Studio Lab Artist Residency

Studio Lab Artist Residency is a program that provides artists and collectives, working in a diverse array of media and across genres, with research, development, production, and exhibition space and resources. Studio Lab Artist Residencies are highly customizable, flexible, and inclusive of all artistic and research based practices—with an emphasis on experimentation within medium and form.


February 3 – March 31, 2017

Krista DeNio: Interdisciplinary choreographer, director, performer, writer and educator


During this residency, Krista DeNio will further several threads of ​her current research into human​ and plant​ survival.​ The work will include researching mechanisms of plant communication and survival in relationship with human systems of communication and survival.

Her additional continued research includes interviews and dialogue with formerly incarcerated individuals to uncover personal experiences of the human mind-body complex surviving confinement. This research is part of several upcoming projects, including NETWORK a seed project, to premiere at U.C. Berkeley’s Berkeley Dance Project, which will bring together plant and human survival issues including incarceration; and BOUND, a current collaboration with actor/ creator Stephanie DeMott, exploring stories of women suffering and surviving systemic oppressions, from incarceration to sexism, racism and the underlying patriarchy.

Through collaboration with artist Lucia Monge, and her research at the Rhode Island Nature Lab, DeNio will work with ​Monge’s visual “maps” of trees and tree movement, as source for human movement exploration​ and somatic learning, among other shared research.

​DeNio & DeMott will continue to research the physical work of BOUND, a piece created and performed recently at TEATRAL, an international theater festival in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The research includes working within the physical limitation of a space the size of a typical prison cell, 6’x8′.​ Various materials will be used to create these cell spaces. Working with stories from formerly incarcerated collaborators, and female historical archetypes, we will explore methods of literal, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual survival methods they created/designed while in the confinement of systemic oppression.


Krista DeNio is an interdisciplinary choreographer, director, performer, writer and educator, committed to developing new forms of performance work and evolving interdisciplinary thinking and creation between the fields of dance and theater, among others. Her work, as Artistic Director of KD/MovingGround, investigates the interrelationship between impactful socio-political issues and our intimate personal lives. Current projects include: EchoTheaterSuitcase project, bringing together mixed ensembles of military veterans and civilian non-veterans, to create original, site-specific, audience interactive performance work based on the stories of each unique ensemble. The project’s most recent iteration, STAND GROUND, featuring an all female ensemble of veterans and non-veteran theater artists, was co-produced with CounterPulse, in Fall 2016, where Krista is also a “House Artist” and has been a two-time Artist-in-Residence.


Lucia Monge is a Peruvian artist with a background in education and art – science collaborations. Her work explores the way humans position ourselves within the natural world; the way we relate to other living beings and lately extended to what we even consider as such. Beyond an aesthetic search, her artistic process represents an attempt to probe proximity and distance between humans and plants through material and movement exploration. She holds a BFA degree from Universidad Católica del Peru, an MFA degree from Rhode Island School of Design and is a certified Art Educator. Her work has been shown in Lima, London, Providence, New York, Austin, Buenos Aires, Oaxaca and Mexico City. For six years now she has been dedicated to the organization of walking forest performances that lead to the creation of public green areas. Her “Plantón Móvil” project has been included in publications and group shows in Peru, Germany, the United States, the Netherlands, Brazil and the UK. She currently lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island at the Rhode Island Nature Lab

Stephanie DeMott is an actor, mover, and teacher. She graduated summa cum laude from San Francisco State with a B.A. in Theater Arts and Creative Writing, and received her M.F.A from the American Conservatory Theater. She has performed with A.C.T., Magic Theatre, TheatreFirst, Word For Word, and Mugwumpin, among others. Favorite roles include May in Fool For Love, Orlando in Sarah Ruhl’s play of the same name, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, and Emma in The Great Big Also. She is a company member of Mugwumpin, a performance ensemble company based in San Francisco. In the summer of 2014, Stephanie went to Burning Man as a devised theater instructor for CIIS to facilitate the making of theater under extreme conditions. In November of 2015, she participated in the first incarnation of Groundswell, an immersive theater intensive in San Miguel de Allende, conceived by Jon Tracy and Taylor Korobow. She’s in an ongoing collaboration with the University of Chichester’s Dr. Louie Jenkins.



