Located on the Santa Fe University of Art and Design campus, the Santa Fe Art Institute is an international arts residency program. SFAI is passionate about art’s ability to investigate and positively impact social issues. Starting this month, the institute is holding several upcoming workshops and other events in order to foster that change.
“Everything we do at SFAI is connected to how we can create positive social change,” Development and Communications Director Robert Gomez Hernandez says. Every year the institute chooses a theme to focus on, which from Sept. 2016 and ending in July 2017, is Water Rights. Four of SFAI’s residents traveled to Standing Rock for a week in November, offering support, supplies and presence at the protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Founder of Dancing Earth Rulan Tangen also organized local workshops to raise awareness and funds for Standing Rock. The next residency will be themed around Equal Justice. Those interested are encouraged to apply at SFAI.org.
For the first time, SFAI also is launching several resident taught workshops that are open to the public. “These workshops are a really great extension to be able to take some of the skills that our amazing, really remarkable artists have and to be able to share them with our community members,” Hernandez says. The first two of seven workshops are “The Traveling Block Print” (Feb. 18 1 to 4 p.m.) and “Writing as Creative Resistance: Writing Alive During Shifting Tides” (Feb. 23 6 to 9 p.m.) Typically, workshops will only occur once a month; however, SFAI decided that given the current socio-political environment, adding an additional one during the month of February would be beneficial. “We wanted to teach these classes, especially right now with people feeling kind of lost with the election…and finding a way to become engaged and active,” Toni Gentilli, residency program manager, says.
“Writing as Creative Resistance: Writing Alive During Shifting Tides” is an all-level workshop taught by Helene Wurlitzer Foundation and Art Farm fellow Franciszka Voeltz. The workshop is inspired by “First 100 Days: United in Resistance,” a creative initiative to support resistance against the Trump administration. Participants will take a “look at writing that has stood up for a just world over time,” as well as generate writing of their own through provided prompts and activities. Workshops cost $60.
SFAI is also committed to creating a strong relationship with SFUAD students. Alumnus Franco Andres interned at the institute during his degree and is now the institute’s post-graduate fellow and logistics manager. SFAI offers several internship opportunities for SFUAD students, including those for credit. “Our doors are open,” Andres says, who is involved with creating symbiotic programming between SFAI and SFUAD. “This is not an exclusive space and we welcome SFUAD faculty and students.”
As for the upcoming workshops, SFAI is offering SFUAD students an incentive in which students who are interested can volunteer at one workshop in exchange for being sponsored to participate in another of their choice. Students interested should contact Andres at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SFAI has many other events coming up soon, such as the SFAI 140 event in March at which 20 speakers will each give a 140 second talk. For more information on these events as well as application information for the next residency program visit SFAI.org.