This spring, E. Saffronia Downing, residential fellow at Colby College’s Lunder Institute for American Art, will work with Colby’s Buck Lab for Climate and Environment to investigate the impacts of Maine’s pulp & paper industry on social and environmental landscapes. Through oral history and environmental storytelling, this project will unfold paper-stories written on Maine’s woods and waterways. In collaboration with Colby students, Downing will gather a constellation of perspectives from paper-mill workers, engineers, loggers, environmentalists, and land practitioners. If you would like to share your story, please contact [email protected]
Lunder-Buck Internship Program on Art and Environment
The Lunder Institute for American Art and the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment seek one Research and Studio Assistant to work on a project related to the intersection between art and the environment. Throughout the spring semester, the RA will assist an American artist on a Residential Fellowship appointment for the Lunder Institute. This person will focus on the environmental impact of Maine’s Paper Industry through arts-based research.
This interdisciplinary internship program will mentor a student with an interest in Environmental Studies and Art or Art History. Duties will include research on Maine’s pulp and paper industry, conducting site-specific research in central Maine, and studio-based assistance. The project includes hands-on fieldwork related to environmental storytelling and industrial histories.
The RA will work 5 hours per week and report to the Lunder Institute’s Manager of Programs. Ideal candidates are rising sophomores and juniors, with an interest in archival research, art-making, material culture, and experimental ecologies. To apply, please send a cover letter addressing your interests and relevant experience, a resume, and a list of two references as a single PDF to Gabriel Chalfin-Piney. Applications submitted by January 25th will be given review priority.
Lunder Institute Research and Studio Assistant (RA)
The Lunder Institute for American Art seeks one Research and Studio Assistant (RA) to assist artist Julia Arredondo, Lunder Institute Residential Fellow, in her studio and with ongoing artistic projects. The RA will work 5 hours per week and report to the Lunder Institute’s Manager of Programs. The RA will collaborate with the artist on social media takeovers, content strategy and TikTok account setup. Ideal candidates are rising sophomores and juniors, with an interest in marketing for the creative industry with a focus on visual art and DIY media. Interested applicants will be working directly with the artist in her studio at the Greene Block in downtown Waterville—experience with Canva or Photoshop is preferred.
To apply, please send a short cover letter addressing your interests, relevant experience and favorite brands to Gabriel Chalfin-Piney. Applications submitted by January 28th will be given review priority.
Lunder Institute residential fellowships provide artists with spacious studios as well as opportunities for collaboration with Colby College faculty, students, staff, the Waterville community, and the region. The program involves artists at different stages of their careers and working in a range of artistic disciplines and mediums.
Adriane Herman, who serves as a professor and chair of printmaking at Maine College of Art, was the first to begin her fellowship last spring, shortly after the unofficial opening of the Greene Block + Studios at 18 Main Street in Waterville—home to the Lunder Institute offices. She was soon joined by the rest of the summer 2021 cohort of resident fellows, visual artist Veronica Perez, musician Jose Barrionuevo ‘16 (a.k.a. Killer Bee), and dancer Riley Watts.
Herman’s Emotional Value Auction was an anchor point for the Colby College Museum of Art’s annual Community Day in July of 2021, which returned after a hiatus . Harnessing the power of witnessing and exchange to facilitate emotional release, this non-monetized auction model is grounded in reciprocity. It allows participants to donate an object laden with personal meaning; a personal story accompanies each object. During the auction, participating “bidders” wrote statements of interest or desire, making a case for why the item should pass on to them. Donors eventually chose from among the bids received. Herman and Lunder Institute student intern Yan Xuen ’22 completed the exchange. No money changed hands.
Herman notes of the experience, “Authentic written expression and shared vulnerability are rewarded, and are rewards in themselves.”
