About CAC Artist Residencies

The CAC's Artist Residencies are an application-based program offering time, space, resources, and professional development opportunities for both visual and performing artists in New Orleans. Each summer, performing artists and companies are selected for intensive two-week residencies in the CAC's Black Box Theater with support from CAC technical and curatorial staff. The residents return in August to rehearse and perform work-in-process showings, open to the public.

Save the Date: 2021 Performing & Visual Arts Showcase

August 27 – 29, 2021 at the CAC Blackbox Theater and 2nd Floor Galleries

Join us for a weekend of exploring bold new work by the CAC's 2021 Artists-in-Residence! August 27, 28, and 29, 2021, join us for opening weekend of our 2021 SOLOS exhibition featuring works by CAC visual artists-in-residence, and nightly performance showcases featuring works-in-progress by CAC performing-artists-in-residence. Stay tuned for tickets and other details, coming soon!

2021 Visual Artists-in-Residence

kai barrow (b. 1959, Chicago) is a visual and performance artist who lives and works in New Orleans. Barrow is interested in the praxis of Black radical imagination. Experimenting with the idea of an abolitionist art vernacular, her sprawling paintings, installations, and sculptures are formed in traditional and non-traditional environments to transgress biological, ideological, and carceral borders. Barrow’s found object sculptural installations, performances, and environments use materials such as dirt, rope, coffee, indigo, cotton, branches, and bones as a visual and ethnographic language. Together with her four muses: Absurdity, Sarcasm, Myth, and Merriment, the work performs queer, Black, feminist theory as an aesthetic genre. Barrow is a self-taught artist. She is a member of Alternate Roots and a founding member of Gallery of the Streets, a national network of artists, activists, and scholars who work at the nexus of art, education, social change, and community engagement. Artist residencies, fellowships, and awards include the Joan Mitchell Center (9/20-2/21); A Studio in the Woods (9/19), the Weavers Project Fellowship (2017-2019), and the Kindle Project’s “Makers Muse” award. In 2020, barrow was awarded a “YBCA 100” award for her work at the intersections of art and activism.

Ellen Bull is a costume and scenic designer working primarily in theatre and film in New Orleans. She pairs her background in painting and printmaking with her theatrical designs to create whimsical works in textiles, puppetry, costumes, and scenic installations. Her works enjoy exploring the absurd as well as the practice of reimagining materials into new wholes.  Much of her art works to facilitate story through the use of visuals, with an emphasis on character development through the use of costumes, scenic elements, and props. She has designed each for stage and screen, inhabiting period settings, the present, and many fantastical and abstract worlds. Ellen received her BA from Tulane University in Studio Art, Art History, and Women’s Studies and her MFA in Theatre Design (Costume and Scenic Design) from Tulane University in 2019.

J. Knoblach lives and works in New Orleans but was born in Slidell near Honey Island Swamp. The combination of running cross country and track and studying feminist body art led to an interdisciplinary practice rooted in performance. Byproducts of a physical action may become sculpture, photography, video, or text. In some instances, the audience is invited to interact directly with the work, such as the installation "Dial Zero." Solo exhibitions include 'Magenta Alert' at Staple Goods (2017) and 'Welcome to the #socialartwork' at Good Children Gallery (2014). Group exhibitions include Artsy via LeMieux Galleries, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, the Ogden Museum, the Louisiana State Museum, the New York Transit Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in NY, Makeshift Museum in L.A., Museo de la Ciudad de México, LABOR Gallery in Mexico, Pari Passu Gallery in Queens, UNO St. Claude Gallery, Barrister's Gallery, The Front Gallery, Antenna Gallery, Boyd Satellite Gallery, and Fossil Free Fest. Publications include 101 Contemporary Artists, New Orleans Art Review, Artvoices Magazine, and special collections include Koç University (Istanbul), the Collins C. Diboll Library (New Orleans), as well as in private homes. Knoblach is a member of Staple Goods Gallery off of St. Claude Ave.

Keysha Rivera is a New Orleans-based multidisciplinary artist with a focus on textile exploration. As a Puerto Rican artist, Keysha Rivera is interested in exploring the intersections of place, identity, and the body. Her paintings pay homage to the Caribbean, the African diaspora, indigenous ancestry, and the generational relationship to colonialism and imperialism by using corresponding colors, themes, and elements. She uniquely uses fabric a life processing tool that manifests into intricate creations. 

