Artist Labs are an intensive series of workshops and discussions designed to foster the integration of history and contemporary art into an artist’s practice.
PAST ARTIST LABS
In October 2021, we hosted four weeks of workshops and discussions designed to foster the integration of history and contemporary art into an artist’s practice and to develop artwork that speaks to a community. The Lab was led by artist Wylie Garcia and Ric Kasini Kadour, recipient of a 2020-2021 Curatorial Fellowship from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts. The Lab was produced in partnership with the Southern Vermont Arts Center, Kolaj Institute, Russell Vermontiana Collection, Manchester Historical Society, Pawlett Historical Society, and Dorset Historical Society. The goal of the Artist Lab was to equip artists with tools and strategies for picking up the unfinished work of history and to speak to contemporary civic discourse around social, economic, and environmental issues. Participating Artists completed the lab with a proposal for a contemporary art project for a Fall 2022 exhibition at the Southern Vermont Arts Center’s Wilson Museum.
In April 2021, we organized an Artist Lab with Art Meets History, Albuquerque Museum Photography Archives, 516 ARTS in New Mexico. The Lab looked at how our divergent histories of race, conflict, and colonialism inform how we imagine our futures. Participating artists worked from their own people’s history, to confront that history, and to imagine a future that offers justice, fairness, and support for all people. A goal of the lab was a proposal for a body of artwork that was considered for a group exhibition at 516 ARTS in 2022. The exhibition will give audiences an opportunity to consider how our contemporary discourse is a product of multiple histories in a constant state of negotiation with one another. Twenty-six artists attended two labs and thanks to a grant from 516 ARTS and the support of members of the Silver Scissors and Golden Glue Societies, Kolaj Institute made $8,925 in grants to remove financial barriers to participating.
In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, in June 2020, we partnered with with Tulane University Special Collections on four weeks of workshops and discussions designed to foster the integration of history and contemporary art into an artist’s practice and to develop artwork that speaks to the effect of COVID-19 on society. We had so many qualified and interested participants that a second lab was held in August that responded to the pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, and a new wave of racial reckoning. Thirty artists attended the two labs and Kolaj Institute made $11,600 in grants to remove financial barriers to participating in these programs.