OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Amy Babinec

Golden Rule Mine (Glass), 2016. Acrylic on panel. 12 x 16 in.

AMY BABINEC's (@amybabinecdrawings, paintings and plaster casts are driven by the recovery of memory. Informed by her educational background in Archeology, she emphasizes the fragment and the excavated object as poetic stand-ins for all that is lost. Amy earned her BFA in Painting and Drawing at School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA in Visual Art from University of Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include Remnants (2015) at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Illinois and Underlayer (2012) at Morton College Gallery in Cicero, Illinois. Amy's upcoming solo show Golden Rule opens at Riverside Arts Center’s FlexSpace (Riverside, Illinois) on June 2, 2018 and runs through July 7, 2018. The opening reception is on Sunday, June 3 from 3-6 pm. Amy lives and works in Evanston, Illinois.

OtherPeoplesPixels: Generally speaking, how do fragments relate to the whole in your work?

Amy Babinec: My work uses fragmentation as a metaphor for memory and the failure of memory. So many of my memories are fragmentary, particularly of my childhood. Images such as a wallpaper pattern, a book cover, and the smooth texture of a rock, conjure up a host of memories of my family, and a reminder of their loss over the years. Objects isolated from their environments can become artifacts, evidence and mementos. Subtracting context leaves the object open to fantasy and speculation. These fragments embody the nostalgia and longing I have for family relationships for those who have passed on. The objects become substitutes for keepsakes and stories from my own family. 

Reenactment 6, 2009. Oil on canvas. 16 x 18 in.

OPP: In your 2017 artist statement, you say,"By combining elements of archaeology, personal history, and fiction, I set up an opposition between abstraction and figuration, past and present.” And I see this very much in the series Reenactment (2009-2010). Can you talk about this body of work in relation to this statement?

AB: I created the Reenactment paintings in graduate school at the University of Chicago. As an instructor of a beginning painting class, I found stacks of paintings that college students had discarded after the class ended. Many of the paintings were abstract, thus presenting an opportunity to use them as a free-association prompt. I selected and cropped the abandoned student paintings that had compositions, spatial relationships, or colors that reminded me of a place, person, or situation from my early life in Belleville, Illinois, the town in southern Illinois where I grew up. For example, a vivid orange geometric abstractioncould be turned into the orange brick cul-de-sac behind my elementary school. I intervened in the paintings with the minimum I needed to do in order to visualize that memory. The resulting paintings remain abstractions, but with my memories (the figuration) embedded within it.

Wildwood Mine, 2015. Plaster, 4 15/16 x 4 5/16 x 3/4 inches.

OPP: When did you first start making work based on artifacts found in abandoned coal mines?

AB: I started my research into this topic in 2009 when my parents discovered cracks in their basement foundation in their house in southern Illinois. The cracks were caused by subsidence, or the collapse of coal mines under the surface. Unfortunately, the area under their house, and most of the town, was undercut by underground coal mines which had been operated by individual owners or small companies from the late 1800s to the 1950s. Buildings and roads on the surface could prove unstable because of hidden processes under the earth and could cave in at any time. I was struck by the metaphorical possibilities of that phenomenon, that events in the past could affect the present, sometimes suddenly and drastically.

I used Illinois State Geological Survey maps, Google Earth maps and historical records, and triangulated the location of mines, then drove out to find them. These sites were largely on private land. Many had been completely erased from the surface, but some had pits, coal and slag piles, railroad tracks, and other evidence of the coal industry. I discovered that many of the abandoned mines had been used as a trash dump for domestic items such as plates and cups from the 1880s to the 1960s. As part of my studio practice, I visit the abandoned mine sites throughout the year, conduct surveys and digs and bring artifacts and documentation back to my studio in Evanston, Illinois.

Hill Mine Grid 3, 2013. Acrylic. 30 x 30 in.

OPP: You work in a variety of drawing and painting media, as well as cast plaster. How do you make choices about which fragments should be painted in watercolor or oil versus cast in plaster? Does the object dictate this?

AB: I am a materials and techniques nerd. I enjoy the process of experimentation (most of the time!) to find the technique that fits the idea. In the Subsidence project, I have used a variety of materials to interpret the data I have found. I document the mine sites through drawings, video, and photography, and collect personally resonant objects to bring back to my studio. My focus on particular facets of this process leads to the media that will reflect my investigation.

Abandoned, Golden Rule Mine, Lenzburg, Illinois, 2017. Watercolor, colored pencil, and charcoal on paper. 11 1/4 x 15 inches. 

OPP: In both Golden Rule and Remnants, the found objects are isolated from their original context in backgrounds of (almost) black or white. Is this an erasure of the sites that inspire your work? Why or why not?

AB: My background includes a masters degree in Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland and twenty years’ experience as a museum professional. I use archaeology as a touchstone throughout much of my work. The white background evokes the practice of archaeological illustration of objects uncovered at a dig, and the photographic documentation of objects in a museum. I also use the square format as a reference to an archeologist’s grid. I often show objects in a meditative, quiet manner echoing the precision of archaeological drawings. I repeat certain objects, such as a spoon, to provide a sense of scale, following the archaeological practice of including a ruler or penny in photographs of finds.

Unlike an archaeologist, I am selective about what I collect at a site and represent in my work. Recently I have been most drawn to domestic artifacts dating from my grandparents’ generation in the early to mid-twentieth century. For example, a small triangle of colorful glazed ceramic, which had been broken off from a figurine of a house, takes on further resonance for me. I feel the pathos of this object, once highly valued by someone, but now abandoned by its owner to be buried in the dirt and be subjected to the elements. 

To see more of Amy's work, please visit amybabinec.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indiana 2017). Her most recent installation Where Do We Go From Here? just closed at Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois). In conjunction with this improvised installation, Stacia invited eight OPP artists—Kathryn Trumbull Fimreite, Brent Fogt, Melinda Thorpe Gordon, Jaclyn Jacunski, Jenny Kendler, Meg Leary,  Geoffry Smalley and Erin Washington—to respond to the text "Where Do We Go From Here?" Each artist approached the question from a different angle, emphasizing that both the We and the Here are not the same for each of us. For Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress, Stacia will create a one-night installation that solicits the help of benefit attendees.

Residencies with a Cause: Social Justice

The art residencies in this week's post each support artists whose work addresses social justice. In some cases, the entire organization is devoted to social justice. In others, residencies that accept all kinds of artists make an intentional space for artists working at the intersection of art and social justice. We also highlight two fellowships.

WITHERS RESIDENCIES AT CROSSTOWN ARTS — Memphis, Tennessee

Deadline: July 15, 2018
Application Fee: $10 (applicants may apply for an economic hardship waiver)
Length: 20 days - 3 months
Stipend: $1000 stipend for each artist.
Food: Meals are provided six days a week at the Crosstown Arts cafe which is open to the public. Breakfast and lunch are taken at the resident's choosing; dinners are communal. All meals are plant-based and feature seasonal and organic ingredients.

The multidisciplinary artist residency program at Crosstown Arts in Memphis, Tennessee, offers residencies for visiting and Memphis-based visual and performing artists working in any creative discipline as well as musicians, filmmakers, and writers in all genres. Withers Residents, in particular, are individual artists of color working in any discipline who ambitiously addresses the intersection of race and social inequality in their work.

All residencies include a private studio workspace with meals provided six days a week. Live/work residencies also include a private bedroom/bathroom next to a common living area and a shared kitchen for all residents. A family housing option is available, as well as accessible housing for residents with disabilities. All residencies are offered at no cost to participants, who are responsible to cover their own studio materials and travel expenses to and from Memphis.

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SANTA FE ART INSTITUTE THEMATIC RESIDENCY— Santa Fe, New Mexico

Deadline: The 2018 deadline has passed. SFAI typically announces the annual theme and open call for applications in early October with the deadline to submit in early February. These dates are subject to change. 
Application Fee: $35 
Residency Fee: a refundable $150 security deposit is required 
Length: 1-3 months 
Food: We provide basic foodstuffs (such as, olive oil, bread, cereal, peanut butter jelly/jam, coffee and tea), however residents are responsible for all other groceries and preparing their own meals.

The Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) is a hub for creative engagement and social change. At SFAI, we are artists, innovative thinkers, and engaged citizens. We cultivate creative leadership and invest in community, culture, and place to re-imagine a more equitable world.

We fulfill our mission through our artist residency and fellowship programs, workshops and trainings, community projects, and events. Much of our programming relates to an annual theme, which is focuses on relevant social issues such as Equal JusticeWater Rights, and Immigration / Emigration. The 2018-2019 theme is Truth and Reconciliation.

SFAI sponsors more than 80 residencies and fellowships per year for creative practitioners from all over the world, and offers visionary, social justice theme-focused programming that addresses pertinent questions facing diverse regional and global communities.

As part of our sponsored international thematic residency program, SFAI offers, at no cost to residents, a furnished private room and bath; communal kitchen, dining room, lounge and laundry facilities; semi-private studio, common work spaces, gallery/event space and art library; wireless internet, breakfast foods and bicycles. SFAI does not have specialized facilities, but provides basic tools and a membership to MAKE Santa Fe.

The month of July is reserved expressly for our Family Residency, which provides living and working space for parent-artists, their spouses/partners, and children.  All parent-artists interested in attending the Family Residency must apply for and be accepted into the thematic residency program.*

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THE LAUNDROMAT PROJECT: CREATE CHANGE RESIDENCY— New York, New York

Havanna Fisher Newby, Harlem Motion, 2016. © Marisol Diaz, 2016

Deadline: passed; check back at the end of 2018 
Application Fee: none 
Residency Fee: none 
Length: 6 months 
Stipend: $7500 in honoraria and up to $2500 in production funding

The Laundromat Project offers residencies for artists interested in developing and mounting a socially-engaged, socially-relevant, and participatory public art project in their local laundromat and/or other community public spaces. This opportunity is intended to move artists from a conventional public art model of simply placing static art objects in public spaces to one that emphasizes the ways art and artists can serve as catalysts for social action, problem-solving, and relationship building in their own communities.

The Laundromat Project supports up to five Create Change residencies for 6 months a year. The residency is for artists and makers of all disciplines, including cultural producers, community organizers of color living in or deeply invested in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Harlem, and Hunts Point / Longwood, our three anchor neighborhoods. This residency is designed to deepen the community engagement practice by participating in our intensive workshop series while developing and mounting a socially-engaged and participatory public art project in their local laundromat and/or other community public spaces. This is an ideal opportunity for artists in the early to mid stages of their careers that have experience doing socially-engaged art.

Also Available: The Create Change Fellowship Program is for up to 15 artists and makers of all disciplines including, cultural producers, and community organizers residing in New York City or near, who may not necessarily have experience doing socially-engaged creative projects. The Fellowship offers an intensive learning environment on how to do community-based work better and to deepen their creative practice. The fellowship takes place at our learning spaces in our three anchor neighborhoods: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Harlem, and Hunts Point / Longwood.

