Bunnell Street Arts Center announces finalists for 2014 Old Town Artist in Residence and Old Town Public Art.
Old Town Artist in Residence is a program for visiting artists from Alaska and the United States to galvanize the community around Homer’s Old Town neighborhood through the creation and presentation of artwork that activates the Arts Center’s space and surrounding outdoor neighborhood sites. Old Town AIR offers opportunities through art to explore creative placemaking, shared values and communal stewardship in the historic neighborhood of Old Town, Homer. Old Town AIR seeks solutions to entrenched problems like speeding traffic and pedestrian accessibility with artist-led amenities, participatory events and both permanent and ephemeral public art installations. The national call for proposals closed December 1, 2013. A local call for artists proposals is open till March 1, 2014.
Ibrahima “Soriba” and Shelley Fofana
Old Town Artist in Residence, February 15-March 9.
Ibrahima “Soriba” & Shelley Fofana from Santa Fe, New Mexico will share with the community of Homer the spirit and joy of West African dance and drumming. Through immersion into the traditional rhythms and songs from Guinea, West Africa, these artists will, “bring together all cultures and share the relevance of this art form through dance and drumming and its connection to sacred forms of living as we exist within community.” During the residency the Fofanas will work with locals from preschoolers to performing artists and use local resources to create a performance piece to explore the many facets of Guinea music and dance within its cultural context. This will include dance, drumming, dundun dance (dance and drumming in unison), and traditional songs and music and video imagery. Click here to find out more about their drum and dance classes and to sign up for their class series.
The Fofanas will give an Artist Talk “The Culture of Dance and Drumming in Guinea” on February 16 at 5 pm (potluck followed by talk at 6 pm) where they will introduce the public to the idea of a culture which honors and supports it’s musicians and dancers as an integral piece of daily life.
For more information about Soriba and Shelley Fofana visit their website here.
Old Town Artist in Residence, March 1-31
Inupiaq Alaskan performance artist, Allison Warden will focus on creating a new piece of theater, tentatively titled, “Let Glow.” The show explores ways that we seek love in this modern age and how technology can be a deterrent to real intimacy and connection to place. Warden will use her time to research and draft the proposed interactive play. Warden’s goal is to present a staged reading of “Let Glow,” in which she invites the audience to workshop the interactive elements of the script and provide feedback. During her residency Warden will offer an artist talk, a workshop and a staged reading of “Let Glow.” Warden’s artist talk will focus on how she finds sources that inspire, connecting the dots between inspiration and the intended objective of her staged work. Warden will offer a workshop guiding participants through the statue theater technique, moving through increasingly complex levels of the activity to explore sharing stories through montage statues which will eventually speak. Warden says, “ ‘Let Glow,’ focuses on finding love: self-love, community acceptance and place, family-healing love and romantic love.’ The audience is engaged in and throughout the piece, invited to participate physically and through written and spoken word. ‘My intention is that each audience member leaves the experience feeling hopeful, more connected to community.’”
Old Town Artist in Residence, March 25-April 13
Charleston, South Carolina-based installation artist, Jarod Charzewski will build a site-specific installation referencing western civilizations consumer culture. Charzewski will select materials that are abundant in the Homer area. By using the forgotten, discarded or non-precious yet usable items and materials as the medium, the objective will be to create an immersive landscape for gallery viewers to experience. The artistic process begins with a design phase that works specifically with the unique elements of Bunnell’s exhibition space with consideration to lighting, entrances, passageways and architectural features. Charzewski says, “I look forward to engaging with the public in Homer. My work has always included local people in a very hands-on way. The outreach program I propose involves interested participants helping to create the piece. Those committed volunteers become collaborators through conversation and transference of skills as we work side by side. The artist and assistant relationship is one I have been on both sides of so I fully recognize and appreciate the time spent for each person. The commodities of both time and space, as well as a community of creative people for dialogue, are invaluable to my creative and professional development. Furthermore, teaching is an integral part of my artistic practice, and I do not leave it behind in the classroom. While at the Bunnell Street Arts Center, I will bring those elements of teaching and mentorship to my daily practice and interactions with the public and volunteers.”
For more information about Jarod Charzewski visit his website here.
Old Town Artist in Residence, May 1-31
Oakland, California-based sculptor, Adrien Segal will provide a residency combining local investigation and shared experiences. Segal will begin by offering a community workshop series on carving and whittling. The second objective is to collaborate with local scientific researchers to gather site-specific data, which will inform a sculptural investigation. Segal will present her creative process in the gallery space and invite public interaction as experiment, design, and respond to the landscape. Using local materials gathered from around the town, the whittling and carving will introduce participants from the community to the self-sustaining and hands-on practice of carving objects from found wood. Everyone will have the chance to carve a piece of wood into a small sculpture or a useful object, such as a spoon, which they can take home at the end of the day. Emphasizing problem-solving skills, technique, and play, the workshop will cover functional design and woodworking basics, including grain direction, tool safety, reductive shaping, and food safe finishes. A second, more in-depth session will follow. Segal says, “The landscape is a great influence in my inter-disciplinary and process-intensive studio practice. In past projects, I have used data from NOAA and the NRCS, and collaborated with the USGS to create sculptures that communicate scientific information as sculptural forms. I will use the time at the Residency to collaborate with an organization that conducts scientific research in Homer’s unique natural setting that would be translated into sculptural forms such as Kachemak Bay Research Reserve, which monitors sea level rise, changes in fresh and marine water temperature, storm events, and coastal uplift. I will set up a temporary studio and installation space in the gallery, with which I will display my process of interpreting and translating scientific data into aesthetically engaging sculptures that can be experienced by the body. A compilation of this research, including drawings, models, material experiments, and found objects, would be thoughtfully organized into a process installation in the gallery. I plan for the research to culminate with a site-specific installation of a data sculpture in the Gallery. I will hold open studio hours where I will be on-site and available to the public for visits, questions, and conversations about data, science, and creativity.”
For more information about Adrien Segal visit her website here.
Old Town Public Art Finalists
In addition to selecting four national artists residencies, a statewide panel selected two artists for public art installations in Old Town Homer. Alaskan artists beat out stiff national competition for permanent and ephemeral art installations at Bishop’s Beach.
Rachelle Dowdy was selected for the permanent public art installation. She will create an eight-foot ferro-concrete loon figure standing on a concrete pedestal adding about 20 inches to the overall height. Affixed to an aluminum mounting plate and additionally supported through the sculpture’s fist soars a commercial grade windsock on a 12’ pole. She says, “This anthropomorphic sculpture is not only a reminder of our shared space, but the windsock gives us an instant visual cue to the immediate conditions we are about to immerse ourselves into.”
Jimmy Riordan teams up with Jesus Landin Torrez III and Michael Gerace for an ephemeral installation called “Searching for the Sublime at the End of the Road.” They invite the community of Homer and Alaskan artists to help activate a temporary structure on Bishop’s Beach built of local clay and then fired. It will be a base camp for a series of art actions including walks, performances, readings, dinners and fireside chats. “Using various forms of documentation we will create an interactive digital archive of these events including impromptu discussions and discoveries springing up around the construction of the clay structure. This archive will be housed in an Apple MiPad and displayed at Bunnell Street Arts Center.”