Rethinking Residencies Symposium
December 8–10, 2021
Three days of conversations, lectures, and videos on visual art residencies.
The Rethinking Residencies Symposium invites artists, curators, scholars, and residency organizations worldwide to come together to address residency programs as critical sites of production within the field of visual arts. The symposium will consider existing scholarship and cultivate new thinking about the history, institutional structures, and conditions of visual art residencies.
Founded in 2014, Rethinking Residencies is the first network of New York-based artist and curator residency programs, and the symposium will be its most extensive event to date. The 16 member institutions of Rethinking Residencies generate knowledge and resources, anchored together in cooperation and collaboration.
Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 3:00–4:30 pm (ET)
Introduction to Rethinking Residencies
Mierle Laderman Ukeles and Tania Candiani, moderated by Christina Daniels
This conversation between artists Mierle Laderman Ukeles and Tania Candiani will reflect on both artists’ respective residency experiences. Since 1977, Ukeles has been the official, unsalaried artist-in-residence at New York City’s Department of Sanitation. Candiani has participated in numerous residency programs throughout North America, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Europe.
Thursday, December 9, 2021, 2:00–3:00pm and 3:30–5:00pm (ET)
The History of Artist Residencies, 2:00pm
The term artist-in-residence appeared in the early twentieth century as a temporary position within academies. Artist-led communities such as Black Mountain College prefigured many norms of today’s residencies. However, Irmeli Kokko writes that artist residencies as stand-alone institutions emerged only in the 1990s, and since then, have quickly grown to become one of the most critical and widespread support institutions for contemporary artists. While the term is ubiquitous today, little awareness of the historical currents or divergent practices brought us to today’s status quo. Kokko has written one of the most comprehensive histories on the subject in a dissertation that shaped what is perhaps the most comprehensive publication on residencies to date, 2019’s Contemporary Artist Residencies: Reclaiming Time and Space, published by Valiz. Kokko will address how residencies came about and the complex programs they currently offer so that by understanding where we came from, we can better understand where to go in the future.
The Environment and Residencies, video proposition
Eileen Jeng Lynch and Gabriel de Guzman
Representation, Accountability and Solidarity in Institutions and the Artists they Serve, 3:30pm
M. Carmen Lane, Laila Hida and Francesca Masoero, Emily Jacir, and Emily Pethick, moderated by Stephanye Watts
As residency programs grapple with complex geopolitical and affective realities, how do the values of their residents and the institutions’ locations inform their practices? Residency programs are impacted by the personal, social, and global circumstances of the artists they serve. Determining which of these issues deserve or demand an organizational response and how to transform topics that could be divisive into conditions for support is the responsibility of an effective organization. How do the roles of host and guest play into these dynamics most productively? This panel will also address questions such as: What lessons can organizations draw from social and political movements to better support artists? How do institutions create the most conducive environments for artists to explore complex ideas and practices?
Curatorial Residencies, video proposition
Friday, December 10, 2021, 2:00–3:30pm and 5:00–6:30pm (ET)
New Models for Communing: Residency Programming and Strategies, 2:00pm
Robin Everett and Sanna Ritvanen, Catherine Lee, and Sally Mizrachi, moderated by Nicholas Weist
Residencies are increasingly looking outwards and developing new programmatic and structural models centered on community engagement, local embeddedness, ecology, and civic partnerships. How has the pandemic reoriented residencies towards their local communities? Can online residencies still be situated within their host communities? How have new digital realities impacted ideas of community? Presentations by residency directors will be followed by a conversation.
Residency Decolonization, video proposition
Structures of Support for the Whole Artist, 5:00pm
Eve Biddle, Jamie Blosser, Jeff Kasper and Howardena Pindell, moderated by Dylan Gauthier
How can residencies support intersectional artists’ identities, needs, and expectations, beyond their professional practices? From parent artists to artists of color to disabled artists and more, how can residencies be more accessible to the “whole artist”? This panel will be a conversation between artists and residencies.
The Future of Residencies, video proposition
Rethinking Residencies members are Abrons Art Center, Eyebeam, Fire Island Artist Residency, Flux Factory, International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), Queens Museum, Pioneer Works, Recess, Shandaken Projects, EFA Project Space’s SHIFT Residency, Triangle, Wave Farm, Wave Hill and W.O.W. Project. The Rethinking Residencies Symposium is organized in partnership with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School and is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.
