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 The Artist-in-Residence Program  

Castilleja's Artist-in-Residence Program (AIR) is a unique art and education program funded by the School's Innovation Investment Fund.  AIR provides professional artists with a stipend and studio space at Castilleja School for an eight week period. By supporting diverse artists who work with a range of materials, Castilleja encourages our students and community to engage in new ways of thinking about art and the environment in which we live.

Artists speak to our middle and high school art classes, as well as adult groups, about the experience of working in their chosen medium(s) and about their work in the context of the larger community. Additionally, they provide workshop sessions to our students. At the conclusion of the residency, a two-week long exhibition will be held in the school gallery for the artist featuring artwork made during the residency that may also include Castilleja student work reflecting the collaboration. 

Under the ACE Center umbrella, coordinators and team leaders of the Gallery Leadership organization will help curate, advertise, and promote the show. At the conclusion of the residency, the artist will contribute one piece of his/her artwork to the program's permanent collection. This work will be used for teaching and display at the school.

Click here to learn more about the program expectations and application information. 



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Kirsten Brandt, 2016 Artist-in-Residence

Kirsten Brandt is an award-winning director, playwright and producer. She served as the Artistic Director of Sledgehammer Theatre for seven years and was recently the Associate Artistic Director of San Jose Repertory Theatre. She spent a year abroad at the University of Birmingham, England studying playwriting, Biomechanics, and Modern Dance. She earned her Bachelors in Theatre from The University of California, San Diego.  She is a continuing lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Fun fact: Kirsten likes to cook complicated meals.

Visit Kirsten's website to view more of her work: 

Kirsten wrote and workshopped a play with Castilleja Upper School acting students. To watch a trailer for the play, watch the video posted below.


Motoko Honda, 2015 Artist in Residence

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“I see myself as a translator of the world surround us, creating bridges between cultural and individual differences, and hopefully giving all of us the hope to live and to be courageous searching and accepting who we truly are.”

Sound and Video Samples
Please go to and click Sound/Video Tab.

Video excerpt of Dreams of a Flower Live
Full video from Ear Meal Live, Duo with Joe Berardi
Video, Motoko Honda solo
Video excerpt with Projection Artist Jesse Gilbert
Video excerpt Duo with Joe Berardi Live
Video excerpt Trio with Jeff Gauthier and Michael Dessson
Video excerpt, collaboration with Dancer/Choreographer Maureen Whiting

Motoko Honda is a concert pianist, composer, and sound artist who has created a distinctive sound through her holistic approach to music, and her exceptional sensitivity in relating to other art forms and technologies. Employing a "virtuoso technique paired with her intensely imaginative mind" (Susan Dirende, L.A. Splash Magazine), and with stylistic influences ranging from jazz to Indonesian music to contemporary prepared piano with electronics, Motoko's compositions and structured improvisations are intended to affect the skin, organs and minds of the listener rather than simple recitations of rhythmic and harmonic themes. Called both a "keyboard alchemist" (Chris Barton, L.A. Times), and the "embodiment of a muse" (Greg Burk, Metaljazz), Motoko's performances transport audiences on sonic adventures that transcend the boundaries and conventions of contemporary music!


Lark Pien, 2014 Artist-in-Residence

Lark Pien is a cartoonist, artist and author. She received the Harvey award for her coloring work on American Born Chinese, the first graphic novel ever to be nominated for the National Book Award. She is also the co-author of the NY Times best seller, Boxers & Saints.

Her children’s books, Long Tail Kitty (Blue Apple Books) and Mr. Elephanter (Candlewick Press), are based on her comic characters and their stories in the comic format. Her next children’s books will be released in Fall 2014 and Fall 2015.

Outside of working with publishers, she enjoys drawing, making handmade minicomics (from cover to cover), trekking and touring. Her favorite spots to visit in a new city are libraries, baseball fields and stadiums, cemeteries, and museums.

My Bookshelf:
(recommended artists, comics, & children's books)
Want to Draw Comics:
(tips and tutorials)
The Castilleja Collection:
(comics and cartoons by yoooouuu!)
More Art by Me:
(abstracts, life drawing, etc.)
Some Stories:
(excerpts from my stories)

Lauren Dicioccio, 2013 Artist-in-Residence

Lauren Dicioccio joined Castilleja in February 2013 as Castilleja's first Artist-in-Residence. “My work investigates the physical beauty of common mass-produced objects as they approach obsolescence. Approaching sculpture, painting, and tedious handicraft with an air of lightness, I aim to remind viewers of the importance of our relationships with these simple but intimate objects of everyday life and to provoke a pang of nostalgia for their familiar physicality.”

Click here to view Lauren's full website.

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