This blog post is a letter of introduction courtesy of Kimi Eisele, current artist in residence at the Island Institute through the support of the Rasmuson Artist Residency Program. She will be here in Sitka until mid-November.
I’m enchanted and alive with your offerings. I am originally from Pennsylvania but have lived for the past 18 years in the Sonoran Desert, the most biodiverse desert in the world, but a very dry place (Tucson gets on average 11 inches of rain a year). I am standing on my head in Sitka, a completely different ecosystem, and I dig the view from here.
Kimi Eisele is a dancer/choreographer, director, writer, and visual artist living in Tucson, Arizona. Her work is grounded in explorations of place and environment, creating opportunities for community collaboration, civic participation, and deeper discovery of our connection to nature. She has directed multiple dance projects for New ARTiculations Dance Theatre, exploring issues such as endangered species (Rosemont Ours, 2013), water (FLOW, 2012), urban revitalization (The Invisible City,2008), and food systems (We Are What We Eat, 2008). Her current projects are How to Duet with a Saguaro, investigating our relationship with movement, stillness, and the iconic Sonoran Desert cactus; and Transit Talks, using arts-based projects to promote community conversations about transit and climate change in Tucson. Her writing has been published in literary magazines, anthologies, and online news outlets. She received the 2012 Arizona Commission on the Arts’ Artist Project Grant for her novel-in-progress about America in the post-apocalypse. Also a visual artist, Kimi makes papercuttings and shadow puppet theater about community, wildlife, and the human body. She is the 2014 recipient of the “Lumie” Award for Established Artist from the Tucson Pima Arts Council and has been a resident artist at Djerassi, Blue Mountain Center, and the Mesa Refuge. Read more about her projects at www.KimiEisele.com or view her artwork at www.KimiEiseleArtwork.com.While in Sitka, Kimi collaborated with Robert Woolsey from the KCAW staff to produce a story about the Yellow Cedar. It can be heard here:
Kimi was also interviewed on Raven Radio:
We produced a booklet collecting together Kimi's writing, artwork, and ideas. You can browse it here:
Kimi spent some of her time in Sitka in conversation with the landscape through dance:
Finally, Kimi's time in Sitka culminated with the shadow puppetry production of In/Out of the Shadows: A Yellow Cedar Tale: