Our class, Integrative Studio 2: Visual Culture, took a field trip to The New York Art Residency and Studios (NARS) Foundation (https://www.narsfoundation.org/) on March 7, 2019. We met early in the morning in front of the Whole Foods Market in Union Square and took the N train over to the Sunset Park neighborhood in Brooklyn. Away from the constant buzz and high rise buildings on 13th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan, we walked by low-rise brownstones and bodegas with an open sky above us.
NARS Program Manager and Curator, Vanessa Kowalski, and Program Coordinator, Elisa Gutierrez, welcomed us with mugs for coffee and tea. Vanessa then guided the students to the exhibition “The Body Responds By Laying Down” by eleven artists in residence from the U.S., Japan, Ireland, Australia, and South Korea. She highlighted a few artists’ works, commenting on the complexities and fluidities of their creative process. Engaging with the exhibition, we discussed the curatorial challenges of bringing several artists and designers’ works together in one space. The learnings by the students would provide them ideas for their Bridge Project assignment, a proposal for a group exhibition or art publication.
The highlight of the field trip was our visit to the studios of two artists, Cathleen Clarke (http://www.cathleenclarke.com/) and Le’Andra LeSeur (https://lleseur.com/). Opening their studio space, Cathleen and Le’Andra, young emerging artists themselves, were generous and honest about their process of experimenting with materials and content.
“I really enjoyed hearing what kinds of questions the students had about my work and seeing their reaction to my studio and paintings. I particularly appreciated the opportunity to share some advice on how I use my mediums, as those questions don’t come up for me very often. It felt like just yesterday that I was in their place as a first year student, so being able to show them my studio and work felt very special for me.”
– Cathleen Clarke (Artist in Residence Season I, NARS Foundation)
“I think that my experience at NARS was quite eye-opening, and it allowed me to see beyond my current circumstances. To expand upon that, the NARS experience really opened my eyes to artistic opportunities for me after graduation, as previously, I had no idea of the direction I could take with my career.”
– Jian Hoang (First Year student from Gyun’s class IS 2: Visual Culture)
The off-campus class provided the students a fluid exchange of in-studio and curatorial exploration by visiting a non-profit art space that hosts a number of international and U.S. based artists and exhibitions.
The New York Art Residency and Studios (NARS) Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization committed to supporting artists and curators on an international level as well engaging the local community in Brooklyn and the Greater New York area. NARS provides an array of creative support services and professional development opportunities for emerging and mid-career artists through short-term integrated residency programs, progressive exhibition programs, international exchanges, and engaging public programs that foster global understanding and dynamic cross-cultural dialogues. These services operate in conjunction with community outreach initiatives to promote greater accessibility to contemporary art for the under-served local community in south Brooklyn. NARS’ mission is to present diverse platforms on which to nurture creative inspiration and innovative cross-pollination of ideas.