Peter’s first night in Portland, back in October 2006, was spent at SPACE, where Wolf Eyes melted his face and destroyed his ears. He remarkably still had enough hearing to join the event staff as a sound engineer in August 2010. He joined the staff upstairs in the office as music programmer in 2014. As a drummer, he has played more than 600 shows across North America, Europe, and Asia over the the past decade, with bands such as Family Planning, Mehetable, Woodpainting, Villages of Spaces, Names Divine, Ora Cogan, Lina Tullgren, Jacob Augustine, Lisa/Liza, Lady Lamb, The Casco Bay Tummlers, and many more. He runs a small record label, Pretty Purgatory. His favorite color is purple.
Jocelyn Leighton is a queer human who uses she/they pronouns. As an INFJ, she uses her intuitive and feeling powers as a way to intrinsically navigate the world. Originally from Downeast Maine, land belonging to the Passamaquoddy Tribe, Jocelyn loves to travel and has been to many different places that have stirred her soul. They are an artist, performer, writer and is currently working on their Master’s degree in Gender and Cultural Studies at Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts. Jocelyn wrote and performed a piece titled The Unkindest Cut which was in PortFringe 2019 and they author/manage the website Getting to Know Jane Doe. Along with being a fastidious office manager at SPACE, Jocelyn’s work also includes normalizing gender pronouns in professional spaces, as was part of her previous role as Visitor and Member Experience Supervisor at the Portland Museum of Art. Jocelyn lives in South Portland with her two kitties, Mere and Pippen.
Kelsey Halliday Johnson (she/they) is a cultural organizational strategist, interdisciplinary curator, artist, and writer from Philadelphia, living in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary art organization SPACE in downtown Portland. Previously, Johnson worked as a museum curator, performance and live art coordinator, archaeological ceramic collection specialist, community radio DJ, art collective member, art publishing intern, and instructor at the University of Pennsylvania and Interlochen Center for the Arts. A graduate of Princeton University, The University of Pennsylvania, and Wesleyan University, Johnson’s research has included the aesthetics and rhetoric of fascism, the intersection of art and technology, and the body as a political instrument in performance. Her 2016-2017 multi-site independent curatorial project Making/Breaking the Binary: Women, Art & Technology (1968-85) garnered support from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and activated organizations throughout the Philadelphia region to explore women-identifying artists ahead of the dawn of the personal computing age. Her writing was most recently commissioned for the Common Field “Field Perspectives 2019” with Title Magazine.
When not reading books or getting outside, Kelsey is passionate about volunteering for queer and reproductive justice, in addition to serving on the Executive Committee of Sierra Club Maine, the Collections Committee of the Portland Museum of Art, and the Cultural Steering Committee for the City of Portland. She actively identifies as an ambivert and has been known to be quite taken with novelty office supplies.
Ian P. Hundt is an engineer, producer and musician with a varied background in studio, live and compositional sound. He moved to Portland in 2014 and quickly found his way to SPACE. On his first shift, he had one of the most powerful musical experiences of his life working with Tal National, and he has loved SPACE deeply ever since. Ian began his engineering career with a degree in Electroacoustics at Concordia University in Montreal, and has since worked in Nashville, TN, for several years with a focus on analog recording. He became SPACE’s Production Manager in 2017, and is thrilled to be working in Portland’s music scene. He is married to visual artist Amelia Garretson-Persans with whom he frequently collaborates. When not working at live shows, Ian can be found tinkering in his basement studio, playing piano or making dinner.
Lia Wilson is an arts writer and arts administrator. A Chicago native, she moved to Maine in 2015 to plant roots after years living in Brooklyn, San Francisco, and Santa Fe. Wilson has a background managing academic departments in art schools, first for California College of the Arts’ Architecture Division and later for Pratt Institute’s Art and Design Education Department. More recently she was the Communications Manager at the Portland Museum of Art during the institution’s Your Museum, Reimagined initiative, a multi-year revamp project dedicated to expanding access to the museum’s campus and collection. Wilson’s writing practice is focused on elevating contemporary artists that examine the complexities of identity, visibility, and representation. Her research interests include the expanded field of Outsider Art and Self-Taught Art and the evolution of critical discourse surrounding artists with mental illnesses. She has a MA in Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts and a BFA in Printmaking from College of Santa Fe. She currently lives in Portland with her partner and young son.