The Fellowship runs from April to October. Participation in the program requires a significant time commitment of roughly 200 hours. Thanks to the generosity of the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Andrew Mellon Foundation the Create Change Fellowship is free of charge. However, upon acceptance into the program, participants will be required to put down a refundable deposit of $100 that will be returned upon successful completion of the program. The Fellowship does not include a stipend*

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EMMANUEL COLLEGE ARTIST RESIDENCY — Boston, Massachusetts

Deadline: February 1 
Application Fee: none 
Residency Fee: none 
Length: 8 weeks (June - August) 
Stipend: $1000 dollars and reimbursement for travel and visa up to an additional $1000 
Food: none

The Emmanuel College Art Department offers an eight-week artists residency to four artists each summer. The residency supports a diverse group of artists, providing time and space for established and emerging artists to develop their work. However, the Art Department specifically aims to award a residency to one individual from each of the four categories: ceramics, photography, printmaking and social justice. Fostering creative and artistic excellence, the residency also plays an important role in advancing the visual arts on the Emmanuel campus, providing an important educational program on contemporary art accessible to students, staff, and faculty.

Lodging is provided in the college dorms, with access to a small kitchen. Residents have access to communal college studio facilities with ample space sharing - ceramics, wood shop, print shop, darkroom, design lab and drawing studio. Emmanuel will host a closing exhibition for all resident artists to participate in and show the larger community the end result of your work.

Artist Responsibilities: •Artist must agree to give a presentation during the 2018/19 academic year - two artists may be invited back based on teaching needs •Artists must devote 3 hours to Emmanuel’s summer art history course, Contemporary Art and Artistic Practice, discussing their own process. •Artists will donate one piece to Emmanuel College at the end of the residency*

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BLUE MOUNTAIN CENTER — Blue Mountain Lake, New York

Deadline: Our next application period will open November 1, 2018 for the 2019 season.
Application Fee: $25
Residency Fee: none
Length: 4 weeks
Stipend: In 2017 generous BMC alumni and the Adirondack Foundation established a Resident Support Fund to provide financial assistance to 2018 applicants who require additional resources to participate in BMC's Residency program and meet criteria specified by donors. Upon acceptance to a Residency, qualified applicants will be invited to request funding if needed. One applicant will be awarded the Boren Chertkov Residency for Labor and Justice.
Food: Yes

Blue Mountain Center, founded in 1982, provides support for writers, artists, and activists. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the center also serves as a resource for culturally-based progressive movement building. We expand and deepen conversations among cultural workers and support projects that emerge from these dialogues.

During the summer and early fall, BMC offers three month-long residency sessions. These sessions are open to creative and non-fiction writers, activists, and artists of all disciplines—including composers, filmmakers, and visual artists. Applications are reviewed by accomplished authors and artists. They are particularly interested in fine work that evinces social and ecological concern and is aimed at a general audience.

Blue Mountain Center also hosts several weekend conversations during the spring and fall months each year. They bring together individuals to talk about pressing social problems such as civil liberties, environmental health and safety, peace, and economic justice.

Guest rooms are simple and comfortable. Residents are lodged in individual bedroom/studies in the Main House or the Grey Cottage.

Please note that cell phones are prohibited at Blue Mountain Center. We've found that cell phones and the constant connectivity they entail conflict with our mission and detract from the experience of being here. We have a phone booth with unlimited long distance calling available for resident use. There is no Wi-Fi.*

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Fellowships, unlike residencies, generally do not provide space. Fellowships usually include unrestricted, larger chunks of money awarded based on merit. Fellowships usually have some kind of limitation in regards to subject matter, geography, medium or identity. This follows along with the idea that a fellowship is in pursuit of some joint goal. Halcyon Art Labs is an exception, as it is a unique model, a hybrid residency/fellowship. (More on Fellowships in a later post!)

HALCYON ARTS LAB — Washington, D.C. 

Deadline: April 4
Application Fee: none
Stipend: A competitive financial scholarship to support living and material costs
Length: September 10, 2018 - June 28, 2019
Housing: Nine months of off-site residential accommodation (eligible for non-D.C. residents only)

At the intersection of art and social change, this nine-month residential fellowship is designed to provide support and resources to emerging artists working on projects which address issues of social justice, civic engagement, and community building. Arts Lab fellows strive to hone their practices and grow as leaders in their respective fields. Adapting the well-honed methodology of the Halcyon model, Halcyon Arts Lab fosters creativity through a supportive environment of space, access, and community. The program accepts six national and international fellows as well as two Washington, DC-based artists in each cohort. 

Halcyon is committed to the vibrant community of artists living in Washington, DC. We see tangible value in supporting artists whose projects may require ongoing community relationships that last beyond the nine-month residency. For that reason, Halcyon has chosen to allocate two of the eight fellowships to DC-resident artists.<

Halcyon Arts Lab Fellows have access to the following: Dedicated studio space; a program of classes, artist talks, studio visits, civic engagement opportunities, and critiques; mentorship and critique from an experienced arts professional in the fellow’s field; opportunity to mentor DC high school students to provide guidance and inspiration in developing the next generation of socially-engaged artists; collaboration and networking with fellow artists, social entrepreneurs and our program partner organizations in Washington, D.C.*

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A BLADE OF GRASS FELLOWSHIP

Deadline: September
Stipend: Artists receive $20,000 in minimally restricted support.

We look at the process and relationships of socially engaged art projects.

We see the aesthetic qualities of socially engaged art in how alliances are formed and maintained, the way disparate stakeholder groups are coordinated, how power dynamics are navigated, and how bridges are built between many different types of people within a socially engaged art project.

We create content that illuminates and deepens understanding of these relationships. A primary goal of ABOG is to make the “invisible” parts of socially engaged art visible. We do this through documentary films and field research that are artist-led, and are grounded in the perspective of project participants, as well as publications, web content, and public programming.

We also use this focus on process and relationships to advocate for a more expanded sense of what art is, how artists can work in communities, and how art might be integrated into everyday life. Our field research, documentary films, and other content serve as the basis for curriculum, toolkits, and consulting that enable more artists to work in partnership with non-artist stakeholders.*

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NEXT UP: Family-friendly Residencies

*Please note: italicized text is taken directly from the informational websites of the residencies.


OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Hector Arce-Espasas

Dancers (Metallic), 2015. Fruits, Flowers and Porcelain. Dimensions Variable.

HECTOR ARCE-ESPASAS explores the relationship between desire and exploitation by employing the loaded symbols of tropical paradise in paintings, ceramics, and screenprints. Hector earned his BFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his MFA at Hunter College in New York. He has had solo exhibitions at Taymour Grahne (2016) in New York, Evelyn Yard (2015) in London, and Luce Gallery (2014) in Turin, Italy. In 2016, he was named one of 10 Exceptional Milennials to Watch by artnet.com. Hector lives and works in New York. 

OtherPeoplesPixels: Can you talk about the myth of the Tropical Paradise and how you use it/subvert it in your work?

Hector Arce-Espasas: Throughout the history of mankind, different cultures, in their pursuit of the ideal, have invested symbolic meaning into objects and elements of their environment. In the process of exteriorizing inner quests, these objects have become sensuous representations, i.e. symbols that express intangible truths or states. A symbol corresponds to a precise time in history and it transcends history to become universal in its function as an image. Universality of the symbolic image enables the transformation and adaptation of the symbol by different cultures, but this process also carries numerous misconceptions, misappropriations and colonial fantasies.

The idea of the Tropical Paradise is the present day transmutation of the ancient historical myth of the Garden of Paradise. The concept of Paradise as a garden is found in most eastern cultures: a secure, everlasting place in which Man can transcend his frail human condition. In biblical terms the notion of Paradise became associated with the Garden of Eden. Its earthly representation became a walled garden with dominant water features and planted with date palm trees. In western societies, this idyllic garden idea was often associated with the Latin term Locus Amoenus, a pleasant place which in time became a poetic convention for a description of an idyllic setting where a romantic encounter could occur or which belies an impending threat. 

The transformation of the eastern idea of the Garden of Paradise into the western version of Eden as Paradise combined with the notion of the Locus Amoenus became the seeds for the creation of the new Tropical Paradise: an exotic, idyllic place with palm trees by the sea. Unlike its theological version, this Paradise is within easy reach, ready to be appropriated, consumed exploited and spoiled. In present times, commercial media and the advertisement industry have successfully reconfigured some of the Paradise images, within different contexts, transforming their traditional meanings, adapting them and making them trans-cultural, with far more reaching and readily consumable results.

Untitled (red) Clay Paintings, 2014. Stoneware and Acrylic on Linen. 60" x 72"

OPP: Palm trees and pineapples are recurring images in your work. Are these symbols stand ins for Tropical Paradise?

HAE: All the compositional elements from this garden are transfigured and transubstantiated to recreate the new Paradise. The river becomes the sea. The coconut palm tree, brought from the Pacific Islands by the Europeans to the coasts of West Africa and the islands of the Caribbean, replaces the date palm tree as the official iconic image for this new exotic landscape. The insertion of the pineapple as the attainable, sensuous new fruit of this Tropical Paradise emerges. My images visually demonstrate how easy the association and transition from the date palm tree to the pineapple might have occurred; thus becoming the fruit associated with the coconut palm tree. 

No, these are not paintings they are Pineapple Decor, 2015. Acrylic on Canvas. 60" x 79"

OPP: Can you talk about the abstract screen print works? I have a sense that this is representational imagery, but blown up so large that its referent disappears?

HAE: Some of the work deals with the deconstruction and recombination of images of the pineapple, in order to demystify its meaning as a fruit representative of the Tropics. The images lure and repel while playing with the idea of the pineapple as the easily attainable commercial fruit of the Tropical Paradise. This idea is extended metaphorically in regard to having viewers question their expectations of a Tropical Paradise in itself: at what cost, to their own reality or to that of the place to stand for their fantasies.

Still of Paradise (Purple Shade of Light), 2017. Acrylic on Canvas. 24" x 29"

OPP: You’ve recently shifted into more painterly representations, whereas in the past, the palm tress have been more graphic and reproduced through printmaking processes, which connects them to mass produced media. What led to this shift?

HAE: After a few years of working with printmaking, I wanted to take a shift from the mechanical to the hand-made process without loosing the elements that I was working from. The paintings that I did in the past are created by photographing palm tree leaves then zooming in to create an abstraction. Then the images were made into transparency that get exposed into a screen. The end result is painting with acrylic and the use of large format screen-printing. I use a similar process with the derriere paintings. First a model derriere wearing jeans gets directly painted, later she makes a mono print using her derriere in the canvas leaving the in prints by her moves (similar to Yves Klein). Later these are photographed and altered using the same method as the palm tree paintings.

Dancers (White), 2016. Fruits, Flowers and Porcelain. Dimensions Variable.

OPP: It’s really jarring to see the body—well, the hips and ass, in particular—as a vessel for serving fruit. How does this work speak to exploitation of the Caribbean world?

HAE: My intention is to leave interpretation open to the viewer. Sometimes I like to ignite dislike, discomfort, disagreements with the elements I choose. A good example is the derriere sculptures. Its an image we constantly see exploited, usually direct in the Latin culture. As once the pineapple or this idea of the tropical paradise was a coveted and luring concept, in today’s culture it is the derriere. My last installation of the sculptures, named Ode to Paradise was made into a pyramid like stage/shape with a lot of tropical foliage on the top with the idea of empowering the figure, which I feel is what our culture has greatly done.

