I am just returning after a two week residency at the Vermont Studio Center. And I am now officially in residency program withdrawal. I was warned it would happen by others who have attended residencies but I didn’t believe it. It is kind of like working extremely hard on a project and, then, it is over with. But that is minimizing the feelings of coming down from a residency.
You just plain and simply miss the energy and adrenaline associated with it, the new friends you have met and spent an emotional art filled time with and the art you were inspired and free to make.
For 2 weeks, this room became my shelter and friend. It was a nice quiet blank space to be in. No cell phone noise was allowed within the studios nor any music played without headphones on. I could read, write, experiment and have no specific agenda other than creating.
I panicked a bit when my first few experiments did not work out as planned. But they were just that-experiments. And I am happy I finally had time to work on them and learn from them.
I had the luxury of 3 meals per day prepared for me and ate my meals in the Red Dining Hall with 50 other artists, writers and visual artists. I came in at the three week mark as many artists were attending for a month long residency. Their excitement and enthusiasm were felt the moment I sat down in the dining room. I wanted what they already had! They were off and running with their ideas and art. I settled in and fed off their energy in a very positive way.
The nights were filled with activities- lectures from visiting artists, studio visits from those artists, presentations from attendees and readings from the writers. My eyes were wide open at the talent level I was exposed to and how hard each of the artists were working. Late night hours were very common. During the day you had access to yoga, a meditation studio or life drawing classes. The town was quintessential Vermont and had a coffee shop, market, pizza place, bookstore , and Johnson Woolen Mills if you needed a break.
Each day I was there, I fell more in love with this magical place. Because each day I was afforded the time to make art without interruption. Yes, the art making was the reason I was there. Most importantly, I learned more and more about myself as an artist and my process- how I stop myself from making intuitive decisions, how I second guess myself and how impatient I am with my process . And how I need to claim and own textiles as my art medium and easily explain it to others.
You want to see the art I made. You will as I gradually start to complete it. I will show some of it to you. The rest were experiments that I can now let go of. I will tell you about that as well.
It was a very positive experience that I am just beginning to process. We drove back to Michigan yesterday-13 long hours. But my seat was back in my studio today again. Because that’s what you do when you are an artist. You get back to work quickly. And I love being an artist.
Thank you Vermont Studio Center for this treasured gift. You are a true gem. I will dream of and aspire to returning.