One Hundred and Seventy-Six Days

April 2, 2019 by

In the first week of October three new interns arrived at Women’s Studio Workshop: Hannah Berman, Julia Schrecengost, and Darcy Palys. Hannah and Julia joined Ashleigh Pillay (who arrived three months prior) as Studio Interns while I joined the office staff as the Nonprofit Management Intern.

From L to R: Laura Casas, Hannah Berman, Darcy Palys, Julia Schrecengost and Ashleigh Pillay.

As the nonprofit intern, I worked closely with the WSW office staff on day to day operations, marketing, and event planning. The studio interns spent their days maintaining the studios, assisting residents, installing exhibitions in the gallery, teaching local students through the Art-in-Education program, and supporting the production of artist’s books. Each round of residents brought new faces and new opportunities to learn from practicing artists. Friendships sprung up in no time, and before we knew it we’d have to say bittersweet goodbyes–sad to see our new friends go but excited for their next adventures.

In January we were joined by Laura Casas, the ceramics intern. She spent long hours in the ceramics studio making hundreds of bowls for the annual Chili Bowl Fiesta, but she also spent time on her own personal work. She created playful mugs and pots using press molds and pinching, each one decorated lovingly with an illustration or written phrase.

During our free time we logged many hours in the studios. Hannah spent her long nights in the silkscreen studio, experimenting with printed patterns and fabric. She explored ideas of “housing the body” using imagery of bricks and houses which became wearable garments.

Julia worked in the intaglio studio, monoprinting with found materials. She drew, salvaged, and created nets, using them as independent visual components as well as texture.

Ashleigh immersed herself in ceramics. She worked to hone her throwing skills, and developed a distinctive illustrative style that she used to decorate her work. Over the past nine months she has found her process and aesthetic, and begun to make a name for herself in the ceramic community.

I tried my hand at several new processes, looking for a new direction. I explored letterpress, developed film in the darkroom, and experimented with slip-casting molds in ceramics. I also worked with found objects and repeated imagery in multiple media.

All of this work and experimentation culminated in objects may be closer than they appear, our group intern show. It showcased all the found and created objects that we carefully poured our time into. This show also featured the work of Lena Chin, a summer ceramics intern from SUNY New Paltz. Lena’s work took the form of functional objects, whose undulating forms were decorated with repeating patterns representing cognitive thought.

After six months at 722 Binnewater Lane we all must leave and seek out the next challenge. Hannah and I are headed back to the west coast, and Ashleigh will head west too after her adventure in Europe! Julia will be going to Mexico where she will be an artist in residence at Casa Lü in Mexico City, and Laura is headed home to North Carolina where she will work at Pocosin Arts for the summer. As we leave Women’s Studio Workshop we take away a multitude of relationships, memories, and new skills to help us take on whatever the future holds.