Meet The Panelists

The majority of WSW’s opportunities are awarded by outside panels composed of artists, organizers, educators, curators, or librarians. These panelists rotate yearly, and vary based on the opportunity.

Fiscal Year 2023

Alisa Banks is a visual artist based in Dallas, Texas who investigates connections to contemporary culture, her Creole heritage, and the African diaspora through the lenses of home, terrain, and the body, using Southern Louisiana as a point of entry. Her sculptural artist books, mixed media work, and textile collages, often incorporate fibers and found materials and reference traditional craft forms. Alisa’s work has been exhibited internationally, and is housed in private and public collections, including the Smithsonian Institution, the US Library of Congress, and The British Library.

Antonina Clarke is an enthusiastic generalist: A fabricator, tradeswoman, textile artist, animator, and muralist. Growing up outside of LA, she has also called the Rockies and eight other cities across the country home (Baltimore, Olympia, Los Angeles among them). She is currently fixing up an abandoned home in Southern Colorado. Other facets of her humanity include a background in farming, neuroscience, and passionate social activism for the liberation of all, particularly for immigrants and the unhoused. She lives and works with the belief that great love and great art comes with great risk at her core.

Sara Clugage’s art practice focuses on economic and political issues in craft and food. She is the editor-in-chief of Dilettante Army (an online journal for visual culture and critical theory) and core faculty for the MA program in Critical Craft Studies at Warren Wilson College. She serves on the boards of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and the Textile Society of America.

Chotsani Elaine Dean, b. Hartford, CT, is an artist and Assistant Professor of Ceramics at the University of Minnesota. She received her BFA in ceramics from Hartford Art School and her Master of Fine Arts degree from Sam Fox School of Art at Washington University in St. Louis. Dean is coauthor of the book, Contemporary Black American Ceramic Artists, Schiffer Publishing. She has been in residence at the John Michael Kohler Artist Residency, and is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Teaching and Research grant. Dean was the inaugural MJ DO Good resident at Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana, held the position of studio manager at Wesleyan Potters in Middletown, Connecticut, and is the recipient of a Connecticut Arts Grant. She has lectured and exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions and has taught at institutions including Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India, University of Connecticut, Connecticut College, and Hartford Art School.

Deb Dormody most recently served for over seven years as the Deputy Director for the Artist Communities Alliance – an international association providing services to the artist residency field – where she directed operational practices and policies to support the organization’s strategic initiatives and equitable values. Deb is a professional bookbinder, having founded If’n Books + Marks in 2000, whose work has been featured in American Craft, HGTV, and Handmade Nation, among others. Deb serves on the board of CERF+ who provide emergency readiness and relief support to artists working in craft disciplines, and was previously appointed as co-chair of the Dirt Palace Public Projects board of directors, an intersectional feminist art space and residency program. She is a former co-owner of Craftland, a shop showcasing work by independent artists. Deb understands the role of collaboration and networks in sparking collective change, and is invested in mending the historic distribution of power and resources in the arts.

Rosario Parker Gordon is an artist and writer, currently based in Minneapolis, MN. Their work explores the culturally specific contexts of mancrafts in the American Midwest, institutional critiques, and micro-community culture. They have exhibited work locally and nationally and have contributed to zines, such as HAIR + NAILS ZINE and  Post-Mortem Zine, as well as written for academic journals.

Anina Major is a visual artist whose work investigates the relationships between self and place as a way of cultivating moments of reflection and a sense of belonging. She holds an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design and is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies, including Women Studio Residency Studio Residency Grant. Her work has been exhibited in The Bahamas, across the United States, and Europe.

Mika Obayashi is a fiber and installation artist from Michigan. She received her BA from Amherst College in 2019 and has exhibited her work in the US and Japan. She is a recipient of the Amelia Peabody Award for Sculpture given by the St. Botolph Club Foundation in Boston (2020), the Mass Cultural Council Recovery Grant (2023), and was a resident at the Women’s Studio Workshop in 2022. She lives and works in Western Massachusetts.

Shelby Rodeffer is a Kentucky-based artist specializing in traditional sign painting and gilding, handmade banners, murals, and other painted works. In the ten years that Shelby has been in practice, she has shown work nationally and internationally, curated group exhibitions, and created hand-painted signs and murals—many of which can be seen in public spaces and on storefronts across the United States.

Rhiannon ‘Skye’ Tafoya (Eastern Band Cherokee and Santa Clara Pueblo) employs printmaking, digital design, and basketry techniques in creating her artist’s books, prints, and paper weavings. Both of her Tribal heritages, cultures, and lineages are manifested in her two- and three-dimensional artworks that range in size from a few inches to a few feet. She is inspired by her family history of basketry and observing her father and maternal grandmother weave baskets from red willow, honeysuckle vine, and white oak. While her inspiration comes, in part, from Cherokee traditions, her artworks are decidedly contemporary, featuring sharp lines and bold colors. Skye creates to preserve, archive, and share personal and familial stories, Indigenous cultural teachings, and the Cherokee language. She has held many artist-in-residency positions and will complete three others in the Fall of 2023 at Halden Bookworks (Tistedal, Norway), Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts (Pendleton, OR) and Township10 (Marshall, NC). Her work is housed in many special collections, including the US Library of Congress, the Met library, and Self-Help Graphics.