2019 Residents


Elsabé Dixson

In residence: May 10 – 24

In collaboration with Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan

Dixon Elsabé headshotElsabé Dixon is a visual artist focusing on eco and living platforms. Elsabé has exhibited and produced work throughout the United States including the Danville Museum of Fine Art, Danville, VA; Artisphere A.I.R. Center for Contemporary Art, Rosslyn, VA; Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, D.C., The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.; The Textile Museum, Washington DC; The Museum of Contemporary Crafts Pittsburg, PA and the, the A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. Dixon has participated in exhibitions in Schönebeck, Germany; the Ghetto Biennial, Haiti; Istanbul, Turkey, as well as Sichuan China.

Dixon most recently showed work at VisArts in Rockville where her exhibition Mise en Place (Part of a larger 13 curator exhibition called Deep Dive: Art and Transformation) and incorporated collaborations with the Great Harvest Bread Company, the Beall Dawson Museum, and the Montgomery County Beekeepers Association. Curator Laura Roulet oversaw the exhibition, a pollinator panel discussion and VisArts facilitated 10 hands-on public workshops.

Elsabé has directed and engaged in multiple cross-disciplinary educational art projects: The Book of Latent Promises Project, a series of collaborative public art projects with George Mason University faculty and the Floating Lab Collective, at the Ghetto Biennial in Port Au Prince, Haiti, and The Living Hive Project, a Multidisciplinary Provost Grant she received in 2016 while working with the GMU Bee Initiatives Program as well as the Smithsonian Mason School of Conservation and the GMU student run MakerSpace (the MIX).

Born in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, Elsabé immigrated to the US in 1985 and currently lives and works in Virginia. Elsabé received her MFA in New Media from The University of George Mason, and BA from University of Averette, VA, where she studied under Maud Gatewood. Elsabé Dixon is the President of the Washington Sculptors Group (a DC based 501 C3 non-profit which serves the local communities in the triad area of MD, DC, and VA.) and Director of the Living Hive Project while teaching studio drawing at George Mason. Dixon also writes for the East City Art Paper.

For more information on Elsabé’s work please see her website: elsabeloubser-dixon.squarespace.com/

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Marie Alarcón

In residence: May 29 – June 11

In collaboration with Harbor Inc.  and The Loft Coworking Space

Marie AlarconMarie Alarcón is a multimedia artist with a focus on video and sound, based in Philadelphia, PA. She has a B.A. in Non-Fiction Filmmaking and Post Colonial Studies from The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, and a Masters of Fine Arts with a Certificate in Time Based Media, from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Art and Design. Alarcón has worked in community media as an educator and producer since 2006 and currently works at PhillyCAM, the Public access television station in Philadelphia, PA, as their Production Coach.

Alarcón’s art works focus on environmental spaces and the silent historical relationships embedded in the geography, often through sound collage and movement. As a multi-medium artist, they create music/sound design, video art, and performance. Inspired by liminality, hybridity and the way that cinema functions as collective memory, they use digital manipulation and animation in their work, with an interest in digital/analog hybrids that reclaim a tactile relationship to the hyper-real. Her relationship to environment and place is informed by psychogeography, and notions of place and its production. With a focus on the problematic of communication, she continuously asks “how do we express the invisible in a culture of visible evidence?” and “In what ways can technological innovations begin to bridge the experiential gap between ourselves and others?”

For more information on Marie’s work please see her website: mariealarcon.com

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Sizhu Li

In residence: June 14 – 28

In collaboration with Crooked Tree Arts Center

SizhuSizhu Li is a New York based multi-disciplinary artist, originally from China, Sichuan province. She is always fascinated by constructing immersive installations based on her understandings towards human society, nature and universe. This interest was largely cultivated during her college time at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, where she obtained her BFA in illustration in 2016. After two years, her MFA was obtained in Mt. Royal, a multi-disciplinary program in Maryland Institute College of Art. She also graduated as the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship awardee, the largest graduation fellowship for academic excellence. Her work has been exhibited internationally in Beijing, Baltimore and New York.

Artist statement

I construct magical worlds in my work. With everyday work-place objects, I swirl together themes of energy, humility, science, environment, and home to create an enchanting experience. A humorous quality blended with blue emotions are embedded in my art: I treat materials as characters; moreover, with binary-coding controls, simple movements are repeating endlessly. My research combines ancient philosophy and modern technologies to craft a form of futurism. My installations and sculptures are kinetic: using basic coding and sensors, the work interacts with its viewers and the space around it.

I believe the order of our world exists in a binary mode, with every corner maintaining the balance of Yin-Yang. This correlates to the binary language involved in the coding of my work. In Chinese philosophy, the universe creates itself out of a primary chaos of material energy, organized into the cycles of Yin and Yang and formed into objects and lives. Visualizing the balance of forces, energy cycles through my personal emotions, thus prompting me to create immersive 4-D images—ones designed to inspire viewers to rethink their lives.