Other experiences facilitated by resident fellows included a release party for Killer Bee’s latest album, Blood From a Stone, and a movement workshop by Watts and collaborator Ian Robinson. Capping off the summer was a Tender Table Food and Poetry Fair—billed as “a celebration of Black and Brown joy”—at Congress Square Park in Portland, which Perez coorganized.
Barrionuevo and Watts concluded their fellowships in August. Herman and Perez along with new fellows Julia Arredondo and E. Saffronia Downing comprised the fall 2021 cohort.
In its second season, the residential fellowship program built on the momentum created over the summer, with all four fellows engaging with both the Colby campus and the wider community through a series of programs in Waterville and beyond, including serving as teaching artists at Colby Museum sponsored programs and monthly open studios event at the Greene Block + Studios, which allowed the artists to engage with and demonstrate their practice to the visiting public.
Most recently, Arredondo worked with campus and other community partners to bring to life two events, the Elm City Small Press Fest, in collaboration with Colby College librarian Fannie Ouyang and Solon Morning Session #1, an experimental musical event at the historic South Solon Meeting House.
With Herman concluding her time as a Lunder Institute residential fellow at the end of December, Portland-based mixed media artist Golaleh Yazdani joins Perez, Arredondo, and Downing for the spring 2022 semester.
We’re excited to see how this group of innovative creators continues to build community through artistic practice.
Image: Lunder Institute resident fellow E. Saffronia Downing with a studio visitor during a recent Lunder Institute Open Studios event. Photo by Coco McCracken.
The Lunder Institute for American Art has named Maine-based artist Sarah Sockbeson will serve as a Lunder Institute senior fellow and the recipient of the 2021–22 Alfonso Ossorio Creative Production Grant.
Established in 2019 supported by the Ossorio Foundation, the Alfonso Ossorio Creative Production Grant provides financial support to artists affiliated with the Colby Museum and its Lunder Institute to further their intellectual pursuits, research, and the creation of new artworks that expand the boundaries of American art.
Coming from a long line of Penobscot basket makers, she participated in the Maine Arts Commission Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, apprenticing with renowned Wabanaki basket weaver Jennifer Neptune. More recently, Sockbeson has benefitted from the mentorship of Theresa Secord, a Colby Museum governor and the founding director of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance. Sockbeson’s work is included in museum and private collections, including the Colby Museum and the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine at Orono. Known for her distinctive color palette, Sockbeson began her artistic practice through drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography. Read more
The Lunder Institute for American Art is pleased to announce that Golaleh Yazdani, an Iranian-born mixed media artist currently based in Portland, Maine, will be the next resident fellow at the Greene Block + Studios in downtown Waterville.
Yazdani will join Veronica Perez, Julia Arredondo, and E. Saffronia Downing, who each began their fellowships in 2021, in comprising the Spring 2022 cohort of resident fellows.
Lunder Institute residential fellowships provide artists with spacious studios as well as opportunities for collaboration with Colby College faculty, students, staff, and the Waterville community. This studio program encompasses artists at all stages of their careers and working in a range of artistic disciplines and mediums.
Yazdani is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. She received her bachelor of fine arts from the University of Art in Tehran, Iran, and her master of fine arts at Maine College of Art.
Yazdani has exhibited in Iran and the United States in venues such as Mana Art Center, Boston University Art Galleries, SPACE, Able Baker Contemporary, and New System Exhibitions, among others.
Mixed media is Yazdani’s language. She incorporates video, sculpture, stop motion animation, and performance in her work. Growing up in a conservative society with a dictatorial climate is a major influence on Yazdani’s studio practice. Her work references the suppression forced upon her family, friends, and classmates and explores the traces of trauma and grief as the natural consequence of a broken community under such political and cultural conditions.
This Friday, November 19, at 4:30 p.m., join us at the Greene Block + Studios at 18 Main Street in downtown Waterville for the third installment of Lunder Institute Open Studios program.
Get to know the art practices and tour the studios of Lunder Institute residential fellows Julia Arredondo, E. Saffronia Downing, Veronica Perez, and Adriane Herman.
