Reflections of a betterArts Residency

 Photo/Maggie Fishman

Photo/Maggie Fishman

Former betterArts resident Maggie Fishman joined us last July while she worked on her graphic novel, The End of Oil. The Brooklyn-based artist focuses on drawing, painting, and graphic poetry; and has worked in education, activism, anthropology, and writing while exploring how we put beliefs into action, how we connect the personal with political and artistic expression and social change—and how we can nurture and educate the next generation to build the world anew. By combining drawing, painting, comic narrative, and visual poetry, Fishman speaks in different voices from the unconscious to the documentarian.

She's recently shared with us photos from her betterArts residency at Better Farm, which we'd like to now share with you. People often wonder what the scene is like around here, and we think Maggie's done a perfect job of showing just that. All photographs and illustrations were done by Maggie. Check them out!

A bit more about the artist:

The End of Oil is a series of drawings and paintings in ink and watercolor which Fishman is building into a book. The pieces explore how common stories and themes shared by humanity are acted out in a world we are told is near its end. The book has three parts: The first follows a claustrophobic car journey of a nuclear family; the second, they gather with others in the countryside; and in the third, this small community joins the wider public by the sea. Fishman has used her betterArts residency to work on the second section, using her time in a community-based living situation to reflect and clarify the themes and stories in her work.

Fishman possesses a PhD with Honors in cultural anthropology from New York University, a BA with honors from Haverford College, and has earned fellowships and scholarships to New York University and the New York Studio School. She has worked as a lead researcher, visiting professor, adjunct instructor, and developer for arts outreach organizations and at colleges; and is co-founder of the River School Project. Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions for more than 20 years.

Get more Maggie here. Learn more about the betterArts Residency Program here.


Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.