Plyspace Welcomes Fall 2023 Resident Artists

A scene from Plyspace resident artist Carmen Nikae's silent film style. Photo providedA scene from Plyspace resident artist Carmen Nikae's silent film style. Photo provided

By Erin Williams—

MUNCIE, IN—Muncie Arts and Culture Council (MuncieArts) is excited to welcome the first round of fall resident artists to Muncie to kick of the fifth year of the PlySpace Artist Residency Program. This program invites artists from around the world to Muncie to develop unique creative projects with the community.

First off this fall, we are joined by Carmen Nikae (NY/LA), a queer, bi-coastal actor, writer, and clown. Carmen brings the art of clowning to Muncie, where she will present multiple workshops, performances, and conversations about this unique artform. A full list of events will be posted on

Carmen will present an exhibition of her work and silent films on First Thursday, September 7, 2023 at the new PlySpace Gallery location at 304 S. Walnut Street. At 7:00 PM, the public is invited to watch her create a new film in real time in the gallery.

Carmen began her clown journey in 2015 with Jean E. Taylor, which led to the development of Elsinore or Bust!, a clown show based on Hamlet, with Jean and other clowns. During the 2020 lockdown in her NYC apartment, she began creating silent, black and white films inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s work. Curious about the combination of live clown work and silent short films, Carmen and co-creator Alyson Schacherer developed  a solo clown show, I Made This For You, which premiered at The Hollywood Fringe Festival in June 2023 in Los Angeles. She’s excited to invite the Muncie community to experience vulnerability and resilience, the pursuit of pleasure, and to accept the ridiculous, all principles that are foundational to clowning.

Then, in October, metalsmith and jeweler Maia Leppo (Pittsburgh, PA) will join PlySpace to help bring the Radical Jewelry Makeover (RJM) to Muncie. RJM is a project created by the Ethical Metalsmiths Society which has traveled nationally and internationally to communities since 2007 in an effort to galvanize mining reform and supplant the use of traditional, toxic mining practices.

Maia graduated from Tufts University in 2008 with a degree in Biology and Community Health. She received training in jewelry and metals from various craft schools, including Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Pocosin Arts, Penland School of Crafts and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and her Masters of Fine Art from SUNY New Paltz.

Throughout the next 9 months, MuncieArts, PlySpace, and the BSU Metals Guild will host a variety of visiting artists, maker parties, special lectures and events that will help educate the public and jewelers of all levels about mining and material sourcing issues involved in jewelry making. Jewelry students at Ball State University and professional jewelers from the regional community will be transforming donated jewelry items into radically fresh and responsible jewelry. The project will culminate in an exhibition of these wearable creations displayed at the Grunewald Gallery at Indiana University, Bloomington and in Muncie at the PlySpace Gallery for a First Thursday Artwalk event in 2024.

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming resident events this fall. Announcements will be posted  on our website, and, and on the PlySpace Facebook page and Instagram, @plyspace and @munciearts.


PlySpace is a program of the Muncie Arts and Culture Council and the City of Muncie. PlySpace is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ball Brothers Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County. Learn more at