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visiting artists program

Since 2009, CSP has invited artists to come work in Bisbee through our Visiting Artist Program.  We love being a conduit for cultural exchange and artists love coming to work here in our facility. The program was founded on a loose guideline that the artists’ work consider and incorporates our community and/or our location here in the southeast Arizona desert. They get a studio and an opportunity to share their practice through workshops,, events, and presentations. CSP has hosted Plein air painters, a printmaker, performance artists, sound artists, filmmakers, installaton artists, and cross disciplinary artists.

Central School’s Visiting Artist Program is funded by the Bisbee Foundation, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona.

January 2023

Sean Slifer

Pittsburgh-based artist Shaun Slifer has been making creative rubbings of historical markers since 2018.

Selecting only certain words and phrases, he focuses on plaques that sidestep colonialism, state oppression, and military violence with truncated accounts that marginalize the motivation and origin of popular revolts, disregard whole communities, and other acts of erasure. Each piece in this ongoing series is created on-site in a deliberately visible, public performance: using handmade earth pigment crayons and wearing a high-vis fluorescent vest, Slifer makes these rubbings during daylight hours wearing a simple costume that gives the suggestion of a municipal worker.

June 2022

Heather Hutchison

Central School is happy to announce Visiting Artist Heather Hutchison will be in residency here for 10 days in June.


Heather will lead a creative gathering at City Park – Bring sketch pads, art, instruments, objects, poems and any creative device or offering of and to the sky. 

Heather will lead a discussion and the appreciation of odes and artists!



In 1969, when Heather was six years old, her family settled in Bisbee, where the bowl of a sky is deep and endless. Her family lived in the Copper Queen Hotel. Central School was the first school Heather attended in Bisbee.


The sky is important to Heather’s work. She frequently references the atmosphere and the sky, which is constantly changing: dawn to dusk, dusk to dawn. The sky is a fundamental,

universal image. The sky is overarching and links us all together. It is the most visible

experience that all humans share.


From Heather:

“The cultural shift in the late 60's attracted many visionaries to Bisbee: visual artists, writers,

musicians, and filmmakers converged and took refuge there. I feel fortunate to have had

inspiring relationships with many of these artists. As a very young person I had independence,

and a studio space where I could mimic my older friends. It was then in Bisbee that I began my

artistic practice. Bisbee’s particular quality of light and artistic community profoundly shaped my ideas about color, space, light, and artistic practice.” 


Learn more about Heather  this interview in Brooklyn Rail

May 2022

Laura Milkins

Visiting Artist Laura Milkin from Tucson will be here at Central School Project May 5 - 26. Laura is an interdisciplinary artist living in Tucson, AZ. Her work explores vulnerability, intimacy, and the body. Her projects highlight the delicate balance and intrinsic role nature plays in our daily lives and the positive influence it continues to have on our bodies and minds. She has received grants, awards, and international recognition for her work, including a Fulbright award to travel and work in Mexico City and the 2019 Tanne Foundation Award.


Laura Milkins Exhibition and artist reception Saturday May 7 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm 

with gallery talk at 6 PM.

Central School will be exhibiting Laura’s Work in Progress Desert Skins and another complete series, Of Birds and Men. Both are works on paper, employing traditional realistic imagery in watercolor. Yet neither are traditional in the subject matter. These works represent the hope for a kinder, cleaner world: better for women, better for men, and better for the plants and animals who also happen to live here.

From January 1-14, 2022, filmmakers Jason Livingston & Cathy Lee Crane will conduct ongoing field work in the borderlands of Southern Arizona. In March 2019, they gathered audio interviews, landscape photography, and cinematic stagings from Naco, Douglas, and Mule Mountain before heading farther south to Humberto de Hoyo’s ranch in Huarche [Cananea, Sonora]. Picking up where they left off in 2019 before the pandemic hit, Cathy and Jason will traverse the territory of the Gadsden Purchase to examine flows, boundaries, borders and archives.  In exploring county records, mining landscapes, and the multi-layered historical processes that shape the region through rivers and fences, they will produce research, edit digital artifacts, and offer public events in the region.

