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Soil Dwellers: Readings and Panel Discussion

May 3, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Dirt, when animated with life in the form of fungus, microbes, and bugs, is transformed into soil, the substrate upon which we reside. Soil Dwellers is a collaboration inspired by insects that work the earth.


Wednesday, May 3rd, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, room 2302D in the Evergreen Library

In conjunction with the Reading Rocks Program and Dirt? exhibition, the Evergreen library presents a panel discussion and select readings for the artist book Soil Dwellers. A Q & A will follow.

The collaborative artists’ book Soil Dwellers will be performed with its poetic and scientific texts. Catherine Alice Michaelis (artist and publisher), Emilie Bess (entomologist and artist) and Melanie Valera (artist and musician) will also share how our book became imbued with the Collembola (springtail), how science informed our direction and choices, and what the collaboration process looked like as we traveled through layers of soil and creative processes. Soil Dwellers was recently acquired by the Library of Congress.


Emilie Bess (Seattle, Washington) is an entomologist and visual artist. She has worked in natural history museums and insect collections for nearly 20 years and finds inspiration in the diversity of insect life and in the biographies of scientists. Her work includes fanzines, X-ray images, and illustration. She holds a PhD from the University of Illinois and teaches at the Evergreen State College.


Catherine Alice Michaelis (Shelton, Washington) is a printmaker, writer, and videographer. She has been the proprietor of May Day Press for 25 years and her artists’ books have been collected in over 70 public institutions. She has won print and design awards and her video-poems have been curated into Film Festivals. She was interviewed for the PBS show, Craft in America, which aired April, 2017.


Melanie Valera (Olympia, Washington) is a multimedia artist and musician. Born in France to Spanish immigrants, she moved to the States in 2005. With 5 successful opuses on K records and more than 1000 shows, her work has been seen at The Whitney Museum in NY, el Museu d’Art Contemporani in Barcelona, and the Pittsburg Andy Warhol Museum among many other institutions. She holds an MFA from the University of Bordeaux.



May 3, 2017
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Main Library, room L1326
2700 Evergreen Parkway
Olympia, WA 98505 United States
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(360) 867-6250


The Evergreen State College Daniel J. Evans Library

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