Kiersten Nash
Artist, Activist, & Founder of Public Works Collaborative

For 14 years, Kiersten called Kentucky home. She grew to love the landscapes, cultures, and communities that make the Bluegrass an enchanted neck of the woods. Kiersten integrates cultural theory with her experimental prowess as an artist and training as a former athlete to navigate the nuances of everyday. Whether wandering through the Gorge, running along the Ohio, or frolicking in Cherokee Park, the rhythms of Appalachia resonate through her. In 2013, Kiersten founded Public Works–a multi-media research and design collaborative that works for, with, and in a diversity of publics around the globe. By employing design as a means to ask questions, PublicWorks to [re]frame everyday environments as adaptive interfaces that privilege a diversity of perspectives. Kiersten works with the belief that each project is an opportunity to exchange knowledge, advance critical discourse, and [re]negotiate the boundaries of Possibility. Her collaborations have been recognized by such notable institutions as The American Association of Museums and The Municipal Art Society of New York. She has presented research and facilitated workshops throughout the US and Europe.  


Ben Sollee
Cellist, Composer...Human

Known for his thrilling cello-playing, Ben's capacity to compose extraordinary mixes from a growing repertoire of techniques is nourished by his acute awareness of himself and the world around him.

A hometown favorite amongst Kentuckians, "Ben gained major notice with his 2008 debut, Learning to Bend which led NPR’s Morning Edition to call him one of the “Top Ten Great Unknown Artists” of the year.  Later, All Things Considered called his debut “an inspired collection of acoustic, folk and jazz-flavored songs, filled with hope and the earnest belief that the world is good.” Around the same time, Sollee was touring the world with Abigail Washburn’s Sparrow Quartet alongside Grammy nominee Casey Driessen and multi-Grammy winner Bela Fleck. Sollee’s music drew the attention of My Morning Jacket frontman Yim Yames, who produced his second full-length album, a collaboration with Daniel Martin Moore. In 2010 they released Dear Companion, a stunning collection of songs meant to inspire environmental stewardship. The next year Sollee contributed his cello stylings to My Morning Jacket’s hit album Circuital and released Inclusions, a sonically awe-inspring album about relationships that was called “structurally brilliant” by Slant and “stunning” by No Depression. Through it all, Sollee has garnered a rabid following of listeners devoted to his music."

 "Sollee shares himself completely with his audience, whether it be by personal lyrics, or his commitment to the environment...The songs give us the many facets of a human being...We are along for the ride as the narrator sings of selfishness, joy, impatience, romance…being human."

Adapted from Ben's bio by Silas House.


Sean Montgomery
New Media Artist, Educator, Engineer...& Neuroscientist?!

Sean M. Montgomery lives and works as a new media artist, educator, and engineer in New York City.  Sean's work takes a transdisciplinary look at the human condition. Using emerging technologies and research methodologies, Sean examines the changing relationship between the physical and metaphysical world. While finishing his Ph.D. in neuroscience, he began to consider the fact that from the perspective of a neuron inside the human brain, both a cold winter day and the embrace of a loved one feels like a sequence of electrical impulses. Thinking about the development of new technologies as a lens to let viewers trace their own biological existence and reflect on their most basic connection to the world around them, Sean looks forward to exploring how technology can enhance our understanding of ourselves and create new ways for people to interact with one another and the objects around them.


Bland Hoke
Public Artist & Wanderlust

Although his name might suggest otherwise, Bland is on a mission to make you wonder. Bland can take a simple idea, roll up his sleeves, and construct an exciting public space around it. In 2010, he founded Bland Designs LLC. Where some see a vacant lot, neglected infrastructure, or underutilized space, Bland Designs opportunities for cultural innovation! Bland has been awarded an Innovation by Design award from Fast Company; presented at Design INDABA in Cape Town, South Africa; and recently finished a cultural exchange project in Vladivostok, Russia.


Dan Marwit
Writer, Educator, &

Dan is an independent educator with fourteen years of experience developing concepts, content, and interpretive strategies for experiential environments and interactive engagements. He works closely with clients and content experts to curate information and collections, and with designers to brainstorm compelling public interfaces. Dan’s work has been vital on a wide range of design projects, from museum exhibitions, libraries, and visitors centers to corporate event spaces and award-winning websites. His recent clients have included the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), The New York Times, New York Department of Education, AFS Intercultural Programs, Governors Island National Monument, and Atlantic City with the Franklin Institute. 


in collaboration with

The Kentucky Geological Survey

Our mission is to increase knowledge and understanding of the mineral, energy, and water resources, geologic hazards, and geology of Kentucky for the benefit of the Commonwealth and Nation. The Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) conducts research, collects data, and serves as the State's official archive for data on petroleum, coal, minerals, groundwater, and topographic and geologic maps. Research investigations include the study of water resources, geologic mapping, oil and natural gas resources, coal and minerals, and geologic hazards. Geoscientists at KGS provide technical advice to more than 100 committees, boards, and advisory groups at the international, federal, state, regional, and local level, and at the University of Kentucky.


with financial support from