Andrea Sisson

I just finished up my last two weeks at the residency. 

I found myself spending time with people and things I will miss when I’m gone - the residents, John the contractor, and the town. Abbey came to join the house, and John set up the new workshop downstairs. I made local friends at Sweet Donkey coffee shop and Enterprise car rental and spent time visiting the other residents in their studios. We went on a trip for a birds eye-view of Roanoke and I tried to do handstands. 

It was also the weeks of peak fall. Some of us in the house are so wrapped up in it. The rate at which the leaves changed was extraordinary - In one to two weeks all changed from green to yellow, to red, and then began falling. It was energetic. Living in LA (also Jessi being from LA) we were so amused by this. Jessi and I were shocked one morning when all of the leaves by the back driveway had fallen off over night. Every single one in just one night. It felt really humbling. 

I wrote quite a bit during this these last two weeks. Reflections of my time in Roanoke, of all I had learned and things I had been observing. I wrote about the inspiration I was finding in the middle class and places different from the big metropolitans I now live - recalling things of my childhood and Ohio upbringing. I wrote and reflected on my practice, worked on my website, and sent a little sculpture piece out for a show in Baltimore. 

During this residency, I was able to look back on my year of work, and think really deeply about my practice. I feel so refocused in my practice now, it’s quite extraordinary. I had a really romantic time. A relearning of the leaves, of rain on a windshield, an investigation into a way of life I had long had forgotten. I made time in these last days to observe and notate all I could about this place, my time. 

In the end, I had to pack up, box up, and set my studio back to scratch. 

I’m lucky to be able to come back to the residency in December when we have our Open Studios. 

I want to congratulate the residency on its first pilot program! My heart is full and I can’t wait to see what comes of the program. I was honored to be among its first residents.

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