George Ferrandi is the creator and director of JUMP!STAR. She designs the Constellates, leads the creative team, and makes the pole star sculptures.
Ferrandi is an American artist whose performance and participatory projects address issues of vulnerability, impermanence, and spectacle, often through experimental approaches to narrative. She has been awarded grants from Franklin Furnace and the Mid Atlantic Arts Council, and she was an NEA funded Fellow with the Japan-US Friendship Commission. Her work has been performed or exhibited at the International House of Japan in Tokyo, Abrons Arts Center in New York, the Kitchen in New York, Cinders Gallery in Brooklyn, Sluice Art Fair in London, the McKinney Contemporary in Dallas, the Wexner Center in Columbus, the Harn Museum in Gainesville, and Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. She is the founding director of Wayfarers Studio Program and Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and was the founding member of the touring performance project Cloud Seeding: Circus of the Performative Object.
Alan Calpe is working with community performers to develop Jump!Star dance and movement, and oversees the design of all performance regalia.
Calpe is a visual artist working primarily in video and performance. His work has been exhibited at the Getty Museum, the Wexner Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Anthology Film Archives, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and LAXART. His intersections with dance have included presentations at Danspace Projects, Dance and Process at the Kitchen, Abrons Art Center, and New Museum. He has attended artist residencies at Skowhegan, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Alan received his MFA from the University of California, San Diego, and currently lives in NYC.
Jee Young Sim created and performed the signature sounds for the pole star characters.
Jee is a visual, sound, and performance artist currently based in Berlin. She has exhibited and performed at institutions including Haus der Kulturen der Welt, panke.gallery, and HAU 2 in Berlin, Museum of Fine Arts Galerija Umjetnina in Split, Arti et Amicitae in Amsterdam, the 4th Anyang Public Art Project in Anyang, Overgaden Institut in Copenhagen, the Center of Contemporary Art in Lagos, Real Fine Arts and Brooklyn Museum in New York. Sim has released her music in collaboration with Jee Day on DFA Records and Beats in Space Records.
Mirah is writing and performing the lyric-driven anthems of Jump!Star.
Brooklyn-based songwriter Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn has been creating incorruptible independent pop music since the late 1990s. She has released over a dozen solo and collaborative recordings on K Records, Kill Rock Stars, and various domestic and foreign independent labels. She has performed with the Oregon Symphony, Contemporaneous Orchestra, and the Portland Cello Project, and has toured solo and with countless iterations of her own band in concert halls, music clubs, and punk basements all across North America, Japan, and Europe.
Jherek Bischoff is composing the Jump!Star Symphony.
Bischoff is a Los Angeles-based composer, arranger, producer and multi-instrumentalist. He has performed in venues from Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall to Royal Albert Hall, and his music and commissions have been performed by renowned symphonies and ensembles around the globe. Bischoff has collaborated with the likes of Kronos Quartet, David Byrne, Neil Gaiman, and Robert Wilson. His critically-acclaimed work includes the albums Cistern and Composed, and a co-release with Amanda Palmer, Strung Out In Heaven: A Bowie String Quartet Tribute. His latest work for theater, Robert Wilson’s Der Sandmann, premiered this summer in Germany. Bischoff is currently developing two theater productions and is working on a collaborative release with Kronos Quartet.
Beal is an artist, curator and educator. She studied at the Kansas City Art Institute before receiving a BFA (Drawing and Painting) from Wichita State University and an MFA (Painting and Printmaking) from Virginia Commonwealth University. She was awarded the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship Award in 2004, a Kansas Innovation Grant in 2010 and a Wichita Arts Council Grant for her participation in Wichita’s River City Biennale. Kristin is a founding member of Hack.Art.Lab, a collaborative team of artists, educators and technologists. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and regularly participates in collaborative art projects.