The Rethinking Residencies Symposium will result in a digital publication that will launch in Summer 2023. Recorded videos of the symposium will also be permanently available online.
Rethinking Residencies Symposium Biographies
Eve Biddle, Executive Co-Director, Wassaic Project
Eve Biddle is an artist, co-founder of the Wassaic Project, culture maker and collaborator from a family of artists. Her culture making practice is an outgrowth of the Wassaic Project and her collaboration with Bowie Zunino, Jeff Barnett-Winsby, and Elan Bogarin. The Wassaic Project has hosted 38,000+ visitors, 680+ artists in residence, 1,000+ exhibiting artists through over 30 exhibitions, hosted 50+ dance companies, 150+ bands, 50+ film makers, and served 6,000+ students. They have curated performance at MASS MoCA, and spoken on panels at Open Engagement, Storm King, The Aldrich Museum, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, Tyler School of Art, School of Visual Arts in NYC, and Preservation’s Studio-X.
Jamie Blosser, Executive Director, Santa Fe Art Institute
Jamie Blosser is the Executive Director of Santa Fe Art Institute, working to creatively address equity in the arts and built environment through cohort building and participatory processes. A licensed architect, Blosser believes in housing as a right. She was an AIA United Nations delegate for the 2016 Habitat III convening and serves on the Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority and National Development Council boards. Blosser was awarded a Harvard Loeb Fellowship, was Executive Producer of a PBS Natural Heroes documentary, and her community design work and writings have been published in several magazines and books. Blosser received her Masters in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.
Tania Candiani, artist
Tania Candiani has developed her work in various media and practices that maintain an interest in the complex intersection between language systems—phonic, graphic, linguistic, symbolic, and technological. She has worked with different narratives of association, taking as a starting point a proposal to invent from reordering, remixing, and playing with correspondences between technologies, knowledge, and thought using the idea of organization and reorganization as discourse, as a structure of creative and critical thinking, and as material for actual production. Since 2012, she is a fellow of the National System of Art Creators from Mexico and has received the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (2018); Guggenheim Fellowship Award (2011) and an Award of Distinction at Prix Ars Electronica (2013), among others. She represented Mexico at the 56th Venice Biennale. Her work has been exhibited widely around the globe and is part of important public and private collections.
M. Carmen Lane, founder and director, ATNSC/Center for Healing & Creative Leadership
M. Carmen Lane is a two:spirit African-American and Haudenosaunee (Mohawk/Tuscarora) artist, writer and facilitator living in Cleveland, Ohio. Lane’s work ranges from experiential educator to diversity practitioner to organizational systems consultant to experimental artist—all of it integrates ancestry, legacy, and spirituality. Lane is founder and director of ATNSC: Center for Healing & Creative Leadership, a socially engaged artist-run urban retreat, residency, research and exhibition space located in the historic Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood.
Lizania Cruz, artist
Lizania Cruz is a Dominican participatory artist and designer interested in how migration affects ways of being & belonging. Through research, oral history, and audience participation, she creates projects highlighting a pluralistic migration narrative. Cruz has been an artist-in-residence and fellow at the Laundromat Project Create Change (2017-2019), Agora Collective Berlin (2018), Design Trust for Public Space (2018), Recess Session (2019), IdeasCity:New Museum (2019), Stoneleaf Retreat (2019), Robert Blackburn Workshop Studio Immersion Project (2019), A.I.R. Gallery (2020-2021), BRIClab: Contemporary Art (2020-2021), Center for Books Arts (2020-2021), and Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, Visual Arts (2021-2022).
Laila Hida, Founder and Francesca Masoero, Assistant Director and Curator, LE 18
LE 18 is a multidisciplinary cultural and residency space established in 2013 and located in the medina of Marrakech. It aims to provide time and space for research, creation, encounter, mutual learning, and knowledge cross-pollination. The space has developed organically and through a collaborative, open ethos, (un)learning from and in dialogue with the various communities it works with, in an institutional practice based on horizontality and collaboration. Engaging with a fluid network of collaborators and a variety of formats including exhibitions, residencies, conversations, workshops, and publications, LE 18 has become a collective learning platform. One which permits it to listen to, and critically tackle the multiple dynamics, processes, and infrastructures which shape the cultural, political, and economic lives of our local ecosystem and its place in a global dynamic.
