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. 


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.