Student Internship Opportunities with Senior Fellow Oscar Santillán

The Lunder Institute for American Art and Buck Lab are seeking 2 research interns to work closely with Lunder Institute Senior Fellow Oscar Santillán via zoom/email for the 2023 spring semester.

His practice emerges from the notion of “Antimundo,” which he understands as “a way of identifying and generating realities that do not fit in the world.” For this purpose, he has resorted to forms of knowledge production and imaginaries overlooked by mainstream Western thinking, such as cybernetics, science fiction, ancient cosmologies, a more inclusive history of science and plant intelligence.

Interns will support Oscar Santillán, who will be working remotely, with his research and support him to develop and pilot a project that conjures Little Fort Island, in Downeast Maine as a sentient entity and imagines the possibilities of communication and expression among biological, technological, human and animal realms. Interns will be paid on an hourly basis.

There are 2 internships available:

The ideal candidates for these internships will have a programming foundation, at least to use this project as a learning experience by expanding current programming knowledge and understanding of the connection between ecology and emerging technologies. The ability to work independently and meet deadlines is critical.

Research Intern Position 1: ES Qualifications

  • Find ways to map out and organize the available real-time environmental data
  • Write a short report on the ecology around the region where Little Fort Island is located
  • Get in touch with initiatives in the US and Canada advocating for the Rights of Nature in search for a potential collaboration conducive to explore if Little Fort Island could be, eventually, granted personhood
  • Collaborate with CS intern in some additional tasks such as integrating the environmental data with the neural networks
  • Post/upload research and progress on an IVM website (which will be launched soon)

Research Intern Position 2: CS Qualifications

  • Create a coherent dataset mixing texts by artists Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson
  • Find interesting ways of activating this dataset by means of GPT3 or other language models.
  • Find the way in which the voices of both artists can be integrated (i.e. by means of VALL-E and/or other software)
  • Put together the whole pipeline (real-time environmental data > AI > real-time audio)

General Skills: Basic programming, research, database entry, proofing, and copy editing, Adobe Premiere, etc; expected to meet with the Institute fellows via Zoom; to participate in one or two scheduled events related to their April visit to the Colby campus; and to check in with their LIAA and Buck Lab supervisor and Oscar Santillán on a weekly basis via email and through monthly in-person meetings. 

Students can apply through Workday, where more information about the responsibilities of these roles can be found, and/or contact [email protected] with questions. Applicants are encouraged to apply by Friday, February 24th. Please include a cover letter, resume and names of 1 to 2 references. Decision will be made by March 1st.

Suggested Prerequisite: Jan Plan Course with Oscar Santillán. 

Image: Oscar Santillán with students in his 2023 Jan Plan course “Antimundo.”

Art& Changing the Conversation: Jon Gray and Genevieve Gaignard

Thursday, March 16, 6 pm
Given Auditorium, Bixler Art & Music Center, Colby College

The Colby College Museum of Art and its Lunder Institute for American Art are excited to announce a live conversation between multidisciplinary artist Genevieve Gaignard, a spring 2023 resident fellow at the Lunder Institute for American Art, and Jon Gray, multidisciplinary curator and co-founder of the culinary collective Ghetto Gastro.

As longtime friends and colleagues, Gaignard and Gray each work through their respective practices on “Changing the Conversation,” seeking to shift social and historical narratives around such subjects as race and identity through innovation across mediums.

This conversation, facilitated by Lunder Institute director Erica Wall, brings their two voices together to share how, when, and why the work they do seeks to interrogate and transform the how, when, and why of what we see, do, and say.

Learn how their work helps to expand the discourse around the ways in which the complexity of the American experience, its art, and its culture are evolving, shaping American visual culture and impacting American art.

The Art & series brings together visiting artists, scholars, museum staff, and community experts for conversations about exhibitions, collections, and projects at the Colby College Museum of Art and its Lunder Institute for American Art. A mix of in-person, virtual, and hybrid programs, this series is designed for those interested in learning more about art and engaging with the key issues of our time.

Jon Gray is a curator, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the Bronx-born culinary collective Ghetto Gastro. Gray aims to shift social narratives, blending a background in fashion to create immersive experiences, product design, and unique storytelling. From Co-Op City, Gray’s mother and grandmother taught him about the arts and challenged him to innovate as a way of life. When a rebellious adolescence almost put him behind bars, Gray used the experience to imagine a greater vision for himself. Inventorying his passions and pastimes, he made Bronx-driven gastro-diplomacy his career and mission.