To see more of Hector's work, please visit hectorarceespasas.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indiana 2017). Her solo installation Where Do We Go From Here? is on view at Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois) through April 20, 2018. In conjunction with this improvised installation, Stacia invited eight OPP artists—Kathryn Trumbull Fimreite, Brent Fogt, Melinda Thorpe Gordon, Jaclyn Jacunski, Jenny Kendler, Meg Leary,  Geoffry Smalley and Erin Washington—to respond to the text Where Do We Go From Here? Each artist approached the question from a different angle, emphasizing that both the We and the Here are not the same for each of us. 

Residencies with a Cause: The Environment

Here at OPP, we know that you'd rather spend your time in the studio, not researching ways to get more time in the studio. Today we're highlighting residencies in the U.S. that are oriented towards environmental concerns and a more intimate relationship with nature. Keep in mind, this list is by no means exhaustive. It's really just the tip of the iceberg. In two weeks, we'll highlight residencies with an orientation towards social justice. 

Recycled Artist in Residence — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Deadline: 2018 call has closed. 2019 applications will open in Fall 2018
Fee: none
Funding: none
Application fee: July 1st- 30th:  $15; August 1st- 31st: $20; September 1st- 30th: $25
Length: standard residency is 1-3 months; the Biggie Shortie is 2-4 weekends

Situated inside a construction and demolition waste recycling company in northeast Philadelphia, RAIR offers artists studio space and access to more than 350 tons of materials per day. Since 2010, RAIR has provided a unique platform for artists to work at the intersection of art, industry and sustainability, while producing content that challenges perceptions of waste culture.

THE STANDARD RESIDENCY: a longer, more traditional studio based program. Standard residents are given access to waste materials and a studio space. THE BIGGIE SHORTIE: a shorter, more project based residency. Big project in a short amount of time. The flexible nature of Biggie Shorties allow for projects to be customized to fit each residency. This residency includes partial access to shop and studio as well as full access to outdoor installation/workspace, but does not a private studio.*

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Recology — San Francisco, California

Deadline: Applications are accepted June 1 – September 1
Application Fee: $20
Residency Fee: none; artists also receive a stipend
Length: 4 months
Stipend: $1200 a month

The Artist in Residence (AIR) Program at Recology San Francisco is a unique art and education program that provides Bay Area artists with access to discarded materials, a stipend, and a large studio space at the Recology San Francisco Transfer Station. By supporting artists who work with recycled materials, Recology hopes to encourage people to conserve natural resources and promote new ways of thinking about art and the environment.

At this time, we accept applications from local, career-level, professional artists. Students currently enrolled at any university, college, or other educational institution will not be considered. We also do not accept applications from artists who reside a driving distance of more than one hour from San Francisco.

During their residencies, artists have scavenging privileges and 24-hour access to the company’s well-equipped art studio. Artists speak to elementary school classes and adult tour groups about the experience of working with recycled materials. At the conclusion of their residency, Recology hosts a two-day public exhibition and reception for the artists featuring the artwork made during their residency. When the residency ends, artists contribute artwork to the program’s permanent collection and these pieces continue to be shown in off-site exhibitions that promote recycling and reuse.

Recology AIR Programs now operate in three other cities (the above stats are only for San Francisco): Portland, Seattle, and Astoria. GLEAN in Portland is a collaboration between Recology, crackedpots, an environmental arts organization, and Metro, the regional government that manages the Portland metropolitan area’s garbage and recycling system. In Astoria, the Coastal Oregon Artist Residency (COAR), is a collaboration between Recology and Astoria Visual Arts.*

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Signal Fire — based in Portland, Oregon

Deadline: January 2019
Application Fee: none
Residency Fee: Sliding scale ($150-300); two full fellowships available
Length: 1 week

Signal Fire was started in 2008 by activist Amy Harwood and artist Ryan Pierce. Both wanted to find a way to bring their communities closer to foster more collaboration. As avid backpackers, they imagined small groups traveling together into threatened wildlands, discussing ways to shift the dominant views of land in the American West. They gathered together a group of friends for dinner to ask for input, and Signal Fire was born.

Signal Fire builds the cultural value of the natural world by connecting artists to our remaining wild places. We believe in artists as agents of change. Our projects foster resilience, creative energy, and interdisciplinary collaboration. We advocate for land justice and the protection of threatened land and water. 

Signal Fire provides opportunities for artists and creative agitators to engage with our remaining wildlands. Our projects foster self-resilience, creative energy, and interdisciplinary collaboration. We utilize public lands to advocate for equitable access, and protection of, wild and open places.

Three ways to participate:
Residencies: are self-directed, with Signal Fire staff nearby to provide safety, support, and optional day hikes. Residencies are our least physically demanding programs. Participants are selected through competitive, juried application, based on quality of work and written statements. Our finalists tend to be established or emerging professional artists.
Retreats: are group experiences, backpacking, canoeing, and camping together in wild places. Signal Fire guides provide instruction on backcountry safety, low impact camping techniques, and short activities to invite perception of the landscape and invite creative breakthroughs. These trips can be ephysically and socially demanding and rewarding. We curate a reader to provide entry points for discussion, but all non-essential activities are optional. Participants are selected through competitive, juried application, based on quality of work and written statements. Our finalists tend to be established or emerging professional artists.
Wide Open Studios: is our one-of-a-kind arts and ecology field institute. These trips are curriculum-rich, with projects, readings and discussions happening throughout the trip. They offer immersion education intended to catalyze creative discovery and personal transformation, and can be both physically and socially demanding. Wide Open Studios participants are selected by Instructors based on assembling a diverse and unique cohort. We generally get a mix of current students (both graduate and undergraduate, art students and otherwise), non-students, and working artists.*

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A Studio in the Woods: Adaptation Residencies— New Orleans, Louisiana

Deadline: April 16, 2018
Application Fee: $15
Residency Fee: none
Length: 6 weeks
Stipend: $2000 as a stipend and $2000 towards materials
Food: yes

New Orleans and the region are frequently invoked as one of the areas most vulnerable to the effects of environmental change. Our highly manipulated landscape can be seen as a microcosm of the global environment, manifesting both the challenges and possibilities inherent in the ways humans interact with urban and natural ecosystems. With nearly half of the world’s population living within 40 miles of a coastline with rising seas, the concerns of Southern Louisiana resonate globally. Adaptations Residencies invite artists to examine how climate driven adaptations - large and small, historic and contemporary, cultural and scientific - are shaping our future. Adaptations Residencies will provide artists with time, space, scholarship and staff support to foster critical thinking and creation of new works. The call is open to artists of all disciplines who have demonstrated an established dialogue with environmental and culturally related issues and a commitment to seeking and plumbing new depths. We ask artists to describe in detail how the region will affect their work, to propose a public component to their residency and to suggest ways in which they will engage with the local community.

ASITW provides full room and board including food, utilities for living and studio space to selected residents. Residents are expected to cover personal living expenses, additional materials and supplies, and any other expenses relating to the cost of producing work incurred while in the program. Travel and shipping expenses to and from ASITW for the residency are also the responsibility of the artist.*

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Sitka Center: Artist and Ecologist Residency — Otis, Oregon

Deadline: April 17, 2018 for Fall 2018-Spring 2019
Application Fee: $15
Residency Fee: none
Length: WE OFFER A VARIETY OF RESIDENCY LENGTHS BUT ENCOURAGE APPLICANTS WHO CAN PARTICIPATE FOR A FULL 3.5 MONTHS
Stipend: none
Food: none

Tucked in the forest near Cascade Head, Sitka is an ideal location to withdraw from the distraction of daily life, finding the solitude needed to push through creative boundaries and chase artistic pursuits. We revere this practice. Our intention is to offer residencies of three and one half months with living spaces and studios that enhance this experience. The Sitka Center hosts approximately 14-20 residents each year. Some residents are emerging voices while others are mature professionals who are internationally recognized in their disciplines. Residents come from across the U.S. and (to date) seventeen nations.

The Sitka Center also offers four specialized residencies: the Howard L. McKee Ecology Residencythe Recorder Residencythe Jordan Schnitzer Printmaking Residency (for non-printmakers) and the Artist at Sea Residency.*

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Wormfarm Institute—Reedsburg, Wisconsin

Wormfarm Institute Resident Artists 2017

Deadline: rolling, but our primary review period is January through February and selected applicants will be notified in mid-March
Application Fee: none
Residency Fee: none
Length: 1-5 months
Stipend: none
Food: Fresh farm produce from our 4 acre garden that artists help to grow is provided. We also provide many staples such as rice, pasta, flour, grains, dry beans, oils, spices and occasional bonus items from friends and neighbors. Residents can expect to purchase their own supplemental foodstuffs.

We look for artists and writers with an interest in sustainable systems and our place in the natural world. The Wormfarm Residency season runs from May through Oct and we can host up to three artists at a time, with residencies running from one to five months. The most successful Residencies usually last a minimum of two months, but we will consider shorter stays.

Each artist is provided with accommodations, use of our evolving facility and time and space to create. In exchange, we ask each to participate in farm operations for 15 hours per week and to share the results of their creative efforts with the local community.

The 40-acre farm is located in the unglaciated region of south central Wisconsin about an hour drive north of Madison. The surrounding land consists of rolling hills and thousands of acres of beautiful woods and farmland. 

Each artist is provided with a private, screened-in studio space in the barn. The barn also has large open common areas as well as a stage. There is a ceramics area that includes electric kilns and kick wheel. A variety of outbuildings may serve as work space depending on artist’s needs. There are also woods, pasture and gardens for those interested in environmental projects. We share the land with a variety of animals: cows, chickens, a dog, and barn cats.

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Rocky Neck Art Colony Environmental Installation Art — Gloucester, Massachussettes

Deadline: February 10th
Application Fee: $35
Residency Fee: none
Length: 1 month
Stipend: none
Food: none

Newly established in 2017, this program is an effort to bring art out of the studio and make it both visible and accessible to the public. We encourage the creation of site-specific installations that engage the public and draw attention to questions and challenges posed by environmental policies, politics, and/or social change. Through our partnerships with local non-profits and community programs, artists are asked to respond creatively to the concerns of the greater Gloucester/Cape Ann Community.

Information on this year’s Environmental Installation Artist’s topic and our partner, Ocean Alliance www.whale.org. The Committee places exceptional value on the year-round work performed by the Alliance. Their continuing efforts to protect existing whale populations while educating the public about the fragility of our oceans resonates with the entire world.

One gifted artist will be awarded a month-long residency term which includes a waterfront live-work studio space and access to a rich cultural community. Residents chosen are requested to host an opening and closing talk to engage with our community.*

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Willowtail Residency— Mancos, Colorado

Deadline: February 20, June 05, August 20 
Application Fee: $25 
Residency Fee: Artists can apply for full or partial fellowships to cover cost of program. 
Length: 1-3 weeks 
Stipend: none 
Food: Breakfast items are provided (homemade bread, cherry/raspberry jam, organic juice, butter, cream, milk, eggs, fruit, fresh ground coffee, tea, homemade granola, fruit, olive oil and spices). Residents are responsible for other food/meals.