This Lunder Institute Open Studios event is free and open to all.
Join Lunder Institute residential fellow Julia Arredondo for Solon Morning Session #1, a non-denominational, sonic offering to the the South Solon Meeting House. The interior of this unique historic structure is covered in fresco paintings created in the 1950s by artists affiliated with the Skowhegan School of Painting. Solon Morning Session #1 aims to stand in continuity with the artistic history of the space, activating it through community gathering and live music.
This event is free and open to all. Warm beverages will be available to attendees, as the space is unheated.
Elm City Small Press Fest is a community event celebrating independent publishing in the Maine region. The event highlights contemporary print and publishing culture while activating conversations around creative labor and commerce as viable artistic practices. The goal of the fest is to inform attendees of contemporary creative publishing while stimulating and promoting creative economies in the area.
Join for two days of events:
Friday Kickoff Event:
4:30–6:30 p.m.: Open Studios with the Lunder Institute Residential Fellows
6–7 p.m.: Open mic and zine reading with piano accompaniment
7–8 p.m.: Live bands programmed by Colby student organizations
1 p.m.–2 p..m: Dry Point Printing on Pasta Machine with Pickwick Independent Press
2 p.m.–2:30 p.m.: Histories of Anti-Blackness on Colby’s Campus with Terri Nwanma
2:30 p.m.–3 p.m.: Mutual Aid 101 with Stella Gonzalez
3 p.m.–4 p.m.: T-shirt Printing Workshop with Hope Rovelto
All events are free and open to all.
Organized by Lunder Institute residential fellow Julia Arredondo and Colby College Visual & Interdisciplinary Arts Librarian Fannie Ouyang.
Participants in the 2021–22 Lunder Institute Research Fellowship program on the Art of the American Southwest visited Waterville in October. During their time at Colby College, they met with each other, with staff, and with their student research assistants, and they viewed the works they are researching in the Colby College Museum of Art’s collection.
Led by Distinguished Scholar Jessica L. Horton, the 2021–22 cohort of research fellows is pursuing original scholarship on artistic modernisms of the Southwest, a region with unstable and contested boundaries shaped by sovereign Indigenous communities, settler colonialism, and ecological flux. Motivating this focus is the Lunder Collection of paintings by the Taos Society of Artists as well as a group of Pueblo ceramics in the Pearson Collection. With support from the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Colby Museum is developing a collection reinstallation that will reorient and reinterpret its collections of Native and non-Native Art of the Southwest through a collaborative research and curatorial process.
The research fellows are: Jill Ahlberg Yohe, the associate curator of Native American Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art; Caroline Jean Fernald, Executive Director of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley; Elizabeth S. Hawley, an art historian, writer, and curator specializing in modern and contemporary art and art of the Americas; Hadley Jensen, Postdoctoral Fellow in Museum Anthropology, Bard Graduate Center and the American Museum of Natural History in New York; and Patricia Marroquin Norby (Purépecha), the Metropolitan Museum’s inaugural Associate Curator of Native American Art. Juan Lucero (Isleta Pueblo), Mdewakanton Native Art Fellow, 2020–21 at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, joined the program in December, having cataloged the Colby Museum’s collection of Indigenous ceramics.
Four Colby students serve as research assistants: Mary Bevilacqua ’23, Alexis Kinney ’22, Jade Ma ’23, and Katharine Zhang ’24. Each is mentored by one or more of the fellows and by Siera Hyte, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.
As part of their visit, research fellows convened at the Lunder Institute and visited the museum’s galleries, looking together at original works of art while engaging in discussions about the larger issues in this field of art history. They also met virtually with Cynthia Chavez Lamar, assistant director for collections at the National Museum of the American Indian, who spoke eloquently about the role that museums and their collections must play in forging connections with Indigenous communities. She also offered powerful examples of how Native scholars, artists, and community members can significantly transform institutional and public understanding of collections and the power of those holdings, advocating for new kinds of methodologies for collections stewardship and access. The research fellows also visited the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine at Orono to view its collections of Wabanaki art guided by Jennifer Neptune, Penobscot artist, herbalist, writer, and educator, and with Sky Heller, the Hudson Museum’s registrar. We are grateful to the museum’s director, Gretchen Faulkner, for making this visit possible.
