Upcoming: Francesca Fiore and Hillary Wagner of SOIL SERIES will present at Open Engagement

Conference takes place May 11-13, 2018 at the Queens Museum in New York City (more details to be announced soon)

Open Engagement (OE) is an annual artist-led conference dedicated to expanding the dialogue around and creating a site of care for the field of socially engaged art. The conference highlights the work of transdisciplinary artists, activists, students, scholars, community members, and organizations working within the complex social issues and struggles of our time.

Open Engagement 2018 will take place May 11 – 13, 2018 at the Queens Museum and a constellation of sites throughout New York City. In addition to exploring the intersections of art and activism, this year’s conference will explore the expansive theme of SUSTAINABILITY and will feature presenters Lucy Lippard and Mel Chin.


SOIL SERIES: A Social Drawing Selected to Participate in Project Anywhere’s 2018 Global Exhibition Program

Published at

We are thrilled to announce SOIL SERIES: A Social Drawing‘s participation in Project Anywhere‘s 2018 Global Exhibition ProgramProject Anywhere is a global blind peer reviewed exhibition program dedicated to promoting artistic research at the outermost limits of location-specificity. Since its inception in 2012, it has hosted between 4 and 9 projects annually. Although descriptions and images of hosted projects are featured on a dedicated website, it is important to stress that Project Anywhere is neither an online gallery nor a journal. It is instead a vehicle for illuminating artistic projects located anywhere and elsewhere in space and time. It is perhaps best imagined as an exhibition space comprising the entire globe in which the role of curator is replaced with a peer evaluation system.

We are also happy to announce that we will be presenting at Project Anywhere‘s third biennial conference, which will be held on November 15-16 2018 at Parsons School of Design in New York City. You can view the conference publication from Anywhere Elsewhere 2016 and watch videos of the presentations here.


Read: “Social Drawing as a Model for Community-First Engagement”

by Francesca Fiore

(from Artist (Residency) and the City)

First published on (in collaboration with Residency Unlimited)

Francesca Fiore’s contribution to ArtsEverywhere’s Global Roundtable, Artist (Residency) and the City. The roundtable was inspired by a day-long symposium organized by Residency Unlimited entitled Embedded, Embedding: Artist Residencies, Urban Placemaking and Social Practice. Ten international artists were asked to respond to the question (introduced by symposium curator Livia Alexander): “What role can urban planning and cultural policies play in navigating the slippery boundaries between nurturing artistic agency and social engagement, and advancing broader policy initiatives of urban economic growth? Does the artist residency model offer the appropriate conceptual setting for effective implementation?” Read the artists’ responses at, and check out ArtsEverywhere’s other Global Roundables.


MVNU Artist Talk: An Introduction to Socially Engaged Art

Thursday, November 16th, 2017 at 7pm

MVNU Hunter Hall (Room 111) 221 S. Main St, Mount Vernon, OH 43050

You are invited by the Mount Vernon Nazarene University art and design department and artists Francesca Fiore and Hillary Wagner (MVNU Alumnus ’14) for an evening of thoughtful discussion around the topic of socially engaged art. Francesca and Hillary will retrace the paths that led them to their current collaborative project, SOIL SERIES: A Social Drawing, and to the contemporary field of art known as social practice.

The artists met in the MFA program at Parsons School of Design in New York City, and shortly after graduation, they moved to the rural village of Bethel in Appalachian Ohio. SOIL SERIES: A Social Drawing aims to reestablish networks of nourishment in Bethel, a village struggling with high unemployment, rising poverty levels, and a staggering opioid epidemic. Together with a local non-profit, Empower Youth, Francesca and Hillary are transforming a 15-acre farm into a site for expanded access to nutritious food, cultural programming, and mentorship at the intersection of art and agriculture.

Please join us to think about how artists can best work in collaboration with struggling communities and the non-profits at work within them.


SOIL SERIES Inaugural Art Exhibition and Silent Auction

Friday, October 27th, 2017  3:30 – 8pm (Empower Youth’s festivities conclude at 7 pm, but the exhibition will be open to the public until 8 pm)

The EY Ranch, 2800 State Route 125, Bethel, OH 45106

We are so excited to announce our first ever art exhibition showcasing artwork by our amazing Community Studio artists! The exhibition will take place at the Empower Youth Ranch during Empower Youth’s Ribbon Cutting event.

Come out to support the volunteers, donors, and friends of Empower Youth who have helped transform the ranch over the past six months into a thriving center for community nourishment. The event is to celebrate the completion of Peachie’s Place, Empower Youth’s new packing facility for their weekly food bags, and tours of the ranch’s completed and in-progress facilities will take place throughout the evening. Artwork from Community Studios will be displayed inside Peachie’s Place and throughout the Barn Studio, and Francesca and Hillary will be present to answer questions and talk about their future plans for SOIL SERIES: A Social Drawing. 

We are also thrilled to announce our partnership with Pneuma Coffee of The 86 Coffee Bar and Concert Venue in Cincinnati for this event, who will generously provide specialty coffee drinks throughout the evening. There will also be a DJ and a silent auction to benefit SOIL SERIES and Empower Youth programming. Don’t miss it!


Learn more about SOIL SERIES: A Social Drawing: