Artist Working Groups



Artist Working Groups, a funded collaborative creative research group, began in 2021 to elevate the creative voices of artists making work about the intersection of disability and other significant social topics such as the environment, gender, and racial justice. Artists participating in the working group engage with questions concerning how the selected theme impacts their lived experiences, as well as the role art plays in communicating these ideas across abilities and mediums.  


Collaged image of Great Salt Lake

2022 Working Group: Embodied Ecologies



The 2022 Artist Working Group, Embodied Ecologies, engages artists interested in making work about disability, health, and their relationship to the environment. Representing a singular idea through multiple mediums, this project foregrounds accessible communication across various abilities, with the larger goal of sparking change-making conversations within the Salt Lake Community.

5 artists who have experience, stake, and interest in issues that arise at the intersection of health and the environment are working together to explore questions related to this field. 

Some guiding questions include: 

  • Where do environmental justice and disability justice meet? Where do they diverge?
  • How do environmental concerns in Salt Lake City (i.e. climate change, air quality, drought, Covid-19, the built environment, food access, urban heat island effect, etc.) impact ideas and lived experiences of health? 
  • What is  the role of art in communicating issues of health, accessibility, and the environment? 

Embodied Ecologies Working Group Artists



Meet the Embodied Ecologies Working Group:

  • Evangaline Amadu is a Utah-based artist, specializing in divine feminine surrealism. They paint to remember their connection to this land.
  • Mālia Malae-Godinet is a queer disabled Sāmoan interdisciplinary artist passionate about challenging how we approach, perceive, and intake art and how we define what an artist is. Mālia is eager to generate conversation and create counternarrartives surrounding what it is to be disabled, specifically within artistic space.
  • Michelle Wentling is an artist and community builder living in Salt Lake City, UT. She grew up in rural Ohio, studied English at The Ohio State University, and moved to Salt Lake to study Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah. Michelle enjoys gardening, weaving, painting, playing trumpet, taking long walks through the desert, and sharing meals with friends. 
  • Stephanie Choi is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Utah. She spent several years working in the sustainability field across the country before coming to Utah. You can find some of her published poems in New Ohio Review, Electric Literature, [PANK], poetry.onl, and elsewhere. 
  • Victoria Meza is an indigenous artist with heritage from Peru, the Navajo Nation, and Assiniboine-Sioux tribe. Many of her influences come from her cultural heritage, and her work celebrates that heritage. In addition, her work explores the confusion of navigating different cultures and embracing what it means to grow on one's own terms. With her background in psychology and behavioral health, she is passionate about amplifying conversations about mental health and overcoming generational trauma. She is excited to continue to engage with challenging ideas and evolve her art practice through collaborating with others. 

Embodied Ecologies also features work from eight contributing artists who received micro-grants for contributing to the exhibition:

  • Bryn Burningham
  • Chanté Burch
  • Erin Meager
  • Kristen Vardanega 
  • Laurie Larson
  • Sylvia Ohara

Big thanks to co-facilitators and contributors Natalie Slater and Stan Clawson for partnering with Art Access on the 2022 Working Group!








Call for Artists

Art Access opens our call for Artist Working Groups artists every December. 

Program benefits include artist stipends and materials support from Art Access. We also hope the working group will provide nourishing and fertile ground for fellows to grow as artists, foster creative partnerships, and engage in rewarding work relevant to the Salt Lake City community. 

Stay tuned on Art Access's social media and website for program updates and announcements. Contact Art Access at workgroup@artaccessutah.org with any questions! 

Art to the right by Laurie Larson


Laurie Larson, 2022: The inside of half of an apple; two bodies crouched in the fetal position in with their backs facing the viewer in each half of the apple. The bodies seem to share a root system at the base of the apple. The body on the right's internal organs are artfully visible, the viewer is able to see pain points in veins and the body's lungs.