Willowtail Springs Nature Preserve and Education Center provides a backdrop where The Arts and Nature can integrate. Within the vast beauty supporting the intimacy of this unique setting, the Nature Preserve and the Education Center has been structured to sustain into perpetuity the availability of a special experience to work without distractions.

Residents: You bring your projects, curiosity, knowledge, talents and pioneering thought.  We provide the place and the space to explore. We offer you time to stretch your talents, in an extremely special adventure. Each resident is required to deliver a community offering within one calendar year of their residency. Whether this takes the form of a lecture, presentation, demonstration, teaching, slideshow of work, exhibition in the local community, is up to the resident.

Participants will have a choice of one of three available living spaces, all with wifi, fireplaces, fully equipped kitchens, and outdoor decks overlooking the lake.We can accommodate painting, drawing, photography, mixed media, sculpture, performance art, film making, composers, songwriters and practicing musicians. The Working Studio space is 600 sq. ft, and can hold up to three people per day for self directed work. It is a separate building nestled in the gardens next to the Lakehouse and looks out to the lake, gardens and small pool with fountain.*

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NEXT UP: Residencies with a Cause: Social Justice
*Please note: italicized text is taken directly from the informational websites of the residencies.


OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Zoe Hawk

Dreaming As The Summers Die, 2017. Oil on aluminum.

ZOE HAWK's allegorical paintings and drawings are populated by adolescent girls in knee-socks and and Peter Pan collared dresses. Matronly women in veiled funeral garb sometimes stand guard, representing an oppressive and depressing future. These paintings point to a dominant narrative of idealized American girlhood and the nuances of  navigating inherited gender expectations. In these paintings, growing up female is an unfolding process of resisting and participating, subverting and submitting. Zoe earned her BFA in Studio Art from Missouri State University and her MFA in Painting from the University of Iowa. Her work has been included in exhibitions both in the United States and abroad, and reproduced in publications such as New American PaintingsThe Oxford American, and ArtMaze Mag (London). She has attended artist residencies in Belgium, Norway, and the United States. Her latest residency experience was at the Doha Fire Station in Qatar, which culminated in group exhibitions both in Doha and Berlin. Her work was recently included in the current issue of Create! Magazine. Zoe lives and works in Doha, Qatar.

OtherPeoplesPixels: Do you think of your paintings as allegories? If so, for what?

Zoe Hawk: I do see them as allegorical. Ultimately my work is about the experience of girlhood, the transition to womanhood, and ways we learn our roles in society. The paintings are like stage sets, or dollhouses—little social microcosms where various stories can play out. All of the poses, facial expressions, colors and scenes are carefully chosen to represent different aspects of the girlhood experience. Many of the decisions are made to function as metaphors, and I often include references to classic stories, films, games, folk songs, etc. I want the narratives to seem sweet and familiar, like a story in a children’s book, but at the same time cause a bit of unease in the viewer, as if something is not quite right. 

In Her Willows, 2017. Oil on aluminum. 17.5" x 23"

OPP: Can you talk about the difference between girls and women in your work?

ZH: Most of the girls in my paintings are at the transitional age of adolescence, when the realization hits that womanhood won’t be all excitement and romance, but that there will be violence, fear and unrealistic expectations to bear. This is where my depiction of the veiled women in black funeral dresses comes from. They are mourning the death of their childhood freedom and innocence. But from the point of view of the young girls, the women are something mysterious and unknown, both alluring and foreboding. Often the women are confining the girls, trying to rein in their wild energy, or looming over them with a watchful eye. Other times they are leading them by the hand towards the inevitable.

Aqua Culture, 2016. 11 x 16.5"

OPP: Very few of your paintings feature girls alone. This Way Over Obstacle (2016), Aqua Culture (2016) and Dream Home (2014) really stand out. In each case, the solitary girl is totally focused on something that has nothing to do with the group. How are these girls different from the rest? 

ZH: The girls in groups are learning how to navigate their social environments. They sometimes work in tandem, like a flock of birds, while other times there is frustration, rebellion and contention between them. The solitary girls are more about introspection and curiosity—showing that girls have scientific minds, deep inner lives, and a sense of self that maybe conflicts with social expectations. Aqua Culture is about an intense moment of awe, wonder and a dark realization about the future. The girl in Dream Home is engaged in an act of curiosity, peeling back the artifice of her environment, exposing darkness, while symbols of domestic perfection are looming over her. I think the isolation of the figures feels much more stark and dramatic when seen in contrast to the group images. It becomes less about interactions and more about the potency of one singular action, and about the impact of the surrounding environment. 

Cry, Sally, Cry, 2014. Oil on aluminum. 15 x 17"

OPP: Tell us about the clothing in your paintings. Lots of white knee socks, white collars, skirts and dresses. I don’t think a single pair of pants. They seem like school girls, but not contemporary teenagers.

ZH: The clothing the girls wear represents different modes of feminine identity: the uniforms are a metaphor for socialization, institutional power and conformity, while the floral patterned dresses and white bridal/baptismal dresses represent femininity, purity and innocence. I like to reference clothing from the 1930s through the 1960s—like the white collars and pastel dresses—because to me it is the epitome of American idealized girlhood, and represents the gender ideals that are still woven into the fabric of contemporary culture. I think imagery from the past functions well as a stand-in for the current social climate, because it allows distance from our daily lived experience. And as much as the paintings are a critique of these gendered constructions, I acknowledge my own pleasure that I take in these things—the childhood joy I felt as a girl in a puffy, pink dress—and the internal conflict I feel as a result. 

Waterway, 2015. Oil on aluminum. 16.75 x 18.5"

OPP: I think about these paintings as about the conflict between wanting to belong and wanting to assert individuality. Sometimes the girls fall in line and sometimes they rebel. To what degree do these characters have choice in the matter?

ZH: I think adolescence is so interesting because of this conflict between the desire to fit in and a need to rebel. I want that tension to add to the overall sense of uneasiness in the paintings. I often like to paint the girls’ faces and actions in a way that expresses their curiosity, sadness, fear and frustration, in spite of the rigid idealism of their clothing. The question of choice is interesting, because I think we are all a product of environment, upbringing and circumstances. But I love the idea that some of these girls can break free. 

Rite of Passage, 2014. Oil on aluminum. 16.5 x 19"

OPP: I agree about each of us being a product of our environments, upbringing and circumstances. So how does that fact relate to the dominant cultural narrative of “idealized American girlhood,” which seems to be predominantly white, middle class and suburban? How do we deal today with this inherited—and limiting—storyline about how girls should be?

ZH: Yes, I definitely see that idealized narrative as a misrepresentation of the broader girlhood experience, and something that has been an oppressive force for many. It certainly differs from my own experience growing up, but it is a narrative that I consumed along with most other girls because it was the only one offered by the mainstream. For me, the discovery of alternative female voices in books, music, comics and art was essential. I think diverse options are more accessible to girls now, thanks to the Internet and social media, but we still have far to go. Representation is important, so I think we need to amplify the creative voices of women—especially women of color, trans women, immigrant women, and others who have traditionally been denied a place at the table—in order to culturally redefine what it means to be a girl. 

To see more of Zoe's work, please visit zoehawk.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indiana 2017). In March 2018, her solo installation Where Do We Go From Here? will open at Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois). In conjunction, the atrium will exhibit two-dimensional artwork by artists who were invited by Stacia to make new work also titled  Where Do We Go From Here?

OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Andy Mauery

patriarchal orifice #2: Boloria frigga (Frigga Fritillary), 2016. Thread stitched on human hair, insect pin, styling products. 18”h x 16”w x 1”d

ANDY MAUERY constructs delicate crownscurtains and clouds from human, acrylic and horse hair. Shed regularly and replenished anew by the body, hair highlights the impermanence of life. In her recent work, human hair is just barely held together by thread drawings of extinct and endangered species. These fragile objects point to our interconnectedness and remind us that we, too, are not immune to extinction. Andy earned her BFA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her MFA from West Virginia University. She has been at artist-in-residence at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Vermont Studio Center and Tesuque Glassworks. In 2017, she won an Artist’s Resource Trust Fund Individual Award from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, which funded the work in her upcoming solo exhibition devolve. The show opens in the summer of 2018 at the Lord Hall Galleries at The University of Maine. Currently she is an Associate Professor of Art and the Foundations Coordinator at The University of Maine. Andy lives in Veazie, Maine with her husband, son and two nocturnal kittens.

OtherPeoplesPixels: You’ve worked with hair for many years. When did you first use it in your practice?

Andy Mauery: I think the first fully realized works that used hair came near the end of grad school, although it had been part of my sketching practice longer. I’ve always had braids lurking around—in hair, different fibers and drawings. One series of pieces was based on fishing lures, but spoke more to luring human attention, looking at some cisgender society roles and mating rituals with a bit of skepticism/cynicism, and some humor. So I made people-sized lures of steel and fibers and turned the hair/fur—pretty common on fly fishing lures—into human hairdos. 

With the more recent rapunzelsI went back and indulged myself in making bigger versions of works that I have been repeatedly remaking for years in smaller, varied formats.  

little red rapunzel, 2013. Acrylic fiber, scissors

OPP: How do you think about the hair materially?

AM: As a material, hair is simultaneously an extremely personal part of each of us and a widely shared mammalian feature. There’s my hair, which I groom in a manner that culturally address a sense of self in many ways. And then there are more than 5,000 species of mammals that, yeah, all have the same stuff, yet it’s considered so completely, utterly foreign and “animal.”  Many artists have tapped into the politics of hair. It’s complex and very real. I have frizzy auburn hair, and it has garnered a surprising amount of attention, both positive and negative, from the time I was very young. My paternal grandmother had a beauty shop, too, and I loved it when she let me style this one ratty, mod auburn wig. 

patriarchal orifice #1: Vertigo morsei, 2016. Thread stitched on human hair, insect pin, styling products. 16”h x 19”w x 1”d

OPP: The most recent hair work is crowning glories. Can you talk about the juxtaposition of human hair with the stitched outlines of extinct butterflies, snails and mussels?

AM: The crowning glories, an ongoing project, took shape when I was trying to clarify the relationship I have with these species works and simplify my approach. I wanted the works to resonate personally with each viewer, without presupposing an existing empathy with the critters being pictured. I started with really direct representations of or symbols for the central subjects or ideas: power, you/your human body, the species we humans are harming. I worked with this straightforward equation; the human is [combined with] the other species. I was drawing from photos and graphics of various endangered species, including some plants, and started creating tracery layouts and patterns. 

I experimented with different techniques to hold the works together, including hand and machine stitching, knotting, wrapping, some felting. The first of the series that survived my experiments was an actual crown made of human hair, whose form is created entirely of simple silhouette drawings of protected and endangered (and some extinct) species stitched in thread, on/through/around the hair. 

The hair is this actual DNA record of a person, a wearable memento mori and a self-portrait, all those things and more made into this delicately drawn version of an object representing power. I’ve actually under-engineered the pieces a bit, too, to make sure that they aren’t permanent: they are meant to come apart eventually. I liked the crown works when they were flattened out as patterns, prior to being shaped, so I’ve moved some of the later versions of the series into wreath-like wall pieces, where the repeated butterflies and snails can be more clearly seen. So they are also these contemporary versions of the Victorian mourning jewelry, lamenting the mussels, plants, moths that we are wiping from the earth.  