In 2019, Gray delivered his noteworthy TED Talk, “The next big thing is coming from the Bronx, again.” Gray is a Civic Practice Partnership Artist in Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2021, he served as guest curator at the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, where “Jon Gray of Ghetto Gastro Selects” featured an Afrofuturist theme. He is an avid art collector and people connector.

Genevieve Gaignard (b.1981) is a multidisciplinary artist who uses self-portraiture, collage, sculpture, and installation to elicit dialogue around the intricacies of race, beauty, and cultural identity. Referencing regional and historical events, as well as a personal archive as a biracial woman, Gaignard creates environments that teeter between symbolic and autobiographical realms. She cleverly interrogates notions of skin privilege while challenging viewers to look more closely at racial realities. The ensemble of her work shatters viewers’ perceptions of culture and race, compelling them to piece together novel ways of perceiving the world and their place in it.

Since 2019, Gaignard has debuted six solo exhibitions and participated in numerous countrywide group shows. Last year, she presented two solo exhibitions: To Whom it May Concern with Rowan University Art Gallery and Strange Fruit with Vielmetter Los Angeles. Gaignard’s work has appeared at: The Broad, CA; The Nerman Museum, KS; Stephen Friedman Gallery, UK; The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX; The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; The Getty Center, CA; The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, MA; and Prospect.4, LA. In July 2022, Gaignard partnered with Orange Barrel Media on Look At Them Look At Us: a permanent, site-specific public art installation in downtown Atlanta. Gaignard received her bachelor of fine arts in photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and her master of fine arts in photography from Yale University. She splits her time between her hometown of Orange, Mass, and Los Angeles.

This program is free and open to all. While in-person attendance is strongly encouraged, the program will also be available via Zoom. A reception will follow in the museum lobby.

Images: Genevieve Gaignard, photography by Charlsie Gorski; Jon Gray.

Lunder Institute for American Art Welcomes Genevieve Gaignard

The Lunder Institute for American Art is excited to announce that multidisciplinary artist Genevieve Gaignard will visit for two weeks in the month of March to work with Waterville area students, Colby students, and local community. She will return as a resident fellow for the summer and fall of 2023.

As part of her spring residency, Gaignard will participate in a live conversation with Jon Gray, curator and co-founder of the culinary collective Ghetto Gastro.

Established in 2021, Lunder Institute residential fellowships provide artists with spacious studios as well as opportunities for collaboration with Colby College faculty, students, and staff, the Waterville community, and the Maine arts community. This studio program, based out of the Greene Block + Studios in downtown Waterville, Maine, encompasses artists at all stages of their careers and working in a range of artistic disciplines and mediums. Resident fellows are provided with housing and a stipend, have access to Colby College campus facilities, and are in dialogue with local organizations and community members.

Gaignard (b.1981) uses self-portraiture, collage, sculpture, and installation to elicit dialogue around the intricacies of race, beauty, and cultural identity. Referencing regional and historical events, as well as a personal archive as a biracial woman, Gaignard creates environments that teeter between symbolic and autobiographical realms. She cleverly interrogates notions of skin privilege while challenging viewers to look more closely at racial realities. The ensemble of her work shatters viewers’ perceptions of culture and race, compelling them to piece together novel ways of perceiving the world and their place in it.

Since 2019, Gaignard has debuted six solo exhibitions and participated in numerous countrywide group shows. Last year, she presented two solo exhibitions: To Whom it May Concern with Rowan University Art Gallery and Strange Fruit with Vielmetter Los Angeles. Gaignard’s work has appeared at: The Broad, CA; The Nerman Museum, KS; Stephen Friedman Gallery, UK; The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX; The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; The Getty Center, CA; The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, MA; and Prospect.4, LA. In July 2022, Gaignard partnered with Orange Barrel Media on Look At Them Look At Us: a permanent, site-specific public art installation in downtown Atlanta. Gaignard received her bachelor of fine arts in photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and her master of fine arts in photography from Yale University. She splits her time between her hometown of Orange, Mass, and Los Angeles.

