Celebrating 20 Years – Adaptations Residencies and Special Collaborations 

November 19, 2021

2021 marks the twentieth year of programming at A Studio in the Woods! To celebrate this milestone, we’ve been reflecting on our programs, the artists and scholars who have shaped them, and the inspiring new works that have resulted. In this edition we’re looking back on Adaptations: Living with Change Residencies and Special Collaboration Residencies.

After Flint & Steel Residencies concluded in 2017 we shifted our focus back to its center – environmentally themed residencies addressing the challenges of our time. We crafted Adaptations Residencies, which invited artists to examine how climate driven adaptations – large and small, historic and contemporary, cultural and scientific – are shaping our future.

New Orleans and the region are frequently invoked as one of the areas most vulnerable to the effects of environmental change. Our highly manipulated landscape can be seen as a microcosm of the global environment, manifesting both the challenges and possibilities inherent in the ways humans interact with urban and natural ecosystems. With nearly half of the world’s population living within 40 miles of a coastline with rising seas, the concerns of Southern Louisiana resonate globally. These are the conditions Adaptations Residents responded to through innovative new works.

Adaptations Residents

2017- 2018

Dasha Chapman, Jean-Sebastien Duvilaire, Ann Mazzocca and Phil Rodriguez
Julia Kumari Drapkin & Lindsey Wagner
Aubrey Edwards & Gretchen Faust
Tia-Simone Gardner
John Kleinschmidt
Katie Mathews
Monique Verdin


Ash Arder
Jonathan Mayers
Aurora Levins Morales
Hannah Pepper-Cunningham
Geraldine Laurendeau
Manon Bellet


kai barrow
Jeffery Darensbourg
Margaret Pearce
ChE & kei slaughter
Nick Slie

During this series we also began filming video interviews with each resident, resulting is this beautiful recap of the series as a whole. Many thanks to Kat Sotelo, videographer and editor extraordinare.


At the same time, we channeled the interdisciplinary energy fostered by Flint & Steel into new Special Collaborations, initiating a partnership with Newcomb Art Museum, Pelican Bomb, the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, and New Orleans Parks and Parkways to bring Fallen Fruit and their Endless Orchard project to New Orleans. What had been occasional collaborations with partner institutions to host residencies prior to 2017 have grown in frequency and scope over the past four years. Deep partnerships have formed with the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South and Dillard University’s Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, resulting in ongoing Special Collaboration Residencies – the Gulf South Writer in the Woods program and Inspiring Health Justice Residency respectively. We have also partnered on residency projects with institutions such as Alternate Roots, New Orleans Museum of Art, The Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain and SPAIN-USA Foundation, Prospect New Orleans, Karubian Lab, and University of Minnesota’s Itasca Biological Station. Through these collaborations, we pool resources to support specific projects that further the missions of both A Studio in the Woods and the partner institution. They have deepened our networks, broadened our horizons, and increased our impact. Special Collaborations are an increasingly important part of our work that allow us to respond nimbly to challenges and opportunities within our communities. Learn more about them here.


  1. Adaptations Pilot Resident Monique Verdin weaves palmettos in the Founders’ Studio.
  2. John Kleinschmidt works on monoprints in the Founders’ Studio.
  3. Fallen Fruit (David Burns & Austin Young) pose with former Newcomb Museum Director Mónica Ramírez-Montagut in their exhibition, EMPIRE, at the museum.
  4. Lindsey Wagner and Residency Coordinator Cammie Hill-Prewitt chat about ISeeChange’s community exhibition.
  5. Dasha Chapman, Jean-Sebastien Duvilaire, Ann Mazzocca and Phil Rodriguez perform at the New Orleans Jazz Museum.
  6. Ash Arder shares her sonic sculptures inspired by human/plant/machine relationships with founder Joe Carmichael.
  7. Geraldine Laurendeau installs bamboo in the shape of a ghost cypress tree in the meadow.
  8. Jonathan Mayers paints with sediment in the Founders’ Studio.
  9. Manon Bellet consults with scientist Alex Kolker in the field.
  10. Margaret Pearce presents on her work.
  11. Special Collaboration Resident Regina Agu on a tour of the wetlands with Environmental Curator David Baker.
  12. Tia-Simone Gardner leads a design charrette at the Small Center.
  13. Hannah Pepper-Cunningham performs in the meadow.
  14. Jeffery Darensbourg on the batture.
  15. Special Collaboration Resident Pippin Frisbie-Calder with her Mardi Gras Mockingbird Krewe.