A Species of Special Concern: Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens), 2017. Human hair, mirror vinyl, petri dish, water, watercolor pencil, soluble starch. Frog is life size.

OPP: What role does fragility play in your practice? 

AM: Plural roles, definitely, as it is entwined in so many aspects of my practice. Addressing the physicality first, at times I am so intent on working right up to the edge, as if I have to find out first just how far a material can be pushed before it fails. I have so many examples of objects that didn’t survive their own making, when I pushed just a bit too hard. Or sneezed on them. It turns out that a frog made of starch does, indeed, dissolve in those circumstances. 

The crowning glories are the husky, strong works in my oeuvre, comparatively. I was talking with an artist friend about having a hair work badly damaged in a shipping accident, and when she suggested some tougher materials, I said, “oh yes, on it already. I’m doing a collaboration in glass.” Then I heard the sentence outside of my head, through her laughter: when glass is your “tougher” material. 

I’m drawn to materials and structures that are vulnerable, and delicate, and ephemeral. Of course it’s lovely when they are paradoxically strong and fragile, too. Horsehair is a great example. That seeming contradiction is what I keep poking at with each sculpture, drawing, installation. I want materials that degrade and age, that have a life span, that need to be cared for to survive, that are analogous to the subject matter or theme of the work. Fragility and mortality are really driving the train, so to speak. 

Years ago I worked with these same ideas through the lens of boundaries, how we imagine, create, enforce boundaries out of ignorance/unknowing/fear, instead of trying out new ways of experiencing where we as individuals start/stop within our world. Now I continue working on those same concepts but with a shift in perception, still acknowledging my impulses toward the phenomenological and ontological, but now stepping more firmly into what a friend identified as, “good, old-fashioned ethics.” I sometimes wonder if my approach has led me to materially working my way through my own clumsy understanding of Philosophy 101 coursework, manifested through studio practice. If so, I embrace it, with general apologies to philosophers everywhere.

crowning glory 2 (hopping mouse), 2013. human hair, thread. 7"h x 7.5"w x 8" d

OPP: Human mortality and animal extinction are themes in your work. Does one concern you more than the other?

AM: Is it too irreverent to say my level of worry between the two is comparing apples and oranges? Human mortality became more of a concern when I became a parent and as I lose a continually and irreversibly larger number of friends and family to human mortality. We get such a short time on earth, even the most long-lived of us; it’s healthy to use that time well. At this point, I don’t worry about it every day, but it certainly shapes my actions. The human condition, you know…we work our way outward from our biological and self-concerns to eventually—in theory—worrying about how our societies work and how they impact the environment. 

OPP: Are you concerned with human extinction?

AM: I do have real, daily concern with animal and human extinction, and those two are inextricably linked. After an incalculable number of animal species die, we humans die. I believe that they have a right to live whether their deaths impact our future survival or not. But for those who don’t think that bats, for example, deserve that consideration, perhaps you could get behind supporting them as a part of the biodiversity that sustains all life? 

Science has made a very strong case that humans are primarily responsible for the current extinction crisis, this “sixth wave” being unlike the naturally occurring mass extinctions in the sheer numbers of species lost to avoidable conditions like the introduction of invasive/exotic species, habit loss due to a wide variety of land practices that result in pollution and destruction. And of course there is global warming. Our ability to address those big questions involved in the human condition—are we made to be selfish, can we be altruistic, should we live in hierarchical societies, how do we treat the environment—affect our chances of making it as a species. We can’t really survive as humans without non-human species. There is no realistic scenario that supports that; we are part of a vastly complex system of living things.

extinction as parlor game, 2017. Wallpaper, endangered Maine butterfly stitched in thread on human hair, insect pin, styling products. paper is 11' high.

OPP: How do viewers respond to your work?

AM: Some people are really drawn to them and find them beautiful and strange. Others get very angry with these works in gallery shows. They say things like, You’re allegedly so upset about this, but you’re showing bats made of hair in a gallery. This is terribly—choose one—entitled, mercenary, elitist, timid, limited, inefficient, preaching to the choir, naïve … Social and political activism takes place in many venues. It must. It has a lot of different forms; it must. These works are not my only actions towards halting species extinction, habitat degradation, but they are a portion of it. 

OPP: Do you have a favorite piece by another artist?

AM: So many favorites. . . there’s an ever-changing list of faves for different reasons, I will give you  some currents. An artist and scientist who works with the threat of extinction, Brando Ballengée’s Collapse is so beautiful and threatening and sad. It’s thousands of preserved species in gallon jars stacked in a pyramid, in response to the damage to the Gulf of Mexico following the Deep Horizon spill. Leonor Antunes' I stand like a mirror before you (2015) for her her brilliant riff on Modernist forms and her deep forays into structure, I love grids, nets, knotted strings and often use them as well. Her work is often so clean and restrained, and politically on point about women artists’ roles to be both practical in effect and socially/politically radical. Speaking of socially active artists, I am really looking forward to showing this summer with elin o’Hara slavick, she does stunning work including a series of cyanotypes done in Hiroshima with objects that were left after the A-bombing in 1945. They are like exquisite, blue x-rays of loss.

Artificial Simplicity 2, 2009. acrylic fiber, steel, plastic. fiber 12' length

OPP: What's your favorite piece of your own work? Consider the difference between most successful in terms of audience response versus your personal experience making the piece.

AM: The crowning glories are ok with me right now. I’m pretty invested in them, and audiences are responding in varied but strong ways, which is pleasing. But I feel some of my curtains have been the most successful in terms of audience response, such as the two installations in the Atmospheric Conditions exhibit. They are large, visually transparent screens that sway with air currents, can be touched, they reference the body in somewhat odd but still accessible ways. My personal experience making them has, well, pros and cons. For example the materials are very tactile and pleasing to handle, which is great because they take some time to construct so there is plenty of handling opportunity. They are also quite frustrating to make because in most of the studios I’ve worked in, and certainly in my current studio, the ceiling is not high enough to build one vertically, or hang it after initial construction to work on; so the logistics are somewhat involved, and I don’t get to see if it’s really worked until it’s installed into the taller gallery space. I’m currently making a crowning glories version of a curtain, may as well go all in and try to merge the two.  

To see more of Andy's work, please visit andymauery.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indiana 2017). In March 2018, her solo installation Where Do We Go From Here? will open at Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois). In conjunction, the atrium will exhibit two-dimensional artwork by artists who were invited by Stacia to make new work also titled  Where Do We Go From Here?

Fully-funded Residencies with Stipends!!!!!

Here at OPP, we know that you'd rather spend your time in the studio, not researching ways to get more time in the studio. So we're kicking off a series of posts to get you started. Over the next six months, we'll highlight a variety of residencies, organizing them by type, including studio-only, fully-funded, solitary retreats and media-specific residencies. Keep in mind, this list is by no means exhaustive. It's really just the tip of the iceberg.


Sadly, some of the current deadlines for these fully-funded residencies have passed. But they are in such high demand, that it's a good idea not to rush the application. Do your research now and start planning to apply next year.

Headlands Center for the Arts — Marin County, California

Deadline: application generally opens around April and is due in June
Application fee: 
$35
Stipend: 
optional monthly stipend of $500
Length: 
4-10 weeks

The Artist in Residence program awards fully sponsored residencies to approximately 45 local, national, and international artists each year. Residencies include studio space, chef-prepared meals, comfortable housing, and travel and living stipends. AIRs become part of a dynamic community of artists participating in Headlands’ other programs, allowing for exchange and collaborative relationships to develop within the artist community on campus. Artists selected for this program are at all stages in their careers and work in all media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, new media, installation, fiction and nonfiction writing, poetry, dance, music, interdisciplinary, social practice, and architecture.* 

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Arts/Industry Program at John Michael Kohler Art Center — Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Deadline: May 31, 2018
Application fee: none
Stipend: 
round-trip transportation, and a modest weekly stipend
Length: 
2-6 months

Each year up to 16 artists are selected for residencies in the Pottery and/or Foundry areas of the factory through a competitive jury process. No experience with clay or cast metal is required, just an interest in pursuing a new body of work and being open to new ideas. Arts/Industry offers artists the time and space to focus on the creation of new work, and a unique location for their studios. Artists-in-residence work at the Kohler Co. factory in the Pottery and/or Foundry. Artists need not have experience with clay or metal, just an interest in materials and the potential for the industrial environment and processes to influence their creative practice.* 

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Ox-bow — Saugatuck, Michigan

Deadline: Next deadline is May 1, 2018 for the Fall Artist and Writer Residencies; deadline for Summer Residencies is in February
Application fee: 
none
Stipend: 
$200/ per week
Length: 
2-13 weeks, depending on type

Ox-Bow’s residency program offers artists and writers, at various stages in their career, the time, space, and community to encourage growth and experimentation in their practice. The Arts Faculty and MFA residences are held during the summer while our core classes and community programs are in session. The small group of residents is a part of Ox-Bow’s artist community of students, faculty, and Visiting Artists. The Fall Artist and Writers' Residencies are held for five weeks in September and October. This larger group of artists enjoy a more intimate community. If you are a current Undergraduate or MFA student, we also offer a 13-week summer fellowship.*

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The Rabbit Island Residency — an island in the middle of Lake Superior, Michigan

Deadline: Midnight EST, January 28th, 2018
Application fee: 
$25
Stipend: 
variable, recent awards have averaged around $1800
Length: 
2-4 weeks

The Rabbit Island Residency is a platform to investigate, expand, and challenge creative practices in a remote environment. By living and working on Rabbit Island residents engage directly with the landscape and respond to notions of conservation, ecology, sustainability, and resilience. 

Approximately three to four supported residencies are awarded per summer period (mid-June until late-September). Selected applicants will receive an unrestricted honorarium which they may use to facilitate research, cover travel expenses, and materials. Residents may also be awarded an exhibition at the DeVos Art Museum in Marquette, Michigan, two and a half hours from the island. A publication featuring work and research of the awarded residents is produced annually in partnership with the museum.* 

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Djerassi — Santa Cruz Mountains, California

Deadline: March 15, 2018 for residencies in 2019
Application fee: 
$45; $65 up to one week after deadline
Stipend: 
Ford Family Foundation Residency, available to visual and media artists who reside full-time in Oregon, will reimburse fellows for the cost of air travel and shipping of materials.
Length: 
4-5 weeks

Residencies are awarded competitively, at no cost, to national and international artists in the disciplines of choreography, literature, music composition, visual arts, media arts, and science. There are 6 residency sessions each year: 5 are 4 weeks long and 1 that includes Open House/Open Studios is 5 weeks long. One session is devoted to Scientific Delirium Madness and the intersection of art and science. No shortened or partial residencies are offered. 

Djerassi Program is designed as a retreat experience to pursue personal creative work and share collegial interaction within a small community of artists. In this spirit residents are expected to commit themselves for the entire residency session they are awarded.

Our Program chef prepares communal dinners Monday through Friday, and provisions both kitchens. Residents prepare their own breakfasts, lunches, and weekend dinners using ingredients supplied by the Program.

