WELCOME May Resident Artists and Curator

The Back Apartment Residency is glad to welcome our next three residents!

Diana Shpungin (Brooklyn, NY), Blane De St. Croix (Brooklyn, NY) and David J. Diamond (New York, NY) will spend their time exploring St. Petersburg and its arts organizations, conducting research, creating new work, and sharing their art with the local community.   Below is information about the participants and their proposed residency projects. During their stay, Diana, Blane and David will share their experiences and observations as visiting artists and curator in St. Petersburg in the Back Apartment Residency Blog.

Diana Shpungin (Brooklyn, NY)


Diana Shpungin is a Latvian-born artist based in Brooklyn whose work includes drawing, sculpture, installation, hand-drawn animation, video and sound. Shpungin has exhibited her work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Institute of Contemporary Art, Palm Beach, Marella Arte Contemporenea in Milan and others. Reviews of her work have appeared in publications such as Artforum, New York Magazine, The Village Voice, and The New York Times.
Proposed project
(Untitled) Portrait of Dad exhibition by Diana Shpungin at Steph
Shpungin intends to study collective memory and its functions through existing and destroyed architecture in St. Petersburg. She hopes to use this research to create a public art project with community involvement for the 2018 Art Prospect Festival. This new public project would build on a recent large scale project Drawing Of A House (Triptych), which was a monumental, participatory work for SiTE:LAB in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and the City of Grand Rapids in the US.

Blane De St. Croix (Brooklyn, NY)


De St. Croix’s work is primarily concerned with the environment: creating large-scale sculptural installations. His artworks and research is driven by the need to increase understanding of our shared social, political, environmental, and cultural challenges, within local communities, and in the global arena. Much of his work features large-scale sculptural installations: “monumental miniaturizations” of specific natural or man-made landscapes. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally, in solo and group shows.

Proposed project

Dead Ice, Blane De St Croix exhibition at Fredericks and Freiser
De St. Croix intends to continue his research and develop a series of sculptures for an upcoming solo exhibition at Mass MoCA in 2019 based on intensive interdisciplinary field research and community outreach that examines geopolitical issues in the world. In St. Petersburg, he will investigate St. Petersburg’s relationship to the sea; the city has been affected by rising water levels in recent decades. De St. Croix plans to conduct preliminary studies for future landscape artworks reflective of St. Petersburg complex dilemma with nature and climate based on interviews with scientists, engineers and caretakers of the city’s major heritage sites along with extensive documentation.

David J. Diamond (New York, NY)

Portret-IMG_1090 - Version 2

Diamond is an author, community activist, and facilitator of Forum Theatre. He is also the curator of the Umbria International Symposia at La MaMa, founder of the 30-year old Barrow Group Theatre Company (NYC) and President of Career Coaching for Artists which presents workshops for professionals and students, including Directing Your Theatre Career annually at Columbia University and Yale School of Drama. As a Fulbright Specialist in Theatre, he recently completed a residency with Dah Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia.

Proposed project
Diamond is specifically interested in meeting with artists and art organizations that are involved in socially-engaged art creation. During his residency Diamond will develop collaborative opportunities between La MaMa and local theatre artists. He will also conduct a workshop for curatorial students at Smolny College.


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