Artist in Residence Program (A.I.R.)


A Breath of Fresh AIR

Renewing a Longtime Steele Tradition Theodore Clement Steele (1847-1926) became Indiana University’s  first Artist in Residence where he led students “to see the Beautiful in nature and in life.” Steele visited the campus often following his move to Brown County. As one of Indiana’s leading artists, his presence on campus was an indication of IU’s increasing cultural prominence. The university position offered Steele “the comforts of civilization,” unlike the wilderness of rural Brown County. Greatly moved by that wild, but beautiful landscape, he developed an impressionistic style of painting that contrasted with his more tonal, academic works. In both locations, Steele served as a mentor to other artists and opened students’ eyes to the area’s natural beauty by demonstrating his methods and sharing his philosophy. This dual role is reflected in the goals of the site’s Artist in Residence Program (A.I.R.).
The Goals of A.I.R. Contemporary artists are invited to follow tradition amid the landscape that inspired Steele’s paintings. Resident Artists will develop their own skills, interact with artists, students and visitors while supporting these A.I.R. program goals:

  • To promote the T.C. Steele State Historic Site and the works of T.C. Steele
  • To cultivate and encourage contemporary fine arts and artists
  • To create an opportunity for an exchange among artists, students and the community with hands-on experiences and interaction with working artists

How to Apply

Download and complete A.I.R. application form (PDF) and include the following with your submission:

  • One-page resumé or vitae including your email address and 3 references.
  • Personal statement of why you wish to be a resident artist at T.C. Steele, what your goals for the residency period are, and how your work is relevant to the historical site and/or the natural world.
  • 10-20  digital images (JPGs no larger than 300 dpi and 4 x 5 inches) of your most recent work on a CD. Submitted CDs will not be returned.
  • Image identification sheet with name and contact information at the top followed by thumbnail images labeled with title, medium, size and date of work.
  • $15 check made payable to: The Friends of T.C. Steele. The fee is tax-deductible and non-refundable.

Submission of application does not guarantee selection. Selected artists will be subject to a criminal background check. Back to Top

Visiting Artists

The historic site also hosts a number of Visiting Artists each year. The guest cottage is available for day use as a studio space where artists can meet with visitors to the site. Learn more about becoming a visiting artist by contacting our Program Developer.

Meet Past Resident Artists

The Artist in Residence program embraces a broad range of artistic mediums, providing working and teaching opportunities for artists. The visiting and resident artists share their varied expertise with visitors to the historic site and workshop participants. Here is a sample of the artistic diversity that the program has supported:

    • 2007
      Frederick Rigley—Painting: oil
      Patricia Rhoden Bartels—Painting: oil
    • 2008
      Pamela Denney-Rohrbach—Painting: Oil, Watercolor
      Amber Zaragoza—Painting: Oil, Encaustic
    • 2009
      Anabel Hopkins—Painting: Oil, Pastels
      Joel Knapp—Painting: Oil
      Alexander Weinstein—Creative Writing
      Charlene Marsh—Painting: Oil
      Joe LaMantia—Public Art, Assemblage
      R.J. Trubitt—Art Quilts
    • 2010
      Karen Phipps—Painting: Oil
      Bonnie Maurer—Poetry, Creative Writing
      Pat Siddiq—Painting: Oil
    • 2011
      Bonnie Maurer—Poetry, Creative Writing
      Cheryl Kaldahl—Painting: Oil; Music inspired works
      Ken Scott—Bookbinding; Fractur painting
      Aaron Stepp—Musical Composition
    • 2012
      Cheryl Kaldahl—Painting: Oil; music inspired works
      John Bradley—Painting: Watercolor; Landscape Design
      Don and Della Wood—Woodworking and Ceramics
      Alexis Wreden—Drawing; Landscape Architecture
    • 2013
      Dick Ferrer—Painting: Acrylic
      Dixie Ferrer—Painting: Oil; Mixed-media collage
      Justin Chase Lane—Photograpy
      Elizabeth Busey—Printmaking
    • 2014
      Joshua Phillippe—Photography; Documentation
      Elizabeth Busey—Printmaking
    • 2015
      Gary Morrison—Photography
    • 2016
      Elizabeth Seagull Heeter—Hand-cut Paper; Watercolor
      Cheryl Anne Lorance—Painting: Oil; Limestone Carving
      Sean Oswald—Portrait Painting
    • 2017
      Andrea Cukier—Mixed media, non-traditional landscape
      Peggy Melchior Pearson—Puppetry
      Marc Tschida—Custom wood jigsaw puzzles
    • Back to Top

