MFA|EDA Student & Alumni News: Summer 2017 Playlist

MFA|EDA dispatches from near and far, current and alumni. Congratulations all.


Tracy Fish (’15), featured in Oxford American’s Eyes on the South, and has joined the Photo faculty at the University of Nevada-Reno.

John Rash (’14) works as producer/director at the Southern Documentary Project in the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi; and has recently been working with Academy Award nominated director Shuibo Wang as the executive editor for an upcoming feature length documentary.

Michaela O’Brien (’16) was named as Documentary Årts instructor at Duke University’s Art, Art History and Visual Studies. Michaela’s feature documentary, In Crystal Skin, is a Vimeo Staff Pick, and Michaela exhibited at Transient Visions, PhotoWerk Berlin, and Antimatter. Michaela’s Love Valley garnered a feature in Southern Cultures.

Braxton Hood (’13) is faculty in the Department of Cinema and Television, Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Jon-Sesrie Goff (’16) is Museum Specialist in Film, at the Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Anna Kipervaser (’15) is in residency at LIFT in Toronto for the month of July, working on a new film.

Jing Niu (’14) recently relocated from San Francisco where she worked at Wired Magazine to Los Angeles where she’s been staying busy making web video content. She recently co-directed a short film for B&H using the new Lumix GH5, and the short film was featured Jing and MFA alumna Sarah Garrahan (’14) co-produced a short video for Fusion Media, which now pushing a million views, about LA’s push to decriminalize street food vendors. Jing is also close to wrapping up post-production her new film The Traveler Takamure and is excited to show it off to the world. She designed characters for an animated short playing at this year’s LA Asian Pacific Film Festival. And lastly, this month her Duke MFA thesis film ‘Departing’ and the entire Southern Accents exhibit will move from the Nasher museum to the Speed museum in Louisville, KY.

Peter Lisignoli (’13) is a visiting lecturer at the University of New Mexico’s Department of Cinematic Arts and board member of Albuquerque’s art collective Basement Films. He will be traveling to Seoul, South Korea and lecturing at Dongguk University during the Summer 2017 semester. Please visit for the latest on Peter’s work.

Erin Espelie (’14) premiered her new film, 视网膜 (A Net To Catch the Light), in October at the Imagine Science Film Festival in New York City, where she also served as a juror, and has shown at the Viten Film Festival in Norway. Erin will also screen at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art with Crossroads Film Festival and at the Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw, Poland, in the near future. Erin also serves as Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism at CU Boulder.

Rachel Boillot (’14) currently teaches at Lincoln Memorial University, with recent courses including Art Appreciation, Appalachian Art, Appalachian Music, and Photography, and serves as Project Director of the Cumberland Gap Folklife Project, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Tennessee Arts Commission. A collaboration with Kyle Wilkinson (’16), the project will result in documentation of regional bearers of the traditional arts, crafts, and music in the Appalachian region. Gathered materials will result in a series of documentary films slated for public television, as well as a distinct feature-length documentary. The work will also be featured in a collaborative art exhibit between Lincoln Memorial University students and local folk artists. It will additionally result in new programming at the local White Lightning Trail Festival this June. Rachel’s work has recently been exhibited at The Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, GA; The Bascum Museum of Art in Highlands, NC; The Lincoln Memorial University Art Center in Cumberland Gap, TN. Her work was included in Southern Accent, which was on display at Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art this fall and has since traveled to the Speed Museum of Louisville, KY. Her work is included in Regeneration 3, an international photography exhibit which is currently traveling through Latin America. Her work will be included in the photographic survey Southbound, which will be on display in 2018 at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, SC and travel nationally. She recently delivered artist talks at the American Folklore Society’s annual conference in Miami, FL and as part of the Halsey Institute’s Meet the Maker lecture series. Her work was recently featured on the Inge Morath Foundation’s online site and magazine.

Annabel Manning (’13) received a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts & Science Council in Charlotte.

