CEC ArtsLink residencies in the USA for Ukrainian artists (and 36 other eligible countries!)

CEC ArtsLink invites artists and arts managers in visual and media arts from 37 eligible countries to apply for structured residencies at US arts organizations.

The five-week residencies will take place in fall 2016. ArtsLink places Fellows at established US non-profit arts organizations and covers associated living, working, travel, and health insurance costs. Applicants do not need to have contacts with organizations in the US to apply for this program, but proficiency in English is required. Since 1993, 547 Fellows have participated in Residencies at 316 arts organizations throughout the US.

Submission deadline for Fall 2016 ArtsLink Residencies is October 15, 2015. Application and Guidelines

Applicants in performing arts and literature may apply in October 2016 for residencies in 2017.

Artists and arts managers from eligible countries who want to carry out self-directed projects in the US and have a letter of invitation from a non-profit organization or individual in the US should apply for ArtsLink Independent Projects (deadline December 3, 2015). 

Eligible countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Moldova, Montenegro, Palestine, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

Please visit our website for more information.


Good luck!

Networking Internationally: Transcultural Exchange Conference

In two days I met individuals from over a dozen countries and our goal was common: to learn about international art opportunities and freely exchange information. I had the pleasure of speaking at TransCultural Exchange's 2013 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts: Engaging Minds on October 10-13, 2013. 

This biennial conference is organized by dedicated individuals who run the "award winning 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting international art and the understanding of world cultures, through high quality art exhibitions, cultural exchanges and educational programs at our home base in Boston and throughout the world."  The director, Mary Sherman, tirelessly organizes this opportunity for a truly international experience.

I was one of the many professionals who came from all across the world to speak about artist residencies during the Pecha Kucha style presentations at Boston University. My short talk focused on opportunities for international artists, thinkers and curators in Ukraine. I write about those topics here on my blog.

Since learning about residencies can be challenging simply by researching online through (amazing) resources like ResArtists, hearing about them first hand is very illuminating. Below I will highlight a handful of my favorites:

Baer Art Center in Iceland
The Bridgeguard residency in Slovakia on the Danube
The Etching Center in Cabri, Israel
Cheng-Long Wetlands Environmental Residency in Taiwan
The Transart Institute in Berlin
The Kathmandu Contemporary Arts Center in Nepal

Laurie Anderson kicked off the conference with a keynote speech, there were some incredible panels, a great talk by Reif Larsen, and I conducted portfolio reviews alongside many other smart folks. The conference was jam packed with information and most of all with networking. Over coffee, in between sessions, during lunch and even in line at the salad bar there was open discussion and friendly, productive dialog. Go in 2015! You won't regret it. 

Muzychi Crowdsourcing/funding Residency

A quick update about Alevtina Kakhidze's artist/curator residency in Muzychi, outside of Kiev:

To summarize the great video above, one of the residents in Muzychi was crowdsourced and crowdfunded this year via, a team of multidisciplinary artists and arts workers bringing new ideas to Ukraine and beyond. (They are great.)

The Muzychi Residency remains one of the few artistic residences that currently exists in Ukraine. They have welcomed two artists a year for the past five years, and wanted to experiment to create new experiences for the residents as well as the community. 

Aware that their residency was very private and independent, Alevtina and her husband wanted to let go of the decision making and "authoritarianism" to allow the third resident of Muzychi this year be the "common" resident, chosen by the community.

Art institutions, artists and art connoisseurs proposed eight candidates. Someone even proposed a mega-star artist who they believed might be important for Ukraine, amongst others. In the end, the vote of 100 people, overseen by a committee, chose curator Nina Palavandishvili from the country of Georgia, the curator and project manager at GeoAIR and was a CEC Artslink Resident in 2012. Congrats to all on reaching funding!


Alevtina Kakhidze: expanding history

Alevtina Kakhidze is a Ukrainian artist whose work ranges from performance to drawing and her work is a seamless blend of art and life. I really admire her for this. Her work is often funny, poignant and reflective of living in a post-Soviet country. She hosts an artist residency on her property every year. We'll explore all of that below. 

Alevtina with one of her buddies

Alevtina with one of her buddies

Alevtina lives in Muzychi, a village 19 km outside of Kiev, where she lives with her kind, amazing cook of a husband, and her many (giant) pets– the zoo, she calls it. She invited me to her home for our initial interview where every room is intentionally beautiful and minimal. So much care has been put in to where she lives and what she has, which is such a pleasant surprise from most of my experiences in Ukraine. I think I can safely attribute part of that to her recognition of having grown up in the USSR, and the introduction of fashion and luxury goods was a shock to entire system as Ukraine rapidly became financially polarized.

 A few projects summarize this recognition very well: i cannot draw without words especially if i draw my house,  where she drew all of the items in her home, The Most Commercial Project, where she drew items she liked from store windows and priced the drawings the same as the actual objects, and For Art Collectorswhere she drew works by blockbuster contemporary artists and photocopied them into editions for sale. All of these projects question value, desire and materialism while being deeply autobiographical. Having grown up in the Donets region of Ukraine, known for coal mining, she has experienced Ukraine’s abrupt and chaotic changes from the days of the USSR to the post-Soviet imbalanced environment that it is today.


Alevtina's living room, and another buddy

Alevtina's living room, and another buddy

On my visit, she took me to her studio, separate from the house, which she gives up annually for two months to host an artist residency called the Muzychi Expanded History Project. For the past five years she invites artists to come and make work and do what they do in Muzychi, because she believes that "one person can expand the history of a place – particularly when it comes to small towns or villages. Such places can be particularly famous because some 'great' person was born or spent some part of his or her life there. Mostly it is connected to tourism, but still we must agree to the fact that a person does expand the history of a place." 

And so without external support or any green light she started forging connections with international artists around the world. They arrive, have quiet time and/or engage with the interesting people she has befriended in the village, and all do interesting work. All of it is documented on her site and she has an open call every year.

Alevtina looking through work in her studio

Alevtina looking through work in her studio

The beautiful village of Muzychi

The beautiful village of Muzychi

I asked Alevtina a lot about Ukraine and where she thought it was going, and she had similar views to so many others. What is very exciting about her work and contribution to Ukrainian contemporary art is that she doesn't hold back, she is brave and she is open to change.