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MFA Students

Environmental Art + Social Practice MFA Candidate

Dav Bell is an artist and independent arts organizer who founded and directs the Los Angeles artists’ project Visitor Welcome Center. He is interested in collaborating with kind people to cultivate tangible and creative connections. Through encounter, relationship building, and humor, he sees art as a possibility towards truth and reconciliation. He participates in gift giving, and is interested in how storytelling, lyricism, and craft can flourish in gift economies. Much of his life practice is inspired by his upbringing on an ecological preserve in Southern California, where he was raised in a family of wildlife and environmental conservationists. He explores materials reuse and living sustainably through woodworking and writing. Prior to making a life in the arts, he worked as a firefighter for the US Forest Service and as a park ranger at the Upper Tampa Bay State Park in Florida. He studied visual art at Metáfora School of Contemporary Art in Barcelona and holds a BFA from the University of California Los Angeles.

Environmental Art + Social Practice MFA Candidate

Annika Berry is an interdisciplinary artist originally from Portland, OR. Recently she’s lived in Santa Fe, NM, and Brooklyn, NY, where she worked for artists and collaborated with cowboys and doomsday survivalists. Annika also produces and presents work as one-half of the artist duo “My Husband” (2016–current). She holds a BFA in Film/Animation/Video from the Rhode Island School of Design and has trained as an oral historian and dementia caregiver.

Environmental Art + Social Practice MFA Candidate

Pete Brook is a writer, curator and educator focused on prisons, photos and power. In 2008, he founded the website Prison Photography to speak to issues of visibility, distribution, ethics and abuses within image production. In 2014, he curated 'Prison Obscura' which brought together images about mass incarceration created outside of the documentary tradition. In 2015, Pete co-curated 'Status Update' which took on change and chance (gentrification) in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2016, Pete walked, south to north, across the United States. In 2018, he was awarded the W. Eugene Smith Fund’s Howard Chapnick Award and a grant from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting which funded 8-months of teaching at San Quentin State Prison. Between 2018 and 2021, Pete taught photo history at CSU Sacramento.

Environmental Art + Social Practice MFA Candidate

Kevin Corcoran works with an open interest in sound as medium as it moves through contexts of music, art, communication and place and takes form as performance, publication, installation, and image. His background in percussion and improvisation opens up to field recording practices and place-based making with focus on abandoned and overlooked areas, conditions of excess, processes of decay and intersections of infrastructure and open space. Based in the California Bay Area, he collaborates across disciplines and borders having exhibited locally while performing and publishing work throughout the US, Europe and East Asia. Since 2015 he has co-organized the Mare Island performance series Re:Sound. Kevin holds a BA in Technocultural Studies from UC Davis. 

Environmental Art + Social Practice MFA Candidate

B.1990 Queens, NYC
Drawing and printmaking house the visual practice of Génesis de Las Olas. After receiving her BFA in Illustration from Maryland Institute College of Art, life became an endless road-trip between West Philadelphia, Queer underground Bay Area, Middle Tennessee and New Orleans. In Philadelphia She was a shop monitor for Second State Press, Interned with Philadelphia Printworks and had a 2-year artist residency with 40th Street AIR. Since 2018 she’s had been a collective member of Idyll Dandy Arts (IDA), an artist-led queer land project in Middle Tennessee. Years of living in New Orleans and the Southeast lead to cultivating queer community among a rapidly changing social and environmental climate. In 2022 she completed a Clean Water Certification in Green Infrastructure with Louisiana Green Corps. Using landscaping techniques to manage urban stormwater along with coastal restoration rerouted the artist's social practice. In UCSC’s Environmental Art and Social Practice MFA she’s taken on a cultural practices of Radical Remediation, through printmaking, conservational wetland research and cultivating the importance of Queer and Trans Land Projects.

Environmental Art + Social Practice MFA Candidate

L. Gilbert is a farmer, artist, and educator based in Northern California. They received their BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art in New York, NY in 2017. 

In 2021, L. built a sustainable, off-grid tiny house on wheels. The small mobile house was designed in response to the changing climate and as one approach to the current housing crisis in the Western United States. The 200 sq. ft., mobile dwelling includes solar power, a solar air heater, gray water recycling, a rainwater catchment system, and composting toilet for energy and water conservation. 

At UCSC, Gilbert will engage in research around the intersections of queerness and rural life throughout the history of California and into the present moment. The practice of growing, cooking, and sharing food will be at the center of this community-based research. Other current research interests include regenerative agriculture, rotational livestock grazing, queer farming, and food sovereignty.

Environmental Art + Social Practice MFA Candidate

As a queer non-binary (two-spirit) Japanese-American Chickasaw conceptual maker, my/our practice reflects on displacement/placement, alongside the recurring themes of queerness, biodiversity, and movement. I/we would describe my/our work as a meditation on materiality as a result of digesting the intersectionalities of my/our being (in collaboration with other life forces). 

