The Schoolhouse Fellowships

Updated 13 December 2017

The Schoolhouse awards fellowships to outstanding individuals who are established artists, scholars, or professionals. The fellowships provide 30-day residencies with lodging and meals for the fellow and a life partner here at the Great Wall. The purpose is to provide a low-key environment for fellows to create and think.

Each fellow is expected to work on a project of some sort (e.g. creating works of art or participating in a seminar on an agreed topic). Fellows are asked to offer a public lecture or exhibition on an agreed topic/theme. We hope and expect that the fellows will broadly contribute to social, economic, or ecological sustainability.

We welcome proposals for fellowships. The number of fellowships awarded varies from year to year and we reserve the sole right to accept or decline proposals as well as to change or modify the fellowships at will. Please contact if you are interested in a fellowship or would like to suggest a worthy recipient.


Rhea Cutillo, October 2017


John Melvin, August 2017

John Melvin  is an international artist intent on distilling a meaning of ecology relevant to society. He typically up-cycles materials that have passed their traditional use. A majority of his practice is intended or situated in the public realm.  He has produced site specific installations all over the world, and many private collections are in possession of his work.


Sabrina Muzi, July 2017

Sabrina Muzi is an italian artist based in Bologna. She works in a range of media, from photography and video to installation and drawing, also creating site-specific projects in natural environments, performance and artist books. Muzi’s work explores issues related to the human condition through an imaginary connected to physical and mental body, where, in some cases, herself becomes part of the work project. The materials she uses and transforms often come from the natural-organic world: fabrics, clothes, vegetal elements, marine items, minerals, spices and edible products. The coming out scenario assumes surreal values leading to an immersive vision that returns into various shapes. The human being and its relations with places, the dialogue between nature and history, the landscape, the ritual action as archaic and cultural heritage, the cyclical and the metamorphosis, are recurring traces in her work, as well the choice and the processing of some material as devices “prompters” of symbolic universes.

Vasken Mardikian, July 2017

Vasken Mardikian is an Belgian artist currently working and living in Shanghai, China. He obtained his MFA from Yale University School of Art with a Fulbright grant in 2008.  Since, he has been selected by the Nanji Art studio residency (Seoul), the Swatch Art Peace Hotel Artist Residency (Shanghai), and the Kulturresidens Tranas (Sweden), and his work has been included in solo and group exhibitions in Brussels, Paris, New York, Miami, Kyoto, Seoul, and Shanghai.

Joe Hedges and Jiamei Lin, June 2017

Jiamei Lin is an artist, illustrator and designer from Hangzhou, China now living in Cincinnati, OH.  Her most recent work, 31 Days Self Portrait Challenge Of Daily Style Under $100, was a tongue-in-cheek blog series consisting of vector self-portraits with ruminations on life and love.  The posts were syndicated on a major Chinese website.  Mei has also created installations that combine sculptural elements, found objects, drawings and video works.

Joe Hedges is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in eastern Washington/western Idaho.  Hedges paintings, photographs and internet art projects explore the links between science and art through the visual language of the experiment and the archive.  With a reverence for art history, and an enthusiastic interest in the effects of digital technologies on human experience, Hedges’ work melds vocabularies and media in a contemporary fashion.


Eduardo Makoszay, April 2017

Eduardo Makoszay is an experimental filmmaker from Mexico. In the past, he completed residencies in Iceland and China. Since 2014, he has realized several video installations and short films in which he experimented with images. These include Tenerife (2014) and Coca Cola Internet (2016). He balances his speculative motifs and themes somewhere on the border between essayistic documentary film and sci-fi.


