Introducing the 2019 Arts Collective Fellows
Meet the Fellows
2019 COUNTERCLOCK Arts Collective
We are proud to introduce our 2019 class of Arts Collective fellows.
We were honored to receive a high level of interest from many talented creatives around the world, but these artists – used in a general sense of the word ‘art’ – simply shone with the vision evident in their works and words.
Over the course of summer 2019, these 22 young musicians, creative writers, and visual artists from around the world will collaborate on tridisciplinary projects, participate in Facebook livestreams of writers and musicians, and discuss art, society, and the world, under the guidance of 18 award-winning mentors. Find more information on the COUNTERCLOCK Arts Collective – an interdisciplinary, fellowship-mentorship hybrid – here.
Our program begins today, and we could not be more excited to be undertaking the next four weeks of art-making alongside these fellows.
21 of these artists are part of three-person cohorts, consisting of one visual artist, one musician, and one creative writer. One artist was selected as an independent fellows, where he will create his own multidisciplinary project. Meet the fellows below.
Erin Jin Mei O'Malley | Writing
Erin Jin Mei O'Malley is a queer Asian American writer. Their work appears or is forthcoming in Redivider, wildness, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Cosmonauts Avenue, and others. They have received a scholarship from the Lambda Literary Foundation and nominations for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. You can follow them @erino232.
Favorite artists: Mitski, Ocean Vuong, Safia Elhillo, Jericho Brown, Shea Coulee, Sasha Velour, Ai Wei Wei.
Maria Gray | Writing
Maria Gray is a poet and writer from Portland, Oregon and rising sophomore at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Her work is forthcoming or can be found in publications from Counterclock Journal, Indie Blu(e) Press, University of Portland, Oregon Poetry Association, and the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. She is an Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program alum. Through her writing, she hopes to convey two primary ideas: that the personal and political are far from mutually exclusive and that vulnerability is not self-indulgent as much as it is a method of survival. When she’s not writing, Maria enjoys playing guitar, singing poorly, listening to music, and tweeting at world leaders. You can find her on Instagram @mmariagray.
Favorite artists: Ada Limón, Ocean Vuong, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker, Conor Oberst, Cheryl Strayed, Mac Miller, Frank Ocean, Lorde, Adrienne Rich, francine j. harris, Sylvia Plath… if I listed ‘em all, we'd be here forever.
Kelly Liu | Visual Art
Kelly Liu is a rising senior at the Hun School of Princeton, graduating in the year 2020. Since she was six years old, art has served as her creative and emotional outlet. She now uses her art to address themes like mental health, specifically how the physical and mental scars of humans reveal their identities. Her works depict the beauty of scars and the untold stories behind these everlasting marks. By using mostly acrylic paint and mixed media, she hopes to show how scars have many hidden layers. Ultimately, she hopes her art relays a message of how scars are beautiful stories and history written on either the body, heart, or mind.
Favorite artists: Jenny Saville, Lucian Freud, Lauren Tsai, and Takashi Murakami.
Katherine Xiong | Visual Art
Katherine Xiong is an artist, writer, and part-time farmer. She's doing her best.
Favorite artists: Ted Chiang, Ken Liu, Maggie Nelson, Han Kang, Virginia Woolf, Cy Twombly, Cai Guoqiang, Francis Picabia, Tillie Walden, Alison Bechdel, and Sufjan Stevens.
OSTEND, WEST-FLANDERS, BELGIUM
Beljita Gurung | Visual Art
Beljita Gurung is an 18 years old art student from Belgium. She just has graduated at The Academy, Bruges in Belgium and is right now applying for the arts college; KASK Gent. Art is her passion since she was a child and now she is still making art. Art for her, is a powerful way to express your concepts and ideas and to share it with the world. She likes to work traditional: drawing and oil painting, but she is slowly coming out of her comfort zone and is starting to make innovative installations and sculptures. She eventually has won the Ignace Bernolet prize for the most innovative artwork 2019 in the Academy, Bruges. With this honour she is more motivated to make more art in the future. She is open to meet new people, new artists to share her concept and to learn new things from each other.
Favorite artists: Joseph Beuys, Mona Hatoum, Gerard Richter.
Sandra Chen | Writing
Sandra Chen is a rising freshman at Princeton University. A Scholastic gold medalist for her senior portfolio, Sandra enjoys experimenting across genres. Her work often revolves around identity, heritage, and self-image, allowing her to unravel parts of herself and of the world that she can't understand otherwise. Outside of writing, her love for language and storytelling lead her to enjoy mock trial, dance, and design.
Favorite artists: Ocean Vuong, Sarah Kay, Jane Austen, Toni Morrison, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sleeping at Last, Sufjan Stevens, Taylor Swift, Alec Benjamin.
Audrey Kang | Music
Audrey Kang is a rising senior at Dublin High School. She’s played piano for ten years of her life, and passed CM Level 10 two years ago. Along with being a student, Audrey also is an intern at the CALICO child advocacy center in San Leandro, and a part-time worker at Ramen 101, a fast food ramen shop. Some of her interests include photography, travel, and literature, all three of which can be clearly seen on her Instagram. In her free time, she likes taking mini road trips with friends, hanging out with dogs she meets on the streets, and dismantling the patriarchy.
Favorite artists: I don't have any favorite musicians, but I do adore Agatha Christie, a writer.
Eliza Browning | Writing
Eliza Browning is a first-year English and Art History student at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. She is the winner of the Fitzgerald Museum Literary Contest and a 2019 YoungArts Winner in Writing. Additionally, her work has been recognized by the Connecticut Poetry Society, the Rising Phoenix Review, and the Blue Marble Review, among others. She is currently an intern for Cleaver Magazine.
Favorite artists: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Virginia Woolf, Donna Tartt, Elif Batuman, Sylvia Plath, J.D. Salinger.
Carolyn Stein | Writing
Carolyn attempts to write. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. Regardless, she loves writing and she is thrilled to have this opportunity. Her work has been recognized by the Poetry Society of the UK and the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. She thinks you’re amazing and wants you to know that yes, you can do it.
Favorite artists: Carl Phillips, Frank O’Hara, Haruki Murakami, to name a few.
Megan Lunny | Writing
Megan Lunny is a 2019 National YoungArts Finalist in Writing, a 2018 Foyle Commended Poet, a Semifinalist for US Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and the recipient of the American Voices Medal (2019), the National Scholastic Gold Medal in Short Story (2019), and the National Scholastic Gold Medal in Flash Fiction (2018). Her prose and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Alexandria Quarterly, The Best Teen Writing of 2018, Cleaver Magazine, River Heron Review, and Acumen Young Poets. After her gap year, she will attend Columbia University in fall 2020 with plans to study English and Human Rights.
Favorite artists: Ocean Vuong, Zadie Smith, Jesmyn Ward, Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz, Emma Cline, Sylvia Plath, Richard Powers, Joy Harjo, Diane Seuss. Lizzo, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Queen, Vampire Weekend.
Noreen Ocampo | Music
Noreen Ocampo is a writer from the metro-Atlanta area. A sophomore at Emory University double-majoring in English and Film Studies, Noreen is also an alumna of Georgia’s Governor’s Honors Program and Glass Kite Anthology’s Summer Writing Studio, and her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Canvas Literary Journal, Teen Ink, and Gwinnett County Public Schools. Despite her timeless love for poetry, Noreen is currently working toward developing skills in other mediums, such as photography, cinematography, and music, and she has most recently branched out into songwriting. Her musical background is composed of self-learning the ukulele, playing violin in her high school orchestra, a few years of piano lessons, and a decade of karaoke-singing at family get-togethers. Although she has much to learn, Noreen hopes to create art that finds a home with you.
Favorite artists: Wong Kar-wai, Min Jin Lee, Ruth Ozeki, Anthony Doerr, Toni Morrison, Ocean Vuong, Stromae, Lorde, Cavetown.
