CLINTON — In a challenging year of cancelled concerts and classes, Kirkland Art Center officials said they’ve been looking for new ways to serve the art center’s mission of supporting artists and the arts.
That’s why KAC, 9 1/2 E. Park Row, has partnered with The Garret on the Green this winter to host three artists-in-residence while the facilities are closed due to COVID-19.
Get to Know the Artists
KAC Board members said they were thrilled to receive an overwhelming number of applications for the residency program’s three spots, proof that this kind of short residency program fills a need in the arts community, said Damhnait McHugh, KAC Board co-president.
“Our jury committee had the difficult task of choosing only three from a pool of very qualified applicants — and we’re now thrilled to announce Andrina Wekontash, Rebecca Pappas, and Michelle Jones as this year’s Snowed-In residents,” McHugh said.
“Each will receive a one-week stay at the Garret on the Green with studio space here at the Kirkland Art Center. A generous donation from Mayor Steve and Kris Bellona, along with donations from community businesses, funds food, travel and incidentals for our residents while they stay here in Clinton.”
Andrina Wekontash is a Shinnecock writer, storyteller, actor, and educator who has spent her career exploring the various components of the human condition. Her recent collaboration with Facebook’s “Uplifting Black Voices” project has garnered more than 3.2 million views.
Prior to the pandemic, her sketch team “Like Butter” had a weekend residency at The PIT theatre. This summer, she directed a dramatic stage reading of Jeffrey Colvin’s novel “Africaville.” Wekontash’s solo work has been featured in festivals through New York City and the Tri-State area with her work being featured in the Diverse AF Festival, Solocom, and The Downtown Urban Theatre Festival. She is an alum of The Watermill Center Artist-in-Residence program.
Rebecca Pappas makes projects that address the body as an archive for personal and social memory. Her work has toured nationally and internationally and she has received residencies from Yaddo and Djerassi, and funding from the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Indiana Arts Commission, the Mellon Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, The Clorox Foundation, and Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange (CHIME). She is an assistant professor of dance at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. and guest faculty in the Masters in Social Practice Art at University of Indianapolis.
Michelle Jones is a photographer and painter, based in Buffalo, whose most recent work “From the Inside Out,” is a collection of shared stories through multimedia, taking a closer look at domestic violence in Buffalo. Her creative work focuses on proximity; to connect with and view her subject at a close angle. Her passion for the arts stems from wanting to create a platform for social justice issues to be seen and heard through her work.
One of her goals is to create public art to document, and create access to the arts for all, generating important dialogue, on relevant social justice issues. As a participant in the 2020/Vision: Women Artist in Western New York Exhibition, her work was installed at the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University.
Jones’ completion of the 2020 Cooperative Academy, a course designed to explore how to build worker-owned cooperative businesses, and learn the culture of cooperative economics, is the catalyst to her starting an arts based cooperative on the East Side of Buffalo, to provide access to the arts to underrepresented communities of color.
A Reminder from KAC’s All-Volunteer Team
The loss of KAC staff, class programs and concert revenue this year has made the future of the Kirkland Art Center uncertain — and more dependent than ever on community members’ support.
“Our team of volunteers has been working hard throughout the pandemic, but we need your help,” said McHugh.
“Donate today to help us meet our goal of funding a paid staff position— and help us ensure that we can re-open for classes, concerts and workshops in the coming year.”