Throughout the summer, our office has been hearing back from students showing work around the country, studying abroad, presenting at conferences, and participating in residencies. Teal Korby Gordon, photography BFA, came back from Anderson Ranch with a lot to share about her great opportunity.
The Anderson Ranch artist residency was founded in 1966 in the Rocky Mountains. It lies just outside of Aspen, Colorado. Gordon received a fellowship to attend the “Advanced Project Workshop” and was also awarded a scholarship to cover all other expenses. The workshop was taught by Whitney Johnson, director of photography at National Geographic and former director of photography at The New Yorker. The premise of the workshop was to bring in a body of work, finesse it down into a marketable package (edit images, create an artist statement, a pitch, and so forth), and to make goals for how to promote the work.
According to Teal, “There was so much variety in the students of the class, from one guy who was the chief of staff for Al Gore, to a woman who travels to small villages in the Himalayas affected by climate change. Though Whitney isn’t a photographer or artist, she had a lot to offer as an editor. By the end of the week we all made very specific short, middle, and long term goals relating to our bodies of work. I was surrounded by people who were dedicated to art making and being creative. The energy was invigorating!”
Though the workshop didn’t require the making of a new body of work, Gordon went above the expectation, seizing this new environment and proximity to nature to explore aesthetic issues related to her BFA work, which “is about image culture and the phone as a medium or frame for experiencing image.” She was even able to sell work at the Ranch’s auctionette.
While there, Gordon also had the opportunity to meet and talk with artist Mickalene Thomas about her work, which she said inspired her to pick back up the multi-media works that used to drive her interest. She also spoke with Simounette Quamina, lecturer at both Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University, who gave her advice about grad schools. “The environment at Anderson Ranch was so welcoming and open. I could go up to anyone and talk about art and I would walk away with new ideas or advice. It was definitely a life changing experience.”