In October of 2022, I was invited to Breckenridge, Colorado for a month-long artist residency at Breck Creative Arts. The artist residency program provided me with an artist studio filled with natural light and an apartment in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. This was not only a change of scenery for me, but also a change in workspace as I have never had a studio with so many windows and in such close proximity to the wilderness.
Through the program, I was able to focus on a body of work, host workshops, and immerse myself in their community and their landscape. Breck Create also gave me access to five different studios with varying amenities from printmaking to ceramics, metals, glass blowing, and a family arts and crafts workshop, but I needed more time to work in all of the creative spaces. I wish we had an arts campus like this in Los Angeles that would give artists the space and the resources to develop a body of work in a different medium and learn directly from other working artists.
During my time at Breck, I met with locals who lived in the immediate Breckenridge community, throughout Summit County and people from all over the world. Although Breck is a small mountain town, it has a rich history and a global reputation. For an Angeleno, traveling 2 hours from one side of the city to the next is a deterrent. Still, I found that many Coloradans will do so, just to have an immersive cultural experience or to commune with a fellow artist through free-form collage.
One of the goals of my residency was to meet with local workers and learn about their experiences working in Summit County in the present day, and what their lives were like as a result of the pandemic. I held a series of interviews with workers to hear their stories, their backgrounds, and their aspirations. The interviews, photo sessions, and exploration of the Breckenridge landscape will result in a series of portraits highlighting and uplifting the lives and contributions of workers and immigrant communities in Summit County, Colorado.
Additionally, I held workshops on-site at the Breckenridge Campus and at Snowy Peaks Middle School and High School. The workshops merged printmaking with collage and coloring sheets.
The immersion of artists in communities through workshops both at local schools and on the Breck Create campus created an opportunity for me to genuinely connect with locals, to learn from them, and offered an opportunity for authentic cultural exchange and peer-to-peer learning.
I look forward to returning to Breckenridge in 2023 for the exhibition, and workshop, and reconnecting with locals and the beautiful Rockies.