Jamie Oliveira March 2017 

Jamie Oliveira is a nomadic poet, artist, and femme healing activist from San Francisco. She is the author of the photo book (more than) dust, as well as in passing, a self-published collection of art and poetry. She was the recipient of the Where Are You Poet contest in 2015, which resulted in the publishing of her poetry book The Calming. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, BUST Magazine, HelloGiggles, and more, as well as in art spaces and film festivals around the world. She received her B.A. in documentary film production from San Francisco State University, which provided a strong foundation of honesty and ethics in her approach to art and storytelling. Since she began her travels, she has read her poetry and painted murals of her work throughout Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Himachal Pradesh, India. Now, she is nurturing plants, being nurtured by forests, and sharing her work on the road in the U.S


Schoolhouse Fellows 2016

Desiree Holmann October 2016


Desiree Holmann creates fantastical worlds that are founded in research. While each project chapter has unique themes, all are underpinned by a creative investigation into social equality through the use of character play. Her work positions groups of individuals and theatrical tools, like costumes or props, in settings that illuminate ideas of identity. Desiree attempts to occupy British anthropologist Victor Turner’s notion of liminality, a transitional state of ritual wherein participants fully engaged in performance inhabit a series of new, hybrid identities. The diversity of her output mirrors her interests in creating worlds within which the work exists, and also working within and beyond the gallery cube and traditional “object” of art.

Fiona Stanbury August 2016


“I have always felt that places have their own spiritual identity and my use of colour attempts to explore this and to create landscape poems. In particular, brushstrokes of colour have become the closest way of capturing my feelings about nature, and seeking the meaning under appearances. At a certain point when I am painting, the paint starts to form its own world and language.”

Fiona Stanbury has exhibited in Cyprus, Greece, Latvia, Belarus, and widely across the UK. She regularly exhibits at the prestigious ‘Not the Royal Academy Exhibition,’ at the Llewellyn Alexander gallery in London. In 2012 Fiona was one of fifteen artists selected internationally for a Mark Rothko painting residency in Daugavpils, Latvia and in 2015 she exhibited at the 6th Beijing International Art Biennale at the National Art Museum of China.

Gregg Emery July 2016  

gregg emery

The works and the world of Gregg Emery are inherently imperfect: purposefully paradoxical marriages between simplicity and complexity, clarity and confusion. Emery sheer physicality to drag his paint, allowing the colors and individual marks of each bristle to interact with one another on his muslin base in ways that are both entirely intentional, yet also left slightly to chance. Each of Emery’s pieces contains a unique, yet often limited, color palette, often inspired by unexpected sources. Derived from his everyday life, Emery’s recent color choices are inspired by a range of visual stimuli from film, food and the landscape.
Through his powerful color selections and movements, Emery awakens something primal within his viewers. He triggers associations both intended and unexpected, allowing the viewer to continuously enjoy the works with their own, ever-evolving interpretations.

Schoolhouse Fellows 2015

Noemie Baumann September 2015


Noemie Baumann is a visual artist from Nice, France. She graduated in 2013 from Parsons School of Design in New York with a BFA in Photography. Her work has been featured in group shows at MILK gallery in NYC and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Working with a mid-format analogue camera, Noemie uses her photographs to create 3D printed sculptures.

Schoolhouse Fellows 2014

Gene Parulis November 2014


Gene Parulis has been absorbed in photographing the world for fifty years. The two poles of his life have been teaching and traveling, and photography has occupied a central place in both passions. He has taught in diverse places from a mountain village in Algeria to Kuwait University and community colleges in the USA and Europe, and his photos have appeared in a number of magazines, books, and websites. He has collaborated with writers particularly with regard to illustrating themes of spirituality as well as personal and professional development.

Juliann Wang   April-May 2014


Juliann Wang is a Chicago-based contemporary interdisciplinary artist. Her work focuses on human society as it exists across various forms and in relation to the natural world, evolving in reaction to aspects of locality, time, and context. Ideating through various media to focus on presentation of concepts, Juliann employs an expanded practice that blends painting, print making, graphic design, and installation/sculpture while encompassing music, dance/performance, and sound. Earning a Master’s degree from The Art Institute of Chicago, she has spent the past several years executing highly involved documentary driven projects.

David Marchant & Holly Seitz Marchant May-June 2014


David Marchant, Professor of the Practice in the Performing Arts Department at Washington University in St. Louis,  and his partner Holly Seitz Marchant, an adjunct professor of dance, will be resident Schoolhouse Fellows in May-June. They create site-specific ecological performance art installations in natural settings. Learn more at  ZO Motion Arts.  In Mutianyu they will create living performance works in trees with public participation in the process invited. David will also lead two Alexander Technique retreats at the Brickyard and offer classes to individuals who would like to learn more about the Alexander Technique through private tuition.