Cathy and Jason are working with artists Laurie McKenna and Erin Wilkerson to develop a novel, engaging way to create a database mix of their own digital outtakes from the Southwest alongside Bisbee community members’ video fragments. Whereas the logic of extraction is violently deliberate, the operative logic of this generative media work is generous, chance-based, and playful. They will gather this local material in the months preceding their assemblage work in Bisbee. In exchange for one week of studio space (January 2-8, 2022) at CSP, this local material will be included in a real-time sampled media piece between each of their own short films at the public screening.



Screening on January 7, 2022 at the CSP: free and open to the public



Cathy Lee CRANE has charted a speculative history on film since 1994. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the New York State Council for the Arts for her cinematic innovations which combine archival material and staged live action. Her body of work received its first survey in 2015 as part of

the American Original Now series at the National Gallery of Art. Her most recent film, *Crossing Columbus (2020), *a feature documentary is part of *Drawing the Line*, a multi-platform work about the Western Boundary of the US/Mexico border. This project was developed with fellowship support from the El Paso Community Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Research Center. She is Professor of Cinema at Ithaca College.

Jason Livingston is a media artist, film programmer, and writer. His writing has been published in *Media + Environment*, *The Brooklyn Rail*, and *Afterimage*.  His award-winning creative work has screened widely, including Sheffield, Camden, Rotterdam, Anthology, the Austrian Museum, and the Vancouver Art Gallery.  *Under Foot & Overstory* is distributed by the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, and *Lake Affect* is available through Electronic Arts Intermix’s Experimental Television Center collection. Funded residencies include the Millay Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Jason is pursuing a practice-based PhD as a Presidential Fellow with the Department of Media Study at the University at Buffalo.  He holds a B.A in Philosophy from Cornell University, and a M.A. and M.F.A. in Cinema from the University of Iowa. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees with the Flaherty Seminar, one of the longest running independent documentary media arts organizations in the world.

(X)-trACTION begins and ends in Bisbee, Arizona.  Local artists were invited to contribute observations of life in Bisbee which are included in tonight’s program as *interstitial seams* that make their way through the sequence of five artists’ films to form a meta mash-up deposit concerned for our climate, our workers, our history and future- the beauty and the failures. Whereas the logic of extraction is violently deliberate, the operative logic of this generative media work [aka tonight’s program] is generous, chance-based, and playful.

Mid-century postcards, front and back, offer invaluable if obscured views in Nicole Antebi’s archival re-animation of Roberto López Díaz’s depictions of *la frontera*.  Geography plays across multiple enactments in Cathy Lee Crane’s video, which asserts the primacy of water and migration in the dust of militarized landscapes.  Laurie McKenna conjures desert punk power in an aggregate of memory and charcoal, and grounds national rupture in a sonic diary.  Erin Wilkerson and Jason Livingston, in their contributions, draw poetic power lines through industry, reminding us that extraction, for all its local magnetism and metal lures, is a view into international dynamics.


Running through the program are Letters from Bisbee, those ants, dollar store parking lots, and water spiders which place the screening in a specific space, the palimpsest sunbaked everyday life of the Borderlands. How is it that the societies we live in produce food deserts while the demand for satellite feeds goes up and up?  What might a supply chain of simple hungry ants tell us?  When we look at plastic bags hung to dry like laundry, do we welcome wind, that great renewable, to re-use?  Does every cracked car windshield need repair?  We extend our gratitude to Lizann Michaud, Pam Rodrigues, Jan Searle. Rafaela Valenzuela, Janet Reynolds, and Laurie McKenna for their participation.




Alan Bull

We were honored to host this renowned painter from Massachusetts. With the help of funding from Bisbee Arts Council and Southern Arizona Community Foundation, Alan’s residency coincided with the annual 2019 Bisbee Plein Air Festival where he was one of our jurors. Although Alan paints a broad spectrum of location types, for his Bisbee residency, he was particularly interested in Lowell with its time warp of classic old cars, signage, architecture and the post industrial mining in the background.

About Alan

Alan Bull is an award-winning plein air painter who has taught classes and workshops for over 20 years.  For the past two years he has participated in the Parrsboro International Plein Air Festival, and also the Cape Ann Plein Air festival in 2016 and 2018.  Originally from Old Town, ME, Alan studied at the Philadelphia College of Art and has worked in a variety of media including oils, acrylics, watercolors, monotypes and pastels. His work is in numerous public and private collections and has been featured in films, magazines, and on cd covers. Alan recently illustrated his first children's book 'Augustus and Me', issued by JAG