Tracy Candido is a Brooklyn based artist and producer working with performance, public participation, and social sculpture. Taking place in formats such as the workshop, interpretive tours, public programs and group activities, her work uses food as a medium and eating as a social practice to explore the intersection of gastronomy, pedagogy, visual culture, and social networks. She organizes public works such as the Community Cooking Club (2010), a monthly socially-engaged program that provides opportunities to prepare, cook and eat food in a lateral learning environment, Sweet Tooth of the Tiger (2008-2010), a public project that used sugar and chocolate as a vehicle to explore power in private and public spaces, and the Bake Sale Residency (2009-2010), a micro-granting project for artists and an action in alternative economics in art. Tracy holds a Master’s Degree from New York University in Visual Culture Theory and a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Media Arts from Emerson College. She has exhibited public works around New York City and Brooklyn and has worked for many years at various arts and cultural institutions to develop and implement special projects, programs, and exhibitions.
Jen Delos Reyes is an artist originally from Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Her research interests include the history of socially engaged art, group work, and artists’ social roles. She has exhibited works across North America and Europe, and has contributed writing to various catalogues and institutional publications. She contributed writing to Decentre: Concerning Artist-Run Culture published by YYZBOOKS in 2008. In 2006 she completed an intensive workshop, Come Together: Art and Social Engagement, at The Kitchen in New York. She has received numerous grants and awards including a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Grant. Jen is the founder and director of Open Engagement, a conference on socially engaged art practice and herself speaks widely on Art and Social Practice at conferences and institutions around the world. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Portland State University where she co-directs the Art and Social Practice MFA concentration with Harrell Fletcher.
Ted Purves is a writer and artist based in Oakland. He was the founder of the California College of Art’s MFA Area for Social Practice, and continues to be one of the lead professors for the central workshop within that curriculum in addition to being chair of the school’s Graduate Program in Fine Arts. His public projects and curatorial works are centered on investigating the practice of art in the world, particularly as it addresses issues of localism, democratic participation, and innovative shifts in the position of the audience. His two-year project, Temescal Amity Works, created in collaboration with Susanne Cockrell and based in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, facilitated and documented the exchange of backyard produce and finished its public phase in winter 2007. His book, What We Want Is Free: Generosity and Exchange in Recent Art, was published by State University of New York Press in 2005. His current project, fieldfaring, is another collaboration with Susanne Cockrell that asks questions about the nature of people and place as seen through social economy, history and local ecology.
Randall Szott embodies the spirit of an old Dennis Miller joke in that he doesn’t know enough about anything to impress strangers and just enough about everything to annoy his friends. Or is it the reverse? He spent 11 years in college at 7 schools in 5 states and has 3 degrees. He has been cooking professionally for around a decade and has prepared everything from Thanksgiving dinner for over 300 to multi-course wine tasting menus for 12. His life is a series of three week cycles on land and three at sea working as a cook aboard the largest US owned hopper dredge. Inexplicably, institutions occasionally invite him to present his thoughts and activities in a public setting, even ones that should know better like SFMOMA, basekamp, The University of Houston, The California College of the Arts, and threewalls. In addition to tricking these folks into taking him seriously, he ran He Said, She Said with his wife in Oak Park, IL. They now live in Charlotte, VT and are plotting something new. If for some odd reason, this lengthy bio just isn’t enough to satisfy your curiosity you can find plenty more here.
Nancy Zastudil is an itinerant curator who emphasizes an expanded notion of curating, focusing on collective art practices that operate in the service of revolution and social progress. She is co-founder of PLAND, an off-the-grid residency program that supports the development of experimental and research-based projects in the context of the Taos mesa; the Taos Coordinator for ISEA2012 Albuquerque: Machine Wilderness, organized by 516ARTS; New Mexico Regional Editor for Temporary Art Review, a platform for contemporary art criticism that focuses on alternative spaces and critical exchange among disparate art communities, and she curates exhibitions nationwide. She held the position of Associate Director of the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts from Fall 2007 – Spring 2010; co-edited On the Banks of Bayou City: The Center for Land Use Interpretation in Houston (March 2009); and has published interviews and reviews in Artlies, Proximity Magazine, spot, …might be good, and Curating Now. Nancy holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from The Ohio State University and a Master of Arts in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts. She is a former WWOOFer, a current barefoot-running marathon enthusiast, a seasonal humanure composter, and a forever lover of eyeshadow.