The Gunter-Smith Center for Community Engagement building.

Ren Harbold

Powder Mill Arts Fellow, 2022–2023

Ren Harbold, also known as ChickenHam Arts, is a queer multimedia illustrator from York, PA. Whether through digital or traditional mediums, they aim to create a colorful dream world for anyone to snuggle into. It is populated by cute (and sometimes creepy) characters imagined in various comics, paintings, and relief printmaking pieces. Along with storytelling, the artist also delves into figurative works that combine bright and punchy tones with the delicate human form. 

Learn More About the Artist

Insight and advice for prospective fellows.

My favorite accomplishments as the Powder Mill Arts fellow are my first-ever solo show, forming an artist collective with fellow YCP alumni, and helping to facilitate events such as the YCP Sweetheart Fine Art Market!

The Fellowship helped me advance my own goals as an artist by providing me with a wonderful communal artist space to work in. Connections made through the studio are ones that stick with me forever. The act of making art alongside peers is not only helpful for learning to give and receive critique, but also because community is essential to creatives. We all inspire one another and lift each other up. This not only helps each individual artist, but fosters a thriving and loving co-working space. I have always considered myself a more independent and solitary creative, but found that working alongside others during my Fellowship was very motivating and captivating. I met so many new community artists and built connections that I may never have gotten the chance to otherwise.

If I were talking to anyone considering applying for the Appell Arts Fellowship or Powder Mill Arts Fellowship, I would tell them to chase that opportunity! Having a personal studio space alongside other blooming artists is very rare and a wonderful experience. The Fellowship nurtured me as a growing artist and made me more confident in my creative visions. It gave me the freedom to mess up, experiment, and have more time to make "bad" art that would eventually inform my finished, colorful illustrations!