Until next time...
Our final vernissage was beautiful. Once again held at Katy Burrows welcoming beach house in Akumal Sur. Over 50 members of the community joined us to share in the celebration of our artists: Patricia Fornos, Charlotte Mulliner, Tony de la Riva, Marina Taleb and Antoine Poulain. We had an indigenous ceremony, a new play reading and improv from improvisers from the U.S.: Table Salt Productions --- A very special evening. Take a look at the photos below to witness the wonderful ending celebration of our May residency. My thanks to all the artists who participated in this residency, to our guests who joined us and supported us, financially and spiritually and to you. I am grateful. #artinakumal
Until next time...
Last night, somehow, a spontaneous pool party/art party/jungle party happened. Artists new and old, in residence and not, convened in the jungle to swim, watch stars and create wall art. It was a beautiful night in a way as only spontaneously created events can be. We magically had beer and oil paint markers. (Thanks Erin!) and friendship. What a lovely night. This is residency.
Here's a taste:
It rained last night in Akumal. The lights kept flashing on and off. We weren't sure if it was the storm or the Aluxes, since one of our artists is working on a project connected to the Mayan legend of the little rascals. And we are all aware of their presence now!
We were under a palapa for the first event of the residency season---our SUNDAY SALON. The theme was Between Worlds. It was mystic and tranquillo last night, despite or maybe because of the storm.
Our 3 artists-in-residence shared some work in progress. Patti shared some of her Alux sketches. Tony showed his clay creations and played some indigenous music on some flutes he made. He also gave us all handcrafted pendants made of clay. And Charlie shared some pieces/scenes of her play she is working in. We talked about fear when you are between worlds. Does fear serve a purpose in art? Does fear serve us at all? The discussion was varied. Does your fear serve you? Are you between worlds? Is that a good thing?
Then lovely guest artists Marin y Antoine showed some of their portraits in progress and shared their process in between worlds of Lebanon, France and now Mexico. Intriguing work. Intriguing night.
The rain passed. We drank Cueva cocktails and ate cucumber sandwiches, as the conversation continued under the palapa into the night.
Join us for an event soon.
We had a great day today in Playa del Carmen. We went for groceries and to an art store for supplies. The we stopped at a local artists' ceramics studio in the jungle. It was wonderful to see his work, talk art -local and otherwise- and discuss possible future collaborations. Thank you for your hospitality Alejandro y Arturo!
Then we had fresh and delicious fish tacos at the incomparable La Floresta.
Back in the jungle with a whole new wonderful group of artists!
We are thrilled to have Spanish-Mexican illustrator/visual artist Patricia Fornos with us this month! She will be exploring some new terrain informed by her surroundings, perhaps including a collaboration with local artists! In her own words: "My actual work is a tribute to Mexico, based on skulls and its existentialism between life and death. I want to continue the homage to Mexico but this time from the heart. I want to project its beauty, its life, its flavor, its soul..."
So happy to welcome Charlie to the jungle. Charlie hails from London and will be working on her play about her childhood called "Revelations". In her own words: "It is a fictionalised account of my own experiences converting to evangelical Christianity as a teenager after attending Christian camps in the countryside of Devon and negotiating the journey back to agnosticism. I am trying to explore the issues of faith and sexual identity."
Tony de la Riva
We are grateful that Tony is joining us in the jungle! Tony ia a Mexican artist focusing on ceramics, painting and prehispanic music. He also makes and plays indigenous instruments. In his own words: "My works are focused on ceramic sculpture and elaboration of Aztec and Mayan musical instruments."
We will also be joined for a week by...
Susan Fritz, a writer from the U.S. exploring a play she is writing about the sudden and unexpected death of her husband & visual artist from the U.S., January Wyatt exploring the renewal and impermanence of life through her painting.
...and we will have improvisers joining us at the end of May to perform for the community!
Local artists Sofia Velsquez, Paul Sanchez-Navarro and Juan Indio will also be creating work as part of the residency. More on that soon!
Much to participate in! Join us!
What a beautiful night in South Akumal!