Due to Covid, the group’s planned visit to Taos, New Mexico has been postponed. We remain optimistic about being able to travel and reconvene in New Mexico later this year, where additional partners, including artists, curators and scholars, will contribute to a vital dialogue about art and its relationship to community and place, Indigenous creativity and Southwest art histories, and the histories and legacies of settler colonialism.
As a capstone, fellows will produce written reflections on the experience and resulting research. Some of the fellows may also opt to contribute as curatorial and interpretive advisors to the Colby Museum’s reinstallation project and a related symposium and publication.
The goals of the Research Fellowship program are to foster a community of research among scholars and practitioners working on overlapping areas of interest, to stimulate new and needed scholarship for the benefit of the field in ways that are also help illuminate the collections and programs of the Colby Museum, and to promote the learning and professional development of Colby students in their roles as research assistants.
Image: Lunder Institute Resident Fellow Jill Ahlberg Yohe and Colby Museum Chief Curator Beth Finch examine a piece of pottery in the Landay Teaching Gallery, photo by Sophie Nacht ’23.
In early October, Lunder Institute for American Art Senior Fellow Dread Scott visited Waterville for the first of his on-campus engagements with the Colby College community during his yearlong fellowship.
Scott delivered a lecture, titled “The Art of Liberation,” at the Greene Block + Studios, inviting audience members to explore important questions surrounding the economic, social, and governing ideas of America. His pivotal work Slave Rebellion Reenactment served as a starting point to address Freedom and Captivity, the 2021 theme of Colby’s Center for Arts and Humanities, as well as Incarceration and Human Rights, the focus of this year’s Oak Institute for Human Rights Program.
During his visit, Scott spent time with Muna Brown ’23, who is serving as his student organizer during the 2021–22 academic year. As part of her internship, Brown is collaborating on a year-long research and practice project surrounding the topic of fugitivity as it relates to the Scott’s ideas and the Arts and Humanities theme of Freedom and Captivity.
The following is Brown’s reflection on her initial encounter with the artist:
When applying for the position of student intern under Dread Scott, I looked forward to establishing a productive method of research and communication. Before working with Dread, most of my art came from a place of personal feelings. Which isn’t wrong. But, I had yet to experience what it was like to conduct outreach with a community before producing any artworks. This is what I valued most from my time with Dread. The conversations with students, faculty, and staff about who they are and what they experience is crucial if you’re going to create something for them. For us. Another thing that I took from my time with Dread was broadening my perspective on who and how can take part in the revolution. In my conversations with him about audience, he helped me understand the significance of making your statement but also making space for everyone. What I mean by this is that yes something may be a critique of the institution, but how are you allowing the subjects of your critique to participate in the work? I want to point out the wrong but also push you to change this wrong. And in order to do so I must talk with you not at you.
Image: Muna Brown ’23 watches as Dread Scott speaks at the Green Block + Studios. Photo by Coco McCracken.
During the summer of 2021, Helen Bennett ’22 served as the Lunder Consortium for Whistler Studies intern, working with Justin McCann, Colby College Museum of Art Lunder Curator of American Art and Whistler Studies, to conduct research on artist James McNeill Whistler’s understanding of architectural change and urban growth in London during the Victorian era.
In the video above, she discusses her research, which will support Some Old Curiosity Shops: Whistler, Commerce, and the Art of Urban Change, an exhibition guest curated by David Park Curry, a 2020–21 Lunder Institute Senior Fellow. The exhibition is slated to open at the Colby Museum during the summer of 2023.
