Monday, January 2, 2012

Artist Residencies: Ideas & Examples

Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s new exhibition Concept/OK:Art in Oklahoma offers Oklahoma artists the chance to participate in a residency program. Two artists will be chosen for residencies that come with short term studio space, cash awards of $2,500 each, curatorial guidance and focused attention in the exhibition catalog. Proposals are due by January 20, 2012. 
Stillwater artist Liz Roth at her residency in Kamiyama, Japan,
where local residents became subjects and participants in her work.
What do we mean by residencies?

Artist residencies mean different things in different communities and contexts, from referring to roles as dissimilar as teaching artists working in hosting institutions like schools, to spending time making new artwork in a remote studio.

For Concept/OK: Art in Oklahoma, residency artists must connect with the public in new and possibly multiple ways instead of solely making work for the exhibition. Residency artists will be part of the larger exhibition and engage the public beyond the exhibition.

Organizers for Concept/OK encourage the chosen artists to interpret “public interaction” as they see fit, allowing for multiple interpretations and dynamic projects. The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition and Hardesty Arts Center value new audiences learning about and connecting with living artists. Projects could take place mainly in the community or be anchored in the gallery.

For Concept/OK, the residency artists will be expected to create artwork for public viewing in one of the 1,000 square foot community studio spaces. Artwork could be created in advance, allowing for public access or input during the creation process, or in the Hardesty Arts Center before or during the run of the exhibition.

Residency proposals could include all kinds of interaction or public programs. Artist will not be expected to be onsite for the entire exhibition, but should propose possible times or duration for working in the studio. In developing their idea, artists should consider who their audience is and what their experience will be. The following are some examples of relevant residency programs. These projects and places are meant as inspiration, not specific models for artists to emulate.
 Stillwater artist Anita Fields ceramic installation from
residency at the 
Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis.
Artists could create a project at the gallery using audience members’ help. Stillwater artist Anita Fields took part in a residency at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis. Fields asked visitors to make small ceramic pieces that she incorporated into a larger sculpture. She worked on a daily basis with student groups as well as general visitors, inviting them to participate to create the installation in the gallery.

Artists could propose giving insight into their process through educational or other public programs. For instance, Walton Creel created drawings in a residency at the Coleman Center for the Arts in York, Alabama. He generates his drawings by firing bullets through aluminum. During his residency, he visited area residents, offered a demonstration, gave audience members a memento and staged a community paintball event to make collaborative artwork.

Proposed projects could take place primarily in the community and have components. For instance, artist Ashley Hunt’s (long) residency at Project Row House in Houston, TX incorporated video, photography, mapping and writing to map the neighborhood around the gallery. He recruited collaborators, staged public conversations, gathered community stories   and created a project-specific website to share the project

Example residency programs with public exhibition components:

Salina Arts Center, Salina, KS

San Antonio, TX

Project Row Houses, Houston, TX

Coleman Center for the Arts, York, Alabama

Spaces, Cleveland OH

Learn more about the background of Concept/OK: Art in Oklahoma, the hosting venue Hardesty Arts Center, the call for artists here. Free info sessions for artists will take place Wednesday, January 4 at 7 pm in Tulsa and Saturday, January 7 at 2 pm in OKC. RSVP to the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition if you’d like to attend. 

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