allTURNatives: Form + Spirit–25 Years of the Windgate ITE Residency Program

October 23, 2020 – January 23, 2021

Curator: Jennifer-Navva Milliken

In 1995, Albert LeCoff, co-founder and executive director emeritus of the Center for Art in Wood, launched the first residency program designed for artists working with the material of wood. That summer, five artists and a photojournalist—four from abroad and two from the United States—arrived in Philadelphia for eight intensive weeks of studio experimentation, collegiality, friendship, and creative stimulation. Conceived as an annual program, the residency grew, adding fellowships for scholars and students, and moved, from the rural George School in Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to the middle of Philadelphia. 

 Now in its 25th year, the Windgate International Turning Exchange Residency (known as “The ITE”) is a sought after stop in the careers of artists interested in delving into the creative possibilities of wood, communing with peers, and making abundant piles of wood shavings. The relationships forged during these intensive eight weeks are enduring, extending far beyond the compressed time in Philadelphia’s bustling Center City neighborhood. The alumnus body now numbers 166 artist, photojournalist, and scholar fellows, all of whom are notable in their fields. Though some of the fellows have passed, all remain close members of the Center for Art in Wood’s family. In many cases, their works become part of the Center’s permanent collection, and thus are held in the public trust for study and inspiration. 

 A selection of those works is on view in this exhibition, which marks the program’s landmark year. As a whole, they tell a story of breakthroughs, collaborations, explorations, disruptions, and documentation. As the Center lays the groundwork for the next 25 years of the residency, it will be led by the same commitments to fostering exchange, passion, and knowledge for the expansive world of art in wood.

 

BREAKTHROUGHS

Breakthroughs

Whether arriving with a set agenda or with open expectations, many resident fellows discover new potential for their work during their residency experience. Returning to the familiar routine and responsibilities of daily life, they find their work and outlook irrevocably widened. This phenomenon is a major draw among residency programs all over the world; it is certainly a common experience among fellows of the Windgate ITE Residency Program.

Gael Montgomerie and Derek Bencomo both found themselves leaning away from the bowl-centric or production work that had guided their practices before their arrival in Philadelphia. Jean-François Escoulen began creating whimsical, impractical sculpture during his time in Philadelphia. Cha Jong-Rye, a high-relief sculptural carver, experimented with woodturning for the first time, while Vivian Chiu found her own language in sculpture and woodworking, forging a path that allowed her to assert her personal identity in her sculpture and installation work. Encountering salvaged police barriers, Ellie Richards found ways to merge social issues with her own processes to leverage her work as a call for justice and change.

COLLABORATIONS

Collaborations

One of the most unique aspects of the Windgate ITE Residency Program is its focus on collaboration. In the course of the residency, five artist fellows, one student artist fellow, one visual documentarian, and one scholar fellow gather for eight weeks of shared experiences. During this time, the fellows live, work, and travel together. In their first week in Philadelphia, they also participate in a collaborative event, the Echo Lake Conference, an invitational at Bucks County Community College that hosts artists specializing in a variety of artistic disciplines for a three-day, nonstop festival of creating and communing.

 

The collaborative environment fostered by the ITE experience is manifest in a range of outcomes, among them group-made assemblages that serve as documents of a shared experience, as seen in the 2016 cohort’s work Separation-Infinity-Stratify-Crunch-Deviate-Myth and Scrap Sphere, which was created by the 1997 fellows. It can also take the form of intense dialogues between artists, exemplified in Todd Hoyer and Hayley Smith’s Untitled #1 (Hoyer and Smith’s collaboration developed into a personal union—the artists married in 1999). Like many experiences, however, collaboration can also take shape in more subtle forms that show up in an artist’s work long after the residency is over, in the use of a new technique adopted as a result of a late-night conversation.

DISRUPTIONS

 

Disruptions

Picking up and traveling to participate on a far-away arts residency can be a jarring experience, especially if the program is located in the middle of a loud, urban setting like the Center City neighborhood of Philadelphia. Many artists view residencies as necessary shakeups that force them to rethink their conceptual approaches and processes. The cacophonous noise and sweltering heat of the city in July creates its own setting for artistic inspiration and many of the ITE fellows, among them Ashley Ericksmoen, Bo Schmitt, and Jérôme Blanc and David Bender, have responded with work that addresses political and social problems, or tackles conventions built into the craft of wood working. Others, such as Graeme Priddle battle a profound sense of homesickness—their work reflects their yearning for family members or the more pastoral vistas of home. Jason Russell focused on the tension that can surface among adults living in close proximity and the ways this tension can inspire or distract from the overall experience.

DOCUMENTATION

Documentations

 

In her 2011 essay for the Center’s collection publication Turning to Art in Wood: A Creative Journey, Robin Rice (ITE Scholar Fellow 2002) wrote: “The Center likes to document growth.” Though this value has permeated all of the Center’s programming from the time of its founding to the present, it is nowhere as evident as it is in the Windgate ITE Residency Program, which has designated at least one fellowship every year, since its launch in 1995, to fostering research, critical writing, and both visual and written documentation to chart the events of the residency as well as its contributions to thinking through art in wood. Karl Seifert’s wood-bound album containing his photographs, created in 2010, set a precedent for photojournalists and visual documentarians to follow, as seen in works by Fellows Samuel Lang Budin, Cristina Tamarez, and Amy Forsyth.

For artist fellows Eli Avisera and Hartmut Rademann, their artwork serves as a document of process and conceptualization, and the sights and experiences of unfamiliar surroundings, respectively. Avisera’s work, with its status !לא גמור [Unfinished] a handwritten proclamation across its gessoed surface, embodies the experience of working against time but with new ideas and possibilities. Rademann’s work is a different form of documentation: his ongoing Diary in Wood series in hand-carved found branches features scenes from the city witnessed during his time on ITE.

 

EXPLORATIONS

Explorations

Wood is a unique material among arts mediums. It is almost never a blank canvas; rather, the elaborate narratives of wood—found in all types, from black walnut to spalted maple—are visually embedded in the material itself. “Truth to materials”—a guiding principle of twentieth-century art and architecture in the Western world—has inspired many artists, designers, and makers for over a century of practice. The use of opaque paints that obscure stunning grain figure, or the use of wood in combination with other materials, was at one time viewed as a transgressive act.

Exploration is a core value of the Windgate ITE Residency Program. The residency has always been, by design, a “no strings attached” invitation for artists to challenge the conventions of the field of art in wood and to work in an environment free from all constraints (except time). Over the past twenty-five years, residents have experimented with materials, techniques, and processes—from turning bowling balls on a lathe, to working with local glass artists or integrating found materials that bring the gritty reality of the city into their work. Often, this period of experimentation and play leads to breakthroughs or major, irreversible career shifts and widens the scope of possibilities for intersections between the material and creative engagement.  

Special thanks to our partners, 1995–2020: The George School, The University of the Arts and Dr. Don Miller, Fairmount Park Wood Recycling Center, The Echo Lake Conference, Fleur Bresler, Phil Brown and Barbara Wolanin, Dr. Judy Chernoff and Dr. Jeffrey Bernstein, Doug Finkel, Marc and Diane Grainer, Ed Grossman and Shelley Stanfield, James E. and Pam Grumbach, Bruce and Marina Kaiser, Jerry and Deena Kaplan, Neil and Susan Kaye, Greg and Regina Rhoa, Mark Sfirri, Palmer Sharpless, Carter Sio, the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, Nakashima Woodworkers, NextFAB, Wharton Esherick Museum, A Workshop of Our Own, and members of the ITE Selection Committee.   The Windgate ITE Program and Exhibition, 1995–2020, is generously supported by the Cambium Giving Society members of The Center for Art in Wood, donors to the Windgate ITE appeal, the Arcadia Foundation, the Bresler Family Foundation, Craft Supplies, Bill Hilgendorf, The Phil F. Brown Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, Oneway Manufacturing, Packard Woodworks, Penn State Industries, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, William Penn Foundation, and Windgate Foundation. In-kind support was provided by Boomerang, Inc., Signarama Center City, Sunlite Corporation, and Wineland Woods.   This exhibition would not have been possible without special efforts from Fleur Bresler, Albert LeCoff, Danielle Lehr, Dan Saal of Wonderfull Design, and Karen Schoenewaldt.