Van Steenhuyse is a painter, educator, designer, active community member and Program Manager at Arts Partners Wichita. She received her MFA (Fine Arts) from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, and a BFA (Painting & Women’s Studies) from Washington University in St. Louis. She was featured in New American Painting West Edition 2011, selected as a 2006-08 Fellow of the Career Development Program at the Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia, and currently serves on the WSU Ulrich Museum of Art Alliance Board. Kate has exhibited nationally and internationally.
Harvester Arts' Ryan W. Gates is a filmmaker, producer, designer and creative director. He earned his BA (Creative Writing & Film Production) from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY and studied at Harvard University (Theatrical History) and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (Comedic Writing). Ryan began his career as a producer, director, and creative thinker for Disney, Disney.com, and The Kids WB. His work has earned him a number of awards in film, web production, television, and blogging. Ryan co-founded CreativeRHINO with Kate Van Steenhuyse in 2006 to develop new media and production projects. He serves on various boards, including the Tallgrass Film Festival, HealthCore Clinic, and The Old Town Association.
Connie Bonfy, impresario
Bonfy is an artist and environmentalist, and grant writer for Chamber Music at the Barn, Commerce Street Arts District, Symphony in the Flint Hills, Tallgrass Film Association, Bartlett Arboretum, Fisch Haus, and Hopper Bees. She has managed dozens of NEA grants. As Executive Director, Bonfy has lead a rural Kansas arts council; in Santa Fe, NM, the Desert Chorale; Ballet Wichita; and more recently to Salina Arts and Humanities—a department of the City of Salina (Kansas). She states, “I am grateful for such a diverse career that also includes serving as the head grant writer for two community colleges in Kansas as well as the performing arts presenter at one.” Al Gore certified Bonfy in 2013 as a Climate Reality Leader. Governor Bill Graves honored her 2000 with the Governor’s Arts Award for lifelong work as an arts advocate. Bonfy lives joyfully with Lily, a Jack Russell Terrier, in Wichita, KS.
Christy Davis is Executive Director of Symphony in the Flint Hills, a nonprofit that creates year-round prairie education events and an annual Signature Event aimed at sustaining the region's unique culture and landscape.
Davis, a fifth-generation Kansan, founded her own historic preservation consulting firm (Davis Preservation) in 2006, and specialized in assisting property owners in designating their properties and securing funding for preservation projects. Prior to starting her own company, she was a preservation planner and deputy state historic preservation officer for almost a decade.
Jana Grcevich is our collaborating astrophysicist.
Grcevich received her doctorate in Astronomy from Columbia University, where she studied dwarf galaxies and interstellar gas, discovering two previously unknown local galaxies. She then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the American Museum of Natural History, where she continued research, taught astronomy to future high school science teachers, and hosted public shows in the Hayden Planetarium. She co-authored The Vacation Guide to the Solar System, a whimsical travel guide to the planets.
Sonali McDermid is our consulting climatologist and expert on agricultural models.
Sonali McDermid is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Studies at NYU. She obtained her Ph.D. at Columbia University in Earth and Environmental Sciences, and subsequently held a NASA Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Her research strives to understand how agricultural land-use can feedback on regional climate and environmental systems to have major ecological consequences. She also served as the Climate Co-Lead for the Agricultural Model Intercomparison Project, which conducted integrated assessments of climate change and food security across Africa and Asia.
Madeline Baker is Jump!Star’s graphic design genius and is also an illustrator, music producer/enthusiast, and full-time dabbler living and beaching in her native Tampa, Florida.
She strives to use design as a medium to spark creativity, exploration, education, self-awareness, and most importantly human-to-human interaction. As a proud proponent of the maker's movement, she incorporates as much of the handmade, human element in her work as possible.
Nick Troisi is an advisor and master "MacGyver" to Jump!Star.
A master craftsman, builder and artist for more than forty years, Nick has designed and built projects for schools, museums, theaters, and non-profits throughout the Northeast US. He spent over a decade building sets and props for theatrical and cinematic productions, and is currently Shop Master for the Theater Department at Bloomsburg University.
