Alex Martinez enjoys a snowy cabin stay at Caldera where she is working on mixed-media paintings featuring acrylics, embroidery, and beading. photo by TL Brown
Alex Martinez enjoys a snowy cabin stay at Caldera where she is working on mixed-media paintings featuring acrylics, embroidery, and beading. photo by TL Brown
March artist residencies at Caldera were hampered by late-season snowfall. Still, seven artists made it to Central Oregon for their residencies. Working in film, literature, photography, and other media, they will share artwork, readings, and conversation during Open Studios this Saturday.

Back home in Oakland, California, Alex Martinez fits her studio practice around her teaching schedule. At Caldera, she can work all day.

“After breakfast in my cabin, I set out for Campbell Studio where I work ‘til sunset, stopping for lunch and dancing breaks,” she told The Nugget.

“It’s hard to describe the quiet and soft that is Caldera,” Martinez said. “The remote location, isolation, artist community and full autonomy is my ideal balance for delving into and catalyzing new work.”

She describes herself as a “first-generation queer Xicana, raised among nopales, strawberries, and canneries in Watsonville, California.” After studying fine arts at San Francisco State University, where she focused on printmaking and painting, she began working toward “inclusive arts education.”

Martinez became a teacher, focusing on students with moderate to severe disabilities. “I am dedicated to exalting people of color,” she wrote in her bio, “and the LGBTQI artists community through multi-disciplinary learning, collaboration, and education.”

At AiR Open Studios, Martinez plans to show a new series of mixed-media paintings begun during her time in Sisters Country. “Pop culture references, family portraiture and childhood ephemera are layered in bright acrylics, linocut stamping, embroidery and beading,” she said.

Also sharing work at Open Studios is writer Emily X.R. Pan, author of “The Astonishing Color of After.” Born in the Midwest to immigrant parents from Taiwan, she now lives in Brooklyn. She is a co-creator of “Foreshadow: A Serial YA Anthology” and the founding editor in chief of Bodega magazine.

Another Brooklyn-based resident is visual artist Carolyn Monastra, whose work focuses on climate change.

Seattle-based Kemi Adeyemi teaches gender, women, and sexuality studies at the University of Washington. Her book manuscript, “Making New Grounds: Black Queer Women’s Geographies of Neoliberalism,” and co-edited volume, “Queer Nightlife,” are in development.

Adeyemi wrote exhibition catalog essays for “black is a color” (Los Angeles), “Endless Flight” (Chicago), and “Impractical Weaving Suggestions” (Madison, WI). She co-curated “unstable objects” at The Alice in Seattle, and will curate a show on black texture at Ditch Projects in Eugene this year.

Julie Hammond lives in Vancouver, B.C. She describes her art as “working across performance, pedagogy, and intervention.” Encompassing theatre and public projects, her practice “activates spaces with the performative and investigates the relationship between performance and audience, spectator and place, site and story.”

Hammond’s work appears onstage, in print, and in the streets. It is supported by Vancouver New Music, On the Boards, and the Oregon Arts Commission, among others.

From Saratoga, California comes Alisa Yang, an interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker whose practice is rooted in collage across mediums. Yang explores themes of language, cultural identity, memory, and sexualities of diasporas.

Yang’s recent film “Please Come Again” won the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Golden Reel Award for Short Documentary. Her film “Sleeping with the Devil” took the Ann Arbor Film Festival’s Best Regional Filmmaker Award.

Another artist and filmmaker, Miami-based Analise Cleopatra, joins Caldera from Portland, where she is currently working. Cleopatra describes her work as centering around “matriarchs, water and foliage,” celebrating “our connection to ancestry through trees and nature.”

Cleopatra co-curated the Portland Black Film Festival and was a featured artist in “Primary,” a Culture Series exhibition at the headquarters of creative agency Wieden+Kennedy in Portland.

Agency co-founder Dan Wieden is also the founder of Caldera. It began in 1996 as a youth camp in the woods, offering arts education and nature immersion to kids who lacked access to such opportunities.

Now Caldera encompasses summer youth camp, off-season AiR program, and a host of other youth programs reaching across a wide span of ages and demographics. Middle school students in Sisters and teens from Bend and Redmond are among those served.

AiR Open Studios is free to all, and takes place Saturday, March 23 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Snacks and coffee will be on-hand. Presentations begin at 1 p.m.

Caldera is located at 31500 Blue Lake Dr. Drive 16 miles west of Sisters on Highway 20, turn down SW Suttle Lake Loop and drive two miles to Caldera’s gate. Then follow signs to the Hearth Building.

Additional information is available at This will be the final AiR Open Studios of the 2019 winter season.