Helen’s internship is part of the Lunder Consortium for Whistler Studies, an initiative led by the Colby Museum and its Lunder Institute. Founded in 2010 the Lunder Consortium for Whistler Studies is dedicated to nurturing, producing, and disseminating original scholarship and critical analysis of James McNeill Whistler and his international artistic circles. The consortium members are the Art Institute of Chicago, the Colby College Museum of Art, the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, and the University of Glasgow.
You can read more of Helen’s reflections on this project in The Lantern.
Homepage image: James McNeill Whistler, Nocturne: Grey and Gold—Chelsea Snow (detail), 1876. Oil on canvas, 18 5/8 x 24 5/8 in. (47 x 61 cm). Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA, 1943.72
Presented by the Colby Museum’s Lunder Institute for American Art
Dread Scott imagines a world free of oppression and exploitation, with resistance and liberation at the forefront. During this talk, the artist will present a range of work from the past 30 years that addresses themes of American identity and patriotism, including the criminalization of Black and Latino youth and the continuum of resistance against murder by police connecting the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s with contemporary Black Lives Matters organizing.
Scott’s art allows audience members to explore important questions surrounding the economic, social, and governing ideas of America. His pivotal work Slave Rebellion Reenactment will serve as a starting point to address Freedom and Captivity, the 2021 theme of Colby’s Center for Arts and Humanities, as well as Incarceration and Human Rights, the focus of this year’s Oak Institute for Human Rights Program.
Capacity is limited to 50 in-person attendees and 800 virtual attendees. Register here.
The Lunder Institute for American Art’s programs in 2021–22, including Dread Scott’s Senior Fellowship, are made possible through the support of the Lunder Foundation, Peter and Paula Lunder Family, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ossorio Foundation, Alice Kang P’21, and OhSang Kwon P’21, the Oak Institute for Human Rights, and the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment.
Dread Scott makes revolutionary art to propel history forward. His work is exhibited across the United States and internationally. In 1989, while he was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, his art became the center of national controversy over its transgressive use of the American flag. President George H. W. Bush called his art “disgraceful,” and the entire US Senate denounced and outlawed this work. He became part of a landmark Supreme Court case when he and others defied the new law by burning flags on the steps of the US Capitol.
Cristin Tierney Gallery will present Dread Scott’s first solo gallery exhibition in 20 years entitled We’re Going to End Slavery. Join Us!, opening September 17th, 2021. The exhibition features large-scale performance stills and flags from the artist’s 2019 community-engaged performance project Slave Rebellion Reenactment.
Scott’s work has been included in exhibitions at New York’s MoMA PS1, the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Jack Shainman Gallery (New York), and Gallery MOMO (Cape Town, South Africa). His performance work has been presented at BAM in Brooklyn and on the streets of Harlem, New York. His work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Museum. It has been featured on the cover of Artforum magazine and in Vanity Fair. The New York Times selected his art as one of “The 25 Most Influential Works of American Protest Art since World War II.” He is a 2021 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, recipient of the 2021 Public Art Dialogue (PAD) Award for achievement in the field of public art and the inaugural Frieze Impact Prize, in partnership with the Art for Justice Fund, also in 2021, recipient of the Creative Capital Grant, and has received fellowships from Open Society Foundations and United States Artists. He works in a range of media from performance, photography, and video to screen-printing and installation.
Scott plays with fire—metaphorically and sometimes literally, as when he burned $171 on Wall Street and encouraged those with money to add theirs to the pyre. His work asks viewers to look soberly at America’s past and at our present. Writing about a recent banner project, Angelica Rogers wrote in the New York Times, “…it was difficult to look away from the flag’s blocky, capitalized type. ‘A Man Was Lynched by Police Yesterday.’ It shouted the words so matter-of-factly that I felt myself physically flinch.”
