Centrum’s Emerging Artists Residency hosts an open studio tour from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 7, at Building 205 at Fort Worden State Park. The public is invited to meet the six resident artists and to view works in progress.
This year’s cohort includes Alex Boeschenstein from Seattle, Wash.; Thomas Gamble, Katy Knowlton, Rebecca Peel and Patricia Vazquez-Gomez from Portland, Ore.; and Quinton Maldonado from Bellingham, Wash.
Celebrating its second year, the Emerging Artists Residency represents Centrum’s initiative to support artists at the beginning of their career trajectory. The month-long residency, hosted Oct. 19 to Nov. 16 in 2015, provides each artist with housing, studio space and a stipend.
“Our goal is for the artists to deepen their practice and spend a month in community with other artists,” said Martha Worthley, Centrum’s residency program manager. “We hope that this support for the artists gives them time and the spark to keep developing their work and engaging in a meaningful professional life.”
Artists who have graduated from a fine arts program within the last five years are nominated by educators throughout the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Canada; finalists are selected through an invitation-only process. Worthley chose three independent jurors—Scott Lawrimore, curator at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery at the University of Washington; visual artist C. Davida Ingram; and Nina Bozicnik, curator at the Henry Art Galleryin Seattle—who reviewed this year’s applications and made the final selection.
A resident of Seattle since 2011, Boeschenstein earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA) in Interdisciplinary Visual Art from University of Washington. His artistic practice is rooted in the traditions of drawing and painting, but has moved into more interdisciplinary methods. Boeschenstein works with printmaking, pen and ink, digital collage, and assemblage sculpture. Though mostly handcrafted, his work relies on and responds to digital media and technical visual languages.
“So far my time at Centrum has been superb. Never in my life have I had so much time and space to develop my work,” he said.
Based on seven years of experience as a community based organizer and educator, Vazquez-Gomez has created videos, installations, books and events with and about the different communities in the places she has lived. She is also a committed painter and printmaker. Vazquez-Gomez splits her time between Portland and Mexico City.
“The time away from home at Centrum has allowed me to finish a conversation based research project that Portland State University will publish in the next few months, paint and do some very much needed research to invigorate my practice,” she said. “And after months of intense process and people based work, I have been recharging with solitary beach walks in the morning and afternoon. My time at Centrum has made me realize the value and need of periods of reflection, particularly for socially engaged artists.”
THOMAS J. GAMBLE
A multidisciplinary artist and writer based in Portland, Gamble’s primary influences are 20th Century postwar German literature and crust punk. His work has most recently been shown at Tokyo Midtown Towers in Tokyo, Japan, and the S1 Gallery in Portland.
“My time thus far at Centrum has been undeniably positive,” he said. “It has been a welcome reprieve from my usually stressful fast-paced life, and has provided me an invaluable space for quiet contemplation and work against the backdrop of a truly beautiful part of the country I had never visited before.”
Peel is an artist, writer, and curator living between Portland and New York City. Shortly after receiving her BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2013, Peel founded Amur Initiatives Media and Research Group.
She has exhibited her work in Portland, Toronto, Columbus, and New York City, and has upcoming exhibitions in Brooklyn, New York, with the American Medium and Group Club Association and at the Littman Gallery in Portland. Peel will be completing a collection of her own written works within the year.
“’In addition to having complete freedom to make my work, here at Centrum I am able to explore the desires that are driving forces behind it,” she said. “Not every place allows that type of deep, honest self-investigation; it requires time alone that many of us don’t have anymore.”
Peel added, “The atmosphere and environment that Port Townsend provides are unique and stimulating to the senses; I imagine that the scent of seawater and the dampness of terrain will remain in my repertoire for a long time after I leave here.”
Having graduated with a BFA from Western Washington University, Maldonado’s works engage with ideas of structure and the built environment, classical portraiture, and digital aesthetics.
“Being here at Centrum has allowed me to clear my mind and refocus on challenging myself with projects and ideas I haven’t had the time or the space to try before,” he said. “It has been a valuable learning experience and helped reinvigorate my practice while also offering me the peace and freedom to experiment and grow.”
A resident of Portland, Knowlton is an artist, curator and director of Medium Rare, a charm bracelet subscription that exists somewhere between jewelry and gallery. She received her BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2012.
Knowlton adopts different media in order to produce and brand ritual-based products. Her time at Centrum will be punctuated with a show at Short Space, a pop-up gallery in Portland.
“Having the gift of time and space has offered me a rare window into what my practice would look like without my regular distractions and obligations,” she said. “Being at Centrum and experiencing the pure beauty of Port Townsend has been an opportunity to explore my work more deeply.”