This last week, I had the opportunity to participate in the Adventure Residency Program (adventureresidency.org), brainchild of artist, mad scientist and raconteur Calder Brannock. Adventure Residency takes artists on trips to explore ideas and destinations known only to Brannock, and as each stage of the journey is revealed, the artists must consider the thesis and make work inspired by the experience.
This particular trip was dedicated to “Welcoming, Welcome Centers and First Impressions.” The journey began in D.C. and made the first leg of its trip to South of the Border, a wildly cartoonish and slightly racist way station at the border between North Carolina and South Carolina. We continued to Columbia, SC, Brannock’s childhood home, where we explored the entryway and architecture of the Robert Mills House in downtown Columbia. That evening, if ART Gallery’s Wim Roefs was kind enough to host us as we parked the ARP vehicle to participate in the Columbia Art Walk, and we shared the residency’s mission to several passersby. We also had the opportunity to spend a day at River Bluff High School, not only introducing the students to the Adventure Residency Program, but I gave several talks about my work and had the distinct pleasure of participating in critiques of the Photo II and Advanced Placement Photography students’ work. The trip concluded with a visit to the UFO Welcome Center in Bowman, SC, and we were lucky enough to find creator Jody Pendarvis working on his four-story UFO made out of plywood, sheet metal and madness.
Finally, I had the honor of spending this trip with fellow adventurers Sean Naftal, an installation artist from NYC, technologist Kent Reynolds of Washington, D.C., and painter Michael Caines of NYC (by way of Nova Scotia, Canada), all of whom made the trip an absolutely memorable and enjoyable experience.