Djerassi Program offers residencies during the regular season, which run from mid-March through mid-November. Winter Residencies for alumni of the Djerassi Program designed to be far more independent and substantially different from the regular residency.* 

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Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts — Omaha, Nebraska

Deadline: May 1, 2018 for sessions beginning in January 2019
Application fee: 
$40
Stipend: 
$1000 monthly stipend + $500 travel stipend
Length: 
2-3 months

For more than three decades, the Bemis Center’s core mission has been to provide artists from around the world dedicated time, space, and resources to conduct research and to create new work. Frequently cited as one of the top international residency programs, the Bemis Center offers artists private live/work studios, financial support, technical/administrative assistance, and opportunities for intellectual discourse about contemporary art through free public programs, such as panel discussions, lectures, and knowledge-sharing workshops. To date, nearly 900 artists have participated in the residency program. No meals are provided, but each live/work studio has a kitchen. Private housing (individual apartment/cabin/house) is located in downtown Omaha’s historic Old Market, the Bemis Center's 110,000 square foot facility accommodates a broad range of artistic activity. Artists-in-residence have 24-hour access to extensive installation and production spaces and the Okada Sculpture & Ceramics Facility, a 9,000 square foot industrial space used for large-scale sculpture fabrication.* 

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Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program — Roswell, New Mexico

Deadline: 10 p.m. MDT, June 1, 2018
Application Fee: $25
Stipend: $800 per month is offered along with $100 for a spouse/partner and $200 per child living with the grantee.
Length: 1 year

The studios are large, open spaces that measure approximately 30 'x 25 'x 10'. These areas are well-lighted and convertible to the artist's requirements. Artists are housed in a complex of six houses and 10 studios located on fifty acres of land. Each artist is provided with a house that can amply accommodate either a single person or a family. Rent, utilities (except telephone), repairs and maintenance costs are borne by the Program. Houses are furnished with major furniture items, appliances and utensils within reason. The printmaking facility is a small, fully operational studio - basically lithographic/etching in nature. No dogs. Cats allowed, but should be kept inside due to coyotes.*

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Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency — Adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park, California

Deadline: applications open in October 2019 and close January 10, 2019 for summer 2019
Application Fee: $35
Length: 7 weeks
Stipend: Up to $1000.
Food: no meals provided

JTHAR is a nonprofit artist residency, which invites 4-6 artists from around the world to create work amidst the beauty of Joshua Tree National Park and connect to the vibrant local artistic community. The residency provides scholarship funds, individual housing for each artist, studio space, a gallery exhibition and runs April - June. There is also a shared art studio. The area is a spectacularly beautiful and quiet environment in which to create. The residency is open to artists worldwide working in all media, including painters, photographers, writers, musicians, etc.

Artists unable to attend the Residency Program may apply for a 6 week individual stay at JTHAR between late June and mid March. Make sure to choose your dates listed below if you are applying for the 6 week solo program. The six week solo artist fellowship does not have scholarship awards.*

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Soap Factory Midwest Artist Residency — Minneapolis, Minnesota

Deadline: February 28th, 2018 @ 3PM!
Application Fee: 
none
Residency Fee: 
none
Length: 
3 months; Round 1, June 4th - August 25th, 2017; Round 2, September 7th - November 30th, 2017 
Stipend: 
$500 for materials; $1,500 for travel reimbursement
Food: 
none

The Soap Factory aims to provide an opportunity to research, produce, and exhibit during a three month residency in our building. This three month residency program asks emerging to mid-career artists, or collectives from the Midwest to develop and share their practice with our audiences.

The Midwest A-I-Rs are provided a material stipend, private studio, and access to our woodshop and workshop spaces. Free accommodation during your visits to Minneapolis (only available for artists residing outside of the Twin Cities). Studio visits by visiting curators and artists will be offered once a month.  All participants are asked to present work developed during their residency; culminating in an exhibition, performance, public event, or publication. Work presented will be exhibited in our new residency gallery spaces.

Artists from all disciplines are welcome to apply. This residency aims at strengthening the practice of, cultural exchange between, and career development of Midwest artists; Artists currently working in the MN Metro area, Greater MN, and Midwest region are encouraged to apply.*

Soap Factory Solo Exhibition Residency — Minneapolis, Minnesota

Deadline: February 28th, 2018 @ 3PM!
Application Fee: none
Residency Fee: none
Length: June 4th – November 30th, 2018; solo show runs November 17th, 2017 – January 6th, 2018
Stipend: $3,600 honorarium paid at end of residency; $1,500 for travel reimbursement
Food: none

The Soap Factory (TSF) aims to provide a rare opportunity to contemporary artists looking to exhibit their work in the three main floor galleries of the Soap Factory. This six month residency program asks one mid-career or established artist, or collective, to develop an exhibition in the Soap Factory’s 12,000 sq. ft. main floor exhibition space.

The Solo Exhibition will be supported financially and administratively; accompanied by documentation and an exhibition catalog. A-I-R’s are asked to participate in an artist talk or open dialogue, and in our podcast.

Please note, artists working in all disciplines are encouraged to apply to this opportunity though the Soap Factory is especially interested in artists practicing experimental and/or interdisciplinary work.*

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McColl Center for Art + Innovation — Charlotte, North Carolina

Deadline: June 6, 2018 for Winer/Spring 2019
Application Fee: $35
Residency Fee: none
Length: 3-4 months
Stipend: $6000 living allowance; $2000 for materials; reimbursement for one round-trip economy-class flight
Food: none

McColl Center for Art + Innovation is a nationally acclaimed artist residency and contemporary art space in Charlotte, North Carolina. Its mission is to empower artists, advance communities, and contribute positive impacts to its broad public audience by introducing a range of current artistic practices. Located in the former Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Uptown Charlotte, McColl Center houses nine individual artist studios, more than 5,000 square feet of exhibition space, and multiple common-use spaces, including a studio for large-scale sculpture fabrication. We invite artists to take risks in their processes and explore their ideas within the context of Charlotte. We welcome the visiting public to connect with contemporary art and artists through exhibitions and public programs. Artists live in a furnished one-bedroom condominium with Wi-Fi and have a private workspace (230–819 square feet) with Wi-Fi. Other perks: a group exhibition on the second or third floor of McColl Center with photo and video documentation.

In addition to the core Artist-in-Residence Program (open call or invitation), McColl Center offers an annual Environmental Artist-in-Residence Program (invitation only), a Carolinas HealthCare System Artist-in-Residence Program (spring season; open call), a residency for a UNC Charlotte art professor (fall season; invitation only), a Summer Affiliate Program for artists living within a 50-mile radius of Charlotte (open call), and a new exhibition residency that transforms McColl’s first-floor gallery into an open studio for artists to explore processes and projects (invitation or open call).

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Plyspace Residency — Muncie, Indiana

Deadline: March 15 for Summer 2018 
Application Fee: $25 
Stipend: $500 travel stipend for regular residents; $1500 for Resident Fellows to be used for travel and living expenses and up to $1000 in funding toward their proposed collaborative project 
Length: 4-12 weeks 
Housing: accommodations on the second floor of PlySpace, a post-victorian house built in 1916, in the Emily Kimbrough Historic District of downtown Muncie, Indiana. The living quarters will include a private bedroom, private or shared bath, a shared living space, shared laundry facilities, and a shared full kitchen.

PlySpace is an artist-in-residence program dedicated to offering visual artists, writers, performers, designers, and other creative individuals time and space to investigate and pursue their own practices. Additionally, it serves as a platform for experimentation and provocation by catalyzing conversation and collaboration with various Muncie communities. PlySpace facilitates various opportunities for residents to engage with the public through partnership and programming that is tailored to their area of interest.

Each resident will propose a personal project as well as a project to be completed in partnership with a community collaborator. PlySpace will work with both parties to encourage a successful and fulfilling collaboration. For more information on community partners and collaborations, take a look at the Community Collaborators page.

Selected residents will be offered one of two types of residency. The type of residency offered will be determined by the Admissions Panel and Final Selection Committee during the admissions process. All residencies include living space in PlySpace and studio space across the street at Madjax, a center for innovation and design. 

PlySpace Residents will be offered living quarters, studio amenities, and will be paired with a community collaborator based on their personal and collaborative project proposals and interests. Residents are expected to complete a public talk about their work and complete a project in partnership with their Community Collaborator. Resident Artists will have full access to the PlySpace studio spaces at Madjax as well as limited access to the School of Art (SOA) facilities at Ball State University. They will receive a $500 travel stipend for their residency period, between 4 and 12 weeks.

PlySpace Resident Fellows will be offered living quarters, studio amenities, and will be paired with the Ball State University School of Art as their community collaborator. Resident Fellows are expected to conduct multiple public programs connected to their practice through their partnership with the SOA. Resident Fellows will have access to the SOA facilities necessary to complete their projects as well as the PlySpace studio spaces. Resident Fellows will receive a $1500 stipend provided by PlySpace to be used for travel and living expenses and up to $1000 in funding toward their proposed collaborative project and supplies. Resident Fellows must plan a 9 to 12 week residency stay.

Three individual or collective applicants will be accepted for each residency term (one PlySpace Resident Fellow and two PlySpace Residents).

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NEXT UP: Residencies with a Cause: The Environment

*Please note: italicized text is taken directly from the informational websites of the residencies.

OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Jenn Smith

Untitled (Flashlight), 2017. Acrylic and oil on panel. 22" x 20"

JENN SMITH's paintings and drawings feature Adam and Eve, a very chill Jesus Christ and a silly serpentagainst a rural Midwest background. Corntractors and signs of worship also populate her oeuvre. Her style is simple, evocative of a child's Sunday school drawings. But her exploration of evangelical belief and her own upbringing as an evangelical Christian is anything but simplistic. Humor and sincerity are both present, proving that you can take something seriously without believing in it. Jenn earned her BS in Studio Art at Illinois State University and her MFA in Painting from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited at Carrie Secrist Gallery (Chicago), the Back Room at Kim’s Corner Food (Chicago) and Julius Caesar (Chicago). Her work was most recently on view in Winter Romance at Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago). Jenn lives and works in Chicago.

OtherPeoplesPixels: What’s your relationship to Christianity?

Jenn Smith: I was raised evangelical Christian in the rural midwest. We attended the kind of church where people would spontaneously begin speaking in tongues or fall down in a trance-like state. They call it being “slain in the spirit.” We thought we were living in the end times and the Rapture would happen at any moment, so there was a lot of excitement and fear. I’m no longer a believer, but many of the ideas and images from that time in my life continue to fascinate me.

Book of Acts, 2017. Acrylic and oil on panel. 20" x 26"

OPP: Your painting style is silly, cartoonish, and evocative of a child’s drawings. Have you always painted this way? Or is it a style that is particularly suited to the content of your recent work?

JS: I learned how to draw and paint representationally as an undergraduate, but pretty soon after that I started making abstract paintings, drawings, and collages. I continued to make abstract works off and on for about ten years. Then, in grad school, I decided I needed to paint figuratively. It was a big jump. I was pretty sure I’d forgotten everything I learned as an undergrad, but I knew it was the only way I could wrestle with more personal content in my work. So, I started to paint figures, animals, cars, cornfields, angels and snakes from my imagination, very simplified and without too much fuss. I’m not very interested in realistic representations of things. I like diagrams, game boards and flat, matte shapes and symbols. I look at a lot of medieval paintings. I like how they’re so often flat with a confusing sense of space. A too-short arm, an awkward gesture, or foreshortening gone wrong keeps things interesting. 

