This spring, Guild Hall in East Hampton welcomed five artists as part of its Artist in Residence (AIR) Program, with the hopes of establishing the groundwork for a dynamic residency devoted to promoting and supporting rising talent. The inaugural group includes collaborative multi-media artists Jennifer Hsu and James Wang; visual artist Arcmanoro Niles; writer Iris Smyles; and poet Tom Yuill.
Hsu and Wang’s work spans across several mediums, including video, photography, digital and analog painting, text and installation. They use the intersection of conflict, within and without, as a muse, and also find inspiration within empathy among living things. The duo work and reside in Brooklyn, New York.
While Niles was a senior at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, he received a scholarship to study figure drawing at the Washington Studio School, and was later bestowed a studio from its board members. He continued his studies at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and before graduating with a BFA, Niles was awarded a two-week residency in San Jose, Costa Rica, during which he was part of a group show that featured up and coming American artists. He was a recipient of the Bob Colacello Scholarship from The New York Academy of Art in 2013, and during the first year of his graduate program, he was also awarded a Shanghai University Summer Residency. While in China, he shared a studio with three other artists and spent two months traveling throughout the area. Once the residency was complete, the group had works exhibited at Shanghai University. Additionally, Niles received his MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2015 and had his inaugural solo show on February 22, 2016 in New York City.
Smyles, who has written two books of fiction (Iris Has Free Time and Dating Tips for the Unemployed), has had her works published in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The New York Observer, BOMB, Best American Travel Writing 2015, and several other publications.
Medicine Show, Yuill’s debut book of poetry, was published by the University of Chicago Press. Robert Pinsky said it “lives up to both halves of its title: a vivid, exhilarating imagination show that is also strong medicine. Yuill examines the grief and desperation underlying postures and ruses of self-deception. The book’s brilliant adaptations of Hikmet and Villon cast a raking, skeptical light on Texas versions of the quasi-Byronic hero. Yuill’s sardonic, clear-eyed comedy is humane and antic: a born talker on a serious mission.” Yuill has led poetry classes at Boston University, Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, and this past year he taught American Literature at Old Dominion University in Virginia.
Guild Hall established the AIR Program to encourage professional independent growth for artists in all disciplines of the literary, performing and visual arts. “AIR is an extension of Guild Hall’s mission to sustain the artistic spirit of the East End by cultivating the area’s historical legacy as an artists’ colony,” explained Dr. Appelhof. “The residents will be encouraged to engage with the community either though performance or teaching.”
The program is the brainchild of Ruth Appelhof, PhD, Executive Director at Guild Hall, in partnership with Eric Fischl, Trustee and President of GH’s Academy of the Arts.
“In our inquiries, we learned that in addition to seeking time and space to create work, artists want support either through mentorship or networking,” Fischl added. “The AIR program will connect members of our Guild Hall Academy who are at the pinnacle of their careers with young talent on the rise.” The Academy encompasses over 250 members, who represent a lifetime of artistic accomplishment.
On Sunday, April 17th, the community can learn more about AIR and meet the residents during an Artists in Residence Showcase. From 4 to 6 p.m., attendees will be entertained by readings, short films, an exhibit, and a multimedia performance, followed by a Q&A in the John Drew Theater. Admission is free.
Guild Hall is located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton. For more information, call 631-324-0806 or visit www.guildhall.org.