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CEAM fall Artist-in-Residence Elisa Harkins

Oct 12, 2020

The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum (CEAM) and Flagler College welcome Elisa Harkins to the CEAM Artist Residency Nov. 9 – 21. As a part of her residency, Harkins will travel to St. Augustine along with her collaborator, the musician and activist Marcus “Quese IMC” Frejo, and both will engage with campus and the community in a variety of ways. Harkins will give a virtual performance on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 5 p.m., and Quese IMC will perform virtually on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. Both of these events, co-hosted by the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Art at Florida International University in Miami, are free and open to the public.

Headshot of Elisa Harkins

Thursday, November 12, 5 p.m. Elisa Harkins virtual performance via Zoom here

Headshot of the artist Quese

Tuesday, November 17, 1 p.m. Quese IMC virtual performance via Zoom here

Elisa Harkins is a Native American (Cherokee/Muscogee) artist and composer based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her work is concerned with translation, language preservation, and Indigenous musicology. Harkins uses the Cherokee and Mvskoke languages, electronic music, sculpture, and the body as her tools. Her work is collaborative in nature, and she often works with artists within an expanded field. Most recently, Harkins has collaborated with Quese IMC to produce a CD of Creek Seminole Hymns. Radio III / ᎦᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᏦᎢ  is a recent dance performance by choreographers Hanako Hoshimi-Caines and Zoë Poluch, that features music by Harkins. Songs from the performance have been collected into a limited edition double-LP to be released in October 2020.

Harkins’ performance on Nov. 12, Wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ, is an ongoing project where the artist sings in a combination of Cherokee, English and Muscogee (Creek) to electronic dance music, some of which is inspired by of sheet music of Indigenous music notated by Daniel Chazanoff during the 20th century. As an act of Indigenous Futurism, it combines disco and Indigenous language in an effort to alter the fate of these endangered languages through active use, preservation on pressed vinyl and radio play.

During her residency, Harkins will be working on an ongoing project called Teach Me a Song that builds on the aforementioned interests in translation, language preservation, and Indigenous musicology. Harkins’ new work is structured on a series of exchanges, wherein she invites collaborators to teach her a song. With the recordings of these songs—which may be ceremonial, religious, rock & roll, electronic, etc.—Harkins’ practice of nation to nation sharing and trading music is presented as a means of decolonizing traditions of Indigenous musicology.

Harkins received her BA from Columbia College, Chicago and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. She has since continued her education at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Harkins’ work was the subject of the solo exhibition “Teach Me a Song” that was on view at Western Front in Vancouver, Canada (2019). Most recently, her work was included in the “State of the Art” exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, Arkansas, and “Larger Than Memory: Contemporary Art from Indigenous North American” at the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona. She has exhibited her work at The Broad Museum, documenta 14, The Hammer Museum, MCA Chicago, MOCA North Miami, and Vancouver Art Gallery. Harkins has been a mentor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a Tulsa Artist Fellowship Integration Grant Awardee, with her grant she has been producing an online Indigenous concert series called 6 Moons, and she is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) tribe.

Marcus “Quese IMC” Frejo is a tribally bear clan of the Seminole, wolf band of Pawnee and a pioneering indigenous hip-hop artist, cultural activist, and producer. One of the founding members of ‘culture shock camp: native hip-hop group and culture shock: the first native hip- hop summer of 1998,’ Quese has been instrumental in being one of the early founders of indigenous hip-hop as a genre and movement. IMC has also used hip-hop, empowerment, and activism in the effort to break the colonized illusion of cultural divides. Quese IMC is the founder of the #pawneecamp of the Standing Rock: Water is Life movement. The artist’s performance on Nov. 17 will encompass Pawnee/Seminole indigenous Hiphop, tribal chants and social justice consciousness through spoken word and wakuraariks.

The CEAM Artist Residency, in collaboration with Flagler College’s Department of Art & Design, is a regular program of artists-in-residence to engage in themes of place-making while collaborating with some aspect of St Augustine’s local community, the city’s significant and varied roles in American history, or its rich natural environment.

The CEAM Artist Residency is supported by a grant from the Dr. JoAnn Crisp-Ellert Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

The CEAM is currently closed to the public. More information about virtual programming, including a 3D virtual tour of the CEAM space is available on the website at You can also follow on Instagram (@crispellertart) or Facebook (Crisp-Ellert Art Museum) or contact Julie Dickover at 904-826-8530 or To directly link to the virtual tour of the museum, please visit here.

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