Good News: I have been accepted into the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program (RAIR) in Roswell, NM. It is a year long program that has hosted some of my favorite artists such as Luis Jimenez and Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison.
Logistics: My residency will begin in September 2012 and complete in September 2013. I am taking one year of “developmental leave” from my job as the Richland College Gallery Coordinator. RAIR provides each artist with a private residence and a studio with a decent monthly stipend as part of the program. My wife, Sue Anne, will remain in Texas teaching and taking care of our animals.
History: I was born and raised in Roswell until I was 15, at which time my family moved to Lubbock, TX. I first applied for this residency in 2008.
No pressure: You have 1 year… don’t waste it. While thrilled, I am slightly nervous.
This is a dramatic lifestyle change. To move into an area devoid of the multitude of opportunities presented in Dallas means I will need to reconsider my… well, “ambition” or “ego” are good words. In the last 3 years I have run galleries, curated shows, participated in 3 collectives, written art reviews for multiple publications, participated and planned conferences and panel discussions, and had several shows of my own. Several of these activities are the necessary by-products accompanying a successful art career: an attempt to make one’s self valuable and recognizable with the result of a densely padded CV. Striving for the carrot of a full time job and/or gallery representation, the art world has become inundated with people like me. (I am thinking of mutli-faceted professionals, not necessarily pompous white bloggers.) If I am not mistaken, this new generation of artists will do as I have done: collaborate with everybody, never say ‘no’ to anything, become art world savvy, and control the galleries they want to show in. In short, their “art” will be the practice of being an artist/gallerist/curator/writer/fundraiser/community supporter, no longer judged on objects alone but considered fully as autuers and directors related to visual art.
That being said, I am interested in how I can maintain this role from Roswell. I know you may say, “Ryder, for christ-sakes, just make art and be happy.” I will. I will also do more than that, because I don’t know how not to do more than that.