Meet 2016 Bernheim Artists in Residence

By Martha Slaughter

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 Bernheim Artist in Residence Program, a central aspect of its Arts in Nature program. Although each artist uses a different form of art, all use nature as a primary reference in their work.

The three artists selected for the 2016 year are photographer and installation artist, Eileen Neff, who lives and works in Philadephia, PA. She will be in residence from mid-May until the end of June and is interested in exploring the natural geography and plant life in the region. Photographer J.W. Fike, from Phoenix, will be in residence from mid-July to the end of August documenting wild edible botanicals in the region. The Common People, a family of three from the United Kingdom, will be in residence at Bernheim from mid-September to the end of October to work on a virtual reality platform, Wood and Pixels, created in Minecraft.

Eileen Neff states that, “Having formally studied painting before photography, and poetry before painting, I consider the ideas and boundaries between disciplines to be more fluid than not.” While in Kentucky, Eileen will set out on field studies to explore the flora of the region. She has numerous museum and gallery exhibitions, and has taught many university courses. She has an M.F.A. in painting from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA, a B.F.A. in Painting, Philadelphia College of Art, Philadelphia, PA and a B.A. English Literature, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

Since 2008, JW Fike (Jimmy) has been engaged in an epic quest to photograph and digitally illustrate a formidable collection of wild edible plants that spans the continental United States. He hopes this grand archive will highlight our country’s rich botanical holdings. He is creating specific exhibitions that connect viewers to their local, natural environments and currently holds a catalogue of over 100 specimens, with an emphasis on plants of the American West. While at Bernheim, he hopes to significantly expand his portfolio to include specimens from our region. Jimmy has an M.F.A. in Photograpraphy from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI, has taught numerous university level courses through out the United States and has been in many exhibtions.

The Common People is a family collaborative between Adam Clarke, Victoria Bennett & Django Moses who live in Cumbria, in the northwestern region of England. Adam Clarke works globally with institutions, museums, schools and companies to find groundbreaking ways to interact with a young game playing demographic. Victoria Bennett is a poet, creative activist and full time home-educating mother. Django Moses is an eight year old boy, free range learner and explorer of the world. He is also aYouTube creator in his own right and has produced his own channel since he was four years old. Together they will design “Wood and Pixels,” an exploratory Minecraft platform based on the wonders of Bernheim.

We look forward to working with each artist, and seeing the ways Bernheim inspires them. Stay tuned to Bernheim’s website and social media for updates.

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