Artists in Residence

Officina Stamperia del Notaio's Artists in Residence come from all over the world and work in diverse mediums; from film and photography, writing, sculpture and installation to painting, drawing, and, of course, printmaking. They live and work in Tusa for the duration of their residency, often finding inspiration in the place for their own work. Here you'll find the stories of our Artists in Residence, starting with the most recent. 

Shawn Bitters (August-September 2017)

 Shawn made it to the top of mount etna (and hiked stromboli)!

Shawn made it to the top of mount etna (and hiked stromboli)!

Shawn Bitters uses paper to make sculptures and installations that reside on the border of two and three-dimensional space. Drawing forms from geology he often utilizes illusionary means to present weight and weightlessness, depth and flatness. Receiving his formal training as a printmaker Shawn uses a large range of media to accomplish his investigation of the perception of present and past locations. Currently, Shawn is an Assistant Professor of Serigraphy and Drawing at the University of Kansas. He received his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and his BFA from Brigham Young University. Learn more about Shawn and his work by visiting his website here.


Wiliam Pettit (July-August 2017)

 William running some errands in town

William running some errands in town

William Albert Pettit III received his BA from the University of Pittsburgh and his MFA in painting from Tyler School of Art. He has been teaching art in various media at John Cabot University in Rome since 1999 and at The Umbra Institute in Perugia since 2001. He has worked with other universities (USAC Viterbo, University of Iowa, Richmond University of London) as a visiting professor. As an artist, he works with ancient and contemporary painting media, as well as video and sound. He has exhibited in Philadelphia, Paris, Rome, Assisi, Spoleto, Tuscania, and Gubbio since 2001. Resident in the Sabina area since 1997, he has a love and knowledge of the region, its food and artistic heritage. He teaches oil painting, fresco painting, and icon painting. William is also a collaborator with Candice Smith Corby and instructor for The Bottega where he teaches traditional fresco painting. Learn more about William's work by visiting his page here.


Candice Smith Corby (July-August 2017)

 Candice at work

Candice at work

Candice Smith Corby lives and works in Plymouth, MA. The narratives in Smith Corby's intricate paintings navigate through the muddied waters of traditional female imagery, carving-out a space for new ideas to grow. Smith Corby uses scale, color, and astute drawing skills to communicate her ideas, creating mignon environments delicately painted on found objects, fabric, canvas, and paper or transformed into large-scale wall installations. Interestingly, her found fabric napkins, doilies, and furniture are reminiscent of the familiar objects one carries through life, which have an energy of their own because of memories, and emotions from their past. Similarly, Smith Corby’s renderings on these ordinary objects transform them into magical goods.  —Joanna Grasso, Independent curator

Candice teaches at Stonehill College and MassArt, and also is an instructor and integral part of two wonderful on-going programs, The Mindful Palette: Food, Art and Sustainability and The Bottegaa residency and workshop program focusing on fresco painting, watercolor and photography, both which take place throughout the year in various rotating locations in Italy. Learn more about her work by visiting her website here.


Rachael Van Dyke (July 2017)

 Rachel at work

Rachel at work

Abstract landscape painter Rachael Van Dyke is a mid-career artist eager to search for shapes of color that fall on the ridge and valleys of the natural form. These movements are vividly expressed in her broad brush strokes and colorful palette.
Van Dyke’s work is often inspired through national and international artist in residence programs. Van Dyke has most recently participated as an artist-in-residence with the Isle Royale National Parks Service (Isle Royale, MI), ArteStudio Ginestrelle(Assisi, Italy), and Les Pays; Jardin Botanique (Marnay sur Seine, France). Van Dyke has received additional fellowships including TICA with the Art Institute of Chicago, and Les Tasis located in the Ardeche Valley of Southern France. She is also a Fulbright Memorial Fund art teacher recipient to Japan. Van Dyke has had solo art exhibitions with the Forest Hills Fine Art Center (MI), The Power Center of Performing Arts (MI), and the University of Michigan Hospital Gifts for Artprogram. She earned her MAE at the Kendall College of Art and Design and has worked 14 years as an art and design educator for all grade levels including adjunct instructor at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. Her abstract landscape and figure work is exhibited with Rivercross Gallery in Boone, NC, LaFontsee Galleries in Grand Rapids and Douglas, MI, the Ann Arbor Art Center in Ann Arbor, MI, and River Centre Gallery in Sylvania, OH. To learn more about her work, visit her website here.

