Monday, March 23, 2009

Quick review of Kohler Arts/Industry Residency

A quick short summery written for Cara Ober's Professional Development of the Visual Artist inspired by a talk by David East in my Hybrid methods class.

The Kohler

This artists-in-residence is takes place in Kohler Co. Pottery, Iron and Brass Foundries, and Enamel Shop, Is the nation leading manufacturer of plumbing and specialty products as well as a major producer and generators and four-cycle engines. It is located in Sheboygan Wisconsin. This particular residency is funded by both the John Micheal Kohler Arts center, Kohler Co. and The American Foundation for the arts. This residency is FREE ONE HUNDRED PERCENT free. Nearly everything, Housing, materials (as in hundred and hundreds of pounds of clay, enamel, iron,(if you use More then hundred pounds of bronze it will cost some). All work you make is yours to keep and the Arts center asks only that the can photograph it in its finished form on 35mm film (they will give you copies) and that you donate a single piece to the Arts center. Four artists are in residence at a time. anywhere from 2-6 months, they strongly suggest you stay at least 3 months. They even pay for some transportation costs(even though they encourage you to use your own car). Literally unbelievable.

"Participants are exposed to a body of technical knowledge that enables them to explore forms and concepts not possible in their own studios as well as new ways of thinking and working."

This means you have access to all the industrial processes, and materials. To put this in perspective when you ask for plaster they do not give you 100 pound bags, they give you 1,000 pound bags. Not only that but you all so have access to all the library of tools and techniques that past artists have created while there. You may apply and go multiple times in during your life. Hundreds of emerging and established visual artists have benefited from the Arts/Industry program at Kohler Co. since its inception in 1974. Applications are accepted year-round, but there is a deadline of April 1 for residencies in the following calender year. One does not need to know about any of the processes, you only need to be able to pick up and learn things quickly, because once they teach you your on your own when it comes to making your work. Artists can make plans to have assistants and sometimes there are resident interns to help, but overall its all about here are your tools here are how to use them and play with them, go work.

TO submit a proposal, one would need to send the following to:

Arts/Industry Coordinator

John Michael Kohler Arts Center

608 New York Avenue

Sheboygan, WI 53081

The application process requires 1) Completed application form(background information, past employers so on) 2) your current resume(two pages). 3) 20 labeled slides or digital images (300 dpi,, 4x5, jpegs) 4) Brief proposal (200 words) 5) Cover letter explaining relevant qualifications, why the industrial facility is appropriate, the extent of your experience in the materials and process you wish to use, and a brief about your work-e.g., aesthetics, working methods, etc. 6) SASE 7)(not mandatory) the application may include, drawings of the works you wish to undertake, publications, reviews, or catalogs you find pertinent to your application.

You can find much more in depth information including the Application and Brochure for the program. fallow this link Arts/Industry Program.

Here is a Pdf of the 2008 Artists in residence.

Do to the fact that much of my work and much of who I am is all about learning/experimenting with new tools, materials and processes; along with a tendency to create multiples, and layered paintings/objects, I believe an industrial setting is absolutely perfect for me to work. A whole INDUSTRIES worth of tools, materials and Knowledge FREE to use, learn and exploit to my hearts content would allow me to simply explode my volume of work. One day I am sure I will wish to refine many things but as I am now I prefer to barge my way into new disciplines and put myself on the receiving end of information and work overload, creating work with tools and process I have very little to zero experience with. Making this way is what provides me with the largest sense of accomplishment personal well being. And most importantly one is not limited by costs, size, or experience at this residency. Allowing artists to simply explore.I believe I would leave this residency with a giant body of work, and tremendous amount of new skill sets, and eye hungry to refine. Both clay and metalwork are materials I have limited experience with but the little I do know I constantly find myself reusing and evolving. As someone who wishes to walk the line of Fine artist, Craftsmen, and Designer I believe such an experience will have profound effect on how deal with all my work and merge these oaths together.

All the images seen here are photographs of artists Tetsuya Yamada's Installation Chant: Beyond the Ready-made. in 2004. All of the work which he made in only 3 months. Casting molds of the molds used to create plumbing.

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