2021 Performing Artists-in-Residence

paris cyan cian is a movement architect working with and through various interdisciplinary forms of dance, drawing, film, photography, and sound. Rooted in New Orleans, cyan’s creative work crosses at the intersections of Black girlhood futurity, ecology, and ritual/offerings, centering re-memory and durational play through Black (queer) feminist methodologies. cyan is committed to embodied practices of cosmic love and worldmaking, centered in joy and gratitude. Performance exhibitions/installations, practices, and organizing include Merde Project Artist, Eleanor D. Wilson Museum Virginia, Radical XChange, Saint Heron, BlackGirlGeniusWeek/SOLHOT, No)one. Art House LA, and Dancing Grounds. cyan cian received her BFA/BA in Dance with a concentration in social justice, gender women’s studies from Hollins University (2018) and is a current candidate in the Masters of Fine Arts in Choreography program at Roehampton University, London, U.K (2021). 

Jarrell Hamilton is a Mother, Choreographer, Performer, Educator and Writer. A graduate of Tulane University Theatre and Dance Department Master of Fine Arts Interdisciplinary Dance Program (Choreography and African-American Studies), Hamilton is a 7-time Big Easy Classical Arts Award nominee, 2016 “Best Modern Presentation,” 2013 winner for “Best Contemporary Choreographer,” 2018 "Best Ensemble" (Ain't Misbehavin'), Coming Up Taller Awardee for President's Committee and Humanities and Tulane School of Liberal Arts Fellowship Awardee. Currently, Hamilton is Founder/ Artistic Director of JH+ De La Soul Dance co., a New Orleans based dance company that creates original, interdisciplinary work in dance-theatre, film, performance, cultural work, and conceptual art that seeks to elevate and make equitable the stories of Southern culture, rooted in contemporary Afro-New Orleans traditions.  Hamilton love's life, quiet moments by the water, and a good bowl of gumbo-extra rice. Her life's mission is to help others create abundance, creativity, and an elevated sense of self, cultivated from within.

Rebecca Elizabeth Hollingsworth is a multidisciplinary artist and theatre maker based in New Orleans. Her main artistic goal is to merge performers and design elements to offer audiences individualized immersive experiences of femme driven narratives. Mentored from childhood by an Emmy Award winning SFX artist, Rebecca’s work explores hyper-realistic moments of horror juxtaposed with the fantasy of a highly designed theatrical environment. She facilitates development by providing collaborators with throughout research, a distinct vision, and a supportive environment to encourage a common creative language. Her devising credits include Alleged Lesbian Activities (Last Call) and Nocturnes (Skin Horse Theatre) and she is a member of The Radical Buffoons.

The Graduates, founded in 2012, is a New Orleans-based performing arts organization comprised of former members of the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women (LCIW) Drama Club. Current ensemble members include: Taece Defillo, Carry Emerson, Jackie Hall, Ivy Matthis and Fox Rich. The Graduates and the LCIW Drama Club are co-directed by Kathy Randels of ArtSpot Productions and Ausettua AmorAmenkum of Kumbuka African Drum & Dance Collective and were initially co-produced by these two companies.Their performances focus on the experiences that women from Louisiana have when they interact with the prison system and are designed to move and motivate audiences to become active in helping to end mass incarceration in Louisiana. 

This residency is part of Inter[SECTOR], the CAC’s three-year multidisciplinary arts programming centering cross-sector engagements with the fields of carceral justice, healthcare, and the environment. During the 20-21 season Inter[SECTOR] examines the impact of mass incarceration on our community through performances, workshops, and virtual conversations created and led by women and non-binary artists alongside individuals impacted by the in justices in the prison system. The Graduates Rising are Robert Rauschenberg Racial Justice Fellows and their work has been supported by Alternate ROOTS, The Mellon Foundation, and Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans.

re:FRAME is a New Orleans-based dance collective that supports curious practitioners interested in how aesthetics, practice, society, and politics influence both their existence and movement research processes. It intends to be a platform for individual choreographic initiatives that culminates in an annual festival in New Orleans, and aims to support process-oriented movement-based research practices and cultivate a less product driven arts eco-system.

The cultural initiative was launched in 2019-20 with partnership and support from the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans and other local organizations. re:FRAME Practitioners with an interest in alternative systems and modes for developing and cultivating artistic community, exchange and sustainability. It is a quasi-festival for those interested in questioning, conversing, and experimenting with what it means to participate in a collective, self-organizing, artistic research community. 

Current re:FRAME Artists & Projects Include:

  • "An Animal Dance" by Ann Glaviano
  • "A Little Bump in the Road" by Jeremy Guyton
  • 6がつのとおいからだ ("Far Bodies in June") by Ryuta Iwashita
  • The CASSANDRA Project by Meryl Murman with Yanina Orellana
  • "river, river, river" by Shannon Stewart