Schoolhouse Fellow 2013

Raymond Wiger October 2013

Raymond Wiger spent a month at The Schoolhouse gathering mesh, like fabric, into the draped form of the human body. As much works in negative space as they are in wire, Wiger’s sculptures allow light to pass through and cast shadows — works in themselves — on surrounding walls, floors and passers-by.

He uses no models or photographs from which to work, but relies for reference on a background of anatomical studies at the anthropology and art departments of the Smithsonian. Learn more.

Schoolhouse Fellow 2012

Tove Pedersen September 2012


Tove Pedersen has been a prominent Oslo-based textile artist since the early 1970s. She was educated at the Arts and Crafts School in the years 1964-1968 including Kjellaug Hølaas as a teacher. Tove believes that patience, diligence and respect for the time consuming process is a prerequisite for the production of any great textile work and her own pieces are as fun as they are detailed. Her large-scale woven or embroidered images are shaped with comic clear lines and prominent figures through which she addresses themes of humor, vulnerability and the beauty of daily life.

During her Schoolhouse Fellowship, Tove focused on line embroidery of rural scenes. On fantastically bright fabric, she depicted all range of daily activities, objects and creatures including a pig, the grass slippers popular throughout the area, and women at work. Learn more about Tove Pedersen and her work here.

Schoolhouse Fellows 2011

Sarah Brayer September 2011

Sarah Brayer is internationally known for her poured washi paperworks and aquatint prints. Drawn to Japanese art through raku-style ceramics and the color aquatints of Mary Cassatt, she studied Japanese woodblock printing with Yoshida Toshi (1911-1996), the son of influential artist Yoshida Hiroshi. During her residency at The Schoolhouse, Sarah experimented with incorporating washi techniques and phosphorescent pigments into glassworks.

Sarah opened her own print studio in an old kimono weaving factory in northern Kyoto in 1986 and now divides her working time among Kyoto, Imadate (Echizen in Fukui prefecture) and New York City. Her art is in the collections of the British Museum, the Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian, the Newark Public Library and the American Embassy, Tokyo.


Learn more about Sarah Brayer and her work here.            

Mindi Schneider April 2011


Mindi Schneider is a political sociologist and doctoral candidate at Cornell University, a Fulbright-Hays Fellow and a former research consultant for Oxfam Hong Kong. During her residency at The Schoolhouse, she worked on her dissertation as part of a stint which included several years in Beijing, Chengdu, and other parts of China studying pork production and agrarian change. All of which contributed to her broader interest in global agricultural politics and development.

Of her work, Mindi says, “Starting in 1979, pork became the most produced and consumed meat in the world. The reason for its ascent to the top of the global meat heap is simple: China. This Chinese pork boom, which today accounts for half of all the pork in the world, is the result of a set of policies and trade agreements that liberalized and industrialized Chinese agriculture and enabled enormous production increases.”

Read more about Mindi’s work at her blog, Pig Penning.

Schoolhouse Fellows 2010

Gregory Burns September 2010


Gregory Burns is an internationally acclaimed artist and his paintings hang in numerous corporate and private collections including those of P & G, Clifford Chance and Bill Clinton. Gregory holds an undergraduate degree in Communications Studies from the University of California and a Master of Fine Art from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

During his residency, Gregory spent the month gathering inspiration for his art from the Great Wall and surrounding Mutianyu Village. His “Made at Mutianyu” series was exhibited in the Art Room on the afternoon of 25 September, 2010.

Learn more about Gregory Burns and his work here.

Timothy Cheek June 2010

Timothy Cheek is a History Professor and the Louis Cha Chair in Chinese Research at the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia, former editor of Pacific Affairs, and a distinguished scholar of modern China.

During his Fellowship, Tim staged a peri-academic workshop entitled “士与乡 – Intellectuals and the Land in Modern China.” He brought together academics, writers, and journalists from the United States, Canada, China, Hong Kong, and Australia for two days of lively and insightful discussion.

For a summary of the conference, click here.
To read Tim Cheek’s conference talk, “The Afterlives of Chairman Mao,” click here.