102: Art as Life, Not a Job – Panel at Elsewhere Studios with Laura Deutch, Cara Judea Alhadeff & Carolina Porras

Artist/Mother Podcast
Artist/Mother Podcast
102: Art as Life, Not a Job - Panel at Elsewhere Studios with Laura Deutch, Cara Judea Alhadeff & Carolina Porras

In this panel discussion I sat down with Carolina Porras, Director of Elsewhere Studios, Laura Deutch, a summer resident at Elsewhere Studios, and Dr. Cara Judea Alhadeff, in Paonia, Colorado, where I was also living for several days this summer at the Elsewhere Studios residency with my own family. All three rely on a tight community and relational art practices to make their work. The combination of living or spending a few weeks as a resident in this creative Colorado town with the power of the virtual space, these women find ways to make traveling and relational works as well as write books and participate in performances. 

Through discussions involving the importance of relational art practices, alternative lifestyles, and cross-cultural mindsets, we arrive at the conclusion that no matter the lifestyle choice, the difficult artist/mother dilemma remains. How do I let go of guilt and shame around making time for my art practice? How do I flex my creative muscles while my children are ever-present? Cara reflects that her artistic practice is actually all the moments that make up her life – with all its changes in energy and ambiguity throughout the day. Laura discusses how relationship-building fuels her art projects, and how she and her husband often collaborate to create experiences in their Philadelphia, PA community.

In the spirit of community, Carolina discusses the importance of family involvement of Elsewhere Studios, where she is the Director. She recounts the many times that the children attending with their artist parent or parents have presented their own artwork to the residency community, and how it has been received with great enthusiasm. All three panelists agree that the small town of Paonia, CO, while it is not a big art center in the traditional sense, offers so much – support and enthusiasm within the community, reasonable rent and living expenses, and, maybe most importantly, the freedom to explore many different types of media in a welcoming space.   

Carolina Porras joined Elsewhere Studios as Program Manager in 2017, after being a resident there two years in a row. She is the co-creator of Piney Wood Atlas, a country-wide artist residency research project conceptualized with another former Elsewhere resident. She is 2018-19 recipient of Alliance of Artist Communities Diversity + Leadership Fellowship. 

Laura Deutch is a Philadelphia-based artist, educator, and cultural organizer committed to using media as a tool for social justice, creative expression and community building. Her projects traverse digital and analog mediums to investigate the relationships between people, places and their stories. She currently works as the Education and Production Director at PhillyCAM, serves on the board of Termite TV, and holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University.

Dr. Cara Judea Alhadeff is a scholar/activist/artist/mother whose work engages feminist embodied theory, and has been the subject of several documentaries for international public television and film. In addition to critically-acclaimed Zazu Dreams: Between the Scarab and the Dung Beetle, A Cautionary Fable for the Anthropocene Era (EifrigPublishing, 2017), her books include: Viscous Expectations: Justice, Vulnerability, The Ob-scene (PennState UniversityPress, 2014) and Climate Justice Now: Transforming the Anthropocene into The Ecozoic Era (Routledge, 2020 pending). 

Final Five


Biggest art crush: her mom

Dream trip: treehouses in Turkey

Inspiring film or book: 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Favorite meal: white kimchi with persimmons

Shoutout: her mom


Biggest art crush: Vija Celmins

Dream trip: bike across the country

Inspiring film or book: Freddie Mercury tribute concert 

Favorite meal: Breakfast burritos

Shoutout: partner, Henry


Biggest art crush: Tyree Guyton (founder of the Heidelberg Project) and Isaiah Zagar 

Dream trip: Eastern Europe

Inspiring film or book: Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky

Favorite meal: tacos

Shoutout: best friend, Aggie

To see more of Cara’s work please visit her website.

To see more of Carolina’s work please visit her website and follow her on IG @carolina.picante. Also make sure to check out Elsewhere Studios, where she is the Director.  

To see more of Laura’s work please visit her website and follow her on IG @crackingopen

The Artist/Mother podcast is created and hosted by Kaylan Buteyn. You can see more of Kaylan’s work on her website or connect with her on Instagram @kaylanbuteyn

From left: Kaylan Buteyn, Carolina Porras, Cara Judea Alhadeff, Laura Deutch

Images from Cara Judea Alhadeff

Images from The Gestation Project


Images from Offspring Project- “The Offspring Project is a series of photographs of artists’ children with their parents’ creative work. I grew up as the daughter of a mother painter/installation-artist and father art-historian. I was inspired to begin this project during a meditation retreat during which I experienced a moment of tremendous gratitude for having parents as artists.”

“Breastfeeding while teaching my Iyengar Mom & Baby yoga classes–integral to my artistic process”

Images from Laura Deutch:

The zine Laura completed while on residency at Elsewhere Studios, a toolkit to assist individuals and their families to reflect on the process of creating rituals and traditions. 
Projections from Cleanse in the Italian Market, July 11, 2020. Project statement: We are projecting images at the 9th Street Market to visually cleanse the former site of the Frank Rizzo mural one month after its removal. Our aim is to push for new collective histories and continue fighting for anti-racism in our city. Projected image by Laura Deutch
Mobile Projector Bike (2019)
Using a solar powered battery custom fit into a Haley Tricycle, with full AV capabilities, we have been experimenting with guerrilla projection, video mapping and collaborating with organizations to host movie screenings and even a live remote radio broadcast from the streets!
2016 47 Stories, Transmedia Storytelling Project
Co-director, designer, Audio Producer in collaboration with Shira Walinsky
A collaborative multimedia project, which draws attention to the local 47 Septa bus route as a corridor of immigrant communities. I designed the brochure and interior bus artwork.
2017 Be Here Wow, Multimedia Installation
Co-director, Audio Producer, Interactive Designer
This mobile installation and interactive project brings together crowd-sourced guided audio meditations to highlight our collective interdependence
Laura and her family outside of Elsewhere Studios, Paonia, CO

Images from Carolina Porras:

Carolina working at Elsewhere Studios where she is the Executive Director
Carolina’s personal art/residency exploration project Pineywood Atlas
Carolina at the bike shop where she works part time
A commission Carolina completed for a client, Colored pencil on paper 18” x 24”

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