Jonathan Downs is the building superintendent at SPACE. When not conquering the depths and mysteries of our building, he works as musician, guitar teacher, nanny, and organizer at New Fruit artist collective located in so-called Portland, ME.
Carolyn Wachnicki is a habitual non-profit employee that also identifies as a graphic designer, painter, athlete, music aficionado, documentary photographer, educator, and now, exhibition coordinator. Carolyn comes to SPACE from The Long Now Foundation, an organization in San Francisco established to inspire long-term thinking.
New to Portland, but not New England, Carolyn was raised in the Mount Washington Valley. There, amongst people that wore many hats (literally and figuratively), she learned early the virtues of being a generalist. This led her to study liberal arts at Wesleyan University with the intention of also playing Division III ice hockey. However, she quickly traded in her goalie gear for a paintbrush and double-majored in Studio Arts and Art History (with an unofficial minor in community radio–WESU 88.1FM).
After college Carolyn set out on her hero’s journey, stomping the trails as AMC ‘hut croo’ before heading to NYC for a curatorial internship at the Whitney’s Altria Space (RIP–’the corporation giveth and taketh away’). After putting in her 10,000 hours on freelance exhibition and collateral design, Carolyn joined the New Museum as their first female in-house graphic designer. The New Museum’s proximity to the lower east side inspired her to moonlight as a documentary concert photographer (note: she did not sleep much those years).
Carolyn climbed out of her creative rabbit hole briefly to work as a packaging designer for beverage companies and as an album art print production specialist for record labels (whilst slowly migrating west to California). After taking a brief sabbatical to write and illustrate a children’s book (Olin The Greyhound), Carolyn rejoined the non-profit world at the Museum of Sonoma County–just in time to celebrate the 40th year anniversary of Christo & Jeanne Claude’s Running Fence.
Carolyn‘s curatorial interests at present are found at the intersection of monuments, sites, and memories. She is particularly drawn to work that activates historic spaces and landscapes in new and transformative ways.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Megan (she/her, they/them) is currently pursuing a clinically-focused Master’s in Social Work at Smith College. She has worked as a sexual consent educator, outdoor educator, and wilderness therapy guide. Megan lives in Portland with her partner, two cats, and a 90-pound yellow lab named Walter.
Elisabeth Fuchsia (she/her or they/them) is an artist in search of a medium, currently working primarily in photography, metals, and fiber on usually small but sometimes installation-size scale. She has close artistic ties to music festivals The Thing in the Spring (Peterborough, NH) and Cropped Out (Louisville, KY) and drag collective Switch ‘n’ Play (Brooklyn, NY). Also a classically-trained violinist and violist, she frequently performs as part of a revolving lineup in Footings (Peterborough, NH) and with Mehetable (Portland, ME), in addition to session/arranging work and continuously adding to her own collection of perpetually-unfinished ambient and not-so-ambient sounds. Aside from working at SPACE events, she is a tax advisor with Brass Taxes, working primarily with freelancers, artists, and other nice people, so you won’t see too much of her between February and April.
Quinn Farwell is a musician, electrical engineer, and sound engineer born and raised in Maine. They spend their free time taking pictures of their cat and plays drums, guitar, or bass between 6 bands or so.
After studying avant-garde jazz and improvisation with jazz legend Anthony Braxton, Nat Baldwin started writing songs featuring double bass and vocals. In 2005 he joined Dirty Projectors. In addition to his work with Dirty Projectors, he has performed on Grizzly Bear’s Sheilds, Vampire Weekend’s Contra, and Department of Eagles’ In Ear Park. In between touring and recording with Dirty Projectors, Nat has also recorded several solo records including 2014’s In the Hollows (out on Western Vinyl) and published a collection of short stories, The Red Barn (Calamari Press). He is an active literary arts programmer in Portland and also served as SPACE’s interim music programmer in 2019 while Peter McLaughlin was on sabbatical.
Julia Whyel is an Independent Media Producer, archivist and visual artist. She came to Portland, Maine for a three month visit and nine years later, here she still is. Most of her production works centers on documentary approaches to addiction and recovery, fashion, and concepts of community. Julia holds a BA in Media Studies from University of Southern Maine and is rounding the bend on her MA in Museum Studies at Johns Hopkins University. When she isn’t feasting on the SPACE archives you can find her cartwheeling around the city, state, country, and globe.