Powerhaüs Studio's PAIR residency program calls it a day
Early in 2013, the artists of Powerhaüs Studio announced their idea for the Powerhaüs Artist-in-Residence Program, a juried three-month residency at the studio facility for one fine artist and one fashion designer. Along with that call for applicants, they named David Dadone of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and Project Runway celeb Mondo Guerra as jurors.
PAIR resident Charlie Boots at Powerhaüs Studio.
PAIR was conceived as a free ride, rent-wise, with built-in mentoring, and included additional opportunities, such as a Show and Tell blog spot at westword.com. It was a bold idea and one that came with great responsibility, and it even proved a small success in its first round with inaugural awardees, painter Charlie Boots and designer Francis Roces.
"At this stage of my career -- hell, at any stage in an artist's career these days -- exposure to relevant figures in the field is vital," says Boots of his PAIR experience. "In fact, it appears to be more vital than any technical skill in any medium, though I certainly hope that my work does and will continue to display technical skill. PAIR dramatically sped up the process of acquainting myself with my community.
Charlie Boots accepting the Brandon Borchert Pop Art Award earlier this year.
"These opportunities are as rare as they are beneficial, and I certainly don't take for granted that, while making the work is easy, promoting it is hard as hell," he adds. "For this reason, I will always appreciate what that program provided and will seek to stimulate similar programs for other artists as my career progresses."
But after launching a second PAIR search late this past summer, Powerhaüs announced that, in spite of such successes, it was calling it quits and would return all entry fees to the new applicants.
With this announcement comes a lesson for other artist groups considering similar enterprises. "PAIR had potential to be a wonderful program, and we loved the idea of it, but in the end, we realized that as we were all still struggling in our own businesses, it was too difficult for us to subsidize space for others," notes Powerhaüs member Lauri Lynnxe Murphy.
Continue reading for more about the Powerhaüs PAIR program.