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  ARTISTS 1997-98 


An informal group photo of the 1997-98 artists-in-residence at the RAIR Program.  Also pictured on right is Program Director Stephen Fleming, with wife Nancy and daughter Sienna below.


Fr. Jerry Bleem is a Franciscan Friar whose friary is in Cicero, Illinois.  Jerry holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  His work occupies the territory between sculpture and what is now known as fiber arts.  Father Bleem works with a variety of unusual materials that involve painstakingly repetitious processes. Jerry got to know the community in an unordinary way - by filling in periodically for the parish priests at St. Peter's and Assumption Catholic Churches.  He also traveled to St. Louis for the opening of his one-person show at Pro-Arts Gallery there.


  Al Souza is currently teaching art at the University of Houston and received his M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts.  Al is a painter who examines the character of our perceptions by working on the border between the recognizable and the abstract while using some rather unexpected materials in the process.  He said early on in his residency that he'd done more art in the past two weeks than he had in the past two years.  Al received a Pollack-Krasner grant in connection with his residency to help him purchase materials.  His most recent work involves recombined jigsaw puzzles that produce marvelously rich, nearly abstract images.


   Anne Harris, who completed her graduate degree at Yale University was most recently teaching at Boudin College in Portland, Maine.  She is a painter working in an intense and highly representational approach exploring self-portraiture and her immediate family.  Anne is a Guggenheim Fellow. Anne's husband is the photographer Paul D'Amato whose work has recently appeared in Harper's Magazine.  Their son Max was almost three when this picture was taken.


  Sculptor Jane South came to us from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she completed her M.F.A.  Jane's work is nonobjective and experimental in nature but with a strong sense of form which is also characteristic of her large drawings.  Originally from London, England, Jane was first trained as a set designer at London's Central College of Art.  Jane now works in iron and concrete.  She traveled to New York during her residency to install some large works at the Socrates Sculpture Park.

  Steve Levin and his wife Aida  Laleian  have been teaching at Williams College in Massachusetts.  They and their five-year-old daughter Cleo arrived in Roswell on Christmas Eve during a lull in one of this years unusual snow storms.  Both Steve and Aida hold MFAs from The University of California at Davis where they met.  Steve's paintings are scrupulously rendered still-lifes that harbor subtle narratives.   Aida works with black and white photography and computers to generate whimsical, poignant self-portraits as figures in classical statuary.  Cleo attended kindergarten in Roswell at Military Heights Elementary School.


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