About the Artists

LeAnn Erickson is a Professor of film and video production at Temple University and an independent video/filmmaker. Her work has appeared on public television, cable television and has won national and international recognition in video/film festivals including Oberhausen (Germany), Women in Filmmaking (Los Angeles), Auburn International (Australia) and L’immagine Leggera (Italy). She has received regional and national production grants for her work including grants from the NEA, the Jerome Foundation, the IEEE Foundation and the Leeway Foundation.   In 2010 she completed ‘Top Secret Rosies: The Female Computers of WWII’, a feature length historical documentary and in 2014 released ‘The Computer Wore Heels’, an ebook based on the film. Currently she is working on an animated memoir structured around the life of fitness guru Jack LaLanne.

To learn more about LeAnn’s work visit: LeAnn Erickson, teacher and filmmaker


Sandra Louise Dyas is a visual artist and published author living in Iowa City. She received her MFA in Intermedia: Performance Art and Video from the University of Iowa in 1998. She is a Lecturer in Art at Cornell College, where she teaches photography, video and performance art. Her video and photographic work have been exhibited internationally. Lost in the Midwest, a book of photographs about living in the Midwest, was recently self-published in 2016. A large solo exhibition of photographs and videos entitled my eyes are not shut was exhibited at the Anderson Gallery at Drake University in Des Moines, the Luce Gallery, Cornell College and the Wriston Galleries, Lawrence University in Wisconsin in January 2014. A book of photographs of the same title was self-published in 2012.

To learn more about Sandy’s work visit: www.sandydyas.com


Guest artists:

2021- The year of the Poet

Apollo: Returning artists- Poet Melissa Ginsburg, Jake Rasmussen, Marcus Haala, Jeff Caplan, Miriam Bennett, Todd Kimm, Jon Shumway, Kristine Heykants

New collaborator

Yichen Zhao is an artist born and lives in Zhengzhou, China. She studied studio art at Cornell College in Iowa. She works in painting, photography, and video. Her work has always been seen as dreamlike and focuses on the theme of memory and personal life.

Pastoral: Returning artists- Kristine Heykants and Philip Hopper

New collaborators

Poet Melissa Ginsburg is the author of the novels The House Uptown and Sunset City, the poetry collection Dear Weather Ghost, and two poetry chapbooks, Arbor and Double Blind. A second poetry collection, Doll Apollo, will be published in 2022 by LSU Press, and the poetry chapbook Apollo is forthcoming in June from Condensery Press. Her poems have appeared in the New YorkerGuernicaKenyon ReviewFenceSouthwest Review, and other magazines. Originally from Houston, Texas, Melissa studied poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Mississippi. She lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with two dogs, eleven chickens, and the writer Chris Offutt.New collaborators

Jon Shumway resides in Slippery Rock, PA with his wife Jean (the children have moved on).  He has been teaching at Slippery Rock University since 1998 where he instructs the Art Department’s Digital Media courses as well as courses in a variety of other studio areas.  As an artist, he has exhibited his works in galleries and festivals near and far (Mostly near).  Shumway holds a BA from Luther College, Decorah, IA and an MA and MFA in Intermedia and Video Art from The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

Jeff Caplan is a fine art photographer and visual artist. He has been creating compelling images with his cameras for over 30 years. Originally from Lowell, Massachusetts, his early work was often set against the backdrop of the historic mill city. He developed his photographic skill set in the early 1990’s by delving in to advanced black & white printing techniques, and alternative photographic processes, while working towards his B.F.A. in photography at The Art Institute of Boston. He currently resides in Oskaloosa, Iowa, where he teaches photography and is the Video Producer in the Division of New Media, at the Communication Research Institute of William Penn University.

Todd Kimm is a multimedia writer living in Louisville, Kentucky. He most recently founded the off-center Midwest publishing imprint Maintenance Ends Press, which maintains a podcast and a blog.  He co-founded the statewide arts quarterly Tractor Magazine with Legion Arts and served as its editor. Todd has edited small town newspapers; Iowa City’s fomer alternative weekly, Icon, and Little Village magazine (which he also co-founded). He has worked as communications director for various Iowa non-profits, including Legion Arts, and PFI, an Ames-based sustainable agriculture group. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop.

Markus Haala is an Assistant Professor of Visual Arts & Communication, Chairman of the Division of New Media, and Head of the CRI MediaLab in the Communication Research Institute of William Penn University, Iowa. Haala’s interdisciplinary and research-based studio practice is committed to interrogate and survey environmental and ecological systems which are often translated into project-based, conceptual installations that explore the collapsing nature-culture distinction through an examination of materials, images, and sculptural objects. Haala received his BFA in Fine Arts from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and his MFA in Visual Arts from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, NH, where he studied with artists Mark Dion, Mathias Kessler, Michael Oatman, and Craig Stockwell. His work has been nationally and internationally exhibited.


