Announcing Rising Residents 2022 – 2023

June 23, 2022

We are pleased to announce the Rising: Climate in Crisis Residents for 2022-2023: Zeelie Brown, Niki Franco, Simi Kang, Quintron & Miss Pussycat, Hye Sea, Nailah Jefferson & Laurie Sumiye, and Rachel Lin Weaver. Rising: Climate in Crisis Residencies invite artists to examine the severity of the climate crisis and be agents of change to guide our collective understanding, response, and vision as we shape our shared future.

Zeelie Brown’s (NY) first art museum was the pine woods in Alabama. They make Black and queer wilderness refuges called “soulscapes” to (re)imagine what nature might be. Zeelie’s residency project, Little Creole Gardens, aims to tend a revolutionary front of Black wilderness which rages against the tide of white greed threatening to drown our world. To that aim, they will spend six weeks designing a creole liberation wild garden – via research in New Orleans’ wealth of archives of Gulf South visual and material culture – providing a solid groundwork for future acts within a creole aesthetic of survival. Visit Zeelie’s website.

Niki Franco (FL) is a Caribbean abolitionist community organizer, writer, and facilitator of spaces for collective study. Seeking to disrupt the bureaucratic frameworks of academia and transactional ways relationships exist under capitalism, her work experiments with truth-telling, radical history, and revolutionary imagination. Niki’s residency will support the development of a short film project titled Constellations Illuminating the Swamp, an educational/creative resource for community organizers, activists, researchers, artists, and educators. This project will reject binary interpretations of climate change and center resistance against disaster capitalism and climate crisis in places like New Orleans, Miami, and Puerto Rico. Visit Niki’s website.

Simi Kang (Canada) is a mixed Sikh American community advocate, educator, artist, and scholar. Their work centers Asian American collaborative resistance as a site for imagining environmentally and economically just futures in southeast Louisiana. Their project, Mapping Shrimping Futures, directly addresses the severity of multiple and layered climate crises in southeast Louisiana and asks its residents what futures they would most like to see. The project engages community-based organizations and Southeast Asian American fishing families to create audio and physical story maps. Through this, the project aims to re-emplace stories and experiences that are kept out of official maps about climate change, population density, and the health of our water and land. Visit Simi’s website.

Quintron and Miss Pussycat (LA) will create a live puppet show about extreme weather events, which will utilize a “Wildlife Organ” built and installed at A Studio in the Woods. This unique instrument will use specially-housed microphones to intimately capture and process the broad spectrum of natural sounds on-site, routing each distinct sound back to a playable, musical keyboard. The puppet show will use research on the Little Ice Age, Pompei, Noah’s Ark and the Epic of Gilgamesh to develop a story directly related to living in Louisiana. Quintron has been inventing electronic gadgets and creating genre-defying noise, soundscape, and house rocking dance music in New Orleans for over 20 years. Miss Pussycat began her career in art and puppetry as a child. She presents live puppet shows in rock clubs, libraries, and secret clubhouses around the world. Quintron and Miss Pussycat have been collaborating for the past two decades. Visit their website, Miss P’s website, and the Quintronics website.

Hye Sea’s (MD) art practice gives priority to the use of ethically sourced wood, pigments, and sunlight. The foundation of her work is based on her lived experience that often, we already have everything we need. Hye Sea’s residency project will focus on documenting the stories of those who are devoted to being stewards of the land and earth. She will create a solar-engraved collection of portraiture and collage to shine a light on Black, melanated, and/or Indigenous identified stewards. Her intention is to take viewers on a journey into the medicine each steward has discovered through their collaboration with the land and earth; their homage to the divine; their embrace of a multi-layered existence and what it looks like to trust in the wisdom found in nature. Visit Hye Sea’s website.

Nailah Jefferson (LA) and Laurie Sumiye (HI) – With nature as their guide, a New Orleans-born filmmaker and Hawaii-born artist from two different tourist-driven, coastal economies grappling with climate-caused sea rise will explore the historical effects invasive species have on fragile native ecosystems and relate it to the growing threat of gentrification in their neighborhoods. They ask the question, “Can equity be maintained when invasion occurs?” Nailah Jefferson is a native New Orleans fiction and nonfiction filmmaker intrigued and inspired by the enduring human spirit. Laurie Sumiye is a conceptual artist and storyteller whose work about nature and species extinction plays with themes of reciprocity, care and spirituality. Visit Nailah’s website and Laurie’s website.

Rachel Lin Weaver (VA) is an artist whose work spans video, installation, sculpture, and performance. While in residence, Rachel will work on MOSQUITO DANCE, a two-part experimental short film and video/projection mapping installation created through partnerships with tropical medicine researchers, entomologists, and Native elders. Looking closely at mosquitoes as vectors and cultural symbols the project contends with disease history in the American South, climate crisis-caused tropical disease, and Louisiana American Indian community resilience in the face of climate crisis. Weaver’s creative interests relate directly to an upbringing in rural Alaska and West Virginia, and their projects explore intersectional identity, queer/trans embodiment, memory, and interdependence. Visit Rachel’s website.


While we are limited in the number of residencies we can award, we would like to recognize the following semifinalist artists for their strong applications and commitment to their practice. We would also like to express deep appreciation to our jurors for their thoughtful work in selecting this year’s residents.

Jamie Bourgeois, Jacqueline Maloney, and Sandra Nakamura

Erin Lee Antonak, Multidisciplinary Arts Curator, CAC New Orleans
kai lumumba barrow, Visual and Performance Artist
D. Jelagat Cheruiyot, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Tulane
Jonathan Foret, Executive Director, South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center
Alex Jennings, Writer/Editor/Teacher/Poet
Maris Jones, Artist and Scholar, University of Pennsylvania
Maurita N. Poole, Director, Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University
Daniel Pruksarnukul, Creative Producer, Mondo Bizarro Productions and Musical Theater Teacher, NOCCA