Stephanie Yen | Music
Stephanie Yen is a 16-year-old high school senior from Cleveland, Ohio. She has studied solo piano since she was 5 and currently studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). Stephanie made her concerto debut with CIM’s Conservatory Orchestra at the age of 10 and performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall at the age of 15. She attended Credo Festival at Oberlin Conservatory in 2018, where she deepened her passion for chamber music and serving her community with music. She will continue studying chamber music and performing music outreach this fall. Stephanie also loves to write poetry; as an artist, her goal is to build meaningful connections and share stories with others. In her free time, Stephanie loves to make music playlists, doodle with gel pens, find new books to read, and spend time with friends.
Favorite artists: Camille Pissarro, Fernando Botero, Ray Bradbury, Gwendolyn Brooks, Martha Argerich, Jacqueline du Pre, Frederic Chopin, Johannes Brahms, Claude Debussy.
Milou de Meiji | Music
Milou is a pianist specializing in songwriting and contemporary improvisation. Dedicated to performing music in unconventional spaces a recent highlight includes playing melodica and synthesizer in Breathe, a multi-disciplinary water opera performed in a swimming pool at Lawrence University and squeezing an upright piano into a box office through the Tiny Box Concerts where she was a featured singer-songwriter. Milou continues to push boundaries with her all-women free improvisation trio, Visible, who just finished recording their debut album. Fascinated by non-Western musical styles, Milou has studied Afro-Cuban music, Brazilian samba, and Balinese Gamelan. Her other influences include classical piano, Deep Listening practice, and contact improvisation. She credits her love of exploration to the support she received at her alma mater Lawrence University, where she recently graduated with degrees in piano and Russian. This fall, Milou will teach English and study folk music in Latvia as a Fulbright Scholar.
Favorite artists: Bob Dylan, Kasimir Malevich, Kehinde Wiley, TS Eliot, Ross Gay, Laurie Anderson, Pauline Oliveros.
Helen Mak | Visual Art
Born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, Helen is a rising senior attending Deerfield Academy, a boarding school in Massachusetts. As an avid supporter of her school’s visual arts program, she’s created a visual arts club, runs art related events and gives art gallery tours. Her favorite medium is graphite, but she is currently very interested in exploring oil paint. During her free time, she loves to read books, watch k-dramas and play with her 5 dogs. She hopes to connect, collaborate, learn and grow as an artist with other fellows in this program.
Favorite artists: Diego Velazquez, John Singer Sergeant, Ai Wei Wei.
Kaitlyn Zhou | Visual Art
Kaitlyn Zhou is a rising junior at Neuqua Valley High School. Her works have been nationally recognized by Scholastic Art and Writing and internationally recognized by Claremont Review. Kaitlyn is very passionate about art because she finds that it has no boundaries. Therefore, she hopes that she can use visual art as a way to inspire and influence others to gain confidence in themselves and their voice. Other than drawing and painting, she is also heavily devoted to serving as the editor-in-chief of The Essence, co-captaining her school’s Science Olympiad team, writing, and volunteering around her community.
Favorite artists: Claude Monet, Salvador Dali, Leonardo Da Vinci.
RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Alan Shen | Music
Alan Shen, better known as "nekoi", is a high school student from Vancouver, B.C. Recognized for his electronic touch to traditional lo-fi, his songs have been featured on promotional Youtube channels such as Ikigai and The Bootleg Boy, receiving over 300,000 plays collectively across streaming platforms including Soundcloud and Spotify. The music he listens to includes jazz, rap, dubstep, electro funk, deep house, indie, future bass, rock, and classical, but he is open to new things. Besides writing music, he enjoys talking to people about anything. He is scared of tight spaces. In his free time, he re-reads comments from his listeners.
Favorite artists: Coldplay, Toru Kitajima, 9TAILS, EDEN, VALENTINE.
