Hey readers! I've been working diligently for the past couple of months and things seem to be heading my way! I was accepted for the Arts Letters & Numbers residency in upstate New York. I'm extremely excited to be apart of such an opportunity. Now your probably asking "What's a residency and why is it so neat?" Residencies are creative communities that allow artists time, working and living space to develop their body of work.
Everyone in attendance of said residency are artists, working towards interdisciplinary practices and a mature visual language (Also, strengthen that CV lol). The hard part about working in the arts is the isolation. No one actually understands what your doing, what it means or maybe even confused about the purpose of the work. Then you want to explain it but peoples eyes glaze over as if staring into the sun. But, residencies allow artists to work and communicate between each other. People who understand and acknowledge your merits. Community and support are crucial in the creative process.
Below I've listed some information about the program.
Arts Letters & Numbers was founded in 2011. At that point the summer workshop was the driving force of the organization. When the facilities grew so did the program. In 2015 the first Artist in Residence arrived. Since then we have continuously been cultivating this program to encourage individual and collaborative creation: to think, make and act alongside others within a community. The program has brought together artists from a wide range of disciplines, to ask and engage their questions, create and share their work. When people are free to act, interact with and support one another, new works and ideas emerge.
Update: We are excited to announce a new addition to our Artist in Residence Program: Day Residency - For commuting artists. Over the course of the last three years we have seen the great impact the program has had on national and international artists. With such a diverse community of creative people we have realized it’s time to make the program more accessible for regionally based artists. A Day Resident will follow the same application procedure, apply for 1-12 weeks residency, and have access to all working facilities.
Also, I have started working with a upstart non-profit organization in Nashville Freedom Arts. Their focus is on art the liberates, challenges social conventions and produces topical debate with inner city youth and minorities. Artist Michelle Gore has been spear heading these projects by engaging with her surrounding community. Stated before, I believe the arts fosters thoughtful introspection and I'm always looking to support; hence why I will be in the upcoming exhibit I'm Black Every Month #NotJustInFebruary.
Being a black artist (Let alone of Hispanic descent) is somewhat problematic. You must defend your body of work, emotions and even your lineage. I believe Chiquita Pasquale writer for Hyperallergic, speaking of the discussion of the recent unveiling of the official Obama portraits
"... We live with the maxim of striving to be ‘twice as good’ if we want to have our talents recognized; we must be prepared to defend ourselves, and to some extent our race, everytime we put forth an intellectual contribution. It is exhausting and stifling, and requires constant calculus to weigh the value of our work. Looking at a painting, we must not only evaluate the artist’s technical skill, but also correct for the feelings and expectations imposed on her, on her work, by the omnipresent experience of identity."
Explorations into self identity to relations of cultural mindset should be evaluated regularly. This reminds me to be a better man. A better black man. I must be prepared for oncoming social storms. The exhibiting work will be Black King/Southern Negro. It is a representation of a African king being condemned to slavery; the lowest form of life. This piece explores the perceptions of identity regarding social caste. He and his people see him as regal and powerful. Yet, in another community is lower than nothing. His social standings meaning nothing. The opening has yet to be announced however, I do hope this will be a nice step in the right direction! Thanks for reading and I hope to be hearing from you soon!
artists who joins the program