As I finish my time here and prepare to go home, I feel confident and excited about future opportunities. Having this time to focus on my practice and feel valued has made me feel like I have access to other opportunities and give my practice value. As I edit my documentation I feel excited and satisfied with all the work I have made. I am painting up until the last minute as I finish my last paintings in order to document them before I leave. There is a lot to do and I am happy to spend time with everyone here before departing!
As my time in Roanoke comes to a close, I have been reflecting on the work I’ve done while I’ve been here and the relationships I’ve formed. I’ve realized, potentially even more than the work I’ve made, the relationships I’ve built at AW will probably be the things that stick with me the longest. Singing karaoke with other residents in smokey dive bars, after long days in the studio. Or hikes, or afternoons spent with them in coffee shops on grey days when working in the studio comes to necessary slow points.
Today is one of those days, I’m sitting in a coffee shop called Sweet Donkey with Dakota and Corrine looking out a window at a fog covered mountain. They’re talking about a book Dakota is reading about the nature of conflict. These are the moments I’ll miss the most. That said, I’m extremely excited to move forward back into the world (proper) with the opening of a group exhibition I’ve curated at the NY based MX Gallery, and my upcoming move to LA.
I was excited to come to Alternative Worksite since being accepted last spring but the urge to get here increased even more so after a sprinkler disaster in my Brooklyn studio destroyed dozens of my works and ruined countless other items of mine. This residency couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I needed space to work, to clear my head, and to start fresh. Here I’ve gotten exactly that and so much more. The other residents couldn’t have been more welcoming and friendly to me, the “new guy”, inviting me into their spaces, talking about art, work, life, etc. It’s been a great experience thanks to them and to Linda who’s created this all, providing space within this magnificent turn of the century Victorian house for us to immerse ourselves in our practices without the usual daily distractions. In a short time it has already become my home away from home.
Knowing that I only have five weeks here, I wanted to jump into my work and came prepared to do that. I quickly got settled in and set up my studio, but little did I know my first week’s schedule was full of planned events with incredible visiting artists. Polly Apfelbaum, Vanessa Jackson, and Jill Levine all gave informative lectures about their work and lives as artists. With so much knowledge between them, it was invaluable to learn about their experiences and relate them to ours as we follow a similar path. Their studio visits were just as instructive and reminded me of why I enjoyed grad school so much – receiving thoughtful insights about my work from artists, which I can then build on.
Overall I couldn’t be happier here, and have found it to be a very productive time for me. I’m excited to see what the next few weeks bring. Until then, I’ll be making work and occasionally taking breaks to play with, the hands down favorite resident, Frida!