Collective Bios

The Walker Kitchen Lab Collective

Susy Bielak is an educator, cultural programmer, visual artist, and writer.  As the Associate Director of Public and Interpretive Programs at the Walker Art Center, she creates adult programs and interpretive strategies with experimentation, research, and learning at their core. Much of her work extends to community-based, interdisciplinary, and cross-genre projects. She completed her BFA in studio art, anthropology, and psychology at Macalester College, and MFA at the University of California, San Diego in drawing, installation, and public practice. Prior to her MFA, Bielak managed local, regional, national and international arts programs for Arts Midwest.  Bielak’s artistic practice blends research, narrative, material metaphor, and, increasingly, absurdity.  Her work has been exhibited and collected across the U.S. and Mexico, including by the International Print Center, Luis Adelantado Mexico, Minnesota Museum of American Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, New American Paintings, and Walker Art Center. More information can be found at  Susy’s favorite ice cream is black pepper cardamom.

Anna Lawrence Bierbrauer’s work current work focuses on community engagement, participatory design, and urban agriculture advocacy. She is in the midst of creating a design handbook and field guide to urban farming. Recent projects include pocket farm design consultation for the McKinley Community CSA and the Hawthorne Community Garden for Kids in North Minneapolis, curating a garden gallery for medicinal plants at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington DC, and the schematic design of a productive community green space along the Central Corridor with Students for Design Activism and Gordon Parks High School in St. Paul. Past work has included theater design at the Guthrie, the Southern, the Playwrights’ Center, and Theatre de la Jeune Lune. She also has extensive experience with garden design and maintenance, organic gardening, and food preservation. Anna holds a graduate degree in Landscape Architecture from UMN and BA in Performance Theory and Political Systems from George Washington University.

Betsy DiSalvo is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research engages in study of informal learning and the impact of cultural values on technology use and production. Her current research explores the cultural values and video game play practices of young African American males and resulted in a remarkably successful computer science learning program, the Glitch Game Testers (  Betsy also works as an installation and performance artist, exploring issues around food and domestic technologies including installations and performances with the Mattress Factory Art Museum, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and the Walker Art Center. Her favorite food is crawfish etoufee.

Carl DiSalvo is an Assistant Professor in the Digital Media program, in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  His research draws together design, the humanities, and science and technology studies to increase public engagement with technology and analyze the social and political uses of digital media.   He also designs and produces experimental media and public events, which have been exhibited and supported by the ZKM (Center for Art & Media), Warhol Museum, Grey Area Foundation for the Arts, Times Square Arts Alliance,  Science Gallery Dublin, and the Walker Art Center. He is the author of Adversarial Design (MIT Press 2012). His favorite food is blueberry pie.

Erin Garnaas-Holmes is a student of Landscape Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Minesota.  Before coming to Minnesota, he worked in Washington, DC, with organizing and activism efforts around food justice. There he helped plan and construct the largest rooftop agriculture project in the District with Bread for the City, a social service agency serving low-income District residents. The vegetable garden produced healthy produce for people in need and formed a diverse community of gardeners and leaders.  He continues to explore creative projects and community initiatives that bring people together and address hunger, health and sustainability.  He likes waffles.

Rebecca Krinke is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer working in sculpture, installations, public art, and site art. In broad terms, her work deals with relationships of body and space / trauma and recovery. She disseminates her work through gallery shows and permanent and temporary public works, including her recent participatory, traveling, outdoor public artwork, Unseen/Seen: The Mapping of Joy and Pain, which created a temporary shared social space for emotional engagement and catharsis. In April 2012, she created Flood Stories, a public sharing of memories of previous years floods in Fargo, North Dakota, sponsored by the Plains Art Museum.

Krinke’s current project is called What Needs to be Said? – part of her socially engaged creative practice that ‘maps’ unseen and unacknowledged difficult pasts that continue to structure present-day social relations. Krinke is co-convener of the international artist-academic-activist network Mapping Spectral Traces, which works with and in traumatized communities, contested lands, and diverse environments. She is Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota. She previously taught at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and Rhode Island School of Design.

Sara Nichol is an artist living in Minneapolis, Minnesota who specializes in performative sculpture, photography, and failure.  On weekends she works in a production kitchen. Both in art and in the kitchen, she engages with practices that are process-based, from-scratch, physical, intricate, and amateur, yet appealing to perfectionist tendencies.  The most soup she has ever made at once is 40 gallons.  She loves soup.

Derek Schilling is currently working as a research specialist with the Salovich Zero Plus Design group ( – developing tools to help designers ground their work with integrated metrics around energy and water balance. His own design work is centered on sustainable, multifunctional projects integrating community, infrastructure, and spacemaking. This Fall he will be teaching two courses at the U on sustainable design and infrastructure/ecology (LA1001, LA4755/5755).

Sarah Schultz is the Director of Education and Curator of Public Practice. She’s interested in models and theories of creativity, the commons and public engagement. She is an amateur gardener, aspiring baker, practicing poet, avid New Yorker reader.

Emily Stover is an architect and public artist working in alternative landscapes and new media, and is currently developing temporary architecture as interactive community space. Recently, she has collaborated on projects for the Northern Spark Festival, the Bakken Museum, and Art Shanty Projects 2012. Her favorite meal is brunch.


One thought on “Collective Bios

  1. Pingback: The City Pantry: A Cabinet of Scents and Memories | Kitchen Lab

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s