISD and other institutions—explores the intersection of illustration, design, writing, literature, semiotics, social justice and narrative theory, as well as studio engagement which transcends arbitrary boundaries in fine arts. Brinkerhoff is committed to both practical and theoretical concerns in the development of young artists and designers in both his teaching and professional activity, and his career as an illustrator and designer has enabled productive relationships with major corporations and institutions of higher learning including MIT, Brown University and Brandeis University, and regional and national magazines. Since 2011 he has been the illustrator for Annenberg VUE: Voices in Urban Education, a publication produced by The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.
Robert has exhibited his paintings, drawings and video work both nationally and internationally and has been awarded artist residencies in the US, Ireland and Italy. From 2007-2009 he served as Chief Critic for RISD’s European Honors Program in Rome and was a Fine Arts Faculty Mentor for the Salama Foundation’s Emerging Artists Fellowship in the UAE, helping shape a studio residency program for young Emirati artists. In service to the illustration profession he was Education Chair for ICON7: The Illustration Conference, and ICON8’s Vice-President from 2010-2014. In 2015 RISD hosted the Illustration Research Symposium: Illustrator as Public Intellectual under his co-leadership and organization.
Kathy Conde, Fiction; Superior, CO – Kathy Conde’s work has appeared in Atlanta Review, Crab Orchard Review, CutThroat: A Journal of the Arts, New Poets of the American West, Orbis Quarterly, Poetry East, South Dakota Review, Southword, Underground Voices, Word Riot, and others. She has received prizes and scholarships from the Salem International Literary Awards, Crab Orchard Review, the Munster Literature Centre, Aspen Words, CutThroat: A Journal of the Arts, and Writing by Writers and has recently been a finalist at Glimmer Train and New Letters. In addition to the Millay Colony residency, she has also been awarded residencies at Playa and Writing by Writers. She holds an MFA from Naropa University and is past fiction editor for Bombay Gin, Naropa’s Literary Magazine. She has lived in the Rocky Mountain West, herding cattle and training horses, and in Spain, teaching English as a second language, and has traveled in South America, India, Nepal, Japan, and Europe. She now lives in Colorado with her husband and son.
Jessica Hankey, Visual Arts; Ithaca, NY – Born in Los Angeles, California in 1979, Jessica Hankey graduated from Bard College in 2003 with a BA in Studio Art and Latin American Studies. She received an MFA from UC Berkeley in 2014 and was a resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2015.
Hankey has exhibited nationally and internationally, at institutions that include the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, CA. She has participated in recent exhibitions at HERE in New York, NY and CTRL+SHFT in Oakland, CA. In the summer of 2017 Hankey will begin work on a site-specific project at the Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at the University of Texas, El Paso.
Lenny Seidman, Composing; Philadelphia, PA – Lenny is a composer and tabla player whose work since the early 90’s has focused on contemporary applications for tabla with emphasis on collaboration with predominantly non western drumming and post modern and non western dance traditions. He is co director of Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra (20 years) that unifies the drumming traditions of Afro Cuban bata, North Indian tabla, Afro Brazilian samba and West African djembe. He toured internationally as a music collaborator and performer with pioneer hip hop choreographer Rennie Harris’ “Facing Mekka” for 70 shows over a 4 year span. His international touring also includes Atzilut (Arabic/Jewish Middle Eastern music), Philip Hamilton’s Voices and Group Motion Dance Co. Lenny has also performed with such musicians as Zakir Hussain, Simon Shaheen, Kenny Endo, Michael Daugherty, Yair Dalal, Butch Morris, Yacouba Sissoko, and choreographers/dancers Michael Sakamoto, Viji Rao, Cynthia Lee, Helmut Gottschild, Cheng-Chieh, Sen Hea Ha, Ananya Chatterjea, Kim Arrow and Pallabi Chakravorty. He is the composer for Nadine Patterson’s feature film “Tango Macbeth”, helped develop the percussion music and performed in the contemporary opera “Ghosts of Monticello” by composer Garret Fischer and directed by Emily Martin, and was commissioned by Kim Arrow for his “Quasimodo in the Outback”, Helmut Gottschild for his “Meet Mr. R” and Ballet X’s Christine Cox. Lenny was a guest artist at Swarthmore College’s Department of Music and Dance for 12 years collaborating with their taiko and gamelan ensembles, teaching tabla and working with the kathak classes.
He was awarded residency fellowships at APPEX (Asian Pacific Performing Arts Exchange) at UCLA and Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA. His creative work has been supported by Independence Foundation, PA Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, Pew Center for Arts and Heritage and Philadelphia Cultural Fund. Lenny has studied tabla with Zakir Hussain, Ishwar Lal Misra, Chhote Lal Misra and Kiran Deshpande and Carnatic music with Adrian L’Armand. He is also the world music and jazz curator at Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia and teaches tabla privately.
Brandon Shimoda, Non-Fiction; Portland, OR – Brandon Shimoda is a poet and writer. He is the author of several books, most recently Evening Oracle (Letter Machine Editions), which received the 2016 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. Other books include Portuguese (co-published by Octopus Books and Tin House Books) and O Bon (Litmus Press). He is also the co-editor of a retrospective collection of writing by Lebanese-American poet Etel Adnan (To look at the sea is to become what one is; Nightboat Books), and a collection of poems by Wong May (Picasso’s Tears; Octopus Books).
He is currently writing a book about (the ongoing ruins of) the mass incarceration of Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans during WWII. Some of these writings have been published in Design Week Portland, Hyperallergic, The Margins (Asian American Writers Workshop), and The New Inquiry.
He has lived the past few years with his partner, the poet Dot Devota, in Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Kure (Hiroshima), Marfa (TX), Portland (OR), St. Louis (MO), and, for the moment, in Tucson (AZ).
Seema Yasmin, Non-Fiction; Dallas, TX – Seema Yasmin is a poet, doctor and journalist from London currently living in the U.S. She was a Pulitzer prize finalist in 2017 for her reporting with the Dallas Morning News. Yasmin trained in medicine at the University of Cambridge and in journalism at the University of Toronto. She served as an officer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where she investigated disease outbreaks in prisons, bordertowns and tribal reservations. Yasmin won the 2016 Diode Editions poetry chapbook contest. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Glass, Coal Hill Review, Bateau and The Shallow Ends, among others. She is working on a memoir about epidemics, her first full length collection of poems and a biography of an AIDS scientist which will be published in 2018.