Spring 2009 Artists-In-Residence Open House

Join us for an Open House at the Sitka Center on May 16th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Stop by for conversation, a chance to meet the artists and some refreshments! The artists will be sharing their completed and continuing pieces, processes, and experiments that evolved during their residency period.

In addition, we're offering the following workshop:

Cyanotype Photo Printing Process Workshop (Please note, as of May 5th, this workshop is full.)
By Sayaka Taninokuchi

Cyanotype Photo Print by Sayaka Taninokuchi

The cyanotype process is the first non-silver photographic printing process invented by Sir John Herschel in 1842. "Cyan" means blue and "type" is print in Greek. It is a simple and direct process and known for its deep, vibrant blue color. Learn how to make a cyanotype print using dried plants and transparent materials with UV light source.

Cost: This class is full.
Date: May 16, 2009
Time: 10 a.m. to noon
Students bring a small container, like a shot glass or bottle lid, for mixing chemicals. The container cannot be used for food again.
Instructor provides all other supplies.

Here's a glimpse into each artist's current work, as written by the artist.

Rose Lodge Abandoned School, by Rich Bergeman

Rich Bergeman

I like photographing places that are close to disappearing; not necessarily to document what's been left behind, even though that's what ends up in the picture. What I'm really trying to do is photograph what's no longer there, to inspire the melancholy of the vanishing past.

In my project here at Sitka I have been exploring the Coast Range for small towns and other places on the map, especially places that are years past their former prosperity-some no longer even exist as communities, but are just place markers of what used to be there. What I'm looking for is some suggestive evidence of man's occupation of a particular place, but rather than focus on the decay and destruction, I try to celebrate the beauty, serenity and nobility that come with age. To make the images I combine historic and contemporary photographic processes. I use both large-format film cameras and digital cameras to create large negatives (about 8x10 and 8x12 inches) that are then used to make contact prints in platinum, which is a hand-coating printing process that dates back to the late 1800's before the invention of enlargers. In this way I hope to marry the process with the content of the images, to create a particular visual effect of the images being transitory, as though they are floating in time and space.

Kathleen Crabhill, playing while she works.

Kathleen Crabhill

I have completely submerged myself in the immense beauty of the land that surrounds Sitka, examining rocks, moss, twigs, water, grass and most of all, the beautiful trees. The trees are steadfast, rooted and beautiful, they nourish me in ways I cannot begin to sum up in words. I have come to realize that to me they are a symbol of home. I am fascinated with the idea of home and all that it embodies. I am searching for the internal and external foundations of my past and present.

I am an installation artist and sculptor, and the way I often begin creating is by collecting things from my surroundings that I can begin building with. One of the things I began collecting here at Sitka was driftwood. It has since captured all of my attention and has given my project shape. The driftwood now functions as more than just an inexhaustible raw building material. It has come to embody the essence of the very concepts I struggle with. The driftwood is lost in this world; it is no longer part of the home, the tree, from which it came. For hours I cut up driftwood and while I do this I dismantle and reformulate my questions so that I may discover new answers. I then connect the pieces, weaving my thoughts together with the wood, slowly feeling my way toward the final piece.

Sayaka Taninokuchi, working in the studio.

Sayaka Taninokuchi

When I discover and recognize something that I have never experienced before, I am very pleased and am filled with excitement. During my residency at Sitka, I have discovered and realized many interesting things. My curiosity drives me to do experiments with these new elements. Each element feeds into my art, producing a new harmony within my work while also feeding my experiences. I utilize unique elements in Sitka's environment such as rain, animals, mud, lichen, etc.

I am focusing on this specific time, location and the elements I have while in residency here. My aim is to be open to chance during the creative process and to embrace the outcome, whatever it may be. The results of these experiments have begun to unfold in various forms such as photography, video, and mixed-media installation. The elements of location and time merge together to form the individual pieces that I create here at Sitka, making them meaningful in a historic way.

Winds and Waves workshop finale on May 4, 2009. The instructors from the workshop, from left, Letitia Berlin, Clea Galhano, Frances Blaker, Annette Bauer.

Annette Bauer

Even though I started my Sitka residency April 3rd, I can already feel the all-encompassing, gentle transformation in my life and music from this magical place.

Before coming here, a major shift took place in my professional life, coinciding with, and to a big part inspired by the opportunity to come to Sitka. I have been teaching music at an elementary school part-time for the past 3 years. Prompted by the Sitka residency, I asked for an extended leave of absence in order to concentrate fully on my performing career as a professional musician over the next several months, and am very excited to see where this path will lead me.

Spending seven weeks in residence at the Morley House gives me the rare opportunity to have my full energy, attention, and time completely dedicated to the practise of my art. This process takes many forms for me as musician.

During the first week, I have been concentrating on memorizing and refining a new duo concert program together with my colleague Tim Rayborn. We have also been spending time brainstorming ideas and trying out pieces for new programs, and planning performances and recording schedules for our medieval ensemble Cançonièr throughout the next year. For most musicians, this kind of work typically takes place in stolen hours between other various commitments in our daily, busy lives. In addition to having ample time for the work itself, it is a real gift and pleasure to be doing our work in the beautiful surroundings of Sitka, hiking, exploring, and being nurtured by the nature around us. Since music performance is an incredibly personal experience, having a chance to connect and get to know your music partner over the period of several uninterrupted days has a deep, lasting impact on the quality of our musical connection. Being able to share our music with the community at a concert in Lincoln City in early April was a wonderful completion of this first intensive week together.

One important over-arching goal during my precious time at Sitka consists of finding, creating, and polishing new repertoire for my first solo recording. I am having the chance to engage deeply with my instruments during the residency. As a life-long learner, I have welcomed two new wind instruments into my life over the past year: the duduk, a traditional Armenian double reed instrument, and the pipe and tabor, an instrument combination which was popular in the Middle Ages and Renaissance across Europe, and is still used in the traditional music of Spain, France, and Italy today. I am learning new repertoire and techniques in my daily exploration and practice, and love having the time to listen closely to recordings of some of the finest interpreters on these instruments for further inspiration and training.

The manifold sounds of nature (the rising and falling humming of the ocean and its tides, the gentle murmuring of the freshwater streams, the repetitive stories told by the croaking frogs, the rushing of the wind, the rhythmic patter of the rain and hail), paired with the connection to the stillness within myself gives inspiration to my process of composing, crystallizing melodies out of extended improvisations. On one of my first nights here, I played into the late hours of the evening watching a darkening sky through the big windows, and the rise of the stars and the moon without feeling the need to turn on the light, instead following the stream of the music inspired by the moment. Towards the end of my residency in May, my colleague and multi-percussionist Rachael Bouch will join me for about one week to engage in this improvisatory process together. Our ensemble Magic Carpet is purely based on improvisation, dedicated to the art of reacting to and including impulses from our immediate surroundings.

See you on May 16th!