We finished the residency with a bang. Our three artists-Calvin Babich, Kerra Bolton and Emma White- showed incredibly on the beach. Over 50 local community members joined us to celebrate the artists and their work. Special thanks to Katy Burrows for donating the use of her house and to Jennifer Smith and Turtle Bay Bakery for all they donated and did to make the event a success. Thanks also to our wine donors and community supporters. We couldn't do this without you!
Here are some pictures to take you through the evening as well as the vernissage text found below. Enjoy! And see you next time!
“They can put me in a jungle. Still, I can create.”
Indian painter M. F. Husain
“Very often, what is meant to be a stepping stone turns out to be a slab of wet cement that will harden around your foot if you do not take the next step soon enough.”
American novelist, Richelle E. Goodrich
“I think one of the coolest things you can do is disappear for a while, because it gives you the chance to re-emerge. To sort of pounce out of the jungle.”
American singer/songwriter, Josh Homme
Akumal International Artist Residency
STEPPING [ON] STONES
Final Vernissage, September 2016, Akumal, MX
We put them in a jungle and create, they did.
For the past five weeks, two artists have joined us in residence in our new jungle home. Calvin Babich (U.S) and Emma White (Australia) were joined by local artist Kerra Bolton (U.S./Mexico). These three artists have been exploring the Yucatan influence in their work and soul; stepping on the necessary stones to traverse the rugged terrain, both on the interior and exterior.
Using a wide-angle view, painter Emma White, has been exploring fluidity and nature on her canvas. With loose brush strokes and heightened color, she has reflected her time in the jungle and sea. Through her layers and contrast, we get as immersed in her paintings, as we do the environment they represent, finding moments that feel as familiar, as they feel unfamiliar, simultaneously balancing and unbalancing our perspective.
Sculptor and stone artist Calvin Babich has spent equal time by land and sea. In the jungle, he has been carving in local Merida stone a reflection of the current climate in Akumal: three individual statues, turned away. The sculpture speaks with a beauty only stillness can hear. His seashore cairns demonstrate perhaps, the missing balance. Using stone and coral, with equal parts weight and lightness, he builds towers of perspective, catching light, wind and water in their grasp; temporary in nature, as are we all.
Stepping out of her comfort zone of the page, local artist, Kerra Bolton joined us at the end of the residency and has jumped from stone to stone revealing her journey through photography. Placing herself at the center of the work and uncovering the masks we all wear, she is able to explore her own search for balance and meaning. Bravely crossing her own deep, private terrain, the bright, expressive photos highlight the journey we must all take to wholeness, light and peace.
Through rock and wind, through balance and perspective, through fluidity and steadfastness, these artists have relentlessly explored what it means to be deep in the jungle, literally and metaphorically, temporarily stepping on each stone in front of them, eventually discovering what happens when we emerge, balanced and ready to “pounce,” having been made better by the journey.
Calvin Babich taught a really fun class in rock stacking yesterday to the children of the local montessori and library. Under the hot Mexican sun, along the rocky shores of North Akumal, we learned how to build cairns. The kids dove in head first, completely enamored by the craft. They would have stayed all day, but thanks to Jennifer Smith and Turtle Bay Bakery, we had ice cream waiting! Thanks to all involved!
Better late than never! Here are some shots from our recent SUNDAY SALON with the theme of Accidents and Intentions. It was a beautiful night of art and conversation served with delicious Cueva Vodka cocktails (Special thanks to Turtle Bay Bakery for hosting and providing drinks!) Grateful to resident artists Calvin Babich and Emma White for bravely sharing their works in progress and to local artists Klone, Kerra Bolton and Karl Saliter for joining us and sharing in the conversation. We were happy to have you!
It's wonderful being back in Akumal again. We are hosted by Jennifer Smith out in the jungle, truly in the jungle, at Tortuga Escondido. We have two wonderful artists in residence and one local artist with us, as well as some wonderful community collaborators.
Sunday is our SUNDAY SALON where we share works-in-progress and conversation. And our final vernissage will be Saturday, September 24. Please join us!
Emma White is a visual artist from Australia
Calvin Babich is a sculptor from U.S
and local artist Kerra Bolton also hails from U.S.
Kim Schultz is the director of AIAR and blogs here about the experiences in the residency. Follow on facebook and twitter (@akumalresidency.com)