Visiting Artists and Artists-in-Residence

Spring 2014 artist-in-residence Bill Bowers

Mime Bill Bowers works with students during a theatre workshop. Bowers served an artistic residency at Dickinson in spring 2014.

Every year, Dickinson welcomes nationally and internationally acclaimed artists, writers, thought-leaders, choreographers, dancers, musicians, composers, multimedia artists and performers to campus to present public readings, lectures and performances. Some also serve artistic residencies, working directly with students in and out of the classroom. Last fall’s residents included an internationally acclaimed string quartet; a celebrated violist and pianist; trailblazing pianist Sarah Cahill and video artist John Sanborne; award-winning short-story writer Lorrie Moore, recipient of the Irish Times International Prize for Literature; and eclectic, globe-trotting ensemble Relâche, which completes its residency at Dickinson in the spring.

Learn more about this semester’s artistic luminaries below.


Michael Wille, abstract art

Artist Michael Wille layers organic and geometric shapes and scrims of transparent color on small-format canvases, inviting the viewer into a geography that is at once familiar and unsettling. An associate professor and interim director at the Illinois State University’s School of Art who has lectured and served artistic residencies at American, Japanese and South African universities, Wille has been included in solo and group exhibitions at the Toledo Art Museum, Space Art Gallery (Pittsburgh), Hoffman LaChance Contemporary (St. Louis) and Thomas McCormick Gallery (Chicago), among others. His works were featured in the 2007 New American Talent exhibition and in New American Paintings and are included in the Toale Gallery’s Boston Drawing Project as well as in several corporate collections.

Wille’s exhibition at Dickinson begins in January, with an artist’s talk on Tuesday, Feb. 10. To view an example of his work, visit the January or February Calendar of Arts page.


Feng Weina, porcelain

Visiting Artist Feng Weina comes to campus through the Sylvia J. Smith Visiting Artist Residency Program. From Feb. 9 through March 27, she will interact with students and produce a body of work in porcelain sculpture.

Born in 1979, Weina is part of a new wave of young Chinese artists who take a fresh view of centuries-old artistic traditions. She hails from Jingdezhen, China—a city world-famous for its fine porcelain—and creates meticulous, delicate and ethereal works that are both modern and timeless, drawing heavily from natural elements. She will use the Goodyear Gallery as an informal workshop and teaching/exhibition space throughout her residency, with special open houses on Feb. 16 and March 16. For details about Weina's public events at Dickinson, see the Calendar of Arts pages for February and March.

Holland Cotter, art criticism

Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic and New York Times senior writer Holland Cotter visits Dickinson on Feb. 19 (7 p.m.) to discuss his distinguished and multifaceted career. Cotter is a Poynter Fellow, a College Art Association Lifetime Achievement Award-winner and former Art in America contributing editor; he received the inaugural Award for Excellence in Criticism from the International Association of Art Critics, U.S.A section, in 2014. He also was for many years a contributing editor to Art in America, an editorial associate of Art News and co-editor of New York Arts Journal. Cotter visits Dickinson through the Jane L. and Robert H. Weiner Lecturer in the Fine Arts program. For more information about his Feb. 19 lecture, visit the February Calendar of Arts page.


Feng Weina, porcelain

Porcelain artist Feng Weina continues her residency with a March 16 open-studio demonstration and exhibition of her works. For more information about this event, visit the March Calendar of Arts page.

Michael Clayville, trombone

Michael Clayville, trombonist, is a member of the Novus trombone quartet, a winner of the International Trombone Association’s Quartet Competition and the first trombone quartet to hold a residency at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music who earned a master’s degree in music at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Clayville has taught music at Dickinson and at Messiah College while maintaining a performance career. He performs with Novus and with Alarm Will Sound, described by The New York Times as “one of the most vital and original ensembles on the American music scene.” For more information about Clayville's joint concert with Dickinson faculty members, visit the March Calendar of Arts page.


Relâche, new music 

Relâche combines flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, viola, piano, bass and percussion to perform “strange, twisted, and wonderful” works (The New York Times) that meld Western classical traditions with jazz, rock, electronica and world music. Since its founding in 1979 by Joseph Franklin and Joseph Showalter, Relâche has released seven CDs and has performed more than 600 world-class concerts across the country and globe, tapping a repertory library of more than 400 works. Approximately 200 of those works were commissions.

Twenty-first-century career highlights include a full-length dance/music commission with music by Guy Klucevsek and choreography by Meredith Rainey; a ground-breaking video, installation and performance commission, by Christian Marclay, co-produced with the Philadelphia Museum of Art; live, accompanied silent-film programs; a concert with the Philadelphia Singers and Orchestra 2001, featuring the first live performance of Philip Glass’ TSE; and special events such as Phil Kline’s cult classic Unsilent Night, CAGE12, a John Cage 90th birthday tribute, and “Revue Relâche,” a 12-hour nonstop music marathon to mark Relâche’s 25th anniversary. Recent residencies include the University of Delaware, Rowan University, the University of Virginia, Rice University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the College of William & Mary.

During its residence on campus, Relâche will present a public performance and will work with students studying music composition and performance. For information about Relache’s April 18 concert, visit the April Calendar of Arts page.

Learn more