Aaron Czerny – SNC MFA-IA Class of 2017 – echo/locator

“We see on our shelves, in Handsome Volumes, the Works of old Authors who lived and wrote before the invention of printing; but how few of us ask ourselves the questions: Where are the originals of which these books are the copies? And what authority have we for the genuineness of the text?” – William Forsyth

Aaron Czerny is an interdisciplinary artist very much concerned with the new epoch of the Anthropocene and the creation of “shifting context zones” that include made and found objects in stylized exhibitions. Czerny positions himself as a “ritual facilitator,” in his work through the use of performance, video installation and the creation of educational ephemera. Aaron doesn’t navigate what it means to be human in the work he mounts; he archives the way we navigate our humanity. In making this attempt, he allows authorship to transfer to those who enter into the spaces he creates.

Aaron Czerny - Interdisciplinary Artist - via pati sacra (details) - 2017 -multimediaAaron Czerny - Interdisciplinary Artist - wilderness radio-2016-multimediaAs a viewer, to be in the work is to activate the space. It is this feedback loop that creates the work, hewn together from the discarded and created utilitarian materials therein and the observers’ entry into the exhibit. Disconnected from their original context, Czerny seeks to assuage Kim Carson’s musings over a found arrowhead in The Place of Dead Roads: “This artifact, shaped to fill a forgotten need, now has no more meaning or purpose than this arrowhead without the arrow and the bow, the arm and the eye.” As if answering this line directly, Aaron joins with his audience in seeking possible purpose and meaning for the materials in his “anthropological collage.”

In echo/locater,  Czerny exhibits an object called resonator. A finely crafted wooden box containing a collection of objects, Aaron shipped the box with a set of instructions outlining how to use and add to the resonator object. Hence, a resonator returns to the exhibit bearing the marks of ten artists’ activation, an archive to be joined to the archive — a collage of notions around human activation.

Aaron Czerny Aaron Czerny is a trans-disciplinary artist engaged in investigating the complex dynamics embedded within the concepts of wildness and domestication. His work, which utilizes a wide range of materials, media, and exhibition strategies, has been exhibited and collected nationally and internationally. He pursued undergraduatestudies at the San Francisco Art Institute and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Sierra Nevada College. Czerny was the recipient of the SNC MFA-IA Artist Grant (2015-2017), the Transart Institute Earth Awareness Award (2014), Can Serrat artist stipend (2013), and the SFAI Sobel Award (1992-1996). He currently resides and works north of San Francisco.


Mary Grace Tate – SNC MFA-IA Class of 2017 – All That But Nicer

All That But Nicer - Mary Grace Tate - 2017Neon. Flowers waiting in an ice bucket. A swan made from your bath towel to greet you. Mary Grace Tate captures the landscape of life we take for granted, transforming each space she enters into an appreciation of the hidden lines around us every day.

There is an earnest connection to the everyday made as Tate captures the proximal landscape of lodging and its nearly uncanny imitation of life, in melodramatic fashion. In All That But Nicer, Mary Grace, a member of the SNC MFA-IA program’s inaugural cohort, guides us through an illustrated archive of her painted travelogue.

All That But Nicer - Mary Grace Tate - 2017

All That is the result of six months of stays in roadside motels encircling Lake Tahoe. “From check in to check out, I was the plein air painter of my suite,” writes Mary Grace. In line with her reference to the 19th Century tradition of landscape painting, Tate allows the paint to be paint, melding illusion with observation.

All That But Nicer - Mary Grace Tate - 2017

The result is realism guided by impression and recognizable details, arranged by an appreciative sensibility. All That But Nicer functions as an installed whole, with her archive framed by the lamps and bedside tables of the motel room and arranged around an impressionistic faux fireplace. The window outside the exhibit holds a neon “Open?” sign, humorously referencing the often deteriorating state of motel signage.

As an element of her work, the playful inversion of a familiar holiday excursion is not new. In Fish House/Human House, Mary Grace created a series of five acrylic panels describing the behaviors of homo sapiens alongside informative illustrations that enhance the trouts’ understanding of our lifestyle displayed at the Sagehen Creek  Field Research Station’s Fish House, a viewing area for the Cutthroat trout habitat.

