Artist Residency

In 2022, The On Being Project’s Artist Residency had the delight of welcoming five artists into our inaugural cohort. Over the course of twelve weeks, residents carried On Being’s grounding questions into conversations with their lives, their art, and with each other:

What does it mean to be human?
How do we want to live?
And who will we be to each other?

Our theory of change at On Being is that the work of human transformation is essential to social transformation. This residency provided a dedicated time and space for the humans behind the art: to reconnect with, explore, and nurture the questions and identities that animate the work of each artist through regular cohort check-ins, workshops hosted by On Being, and a stipend. A few threads and intersections unique to this cohort included (but were not limited to): noticing place/space, attending to the natural world, and honoring lineage.

We invite you to learn about each resident below, and to explore their final projects as a representation of how these questions took on more personal meaning over the course of the residency.

2022 Artists-In-Residence

Giizhigad (Christy B.)

Detroit, MI

is an Anishinaabe artist, filmmaker, and cultural producer based in Detroit. As a storyteller through the main medium of film, she is building a practice of filmmaking that actively embodies liberation. Her creative process is participatory, organic, and emergent in how the stories and people on the other side of the lens are in active engagement, dialogue, dance, and solidarity with the creative concepts conveyed.

Rooted in ancestral knowledge systems, she seeks to create art that opens and reignites neural pathways connected to indigeneity, interconnection, and imagination. She is inspired to guide people through experiences that increase empathy, compassion, and relationship to people and non-human kin. They are passionate about contributing to the landscapes of healing justice, environmental justice, and cultural work by weaving stories into webs, and by mapping and strengthening our relationality. Her praxis in storytelling is rooted in their ancestral knowledge systems as an Anishinaabe person, where stories travel through spacetime and their meanings and lessons are multidimensional. Giizhigad believes stories have the capacity to heal and educate, as well as spark creativity, movement, and change.

Residency Project
on being water

Kah Yangni

Philadelphia, PA

is an illustrator living in Philadelphia, PA. They make heartfelt art about justice, queerness, and joy. Kah’s artistic mission is to heal themself and others by making art that focuses on radical optimism and the power we have to make the world a better place. Kah uses text, vibrating color, screenprinting, drawing, Photoshop, and collage to bring these messages to life.

Kah’s work has been covered by NBC News and Mic, and their poster work is in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. They recently finished a 2,250 square-foot mural in Philadelphia. Kah is currently illustrating a new picture book called “Not He or She, I’m Me” by A.M. Wild, and co-curating an abolitionist billboard series with Performing Statistics.

Residency Project
Breathe It In/Let It Go

Madeleine Jubilee Saito

Seattle, WA

is a cartoonist and designer living on Duwamish land in Seattle, Washington. As an artist, she makes intimate, poetic comics about the environment and the sacred.

Madeleine grew up in rural and post-industrial cities in northern Illinois, and now lives in Seattle. She is a white Lithuanian American woman, a Christian, and an anti-capitalist.

Her work is sometimes called comics poetry, poetry comics, or experimental comics. The interests that drive her work include friendship, formal experimentation, medieval sacred comics, the built environment, solidarity, climate justice, the psalms, a love for the material world, and the sacred.

Residency Project
For living, in climate crisis

Melody Joy Overstreet

Santa Cruz, CA

is a poet, artist, writer, printer, weaver, and community educator. Her work is driven by themes of memory, interconnectivity, and change. She has exhibited her work locally as well as internationally, and has been featured in numerous publications inclusive of Inverness Almanac, Loam Magazine, and The Philosopher. She has helped initiate numerous school gardens featuring edible, medicinal, and dye plants for deepening consciousness of the ways in which nature is interwoven with and sustains our tenuous lives. Her work is inspired by ongoing conversations with place, investigating the meaning of origins, belonging, and reciprocity with our more-than-human kin.

Residency Project
Reverberations: On Memory and Being

Xiaolu Wang

Minneapolis, MN

is a documentary filmmaker, curator, and translator from the Hui Muslim Autonomous Region of China, whose practice is based in the mapping of interiority with the use of video, poetry, memory, translations, and a decolonial lens. Their work has been screened at local venues and international film festivals. They contributed translations to several journals, including 單讀. They are a recipient of the 2019 Jerome Film and Media Grant, and a fellow of DocX Archive Lab 2021-2022 organized by Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. Besides being a practicing cinephilia, they occasionally host podcasts, and frequently read the Tao Te Ching. Their work has been generously supported by Metropolitan Regional Arts Council of Minnesota, Saint Paul Neighborhood Network, Jerome Foundation, Women Make Movies, and UnionDocs. They live on occupied Dakota homeland (present day Minneapolis) with two cats, Marvin and Moto, who sleep on separate couches.

Residency Project
rational intellect

Visit our art department statement to learn more about art at The On Being Project. We also have an open call for artists to submit their portfolios to be considered for future work.