Curatorial Residencies

In April and in June this year, I've attended two curatorial residencies that have given birth to two new projects for ecoartspace. In April, I spent three weeks in Ireland at Cill Rialaig in Ballinskelligs on the Celtic Sea of County Kerry. I set out to write an essay on my perceptions of nature over fifty years, considering childhood memories of my grandparents farm in Missouri, and driving Route 66 from Arizona to Missouri each summer to visit them. I wanted to consider what were the baseline shifts in nature that I had experienced in my lifetime. However, there was something about this place, on the wild Atlantic, one of eleven certified dark sky reserves in the world, which had me thinking on a much larger scale. I quickly scrapped my idea for an essay and decided to write a book instead. I layed out twelve chapters and began filling them in. The book also has to do with my relationship with nature, however, I decided I wanted to share distinct environmental concepts that I've found transformational in my own life. So, I created a framework for contemplating one's relationship with the natural world that references artists work. I also had a deadline for an exhibition proposal while I was there, for another curatorial residency, and decided that the book could also be the framework for an exhibition, with artists' installations providing spaces for contemplation for the concepts in the book. I'm not giving much information here, obviously, because I did not complete the book in those three weeks. I'm planning to continue writing it this year, with the goal to finish and go to print by the end of 2019. I'm also seeking a venue for the exhibition for 2020. The title for both the book and the exhibition is Epochal Change

Cill Rialaig is a pre famine village that layed in ruins, abandoned for nearly half a century. A former publisher Noelle Campbell-Sharp and a local community group bought the site, set up a Trust and began rebuilding it as an artist's retreat in 1992. Each cottage has it's own kitchen and living room, separate bedroom and bathroom. The views are spectacular. I highly recommend applying.

My second residency was in June for three weeks at Marble House Project in Dorset, Vermont. Much to my surprise, I was selected as one of approximately 56 people from over 650 applicants for 2018. For this residency, while continuing to develop the concepts for my book, Epochal Change, I decided to focus on yet another book. It occurred to me while in Ireland, that between me and my ecoartspace partner Amy Lipton, we have curated over fifty exhibitions and dozens of programs. ecoartspace was conceived in 1997 after I had worked on a museum in development on the creative process in Santa Monica, California. I curated my first ecological exhibition in 1998, titled Art and Nature, and in 1999 curated Escondido Phoenix right before meeting Lipton in Germany to view the exhibition Natural Reality. During that trip we decided to collaborate from both coasts to curate art and nature exhibitions. It has been over twenty years now that ecoartspace was conceived and in 2019, it will be twenty years that Amy and I have collaborated as nonprofit partners. Amy and I  have each selected 20 exhibitions that we are writing about for the book, and will also include information on all of our programs and lectures. During my residency in Vermont, I was able to scan exhibition photographs and invitations, and begin developing text from archived press releases and blog posts. Publication is planned for early 2020.

Patricia Watts, founder/curator, ecoartspace

Marble House Project is a multi-disciplinary artist residency program that offers both individual and family residencies, as well as culinary and curatorial residencies. They operate from April through October, with six sessions lasting three weeks each. All residents live under the same roof, and have separate studios on the grounds. There is a marble quarry swimming pool and barn for yoga and events. And, there is an organic garden that you can harvest from to make meals together each night. Idyllic.