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  • Writer's pictureMorgan Conservatory

Record-Breaking Year For Artists-In-Residence In 2022!

Throughout the year, we have had the pleasure of hosting our ever-talented artists-in-residence. A total of 13 artists from around the world came through our doors in 2022, a new record for us! We have been so grateful to witness their artistic excellence as they work through their projects in our paper, print, and book studios. As we close on our year and look back, we would like to highlight some of our artists-in-residence, as well as provide some insight into our 2023 program!

Our first artist walked through our doors at the beginning of March, and ever since, our doors have been consistently rotating. When you take up a residency at the Morgan, you are able to totally immerse yourself not only in our studios but within our community as well. Our staff, as well as Papermaking Emeritus Tom Balbo, are here to help you acclimate to our studios as well as the area surrounding our facility. Artist-in-residence Nancy Halbrooks was a local artist and had been to the Morgan previously before starting her residency. She had this to say about her residency; “It’s wonderful for locals because you can leave home to go work and then return to sleep in your own bed. I have had 4 other residences, and I think this was my favorite.”

During a residency at the Morgan, we encourage artists of all skill levels to apply and propose ideas for their residency. We are lucky enough to have staff members who are well-versed in the arts, especially the areas we offer in our studios. The majority of artists this year were not too familiar with papermaking, our bread and butter, if you will, which was where Tom and studio coordinator Michaelle Marchall stepped in to assist and teach the basics. Once acclimated, Tom, who works specifically with our residency program, has the opportunity to teach specialized techniques to our residents. Erik Waterkotte, who had his

residency in July, had this to say about working with staff in our paper studio; “I loved working at the Morgan. The staff, artists, interns, and volunteers are very kind and generous. I enjoyed the location. Beautiful, cool garden, lots of space and support. I learned so much and was very productive. I really enjoyed working with Tom and really appreciate him and Michaelle sharing their time and expertise with me.”

We also encourage artists to come with excess time to experiment with other techniques while they are here. Tom has a trove of knowledge built up from his years in the industry, laying in wait for our artists! Zelda Zinn is an artist from New York City; she came with little knowledge of the paper arts; hear what she has to say about working with Tom in the studio; “The Morgan is a national treasure! I feel so grateful to have been able to dip my toe into the art of paper making with the expert guidance and support of founder Tom Balbo! There are so many aspects to explore, from letterpress to marbling to bookbinding. I only wish I had stayed longer, and can't wait to come back with a project to execute!”

It is also extremely likely that you could share the studio space with other artists during

your residency. Zelda was joined by another New York City artist, Tammy Wofsey. Tammy also was a novice in papermaking, keyword–was! This is what she had to say about working with Tom and other artists during her residency; “It was the perfect balance of having as much time as I needed to work in the paper-making studio and one on one attention. I had a lot of trepidation in the beginning because It was all new to me. I got more confident with Tom helping me get started and learning about how things work and clean-up procedures in the paper-making studio. I think the best way for me to learn was not to get too attached to the work I was making and ask lots of questions which Tom had an answer for and was extremely patient. I hit a lot of roadblocks making the large paperwork that I thought at the time was doomed. Then there were so many solutions for problem-solving that Tom suggested for the art work I would never have learned without the expertise and knowledge of Tom.”

Ultimately, all of us at the Morgan want to make your residency all about you! Teaching, assisting, and providing ideas are only a few ways in which we do that. With this upcoming year quickly approaching, we are gearing up for our next batch of artists. We received over 50 applications this year and are currently underway processing our applications and planning timelines for next year. We would love for you to learn more about each of our artists from the 2022 season on our website by clicking here. You can also follow us on Instagram, where we have highlights of every artist from this past year. We have one final artist talk for this year in December. It will be taking place on Zoom and will begin at 6pm Eastern Standard time. Our final artist talk will be on December 14th, and we will be speaking with Loreto Greve and Catherine Clements. You can RSVP by clicking here.

Picture on the Left: Erik Waterkotte in the paper studio

Picture on the Right: Zelda Zinn and Tammy Wofsey in the paper studio

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