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How Can Caldera’s AiR Program Better Serve Artists of Color?

CalderaOpenStudio_Sp17-6303If you dropped into Caldera’s Studio B in late April, you might not have recognized it! White walls were covered in shimmering gold and handmade signs proclaimed the space the “Golden Spot Print Shop”. This transformation was led by Sharita Towne in collaboration with Luann Algoso, Demian DinéYazhi´, bart fitzgerald, and Patricia Vázquez Gómez, our 2017 Golden Spot Artists in Residence supported by The Ford Family Foundation.


As part of Caldera’s work to increase racial equity across all parts of our organization, we recognized that our Artists in Residence (AiR) Program needed to be more welcoming and accessible to artists of color. We worked with Sharita Towne to curate an intercultural group of artists to come together in residency to explore possibilities and wrestle with the question, “How can Caldera’s AiR Program better serve artists of color?”


In response, the group imagined a new type of residency experience at Caldera–one makes space for individual work, collaboration, and peer-to-peer learning across disciplines. Each artist utilized the print shop for their own needs, some utilizing this technique for the first time. They shared their skills with Caldera high school youth in a Saturday workshop (see photos on Facebook here), and also came together for discussions with Caldera staff to examine each part of the AiR program.


Thanks to additional funding from The Oregon Community Foundation, we will be able to continue our work with this group and add additional artists from other disciplines. Look for community engagement activities in Central Oregon and Portland over the next year and news on program updates. Do you have thoughts on how Caldera’s Artist in Residence program can better support artist of color? Write to us at AiR@CalderaArts.org!


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