TMA Education | Artists in Residence

TMA Artists in Residence

TMA's Artist in Residence Studios are located on the 5th floor, along with our Education Center classrooms. Each residency will result in an exhibition of their completed body of work the following year.

Jacob Garza

Jacob Garza is a San Antonio based artist who creates paintings & drawings of people and places. His work explores nature, memory, and identity. He uses personal experiences and oral stories passed down from his family to create a narrative within his work.

Artist Statement
I am an artist who creates paintings & drawings of places and people. My work explores nature, memory, and identity. I use personal experiences and oral stories passed down from my family and friends to create a narrative within my work. These narratives often talk about my own family relationships and the communities that I grew up in being a Latino descendant of “agricultores”.

I use painting as a sacred tool/space inspired by the ideas of mysticism. I’m able to communicate and connect with my ancestors and spirits through it. The ghostly figures within these scenes emphasize the notion of a fading memory, capturing the ephemeral experience in life that slowly fades away as we move past that moment, the many layers embody the notion of the physical and spiritual. When creating these scenes, they feel intuitive as if each brush stroke I make is slowly revealing the story. There is a balance on how much visual information is in one area to another, leaving some areas ambiguous for the viewer to fill and interpret.

The process involves layering transparent colors and images on top of one another, pulling and pushing the paint as it flows and letting the image emmerge from the canvas through an automatism process. The delicate use of the paint applied to the surface is influenced by Chinese and Japanese watercolor/ink paintings in which I incorporate the same meditative quality. Using elements of line, color, and space I create a sense of rhythm or motion that directs the viewer’s eyes throughout the piece, enveloping their field of vision in atmospheric scenes that bring the viewer into a different world. My influences are in Anthony Cudahy, Adam Lee & Naudline Cluvie Pierre. This is present on the surface and how I apply the paint in washes to create these fluid dream like spaces.

We're accepting applications for future residencies.

Past Artists in Residence

Lora Vahlsing


As a visual artist, I create sensorial experiences that invite contemplation. I use familiar materials and shapes, seeing them in new ways. In my current series What the Paper Reveals, the pieces are both open-ended and precise. My vision focuses on slow art, objects that need precision over a sustained period. My origins are in poetry, drawing, and movement. I invite viewers to re-conceive the world around them, referencing the natural world through intricate forms and light.

I sculpt paper because I enjoy the challenge of transforming a familiar material. Paper holds the recorded light of trees and I’m interested in this history, the origins of a material. I’m driven to discover and explore subjects of place, memory, and time. It’s an insistence of expressing personal narratives in their complexity: beauty and pain, light and shadow, private and public. I sculpt paper in two and three-dimensional forms to heighten spatial perception. My pieces are largely monochromatic because I’m drawn to the subtleties of shape; an often muted or limited color palette heightens visual sensitivity.

The physicality of sewing by hand is essential, even if the stitches aren’t visible. I’m creating my own webs, intricate stitches barely perceptible from a distance. I’m fascinated with the texture of stitches, and how they hold materials together. The scarring is important, to memorialize places of healing and acknowledge their beauty.

Elyse-Krista Mische


Elyse-Krista Mische is a mixed media artist who contemplates ideas of time, memory, and mortality. She resides in Appleton Wisconsin and, in addition to artmaking, is pursuing an MS degree in Thanatology (Death Studies) with the goal of providing creative death education and resourcing. Her population specialty is older adults, although she enjoys working with people of all ages and abilities. She promotes community engagement through collaboration, teaching, and residencies. Elyse-Krista serves as the acting chair of the Appleton Public Art Committee where she advocates for inclusive and diverse public art while creating her own small and large scale works for individuals, businesses, and celebrations in the Appleton area and beyond. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally. Elyse-Krista is grateful for this residency opportunity with the Trout Museum and looks forward to sharing her research and creative pursuits with our community.

Trent Stiehl


The process of painting a work of art can bring down through hell and raise up to the sky in the very end. I may only ever see the bottom of the world before I begin to cover its darkness with what the reality should be. In the end, that is the process.

Acrylic paint layers in a very special way when combined with air to deliver the medium to the surface. I have found spray mediums to be the most calming to my nerves. Finding the right medium of colors is always challenging. I take color very seriously. If I can not give off the right energy with color I would rather go without. Black and white is the most neutral any composition can be described in. Unsatisfied until finished and once again never satisfied until the next light is lit.

Cold and dark is fascinating, at the bottom of the world I have examined some of its elements. An environment with elements which are very cold and empty. As I examine them further it becomes brighter, the further I go … I begin to realize what reality truly is.


Arimasa Imaizumi

My ceramic work is a growth of my past works. Many organic elements are added to my vessel forms or sculptural pieces. I glaze and fire my pieces multiple times, in order to create unique surfaces. Some of my pieces might be fired five or six times until I am satisfied with the results. Contrast, process and experimentation play big roles in my finished pieces. The pieces I create have both smooth and rough textures. The different surface qualities give my glazes areas to move and break as the colors are fired one on top of the other.


Erica Hess

Erica is interested in the relationship between our emotions and objects; the ways in which people make sense of their inner psychological workings and assign meaning to the objects they surround themselves with. She explores these ideas through textiles and large-scale sculpture made of industrial and every-day materials such as concrete, moving blankets, plywood, and cardboard. Using methods and materials of protection, storage, and transport to communicate, she asks us to consider the passage of time, abandonment, preciousness, loss, and failure. Many of her abstract objects are packed into boxes, padded with foam, wrapped in blankets, asking us to consider which objects are valuable enough to transport and protect? Why? Her sculptures are a physical attempt to understand the mutable, continually changing landscape of our emotions by taking seemingly ordinary and universal aspects of life—memory, daily living—and transforming them into art objects.


Laura Schneider

Laura Schneider was born and raised in Wisconsin. She is a Midwest-based artist who colors outside the lines of life. While earning her BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Laura’s passion for photography was ignited in the darkroom. For nearly two decades, Laura has been capturing subtleties that go overlooked by the casual observer. Her perceptive nature gives her work character and revealing depth. She leverages her senses and the natural qualities of her environment to leave inspired, relatable creations in her wake. Through visual storytelling and the written word, Laura creates a connection we long for. Laura’s mission is to live to her fullest potential by creating work that matters.

2020 – 2021

Devon Minor

Devon Minor is a figurative artist working primarily within the mediums of graphite, ink, and charcoal on paper. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and currently resides in the Fox Valley.


Cristian Andersson

Cristian Andersson is a Wisconsin painter and performance artist. He received his formal education from Columbia College in Chicago and the University of Wisconsin Green Bay. Cristian primarily creates abstract oil paintings based off contemporary classical compositions. The characteristic sounds of how a musician plays an instrument, a visualization of how these instruments are sonically placed in a concert hall, as well as thematic elements that composers work with all come into play in a finished painting.


Tyla Hilfreich

Tyla Hilfreich is an Appleton, Wisconsin artist focusing on sculpture, collage, sound, writing, and collaboration, but works in painting, multimedia, photography, glass, fashion design, and film. Tyla is a full-time artist and entrepreneur, creating art and events of many expressions in and around the Fox Valley. Influences of his recent art and events include archaeology, language, science, and philosophy of the human body, mind, and spirit. He received his BFA with an emphasis in Printmaking from UW-Stout. His current mission is to shake up the Wisconsin culture through art.