In collaboration between Western Academy of Beijing and Red Gate Residency, in March 2014 Red Gate Resident Petra Valdimarsdóttir planned a three-week art workshop with 110 Grade 5 students and their art teacher Tarna Eupene. The result was a thought provoking and socially relevant project for the students, and a book presenting their work. This workshop marked the official beginning of a partnership between Western Academy of Beijing and Red Gate Residency.
Graphic by Petra Valdimarsdóttir
Petra Valdimarsdóttir, a visual artist and graphic designer from Reykjavik, Iceland, based in Berlin, Germany, called her workshop READING THE NEWS.
Valdimarsdóttir allotted three classes to carry out the workshop. She began by introducing herself and her work to the students. Valdimarsdottir and the students discussed the importance of art and the impact that some artists have had on society. Valdimarsdóttir’s own work involves collecting and archiving large quantities of information and putting them into unconventional visual forms, or ‘info-graphics’, thus making the information more accessible.
Below, an image of Valdimarsdóttir’s work:
At the start of each class, Valdimarsdóttir presented on some of her favourite artists to WAB students. WAB students were also asked to choose an artist or a painting to introduce to their classmates.
Using Petra’s framework for creating their work, WAB students were asked to combine words, images and letters from newspapers to create their own news story in the form of a collage. With a wide variety of newspapers, some glue, a pair of scissors and a square piece of paper, students created collages concerning topics they feel are insufficiently represented in the news. The collages turned into literal and figurative interpretations of words, information and pictures, all with a message that was important to the student.
THE FINAL PRODUCT
The final product for the workshop is a printed and bound book designed by Valdimarsdóttir and Eupene, entitled Reading the News. It is a compilation of all the WAB students’ collages. In the introduction to the book, Petra and Tarna noted that these collages mark a point in time between the last days of the printed press and the inevitable migration to news information in purely digital format.
Both Petra and Tarna were thrilled about the project. This was Petra’s first project with kids and said she had not expected it to be such a fulfilling experience, “The students took the project really seriously, and were extremely aware of their political and social environment—it was really fun to see.”
For more information about Petra, visit her website http:/petrappm.nl
For more information about Western Academy of Beijing, www.wab.edu
BA DA BING
Red Gate Residency’s first Open Studio of 2014
Saturday, March 29 at Red Gate Residency Studios 3 & 4, opposite Imagine Gallery, 3 - 6 pm
Invitation design by Petra Valdimarsdottir
Anne Hastie, Painting, Australia
Dagur Kaveh, Audio & Visual, Iceland
Leroy Forney, Painting, United States
Mitra N Forouhar, Painting, United States
Petra Valdimarsdottir, New Media, Iceland
Suzanne Somer, Mixed Media, Netherlands
Tiyan Baker, Video, Australia
Tomash Schoiswohl, Conceptual, Austria
Founded in 2013, China Residencies is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide an online directory of artist residencies in China and support for visiting artists. In August and October of 2013, China Residencies interviewed Red Gate Residency founder Brian Wallace, director Tang Zehui, and then-residency coordinator Nina. You can find the interviews here.
News from China Residencies
+May 2013 research trip including 6 cities and 17 programs in two week
+31 residency programs listed in our directory
+16 published interviews with residency administrators and artists
+3 pop-up exhibitions throughout China of past artists work
+Press from Hyperallergic and Res Artis and Rate My Residency
+Presentations at Residency Unlimited and Transcultural Exchange
Two last things we are super excited to announce: first, we got the very first grant we applied for, which will allow us to fully fund Australian artists on residency to 2nd and 3rd tier cities in China. And second, because of the work we did mapping artist residency programs in China, Crystal was elected to the board of directors of another nonprofit, Res Artis, a worldwide network of artist residencies. In this position, she will be able to advocate for residencies in China and push for mapping efforts to be extended across Asia.
Red Gate Residency is a huge advocate for the mission behind China Residencies, and not just for its relevance and importance--we also have a particular fondness for the organization because it was founded by one of Red Gate Residency’s previous directors, Crystal Ruth Bell, along with co-founder Kira Simon-Kennedy. Bell and Simon-Kennedy met while working at Red Gate Residency.
For a little more background on Crystal: Crystal is the former director of Red Gate Residency where she served for two years. In 2011, Crystal initiated several meetings of China residency administrators across China to discuss challenges and opportunities for organizations and visiting artists. The resources being developed by her non-profit initiative China Residencies are a response to these needs. She is also an enthusiastic team member in NYC for DoSomething.org. Her own art practice explores cultural exchange through pop-up food art interventions.
China Residencies is an excellent resource for residencies already established in China and looking to network with other existing residencies, for people thinking to start a residency in China, and for artists looking to attend residencies in China. If you fall into any of those categories or simply have an interest in art and residencies in China, be sure to become a China Residencies member. With the increasing number of residencies in China, China Residencies is an essential tool and resource for the future.
Above, December Red Gate residents look at Three Shadows’ permanent collection.
Photo:: Emma Karasz