2020- The year of the elements


Returning artists, in alphabetical order:  Philip Hopper, Jake Rasmussen


Kristine Heykants is an artist who teaches photography at Minneapolis College. She works in still and motion imagery to combine storytelling and expression, exploring archetypal roles played by humans throughout history. She also completed work on Uprooted, a long-term documentary project on her father’s rural Iowa hometown. Kristine has received grants from the Jerome Foundation, McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. and exhibits widely. Most recently, she participated in Hennepin Theatre Trust’s It’s the People public art project, which highlights the lives of people who live, work and study on Minneapolis’ most famous street through billboards and large-scale banners.

Learn more about Kristine’s work

Mary Slaughter is a professor of digital media and film studies at California State University, Bakersfield. She  has an M.F.A. in Film and Video Art from the San Francisco Art Institute, and an M.A. in Film Studies/Production from the University of Iowa.


Air- 2020

Returning artists, in alphabetical order: Don Barth, Karla Berry, Philip Hopper, Jake Rasmussen, Memo Salazar


Earth- 2020

Returning artists, in alphabetical order: Don Barth, Karla Berry, Philip Hopper, Jake Rasmussen, Memo Salazar


Water- 2020

Philip Hopper is currently part of the Communication Studies faculty at the University of Northern Iowa. He was a Fulbright Scholar in the West Bank at Al-Quds University during the 2012-2013 academic year, then continued that teaching and research as a visiting professor during 2013-2014 at Al-Quds Bard. His award-winning documentaries include The Road Home, about injured soldiers who compete in the New York City Marathon, and The Park in Ramallah, about the safety of children in occupied territories. His long-term interest in the single shot and simply shot aesthetic dates to his undergraduate work at the School of the Museum of Fine Art, Boston. Hopper holds an M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Karla Berry is an experienced professor, administrator, and media artist. Recent collaborative sponsored projects include the South Carolina Film Consortium, the AIDS PPSA Project, and the Global Rivers Project. Berry’s experimental, documentary, and interactive media projects have been exhibited on mobile devices, television, and outdoor public screens in the US and abroad.

Don Barth is a teacher, technical consultant and media business owner.  He has taught multimedia design at UWisconsin-Stout and the University of South Carolina. He is the owner/founder of Donny B Digital, a media production and consulting business located in Carbondale, IL that specializes in VR and AR media for business and educational purposes.  His current artwork explores virtual interactive narratives and landscapes within 360 environments.

Jake Rasmussen is an award-winning independent filmmaker and industry video creative / editor.  Through his professional work at Thrillist, he develops original content for internet/social media.  His industry work has received Clio awards, Promax awards and Emmy recognition. Through his creative collaborations, Rasmussen has produced, written and directed hundreds of narrative shorts. Personal projects currently in development include a feature documentary, a short film, a limited episode sketch series, podcast and a television series.

Learn more about Jake’s work

Niklas Vollmer is an interdisciplinary artist and mediamaker who teaches film/video production at Georgia State University. Niklas’ experimental and documentary work has screened in the US, Canada, Europe, Africa, South America and Asia; and at AFI, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, California Museum of Photography, the Directors Guild of Los Angeles, and at the Beijing Olympics. His films have won awards at HOTDOCS, the United States Super 8 Film & Digital Video Festival, Trenton Film Festival, Savannah International Film Festival, USA Film Festival, and AFI’s Vision of US Competition. Niklas has served as a Board Member of the University Film & Video Association and as a Documentary Specialist and Filmmaker for the American Documentary Showcase. Before academia, he was a Public Television editor.


2017- The year of Elemental

“Elemental: Edgelands”

Chet Pancake is an award-winning filmmaker and sound artist. His work has been presented nationally and internationally in a wide variety of venues, including the Museum of Modern Art, Royal Ontario Museum, and the Academy of Fine Arts Prague. His awards include the Paul Robeson Independent Media Award, Jack Spadaro Documentary Award, and the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award. Chet’s films have been broadcast in the U.S.A. and Great Britain and are distributed by Bullfrog Films and the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre. Sound art releases can be found on Ehse Records and Recorded in Baltimore. Pancake’s recent exhibition “Bloodland” at Vox Populi was selected as an International Critic’s Pick by Artforum.

CPancake link


“Elemental: Eclipse”

An EMMY winning composer, audio director and instrumentalist, Patrick de Caumettecreates original scores and sound design internationally, serving the film, TV, video game and advertising industries. Patrick has produced soundtracks for Walt Disney, ABC, Comcast, Canal +, UbiSoft. His sensibility for the moving picture, for the story telling, and the dramatic arc has made him the go-to composer for many industry professionals.

Patrick de Caumette link


“Elemental: Sense”

As an internationally acclaimed, award winning composer, creator and artist, Ng Chor Guan, the co-founder of Toccata Studio, is also an active thereminist, sound designer, improviser, educator, and cyclist.  Chor Guan is demonstrative in his belief of the arts as a world-changing force. His works are widely performed all around the world. His most recent work, ‘Project 2020’, is a five year process, powered by the concepts of multiple futures and time travel. Chor Guan is a guest lecturer in University Malaya. He has also produced 13 albums of his original compositions. His original creation “Space Age : The Phantom Power” is currently on Asia Tour.




