top of page

Artist Statement

My work and practice center around perspective, awareness, place, community, and the climate crisis. I believe that humans are unable to adapt and react to these changing circumstances because we are stuck in unacknowledged grief and anxiety over the massive losses we are experiencing.  Seeking to activate multiple levels of awareness, I use story, sound, music, architecture, archives, performance, and drawing to facilitate immersive, ephemeral, shared experiences. I am investigating human concepts of the non-human world, specifically through modes of storytelling and communal acts, and how the decline of such acts impact our concepts of nature.  I believe the transference of oral tradition deriving from generations of collective memory is both disrupted and enabled by technological advances, and that there are both opportunity and loss in that tension. 



Rachel Anne York is a transdisciplinary artist and musician from North Carolina. Her work incorporates drawing, print, sound, music, place, performance, and installation, creating communal experiences of ecological emotions. She received her undergraduate degrees in Music Performance (Double Bass) and Art & Design from East Carolina University in 2012, and a Master in Fine Arts in Studio Art at the Maine College of Art in 2020. Influenced by her Southern Appalachian heritage, she has also benefited from study and work in Brazil, Italy and New England. York is the recipient of the McClelland Roberts Memorial Scholarship, Lane Family Music Scholarship, and the MFA Dean’s Scholarship.



2020    MFA in Studio Art, Maine College of Art, Portland ME

2012     BM magna cum laude, Music Performance (Double Bass), Art and Design (Minor) East Carolina University, Greenville NC


Teaching Experience

2018-20   Teaching Assistant, Maine College of Art, Portland Maine 

Courses taught: Portland Walking Library with Samantha Haedrich (Fall 2018), Anatomical Drawing with Hilary Irons (Spring 2019), Creative Research and Climate Change with Annika Earley (Fall 2019), Digital Audio Recording with Steve Drown (Spring 2020)

2013         Teaching Assistant, Italy Intensives Study Abroad Program, East Carolina University, Tuscany, Italy (courses: Drawing with Catherine Walker, Digital Photography with Jim Abbott)


MFA Thesis

2020    “An Urgency to Hesitate: Embodiment, Emplacement, and Emotion in the Climate Crisis”


Scholarships and Honors

2018-20   MFA Dean’s Scholarship, Maine College of Art, Portland, ME

2008-12   Lane Family Music Scholarship, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

2007-08   McClelland Roberts Memorial Scholarship, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

2007-11   Principal Bassist, East Carolina University Symphony Orchestra, Greenville, NC



2019       RITUAL / POWER, group show, Maine College of Art, Portland, ME

2018       The Body Project, group show, Greensboro Project Space, Greensboro, NC


Guest Lecturer 

April 15, 2022       Gave an in-depth talk, and Q&A on the development process and execution of my performance pieces from research, ideation, planning, editing, rehearsals, performances, reception, critique and analysis, as well as gave individual student critiques, for the Foundation Interdisciplinary Studio class “Research & Inquiry: Land & Sea” at Maine College of Art & Design, Portland, ME


Original Performances

2019    Water Cycles: Story of the Vagrant Great Black Hawk, Maine College of Art & Design, 

                  Portland, ME

2019    the grace that beckons, the joy that kills, Portland Observatory, Portland, ME



2020    Irons, Hilary. “The Empaths.” The Chart. Vol. 5, No. 2, Spring 2020. Web.



Life Drawing, Anatomical Drawing, Photorealism, Graphic Design, Linocut, Professional Musician (double bass, voice, composition), Pro Tools, Adobe Indesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Writing, Research and Thesis Writing, Editing, Performance, Teaching


Volunteer Work

2018-20   Portland Community Orchestra, Portland, ME

2017         TypeCon (Presented by the Society of Typographic Aficionados), Boston, MA

2015-18   High Point University Community Orchestra, High Point, NC

2011         Holmes-Hicks Organic Farm Chillicothe, Illinois

2009         Sander’s Ridge Farm, Boonville, NC

2005-13  Greensboro Philharmonia Orchestra, Greensboro, NC

bottom of page