Kaitlyn Wang | Writing
Kaitlyn Wang is a lover of puns and poetry from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has been recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation. She attends Wellesley College and enjoys drawing, hiking, and playing the ukulele.
Favorite artists: Li-Young Lee, James Baldwin, Arundhati Roy, Audre Lorde.
Kayleigh Schweiker | Visual Art
Kayleigh Schweiker is a creator. Whether it be through words or forms of visual art, she aims to explore the surreal and fantastical through her art while questioning the world and its standards. Kayleigh’s photography has been published in literary magazines, including Counterclock, and she is currently developing her online gallery. By combining her curiousity of the world with an editorial composition, Kayleigh’s work speaks a language that aims to be both artistic and representative of her lens as a millenial.
Favorite artists: Cindy Sherman, Roy Lichtenstein, Deanna Lawson, Marilyn Minter.
Srin Lahiri | Visual Art
Art allows Srin to combine her love for painting with her passion for social justice, providing her with an outlet to create impactful work and explore the things she cannot find the words for otherwise. By drawing from many different perspectives along with the realities of her own experience, Srin aims to give voice and connect with others through a shared narrative. Ultimately, this helps her understand this world and how to navigate it. It also offers her comfort in the understanding that she is doing something. Something necessary. Something important.
Favorite artists: @ethernautics on Instagram, Kurt Vonnegut, Jhumpa Lahiri.
Arina Oberoi | Music
arina is a fifteen year old student. she has been singing for a little bit now and has recently started making her own music. through this program she wants to create music that is more art-like than structure-like.
Favorite artists: Agust D, Humble the Poet.
ABEOKUTA, OGUN STATE, NIGERIA
Ernest O. Ògúnyemí | Independent
Ernest O. Ògúnyemí is an eighteen-year old writer and spoken word artist from Nigeria. His works have appeared/ forthcoming in: Kalahari Review, Litro 'Comedy' Issue, Lucent Dreaming, Low Light Magazine, Canvas Lit Journal, Agbowó 'Limits' Issue, and elsewhere. He is a 2019 Adroit Summer Mentee. In 2018, he won the Association of Nigerian Authors NECO/ Teen Prize for his manuscript of short stories, "Tomorrow Brings Beautiful Things: STORIES". He is currently working on his first novel.
Favorite artists: prose writers: Lesley Nneka Arimah, Chimamanda Adichie, Gabriel Garcia Marquez; poets: Danez Smith, Odia Ofeimun, Pablo Neruda, and Ocean Vuong.
Riva Rubin | Music
Riva is an individual constantly exploring the arts. She has been part of the Cantabile Youth Singers and performed with them at Carnegie Hall as well as performed the soundtrack for the Lord of the Rings movies lives in San Jose. She is currently a junior and third year member of Pinewood School's a cappella group, Take Note. While enjoying all types of music, her primary interests lie in vocal jazz and jazz composition. She has been actively soloing in Take Note through a cappella vocal jazz arrangements and continues to encourage and promote a future for jazz in Pinewood's music program. Out of many hobbies, her favorite includes working with the Boys and Girls Club of the Silicon Valley, specifically in East San Jose. She makes, performs, and invests her life in music as she views it as an invaluable escape. Without music, her life would be a toneless, confusing journey.
Favorite artists: Amy Winehouse, Ella Fitzgerald, Albert Camus.
Sarah Feng is the editor-in-chief of COUNTERCLOCK Journal and the founding director of the COUNTERCLOCK Arts Collective. Her works have been recognized by the Poetry Society of the United Kingdom, Teen Vogue, the Critical Pass Junior Poet Prize, the National Council of Teachers of English, and more. Find her work in the Adroit Journal and Gigantic Sequins. She plays piano and dabbles in charcoals, and she thinks rhythm and light and lyric pulse in every field of the creative arts – if you can call them distinct fields at all. In other words, she has faith in the power of the interdisciplinary arts and their persistence in our memories and minds. You can find her here.