2017 Artists-In-Residence

The selected artists received studio space, production stipend, and solo exhibitions of their work at the SDAI Project Space in Horton Plaza. All artists were chosen through a competitive application process by a panel of artists, curators, and arts administrators.



Sheena Rae Dowling received her MFA in Sculpture from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and her BFA in Painting from San Diego State University. Her work employs multiple practices including painting, sculpture, and installation. She has shown her work throughout the United States and in Mexico. She currently has a piece in the San Diego International Airport as part of the Intergalactic Dreaming exhibition. She has recently been selected as an artist for neighborhood beautification projects in City Heights. Her present body of work involves personal narrative reflecting on memory, loss, and exposure with rigorous honesty. 


Chris Travers grew up in San Diego, studied architecture at the University of Sydney and has since worked in photography, commercial studios, and museums. Her awakening to animal issues began as a child watching National Geographic on TV, and visiting the local dairy. As an adult, Travers wonders where the empathy for animals that we had as children has gone. Why do we feel their suffering is less than ours?  

Travers began an exploration into horse racing after hearing, year after year, that so many horses were dying at the Del Mar Racetrack. Her work is an attempt at understanding through images, knowing at the outset that it is hard to look at things that require us to change our beliefs or desire to have fun. “I believe that how we treat the most powerless among us, both humans and animals, is a measure of our own humanity.”


Allie Manch holds an MFA in Photography from the University of Washington, Seattle and a BFA in Photography from Arizona State University. Her work has been exhibited in galleries across the United States and positively reviewed in New American Paintings and Art Ltd. Her current body of work features illustrations on hand-stitched and manipulated fabric, presenting real and imagined characters through embroidered and sculptural narratives, often connected to the artist’s childhood in Arizona.

Noé Olivas holds a BA in Visual Arts from the University of San Diego. During his last year at USD he initiated and developed a rolling social sculpture consisting of a 1967 Chevy Bread truck called “Untitled Space." This work has been exhibited at The New Children’s Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, Bread and Salt, and Helmuth Projects. He is a 2015 San Diego Foundation Creative Catalyst Fellowship winner, and his current artwork investigates the Mexican-American identity as a Californian. His work considers the relationship between labor/leisure as it fits into conceptions of femininity/masculinity, specifically by evaluating the myth of Machismo and its relationship to patriarchal culture.

C. Ree holds an MFA from the University of California, Irvine; she works in multiple genres, overlapping public performance, architecture, photography, video, and sculpture. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the world including at LACE and the Hongcheon Art Museum. She is a member of the Super Futures Haunt Collective, a queer indigenous feminist performance group which performs Visitations, a series of performances along the Northwestern coast on art practice, sovereignty, rage, and love. She is currently a Photography Instructor at MiraCosta College.

José Hugo Sánchez is a multidisciplinary artist living between Mexico and the United States. He works in the fields of performance art, monumental printmaking, sculpture, ready-mades, and new media technologies. His current body of work deals with global, cross-border migration, exploring why humans are forced to leave their countries to escape from war and violence. Jose has studied visual arts at San Diego State University and Southwestern College and has exhibited his work across the United States, Mexico, Italy, Cuba, Spain, and Japan.