Jeff Broekhoven – Dispatch #3

Wow folks, the 2015 Outpost Artist Residency beta program has come and gone, what a wild ride!
From January through June 2015, Farmers Park launched a beta artist residency opportunity, known as The Outpost Artist Residency. It provided a unique place and ample time for local and regional contemporary artists to engage in art making, and to engage directly with the dynamic community emerging at Farmers Park. This residency opportunity, in combination with the other arts programming at Farmers Park, creates a unique cultural platform within our region, linking Springfield, MO to thriving art scenes in neighboring places like St. Louis, Kansas City, Bentonville, AR and others in the region.
The beta program included selected artists working in a wide range of media including drawing, painting, installation, photography, and sculpture. Artists were provided with live/work spaces and ample time to pursue their individual studio practices. Additionally, artists instructed workshops in figure drawing, plywood lamination techniques, and sewing. Artists built Interactive and participatory artworks and engaged directly with the community at the weekly farmers market, a charity art auction, open house tours of Farmers Park, and private tours with community organizations. Artists frequently discussed their work and professional practice with visitors to Farmers Park and with the greater Springfield community.
A major highlight of the residency experience was hosting a Springfield Creatives monthly event. The resident artists gave an artist talk and presented an interactive participatory sculpture for the group in the CAST co-working space at Farmers Park. A recap of the event can be found on the Springfield Creatives website at this link:
To conclude their time at Farmers Park each resident artist donated an original artwork created during their stay. These works are the beginning of the Outpost archive, a diverse visual record of the work produced by each artist and a product of their individual studio practices. These works will find a permanent home once the Outpost Residency Program fully launches. For now, we have concluded the beta program and will regroup this fall to work on next steps.
So What’s Next?
Well, we are taking a moment to catch our breath and reflect on the beta experience in order to make our official launch as successful as possible. We have some good momentum and a lot of interest citywide, including some potential partnership opportunities with Drury University’s SIVA program, the Springfield Art Museum, Green Circle Projects, and individual community members, who see not just the value but the necessity in making Springfield livable for artists, and how an artist residency program can be a critical component to making that goal a reality.
Stay tuned, we will see you next summer at the Outpost. For now, signing off.

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