Muncie Arts and Culture Council Announces Fall 2019 PlySpace Residents and Events

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By: Erin Williams—

Muncie, IN—PlySpace, an artist-in-residence program of the Muncie Arts and Culture Council, welcomes the Fall 2019 residents: Dana Harper, Sarah Trad, and Sydney Pursel. The visiting artists will be in Muncie for a period of four to twelve weeks this fall and will be leading public, collaborative art projects throughout the city until early December.

Dana Lynn Harper (Columbus, OH) joins PlySpace as the Fall Resident Fellow. While in Muncie, Harper will work with the Art Education Department at the Ball State University School of Art to engage students in a public Wand Making Workshop focusing on creative play. The Wand Making Workshop will be hosted at Minnetrista on November 2nd, from 2-4 PM. Details about this workshop can be found on the website and social media. As part of her fellowship, Harper will also speak about her work at the Ball State University School of Art on October 29th from 6-7 PM in the Arts & Journalism Building, room 225. This lecture is open to the public.

In addition, Harper will exhibit a new series of work, Field Guides, at the PlySpace Gallery on November 7th from 5-8 PM, during the First Thursday gallery walk in November. Field Guides is a playful and boisterous sculptural exhibition exploring the artist’s belief in spirit guides. Spirit guides are believed to be supernatural beings that provide support, guidance, and love when we need it most. This abstract idea is translated into hanging sculptures made up of layers of texture, pattern, and color, and utilizing textiles, paper, and plastics. Harper holds a BFA from The Ohio State University in 2009 and an MFA from Penn State University in 2013. Harper was awarded an ArtPrize Seed Grant, ArtFile Emerging Artist Grant and a Ringholz Foundation Award. In addition, Harper was awarded an NEA studio grant to attend an artist residency at Women’s Studio Workshop. She has had solo exhibitions at Front/Space Gallery & Museum, Manifest Gallery and ROY G BIV among many others.

Sarah Trad (Philadelphia, PA) is a video artist and curator. She joins PlySpace as a Resident Co-Fellow in November. Trad will work with the Islamic community in Muncie, and with the Ball State University School of Art, to teach community centered workshops on traditional Middle Eastern design using the nuno felting technique. Samples completed during these workshops will be exhibited in a public exhibition. Trad will also produce new work while at PlySpace, focusing on her own Middle Eastern heritage. She has participated in multiple artist residencies including the 77Art Residency in Rutland, Vermont and is a recipient of the Carol N. Schmuckler Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film. Sarah’s work has been shown at The Warehouse Gallery (Syracuse, NY), Kitchen Table Gallery (Philadelphia, PA), Gravy Studio and Gallery (Philadelphia, PA) and the Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse, NY). She is currently a part of the Philadelphia artist-run gallery, Little Berlin.

Sydney Jane Brooke Campbell Maybrier Pursel (Lawrence, KS) joins PlySpace as the second Resident Co-Fellow in November. While at PlySpace, Pursel will complete a rendition of her project, The Feast, an educational performance where she creates handmade plates and place settings that celebrate the many Native American tribes of the United States. Pursel will cook and serve Native American traditional foods from Native American-owned companies using her handcrafted plates. The event hopes to educate, bring awareness to, and spark dialogue surrounding issues affecting Indian Country, both historically and presently. More information about The Feast, including how to participate, will be announced on the PlySpace website (

Pursel is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in interactive, socially engaged, and performance arts. Through art she explores personal identity drawing from her Indigenous and Irish Catholic roots. Her work has been shown at public parks, universities, galleries, and alternative spaces across the U.S. and Canada. Pursel received her MFA in Expanded Media at the University of Kansas and her BFA in Painting from the University of Missouri. She was the first recipient of the Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists, received a Rocket Grant through the Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art, was selected for the Indigenous Arts Initiative Residency program through the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission and the University of Kansas, was awarded a BeWildReWild Community Art Grant through the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. Pursel is an enrolled member of the Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska.

Both Trad and Pursel will speak about their work during a special PlySpace panel discussion held November 14th from 6-8 PM at the Ball State University School of Art, Arts & Journalism Building, Rm 225. They will be joined by artist Toby Kaufmann-Buhler (Lafayette, IN) and moderator Tania Said (Muncie, IN), Director of Education for the David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University. Heritage in Practice: A Panel Discussion will ask the three interdisciplinary artists to reflect on their use of personal and cultural heritage in their artwork. Each panelist has a unique method for working within the sometimes sticky practice of uniting art, performance, and installation with personal family heritage, genealogy, or culture. The artists will share a short presentation about how they successfully use personal, family, and cultural heritage in their work and will discuss the complexities of heritage work as a panel.

More information about PlySpace Fall Term events can be found on the PlySpace website at and the PlySpace Facebook page. Learn more about the residents by visiting Questions or comments about the PlySpace Residency program, events, and community collaborations can be directed to the Residency Coordinator, Erin Williams, at



PlySpace is a program of Muncie Arts and Culture Council in partnership with the City of Muncie, Ball State University School of Art, and Sustainable Muncie Corporation. PlySpace is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.