I'm liking these LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONGER stays where I get to settle in a bit. I spent all of week seven in Woodstock NY with the lion's share of it at the Center for Photography at Woodstock, one of the medium's most venerable institutions that is about to celebrate its 40th anniversary. I stayed with former Cassilhaus Artists in Residence Charles Guice and Hannah Frieser.
On my drive there from PA I stopped at a intriguing residency program in East Jerusalem, PA called Holes in the Wall Collective and got to spend a short time with two of their founders Dhira and Julia. They curate residencies/happenings on the Art in the Fields property that I visited.
In the AIR residential space
Julia turned me on to an amazing new artist residency resource called RES which is currently under development. The RES co-founders—Katrina Neumann, Sebastien Sanz de Santamaria, and Kira Simon-Kennedy—have considerable experience in the field. In 2013, Neumann founded Rate My Artist Residency, a Yelp-like platform for artist residencies that she runs alongside her own artist practice and a full-time job as a gallery director. In 2009, Sanz de Santamaria co-founded Residency Unlimited, a New York-based residency program and creative hub, which also hosts a robust page for residency open calls. And in 2013, Simon-Kennedy co-founded China Residencies, a nonprofit offering advice and information about residencies in China and Hong Kong. They hope to have the combined platform up and running this year but in the meantime all three of these sites are incredible resources already. I have mostly been using The Alliance of Artist Communities and Res Artis for my research on this trip so far and i look forward to this combined and more highly integrated and up to date site.
So back to Hannah and Charles at Woodstock. Charles continues to mentor a hand-picked group of artists around the world and advancing their careers in amazing ways. Hannah is the new Executive Director of CPW. Just before I arrived Hannah let me in on the excited news that they had just gotten the opportunity to purchase a house they used to rent for their residency program and it would really allow them to expand their program and save precious resources being spent on expensive rentals in the booming Woodstock real estate market. After a lightning fast fund raising campaign they closed just a few days before I got there and what a beautiful old house.
I interviewed Hannah for a couple of hours and was just blown away by her dedication to the artists she serves. CPW is the only photo based residency in the world that serves 100% artists and curators of color and has from its inception in 1999. She sees the residency not as a one time opportunity but a career spanning engagement with an artist. Before they arrive and long after they are gone Hannah is working with them to advance their career, get their work in exhibitions, and get connected with other opportunities in the field. She has an encyclopedic memory and remembers individual images from portfolio reviews she did with artists a decade prior.
Gabriel and Bennie's works were new to me and I only had some familiarity with Elsa's. We have one of Elsa's pieces from 2003 in our collection.
Elsa Mora, Circurlo Vicioso, 2003 Imbue print on handmade watercolor paper
Elsa Mora, Natalie 3, 2016 Archival Digital Print on canvas, collage and paper insect.
I have discovered so many wonderful artists while hanging out with Hannah and Charles. I was lucky enough to catch an artist talk while I was there. Elsa unfortunately could not be there but I got to meet Gabriel and Bennie and learn more about their work.
Gabriel García Román, Jairo, 2014 Photogravure, chine-collé and silk screen
Gabriel talked about his stunning Queer Icons series. Bennie showed some fascinating installation pieces.
Bennie Flores Ansell, dpi Northward Migration, Without a Center to the American Landscape, 2017, 2000 one-inch slide film dots and butterfly collection pins
Bennie Flores Ansell, Analog Pixel Projection, 2017, Variable contrast filters, mirror and glass
Bennie Flores Ansell, Film Sprockets Compression Time LIne, 2016, 30 feet of Beadalon, magnetic clasp and hand-cut slide film sprocket holes
This piece was just crazy cool. Artists are no strangers to obsessive practices but hand cutting thousands and thousands of sprocket holes from the side of slide film and stringing them together in a 30 foot string is truly over the top. The piece is stunningly beautiful and fun to watch in motion.
Just before I left I found out that Elsa was now the artistic director of an amazing new artist community called ArtYard in Frenchtown, NJ and it was because of an opening there that she couldn't be at the artist talk. Looks very cool! It's not that far of a drive.......