      More About the Artists


      Sean Oswald is an emerging artist living and working in Cincinnati Ohio. In 2004 Sean left home to enroll in art school at Miami University in Oxford, Oh, which is a small University town about an hour north of Cincinnati. There he studied art and art education, which led to his first job as a high school art teacher. Currently Sean makes paintings and drawings that range from the conceptual to the traditional. His conceptual works seek to engage dialogue and understanding between contemporary Christian and arts communities. While his other works are about beauty, style, shapes, experimentation, play, colors and intuition. To him quietly engaging with a beautiful still life is just as important as crafting a philosophical position. His work can be viewed on his website, in person at his studio at Wave Pool Gallery in Camp Washington, or currently as part of the exhibition “Fresh American Art” at TheArtLab.Me in St. Petersburg, Russia. Visit Artist Website

      Cheryl Anne Lorance was born in 1969 in Muncie, Indiana where she spent most of her childhood and earned an undergraduate Fine Arts degree from Ball State University, majoring in painting and sculpture. Awarded a graduate assistantship at BSU, she completed a Master of Arts degree in sculpture with an emphasis on bronze casting. A Creative Arts Grant funded her Master’s thesis on the subject of bronze patination. In 1996, she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to continue her artistic pursuits. There she evolved into an accomplished goldsmith and jewelry designer: a skill she pursued professionally for six years. She has also worked at two bronze art foundries, and has gone back to her alma mater to teach workshops in bronze casting and patination. In the summer of 2016, Cheryl stayed at the site as Artist in Residence where she focused on limestone carving. Visit Artist Website

      Elizabeth Seagull Heeter
      Indianapolis based artist, Elizabeth Seagull Heeter, creates vibrant and poetic paintings to celebrate the inner qualities of our natural world. Look closely to see layers in her artwork. Drawing from observation and imagination, Heeter hand-cuts paper and then mounts it onto her watercolor paintings. Elizabeth served as the site’s Artist in Residence February of 2016. Visit Artist Website

      Garry Morrison travels backroads, gravel roads, and dirt roads photographing the beauty he sees in the landscapes. He seldom photographs people or manmade artifacts. Rather, he searches for the undisturbed beauty in nature that is abundant in the state. Seldom a day goes by that someone does not stop to enjoy the beauty with him or to simply ask if he is having car trouble and needs help. Capturing images of nature is his primary purpose. The secondary purpose is meeting different individuals along the roadside. It always starts with my explaining that he is a landscape and wildlife photographer. Eventually, he either asks a question about a location to photograph or they will volunteer what is seemingly a secret place unknown to anyone but the locals. Visit Artist Website

      Joshua Mark Phillippe
      Joshua studied Art and Art History at Indiana University in Bloomington and received his MFA from the City College of New York / CUNY. Working in the medium of photography, Joshua documented the changing environments around Indiana State Road 46 and the Southern Indiana Arts Corridor creating a body of work titled Indiana 46. This work was part of a social media project, exhibited on the grounds during his residency and presented during the Great Outdoor Art Contest. Visit Artist Website

      Elizabeth Busey

      Elizabeth studied fine art and printmaking at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. After living on both coasts, she now enjoys the rugged hills and valleys of the Norman Upland of southern Indiana. Her work is in public and private collections in the United States and Australia. During her residency in 2013, she did demonstrations of her work both at the site and during other outreach programs. She returned to the site for a second residency in 2014.  Visit Artist Website

      Justin Chase Lane Justin Chase Lane received a masters degree in Fine Art from the University of New Mexico, and a Bachelor of Fine Art in Photography from Indiana University, with a minor in Art History. His work transitions from sketches into environment/ drawing/ painting/ light-study photograph amalgamations. Before he creates any image, he begins by sketching the concept on paper, as it gives him a way of solidly transitioning his ideas to the 3D. During his stay in 2013, Lane photographed our site and held workshops for children. Visit Artist Website

      Dick and Dixie Ferrer Dixie Ferrer is originally from Indianapolis where she started her career as a professional artist and instructor. 27 years ago she bought a weekend cottage in Brown County and in her words “I forgot to go home”. She met and married fellow artist Dick Ferrer and they both moved full time to the art colony of Brown County. During their joint residency in 2014 they held painting demonstrations at the site. Visit Artist Website