May 1 – May 31, 2017

Ellen Shershow: Photography

Ellen Shershow joins the Studio Lab Artist Residency Program as our first portrait photographer. While in residence, Ellen will be producing a new body of work and shooting dog portraits on site at Pro Arts.


Ellen Shershow’s inspiration comes from a wide range of places, including but not limited to Vogue magazine, People magazine,  reality TV, John Szarkowski, Joan Rivers, Dolly Parton, Steve Martin, Diane Arbus, Mad MenBreakfast at Tiffany’sBest In Show, Woody Allen and Golden Gate Park at dawn. Ellen draws her color pallet from Dutch Renaissance painters, Gerard Dou, Rogier Van Der Weyden and Johannes Vermeer.

Most of all, she is inspired by the Dog.

The dog is slobbery and kooky and soulful and precious. Next to Steve Martin, Jennifer Coolidge and Sarah Silverman, they are the funniest creatures in the world. We are enthralled by them, the gentle gaze, the unconditional love, the stories of dog as hero. Photographing senior dogs, dogs who are blind or deaf or hurting, is indeed close to Ellen’s heart.

She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.



June 1 – June 30, 2017

Allison Leigh Holt: New Media 

Working at the intersection of sculpture, video, installation, and performance, Holt pursues a dialogue between divergent ways of experiencing, comprehending, and describing reality.

Holt has received numerous awards from institutions including the U.S. Department of State (Fulbright Fellowship, Indonesia), Djerassi Resident Artist Program, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the David Bermant Foundation, Cemeti Art House (Indonesia), the Experimental Television Center, and the North Dakota Museum of Art. She is a 2016 finalist for a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, and is a current Eureka Fellowship nominee.

Her work has exhibited internationally, notably at SFMOMA, Stanford University, Anthology Film Archives (NYC), Cemeti Art House (Indonesia), the Boston Cyberarts Festival, San Francisco Cinematheque, Axiom Gallery for New and Experimental Media (Boston), the Urban Screens Conference (Melbourne), and the Yogyakarta International New Media Festival.


Lasse Lau & Flo Maak: Visual Art 

January 9 – February 6, 2017

During their residency in January of 2017 leading up to their installation, “Technologies of the Kitchen”, Lau and Maak will conduct weekly programs including artist talks, performances, lectures and various performance-based programs to connect with local Bay Area community organizations. Their residency at Pro Arts aims to introduce the project to new artists, activists, queer and other communities throughout the Bay Area to enrich their research and cross-disciplinary approach.

Mugwumpin: Experimental Theatre

July 5 – August 31, 2016

Mugwumpin is an award-winning San Francisco theater and performance company, part of a wave of young American companies who are expanding the art form by questioning the primacy of text and narrative in theater and playfully transgressing received notions of the audience-performer relationship. Since its founding, Mugwumpin has created 13 evening-length productions and many smaller performances, all of which premiered in the Bay Area. The company’s first show, Rabbit Causes Dog, was named Best Play at the 2004 SF Fringe Festival. In 2008, Mugwumpin thrilled international audiences at the Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre with its original work Super:Anti:Reluctant.

In 2010, This Is All I Need played to packed houses and universal critical acclaim in San Francisco. It was named Best Play by both SF Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian before embarking upon a successful European tour in 2011. And their most recent productions, Future Motive Power and The Great Big Also, reaped sold-out houses and critical praise for their “provocative images and ideas” and their “urgent call for us to question our ideals and associations and to cultivate that other, neglected American quality: staunch individualism” (Lily Janiak, HowlRound).


Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh (Visual Artist)

March 11 – May 15, 2016

Oni-Eseleh is an Oakland-based visual artist who has been working for the past couple of years on images that document the shifting urban landscape and evoke the different meanings of  “home”. A central component of that work has been the idea of the fallacy of memory when referencing the past and the distortion of stories told in repetition. Her residency work will include that photographs reconstructing miniature worlds and incomplete narratives.