Squeaky Wheel announces Summer 2023 Artists in Residence

July 11, 2023

Media Contact: Ekrem Serdar, ekrem@squeaky.org

Alicia Solstice Hawkins and Maggie Hazen to receive support for media arts projects public events  through Squeaky Wheel’s Workspace Residency

BUFFALO, NY — Squeaky Wheel is pleased to announce two awardees of the Summer 2023 Workspace Residency. Held this year from August 12 through September 2, the residency will provide Alicia Solstice Hawkins (Los Angeles, CA) and Maggie Hazen (Hudson Valley, NY) with tailored access to equipment, technical and curatorial consultations towards their work, stipends and artist fees, and travel and accommodations. The residents will be working on media art projects with significant ties to Buffalo’s history and current landscape.

Alicia Solstice Hawkins will work on Don’t Go Back to Sleep, a a poetic and observational 15-minute documentary about Bob, an elder, almost 80 years of age, who attempts to reengage his art practice while contending with the aftermath of a major stroke. Charting Bob’s life starting from Buffalo’s Fruit Belt neighborhood, the city’s East and West Sides, and Los Angeles, where he resides now, the film will follow several different timelines of his life through his poignant, witty, and moving voiceover paired with poetic imagery and sound. 

Maggie Hazen will work on Night Moth: A Mythology of Escape, a mixed reality project made in collaboration with DW. DW, who lives in Western New York, is a formerly incarcerated young artist who was recently released from Brookwood Secure Center for Youth in New York’s Hudson Valley; Hazen met her while teaching art classes at the facility in 2019. Night Moth revolves around Luna, a 3D digital avatar for DW, and Luna’s journey of self-discovery, liberation, and healing. Night Moth will culminate in four artworks, including a video installation exhibition, a documentary, a sketchbook, and an interactive concept website.

“I am so excited to be welcoming Alicia and Maggie to what is one of our signature programs, now in its 8th year. I’m grateful to our panelists, who not only had to evaluate the highest number of submissions our program ever received, but who also selected both these wonderful artists whose projects have such deep ties to our city. I can’t wait for Buffalo to learn more about their work,” said curator Ekrem Serdar. Panelists for this session of the residency were Desiree Kee, Muse Dodd, and Zain Alam. Biographies of the residents and panelists can be found below.

The public will have the opportunity to attend free workshops and events with the residents on three occasions, all at Squeaky Wheel:

  • *New date* Tuesday, August 22, 6–8 pm: Open to youth and adults, Alicia Hawkins will lead “Weaving the Magic Back into Reality,” a speculative fiction in film workshop. Emphasizing BIPOC creators, the workshop will discuss contemporary films that employ speculative fiction and will be followed by a writing session for participants. Foundations for expanding a cinematic storytelling toolkit through speculative fiction will be included, such as world-building, structural techniques, developing a visual language, and research will explore how it has been applied to offer subversive narratives that challenge oppressive worldviews while reimagining powerful counter-narratives. Free journals will be provided.
  • *New date* Thursday, August 24, 6–8 pm, Maggie Hazen and DW will lead “Stop-Motion Animation with Photoshop,” a workshop on using animation techniques through Adobe’s Photoshop software. Participants will work in teams to create their own stop motion animations, while learning fundamental artistic techniques from Hazen and DW. The workshop will culminate in a screening of completed work. Laptops are available by request.
  • Friday, August 19, 7–9 pm, Squeaky Wheel will host “Meet the Residents,” featuring presentations and screenings by both Hawkins and Hazen, as they discuss their past and current work. The event will also be broadcast online, with ASL interpretation provided for both in-person and virtual audiences.

Squeaky Wheel’s Workspace Residency is open to artists and researchers working in art and technology, and provides support for new or ongoing projects in collaboration with our partners. Launched in 2016, the program has supported projects by over 40 artists, filmmakers, scholars, and curators. Squeaky Wheel will open applications for the Spring 2024 session this Fall. Learn more here.

Biographies of the residents

A closeup of Alicia standing on a beach.

Alicia Solstice Hawkins: I was born and raised on the Lower West side of Buffalo. A childhood in the Rust Belt informs my aesthetic and inspires me to craft stories that highlight perseverance and explore multiple perspectives that are not usually featured in mainstream narratives. I often focus on topics related to complex and intersecting identities, the tension between the healing and antagonistic power of nature, and unexpected resilience.

I earned a MA in documentary film from UW, Seattle, and my award-winning thesis film was screened at various festivals, colleges, and museums throughout the US and Canada. After working as an educator and media producer for organizations with social and racial justice initiatives, I returned to graduate school and earned an MFA from Temple University with an emphasis on screenwriting. Recent screenwriting projects include Horseshoe Falls, a feature-length film set on the Lower West Side of Buffalo in the early ‘90s, and The Jar, a queer speculative fiction film set in Days Park. For more, please see: aliciafilm.com

A portrait of Maggie Hazen, a white queer person from Southern California. She has blonde hair and is wearing a black beanie hat and a black sweater. She is candidly looking into the camera with a curious gaze.

