First Year Students

Saxon Baird is a writer, photographer and producer located in Brooklyn, NY. His writing has been featured in The Atlantic, Vice, Slate, Guernica, and many other publications. His short fiction and poetry has appeared on Juked, Maudlin House, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, and The Fanzine. He is also the producer of several hour-long documentaries on Caribbean music and politics for PRI’s Peabody-Award winning Afropop Worldwide. His work often engages with phenomena, catharsis, and negotiated spaces. 

Raegan Bird is an artist and farmer who has roots in Iowa, Texas and Massachusetts. She graduated with a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017 and is interested in the patterns that emerge between the personal and environmental. She currently lives in Tucson where she co-runs a publishing project called Blue Arrangements.
Robert Contreras II was drawn into the photographic medium because of a force that lures him in. It is a void-it makes itself present when one stares at an image or creates one. Images have always been fascinating to him in regards to keeping memories and dreams alive-allowing us to rediscover who we are. With multiple lenses come multiple perspectives, multiple conversations and endless questions come forth. Photography is a rabbit hole. This endless cycle of wanting to uncover the true nature of the medium is what has driven him to practice photography.
Nan Heyneman is a lens-based artist from Rochester, New York. Using found image, text, and ephemera, they create collages, zines, and photo-based artworks informed by intrusive thoughts and ideologies. Tearing, cutting and pasting creates a visual urgency that responds to their own obsessions — towards death, of ego, and indulging in (and failing through) fantasy. They earned their BFA in Expanded Media at the New York State College of Ceramics in 2017.
K. Kovacs is a visual designer and artist living in Western Massachusetts. They earned their B.S. in Graphic Communication Design in 2014 from the University of Cincinnati. As a designer, they deeply value research and conversation—by working together to give ideas shape and structure, we can shape the world and ourselves. Their work as a visual artist questions the role of photography in the Age of the Internet, captures moments of queerness in the capitalist landscape, and probes their relationship with body and memory as a queer, trans, non-binary person.
Shannon Liang is a New York-based artist working across video, photography, and writing. Rooted in a practice of repeated looking, her works focus on mundanity and the ephemeral—particularly within the interaction of humans and their environment. She holds a B.S. in Economics and Accounting from New York University.
Jared Lindahl is a scholar, writer, and photographer whose work attends to the natural and cultural history of places in northern latitudes. He is also interested more generally in the relationship between the perception of place and the sense of self. One ongoing project of his, currently entitled Seven Thousand Years on the Ångerman River, incorporates historical research, creative writing, and photography to communicate the diverse ontologies of the human, natural, and mythological worlds associated with one of the major rivers of northern Sweden. 
Hyacinth Schukis f.k.a. Allison Grace Schukis) is an artist and academic from Portland, Oregon. They perform research, collect, write, and photograph to make studio self-portraiture addressing historical figures, in order to create new “relics” that lend or restore visual agency. They hold a BFA in Art and a BA in Art History from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon.
Dale Small is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, photographer, and organizer based in Wichita, Kansas. At the intersection of design, photography, writing, and new media, their work confronts issues regarding misinformation, power, and privilege by emphasizing the importance of identity, memory, and representation. In 2019, they graduated from Wichita State University with a BA in Art History focused on new media, public art, and social practice. Dale’s work has been exhibited at the 13th Havana Biennial and 12th Gwangju Biennale as part of the offline digital exhibition !!!Sección ARTE: El Paquete Semanal. Dale currently works with the arts nonprofit Horizontes (known for the largest mural in the world) which facilitates advocacy and social justice through community arts initiatives.
John Smieska is a poet, filmmaker, and photographer based in Ithaca, NY. His interests include nomadism, hypnotic (as well as hypnogogic and hypnopompic) trance states, mythology, Renaissance art and philosophy, Gilles Deleuze, Gaston Bachelard, Carl Jung, as well as psychiatry and medicine.
Born in the Balkans and raised by the Bronx, Ebba Zajmi-Gjergji is a cross-disciplinary artist working mostly in analog photography, block prints, mixed media and poetry. Her tongue rests between East and West - shaped by the birthplace of hip hop, lingering Ottoman words and a people with dialects and traditions that defy borders. Her work is concerned with the invasion of socio-political phenomena into intimate spaces - exploring pervasive cultures of shame, intimacy and intergenerational trauma, working class immigrant narratives and the sociological impact of language.