I/we use they/them/theirs or we/us/ours pronouns.

Environmental Art + Social Practice MFA Candidate

Leslie is a traveler on an odyssey through the intersecting realms of our climate crisis, from policy, to technology, to land-regeneration. Her past experience includes advising presidential candidates, launching climate start-ups, and getting her hands dirty with land projects across Northern California and Southern Oregon. Drawing on these experiences, her artistic practice works to engage unlikely alliances and germinate new seeds out of narratives of damnation. She is especially interested in building bridges between the arts and emerging technologies, creating new pathways through methods of translation. Leslie holds a BA in Public Policy from the University of Michigan.  

Environmental Art + Social Practice MFA Candidate

Ant(onia) Lorenzo is an interdisciplinary artist, organizer, and graduate student in Environmental Art and Social Practice at UCSC. Their work investigates structures of power, dominance, and distribution while seeking to undermine individualism in art-making through an emphasis on that which emerges during processes of research, improvisation, collection, and curation. They are a graduate of UCSD’s Jacob School of Engineering. 

Environmental Art + Social Practice MFA Candidate

Lee Chang Ming is an artist from Singapore working across photography, publishing, video and writing, and is interested in themes of intimacy, gender, environment and the everyday. His practice contemplates the subjective act of looking and the photographic medium as a process, exploring ideas of optics and haptics. His current research focus includes the intersections of queerness and nature, as well as alternative histories/narratives of marginal communities relating to his identity and ethnic heritage.

He has exhibited at places such as Taipei Fine Arts Museum (Taiwan), basis Frankfurt (Germany), Ilham Gallery (Malaysia), The Substation (Singapore), Komunitas Salihara (Indonesia), and Sa Sa Art Projects (Cambodia), among others. He also runs Nope Fun, an independent publisher and platform focusing on photography and contemporary image making. 

Environmental Art + Social Practice MFA Candidate

Shane Scopatz (he/him) is a dancer, choreographer, and multimedia artist. He grew up dancing in California and graduated from the University of Califonia, Irvine, with a BFA in Dance. He spent most of his professional performance career in Tel Aviv, Israel dancing for the Batsheva Dance Company, the Inbal Dance Theater Company and freelancing. A drive to choreograph environmentally-themed works inspired him to move to the remote desert of the Colorado Plateau, to Corvallis, Oregon, where he received an MA in Environmental Arts and Humanities, and now to Santa Cruz to dive deeper into his practice as an MFA student in the Environmental Art and Social Practice program. Shane believes art is essential in the struggle for environmental and climate justice. In the shell of the old, his performance work aims to build a world of ecological flourishing for humans and the more-than-human.

Environmental Art + Social Practice MFA Candidate

Raty Syka (they/she), aka NUMPIE, is a comic artist and illustrator based in Santa Cruz, CA. With a background in sociocultural anthropology, folklore, and American Studies, Numpie makes comics and visual projects based on ethnographic research. Collaborative works highlight stories of agriculture in California - from the sustainable to the surprising. Raty has also served as a cooperative kitchen worker-owner, an academic advisor for undergraduate art students, and is a proud 4-H alum. Current projects-in-motion include exploring narratives of equine evacuation during the 2020 CZU fires in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties, and highlighting experiences of goat/sheep grazing for fire reduction throughout California.

Environmental Art + Social Practice MFA Candidate

Isola Tong is an artist, architect and activist whose artistic practice is committed to decolonizing transness through vernacular mysticism, indigenous knowledge and gender diversity in the global south. Her bi-cultural Filipino-Chinese upbringing and the tension between her transness and hetero-patriarchal structures influenced her layered and rhizomatic process. She graduated cum laude at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila with a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture. She also studied and worked in Osaka, Japan for several years whose avant-garde movements influenced her practice. She has shown and performed in Korea, Slovenia, Serbia and the United Kingdom. She taught architectural design, theory, and history at the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde School of Design and the Arts in Manila.

Environmental Art + Social Practice MFA Candidate

Grew up a Chicago native, in a neighborhood that bridged nature and concrete. Part of my studio is my kitchen, and my kitchen continues to expand beyond 4 corners. My work speaks from experience in the languages of love and tragedy in the making, consuming, and sharing of food. Utilizing photography, site specific sculpture, and plant foraging to document relationships between human and non-human inhabited environments, familiarity and foreignness of the land that I inhabit versus the land of my ancestral-resided nation, and nostalgia as chronicled via technological archives that simultaneously separate and bind us to present and past moments.

Environmental Art + Social Practice MFA Candidate

Jingtian Zong is a multimedia artist interested in art's power as resistance and social mediation. In the forms of interactive installations, interventions, videos, and adapted objects, her recent work discusses surveillance, collective memories, displacement, and manipulated history in and beyond the contemporary People's Republic of China.

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