Mary Grace Tate is an interdisciplinary artist currently pursuing her MFA at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, NV. Her work delves into the unintentional residue of our lived experience. The language on plastic bags, neon signs, and scrawls left on bathroom stalls are framed as earnest attempts for connection between the maker and the viewer. Her resulting representational paintings offer a humorous and sincere lens with which to view the world.

Fish House Human House - Mary Grace Tate - 2016 Summer ResidencyFish House Human House - Mary Grace Tate - 2016 Summer ResidencyFish House Human House - Mary Grace Tate - 2016 Summer Residency

Richard Petrucci – SNC MFA-IA Class of 2017 – Tactical Maintenance


Richard Petrucci -Grove 4941, Versailles, France

Grove 4941, Versailles, France

Richard Petrucci is something of a landscaper. Or rather, an archivist of landscapes. Petrucci’s work throughout the Sierra Nevada College MFA-Interdisciplinary Arts program has focused on the human management of our appreciation of nature. As Christopher Thacker writes in The History of Gardens, the first gardens were likely discoveries —  “…such spots are the gardens of the gods, or of those favoured by the gods, so that they need do no work to keep the place in order.” Petrucci’s work explores this question then, exploring our enjoyment of nature, and the notion of “enjoyment” itself as a product of our time.

Richard Petrucci - Parc Andre Citroen 5260, Paris, France 2017

Parc Andre Citroen 5260, Paris, France 2017

In Tactical Maintenance, Petrucci offers an archive of European gardens, controlled natural spaces, meant to be either in conversation with nature or to exhibit human dominance over the natural. The installation of Tactical maintenance offers a mirror of such venues, or avenues as it were.

During the Summer Residency of 2016, Petrucci worked directly on the natural surroundings of the Sagehen Field Research Station, creating entry-ways into nature, and even digitally retouching natural objects using projection. These interventions highlight the drive to apply order to that which, in reality, has an order of its own already.

Richard Petrucci is a Brooklyn, New York-based visual artist working principally with photography, with each installation taking a slightly different form, including digital projections and prints. Often traveling for his work, notions of documentation and the status of the photographic image are at the core of his practice. Richard’s experience as a professional photo retoucher has had a profound influence on his artwork. In his most recent project, Richard traveled to Europe, where he photographed royal and municipal gardens.

Richard Petrucci - Sagehen Creek




Nicole Harper – SNC MFA-IA Class of 2017 – Sensory Superfluous


Incubator Project(ion) Video projection, projection screen mural April 1, 2017 thru May 30, 2017

Incubator Project(ion) Video projection, projection screen mural April 1, 2017 thru May 30, 2017

Nicole Harper seeks the everyday, the banal, the overlooked. When she finds a niche there, she exploits it and activates it with combinations of the materials present with video projection, drawing, signage and sculpture.

During her career as a student in the Sierra Nevada College MFA – Interdisciplinary Arts Program, she has built a serious called Sensory Superfluous. Sensory Superfluous seeks to activate public spaces at their gaps and intersections. A stairway, a stream bed viewing portal, a storefront window — sites where transition requires attention its inhabitants in order adjust to another level, conceptually and physically.

Harper’s portals transfigure and activate the overlooked in ways that require engagement and implication, without forcing perspective or delivering an anvil of messaging. Everyday spaces become active sites for “re-cognition,” as Nicole puts it. A simple re-calibration of spaces, whose function and purpose are generally taken for granted, into a site for sublimation, contemplation or genesis.

Abbreviated Trees - Nicole Harper - SNC Community Gallery

Abbreviated Trees, Detail. Wood, wire, black & white photographs, color video projection January, 2016

Wind & Wiregrass. Steel wire, clay, dried grasses, mummified insects, video projection July, 2016

Wind & Wiregrass. Steel wire, clay, dried grasses, mummified insects, video projection July, 2016

Nicole Harper is a multidisciplinary artist creating art spurred by the influence of affective experience, complexities of existence, and human agency within the natural world. Through an aesthetic language, her aim is to translate imagery and substance into visual poetry, molding layered facets of experience into tangibility. Nicole’s current concern is with activating site-specific encounters to stimulate re-cognition.

Nicole also has served as a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador and a Board Member for the Alabama Fulbright Association.


