Gigi Janko (b. 2002) graduated at 17 from Bard College at Simon’s Rock, with a BA in Dance and Ceramics. She also attended Gibney's Prof. Training Prog. NYC as well as WGU for computer science. In '20, she moved to Wellsville, Ohio, taking ownership of a derelict compound: a former church, rectory, and convent. The same year, she joined the Wellsville Vol. Fire Dept. Over the next few years, she tore down 6 houses by hand, by herself. In '23 she completed a 20000 sq ft installation. Among others, Steven Litt wrote about her work in the Cleveland Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com in July ‘23. She teaches art at the JCC in Youngstown, OH.
Wellsville, OH (pop. 3,336) was hit hard by globalization, deindustrialization, and the opioid epidemic. On the banks of the Ohio River, the village suffers from disappointment running rampant, turned inwards on itself. Janko notes an unexpected consequence of working in the midst of polarization: “I have brought the question of ‘what is art?’ to the ‘Ville.”