Maggie Hazen is a New York-based visual artist from Los Angeles. Hazen’s artistic practice is characterized by the transformative power of sculpture, video, collage, performance, and installation, which she employs to explore the complex ways in which subjects interact with and perform within the spaces they occupy. Through the synthesis of narratives drawn from popular culture and institutional systems, Hazen’s works aim to deconstruct the familiar and make it strange, revealing what lies hidden in plain sight. Hazen is the founder and an active member of the Columbia Collective, which is dedicated to supporting the visibility of young incarcerated and formerly incarcerated artists who have been rendered invisible by the system. Launched in 2019 at the Columbia Secure Center for Girls in the Hudson Valley, the collective has since grown to find a new home at the Brookwood Secure Center for youth.

Hazen’s work has been exhibited, screened and performed at institutions including The Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY; Foreland Contemporary Art Campus, Catskill, NY; Pulse Miami Beach as part of Pulse Play, Miami, FL; The Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles, CA; Microscope Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA; Light Year on the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn, NY; The Granoff Center at Brown University, RI; Performance Works Northwest, Portland, OR; The CICA Museum in South Korea; and The Boston Young Contemporaries exhibition; Boston, MA; among others. Hazen has held residencies at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY; De:Formal online artist residency; The Shanghai Institute of Visual Art, Shanghai, China, I:O residency at the Helikon Art Center, Izmit, Turkey; Vermont Studio Center in Vermont and The Pasadena Side Street Projects, Pasadena; CA. She participated as a fellow in the Bronx AIM program and The Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art at European Graduate School in Switzerland. She has studied at Biola University, Brown University, and the Rhode Island School of Design. She has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, New York University, The Stevens Institute of Technology, The Shanghai Institute of Visual Art, and the Bard College Clemente courses in the humanities program. She is currently a visiting artist-in-residence at Bard College in the Studio Arts program.

Biographies of the panelists

Desiree Kee is currently the gallery assistant at El Museo and Programs & Outreach Coordinator for Art Services Inc. She is also a recording artist, the founder of ‘Overdue’, which is a series of events that she hosts throughout Buffalo, NY as a safe space for women/femmes and is a part of Topsy Curvy, a burlesque/collective of Black femmes and Queer POC who share a core belief of the liberation of all bodies.

Muse Dodd (They/Them) is an  Anti-disciplinary Artist, Curator and DJ from Severn, MD based between New York and New Orleans. Their work centers on the questions, How do you remember and what do you choose to forget? Through the act of remembering, Muse uses their body to map the lived experience of Africans in America. Muse channels trauma to connect with, process and alchemize pain; both personal and collective through movement, ritual and collective dreaming.

Muse holds a BA in Film Production from Howard University and studied at the Film Academy in Prague. Muse is a Source Studio Fellow and recipient of the Corrina Mehiel Grant. Muse is a 2019-2020 Leslie Lohman Museum Artist Fellow and was the 2019 DCAC Curatorial Fellow . A former Artist-in-Residence at the Flux Factory, they were also a 2018 Artist-in-Residence at the ARoS Museum in Denmark. Muse video work has been commissioned for performances at The Shed, Mabou Mines Theater, and Dixon Place. Muse has also screened and exhibited work at Lincoln Center, The BWI Marshall Airport, Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center, The DC Arts Center, and The Flux Factory. Through their work, Muse hopes to create space for Black bodies to be free, if only for a frame.

Zain Alam is an artist and musician of Indian-Pakistani origin based in Brooklyn, NY. Described as “a unique intersection, merging the cinematic formality of Bollywood and geometric repetition of Islamic art,” his recording project Humeysha began during his year working as an oral historian for the 1947 Partition Archive. His work is a project of translation using contemporary pop forms, found sound, and oral history as means of investigating one’s position in an outside tradition or community. Alam’s practice extends his sonic vision into video, performance, and writing. His works are braided together by a passion for the borrowed voice, re/de-contextualization, and bricolage — for how a personal mosaic of sound can empower minority and marginalized to engage in self-creation on their own terms. His essays have been published in Miami Rail, Buzzfeed, and The New Yorker, and Humeysha has been covered by the New York Times, Vice, and Village Voice. His performances have been staged at venues including Public Arts, Webster Hall, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Alam has most recently completed fellowships with Bruce High Quality Foundation, Marble House, and South Asian American Digital Archive.

Squeaky Wheel’s Workspace Residency is supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, County of Erie and County Executive Mark Poloncarz, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the office of Governor and the New York State Legislature, and individual members, businesses, and supporters.