Susan Bass – SNC MFA-IA Class of 2017 – Embodied Alchemy: Rotating Creation

Susan Bass - Gray Space Gallery - Embodied Alchemy: Rotating Creation – Abstract Sculptures and Mixed Media PaintingsSusan Bass - Gray Space Gallery - Embodied Alchemy: Rotating Creation – Abstract Sculptures and Mixed Media PaintingsAs part of her fast approaching graduation as a member of the inaugural cohort of Sierra Nevada College’s Low-Residency MFA-Interdisciplinary Arts program, Gray Space Gallery presented Susan’s MFA Thesis show, Embodied Alchemy: Rotating Creation. The show took place February 3 to March 19, 2017.

Digging into the mysterious and ambiguous form of porcelain, Susan draws out fragments, attempting to resurrect order and completeness from the duality of modern life that she sees in the in the shards and shapes of reworked ceramic. Her work draws out symbols, ideas of antiquity and modernity from the raw material of clay and seeks to assemble meaning from the disassembled pieces. Her flirtations with chemistry, alchemy and the transformations brought about by the application of fire result in structured forms reaching for new meaning.

Embodied Alchemy: Rotating Creation – Abstract Sculptures and Mixed Media Paintings

Embodied Alchemy: Rotating Creation – Susan Bass

Framing her forms are large-scale paintings that translate the whirling space of the ceramic process into color — an action specific to the medium of clay. The result is an exciting play of multiple mediums and materials in communication, contradiction, and support of each other.

Susan Bass - Gray Space Gallery - Embodied Alchemy: Rotating Creation – Abstract Sculptures and Mixed Media Paintings

Pottery Coast Studio

Susan Bass is a ceramic sculptor and mixed-media artist who works with porcelain, metals, and fire. She is also the owner of Pottery Coast, a community-based ceramics studio with a mission to cultivate a space for those who make. She lives and works on the Central Coast of California.

Susan’s work will be included in the first edition of the SNC MFA-IA Graduating Class Catalog, available later this year. Reserve your copy by contacting Julia Schwadron.


Current MFA-IA Student, Karen Krolak – “This is going to take a while to process…”

Karen Krolak is deeply concerned with pathways. A choreographer at heart, her work winds its way through life’s processes, bringing the audience to sets of instruction and action that result in revelations both in her work and in the participants.

Her work can be seen currently at the Nave Gallery Annex, 53 Chester St, Somerville, MA. The show title In Triplicate, carries a special significance for Karen.

“The exhibit opened on June 3, 2017 -,” says Krolak, “which would have been my mother’s 75th birthday. When I read the call for this show, I immediately began to think about all of the paperwork that had to be filled out in triplicate after the car accident in 2012 that killed my mother, father, and older brother.”

Karen Krolak - This is going to take a while to process... - Nave Gallery Annex

Upon entry to the space of This is going to take a while to process, a river of paperwork carrying short instructions streams into the room. Scattered across the floor and flowing up the walls, they present as a deluge of imperatives with only the currents of the paper path as guidance.

“In my  head, I like to think of this as instructions for the dance of the undead,” says Karen. “Working with Peter Rostovsky as a mentor (in the SNC MFA-IA program) encouraged me to decontextualize my experience as a teacher.”


Karen Krolak - This is going to take a while to process... - Nave Gallery AnnexTo the deluge of paperwork of This is going to take a while to process…, Karen’s previous piece, The Shelf, has lent its audio track. The Shelf employs a robotic voice to tell one side of a death benefits conversation with an officer of the government.

The final movement of This is going to take a while to process… will occur on Sunday, July 2, 2017, from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm. Monkeyhouse will join Karen to present three different performance responses to the installation.

You can process Karen’s work at  Nave Gallery Annex, along with the work of Carlie Bristow and Anthony Febo, Justin Playl and Inguna Gremzde until July 2, 2017.

Second annual Lupita’s Artist Project Grant announced

Sierra Nevada College’s MFA-Interdisciplinary Arts Program is pleased to announce the second iteration of the Lupita’s Artist Project Grant, consisting of $1000 to help fund the creation of new artist projects. The grant is the second in an ongoing series of Artist Grants, which will be made available through SNC’s MFA-IA program in the interest of helping to support artist communities both locally and internationally.Read More


Sierra Nevada College
Interdisciplinary Arts
Low Residency MFA


1008 Tahoe Blvd
Incline Village, NV 89451


Julia Schwadron
Assistant Program Director
P: (775) 831-1314 ext. 7492