About her work in Tusa:

I am eager to explore the natural landscape of the surrounding rural region, as well as become inspired by the inhabitants of the community. I would explore and create plein-air by walking and bicycling the region and interpret the land through works on paper, wood panel, and a series of canvas pieces. My recent experience with the art residencies, Les Pays (Marnay sur Seine, France) and ArteStudio Ginestrelle (Assisi, Italy) allowed me time and space to produce a large body of work while in residence, as well as the opportunity to make friends with the village community.


Kristin Holder (July 2017)

 Kristin at work in the studio

Kristin at work in the studio

Kristin Holder is currently an MA/MS Candidate in Art History and Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works at the Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She received her MFA in Painting from the American University in Washington, DC and BFA in painting from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Kristin has participated in several national and international solo and group exhibitions. She has been the recipient of the Abbey Scholarship at the British School at Rome and a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. To learn more about Kristin's work check out this interview with Kristin at Notations: Contemporary Drawing as Idea and Process, and this interview at Anti-Grand. You can also view her work at the Drawing Center's Viewing Program/Artist Registry in New York, and Gallery Joe in Philadelphia.

About her work in Tusa:

During my residency I focused on drawing and etching. I was inspired to use printmaking tools on my drawings, to engrave lines in the surface of the paper, so that the paper would be more receptive to charcoal. I found that, similar to etchings, the width and depth of the lines affected how well they held (or failed to hold) medium.

Even though I worked the etchings and drawings in similar ways, it became apparent to me that they came out quite different. The drawings have a spatial quality, while the prints read as a skin or surface. Soft- and hardness seem to alternate. Perhaps this is an effect of the Sicily's environment, which can appear blindingly harsh one moment and soft and luminous the next.


Keenan Bennett (July 2017)

 keenan on his first night in tusa (after a very long trip!)

keenan on his first night in tusa (after a very long trip!)

Keenan Bennett is an interdisciplinary visual and performance artist based in Philadelphia. He holds an MFA from University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Studio Art from St. Olaf College. He is a member of the William Way LGBT Community Center Art Gallery Committee of the Board of Directors and was a graduate lecturer at the Institute of Contemporary Art. He has been included in exhibitions at Space 1026, Philadelphia, PA; New Boon(e), Philadelphia, PA; Viridian Artists, New York, NY; The Greenpoint Gallery, New York, NY; and MAMA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. His participatory performance project Service Art was awarded a First Night grant by FIGMENT for two consecutive years in 2013 and 2014. He was an Artist in Residence at Vermont Studio Center, Officina Stamperia del Notaio, and Ox-Bow in 2017. To learn more about his work, please visit his website.

 work in progress and explorations in embroidery on fabric, collagraph printmaking, tile patterns, and alternative photographic processes.

work in progress and explorations in embroidery on fabric, collagraph printmaking, tile patterns, and alternative photographic processes.

About his work in Tusa:

While at Officina Stamperia del Notaio, Bennett acquired and developed his skills working with cyanotype, gum bichromate, and collagraphy. He employed these techniqes while exploring a vein of research into public restrooms, public space, gay cruising, and collectivity. His time at Officina culminated in a 24-exposure cyanotype print describing a public restroom in which all toilets face inwards towards each other; the print was largely informed by the exquisite tile work ubiquitous in Tusa and Sicily.



Gwynn Zivic (July 2016)

Gwynn Zivic, AIA holds a Professional B.Arch and a BA in Studio Arts and practices as a licensed Architect in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a lead designer working primarily in higher education for over 15 years, working on campuses across the United States. She specializes in programming, conceptual building development, interior design, environmental graphics and digital architectural visualization. Outside the office, she works in kiln-formed glass, most recently attending Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle studying the fusion of glass with imagery. To learn more about her work, visit her website.

About her work in Tusa:

Since the field of Architecture has become predominately a digital art, at the residency she is focusing on getting back in touch with the art of sketching and observing buildings through watercolor, pencil and ink. Inspired by the warm palette and rustic stone beauty of Tusa's medieval hill town, she is cataloging the many vistas and building details that surround her daily. Upon returning to the states, she plans on integrating the imagery within her glasswork, exploring the dichotomy of the handsketch and rustic character of the subject with the pristine, polished nature of glass.


Michael Perrone (June - August 2016)

Michael Perrone is an American painter originally from Jersey City, New Jersey. In 1989, he graduated from Muhlenberg College with a degree in Russian Studies and Political Science. He went on to study art and art education at The School of The Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, and in 2004 received an MFA in Painting from The University of Pennsylvania.

From 2004 - 2010, Perrone was an Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City. In 2005, he was included in The Des Moines Art Center’s Iowa Artists Exhibition. In 2006 Perrone mounted his first solo show: Home and Away, at Michael Steinberg Fine Art in New York.