Gaignard will join current residential fellows Heather Flor Cron, a queer Peruvian-American farmer, performer & transdisciplinary artist based in Portland, Tessa Greene O’Brien, a Maine-based artist and curator with a multi-faceted painting practice, and Dylan Hausthor, an artist based on the coast of Maine, who joined the Lunder Institute’s residential fellowship program during the fall 2022 semester.

Learn more about this group of artists and read their bios on our Spring 2023 Resident Fellows page.

Image: Genevieve Gaignard, photography by Charlsie Gorski.

Oscar Santillán: Teaching ‘Antimundo’ in the Classroom

Lunder Institute Senior Fellow Oscar Santillán has recently completed teaching a Jan Plan course for Colby students seeking to learn more about how we relate to technology. Jan Plan, a month-long exploratory term before the Spring semester, gives Colby students the opportunity to explore special topics that are not ordinarily offered during traditional academic semesters. Often, these classes break the mold of the standard college course—Santillán’s offering was no exception. 

Santillán’s course was titled “Antimundo,” reflecting the name of his studio and the conceptual framework that shapes his practice. ‘Antimundo’ accepts science, fiction, and non-human perspectives all at once, a way of embracing realities that do not fit in our current world. The course syllabus gives more detail:

This course is about the future; the future here is understood as the potential for other configurations of the world which have been forgotten, repressed, or poorly understood, such as indigenous technologies. The course departs from two main ideas; the first one is ‘Antimundo’, which is a conceptual approach towards diverse forms of human knowing beyond modern Western ways of organizing life on Earth (i.e. humans not as unique creatures, as all creatures are unique, but rather humans as exceptional beings). The second idea guiding this course is the IVM (the Interspecies Virtual Machine), which is a hypothesis for how to create connections between the diverse participants of planet Earth, those of organic and artificial origin. 

The goal of Santillán’s research is to connect biological and artificial, physical and virtual systems. How can these relationships be made tangible? Students joined in the process of conceptualizing ‘Antimundo.’ Over the course of the month, they created original audiovisual essays that addressed the ‘IVM.’ The final videos, prompted by the student’s own curiosity, lend diverse perspectives towards imagining what this radical future could look like. 

Santillán’s course pulled in students interested in topics such as land art, cybernetics, artificial intelligence, neurobiology, and more. What students learned over the course of the month weaved these concepts into a much larger hypothesis: that we, as humans, have critical symbiotic relationships with both the natural and artificial systems inhabiting our planet. What do we owe them, and what do they owe us?

Students in “Antimundo” watch a draft of a peer’s final audiovisual essay.

Meet Our Newest Resident Fellow

The Lunder Institute for American Art is excited to welcome Heather Flor Cron as its newest resident fellow. Cron will take up residence in Waterville in February for a semester of community building and creative collaboration.

Established in 2021, Lunder Institute residential fellowships provide artists with spacious studios as well as opportunities for collaboration with Colby College faculty, students, and staff, the Waterville community, and the Maine arts community. This studio program, based out of the Greene Block + Studios in downtown Waterville, Maine, encompasses artists at all stages of their careers and working in a range of artistic disciplines and mediums. Resident fellows are provided with housing and a stipend, have access to Colby College campus facilities, and are in dialogue with local organizations and community members.

Cron (she/they) is a queer Peruvian-American farmer, performer & transdisciplinary artist who works with intuitive movement, dirt, installation, printmaking, fiber, social practice and food. From a young age, she frequently traveled to Peru to visit her maternal family. There, her passion for movement, food and textiles was ignited. Cron lives in Portland, Maine, which is settled on stolen and occupied territory of the Wabanaki Confederacy. Through performance and object making, she locates the present moment and the relationship between her two cultures. She explores the defeat and transformation of trauma through the twin powers of vulnerability and forgiveness, and how exposing pain can transcend trauma.

Cron works and organizes with Presente! Maine, a grassroots organization which works to empower displaced indigenous and afro-Latinx peoples of Maine through survival programs, community power building, cultural celebration, and transformative healing practice. There she co-lead the Food Brigade project, a food survival program and the Cuidado Colectivo Program, a youth recreation day program. Cron has been featured in a number of group exhibitions including SPACE Gallery’s Re-Site, Able Baker Contemporary’s Undercurrents curated by Veronica Perez, and Speedwell Projects Can’t Take My Eyes Off You curated by Faythe Levine.

