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The Thicket was founded by Ansley West Rivers and Calder Yates, who met while in graduate school at California College of the Arts (San Francisco). Both are artists from the North Florida/Georgia region.
West Rivers is a photographer who grew up in Georgia. She received her BFA from the University of Georgia and MFA from the California College of the Arts. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia and the LaGrange Art Museum. Additionally, West Rivers's work has been shown at the Wattis Institute of Contemporary Art (San Francisco, CA), New Century Artist Gallery (New York, NY), Root Division (San Francisco, CA), Kala Art Institute (Berkley, CA), Carmel Visual Arts (Carmel, CA), Kiernan Gallery (Lexington, VA), and The Print Center (Philadelphia, PA). She has taught Photography at the California College of the Arts and has assisted two workshops at the Headlands Center of the Arts. She co-founded Canewater Farms with her husband in Darien, GA, where The Thicket Residency is located. http://ansleywest.com/
Yates grew up in Jacksonville, FL, a one-hour drive south of Darien, GA. In Jacksonville, he worked as a Museum Educator for the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens and owned and operated Flat File Gallery. He’s taught art classes in Jacksonville’s arts magnet high school as well as with Florida State College of Jacksonville. He has worked for the New York City Office of Emergency Management, and collaborated and danced with Club Lyfestile, a neon unitard–wearing dance group based in Philadelphia. He has taught art therapy programming in hospital oncology units in Jacksonville and Oakland, CA. Most recently, through The Center for Art and Public Life’s IMPACT Grant, Yates and a team of three others traveled to Turkey to create and implement a tutoring and mentorship program for the children of Syrian refugees in Izmir, Turkey. His artwork has been exhibited at Southern Exposure, Wattis Institute of Contemporary Art, and The Hammer Museum. Currently, Yates is a freelance writer and video editor, as well as a curator for the Mayo Clinic's Davis Gallery. http://calderyates.com/