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2022 Reserve Residency

The 2022 Reserve Residency is a pilot program at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm that will use visual and performing arts to deepen science understanding. Public performances and workshops will occur onsite and in local communities. If successful, this program that brings together scientists, artists, and community members will occur more frequently.

The goals of the program will be to support bold projects dealing with difficult material in their earliest stages, when creative nurturing is most crucial, and use visual and performing arts to increase understanding of current science topics. The Wells Reserve will connect artists and the community through three modes of programming: public readings and presentations of new work; workshops; and conversations between the local scientists, students, and the artists. These programs will benefit participants by:

  • increasing science literacy
  • cultivating a deeper appreciation for the artistic process within the community
  • fostering confidence within nonscientists to discuss challenging science concepts
  • bringing together diverse perspectives in a safe setting to address major issues of our time
  • offering accessible programming to those who may not otherwise participate

The residency at the Wells Reserve is for accomplished mid-level artists who are already making an impact in their field. 

The presentation of the works-in-progress will occur on Thursday, October 20, from 6:00-8:30pm in the Barn at the Wells Reserve. More details on the evening can be found here.

The selected artists-in-residence for this inaugural program in Fall 2022 are:

Sarah Cameron Sunde (New York, NY) is an interdisciplinary artist and director working at the intersection of performance, video, and public art, investigating scale and duration in relationship to the human body, the environment, and deep time. She was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete her international series of performances and video artworks, 36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea (2013 - 2022). Other honors include two MAP Fund Grants, NYSCA, Watermill Center Residency, Baryshnikov Residency, Princess Grace Award, and ongoing support from Invoking the Pause. Solo exhibitions include The Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA; NYU Gallatin Galleries, New York, NY; Oude Kerk, Amsterdam; and Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau-Auckland. She holds a B.A. in Theater from UCLA and an M.F.A. in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice from The City College of New York, CUNY. 

Sarah's residency project description

WATER SENSING will be an attempt to train my body to perceive the nearest water level at all times. This conceptual and durational work proposes that in order to survive a future with sea-level rise, we must reconnect our urban-human bodies to bodies of water and learn to live in tidal time.

Over the 10 days of the residency at Wells Reserve, I will attempt to adjust my senses to circa-tidal rhythms in all capacities. I will engage in a durational experimental performance to train my body to feel the gravitational pull of the water and perceive the water level at all times. I will subsequently develop this practice into an embodied pedagogy that prioritizes relationships with water that surrounds us -- even when (especially when!) our bodies are located in the middle of an urban space.  

Michelle Memran (New York, NY) is a filmmaker, writer, and visual artist. As a journalist in NYC, she has written for The New York Times, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, and American Theatre magazine. Memran’s highly acclaimed debut feature documentary on playwright Maria Irene Fornes, The Rest I Make Up, premiered at MoMA’s Doc Fortnight Series and was called one of “The Best Movies of 2018” by The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody. As a visual artist, her oil pastel portraits have been commissioned by The New York Times Book Review, as well as by various theatrical and film productions.

Michelle's residency project description

I am a writer and documentary filmmaker who works creatively with people who have dementia, and my current collaborator, Gus Rogerson, has early-onset Alzheimer's and aphasia. Gus is a former actor and artistic director of The 52nd Street Project, a beloved NYC nonprofit that pairs young playwrights from Hell's Kitchen with theater mentors and professional actors. Due to his aphasia, Gus is losing the ability to write and comprehend language. Gus's dream before he loses these abilities entirely is to finish writing a series of poems that will become his narration for our film collaboration (tentatively titled "Plenty Enough"). We started working together a year ago, recording our weekly writing sessions over Zoom. Gus reading his poems aloud is part of our creative practice, and it has also become a kind of speech therapy. While in residence, I will be going through our work sessions from the past year, and stitching together the arc of our conversations, alongside his recorded poetry. This is an incredibly important and integral step in our process. In working with people who have dementia, I’ve discovered that being seen and having experiences recorded and reflected back is healing on multiple levels. Alzheimer’s and other dementias are among the most isolating and invisibilizing disabilities. Unfortunately, the media only gives us the tragedy narrative of these conditions, forcing people into a closet of shame and stigma. By collaborating with Gus, and earlier Maria Irene Fornes in The Rest I Make Up, I get to witness and share a generative, flourishing way to live with neurocognitive change. This residency will allow me to deepen this work and artistic practice, and prepare a sequence of selects to share with my collaborator.

Liz Bills (Haverhill, MA) is known for her entrancing high energy performances and emotionally charged power vocals, passionate and honest in her songwriting and stage presence; Liz is unapologetically brave yet incredibly vulnerable and real. Taking you on a wild ride that is intoxicatingly sweet and dangerously ferocious. Highlights include the 2020 and 2021 Boston Music Award’s ‘Singer/songwriter of The Year’ nomination, winning ‘Pop Act of The Year’ in 2021, ‘Roots Act of The Year’ in 2019 and ‘Rock Act of the Year’ in 2018 for the New England Music Awards, opening for Bon Jovi at Mohegan Sun in 2017, runner-up in the 2016 Aloft Rising Star with Daughtry, and a semi-finals appearance in the WZLX’s 2016 Rock Rumble. Liz was a top 30 female finisher in the 2013 American Idol competition, and has been compared to singers such as Grace Potter, Janis Joplin, Florence and the Machine and Susan Tedeschi.

Liz's residency project description

My solo album will incorporate themes of grief, loss, compassion and acceptance of change. I am grieving the loss of my mother (she's still with us but the version of her I've always known is gone due to the strokes). I also struggle with mental health issues that are triggered by trauma, such as what I am dealing with currently while supporting my mother. I bring this up because  I feel it is my job to help with the stigma and for others including myself to not feel alone. I use my music to help diminish the shame or fear surrounding issues of mental health. I find that being around nature decreases anxiety and opens up pathways to creativity and peace. 

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