Hart James, Sandra Jackson-Opoku and Caitlin Horsmon with Escape to Create
Sandra Jackson-Opoku is an awarded poet, fiction writer and journalist. Her first novel, The River Where Blood Is Born, won the American Library Association Black Caucus Award. Based in Chicago, Jackson-Opoku has published numerous works of fiction and books on Africana literature, travel writing and African American studies. Her works have received many awards including the National Endowment for the Arts and a Ragdale Foundation U.S.-Africa Writers Fellowship. Jackson-Opoku will write final draft of In The Wind, a collection of short fiction about black women’s travels, crossing bridges of class and identity to reinvent themselves as global citizens. She will read excerpts from selected works, taking the audience on a multi-cultural journey to far-flung locations throughout the African Diaspora. Jackson-Opoku will also present “The Place Is The Thing,” a writing workshop encompassing geographical, cultural and atmospheric characteristics that create a place unique.
A Southern California native who began her career with the Chicago International Film Festival, Caitlin Horsmon’s experimental and non-fiction media work have been exhibited worldwide. Her film Themes & Variations for the Naked Eye was selected as one of 50 Best Avant Garde Films & Videos of the 2000’s by Nicole Berent. Horsmon will complete a rough edit of her newest film, a lyrical exploration of and elegy to the few remaining glaciers in Glacier National Park and the tourism that surrounds them. She will screen a selection of her documentaries at The REP with discussion on the role of art in activism. An Associate Professor and Co-Chair of Communication: Film and Media Arts at UMKC, Horsmon will also conduct a student filmmaking workshop from brainstorming to story completion to creation of a short animation or hand-made film.
Visual artist Hart James approaches the canvas with a strong palette of oils and a joie de vivre for the natural world. Following the example of great artists such as Picasso, Zola, and Bach, James’ abstract landscapes capture the very beauty and life force of existence in bold, chiseled strokes. Based in Mendocino, California, she has exhibited throughout the West Coast and her works are held in national and international collections. During her residency, James will produce a series of round paintings inspired by the Japanese Kanji symbol Enso, the circle representing infinity, the true nature of existence and enlightenment. James will exhibit the work in Seaside, give an artist talk and visit middle school art classes.