Lisa McCarty (’13) has a recent book release, CIRCLES by Ralph Waldo Emerson + Lisa McCarty. Recent exhibitions include: Literary Spirits, Fruitlands Museum, Harvard, MA, Between the Medium curated by Mark Sink at the RedLine Contemporary Art Center, Denver, CO, The Library: A Photobook Love Affair, Tête, Berlin, Germany; contributed to Paradise Lost & Found for the exhibition Paradise Road / Paradise Out-Front at The Southern Gallery, Charleston, SC, and has been featured in Impossible Project MagazineStrant Magazine and The Denver Post. Lisa also facilitated William Gedney’s first international career retrospective which will take place at the Pavillon Populaire in Montpellier, France in the summer of 2017. Lisa contributed an essay to, and co-edited, the accompanying monograph.

Philip Brubaker‘s video essay Is Quentin Tarantino a Feminist was published on IndieWire, The A/V Club, Fandor and No Film School. Additional video essays from Philip can be found on Fandor ( here and here ). Philip also co-hosts the In The Queue podcast.

Brenda L. Burmeister (’14) exhibited Temporary, which was showcased at 55th Ann Arbor Film Festival as part of their Off Site Works in March 2017. Brenda’s The Rule of Capture screened May 19 in Houston atAurora Picture ShowsThe Mother House (curated Brenda) includes five artists transforming a home with performance, art, and installations addressing the tension and the synergy at the intersection of art making and care-taking on May 20th in San Antonio, Texas.

Qathi Hart (’16) screened Oculus Sky Scrapes at the Port Orchard Film Festival in Washington, and was a story contributor to Close Relations, episode 18 of Scene on Radio.

Sylvia Herbold (’17) has been named as the 2017-18 William G. Gedney intern at Duke University’s Rubenstein Library Archive of Documentary Arts.

Jeremy M. Lange (’18) and Alix Blair’s Farmer/Veteran awarded Best Documentary at the Brooklyn Film Festival and premiered on PBS via Independent Lens in May. Jeremy also contributed a feature on Burk Uzzle for IndyWeek, and was photographer for The New York Times Magazine’s recent feature on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Lauren Mueller (’17), Roxanne Campbell (’16) and Jonna McKone (’15) have been named as the 2017-18 Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows. Founded by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, the program connects the talents of young documentary artists with the resources and needs of community-based organizations in the United States. Fellows focus primarily on issues of socially and economically marginalized children, adolescents, young adults, their families and communities; develop collaborative projects with those individuals and communities; and explore the role of documentary work in effecting social change. You can read more about current and recent Hine Fellows and their work on the Lewis Hine Fellowship Program’s blog.

Nicholas Pilarski (’15) and Destini Riley, named to Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film, and featured on New York Times Op Docs.

Tamika Galanis (’16) exhibited in the Nassau Biennial, with press coverage in the Nassau Guardian and Mixed Media.

Rachel Jessen (’18) has been named as the 2017-18 Kenan Institute for Ethics Graduate Arts Fellow.

Phyllis Dooney (’18) released her photobook, Gravity is Stronger Here, and represented the MFA|EDA as a Princess Grace Film Fellowship nominee.

Danny Kim (’18) and Laurids Sonne (’18) are Duke Fellows at the 2017 Flaherty Film Seminar.

Jeremy M. Lange (’18), Lexi Bass (’18) and Phyllis Dooney (’18) are the 2017 MFA|EDA Kodak Filmmaking and Cinematography Scholarship nominees.

MFA|EDA Sunday Screening Salon in Duke Today.

Mendal Polish (’15) posted to the CDS Porch.

Laurenn McCubbin (’13) exhibited as part of SOMARTS’ We’re Still Working: The Art of Sex Work.

Kristin Bedford (’14) in Be Art.

Alex Cunningham (’16) and Lisa McCarty (’13) screened films as part of Exposure, curated by Tomonori Nishikawa, at Binghamton University’s Kopernik Observatory.

Roxanne Campbell (’16) was awarded a fellowship from the Institute of Creative Arts at the University of Cape Town. More information about the project here.

Alina Taalman (’15), named inaugural Cassilhaus Travel Fellow.

Aaron Kutnick (’15), exhibited in the Relapse Collective with 3459.

Dan Smith (’16) is the Student Programs manager at the Kenan Institute of Ethics, and was featured in Ain’t Bad Magazine.

Matt Cicanese (’15), received a National Geographic Young Explorer grant, and was accepted into the Emerging League Program of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

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