Attention current Colby College students—the Lunder Institute for American Art at the Colby College Museum of Art is seeking applicants for the following paid student internships:
Student Organizer for Senior Fellow Dread Scott
The Lunder Institute for American Art (LIAA) seeks one student to serve as intern to artist and Lunder Institute Senior Fellow Dread Scott for 8-12 hours per week. The intern will collaborate on a year-long research and practice project surrounding the topic of fugitivity as it relates to the artist’s ideas and the Arts and Humanities theme of Freedom and Captivity. Dread Scott, in his own words, “makes revolutionary art to propel history forward.” Through works ranging from performance, photography and screen printing, to installation and video, Scott asks viewers to look soberly at America’s past and at our present.
Candidates for the internship must be reliable, organized, and capable of working independently. Interns should have interest in learning community organizing and/or public programming; they are also expected to demonstrate interest in learning more about activism through art. Students will participate in one or two scheduled events related to Scott’s October 2021 visit to the Colby campus and assist with the promotion and production of this event; and check in with their LIAA supervisor on a weekly basis. Rising juniors and seniors are encouraged to apply.
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to Khristina Kurasz, Lunder Institute manager of operations.
Julia Arredondo (she/they) is an artist entrepreneur who recently completed her master of fine arts at Columbia College Chicago. Originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, Arredondo is heavily influenced by the small, family-based businesses she grew up around. Formally trained in printmaking and specializing in artistic forms of independent publishing, she founded Vice Versa Press and Curandera Press. Her latest endeavor, QTVC Live!, a DIY shopping network for artists and underrepresented creatives, is currently in its second season of production in collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art. Arredondo is a recent recipient of the Hyde Park Art Center’s Artist Run Chicago Fund grant. She believes that open dialogue around creative finances is a much-needed form of class representation in the arts.
E. Saffronia Downing (she/her) works with wild clay to create site-specific sculptures and installations. Foraging materials from local landscapes, Downing considers correspondences between makers and matter. She received her master of fine arts in ceramics from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2020, and her work has been featured in exhibitions at Bad Water (Knoxville, Tenn.), Resort (Baltimore, Md.), and The Franklin (Chicago). Downing currently teaches the course Knowledge Lab: Craft Ecologies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the co-creator of the digital publication Viral Ecologies.
The Lunder Institute for American Art is pleased to announce its 2021–22 Research Fellowship program on the Art of the American Southwest.
Led by Distinguished Scholar Jessica L. Horton, the 2021–22 cohort of research fellows will pursue original scholarship on artistic modernisms of the Southwest, a region with unstable and contested boundaries shaped by sovereign Indigenous communities, settler colonialism, and ecological flux. Motivating this focus are the Colby College Museum of Art’s collection of work by the Taos Society of Artists, the Museum’s recent collaborations with Indigenous artists, and a forthcoming collection reinstallation that will put Native and non-Native art into conversation.
Research Fellows will attend meetings at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and in Taos, New Mexico, engaging in critical reflections on art in the context of the westward expansion of the United States, a vast and unfinished project centered on the appropriation of Indigenous homelands, assimilation of Native bodies, and establishment of industries dedicated to art, tourism, and resource extraction. The group will be joined by guest speakers at each site, including Cynthia Chavez Lamar (assistant director for collections, National Museum of the American Indian), and they will convene in Taos at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site. Through the Colby College Museum’s collections and their ongoing research, the Fellows will explore these questions and others: How have the social and environmental upheavals of western expansion been registered—or suppressed—in artistic modernisms by makers of diverse heritages? How might our analyses of historical materials be read through the lens of Indigenous and environmental justice? What methodological tools are most needed today to address the legacies of colonialism and its contestation in Southwest modernisms and American art history more broadly?
Featured image: Victor Higgins, Taos (detail), c. 1914-1915. Oil on canvas, 27 in. x 30 in. (68.58 cm x 76.2 cm). The Lunder Collection; 2013.139P
A collaborative initiative with the Colby College Museum of Art, the Lunder Institute for American Art supports innovative research and creative production that expands the boundaries of American art.
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