Residency Dates: May 12, 2024 - June 01, 2024
Application Deadline: December 10, 2023

Sonja Henderson received her B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Painting and Drawing and her M.F.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, where she concentrated in Sculpture and Installation. At Berkeley, Sonja created life size earthworks and temporal structures made of clay, earth, twigs and organic matter in response to the built environment. Her cavernous feminine forms connect us to places we call “home”, natural habitats and animal architecture like termite mounds, beehives, burrow complexes, and birds’ nests. These earthen structures began an ongoing dialogue between internal and external form, sacred placemaking, creation myths and rituals. Sonja’s installations challenge our perception of the physical world by contrasting organic forms against the built environment while manipulating materials, context, and scale. In Chicago, Sonja uses restorative justice practices to create communal placemaking, healing and memorial spaces. Sonja works very closely with Chicago’s west and south side neighborhoods creating community engaged public sculpture and mosaics. She sculpted the MLK Living Memorial with plaza and community tiled benches and the seminal cast bronze Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Memorial which has received Congressional Recognition. Sonja has also created inspired concept pieces for the Chicago Torture Justice Memorial, Austin Soul City and the Naomi Anderson Suffragette Memorial. 


Residency Statement 

My work is at the intersection of memory and collective storytelling, restorative justice and rejuvenation. I love the exploration of materials and its relationship to subject matter and “the process” as a substantive visual language. This residency lends itself to using the landscape, found and natural materials to create works of art and installations, as well as studio fabrication. I‘m very interested in evolving my visual arts practice to digital, sound and vibrational modalities. I seek to work with all disciplines of visual artists who have a strong studio practice, understand community and enjoy the ritual act of the handmade object. This residency provides an opportunity for individual and group exploration, critiques, discussions and field trips. We can use the landscape, surroundings and studios to create and expand our materiality, process and concepts through our collective experience. Work product can be ephemeral, temporal, permanent, object, installation, soundscape or site-specific — let’s play, create and have fun. I believe the structure should be flexible and ask that participants arrive with an open mind and heart. 


Application Requirements 

  • submit up to 20 work samples
  • CV / Resume
  • Letter of intent
  • Preferred website / weblinks


Application Fee: $25 | Apply

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