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Andrea Novak

K-12 Art Educator Residency

In residence: July 31 – August 14

Andrea Novak“I have always enjoyed stories about the lives people live – those so fanciful they become movies, myths/legends and those based on the simple behaviors that make us human.”

Andrea Simons-Novak is a storyteller who works in oil, acrylic, watercolor and bias-relief assemblage mediums. Her work reflects a dramatic “still” in time used by Baroque artists and the combination of classical and contemporary objects and symbols of the Surrealists. The Michigan native enjoys exploring the correlation between human and animal behaviors and expressions observed in nature by staging animals, primarily birds, as characters in her paintings. These figures communicate as the human figure would but in a much more elegant, intriguing, and less obvious manner.

Novak has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan with a concentration in oil and watercolor painting (1995). She studied a semester abroad in Florence, Italy where she was immersed in plein-air landscape watercolor painting and art history. She also holds a Master of Art degree from Eastern Michigan University with a focus in Painting (2003). She has exhibited as a visiting artist at various galleries in Michigan including the Washington Street Gallery in Ann Arbor, the Lawrence Street Gallery in Ferndale, the Ford Gallery in Ypsilanti, and the Main Branch Gallery in Grayling.

Novak has practiced as a K-12 Visual Art Educator for 22 years, the last 19 of which have been with the Walled Lake Consolidated School District where she has taught art to kindergarten to fifth grade students. In addition to delivering visual art instruction, Novak also has developed visual art curriculums (for both the Walled Lake and South Lyon School Districts), units of study, and assessments. In addition, she holds a district representative position on the Oakland County Fine Arts Advisory Council, has coordinated and taught the Walled Lake Visual Art Camp, been the K-12 Student Art Exhibition Coordinator, and has frequently presented at the Michigan Art Education Association annual conferences. She obtained her teaching certification from Saginaw Valley State University (1998). She received Newsweek’s-WDIV Outstanding Teacher Award (2000) and Mary Helen Guest Elementary Teacher of the Year (2007-2008).

For more information on Andrea’s work please see his website: andreasimons-novak.blogspot.com

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Emma Steinkraus

In residence: August 16 – 30

Emma Steinkraus HeadshotEmma Steinkraus is a visual artist, Assistant Professor of Fine Art at Hampden-Sydney College, and a founding editor of Company Editions, a journal for contemporary poetry and art. She holds degrees from Williams College and the University of Iowa, where she earned an MFA in Painting in 2016. Raised by scientists in the Arkansas Ozarks, she grew up keeping insects, identifying plants, and cultivating prairie habitat. Those early experiences now manifest in a commitment to exploring the complex ways ecology, society, and personal history weave together. Her work has received numerous awards including an Iowa Arts Fellowship, a Steamboat Scholarship at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the year-long support of a Hubbard Hutchinson Memorial Fellowship. She has previously attended residencies at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Pajama Factory, and Cow House Studios Ireland.

Steinkraus makes paintings and immersive installations that tell personal stories about the environment. One recent exhibition paired portraits set in the Arkansas Ozarks with a grow station for local plants, a handmade solar oven, live mushrooms, and a “foraging jacket” that functioned as a wearable field guide. Another exhibition displayed paintings of animals against a backdrop collaged out of photographs of degraded landscapes. Her current project mines archives to attend to the contributions of nearly a hundred early female artist-naturalists. Across media, her work is research-driven and marked by its vulnerability and attention to detail.

Her work can be found at www.emmasteinkraus.com and you can follow her on
instagram at @emmasteinkraus.

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Dani Knoph

Local Artist Spotlight Residency

In residence: August 31 – September 7

Dani Knoph Headshot

Dani Knoph is an artist, writer, and advocate for fish & wildlife conservation in Michigan. She launched Dani Knoph Wildlife Studio in 2017 and co-founded ReWild Michigan in 2018. Her 2019 art collection features intricate watercolor illustrations of declining aquatic species in Northwest Michigan. Archival prints of her artwork can be found at specialty shops and galleries. In 2017, Dani joined a statewide effort to reintroduce Northern Michigan’s once predominant native salmonid species, known as the Arctic Grayling. She is part of the fund development team for Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative.

In 2017, Dani was asked to write a feature story about Arctic Grayling restoration for Traverse Magazine. Research led her down a rabbit hole through Michigan’s pre-conservation past. Historical records and photography of the late 1800s revealed a grim period of forests cleared of all trees, barren river banks, displaced Native Americans, and declining native wildlife. Learning about this era of mass habitat destruction inspired her to learn about the current state of Northern Michigan’s native species. That’s when a friend introduced her to Michigan’s Wildlife Action Plan, a statewide framework to coordinate conservation for wildlife and habitats by working together toward shared goals—a plan that outlines more than 300 species of great conservation need. She felt called to learn more about this wildlife crisis, meet the people involved and help raise awareness.