Emily Jacir, artist and Co-founder and Founding Director of Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research
As poetic as it is political and biographical, Emily Jacir’s work investigates translation, transformation, resistance, and movement. Jacir has built a complex and compelling oeuvre through a diverse range of media and methodologies that include unearthing historical material, performative gestures, and in-depth research. Her work spans a range of strategies including film, photography, sculpture, interventions, archiving, performance, video, writing, and sound. She is founder and the Founding Director of Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research in Bethlehem, Palestine, a multi-faceted artist-run space for artistic, educational, cultural, and agricultural exchanges and research. Founded in 2014 it is an experimental learning hub for the Bethlehem community and beyond. Knowledge production and research are the key pillars behind Dar Jacir.
Jeff Kasper, Artist and Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Program Director, UMass Amherst
Jeff Kasper is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator. His research and creative activity focuses on public art and graphic design as social practice. His work explores anxiety, proximity, and care, in a variety of media, including, visual communications, text, audio tours, public participation, and pedagogy. In 2017/18, he organized the series Access/Points: Approaches to Disability Arts at CUE Art Foundation, and ever since has participated in public programs and exhibitions exploring disability justice and the arts at the Brooklyn Museum, BRIC, EFA Project Space, Dedalus Foundation, and The 8th Floor. Current research interests deal with social support practices for spaces of art and design, learning, and collaboration. He is also strategic advisor to More Art where he was previously the Director of Engagement and organizer/facilitator of the Engaging Artists Fellowship and Residency Program. He is also the co-editor of More Art in the Public Eye (Duke University Press).
Irmeli Kokko, curator
Irmeli Kokko has worked within the field of contemporary art locally and internationally, both in managerial and creative tasks since 1988. She was (2006-2018 ) a lecturer at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. There she initiated and directed the residency fellowship program and postgraduate residency programs for the Academy of Fine Arts (2007-2018) and before that for Frame – Finnish Fund for Art Exchange (2003-2007). Formerly she founded the Helsinki International Artist Programme – HIAP where she worked as director between 1999-2003. Since 1996 she has written articles about European artists’ residencies. In 2008 she wrote her MA thesis for the University of Eastern Finland MA in Cultural Politics and Art Education on residencies with the title The Role of Residencies in Cultural Production. She has initiated, conceived, and organized several seminars and symposiums about artists’ residencies in the Nordic and Baltic countries and Finland between the years 1995-2018. She was the member of the division of the Arts Council of Finland to support artists’ residencies (1995-2010); member of the Res Artis advisory board (1999-2001) and member of the expert group of Cultural Programme of the Nordic Council of Ministers/Module to support Artists’ residencies (2007-2011).
Catherine Lee, General Director, Taipei Artist Village
Catherine Lee works at Taipei Artist Village/Treasure Hill Artist Village as the General Director since 2017. After receiving her MA in Museum Science at Texas Tech University, she started her career in museums as a collection manager (1997-2002, Texas). After returning to Taiwan, she served in a consultant group to set up a development plan for local community museums (2003-2004, Taipei). Later, she received professional training in artist-in-residency programs while working at the Bamboo Curtain Studio, considered the most remarkable artist residency in Taiwan (2011-2017, Taipei). Currently, Lee also serves as the chairperson of Taiwan Art Space Alliance, the national platform to foster communication and collaboration among domestic and international arts residency programs.
Sally Mizrachi, Executive Director and General Coordinator, Lugar a Dudas
In 2003, Mizrachi created, with the artist Oscar Muñoz, Lugar a Dudas, a space in Cali, Colombia that strengthens the local artistic scene by fomenting knowledge of contemporary art, facilitating the development of production, and engaging different publics in artistic practices. She has taken part in the Artistic Pacific Zone Regional Committee in Colombia, and as an Advisor for the National Council for Arts at the Colombian Ministry of Culture. She has participated on juries of national and international awards; and attended talks in various international seminars, workshops and conferences focused on the relationship of Arts and Education and artist-run initiatives. She is an active member of la Red de Centros Culturales de Cali, a network of the local cultural centers in Cali, and also of Arts Collaboratory, a translocal ecosystem that brings together 25 diverse organizations around the world focused on art practices, processes of change, and working with broader communities beyond the field of art.
