2023 – 2024 Distillery Program


The Artists:

Imani Batts is pursuing her dream of becoming sustainable fashion designer. From Homestead, PA, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising and Small Business Administration, from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The mission of her business, Catherine Trendz, is to inspire customers to incorporate one-of-a-kind and sustainable wardrobes by reworking second hand garments. With Catherine Trendz she has exhibited her designs on the catwalk of Los Angeles’ Fashion Week and hopes to create a flourishing, global fashion company rooted in sustainability.

Finn Dugan was born and raised in Pittsburgh and recently graduated from Allegheny College. In his work, analog and digital spaces mesh, fueling both paranoia and optimism, where everyday life becomes artificial and absurd. His work gestures toward the objectification of the body, how bodies are utilized for accessing interfaces, and speculates on what it means to be connected. In the midst of navigating a digital ecosystem, his work materializes as an space for pause and reflection, and perhaps eventually generates alternative world-building.

Armanis Fuentes is a visual artist, writer, historian, and unapologetic libra. He grew up between the green hilltowns of Puerto Rico and the small New England milltown of Holyoke, Massachusetts. He holds an AA in Liberal Arts from Holyoke Community College and a BA in Studio Art and Art History from Williams College. In Pittsburgh, he’s working to professionalize his art artistic practice, where his is making everything from nostalgic oil paintings of windows, collagraphs, and puppets made from mop fibers, as a way of reflecting on materiality and maternity.

Joshua Challen Ice explores the idea of manufactured nostalgia: examining everyday items and reinterpreting how they may affect our lives. Assemblages of reclaimed construction mediums combined with high-tech light and video components probe our past and present, creating traversable territories and moments in time. Juxtaposing recovered windows and scaffolding with flashing lights and live camera feeds, material maintenance merges with the maintenance of one’s self, offering endless landscapes to survey and investigate through the lens of freshly built future worlds.

Evangeline Mensah-Agyekum is a photographer, filmmaker, designer, and engineer, who received her Bachelor of Science from Carnegie Mellon University. As a self-taught photographer and stylist, she is inspired by the Black experiences, worlds she traverses by recontextualizing the banalities of daily life. She is also exploring film as a storytelling medium to probe the temporal aspect of identity. Evangeline’s solo exhibition, I still see you, even in the dark, recently closed at 38a Gallery. She has also exhibited at Brew House Association, Sweetwater Center for the Arts, and the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Sophie Thompson is a digital and mixed media sculptor. She received her BA in ASI (Art, Science, & Innovation) and Environmental Science from Allegheny College in 2022. In her current work, she’s trying to illustrate a consuming sense of overwhelm felt by younger generations—related to crisis in mental health, the climate, economic instability, political absurdity, and global health concerns—by using western decorative craft practices like wallpaper pattern design and soap making. Her designs are playful and use techniques ranging from 19th century Toile de Jouy, to the contemporary eco and bio art movements.

Caroline Yoo is an interdisciplinary artist who was born and raised in the United States to Korean immigrants. She has a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis with and completed her MFA at Carnegie Mellon University in 2023. Her experiences in Anglo-suburbia and time spent in Los Angeles surrounded by joyous Asian diasporic culture, have informed her art practice of performance, social practice, intimate gatherings, and video installations. She uses translation as a tool to map forgotten histories – to reveal psychological shadows haunting the diaspora – and performs contemporary translations of rituals for the living. She is a co-founder and leader of Hwa Records, JADED, and Han Diaspora Group.



Will be on view from April 20 – June 17, 2023 at the Brew House Gallery.


The Mentors: