Forest Island Residency - May 2018



The Forest Island Project is pleased to announce its May 2018 Artist Residency session with the participation of Los Angeles-based Spanish-American painter Patricia Fernández, Minneapolis-based Argentine sculptor Alexa Horochowski and Los Angeles based Curator Matthew Schum. The Session’s curatorial title – Mono Culture – is an allusion to both the stereotypes which aim to reduce rural life to simplified-singular-coherent and easily-compartmentalized populations, as well as a play on our region’s literal name, Mono County, California (an area immortalized by the early twentieth-century landscape photographer Ansel Adams and mythologized in contemporary art by the Super-8 films of of Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer and Nancy Holt from the late 1960’s).

Through the work of Resident Fellows Fernández and Horochowski, and through the writing Schum will be producing on the Forest Island website over the course of the month, Mono Culture will attempt to thoughtfully consider the long historical dichotomy of city/country, which currently dominates American political polarity; the assumed benefits of urban cosmopolitanism, which entail unquestionable devotion to a city; the complicated identity of “rural-ness”, which may register as simultaneously idyllic, backwards or frontier; and, lastly, how these tropes configure and limit the ways we are able to move into the future together, locally, nationally, and internationally.

We invite the surrounding and online communities to join us in exploring these topics throughout the month of May. Please join our mailing list by visiting the Forest Island Project website.

To reach the artists’ individual websites, please click on their names below. They were chosen because they are fearless and because they have worked extensively alone in the wilderness and beyond.




Forest Island Residency Fellows:



Employing woodwork, artist books, painting, research, writing, recorded folklore, and family genealogy, Spanish-born, LA-based Fernández represents in her work the fallout of war, specifically, the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Beginning in 1939 some half a million people left Francisco Franco’s Fascist and Nazi-backed takeover of Spain by escaping over the border to the French side of the Pyrenees mountains. Over the last few years, Fernández has spent summers traversing pathways and hiking trails through this region, leading to encounters with exiles of the war who committed themselves to a new life immersed in another culture and often never to return to their homeland. Fernández collects their stories, delicately weaving them together them with elements of the local flora, fauna and found images of the area to create paintings, sculptures, visual representations and ethnographic records of these otherwise untold histories.

Patricia Fernández studied at Saint Martins College of Art (2000), University of California, Los Angeles (2002), and received an MFA from California Institute of the Arts (2010). She is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Grant (2010), California Community Foundation Fellowship (2011), France Los Angeles Exchange Grant (2012), Lincoln City Fellowship (2015), and Pollock Krasner Grant (2017). Fernández was an artist residence of Fondazione Antonio Ratti (2013), 18th Street Arts Center (2014), Headlands Center for the Arts (2015), D-Flat, México, D.F. (2016), and Récollets, Paris (2016). Selected exhibitions include: Clifton Benevento in New York, Commonwealth & Council, Made in LA at the Hammer Museum, LA><ART, the Cal-Pac Triennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, and CAB Museum in Spain. Fernández was born in Burgos, Spain and lives and works in Los Angeles, California.


ALEXA HOROCHOWSKI    |     Artist 

Minneapolis-based artist Alexa Horochowski’s work exists at the intersection of what is human and what is not. Informed by a life immersed in radically different landscapes — the desolate Argentine fringes of Patagonia’s Atlantic coast where she was raised, and the fertile Midwest woodlands hugging the great lakes — chance encounters with various materials, natural or man-made, often provide a starting point for her works in sculpture, photography and video. Creating juxtapositions she manipulates organic matter into geometric shapes or patterns, and explores natural forces like wind and tides, distilling their essence as indifferent actors prepared to swirl scraps of trash as readily as fallen leaves. Warning of the ramifications of climate change, Horochowski aspires to “question the sustainability of a consumer society that exacerbates inequality and undermines the environment.” Through this lens, human-kind and its impact on the earth can be viewed as yet another natural force, creating and unleashing materials which are moved around the globe by the jet stream, ocean currents or even industrial systems heedless of how we might define a landscape as urban or rural, developed or undeveloped.

Alexa Horochowski is a dual citizen of Argentina and the United States. Horochowski holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan and a BA in Journalism from the University of Missouri. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at The Drawing Center, NYC; Braga Menéndez Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Diverseworks, Houston; Praxis, NYC/Miami; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MN; Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, IL; Franklin Artworks, Minneapolis, MN; Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer, MN; The Soap Factory, Minneapolis, MN. Horochowski has been awarded two McKnight Visual Artist Fellowships, a Jerome Emerging Artist Fellowship, several Minnesota Artist Initiative Grants, and a Bush Artist Fellowship. Horochowski is a Professor of Fine Arts at Saint Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN.


MATTHEW SCHUM    |    Guest Curator

Matthew Schum is a writer and curator based in Los Angeles. He received his PhD in art history from University of California San Diego and has been a lecturer in art history at Cal State University Bakersfield, Otis College of Art, and NYU Steinhart. Curatorial projects include the 2019 Desert X Biennial in the Coachella Valley, First Colony at the Nemeth Art Center, Park Rapids; Bosco Sodi, Malpaís in West Hollywood; Itasca at the Bindery Projects, St. Paul; Five Artists at David Nolan Gallery, New York; David Hartt, Interval and Eamon Ore-Giron, Morococha for LAXART, Hollywood, among others. He recently edited a monograph on filmmaker-artist Mark Boulos published by Hatje Cantz. Matthew has written for Aperture, WdW Review, X-tra, Mousse Magazine, Flash Art International and Artforum.