Dani received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Michigan and studied painting at the Glasgow School of Art. She and her husband Gerard call Elk Rapids home. They are avid cross-country skiers, gardeners, and hikers. Exploring Northern Michigan rivers by canoe is a favorite, as well as traveling to art shows along the Great Lakes coast. They are inspired by many organizations and people who are dedicated to restoring native wildlife and taking care of the land and water in Northern Michigan. These activities and passions have introduced them to a world of purpose and a wonderful sense of community.


Dani’s work begins with a wildlife species of interest and a blank sheet of Arches watercolor paper. She researches, talks with biologists who work with the species, and then begins to draw. She works with old fashioned nib pens and Speedball ink to map out the overall structure and texture observed in photographic references. She then works with fine round brushes to layer transparent watercolor washes in an effort to capture the spirit of natural beauty and wonder. Each illustration is a tribute to its species and the never-ending pursuit of protecting the wild.

For more information on Dani’s work please see his website: www.daniknoph.com

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Meagan Lucas

In residence: September 20 – October 4

In collaboration with Harbor Springs Festival of the Book

Meagan Lucas author - by Ellie Navarro PhotographyMeagan Lucas is originally from St. Joseph Island, Ontario, but now lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina with her husband and two children. She is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University (BA History), Ferris State University (M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction), and Southern New Hampshire University (MA English and Creative Writing). She teaches English Composition at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, and is the Fiction Editor at Barren Magazine. For fun: she haunts bookstores, walks beaches, murders houseplants slowly, and reads.

Meagan’s recent short fiction appears in: The Santa Fe Writer’s Project, The Same, The New Southern Fugitives, and Still: The Journal. She won the 2017 Scythe Prize for fiction and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel, Song Birds and Stray Dogs is forthcoming Summer 2019.

You can read more at: meaganlucas.com
Facebook: @meaganlucasauthor
Twitter: @mgnlcs

Meagan plans to use her time in Good Hart to complete a novel in progress: Mercy explores the way that legacies haunt families, and addresses the role of the poverty and the church in small town Appalachia. Meagan looks forward to reconnecting with old friends, meeting new ones, and partnering with and participating in Harbor Springs Festival of the Book.

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Timothy E. Bradley

In residence:  October 5 – 26

In collaboration with Little Traverse Conservancy

TEB photo
Photo Credit – Cruz

Timothy E. Bradley received a BA in Literature from Yale University and an MFA in Fiction from Hunter College. At Hunter he was a 2016 Hertog Fellow and received the Wendell Stacy Johnson Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 19th or 20th Century English Literature. In addition to writing fiction, he has over a decade of experience researching and publishing for advocates and activists on social justice issues, economic inequality, and climate change. He was raised in St. Louis, Missouri and lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts.

Timothy’s literary work explores a variety of topics including failure, displacement, queerness, and our evolving relationships to nature and technology. He is currently working on a short story collection and a novel, which tells the story of an aging gay couple and the mysteries they encounter late in life. During his time at Good Hart, Timothy will develop and revise new material for these projects and collaborate with the Little Traverse Conservancy.

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Sarah Sheppard

FullSizeRender (10)In residence: January 3 – 17, 2020

Sarah Sheppard, born and raised in Metro Detroit, spent five years living and working on the East Coast before returning to Michigan. She earned a BA in English Writing and Literature from Saint Mary’s College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. A former senior rights manager, she works as a writer, editor, and copywriter.

In her day-to-day work, Sarah helps individuals, writers, and businesses bring their stories to light through collaboration, ghostwriting, copywriting, editing, and proofreading. She writes about health, well-being, relationships, female entrepreneurship, and what it means to be successful.

In her free time, Sarah supports anti-human trafficking efforts, practices yoga, and travels. In 2016, she traveled the U.S. for two months by train. Sarah has taught writing classes on the East Coast and in the Midwest. She was a writer-in-residence at the Gullkistan Artist Residency in 2018 and is working on her first novel.

At Good Hart, Sarah will dedicate her time to short story writing. She loves to write about the questioning of and the struggles with social constructs. Her fiction is often inspired by the people she meets and the places she inhabits. Some of her favorite short story writers are Jhumpa Lahiri, Adam Haslett, Elizabeth McCracken, and James Baldwin.

Sarah looks forward to spending uninterrupted time collaborating with the community, engaging with the beautiful landscape, and focusing on her craft.

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Michael Fischer

In residence: January 29 – February 12, 2020

Michael Fischer HeadshotMichael Fischer is a Moth StorySlam winner, a Luminarts Cultural Foundation Fellow, and a mentor for incarcerated authors through the Pen City Writers program. His work appears in SalonThe SunBrevityOrionGuernicaThe Rumpus, and elsewhere, and his audio essays have been broadcast on CBC Radio’s Love Me and The New York Times‘s Modern Love: The Podcast.

At Good Hart, Michael will continue working on a memoir-in-essays that deals with his time as a state prison inmate. The manuscript studies the quieter, often overlooked moments that constitute prison life; Good Hart is the perfect environment to look deeply into those moments. As someone who embraces social justice work and the liberating power of creative writing, he’s looking forward to engaging with members of the local community and being inspired by their stories as well.

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