In August, I had the distinct pleasure of serving as the 2016 Weisman Distinguished Guest Artist in Residence at the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA). The CSSSA is a state sponsored program developed in the 80's as a way to encourage young artists to stay in California rather than move out of state to New York, North Carolina and other places where opportunities and community for the arts was attractive. The intensive summer program offers creative courses in performing, cinematic and visual arts and invites professional artists from all over the country to reside on campus and teach students who are selected to participate.
My residency kicked off with a tour of CalArts University where the program is hosted and a luncheon with donors and supporters of the summer program. It was inspiring to hear from alumni who expressed the importance of having a place to build, support and encourage their creative voices. Some continued in the arts and some used these skills in other areas of life and regardless they all agreed the life-long impact of having the arts in their curriculum was crucial in helping them achieve their goals both professional and personally.
The formal aspect of my residency included a lecture under the umbrella of Arts & Culture for about 200 students in the state-of-the-art theatre on campus. I included slides and notes from early years as an art student as well as how my interests and medium changed over the years.
The most engaging aspect of the residency included a multi-day intensive master collage class where students experimented with archival, dry adhesives, to planning a work with both formal and conceptual goals.