She is also the recipient of awards and residencies such as the Kindling Fund via Space Gallery / Andy Warhol Foundation, David C. Driskell Black Seed Studio Fellowship, Speedwell Projects Residency, Studios at MASS MoCA Fellowship and the Ellis Beauregard Foundation Residency.

Cron will join our continuing residential fellows, Tessa Greene O’Brien, a Maine-based artist and curator with a multi-faceted painting practice, and Dylan Hausthor, an artist based on the coast of Maine, who joined the Lunder Institute’s residential fellowship program during the fall 2022 semester.

Learn more about this group of artists and read their bios on our Spring 2023 Resident Fellows page.

Image: Heather Flor Cron.

First Friday, Downtown Waterville

First Fridays celebrate the vibrant creativity of Waterville by inviting people downtown to engage in multidisciplinary arts experiences. On the first Friday of every month, visit downtown Waterville to meet artists, participate in various workshops, listen to live music, eat delicious local food, and come together as a community.

Activities

Join us at the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, 93 Main Street:

Colby College Museum of Art’s Joan Dignam Schmaltz Gallery

  • 4–7 pm: Sketching at the Schmaltz
  • 4:30 pm: Tour of Light on Main Street with Siera Hyte, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary
  • 6:30 pm: Tour of Light on Main Street with Kris Bergquist, Curator of Education and Engagement

Waterville Creates

Try! Make! Create!, 4–6 pm

Drop in to the Schupf Art Center to try, make, and create. Try a guided activity or choose your own adventure using materials in the Ticonic Studio.

Greene Block + Studios, 18 Main Street:

Where We Are Now: Maps and Doorways at Greene Block + Studios, 4– 6 pm

Interact with Where We Are Now, a paper-based installation by artist Maggie Libby. This year-long project interweaves themes and questions about Waterville’s present and past histories, including those of the Kennebec River, food, place, labor, higher education, and women’s life stories.

Center for Book & Print, 4–6 pm

Open Studio, and opportunities to view and interact with artists’ books from Special Collections at Colby College

Stay tuned for more First Friday, Downtown Waterville activities.

Artist Paula Wilson Named a 2022–23 Lunder Institute Senior Fellow

We are thrilled to announce that artist Paula Wilson will serve as a Lunder Institute senior fellow and will be the recipient of the 2022–23 Alfonso Ossorio Creative Production Grant.

Established in 2019 and 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.

Wilson (born 1975) is a mixed-media artist who enlists an extensive range of techniques to create hybrid works. Using sculpture, collage, painting, installation, and printmaking methods such as silkscreen, lithography, and woodblock, Wilson explores perceptions of light, form, and the body in space.

Each year, the Lunder Institute supports scholarly and creative research by naming one or more scholars, curators, or artists whose work aligns with its priorities and initiatives. Chosen by invitation, senior fellows’ appointments last from nine to eighteen months. During that time, the fellows contribute to the Colby College community through academic engagement and one or more public programs related to their research or artistic practice.

“We are both excited and honored to have Paula Wilson as our Ossorio fellow this year,” said Erica Wall, director of the Lunder Institute.

“Her work is exemplary, and she is a true force. Her practice perfectly reflects the Lunder Institute’s commitment to the intersection between art making, interdisciplinary research and scholarship.”

During her fellowship, Wilson will be a featured artist in Ashley Bryan / Paula Wilson: Take the World into Your Arms, a highlight of the Colby Museum’s inaugural season in its new Joan Dignam Schmaltz Gallery of Art at the Paul J. Schupf Art Center in downtown Waterville. The exhibition pairs works by Wilson with those of Ashley Bryan (1923–2022), a celebrated teacher, author, and artist best known for having illustrated more than fifty books of poems and stories.

Though Wilson and Bryan never met, their passionate and open embrace of the world unites their multifaceted creative endeavors. Through their art, they channel the beauty and spirituality to be found in humanity and nature, using texture, color, and light to convey magical lyricism. With knowing and critical eyes, Bryan and Wilson also examine cultural history and tropes of identity and self-representation.

The exhibition, on view from February 17 through July 31, 2023, will introduce Wilson to Maine audiences and offer a new perspective on Bryan, an artist who made Maine his chosen home and who, though beloved for his illustrated books, is insufficiently recognized for his contributions as a contemporary artist.

