Presented as part of Artadia’s Art & Dialogue series, Kristan Kennedy, Visual Art Curator at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art presented a Public Program in conversation with Donna Huanca, Artadia Awardee and Skowhegan Alumna, at Skowhegan in New York, NY. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

Kristan Kennedy is a Portland-based artist, curator, and educator.  She is the Visual Art Curator at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA). For the last decade, Kennedy has focused on commissioning new work by international emerging artists in the form of large-scale, site-specific installations and solo projects that exist at the borders of genres. Kennedy takes an expansive view of visual art; in addition to presenting the plastic arts, she organizes music, performance art, publications, and new media projects as part of PICA’s year-round programming and for the organization’s annual Time-Based Art Festival.

Kennedy teaches Contemporary Art History at Portland State University, where she directed the MFA Visiting Artist Program and Lecture Series (2011-2016) and founded the programs companion journal STUDIO. She is represented by Fourteen30 Contemporary, Portland, Oregon.

Donna Huanca stages surreal architectural collages activated by live performers. She uses socially coded artefacts of the body such as cosmetics and found clothing to create paintings and sculptures, which become backdrops for these durational performances. Painted models, presented as canvases, move glacially through her installations; their morphing tableaux vivants leaving behind scars and ghostly remnants.

Donna Huanca (b. Chicago, USA) studied at the Städelschule, Frankfurt as well as the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.  In 2012 Huanca was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to live and work in Mexico City. Huanca is a recipient of the Art Matters Grant (2010) and the Artadia Award (2015).

Recent exhibitions include: POLYSTYRENE BRACES presented by Art in General, NY at Kim? Riga, Latvia; MUSCLE MEMORY at Peres Projects, Berlin,Germany, WATER SCARS at Valentin, Paris; PSYCHOTRIA ELATA at Art Berlin Contemporary, Berlin, Germany, SADE ROOM (famously reclusive) at MoMA PS1 Printshop New York.

Skowhegan is an intensive nine-week summer residency program for emerging visual artists established in 1946, which seeks each year to bring together a diverse group of individuals with a demonstrated commitment to artmaking and inquiry for a concentrated period of artistic creation, interaction and growth. Located on a historic 350-acre farm in rural Maine, the campus serves as a critical component of the program and serves as a backdrop for the most stimulating and rigorous environment possible. Neither a school in the traditional sense nor a retreat, Skowhegan draws its vitality from the community created through the talent and energy of the participants, and the distinguished Faculty of Resident and Visiting Artists who provide them with support and critical assistance. Founded by artists, and still governed by artists, the program provides an atmosphere in which participants are encouraged to work free of the expectations of the marketplace and academia.

In 2014, to support the residency program in Maine, Skowhegan opened its first permanent home in New York City to house its archives, a flexible program space, and the administrative office. In the spirit and tradition of campus, the New York program space functions as a cross between a think tank and a community center. The Skowhegan program space fosters a similar atmosphere to campus: one where the answers are not provided but investigated through lectures, seminars, events, performances, town hall meetings, and as a test site for new works. In conjunction with the artist driven nature of campus, the space is open for use by our community through collaborative programming with alumni and other artist-driven organizations and affiliates.