      Alexis WredenAlexis Wreden received a MFA in Sculpture from Indiana University and a  MLA from Harvard University. She collaborates with her partner/husband at their studio in Bloomington, Indiana,  pursuing painting, drawing, and sculpture. At her workshop on Drawing Native Landscapes, participants learned how to read the landscape through map interpretation, quick studies, compositional studies and observation. Visit Artist Website

      Don and Della Wood were visiting artists in 2012 during the Brown County Studio and Garden Tour. Don demonstrated turning wood objects on a lathe while Della created hand-built ceramic forms.  This creative couple takes advantage of the areas abundant resources, using reclaimed wood from downed trees and clay from local streams. Don’s work ranges from wine bottle stoppers to heirloom rockers that combine a variety of woods. Della’s fluid style allows the clay to suggest the direction the forms will take. Visit Artist Website

      John BradleyJohn Bradley paints in oils, watercolors, and colored pencil—at times in combination. His favorite subjects include flowers, architecture and portraits. During his time at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, he discovered his love for nature and started his own landscape company specializing in garden design. In May of 2012, John hosted workshops on Watercolor Still Lifes and Garden Design and created a peaceful landscaped seating area at the site as part of his residency. Visit Artist Website

      Cheryl KaldahlCheryl Kaldahl is not only a painter but a musician, inspired by the sheer beauty of her surroundings. At the historic site, Cheryl taught workshops on Watercolor for Beginners and How Music Affects Your Art. Her residency included outreach programs on Introduction to Color Therapy for the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington, Beginning Acrylic Painting for the BETA Teen Club in Nashville, and Music and You at Keepsake Village of Columbus. Visit Artist Website

      Aaron SteppAaron Stepp is a musician and composer who frequently collaborates with artists in other media. He also works in education and recently wrote a method book for advanced high school programs. In November 2011, Aaron performed a concert at T.C. Steele featuring  fixed-media and live electro-acoustic works—a speculation on the intersection of nature and electronic music. In December, Aaron and fellow musicians performed compositions inspired by the  historic site setting. Visit Artist Website

      Ken ScottKen Scott is an American Frontier artist who creates leather-bound journals, hunting pouches and watercolor and ink drawings inspired by fraktur and colonial methods. In 2010, Ken conducted workshops on journal making and leather-working at the site. He also presented a demonstration on painting birds and floral watercolors in the colonial style. His work is intensely historical and he has been named one of the top 200 traditional craftspeople in America by Early American Home magazine. Visit Artist Website

      Bonnie MaurerBonnie Maurer was a recipient of the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship, awarded by the Arts Council of Indianapolis and teaches poetry in the schools and community for young audiences. She also works as a copy editor for the Indianapolis Business Journal. In November 2010, Bonnie hosted a poetry slam and reading and a poetry and creative writing workshop at T.C. Steele. Maurer returned to the site in 2011, and in February she conducted a creative writing workshop for 321 Taylorsville Elementary students in K—4th grade. Visit Artist Website

      Pat Siddiq received her BA in art training from DePauw University and her MA from Indiana University. Pat has worked as an illustrator, art educator and owned an art supply/framing business Nashville, in addition to being a past president of Indiana Heritage Arts. Her plein air oil painting has an impressionistic style and has been described as poetic and sensitive. She also works with pastels, watercolors, and pen and ink. Siddiq was a visiting artist at the historic site in 2010 and lives in Brown County. Visit Artist Website

      Mary Jo LimpMary Jo Limp was attracted to the natural scenery and camaraderie of area artists and moved to Nashville, Indiana in 1989. In 2010 she was the historic site’s visiting artist. Ms. Limp works in acrylic, oil and watercolor. Her preferred subject is landscapes. Her style reflects the strong influence of her teacher, the late Dwight Steininger and the work of early Brown County artist Leota Loop. She sells her paintings out of her home studio south of Nashville where she encourages drop-in visitors.

      Karen PhippsKaren Phipps is inspired by the profound and infinite beauty of the natural world and the concrete experiences of what materials are and can do. Karen focuses on painting using encaustics and oil. In 2010, Karen hosted a workshop at the historic site where students used still life set-ups of flowers, fruit and other props in order to study chiaroscuro and basic formal painting-related issues. She also demonstrated plein air painting during the site’s annual fall art competition. Visit Artist Website

      RJ TrubittR. J. Trubitt began quilting old pieced tops in 1974, but in the last twenty years has concentrated on original wall hangings. Her quilts display a variety of techniques and styles both traditional and modern. In May 2010, Trubitt presented an introductory quilting workshop at the site on rotary cutting and machine piecing. She also hosted a quilter’s circle where participants bought quilts to share and discuss. During her stay, visitors were able to help create a fabric collage and observe her unique work.

