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Welcome Border Art Resident Catherine Söderberg Esper!
April 12, 2024
Welcome Border Art Resident Catherine Söderberg Esper!

The El Paso Community Foundation welcomes Catherine Söderberg Esper as the new artist of the Border Art Residency (BAR) for its Spring/Summer seasons. Catherine Söderberg Esper is an artist, architectural designer, and researcher with a passion for sustainable design and innovative materials. Her residency will run until September 2024 in the Border Art Residency’s artist living and studio space located in El Paso’s historic Five Points neighborhood. Selected from a highly-competitive pool of applicants, Catherine’s work dives deep into the world of materials science and pushes the boundaries of traditional architectural practices. Advancing its mission to give artists a period of retreat for creative work, the Border Art Residency provides Catherine a fully furnished living/working space, a monthly stipend, and paid utilities for a six-month period to cultivate her creativity. Catherine holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Pratt Institute, and a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University. Following her studies, she joined the Singapore Center for 3D Printing at Nanyang Technological University. While there, she worked with scientists and engineers to develop sustainable materials and design modular structures.

Catherine moved to El Paso, Texas in 2018 where she joined the architecture faculty at Texas Tech University and continued her interest in materials, resulting in the formation of Matter Matters, a research and architectural design lab focused on exploring the potential of waste and natural materials in construction. While at the Border Art Residency, Catherine will expand on her work in sustainable architecture, creating environmentally conscious designs that prioritize both aesthetics and functionality.

“In both my practice and current research, my goal is to encourage the utilization of inevitable food waste by transforming it into innovative products for the architecture and construction industries,” said Catherine of her work. “I aim to reduce the burden on landfills by developing an architectural typology that integrates remnants of consumption into its construction- fostering a harmonious relationship between human-built environments and the natural world and blending habitats with organic matter.”

“We’re more than happy to provide the time, the tools, and the atmosphere inherent in the borderplex region to inspire new works of art from the artist in residence. Catherine’s passion may create not only aesthetically pleasing pieces, but also spur the conversation surrounding sustainability in architecture,” said Eric Pearson, President/CEO, El Paso Community Foundation.

The Border Art Residency, established in 1997, is a project of El Paso Community Foundation that enables artists to pursue their craft without the worry of immediate sales or an outside job to pay for housing expenses. Artists selected for the program are able to achieve a greater degree of personal growth by concentrating on individual goals. They also share progress with local students, educators and the public. The Residency offers a living/studio space in the heart of the El Paso, Texas historic Five Points neighborhood.

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