Born in Chicago, Wilson received her bachelor of fine arts from Washington University in 1998 and her master of fine arts from Columbia University in 2005. She has served as a visiting artist at several art schools, and her growing exhibition opportunities include a two-person project with artist Nicola López at the Albuquerque Museum and the solo show, Paula Wilson: Toward the Sky’s Back Door, at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College, opening July 15, 2023.

In 2007, Wilson moved from Brooklyn to Carrizozo, New Mexico, where she lives with her woodworking partner and collaborator, Mike Lagg. In 2015 Wilson and Lagg, along with Warren and Joan Malkerson, cofounded Carrizozo AIR, a residency program designed to provide space and time to a range of creative practitioners. Wilson and Lagg also cofounded the arts organization MoMAZoZo, which, since 2010, has hosted weekly art activities and children’s workshops.

Wilson will visit the campus two times during the year to engage with Colby students, faculty and community members. There will also be opportunities for students to be in virtual conversation with the artist during the school year.

2022 Miles and Katharine Culbertson Prentice Distinguished Lecture: Oscar Santillán

On November 10, Oscar Santillán presented the 2022 Miles and Katharine Culbertson Prentice Distinguished Lecture live in Ostrove Auditorium on the Colby College campus. The artist spoke about his practice and introduce the research and work that he will be doing at Colby College during the 2022–23 academic year.

Santillán is a 2022–23 Lunder Institute Senior Fellow, in partnership with Colby’s Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence. The Ecuadorean artist, who resides in the Netherlands, works across the fields of artificial intelligence, performance, sculpture, anthropology, Indigenous studies, geography, biology, and critical theory.

This was the first event with the artist, who will be on campus for several extended visits this spring and will work with students, faculty, staff, and our local and regional community. In addition to the Lunder Institute fellowship, Santillán is one of five artists selected by the Holt/Smithson Foundation for The Island Project: Point of Departure, a project that invites each artist to develop proposals responding to an island in Maine that was purchased sight-unseen by Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson in 1971.

The Miles and Katharine Culbertson Prentice Distinguished Lecture is cosponsored by the Colby Museum and its Lunder Institute for American Art, the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment.

Image: Oscar Santillán, Chewing Gum Codex.

Connect with Lunder Institute Senior Fellow Oscar Santillán

The Lunder Institute will host a dialogue session with senior fellow Oscar Santillán, faculty, and students via Zoom on November 16th at 5 p.m. EST.

Santillán’s practice emerges from the notion of “Antimundo,” which he understands as “a way of identifying and generating realities that do not fit in the world.” For this purpose, he has resorted to forms of knowledge production and imaginaries overlooked by mainstream Western thinking, such as cybernetics, science fiction, ancient cosmologies, a more inclusive history of science and plant intelligence. This ”Antimundo” toolbox is complemented by disrupting paradigms, such as artificial intelligence and synthetic biology. Santillán (b. 1980, Ecuador) splits his time between Ecuador and the Netherlands.

This session will be an opportunity for the Colby community to be involved in his proposed project and research. If interested join live here.  

Colby students who are interested in supporting Santillán’s work through a paid research assistantship are encouraged to apply here or contact Karen Platt

Open Studios this Friday

Drop by the Greene Block + Studios at 18 Main Street in downtown Waterville between 6 and 8 p.m. on Friday, November 4, to get to know Lunder Institute of American Art resident fellows Tess O’Brien, Shasha Dothan, Gamaliel Rodríguez, and Dylan Hausthor during the first Lunder Institute Open Studios of the 2022–23 academic year.

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.

Be sure to come a bit early to experience Songs From Here at 5 p.m. in the first floor performance space.

Songs From Here is a new initiative to connect poets, composers, and performers in the beautiful state of Maine, to promote local talent and foster a greater sense of community across creative disciplines. Waterville is just one stop for an inaugural series of performances given by pianist Bridget Convey and classical vocalist Sarah Tuttle throughout the summer and fall of 2022. Songs featuring texts by some of New England’s best-loved writers, including Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow comprise some of the program material.Maine composers are at the heart of this program, featuring a brand-new set of songs commissioned in 2021 and written specifically for this project by Portland-based composer Erica Ball. Dan Sonenberg has put together a new song arrangement for the initiative, and the program will include solo piano works by John Newell and John Knowles Paine.