Perrone’s work has appeared in: The New Yorker, Elle Decor, O at home, and Time Out New York. Before coming to Tusa, he had participated in residencies at The Vermont Studio Center (2001, 2002), TAKT/Berlin (2014), and The Babayan Culture House/Ibrahimpasa, Turkey (2016). He is currently an Assistant Professor of Painting at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. See more at his website.

About His Work in Tusa:

 An in-Progress Work in Tusa

An in-Progress Work in Tusa

Recently, I have embarked on a new body of work that explores the concepts of ‘Monuments’. In March, I traveled to Croatia, to explore and research the ‘Spomenik’ sculptural monuments, built in the 1960’s and 70’s. My interest in this exploration stems from a life-long investigation of the landscape. More specifically, my work has often responded to the formal relationship between vertical forms and the flat horizontal ground from which they protrude. Additionally, I am conceptually interested in how specific places can be marked or identified by the objects held within their borders. Whether natural or man-made, monuments take on a shared history with both the events they originally commemorate, and the new, accrued meaning that subsequent generations imbue upon them.

Earlier this summer, I continued this exploration in Ibrahimpasa, Turkey. My work there responded to the natural landscape, focusing on the unique rock formations created by volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago. While in Tusa, I have been working on a series of paintings – inspired by Giorgio Morandi - that continue the theme of ‘the monumental’. However now, I am re-imagining the monuments in the realm of still-lives, where I hope to celebrate the magical and monumental power of small table-top objects.


Mariah Dekkenge (June - August 2016)

Mariah Dekkenga is an artist who lives and works in New York City and Doha Qatar. Recent exhibitions include; Mariah Dekkenga, Eli Ping Frances Perkins Gallery, New York NY; Figure 8, Clifton Benevento Gallery, New York NY; Post Analog Painting, The Hole, New York NY. She was recently awarded a 9 month residency at the Fire Station in Doha Qatar.

About Her Work in Tusa:

Projects in Tusa include writing/revising/editing a book of studio notes that will be published in the fall of 2016, as well as continuing to work on digital compositions for paintings. 


Devin Kovach (June 2016)


Devin Kovach is an artist and printmaker currently living in Rome, Italy. He holds an MFA from the Tyler School of Art and a BFA from the University of New Mexico. His artwork incorporates printmaking, photography, and installation, and explores the ways we experience and understand architectural space. The hand-drawn combines with the mechanical, reality mixes with invention, while light animates, describes, and confuses space. Is seeing believing? How does one encounter and understand a place? These topics commingle as he approaches his work using gentle dislocations to provoke noticing.

His work has been exhibited in the US and Italy, and he has participated in residency programs at Anderson Ranch in Colorado, the KALA Art Institute in California, and the Printmaking Center of New Jersey. Alongside his artistic practice, Kovach is a faculty member at Temple University in Rome, where he teaches printmaking and manages the print shop facilities. For more of his work, visit his website.

About His Work in Tusa:



As an AIR at Officina Stamperia del Notaio, I am working on an alternative process photography project and an experimental drawing project. Both endeavors relate to an ongoing investigation into the phenomenological experience of place: that is to say the relationship between our physical experience of a landscape and the psychological impression it creates. This investigation has taken on new dimension in Tusa due to the extraordinary characteristics of this location. The landscape is by turns immense and open, other times closed and constricted: incredibly beautiful and brutally raw. I am fascinated by this mutability. In my work here, I am seeking to discover and cast forward the subtle aspects of this landscape in order to further excavate the complex impressions it leaves on the mind.


Andrea Buffolo (July-August 2015; May-August 2016)

Andrea Buffolo is an artist based in Venice who specializes in alternative and experimental photography and printmaking. After attending the Liceo Artistico di Venezia, he studied at the IUAV di Venezia and focused on the history of photographic processes, under the tutelage of Italo Zannier. He also studied under Roberto Salbitani at the Scuola di Fotografia nella Natura. His illustrations and photographic works have been exhibited throughout Italy and published in numerous books and journals. Most recently he has been leading photography courses and workshops with various associations throughout Italy including: La Scuola Internazionale di Grafica Venezia; Associazione di Arte Grafica "Le Magnifiche" in Bologna; Alinari di Firenze; CRAF di Spilimbergo; C.S.M. di Favaro Veneto; Universita di Venezia with Professor of the History of Photography Alberto Prandi; and has served as an expert of antique and alternative processes for workshops with Professors Guido Cecere and Alessandra Angelini at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia and the Accademia di Brera. 

About his work in Tusa:

In the summer of 2015 he was invited by the Associazione Fotografica Alesina and Vincenzo Montalbano to teach a cyanotype workshop at the Officina Stamperia del Notaio. In the summer of 2016 he has worn several hats, serving as the Studio Manager, and teaching alternative processes to other resident artists. In August of 2016 he will run another workshop for the Associazione Fotografica Alesina, focusing on pinhole photography.  


