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Countdown to Acadia 2

So, I’m about a month out from heading to Acadia for a couple weeks for the artist residency. I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet. For so long it has been that thing that will be happening in a long time and recently I’ve been so focused on getting all my classes up and running for the start of the semester that I haven’t really had much time to think or plan. I’m sure once the semester starts I won’t have any extra time, so it’ll probably only sink in once I’ve actually started driving north.

There is one thing I’ve been mulling over a little though, and that is the question: how mobile am I going to be? Am I going to be traversing the whole park, hitting every hot spot at the golden hours? Or am I going to stay stationary as much as possible, and settle into the landscape directly around the Schoodic Institute?

I think my residency time in Ireland taught me to really appreciate a slower pace of creating. I was there for a month and didn’t have a car. All my favorite work that I created was walking distance from where I was living. The same was true in Toronto.


In Rocky Mountain I did travel more. I think I was trying find deeper wilderness areas where there were very few or no other people. I’m happy with what I was able to accomplish in my time there, but it had a very different quality than the other two. More hurried, less contemplative.

So, it’s clear which way I’m leaning right now. Staying close to home, really spending time in slow, careful observation. But at the same time, I feel compelled to go and see the most iconic sights. You know, the ones that have been shot a million times before from all different angles in every feasible lighting scenario. So yes, I want to see them, but realistically, what am I going to do that looks significantly different than the thousands of shots that already exist? 

Yes, I’ll visit those locations, but I’m not going to make it my focus. I will move slow, observe details and respond to the space that is closest to me, in order to make work that is most in tune with the park itself.

And on a final note, I am running a small pre-order of a few select items that I’ll be producing during the residency. Click here to take a look and find something you’d like to order.

Open Studio Tonight; 1st Year Review

If you happen to be in Philly tonight around 5, come and stop by Moore (its next to the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Franklin Institute). Ben and the four other graduate students are hosting an Open Studio, which means you can go in and look at what they’ve been working on this summer. They’re on the 5th floor- once you get cleared by security they should be able to point you to the elevators.


Before the Open Studio, the first-year graduate students in studio art are being reviewed by several artists/professors, including the artist/Graduate Program Manager Paul Hubbard (official site). This is the ‘qualifying review’ that takes place now that the first semester is complete. It is in preparation for the important mid-program review that will happen next summer, when students will be evaluated on their work and whether or not they are creating art at a level worthy of an MFA degree.

Tomorrow Ben will bring his work home and set up a space for himself in the loft, which will be his studio until next July. At that time, he will go to Ireland for a four-week residency at Burren College of Art.

But for now, Ben will have a break until the weekend classes begin in September!

[by] melissa
praise God who holds in his hand our life and all our ways