Artist Oscar Santillán Named 2022–23 Senior Fellow


For the 2022-23 academic year, the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art, in collaboration with the Holt/Smithson Foundation and the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence at Colby College, is pleased to announce that visual artist, cybernetician and writer Oscar Santillán has been selected as a 2022–23 senior fellow.

His practice emerges from the notion of “Antimundo,” which he understands as “a way of identifying and generating realities that do not fit in the world.” For this purpose, he has resorted to forms of knowledge production and imaginaries overlooked by mainstream Western thinking, such as cybernetics, science fiction, ancient cosmologies, a more inclusive history of science and plant intelligence. This ”Antimundo” toolbox is complemented by disrupting paradigms, such as artificial intelligence and synthetic biology. Santillán (b. 1980, Ecuador) splits his time between Ecuador and the Netherlands.

This fellowship will directly advance Santillán’s commission from the Holt/Smithson Foundation for the The Island Project: Point of Departure, to create new work and respond to Little Fort Island, a small island off the midcoast of Maine. The artist Robert Smithson purchased the island in 1972 but never made an artistic intervention there. Partnership is integral to all that Holt/Smithson Foundation does, and the Island Project partners with artists to consider how this island site can generate ideas, raise questions and inspire artworks. The first idea to come to fruition is by Oscar Santillán, and his senior fellowship at the Lunder Institute will move the ideas forward. Santillán will research, develop and pilot a project that conjures Little Fort Island as a sentient entity and imagines the possibilities of communication and expression among biological, technological, human and animal realms.

Lisa Le Feuvre, Executive Director of Holt/Smithson Foundation, says, “Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson transformed the world of art and ideas. Since our inception, working in partnership has been at the heart of Holt/Smithson Foundation’s activities. We are honored to be working with Oscar Santillán and with the Lunder Institute at Colby College to think through what Land Art might be for our times.” The making of this speculative artwork will draw from artificial intelligence, indigenous knowledge, haptics, psychology, neuroscience, ecology, creative writing, performance and other fields of knowledge and practice. In the spirit of Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson, The Island Project sets out to develop innovative ways of exploring our relationship with the planet.

“It is a real honor to develop this new project as part of the community of curious minds at Colby,” said Oscar Santillán, who added, “I am looking forward to learning from the community, igniting some fires, and making sense out of the unknown as a collaborative effort.” As part of his fellowship, Santillán will interact with students, faculty and staff across campus through courses, workshops, talks and discussions. Additional public engagements will be offered through the Colby Museum and the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Santillán will visit Maine and the Colby campus during the 2022–23 academic year, including the month of January, when he will teach a course related to his research and practice.

Santillán will virtually present the 2022 Miles and Katharine Prentice Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, November 10, cosponsored by the Colby Museum, the Davis Center for Artificial Intelligence and the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment. The talk will be followed by a live Q&A and a reception for those physically in attendance in Ostrove Auditorium, on Colby’s campus.

“We are very excited to collaborate with the Holt/Smithson Foundation and the Davis AI Institute, to bring such an amazing artist, innovative thinker and practitioner to Colby,” said Erica Wall, director of the Lunder Institute. “Oscar Santillán’s research and practice is a perfect representation of how one artist and his ideas can generate new realities, through and around a diverse group of disciplines. Oscar’s work demonstrates how beautifully and naturally artists, scientists and ecologists work alongside one another.”

Meet Our 2022–23 Resident Fellows

Over the coming weeks, a new cohort of Lunder Institute resident fellows will take up residence in Waterville for a year of community building and creative collaboration.

Established in 2021, Lunder Institute residential fellowships provide artists with spacious studios as well as opportunities for collaboration with Colby College faculty, students, and staff, the Waterville community, and the Maine arts community. This studio program, based out of the Greene Block + Studios in downtown Waterville, Maine, encompasses artists at all stages of their careers and working in a range of artistic disciplines and mediums. Resident fellows are provided with housing and a stipend, have access to Colby College campus facilities, and are in dialogue with local organizations and community members.

