PLAYA at Summer Lake Artist Residency

With Laurie Jo Brain and fellow residents Mark Adams, Eleanor K Ray, and Alan Contreras

From October 28th-November 8th, I was an artist in residence at PLAYA Summer Lake, Oregon. I was fascinated by how the wild weather coming in over Winter Ridge would cause rainbows and dust devils out on the playa below magnificent cloud formations. I could never tell how the weather would turn and I got caught out in 50 mph winds and rain during a couple painting adventures. On our last days, the rain became snow and sleet, blanketing the mountain peaks above.

My studio at PLAYA in Summer Lake, Oregon

Jentel Artist Residency, Wyoming

From September 15 – October 13th I was an artist in residence at Jentel, Wyoming. Captivated by the wild weather and hills of sage, I spent as much time as possible hiking and painting them from life.

Into the 1000, 2021, graphite, conte, chalk, acrylic on toned paper

With dear fellow residents Frank Sheehan, Karen Marston, Amy Robson, and David Naimon in front of the Bighorn Mountains.

I’m/Migrant at Kean University, NJ

Sept 7-Oct 28, 2021

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 6-8pm

James Howe Gallery
Kean University

1000 Morris Avenue
Union, NJ  07083

Artists: Dasha Shishkin, Kate Bae, Colleen Blackard, Sharmistha Ray, Emil Silberman, Samantha Box

Kean University is pleased to present I’m/Migrant, an exhibition highlighting the work of six artists alluding to nomadic experiences, fleeting permanence, migration and immigration. Reflection on the fluid state of being and change comes along through the experience of different environments, with the work of each artist walking the tenuous line between struggle and beauty of adaptation. Each artist questions the meaning of belonging in their own way, through haunting imagery, language, or materials themselves. Masked behind a striking image is the contemplative statement of the migrant experience, which involves finding one’s way amidst new realms. Coping, and other processing mechanisms, such as humor, repetition, and escape are at work, while their visibility highlights their experiences with various boundaries of communication and understanding.

The Source

Two years ago, Jacques Descoteaux, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, Jennifer Gunlock, Alan Keane, Autumn Richardson, Jean Sanders, and I were resident artists at awe-inspiring Cill Rialaig Artist Retreat. Inspired by our studio crawl on our last evening, Alan began The Artist’s Well, a series of virtual studio visits taking place over the past year out of Dublin, Ireland. These weekly visits kept me inspired and connected from across the Atlantic!

Now I am delighted to receive my copy of The Source by Alan, sharing my work among 50 artists who were featured in The Artist’s Well, with a foreword by the Irish Minister for Arts & Culture, Catherine Martin, TD. I loved to see the remarkable work of my dear Cill Rialaig friends Autumn, Jacques, and Eoin included as well as my brilliant friend Vincent Giarrano. And Alan’s heartfelt foreward and group photo of us in my Cill Rialaig cottage makes me miss everyone even more!

The book is available for purchase from Alan Keane at and select galleries and shops across Ireland.

You can see my Artist’s Well studio visit in episode 12 here: Colleen Blackard – Artist Well