Beautiful night under the plan trees and stars once again! We had about 25 folks form Akumal and surrounding areas (including a local writing group!) join us for the final SUNDAY SALON of this session!
We discussed "following that voice/trusting your instinct" in art and life! Poet Sarah Sweeney shared new and old poems from her manuscript "Island of Swallows". Sarah's poems are funny and poignant. She had us laughing! And feeling. Sculptor Laura Serman shared with us some new plaster creations she has made this past week. She has had to be creative in her choice of materials, as we have been unable to procure her clay yet. Her designs are feminine and explore positive and negative space. And lastly, local writer Karen Hamer shared with us some very personal poems from a very private and heart wrenching time in her life. Beautiful. What bravery she showed in reading these for the first time to a group of strangers. And that is what the salons are about: creating community, exposing truth, risking failure, sharing art.
Thank you to all who have participated in the salons this year, witnessing the work at this raw, vulnerable state, giving the artists a chance to explore and learn in a safe environment. And thanks to all the artists for doing just that.
Resident musician Ruby Rae graciously taught a class in songwriting to the community and Residency Director Kim Schultz taught another improv class in Akumal. More fun residency sponsored events!
Resident writer Félix Jiménez Velando spent the afternoon at Hekab be Biblioteca Thursday. He read from his children's book, Calcetines, captivating them completely. He then took themes/characters/locations and objects from his novel and encouraged them to write their own stories in groups. They then shared their stories in front of the assembled group. How great! They get to meet a published author, work with him on their own creative writing, encouraging imagination and play on the page and then got to bravely stand in front of the group sharing their results. So many great skills explored and encouraged. Thanks to Marietta and the library for having us and to Felix for sharing his skills!
Last night, here in Akumal, about 50 of us had the honor of listening to resident musician Ruby Rae play an outdoor concert for us on the Grateful Dead Stage with a couple of local musicians (Jeremy Moore and Foco de la Pena). It was a beautiful evening of music and community. We are grateful for the generosity of spirit that makes a night like this possible in Akumal. Gracias!
It was a beautiful late afternoon in the residency gardens yesterday when we hosted the first SUNDAY SALON. These have become popular events to meet artists and talk art. Resident artists Felix Jiménez Velando, Rachel Kremidas and Ruby Rae shared work and process and wine with us under the umbrella theme of creating space.
We and lovely conversations about how to create space in your life for your passion projects, as well as what that space can open up for us as artists and humans. We were also joined by 6 wonderful women from a North Akumal weeklong art retreat.
So all in all not a bad way to spend a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon. Join us for our next one NEXT SUNDAY, February 8! And see some snapshots from the event below.
Suminagashi (墨 流 し) or "floating ink" is the process of marbling plain paper with water and ink to transform it into something vibrant and colorful and resident artist Laura Serman taught us how last friday in the weekly residency class!
About 12 locals joined in as we created amazing and unique stationary or as Laura offered: grocery list paper!
Thanks for all who cam and special thanks to Laura for teaching. Next week's class is on SONGWRITING!. Come on by the residency!
We are so happy to welcome 5 new artists to Akumal and the residency! They are:
Rachel Kremidas/U.S./visual artist
Laura Serman/U.S./visual artist
They have settled in and begun working here. More stories to follow. If you see them around town, please say hello and welcome them.
Many thanks to all our donors for making this residency once again possible, especially Hotel Akumal Caribe for donating 3 weeks of residency director housing, as well as many local restaurants for offering discounts!
New events posted and all are FREE. The artists will be teaching classes to the community adults, as well as the children and Sunday Salons will also return! Please join us in this community conversation. Hope to see you soon!
Another wonderful evening at La Lunita! Thanks to Annette and the staff for hosting once again our artists final vernissage at the beautiful North Akumal treasure of a location! Our five resident artists showed work. Locals and tourists both took in some art, engaged in some dialogue, drank some wine and community once again happened.
Thank you to all who came, made art, supported and enjoyed.
Hope to do it again next year. New dates coming soon!
[photo credit: Magda Buczek and Alexis Brooke Felder]
The third show of Akumal International Artist residency presents works of five artists that came to Rivera Maya from Germany, Mexico and both East and West Coasts of the United States. Different backgrounds, including places of their origins and media they work with meld in the very unique location of Mexican Caribbean.
As one of the artists, Diana Juneck, describes in her artistic statement, you encounter the four worlds: the jungle, the ocean, tourism and the pueblo. According to that, there is the vast expanse of nature on one hand and a history human intervention upon this land, from the Maya heritage, the vibrant expat community, the local families as well as the seasonal workers that gather around the pueblo.
Despite medium, artistic approach towards one’s creative process or theme of a project undertaken, one must confront each one of these four universes, overwhelmed with its sensuality and acquire the local dynamics. The climate, humidity and particularity of hurricane season impacts your body and daily routine. The proximity of the ocean and the jungle invade the act of looking at things, increasing the atavistic state of caution, activating your lizard brain. The division between resort and town raises your social awareness and brings questions.
Environment is the sixth sense, an equal author of the work produced here. It can be the foreign yet intimate unknown, like in the photographic pieces of Diana Juneck. It can become a regained homeland and inverted self-portrait in Sofia Garfias’ urban influenced works. It could be distilled, selected and synthesized as seen in the works of Alexis Brooke Felder whose assemblages are composed out of found objects, divided by color and texture onto a formal lexicon of the cultural material of paradise, privileged yet stricken by tourism. The environment can also become a scene of public intervention, fertilized with new visual vocabulary like in Michael Olivo’s murals, where street culture and zine imaginary of Olivo’s earlier works meet Mayan iconography. A landscape can become a soundscape of personal narrative just as Sarah Alden’s music composed here.
The final show of the residency shows first visual and audio symptoms of change that came for these five artists with the environment. The outcome is in progress, the change is mutual.
Last week, we had a special treat! Resident musician, fiddler and vocalist Sarah Alden from NYC, gave a community concert at the Yoga en Akumal Studio (Thanks Marti!)
It was an exquisite night of music and dance. Sarah is an amazing musician and transported us all far from Akumal. Local artist and dancer Paula Castenares joined Sarah for a song at the end inspired by Sarah's trip to the killing fields in Cambodia. It was a moving piece of music and dance. We are grateful for the music and also for so many of the community who came out for this unique and exciting residency event!
Kim Schultz is the director of AIAR and blogs here about the experiences in the residency. Follow on facebook and twitter (@akumalresidency.com)