Joining the program this year are Shasha Dothan, a Brooklyn-based artist working with video and installation, Tessa Greene O’Brien, a Maine-based artist and curator with a multi-faceted painting practice, Dylan Hausthor, an artist based on the coast of Maine, and Gamaliel Rodríguez, a visual artist based in Puerto Rico who works with pencil, ink, acrylic, and ballpoint pen.

Learn more about this group of artists and read their bios on our 2022–23 Resident Fellows page.

Image (clockwise from top-left): Shasha Dothan, Gamaliel Rodríguez, Tessa Greene O’Brien, and Dylan Hausthor.

Colby Islands Convening

Through its Lunder Institute for American Art, the Colby College Museum of Art is holding a two-day convening in Waterville and Allen Island. Artists and curators came to Maine to inform the conceptual development of a future Colby Museum exhibition in its early phase. The Islands Project centers the creative production of artists with cultural heritage ties to Cuba, Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. The intertwined histories of occupation and colonization by both Spain and the United States link these islands, inflecting the cultural heritages of their constituencies. By situating into dialogue works by artists tied to these islands against the contextual grain of U.S. imperialism, the Islands Project aims to fundamentally reframe key understandings of American art. More importantly, the project seeks to generate new avenues of meaning and opportunities for solidarity across constituencies currently living with these shared historical legacies.

The Lunder Institute incubates innovative research and creative practice for projects in their early stages through fellowships and convening programs, redefining how American art is made, taught, studied, and shared.

The cohort of Lunder Institute Project Fellows for Summer 2022 include Micki Davis, Sara Jimenez, Jerome Reyes, Marina Reyes Franco, Edra Soto, and Marina Tyquiengco. They are joined by Richard Blanco, a former Lunder Institute Fellow, now on the Colby Museum’s Board of Governors, as well as Colby Museum staff members and students who have also contributed to the project. The Islands Project is organized by Jessamine Batario, Linde Family Foundation Curator of Academic Engagement.
IMAGE (Clockwise, from top right): Micki Davis, Marina Tyquiengco, Jerome Reyes, Edra Soto, Sara Jimenez, and Marina Reyes Franco.

David Thomson Returns for an Intensive Residency

The Lunder Institute for American Art is excited to welcome visiting artist David Thomson back to Colby College for an intensive ten-day residency. Thomson and his collaborators, Katie Workum, Jaguar Mary X, Nehemoyia Young and Katrina Reid, will be here working through the final development and preparation of the production VESSEL, which is premiering this October at the Chocolate Factory Theater in New York City. This visiting artist engagement also provides members of the Colby College community with an opportunity to experience work in progress and meet the artists.

VESSEL is the latest development of Thomson’s research on the perception of identity, extending to questions on how presence and absence operate within the human experience. 

In this durational installation the performers are visually obscured by a thin membrane of material. Through a practice developed within this project, they enter into journeys of transformation and forms of trance.  The audience is there to witness, listen and feel.

Thomson, an interdisciplinary artist whose practice borders on choreographic situations and installations centered around questions of identity, unconscious narratives, and the expression of presence and absence as performative states, visited Colby in March to present a pair of workshops for students, faculty, and staff on how to reconceptualize care within work ecosystems.

Meet Our Summer 2022 Resident Fellows

Over the coming weeks, a new cohort of Lunder Institute resident fellows will converge in Waterville for a summer of community building and creative collaboration.

Established in 2021, Lunder Institute residential fellowships provide artists with spacious studios as well as opportunities for collaboration with Colby College faculty, students, and staff, the Waterville community, and the Maine arts community. This studio program, based out of the Greene Block + Studios in downtown Waterville, Maine, encompasses artists at all stages of their careers and working in a range of artistic disciplines and mediums. Resident fellows are provided with housing and a stipend, have access to Colby College campus facilities, and are in dialogue with local organizations and community members.

Joining the program this summer are textile artist, painter, and art educator Bryana Bibbs, the performance duo of Millie Kapp and Matt Shalzi, José Santiago Pérez, an artist and educator based in Chicago who traces his ancestry to the Nawat people of Kuscatlán (El Salvador), and Unyimeabasi Udoh, an artist who works across various media, including print, installation, sculpture, and embroidery.

Learn more about this group of artists and read their bios on our Summer 2022 Resident Fellows page.

Image (clockwise from top-left): José Santiago Pérez, Unyimeabasi Udoh, Bryana Bibbs, Matt Shalzi, and Millie Kapp.