Contact:  merrydef@yahoo.com

I am open to commissions in printmaking, design, or clay.  I may also be convinced of other sorts of artistic commissions and collaborations.  My art is also available for licensing.
Please email me about showing work at your gallery or presenting at your school or other institution.

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BIO

I was born in 1976 in a small town in Pennsylvania, where I spent my youth riding horses and running away with my brother Mike  into the woods to make tree forts. We lived in an old farmhouse, and then later in a passive solar house about an hour away from Philadelphia. I went to Quaker boarding school for high school. I can still remember my mind blowing open on the first day of my English class with Terry C. He encouraged us that in his class there were no right and wrong answers to reading of literature; and that if there was only one thing he hoped we might take away from his class, it was to question everything.

Later I moved to New Orleans and attended Tulane University to acquire a BFA in ceramics and learn how to spin records on the radio as a DJ. Outside of school I jumped into many cooperative projects. We filled our kitchen each week with Food Not Bombs, we had a makeshift silkscreening room in a closet, punk bands took up temporary residence in our living room, and at least 2 people lived in each bedroom. We soon started a space outside of our house which was a collectively run, non-profit bookstore and infoshop called Crescent Wrench where we continued to book shows, film events, art workshops, and build a community. After finishing college and Crescent Wrench disbanded, I moved into a warehouse space with my friends Brice and Icky which we called Nowe Miasto (which means ‘New City’ in Polish) where we continued to ferment a refuge for community of artists, activists, musicians, world travellers, gardeners, tinkerers, and junkers.

After nearly 8 years in New Orleans, I tested out living in Pittsburgh for a year; then tried a semester of graduate school in printmaking and book arts  at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia before finally landing in Providence, Rhode Island. Throughout the years I have self published several zines and in 2007 orchestrated the chapter “Subversive Multiples: A Conversation between contemporary printmakers” on radical printmakers in the Josh MacPhee and Erik Ruin book “Realizing the Impossible:Art Against Authority”. Also in 2007 I became a cooperative member of Justseeds which is now a large part of my life blood. In the past few years I have collaborated with members of Justseeds on several large scale art installations at Space 1026 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; UWM Union Art Gallery at The University of Wisconsin at Madison; The Miller Gallery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as part of the Pittsburgh Biennial; and in Ljubliana, Slovenia as part of the 29th Graphic Arts Biennial. Other creative cooperative projects include a two person art show in 2006, where I collaborated with Justseeds member Erik Ruin on “Rude Awakenings” at the Art of This Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Later that year, Pippi Zornoza and I co-curated a printmaker show in Providence, Rhode Island called “Pocket Change” which included 15 contemporary printmakers. In 2008 I curated “Sustainability”, a printmaking show themed around issues of environmental justice and sustainable living.

I spent several years as the Program Director at AS220 working with and booking thousands of bands including Andrew W.K., Cherie Lily, The Sun Ra Arkestra under Marshall Allen, ESG, Lightning Bolt, Deer Tick, and many others. I currently live in a house with my partner Peter Glantz and our two cats (Jello and Gandalf) where we dug up the front yard for growing vegetables. We’ve pickled nearly 100 cucumbers this year, which has inspired my Pickling Pot business. I throw pots in our basement, where I also play drums in a feminist, no wave inspired metal band with a couple amazing friends, Hilary and Reba. On the second floor, I have a print studio where I carve and print blocks of linoleum and wood.

A couple online interviews with me are here:
Art of Dismantling

Craftland

Aorta: A Rad Art Magazine

Awards Received:

  • 1998.  Juanita Gonzalez Prize in Ceramics.  Tulane University.  New Orleans, LA.
  • In 2009 Justseeds won the Grand Prix of The International Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Grants Received:

  • 2013.  Puffin Foundation Ltd.  Project Grant.  Teaneck, NJ.
  • 2010. New England Foundation for the Arts.  Presenter Travel Fund Grant. Applied through my program director position while working at AS220.  Received funding to travel to South By Southwest (SXSW). Boston, MA.
  • 2006. Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.  Project Grant for “Pocket Change Show.”  Co-organized, co-curated with Pippi Zornoza.  Providence, RI.
  • 2005.  Puffin Foundation Ltd.  Project Grant.  Teaneck, NJ.
  • 2005.  Money For Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Inc. Project Grant. Bronx, NY.
  • 2005.  RI Foundation.  Project grant for PAC (Providence Artist Collaborative).  Joint Director with Paul McCarthy. Providence, RI.
  • 2002. ChoiceUSA.org. Mini grant for a writing project.

Collections

  • Library of Congress.  Washington, DC.
  • Artist Book Collection, Museum of Modern Art. New York, NY.
  • Print Collection, University of the Arts. Philadelphia, PA.
  • Private Collection.  Ornette Coleman, Musician.
  • Collections in Universities and Libraries around the US, Canada, and England.