Emily Pethick, Director, Rijksakademie
Emily Pethick is the director of the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. Until 2018, she was the director The Showroom, London for ten years; she was also the director of Casco, Office for Art, Design and Theory, in Utrecht, The Netherlands (2005-2008) and was a curator at Cubitt, London (2003-2004). She co-led the program Curating Positions (2016-2018) at the Dutch Art Institute. She has contributed to publications, including Artforum, Frieze, Afterall, and The Exhibitionist, and co-edited numerous books. Pethick was a member of the jury of the 2017 Turner Prize.
Howardena Pindell, artist
Born in Philadelphia in 1943, Howardena Pindell studied painting at Boston University and Yale University. After graduating, she accepted a job at the Museum of Modern Art, where she remained for 12 years (1967–1979). In 1979, she began teaching at the State University of New York, Stony Brook where she is now a Distinguished Professor. Pindell often employs lengthy, metaphorical processes of destruction/reconstruction. She cuts canvases in strips and sews them back together, building up surfaces in elaborate stages. She paints or draws on sheets of paper, punches out dots from the paper using a paper hole punch, drops the dots onto her canvas, and finally, squeegees paint through the “stencil” left in the paper from which she had punched the dots.
Sanna Ritvanen and Robin Everett, 2021-2022 Chairs, Mustarinda Association
The Mustarinda Association (founded 2010) is a group of artists and researchers, whose goal is to promote the ecological rebuilding of society, the diversity of culture and nature, and the connection between art and science. At the center of their activity lies contemporary art, boundary-crossing research, practical experimentation, communication, education and events. The Mustarinda Association reaches towards a post-fossil culture by combining scientific knowledge and experiential artistic activity. Their activities are rooted at the Mustarinda house at the edge of the Paljakka nature reserve in Kainuu, Finland. The house is a versatile space for artist and researcher residencies, hosting 30–40 individuals and groups annually, as well as exhibitions and events. Sanna Ritvanen is a freelancer artist-curator-producer and an active member of Mustarinda since 2018. In the past years they have worked in Mustarinda e.g. as a residency coordinator, renovator, cook, and artist. Robin Everett is an artist, writer, and producer based in Bergen, Norway, and has been an active member of the Mustarinda Association since 2018. Since first participating in the residency program in 2016 he has been residency coordinator, board member, artist, writer, gardener, and renovator.
Mierle Laderman Ukeles, artist
Since 1977, Mierle Laderman Ukeles continues as the official, unsalaried artist-in-residence of the City of New York Department of Sanitation [DSNY]. She is also the DSNY Percent for Art Artist of Fresh Kills, once the largest municipal landfill in the world. Her multidisciplinary artwork, crashing boundaries between labor and performance, system and spirit, unveils connections between feminism, work and workers, the city, and the environment. Her works are in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum; Guggenheim Museum; the Art Institute of Chicago (promised gift); Kunstsammlung, Dusseldorf; Migros Museum, Zurich; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford; Smith College Museum, Northampton; and the Jewish Museum, New York City. She is represented by Ronald Feldman Gallery, NYC. She holds honorary doctorates from Rhode Island School of Design, Maine College of Art, and in May, 2019, from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she gave the Commencement Address. Two books have been published about her work: MIERLE LADERMAN UKELES: MAINTENANCE ART, Prestel, 2016 and SEVEN WORK BALLETS, Sternberg, 2015.
Rethinking Residency Member Biographies
Kari Conte, curator and writer
Kari Conte is a curator and writer of contemporary art and co-founder of Rethinking Residencies. She is a 2020–2021 Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in Istanbul, researching feminist artistic practices. From 2010–2020, she worked as the Director of Programs and Exhibitions at the International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York, where she is currently Senior Advisor. She has curated 40 group and solo exhibitions and her interests lie in the intersection of art, politics, ecology, and feminism, as well as institutional and exhibition histories. She has published artist monographs, and contributed to numerous other books and exhibition catalogues, including Seven Work Ballets, the first monograph on artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles (Sternberg Press, 2016). Born and raised in New York City, she was based in London for several years, where she worked at Whitechapel Gallery and received an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art.
Christina Daniels, Head of Residencies and Classes, Pioneer Works
Prior to Pioneer Works, Daniels worked at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Kasmin Gallery, Culture Corps, and Black Frame. She has a BA in Art History from the University of Michigan and a MA in Arts Administration from Teachers College at Columbia University.