OPP: More than just being visually interesting, it seems to suggest that the reality you think you know is a lie. . . which brings me to the recent snake drawings, like Soon and Very Soon (Snakes #16) and Soon and Very Soon (Snakes #3). How do your goofy snakes relate to Eden’s snake?

Soon and Very Soon (Snakes #7), 2017. Colored pencil on paper. 11" x 8.5"

JS: I found the inspiration for the snakes in a deck of Bible character memorization cards a friend gave me as a gift. The cartoon serpent was depicted on the Adam and Eve card, slithering in and out of oval-shaped holes in a flat green cartoon tree. The cards were meant to be straightforward educational materials, but I felt there was some level of (unintentional?) sexual innuendo. . . I mean, snakes going in and out of holes and so on. . . It was kind of funny, but it also hit on my interest in the complexities of what is hidden and what is visible in a painting or drawing. My snake drawing series has allowed me to explore these ideas within a very limited framework, in almost a diagrammatic way, using a set of symbols including snakes, boxes, holes, lines, dotted lines. 

OPP: And what about your version of Jesus? Does he have a different backstory than what the bible taught?

JS: Well, he retains his biblical backstory—there’s no way to separate him from that, even if I wanted to. But it’s interesting to put him in other contexts to see what happens. There’s so much emphasis in evangelical culture that we should strive for a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus. So for believers, they don’t think about him as a historical figure or a far-away savior; they think of him as their best friend who they talk to every day. So I feel like I got know him pretty well when I was growing up. When I first started to include a Jesus-looking figure in the work I wasn’t exactly sure why I was doing it. But now I’m starting to wonder if the Jesus in the paintings is actually a version of me, in the same way the Jesus a Christian talks to every day is actually just a part of their own mind. 

Untitled (figure and Jesus), 2016. Oil on canvas. 22" x 20"

OPP: What does the word irreverent mean to you and do you consider your work to be irreverent?

JS: I think irreverence and a sense of humor have served me well in my life, but I’m still getting used to the fact that they’ve made their way into my work. As I said, I was making abstract paintings, which were pretty safe (also sort of boring) before grad school. I know that people find my recent work irreverent, and I think it probably is. But I also try to make it complex and layered and to allow a lot of space for the unknown.

OPP: Tell us about the Demons. They are the most abstract works. I interpret the titles as referring to dates, so I imagine that these works represent some kind of event or “dangerous influence.

JS: That’s a good guess! I usually don’t say much about the demon paintings because I think part of what makes them interesting is their ambiguity.

Demon '87, 2016. Acrylic and oil on canvas. 22" x 20"

OPP: You’ve been out of grad school for a little over a year. I remember my own first year out as particularly difficult. How’s it been? Has anything changed in your practice?

JS: It has been a real rollercoaster, but I feel very lucky that I’ve been able to continue making my work and have had opportunities to show it. I draw a lot more now, as a way to develop ideas and plan paintings, but also as an end in itself. I have intensified my practice of collecting Christian ephemera, which I share on Instagram. Painting is still the center of my practice and I don’t think that will change. I’m still excited about it every day.

OPP: What are you excited about in the studio right now?

JS: I’m working on a series of paintings on the front sides of wooden boxes about the size and shape of cereal boxes. They are hollow inside and have coin slots on top. They resemble the collection boxes we used to have on the walls of our church. I’m interested in the idea of having these paintings/boxes on a gallery wall where anyone can drop a coin or a folded-up note or anything else into the slot, and whatever is dropped inside becomes a permanent part of the piece forever. 


To see more of Jenn's work, please visit thejennsmith.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indiana 2017). In March 2018, her solo installation Where Do We Go From Here? will open at Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois). In conjunction, the atrium will exhibit two-dimensional artwork by artists who were invited by Stacia to make new work also titled  Where Do We Go From Here?

No-Fee Residencies, but you'll have to pay to get there

Here at OPP, we know that you'd rather spend your time in the studio, not researching ways to get more time in the studio. So we're kicking off a series of posts to get you started. Over the next six months, we'll highlight a variety of residencies, organizing them by type, including studio-only, fully-funded, solitary retreats and media-specific residencies. Keep in mind, this list is by no means exhaustive. It's really just the tip of the iceberg.


Sadly, some of the current deadlines for these fully-funded residencies have passed. But they are in such high demand, that it's a good idea not to rush the application. Do your research now and start planning to apply next year.

Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts — Nebraska City, Nebraska

Deadline: March 1 and September 1
Application Fee: $35
Length: 2-8 weeks
Stipend: $100 a week
Food: none, but apartments have kitchens

The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts offers approximately 70 juried residencies per year to visual artists, writers, composers, and interdisciplinary artists from across the country and around the world. Nebraska artists and those transitioning from graduate school receive special consideration by the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center.

KHN features living space for five residents in three apartments. Two large double-occupancy apartments feature private bedrooms with en suite baths, and spacious shared kitchen, living, and dining rooms. Composers stay in the garden-level efficiency apartment, located under the composition studio.

All apartments are furnished with basic necessities such as dishes, pots and pans, and kitchen appliances, and a basic spice pantry. Bedroom and bath linens are provided. Each apartment has private control for heating or air conditioning. Onsite laundry facilities are available for residents. The Center maintains two bicycles for residents' use.

Visual artists work in one of three studios, two of which are approximately 425 square feet and one that is 258 square feet, outfitted with work tables, running water and storage shelves. Hand tools, a table saw, a hand saw and painting easels are available. The studios feature full-spectrum LED track lighting with moveable fixtures, as well as overhead daylight fluorescent fixtures. The two larger studios have garage doors which may be opened to face the alley.*

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Haystack Mountain School of Craft Open Studio Residency — Deer Isle, Maine

Deadline: March 1st
Application Fee: $50
Length: 2 weeks (May 27 - June 8)
Stipend: none
Food: included

Haystack’s Open Studio Residency fosters a dynamic exchange of ideas among peers and provides two weeks of studio time and an opportunity to work in a supportive community of makers. The program accommodates approximately 50 participants—from the craft field and other creative disciplines—who have uninterrupted time to work in six shared studios (ceramics, fiber, graphics, iron, jewelry, and wood) to develop ideas and experiment in various media. Participants can choose to work in one particular studio or move among them depending on the nature of their work. All of the studios are staffed by technicians who can assist with projects. Please note that technicians will not be leading workshops. If you are interested in learning specific skills, you may want to apply to one of our sessions. Housing will be assigned at random from among the various accommodation options available at the school. If you have particular physical needs, please note these on your application so that we can best accommodate you.*

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Yaddo — Saratoga Springs, New York

Deadline: January 1 and August 1
Application Fee: $30
Length: 2-8 weeks
Funding: accepted applicants may apply for financial aid to help with travel and materials
Food: Breakfast and dinner are taken communally, while lunch is packed for each artist to carry away.

Artists who qualify for Yaddo residencies are working at the professional level in their fields. An abiding principle at Yaddo is that applications for residency are judged on the quality of the artist’s work and professional promise. Yaddo accepts approximately 200 artists each year in the artistic disciplines represented at Yaddo: Literature, Visual Art, Music Composition, Performance, and Film & Video. Each artist has a private bedroom in one of several buildings on the estate. Linens are provided, and laundry facilities are available.  Although the kitchen cannot offer meals for special diets, vegetarian alternatives are provided. Since Yaddo is a working community, it offers no formal social activities. There are winding roads and paths through the woods. There is a swimming pool, a pool table, a ping-pong table, and a supply of bicycles to be shared by guests.*

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Millay Colony Residency — Austerlitz, New York

Deadline: March 1 for August-November and October 1 for April-July of the following year.
Application Fee: $35 fee or $50 for the Extended Deadline
Length: 2-4 weeks
Food: Our chef cooks healthy delicious dinners and also provides food for residents to cook their own day-time meals. We are happy to respond to food allergies as well as vegetarian, vegan and other diets. We have a barbecue for outdoor grilling and get-togethers.

The Millay Colony is an artists residency program in Upstate New York offering one-month and two-week retreats to six visual artists, writers and composers each month between April and November. We also offer a select number of group residencies for collaborating artists and virtual residencies for those who can’t spend prolonged time away from home. We welcome artists of all ages, from all cultures and communities, and in all stages of their career. Each residency includes a private bedroom and studio as well as ample time to work in a gorgeous atmosphere. We do not emphasize events or production goals. We believe we can offer artists nothing more precious than the chance to work, and we provide everything an artist needs to organize her time for maximum productivity.*

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The Josef & Anni Albers Foundation Residency — Bethany , Connecticut

Deadline: January 1
Application Fee: $40
Length: 2 months
Food: none

The Foundation maintains two residential studios for visiting artists who exemplify the seriousness of purpose that characterized both Anni and Josef Albers. Residencies are designed to provide time, space, and solitude, with the benefit of access to the Foundation's archives and library.

Each studio is in an independent building equipped with a 400 sq/ft workspace with 16-ft ceilings, a kitchen, bath, and bedroom. There is no stipend. The residency is designed to provide time, space, and solitude, with the benefit of access to the Foundation’s archives and library. We will work with accepted artists to find a time that works both with our schedule and theirs. Artists working in any discipline are welcome to apply. No aesthetic connection to the Alberses' art is necessary.*

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I-Park — East Haddam, Connecticut

Deadline: January 22
Application Fee: $35
Length: 4 weeks
Food: Chef-prepared dinners 4 nights per week. Cooking/kitchen facilities are also available for residents.
Travel: A limited number of $500 international travel grants will be available in 2018.

A quiet, retreat-type environment conducive to the creative process. I-Park is set in a rich, expansive nature preserve with ponds, fields, teaming wetlands, miles of stone walls and a pristine river running through it. Other fun features include: bonfires by the pond, an outdoor shower (in addition to the real ones), an aerial drone and a floating living room. The 6-7 artists who populate each session arrive together as a group, share the time and space together and, at the end, leave as a group. The program is open to those working in the following creative disciplines: visual arts, creative writing, music composition/sound art, architecture/landscape design and moving image. Self-directed residencies will be offered from April 25 through December 10, 2018. International applicants are welcome.

I-Park provides comfortable, private living quarters in a remodeled 1850’s era farmhouse, a private studio space and a food/meals program. In addition to attentive staff support, shared workshop space and a stimulating natural environment - a wide array of tools, equipment and materials are available upon request. Two new, large visual arts studios were added in 2017.*

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Saltonstall Foundation — Ithaca, New York

Deadline: January 2, 2019
Application Fee: none
Length: 2-4 weeks
Stipend: $250 or $500 (based on a 2- or 4-week session)
Food: A delicious communal vegetarian supper is served Monday – Friday, and the kitchen is kept stocked with groceries so that residents may make other meals for themselves.

Each residency session includes the same combination of five artists and writers: 1 poet, 1 fiction or creative nonfiction writer, 1 photographer or filmmaker, and 2 visual artists. Each group of five arrives and leaves together. These residencies are designed for individual artists and writers; we cannot accommodate collaborations or partners working together.

