2021/2022 EAL MENTORS & MENTEES
Anabel Gómez (EAL mentee)
Anabel is an artist and educator from Kyle, Texas. She was greatly impacted by public art programs as a teen, and is now passionate about teaching art to youth and connecting with her community. Her artwork is currently inspired by her Mexican heritage and love of cartoons. Now working at Creative Action, she is hoping to rediscover her ritual of artmaking as a personal healing practice.
Yareth Fernandez (EAL mentor)
Yareth Fernández González was born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, México, and immigrated to Texas at age thirteen. They were raised in border towns both in México and the United States, going back and forward sometimes every week. They earned a BA in Art at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College and a MFA at Michigan State University where they began to focus on installation art. Their work varies from small drawings to mixed-media sculptures, installations with textiles, found objects, and unusual materials. Their work has been exhibited in Texas, Michigan, Illinois and Tennessee as well as in México. Back in Texas, they have created temporary
public art pieces for City of Austin Art in Public Places and a permanent public art piece for George Morales Dove Springs Recreation Center in Austin, TX.
Anuj Bhutani (EAL mentee)
Graham Reynolds (EAL mentor)
Anuj Bhutani is quickly emerging as a unique and versatile composer. Recently, he won 1st prize in Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble’s Emerging Composer Competition, Verdigris Ensemble’s ION Composer Competition, was a Finalist for the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, won 3rd prize in The Choral Project's Composition Competition, and was selected for the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, SEAMUS conference, Impulse New Music Festival, RED NOTE Composition Workshop, and New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival. His work has been commissioned or performed by Ashley Bathgate, Andrew Tholl of Wild Up, Verdant Vibes, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Switch~ ensemble, and more.
Called “the quintessential modern composer” by the London Independent, Austin-based composer-bandleader-improviser Graham Reynolds creates, performs, and records music for film, theater, dance, rock clubs, and concert halls with collaborators across a multitude of disciplines.
Heard throughout the world in films, TV, stage, and radio, he recently scored Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette with Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, and Laurence Fishburne for Annapurna Pictures, an upcoming projected directed by and starring Katie Holmes, Happy Jail for Netflix, the Rude Mechs’ Stop Hitting Yourself for Lincoln Center Theater, Ballet Austin’s Grimm Tales, and a multi-year commission from Ballroom Marfa, The Marfa Triptych. He has performed on an array of legendary stages, from the Kennedy Center to the Green Mill Tavern to the Conan O’Brien Show. His Creative Capital Award winning project, Pancho Villa from a Safe Distance, a bilingual cross-border opera created with librettists Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol (Mexico City) and director Shawn Sides (Rude Mechs), has been staged in over a dozen cities in North America.
Ronan Melomno (EAL mentee)
León Ozuna (they/them) is a filmmaker and a poet from the US/ MX borderlands. Their work meditates on queer desire, food and fatness, and the decolonization of the body and spirit. Most notably, their films have appeared in NME, Afropunk, and several festivals across the globe, most recently in Porto, Portugal.
Sarah Matthes (EAL mentor)
Sarah Matthes is a poet from central New Jersey, which exists. Her debut collection of poetry “Town Crier” won the 2020 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize and is forthcoming with Persea Books in Spring of 2021. Poems have appeared or are forthcoming with Pleiades, The Iowa Review, Black Warrior Review, Yalobusha Review, poets.org, and elsewhere. Matthes has received support for her work from the Yiddish Book Center, and is the recipient of the 2019 Tor House Prize from the Robinson Jeffers Foundation and the 2019 Andrew Julius Gutow Prize from the Academy of American Poets. She holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers and a BA in English and Creative Writing from Yale University.
She serves as the managing editor of Bat City Review, and lives in Austin TX.
Sandy Lam (EAL mentee)
Shawn Sides (EAL mentor)
Stephanie Vasquez Fonseca (they/she/him) is a queer Afro-Latinx immigrant originally from Santa Marta, Colombia. An agent of fun and a facilitator of good times, they are grateful to be in this present moment.
Stephanie received their B.A in Theatre Arts from New Mexico State University. Since moving to Austin, they have been involved in a wide variety of creative endeavors: improv and sketch comedy at local theaters, story telling and digital content for the Paramount Story Wranglers, new play developments, interactive theatre, short films, club acts, and whatever else sounds like fun.
Carl Gonzales is an Actor, Director, and Educator based in Austin, Tx. He has directed and performed with companies such as Penfold Theatre, Ground Floor Theatre, The Vortex, Teatro Vivo, Trinity Street Players, Heckle Her, and Pack Theater out in Los Angeles. He is also a composer/musician whose work has appeared in Independent Features and Podcasts around the Country. As an educator, Carl is also working as an Artistic Associate with Creative Action.
Gabriela Kane (EAL mentee)
Mary Catherine Rochford is an El Paso born artist living in Austin, Texas. As a multidisciplinary artist, she creates her work using oil paint, digital media, and embroidery. Her work is intimate and dreamy, an homage to the complexity of women.
Mary believes that creating and viewing art should be an inclusive, welcoming experience. She leads creative workshops with Creative Box Studios for beginner artists wanting to explore new mediums. Mary is also a member of the art collective atxGALS. You can currently view her work at The Cathedral in Austin.
Lauren Bechelli (EAL mentor)
Lauren Winchell Bechelli is an artist and educator based in Austin, Texas. Her work celebrates the cryptic web of connections that makes up the art world and the individual artist. She works with found materials, trash, fragments of other artist’s work, and connects to historically disparate traditions. Bechelli is the recipient of a Fulbright grant and will be working with The University of Baroda to explore the confluence of material and spirituality in Jain temple adornment in Gujarat, India (2022).