      Joe LaMantiaJoe LaMantia is a collaborative artist, working with both communities and schools. In 2010,  along with the Brown County Junior High School art students, he created a public art display of recycled materials incorporating the theme of an Eagle, the school’s mascot. He offers a holistic approach to creating art that is shaped for each unique cultural setting. Joe has produced large scale interior and exterior sculptures and is experienced in architectural and structural drafting, illustration, jewelry, and exhibit preparation. Visit Artist Website

      Charlene MarshCharlene Marsh was a visiting artist at T.C. Steele in 2009. Inspired to work en plein air, Marsh uses palette knives and wet on wet techniques to create a heavy impasto surface that captures the raw essence of the forest surrounding her Brown County home. Only when the weather is too harsh does she work in her studio, most of her painting is done on location, completed in one session. Her plein air work covers each of the four seasons. Charlene has has sold over 2000 of her paintings. Visit Artist Website

      Alexander-WeinsteinAlexander Weinstein is director of The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. His fiction has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and appears in the anthology New Stories from the Midwest. He is a professor of Creative Writing at Siena Heights University, and a lecturer at the University of Michigan. In 2009, he hosted a writing workshop at the site aimed at helping writers of all abilities strengthen their craft, and learn tools to produce powerful fiction using dialogue, language, and narrative structure. Visit Artist Website

      Joel KnappJoel Knapp is a plein air painter who captures nature in all seasons. He uses lively color in oils, using an impressionistic style to capture a feeling of time and place as he sees it. In 2006 he was featured as a Nationally Emerging Artist in Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. In September of 2009, Joel taught a two-day workshop focusing on impressionist landscapes where participants learned how to capture a scene quickly on a small canvas. Knapp also lectured, presented a demo and critiqued his student’s work. Visit Artist Website

      Anabel Hopkins teaches and abstract painting workshopAnabel Hopkins  serves as president of Art Alliance Brown County, where she initiated projects such as the Village Art Walk, chaired the Artful Dining Gala  fundraising event and serves on the board of the new Nashville Arts and Entertainment District. Working  in oil and acrylic and pastels, Hopkins creates both impressionist landscapes and abstract works inspired by the rural wooded area around her home. In 2011, Hopkins received Best of Show in the Brown County Art Guild Patron Show. Visit Artist Website

      Amber ZaragozaAmber Zaragoza graduated in 2008 with high honors from Indiana University with a BFA in Painting and a BA in Art History. She has studied in France and Italy and has exhibited at the SoFA Gallery in Bloomington, Indiana. During her 2008 residency, Zaragoza expressed her interest in nature through abstract works in watercolor, oil and encaustic, drawn from scenes observed during at the site. She also conducted workshops on canvas stretching and panel priming. Visit Artist Website

      Pamela-Denny-RohrbachPamela Denny-Rohrbach received her BFA from Indiana University School of Fine Arts and her MFA from Queens College of the City University of New York. She served as Artist-in-Residence at the historic site in 2008. Pamela’s career as an artist has taken her to Italy where she worked on painting restoration, and to New York City to display her work. She is a plein air painter working in oil and watercolor. She is now living in Indiana.

      Patricia Rhoden BartelsPatricia Rhoden Bartels earned a BA in Art Education from the University of Toledo, and an MFA from Bowling Green State University. Bartels works in oils, watercolor and acrylic. In her words, her art is, “a celebration of the exceptional beauty of nature represented in broken color.” As a visiting artist in 2007, she lead a workshop on Developing Vibrant Paintings. In 2010 she assisted A.I.R Joe LaMantia, with a public art project at Brown County High School where she teaches. Visit Artist Website

      Frederick Rigley 2007 Artist in Residence Frederick Rigley (1914-2009) studied at the Art Students League in New York and the Ringling School of Art in Florida. Working in oils, watercolor and acrylic, Rigley’s landscapes and seascapes were created en plein air with few exceptions. As an instructor and artist he is remembered and missed by the Brown County art community. During his lifetime, he was know as one of Brown County’s “Living Treasures.” In 2007 he was a visiting artist at the site, along with with Patricia Rhoden Bartels.

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