“Elemental: Dreaming”

George Higgs is a composer whose work comprises opera, film music, songs, chamber work, experimental electronics and music for instruments of his own making. “Higgstruments’ include The Lost and Found Sound Assembly (a large instrument for deaf musicians), The Jimmy Rig Slip Jig (performers assemble an instrument in the act of playing it) and Kahoogaphone (a musical machine engineered not to work). He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Trinity College Dublin on an approach to music composition for the deaf (funded by the Irish Research Council), and is represented by the Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland.



“Elemental: Air”

Lloyd Dunn is a Prague-based multimedia artist working in machine-based media since
the 1980s. One of the original co-founders of the Tape-beatles, Dunn created a series of performances and released 5 CDs on the Staalplaat label (Amsterdam, Berlin). Since 2009, Dunn’s main work has been the project nula.cc, the online presence for a series of filecasts initiated to further explore his long-standing interest in machine-based art forms, appropriation and collage, time-based media and design.


2016- Color Field

“Color Field #4”

John Heck is a collaborative cultural worker with a background in the arts, including photography, video, film and broadcasting, experimental and electronic music. A composer and performer, he was a proud founder of The Less Than Adequate Band and The Tape-beatles. A film enthusiast, he has a great curiosity for obsolete technologies and enjoys travel, biking, volunteerism and cooking.

Tape Beatles site


“Color Field #3”

John Fillwalk is an internationally recognized artist and practitioner of virtual and hybrid artforms. He serves as the senior director of the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts [IDIA Lab} at Ball State University. IDIA Lab is a virtual reality design studio exploring the intersections of art, science and technology. He has numerous grants, awards, fellowships and presentations.



“Color Field #2”

Colin Ives’ creative practice operates within a nexus of overlapping cultural categories, including art, technology, and ecology. The tools central to his work, digital media and the computer, are themselves representative of a hybrid discourse. They intersect with and have implications for almost every sector of our society. He uses technology never an end in itself, never an unexamined tool, but a chance to reflect, examine, and reveal aesthetic and cultural substructures. Across a diverse range of work, including media installation, kinetic video sculpture, sculptural objects, and interactive screen-based work, he explores how our digital tools are not only changing our capabilities, but also our worldview.



“Color Field #1”

Memo Salazar is a filmmaker, writer and artist who is engaged in a variety of creative activities including directing music videos for such performers as Public Enemy, coauthoring a TED Talk with Brian Greene, and serving as an editor on Sesame Street.



“shiny things”

Madeleine Altmann has been active in visual arts for most of her life, beginning with photography and moving onto television, interactive media and video art. Born and raised in Brazil and England, she attended Hampshire College and received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a Masters in Professional Studies Degree from New York University, where she received the “Interactive Media Pioneer Award.” Ms. Altmann is currently represented by Petra Rietz Galerie in Berlin, Germany.




Miriam Bennett is an American artist working in film, video and installation. Bennett’s films and videos have been featured at such venues as the Cleveland International Film Festival, The Art Museum of the Americas (Washington, DC), and The National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne, Australia), The Akron Art Museum, and in several US galleries in Cleveland, New York, and Chicago. She is the founder of Moving Studio Productions based in Akron, Ohio.



Tyler Kinney is a filmmaker living in Sacramento, CA. He studied Film and Media at Temple University in Philadelphia. His past abstract work has focused on deconstructing video technology, often in a live setting. And his more recent documentary work aims to address difficult topics with implicit subjectivity.




“Weather: Parting”

Ellen Wetmore’s artworks include 2d, 3d and video and inspire a combination of humor and horror. Her work focuses on lived experience blended with well-honed paranoia, using her body as the primary vehicle. Wetmore’s video projects have been internationally screened at such venues as Ciné Lumière in London, CologneOff, Cologne, Germany and Videoholica in Bulgaria.




Bonnie Sparling earned her MA in English at The University of Florida and her MFA in Intermedia Arts at The University of Iowa. Having also taught at the college level, she now teaches writing, mindfulness, art, and art history to middle school students at a progressive private school in Atlanta.



Sonali Gulati is a feminist, grass-roots activist, filmmaker and educator who grew up in New Delhi, India and has made several films that have screened at hundreds of film festivals worldwide. Gulati has won awards, grants, and fellowships from such organizations as the Third Wave Foundation, the Creative Capital Foundation and most recently the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship.




Jason Levi Smith is a videomaker based in Iowa City, Iowa. Embracing the creative power of collaboration, Smith’s latest work, lizmungerphotoclub, is a ‘moving photo album’ featuring Barry Phipps, Sandy Dyas, and Dawn Frary, that will premiere fall 2015.