Start the new year off on an artistic high note by taking time to prioritize your creative practice. We’ve gathered here residency, grant and award opportunities created to give you the time, space and money you need to make more art in 2017.
This past summer, Creative Capital artists spent four days at a retreat at EMPAC on the RPI campus in Troy, NY. In front of an audience of over 200 curators, presenters, publishers and other arts organizers, artists presented their Creative Capital projects. We’ve uploaded their presentations to our YouTube page. If you have some down time during the holidays, it’s a perfect moment to binge watch these amazing videos!
Click here to view our playlist on YouTube, and read on below for some featured videos.
Virginia Woolf stressed the importance of having a room of one’s own in order to tap into the creative productive spirit. We’ve gathered here some residencies and fellowships designed to give you just that – a dedicated, concentrated space to do your best creative work.
The Creative Capital is a huge production: with over 300 people attending and 80 artist presentations over the course of a weekend, we need some extra help. So, in the months leading up to the Retreat, we hire three Artist Services paid internship positions to assist with the event. One of them, Erin Carr, a student at NYU’s Arts Administration graduation program, wrote about her experience at the Retreat.
This summer, I spent my time as a Creative Capital Artist Services intern almost exclusively focused on preparing for the 2016 Artist Retreat at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in Troy, NY. My experience at the Retreat was rewarding and thought-provoking, and I am still sitting with the presentations, thinking over what I learned from an intensive week there. The Retreat brought together artists, arts administrators, curators, programmers, writers and other arts professionals around nearly 80 five-to-seven minute presentations by 2013, 2015, and 2016 Creative Capital awardees. Outside of the presentations, the Retreat allowed people from different disciplines and positions in the art world to make connections. For this weekend the event helped to dissolve the separation between administrators and artists.
A lot goes into making impactful artworks. After Creative Capital announces a new round of artist projects, we bring the artists together to work on and discuss what they need to make the project actually happen. This all happens at our Artist Retreat, and we’re in the middle of one right now!
The artists spend nearly a week meeting each other, taking an intensive suite of business courses on everything from tax planning to working with arts institutions, and having one-on-one consultations with art world professionals. The crux of our Retreat, though, is presentations: each artist has 7 minutes to present their work. This year, we’ll hear from nearly 80 artists over the course of three days. Follow our Twitter account and the hashtag #CCRetreat to hear about them in real time.
Before that though, here are five takeaways we’ve already come up with since we got started on Tuesday.
The materials that Design 99 use in their artworks might scare you a little. The Detroit-based collaborative, made up of artists Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert, often source abandoned houses in their city for raw material. For their Creative Capital project, Garbage Totem 2, for instance, will include old tires, used mattresses and couches abandoned in their neighborhood to create sculptures and installations. Last year Mitch attended our Creative Capital retreat and explained his process and discoveries. We followed up to ask more about what Design 99 is working on currently.
Alex Teplitzky: When we heard from Mitch at the Artist Retreat, you were working on cleaning up the former house of Larry, a massive hoarder. He had 4 generations of material in his house, not to mention excrement of different kinds. What was that process like, and what’s happened to the house since then?
Mitch Cope: It was a very dirty and surreal process because we were not just simply dumping the contents of the house, but carefully sifting through it in search of artistic-archeological treasures. We were looking for things that spoke about the people that lived in the house, specifically Larry who was a friend and neighbor and died in the house. There was a lot of family memorabilia, but there was an incredible amount of inanimate objects carefully stacked and stored everywhere as if they were magnetized to the house. This is really interesting to us as artists, because after all, artists create things that seem to come from nowhere, don’t always have a logical reason for existing and yet can be powerful just by allowing them to be highlighted and elevated through the context of art. The same can be said for a hoarder and their things, the difference is their things are never meant to be seen beyond their own makers.
When Ruby was working with Arch Gillies on founding Creative Capital, Ruby stipulated that she have the ability to run a retreat for each round of artists. She foresaw that this would become the most important part of Creative Capital’s mission.
15 years later, it is clear that Ruby was correct! After every grant round, we bring the new artists and over 200 arts professionals (gallerists, curators, arts writers, and other arts organizers) to a campus outside of New York for a weeklong gathering where they can present their projects, talk about their needs, and learn how to successfully build their art career. This year, we’re at Rensaeller University and the artists will present their projects at the state-of-the-art theater EMPAC.
We call it a Retreat, but it turns out to be anything but. Ruby admitted during the first day, “We’re cheating when we call it a retreat.” Creative Capital artist Titus Kaphar agreed: “I’m going to need a retreat after this retreat. It’s more like a conference.”
Emily Johnson (2013 Performing Arts) presented her project Shore at the 2013 Creative Capital Artist Retreat last summer. Shore is a multi-day performance/installation of dance, volunteerism, feasting and storytelling. The project develops in each venue over an extended period of time, requiring conversation and collaboration amongst organizations. Shore begins with a feast, followed by a night of curated storytelling. You can watch more artist presentations from the Retreat on our Vimeo channel.
Kyle Abraham (2013 Performing Arts) presents his project The Social at the 2013 Creative Capital Artist Retreat. The Social is a reflective, evening-length dance work that explores social dance and the memories associated with attending your first school dance, church function or house party. Facilitating an open environment for audiences to get up and dance before and after the show, the work embodies what those experiences were like for the viewer and performer alike. You can watch more artist presentations from the Retreat on our YouTube channel.
Fallen Fruit (2013 Emerging Fields) presented their project Endless Orchard at the 2013 Creative Capital Artist Retreat. Endless Orchard is a non-contiguous map of fruit trees in public space which will become “a public fruit portal, creating a public fruit map that indexes the largest collection of public fruit trees in the world.” You can watch more artist presentations from the Retreat on our Vimeo channel.