2020 Artists: Session I
New York writer Sonya Chung is Writer-in-Residence at Skidmore College and teaches fiction writing at Warren Wilson College. Chung is the author of two critically praised novels, The Loved Ones: A Novel and Long For This World: A Novel. Her numerous works of short fiction and essay appear in leading literary publications. A nominee for the Pushcart Prize, Chung is recipient of the Charles Johnson Fiction Award and is a fellow of The MacDowell Colony. Chung will dedicate her E2C residency to writing an advanced draft of her third work of fiction and will conduct a fiction writing seminar for Walton County high school students.
Singer Songwriter Caroline Cotter’s captivating soprano and awarded original songs of home recall the early works of Mary Chapin Carpenter. A prolific artist and self-taught musician now living in Maine, Cotter produced five albums while touring non-stop around the globe and teaching with the Institute of International Education and the Council on International Educational Exchange. Cotter was Finalist for the 2019 Rocky Mountain Songwriter Showcase Contest, performed in the 2016 30A Singer Songwriter Festival and has since performed at The REP. She will devote her residency to creating a new song collection exploring themes of loss and grief, hope and healing. Cotter will perform new works and audience favorites at The REP Theater on Saturday, January 25th at 7:30pm.
Jeremy Dennis is a contemporary fine art photographer and tribal member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation in Southampton, NY. His stunning visual narratives examine indigenous identity, assimilation and traditional storytelling. Among his many honors and awards, Dennis was one of only ten national recipients of the 2016 Dreamstarter Grant from Running Strong For Our American Indian Youth for his series On This Site. His series Stories was awarded the 2018 Creative Burser Award by Getty Images. A 2016 MFA graduate at Pennsylvania State University, Dennis has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout New York and the Northeast. Dennis’ residency will advance his next researched series, RISE. Dennis offers a portrait and collage photography workshop that is based on storytelling traditions for high school students. He will exhibit at Anne Hunter Galleries and will give an artist talk in Seaside.
Los Angeles-based writer Todd Kessler’s career in children’s television has garnered many awards including 7 Emmy nominations, a Peabody Award and 5 Parents’ Choice Awards. The original creator of Blues Clues (Nickelodeon), Kessler also writes books and plays for young audiences. During his E2C residency, Kessler will develop a new children’s play based on his critically praised children’s books The Good Dog and The Bad Cat. Key scenes will be presented by REP actors before elementary school age students and their parents.
Best-selling author and poet Heather Sellers is an awarded professor of English at the University of South Florida (Tampa). Her works of non-fiction and poetry are widely published in leading anthologies and literary publications. A fellow of Escape To Create (’01), Ragdale and Millay Colony, Sellers returns to Seaside to complete her third volume of poetry set in the Edenic Gulf Coast of Florida, “hurricane-ravaged, over-built and the site of great beauty and mystery.” Sellers will conduct an intensive poetry workshop for Walton County high school students utilizing techniques from spoken word and rap and will give a poetry reading in an E2C salon.
The Escape Ensemble
The Escape Ensemble Residency was inaugurated in 2018 as a music performance and educational outreach residency dedicated to advancing the next generation of international performers and educators. Thanks to a generous grant from The Chapel at Seaside, THE ESCAPE ENSEMBLE returns for a third residency to perform Renaissance and Baroque liturgical masterworks during Sunday worship services in January. Top students of classical piano, violin, cello and french horn at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami, are under the artistic direction of Dr. Dorothy Hindman, E2C distinguished fellow. The Ensemble will visit county schools and libraries and will perform in concert at The REP, 7:30 pm on Saturday, January 11th and at 2:00 pm on Sunday, January 12th. Weather permitting, ensemble members will give pop-up performances throughout Seaside.