Dave Herman is a professional art handler, CDL Class A Commercial Driver, and founder/director of the City Reliquary Museum in Brooklyn, NY, a not-for-profit community museum and civic organization. For Jump!Star he serves as our all-around advisor, transportation engineer, logistics captain, moral supporter, and souvenir consultant.
Dr. Dina M. Bennett is the Associate Director of the Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn University, and an ethnomusicologist who specializes in African American music and culture. She previously served as the Director of Education at the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, Mississippi, and as the Manager of Collections and Exhibitions at the American Jazz Museum (AJM) located in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District in Kansas City, Missouri.
Dr. Bennett also served as the co-curator and consulting ethnomusicologist for the AJM’s John H. Baker Jazz Film Collection Exhibition (2009), the first addition to the jazz museum’s permanent exhibition since its opening in September 1997. Dr. Bennett has over 30 years of experience in the music field and is an accomplished pianist. She has served as a contributor to the Grove Dictionary of American Music (2nd ed.), and currently serves as a consulting scholar for the National Museum of African American Music scheduled to open in 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee, and on the advisory team of scholars for “A History of African American Music,” an interactive timeline produced as a resource for Carnegie Hall’s 2009 festival Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy curated by internationally renowned soprano Jessye Norman.
Douglas Baulos acts as an educational liaison working with Jump!Star themes in his classes at the University of Alabama.
Baulos was born in Springfield, Illinois. In 1990, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In 1993, he received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans. He currently is the Assistant Professor of Drawing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the curriculum director at Studio by the Tracks, an art center that provides free art classes to emotionally conflicted children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other mental illnesses. His drawings, collages, and books have been exhibited/published both nationally and internationally. His current works are explorations (visual) and meditations (poetry) centering on his ideas of spirituality, love, death, shelter, and hope.
Carole Garmon acts as an educational liaison and along with the UMW/Fredericksburg community has been integral to the creation of Thuban.
Carole Garmon holds an MFA and a BFA in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has taught at the University of Mary Washington since 1998, and is a recipient of their Outstanding Young Faculty Member Award. Garmon’s research acknowledgements include the accessioning of select images and research materials on Rembrandt into the Rijks Museum Library in Amsterdam, Holland, and participating in a BBC 2 documentary on Rembrandt’s painting, The Night Watch. The segment is part of the larger series The Private Life of the Masterpiece. She was one of two Americans chosen to participate in the international exhibition Inspired By Rembrandt, commemorating Rembrandt’s 400th birthday. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including in Richmond, Washington, D.C., San Antonio, Detroit, Lima, Amsterdam, and Berlin.
National Endowment for the Arts
Japan US Friendship Commission
Washington Project for the Arts
Hiroo Takenami, Director, Takenami Hiroo Studio
Paul Quast, Narrative and Conceptual Director, A Simple Response
Alex Griswold, Research Associate, Center for Astrophysics, Harvard Univeristy
Jana Grcevich, American Museum of Natural History
Josh Shiode, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Nick Troisi, Owner and Fabricator, The Unknown Craftsmen
Harold Williams, Facilities Management, University of Mary Washington
Gil Sullivan, Facilities Management, University of Mary Washington
Danny Quann, Facilities Management, University of Mary Washington
David “Scout” McQueen
K. Fred Wehmeyer, Senior Vice President of Engineering, U.S. Battery Mfg. Co., Inc.
Project Narrative & Conception
Anne Marie Cartwright
Researchers at the Harvard Libraries, especially
Web Design & Development
Education and Outreach
Carole Garmon, Studio Program Chair, University of Mary Washington
Doug Baulos, Assistant Professor of Drawing & Bookmaking, Univeristy of Alabama at Birmingham
Kalina Winska, Assistant Professor of Art, Valdosta State University
Jess Andrews, Virginia Commonwealth University
Archive and Infrastructure
Emotional and Moral Support
Casey "CC" Ray
Samantha Van Heest
Amber Concepcion Arceo-Schwim
Mary Alexis Wirths
Glenn E. Gunnels