Our very own Rachael Rush went to the Elsewhere residency last summer. Elsewhere is a living museum set in a three-story former thrift store. Artist’s who are selected come and enjoy a collaborative experience for the duration of their stay, engaging with the community and opening minds to, “designing new futures from old things through creative collaborations” (Elsewhere’s mission statement).
Rachael, who primarily works in painting, mixed media drawing, collage, and printmaking used her experience to create an open dialogue with the public of greensboro, NC about societal norms on beauty and gender identity. Click HERE for her artist bio on their website! She also has a video statement regarding her project during her stay.
For several days, Rachael invited the public to sit with her to create a still life. By choosing objects that have many associations regarding beauty myths and gender identities the observer could arrange the objects however they wanted. Visitors related to many of the objects laid out in front of them, which made them recall memories they might have had with the objects. Through this dialogue Rachael’s experience was less about creating drawings, and more about seeing into the minds of those passing by. Just for a short moment in time she had contact with these individuals, and in that moment they had an open exchange on the subject of beauty.
Residencies can open your mind about the possibilities your work can take. If you haven’t already, now is the time to start looking at them. With so many options out there it is good to find something that pertains to your vision and to build your career.