Rethinking Residencies: Publics and Counterpublics reflects on artist residency programs, what communities they serve, and the responsibilities each has to one another in a moment of marked cultural upheaval. This panel discussion with Common Field’s Co-Director Courtney Fink, artist Jonah Groeneboer, and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture’s Co-Director Sarah Workneh focuses on the question: how do artist residency programs define, cultivate, and care for their publics?
Often communities within communities, residencies are responsible to an immediate constituency of artists and alumni but serve much broader publics as well. Who comprises these publics? What counterpublics are embedded within them or positioned alongside them? What new urgencies are coming to light for artistic communities and their publics in response to changes in the political climate, funding landscape, and cultural production more generally? How, as those who organize, support, and participate in residency programs, might we respond? The panel will be followed by a brief reception.
Courtney Fink is an arts organizer and curator based in Los Angeles, CA. She is the co-director and co-founder of Common Field. From 2002–2015 she was the Executive Director of Southern Exposure in San Francisco. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Seed Fund. She has held positions at California College of the Arts and Capp Street Project in San Francisco. For 23 years, she has been dedicated to supporting artists, and by extension, experimental organizations that are focused on artists.
Jonah Groeneboer is a conceptual interdisciplinary artist. His work has shown at MoMA (2016), Art in General (2016), the Queens Museum (2016), CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art (2016), MoMA PS1 (2015), Contemporary Art Museum Houston (2015), Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts in Winnipeg (2015), Andrew Edlin Gallery, NY (2013), Shoshawna Wayne Gallery, CA (2010), and Exile, Berlin (2010). Essays and Reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art21.com, Mute Magazine, Artforum.com, Temporary Art Review, Art Journal, and in Pink Labour on Golden Streets’ “Appearing Differently: Abstraction’s Transgender and Queer Capacities.” He was a founding board member of the Shandaken Project. Residencies include Ox-Bow School of Art, the Fire Island Artist Residency, and Recess.
Sarah Workneh is a Co-Director of Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. Prior to her tenure at Skowhegan, she worked at Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency from 2002–2010. Sarah has served as a panelist and advisor in a wide variety of conferences and symposia and has served on the organizing committee for the Black Artists Retreat. In addition to running Skowhegan’s core educational program and non-profit, Sarah works directly with Skowhegan alumni to produce and create off-site programs. She was the first guest editor of Art Papers magazine, and has been a contributing writer to Pastelegram, Kaleidoscope, as well as other publications and projects. Sarah serves on the Board of the Colby College Museum of Art and the advisory committee of the Somerset Cultural Planning Commission in Maine. She has B.A.s in Linguistics and Russian from the University of Maryland and has pursued coursework toward her M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies at DePaul University.
Rethinking Residencies is a working group of several New York-based artist residency programs. Initiated in March 2014, its members share knowledge and resources, while cultivating critical thinking and discourse about residencies. Collaborating organizations represent a wide range of models, scales, and approaches and include: Eyebeam, Fire Island Artist Residency, Flux Factory, International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), The Laundromat Project, Queens Museum, Recess, The Shandaken Project, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, EFA Project Space’s SHIFT Residency, and Triangle.