In an effort to include and serve artists and writers who cannot participate in a month-long residency, we offer two-week sessions in addition to three (3) month-long sessions, as we have since 2014.* 

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Marble House Project — Dorset, Vermont

Deadline: December 31, March 31
Application Fee: $30
Length: 3 weeks
Stipend: none
Food: The organization provides a welcome and goodbye dinner. Residents pair up during the week and cook for each other. There is a large onsite organic garden which residents freely use.

Marble House Project is a multi-disciplinary artist residency program that fosters collaboration & the exchange of ideas by providing an environment for artists across disciplines to live and work side by side. Our residency program is uniquely curated to bring together a diverse group of artists to facilitate exchange of different expertise, histories, techniques and perspectives.  With a focus on conservation of natural resources, integration of small-scale organic food production and the arts, residents sustain their growth by cultivating and participating in the surrounding grounds, working on their artistic vision and forging partnerships within the community. Marble House Project is founded on the belief that the act of creating, whether in the studio or in nature, is how human potential expands and community thrives.

Applications are accepted in all creative fields. This includes but is not limited to visual arts, writing, choreography, music composition, performance and the culinary arts. Each session has eight to ten artists, creating small, dynamic interactive groups.*

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Virginia Center for the Creative Arts — Amherst, Virginia

Deadline: January 15, May 15, September 15
Application Fee: $40
Residency Fee: Artists are accepted without consideration for their financial situation. We ask Fellows to contribute according to their ability. The actual cost to us of a residency is $180 per day.
Length: 2-8 weeks
Stipend: Numerous fellowships available.
Food: All/most meals are provided by organization. There is a vegetarian option at every meal. There are four small kitchens where residents may keep small quantities of food and do minimal cooking.

Typically, our artists find they accomplish far more at VCCA than they are able to in at their home studios. There is plenty of time for solitary work, but what so many of our Fellows find so valuable is the community of 24 other highly accomplished artists in residence at the same time with fresh insights, new ideas and stimulating conversation. All of this happens far from the distractions and disruptions of everyday life in quiet, spacious, light-filled studios. The commute is not bad either: a short walk from the Fellows' Residence though the beautiful grounds and up a gravel path to the Studio Barn. On the return trip, the august Blue Ridge Mountains provide the backdrop.

VCCA exists to support the creative work of the world's best artists. Residential fellowships at Mt. San Angelo in Virginia form the foundation of our program. Many of our special programs directly support that core mission; other programs complement it by offering unique opportunities to our Fellows. Regional initiatives have been established in partnership with foundations and organizations that understand the benefit of supporting the work of artists from their area.

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IN TWO WEEKS: Fully-funded Residencies that include stipends!

*Italicized text pulled from residency websites or other promotional materials.


OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Lauren Carter

The One with the Rainbow, 2016. Ceramic rainbow, broken mug, peach pit, Shrinky-dinks, beads, toothpicks, foam tubing, hydrocal, expandable foam, acrylic paint, silicone, epoxy clay, glitter, pigment, steel rod. 26” x 16” x 14”

LAUREN CARTER transforms found objects and personal possessions into kitschy and profound assemblage sculptures. These memorials to sentimentality are both serious and silly. Her effort to preserve and honor discarded, once-loved objects shows up in the marks left by her hand in the hydrocal, silicone, expandable foam and epoxy claycast plaster that holds these works together. Lauren earned her BFA from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and her MFA with Distinction from the University of New Mexico. She has exhibited at Non-Fiction Gallery (Savannah, Georgia), Chicago Art Department, Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago) and Chicago Artists Coalition. She was a 2013-14 HATCH Projects Residentand a 2017 Center Program ArtistSurface vs. Sap, a two-person exhibition with Nico Gardner, opens March 31st at Comfort Station in Chicago. Lauren is a teaching artist at Marwen in Chicago, where she lives.

OtherPeoplesPixels: Your most recent body of work, Offerings or Clusterfucks, seems to be more about material culture and its detritus than earlier bodies of work like Flux (2015) and Pre/proscribed (2012), which are more bodily and visceral. What changed?

Lauren Carter: A lot, actually. Pre/proscribed is a body of work from grad school that was mostly introspective. I was examining a subconscious desire to preserve a notion of myself while unpacking ideas of othering, unmaking, loss, vulnerability, and nostalgia. My mother has a chronic illness that was directly influencing my work and research at this particular time in my life. I spent a lot of time thinking about pain and identity, and the work was really personal and kind of tough to talk about. I was also spending a lot of money making these things that were process oriented and took a lot of time to complete. So when I moved to Chicago immediately after finishing my master’s program, I figured it was a good opportunity to change my practice a bit, and make objects that are more financially and emotionally sustainable for me.

Effigies, 2015. Beeswax, pigment, hair, satin, wood. Approximately 8'w x 11'h

OPP: Was Flux the transition?

LC: Yes. I was looking for a way to continue to communicate the corporeal experience, but by utilizing symbols I found outside of my personal realm and the body. For example, I think deflated balloons found tied to mailboxes and fence posts are super loaded metaphors for loss and nostalgia. They are a kind of memorial for whatever celebratory event has passed. They’re incredibly sweet and sad things to me. It’s most likely that the person who put them up just forgot to take them down after the party, but I tend to assign sentimental meaning to just about anything. So the installation Effigies is a funeral or sorts for what those balloons signify. 

From there I started looking at flower bouquets and roadside memorials, which leads to this new work. I’ve continued to explore vulnerability and nostalgia, but now through personal items and found objects that embody ambiguous narratives of commemoration.

The One on Astro-turf, 2016. Ceramic seashell, broken ceramic lady, amethysts ribbon, beads, plastic flowers, pantyhose, broken glass flower, metal brooch, old earrings, ceramic swan, parts of a stuffed animal, picture   frame, glitter paper, a cut up old exhibition card, acrylic paint, expandable foam, marbled shelf paper, hydrocal, epoxy clay, expandable foam, wreath stand, Astro Turf. 30" x 24" x 20"

OPP: What role does kitsch play in this newer work?

LC: Formally, I use kitsch as a medium, just like the other materials I use in my work.  But I’ve been a collector of kitschy things since I was a kid, which I’m sure is something I share with many people. It started with those stupid Precious Moments figurines that I’d receive every birthday from a member in my family. Then it was porcelain dolls and unicorns. Then Treasure Trolls. . .  and the list goes on. Keeping a gift from someone is a way to preserve a memory of a person or of a specific time. And I think that we end up collecting things because objects become symbolic. No matter how tacky or worthless they may be, sometimes they’re just too precious to throw away. Because the things we collect and keep carry a lot of weight, I think of the objects I use in my work as signifiers for a universal language of sentimentality that anyone can draw from or relate to.

OPP: I imagine you shop at thrift stores. Is that true? What’s your collection process like for the found objects?

LC: Yes, very true! I have a slight obsession with obtaining other people’s discarded possessions. I’m always drawn to objects that spark my own memories or remind me of someone from my past, but I have a couple rules that I’ve made for myself when gathering materials. I’ll choose an object that has a nice form, color, or texture; but it must be mass produced, and either be broken in some way, or have some kind of obvious history attached to it. If it doesn’t prompt me to ponder who owned it and how it ended up where it is, I put it back on the shelf.

The One with all the Pearls (If You Need It), 2018. Peach had cream container, ceramic jesus, fake roses, jewelry display, tape, pearls, expandable foam, epoxy clay, silicone, acrylic paint, plastic wrap, found table. 36” x 12” x 16”

OPP: Can you talk about your repeated use of furniture as pedestals?

LC: I think of collecting as a domestic ritual of the act of remembering. Using found furniture instead of traditional pedestals reiterates that idea. The cabinet or table that supports a sculpture has its own history and is a necessary component to the work. Also, finding a piece of furniture that’s perfect for a specific sculpture is way more fun than building pedestals.

I Sincerely Appreciate the Gesture, 2017. Paper pulp from greeting cards I received from loved ones over the years, found frame, gold gilding wax. 53" x 28" x 9"

OPP: I deeply LOVE I Sincerely Appreciate the Gesture (2017), which is made from all the greeting cards you’ve received from loved ones over the years. I’m interested in the excess of it, the weight of it, the desire to both honor the gesture and to get rid of the cards. Will you talk about how you conceived of this piece?

LC: Oh thank you! You definitely described exactly what I was trying to achieve with this piece. I think a lot about honoring the vulnerability in the act of giving. I think we are just as vulnerable when we give as we are when we grieve, it just looks much different. Maybe that’s another reason it’s so hard to purge our homes of the things we don’t want, but feel obligated to keep because they were given to us with love. Greeting cards are just that. They are so cliché, but yet filled with so much thought and sentiment and history. And they’re a tricky thing for me because, in theory, they don’t take up much space. Unless you never throw them out and you end up with this burden of lugging around a box containing every card anyone has sent you in the last decade, and that box just keeps getting bigger and heavier. Which is exactly what was happening. I’ve lived in four states over the last ten years, and I’ve taken some of these cards everywhere with me.

OPP: What was the process like?

LC: I took the box to my studio, sat on the floor, read each one and ripped it up, and of course cried the whole time. I found this process pretty cathartic, and it’s probably the most important part of this piece for me. Because the content is literally in the material, I decided to create a self-portrait of sorts that honors the material made by my loved ones’ vulnerability, while simultaneously conveying the burden of sentimentality that I often feel. 

The One with the Little Owl, 2018. Ceramic owl, alligator foot, part of a stuffed animal, vase, rubber grapes, beads, rubber ball, fuzzy ball, old jewelry, expandable foam, epoxy clay, brass rod, Plastidip, acrylic paint. 13” x 11” x 6” 

OPP: You have an imminent two-person show with Nico Gardner. What can you tell us about it?

LC: Surface vs. Sap is our first collaboration together. Nico and I continuously shift between the personal and the general, the specific and ambiguous, creating new work in conversation with one another. With a primary focus on desire, ritual, identity, and the expression of human need, Surface vs. Sap addresses the power and persuasive nature of mundane, domestic objects. Our use of found or purchased items is a starting point to explore themes that ultimately result in a collaboration of both material culture and making. The exhibition features wall mounted and freestanding mixed media sculptures that engage the floor, ceiling and walls. Independently created, the works echo each other's voices through the nature of consumer objecthood, both domestic and commercial. Household artifacts lost in the hurricane of one of my arrangements is excavated and embodied into one of Nico’s new works. Simultaneously, an object in its prime depiction in one of Nico’s reliefs finds itself mirrored and absorbed into one of my clusterfucks. It should go without saying, but Nico's the Surface, and I'm the Sap.  We are incredibly excited about this opportunity to work together, where we are continually throwing wrenches into each other's practices. And we get a chance to do it again in the fall! We'll have a second, larger, exhibition with additional works at Heaven Gallery in Chicago.  

To see more of Lauren's work, please visit laurencarterart.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indiana 2017). In March 2018, her solo installation Where Do We Go From Here? will open at Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois). In conjunction, the atrium will exhibit two-dimensional artwork by artists who were invited by Stacia to make new work also titled  Where Do We Go From Here?