Gabriel de Guzman, Director of Arts & Chief Curator, Wave Hill
Gabriel de Guzman is Director of Arts & Chief Curator at Wave Hill, where he oversees the visual and performing arts program at this public garden and cultural center in the Bronx. From 2017 to 2021, he was Curator & Director of Exhibitions at Smack Mellon, where he organized group and solo exhibitions that feature emerging and under-recognized mid-career artists whose work explores critical, socially relevant issues. Before joining Smack Mellon, de Guzman held a previous position at Wave Hill as Curator of Visual Arts, organizing solo projects and thematic group exhibitions that explored human connections to the natural world. As a guest curator, he has also presented shows at Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, BronxArtSpace, Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, Rush Arts Gallery, En Foco at Andrew Freedman Home, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, and the Bronx Museum’s 2013 AIM Biennial.
Dylan Gauthier, Director, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space Program
Dylan Gauthier is an artist and curator and Director of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space Program, a 501c3 non-profit gallery devoted to experimental practices in the visual arts located in Times Square, NYC, including the SHIFT Residency for Arts Workers. Working in a range of media including sound, performance, video, sculpture, architecture, and photography, Gauthier’s research-based and collaborative projects explore the intersections between ecology, architecture, landscape, and environmental justice. Gauthier’s individual and collective projects have been exhibited at the Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, the Parrish Art Museum, CCVA at Harvard University, the 2016 Biennial de Paris (Beirut), the Center for Architecture, The International Studio & Curatorial Program, the Chimney, the Neuberger Museum at SUNY Purchase, Columbus College of Art and Design, the Walker Art Center, EFA Project Space, and other venues in the US and abroad.
Susan Hapgood, Executive Director, International Studio & Curatorial Program
Susan Hapgood is a curator and the executive director of the International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York, a visual arts residency program for artists and curators from around the world. Hapgood received her initial professional training at the Guggenheim Museum and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. She has curated exhibitions including A Fantastic Legacy: Early Bombay Photography, Energy Plus, FluxAttitudes (co-curator), Neo-Dada: Redefining Art 1058-62, Slightly Unbalanced, and In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity in Contemporary Art (co-curator). Author/editor of eight books and numerous articles on modern and contemporary art, Hapgood has a MA in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and BA in Philosophy and Studio Art from the University of Rochester. She is a board member of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics of the New School, and is founding director and board member of the Mumbai Art Room in India.
Eileen Jeng Lynch, Curator of Visual Arts, Wave Hill
Eileen Jeng Lynch is the Curator of Visual Arts at Wave Hill, where she creates exhibitions and programming that explore the intersections of nature, culture, and place, including commissioning artists on site-specific projects. Committed to broadening access to the arts and garden, Jeng Lynch organizes the Sunroom Project Space exhibitions for emerging artists, thematic shows in Glyndor Gallery, and the Winter Workspace program. Guest curatorial positions include The Bronx Museum of the Arts (forthcoming), the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz, The Yard: City Hall Park, Trestle Gallery, Sperone Westwater, Lesley Heller Workspace, Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, and Radiator Gallery, among others. As the founder of Neumeraki, Jeng Lynch has worked on national and global curatorial initiatives and consulting projects. She has contributed to various publications and catalogues. Previously, she worked at RxArt, Sperone Westwater, and the Art Institute of Chicago in the Department of Contemporary Art.
Stephanye Watts, Program Manager, Recess
A graduate of Clark Atlanta University, Watts is the Program Manager at Recess, an artist-led alternative to incarceration empowering court-involved young people to take charge of their own life story and imagine a positive future through art. Watts served her community in her previous post as Community Engagement Manager at Weeksville Heritage Center and continues to do so as a member of The HBCU Hub, Association of African-American Museums, CAU’s alumni association, and UNCF’s Inter-Alumni Council. Watts is also the founder of Be Reel Black Cinema Club, a group dedicated to amplifying independent, rare + previously inaccessible Black films.
Nicholas Weist, Director, Shandaken Projects
Nicholas Weist is the current chair of Rethinking Residencies and is the founding director of Shandaken Projects, which has offered free artist services and public programs since 2012. The organization produces a residency program in collaboration with Storm King Art Center, presents billboards by artists throughout New York City, and recently opened a 3,000-square-foot multi-use cultural center on Governors Island. A veteran arts administrator, he has also held senior positions at Creative Time and powerHouse Books, and has organized exhibitions internationally. He has written about art and visual culture for Frieze, Art in America, Whitewall, Interview, Document Journal, and several other publications. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Artforum, The Brooklyn Rail, Bomb, and many more.