David Kessler (August 2015)

David Scott Kessler is a visual artist, filmmaker, illustrator, and digital animator currently living in Philadelphia, PA. His work, a synthesis of documentary and narrative, deals most often with perceptions of place and its influence on identity and experience. 

David studied painting and illustration at Parson’s school of Design, The University of the Arts, and Montclair University. He began applying his visual art aesthetic to filmmaking at first with 16mm experimental animations and then applied them to his documentary work and video installations. 

His first feature length documentary If You Break The Skin, You Must Come In about artist, Zoe Strauss was produced by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. He has gone on to produce and direct several non-traditional documentaries including the 30 part video series Shadow World set under the Philadelphia elevated tracks and Lopapeysa, an experimental documentary exploring travel and personal mythology set in Iceland. David has also created numerous video installations for galleries and museums including the Institute for Contemporary Art and music videos for Sharon Van Etten and Nightlands.

David has also presented his work at Summerhall in Edinburgh, The Michener Museum, The Noyes Museum, The Esther Klein Gallery, The International House, Rooftop Film Festival, and Delaware Contemporary, and was included in the international exhibitions Due North and Due South and was creator and curator for the arts and music festival, Middle of Nowhere.

2015 Pew Center for Arts and Heritage Fellow.
2015 Flaherty Fellow
The Pine Barrens was chosen as a project to watch by Creative Capital.

While in residence in the summer of 2015 as part of his research for the collaborative international curatorial project Due South, David shot footage that became the short film, The Peasants Shouldn't Know How Good It Is:

A mini-theater with seating invites gallerygoers to watch a film made by David Scott Kessler in the medieval Sicilian town of Tusa. Shot during Tusa’s Feast of the Assumption, an annual weeklong celebration in mid-August, Kessler’s The Peasants Shouldn’t Know How Good It Is follows random, possibly mystical, events in the town, many of which seem to be viewed from the perspective of its perspicacious stray cats.
— Edith Newhall, the Philadelphia Inquirer


Resident Studio Technicians

Resident Studio Technicians are provided with access to the workspace and lodging in Tusa in a work exchange. The program is designed for emerging artists (and established ones!) who would like to be a part of Officina Stamperia del Notaio, but may not have the means to participate as a Resident Artists. Stays range from a week to several months. Contact us if you're interested in coming to Tusa in this capacity!

Aubrey DiDonato (June-July 2016)

Aubrey DiDonato (c. 1990s) is a Philadelphia based artist who received her BFA from the University of the Arts with a focus in Printmaking and Book Arts. DiDonato uses the tiny details and textures of fluids, molds, and other organic materials to question the essence of intimacy. You can view her work at

While in Tusa her work adapted to the natural happenings of her surroundings. She dissected the mountains, sea, and the people with her pen drawings, cyanotypes, and writings.

 Work in progress in tusa

Work in progress in tusa

Amy Feiereisel (June - July 2016)

Amy Feiereisel is a creative non-fiction writer and an on-again, off-again visual artist who loves line drawings and oil painting. Her work deals with desire, loss, and misunderstandings between the mind and the body. While in Tusa she worked on a collection of short stories based in Sicily and a long form non-fiction piece. For a peek inside her sketchbook you can find it here.


Olivia Knowles (May 2016)

Olivia Knowles is a senior painting student at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. She is equally fluent in both painting and illustration. Her larger-scale paintings, in either watercolor or oils, exhibit an interest in space, mess within space and its relationship with the figure. Her illustrations use imagery such as clutter and repetition to discuss themes of hyper-connectivity and, respectively, dissonance and disconnect.

During her stay in Tusa, she was able to make several small plein-air watercolors of its medieval architecture, and sketch landscapes as well as plant life each day in preparation for bigger, more involved paintings. She also took plenty of videos and photos for reference material and was inspired by the town's distinctive shapes and textures.

Wolfgang Pendragon Von Sheidy (May 2016)

Wolfgang Von Shiedy is a BFA candidate at Kutztown University concentrating in sculpture. He has experience with photography as well including digital and darkroom processes and has been included in several photography shows in the Pennsylvania area. He learned printmaking techniques in Mexico and Italy over the course of his college career. He considers his work to be conceptual and experimentaland strives to make work challenging various ways of thinking. 

In Tusa he continued a project he started in Italy which involves making photo books from photos only taken on disposable cameras. He enjoyed Tusa for the history, the people, and the landscape. He found much to discover, and with 7 cameras and my sketchbook he looked for new ideas and ways of thinking everywhere he could.