WINDGATE ITE FELLOWS 1995–2020

1995

Richard Hooper | UK | Artist
Todd Hoyer | USA | Artist
Jud Randall | USA | Journalist
Bo Schmitt | Australia | Artist
Hayley Smith | Born UK, active USA | Artist
Timothy Nicholas Stokes | UK | Artist

1999

Henri Gröll | France | Artist
Dina Intorella-Walker | USA | Artist
Terry Martin | Australia | Artist/Photojournalist
David Rogers | USA | Furniture Maker
Betty Scarpino | USA | Artist
Remi Verchot | France | Artist

2003

Eli Avisera | Israel | Artist
Kevin Burrus | USA | Artist
Mark Hancock | UK, Wales | Artist
Ron Kanter | USA | Photojournalist
Alexandra Kirtley | USA | Scholar
Thierry Martenon | France | Artist
Jamie Russell | Canada | Furniture Maker

2008

Jason Busch | USA | Scholar
Hunt Clark | USA | Artist
Peter Exton | USA | Artist
Satoshi Fujinuma | Japan | Artist
Stephan Goetschius | USA | Artist
Peter Oliver | New Zealand | Artist
Martina Plag | USA | Artist
Vincent Romaniello | USA | Videographer

2012

Maria Anasazi | USA | Artist
Darrell Copeland | USA | Artist
John Hallett | Australia | Artist
Daniel Ostrov | USA | Artist
Jeannette Rein | Australia | Artist
Sarah Archer | USA | Scholar
Michael M. Kohler | USA | Photojournalist

2016

Ashley Eriksmoen | Australia | Artist
Amy Forsyth | USA | Artist
Katie Hudnall | USA | Artist
Rebecca Kolodziejczak | USA | Student Artist
Betty Scarpino | USA | Photojournalist/Artist
Michaela Crie Stone | USA | Artist
Nucharin Wangphongsawasd | Thailand | Artist

1996

Michael Brolly | USA | Artist
Ned Cooke | USA | Scholar
Jean-François Escoulen | France | Artist
Terry Martin | Australia | Artist/Photojournalist
Hugh McKay | USA | Artist

2000

Judy Gotwald | USA | Photojournalist
Jack Larimore | USA | Furniture Maker
Rolly Munro | New Zealand | Artist
George Peterson | USA | Artist
Graeme Priddle | New Zealand | Artist
Mike Scott | UK , Wales | Artist
Christopher Tyler | Canada | Scholar

2004

Linette Messina | USA | Photojournalist
Michael Mocho | USA | Artist
Andrew Potocnik | Australia | Artist
Marcus Tatton | Australia | Sculptor
Joel Urruty | USA | Sculptor

2009

Derek Bencomo | USA | Artist
David M. Bender | USA | Artist
Jérôme Blanc | Switzerland | Artist
Robert F. Lyon | USA | Artist
Leah Woods | USA | Artist
Howard Risatti | USA | Scholar
Terry E. Johnson | USA | Photojournalist
Ms. A.M. Weaver | USA | Photojournalist

2013

Carpenter, Ben | USA | Artist | 2013
Dowling, Gaynor | Artist | 2013
Kelsey, John | USA | Photojournalist | 2013
Martin, Malcom | England | Artist | 2013
Lineberry, Heather | USA | Scholar | 2013
Turner, Neil | Western Australia | Artist

2017

Max Brosi | Artist | Ireland
Felicia Francine Dean
| USA | Artist
Daniel Fishkin | USA | Artist
Anastasia Leto | USA | Student Artist
Megan McGlynn | USA | Artist
Jason Schneider | USA | Artist
Samuel Lang Budin | USA | Photojournalist

1997

Glenn Adamson | USA | Scholar
Mark Bishop | Australia | Artist
Tony Boase | UK | Photojournalist
Andrew Gittoes | Australia | Artist
Christophe Nancey | France | Artist
Merryll Saylan | USA | Artist

2001

Mark Gardner | USA | Artist
Doug Finkel | USA | Furniture Maker
Louise Hibbert | USA | Artist
Brock Jobe | USA | Scholar
Stuart King | UK | Photojournalist
Marc Ricourt | France | Artist
Jason Russell | Canada | Artist

2006

Marilyn Campbell | Canada | Artist
Dennis Carr | USA | Scholar
Liam Flynn | Ireland | Artist
Hilary Pfeifer | USA | Artist
Vincent Romaniello | USA | Photojournalist
Neil Scobie | Australia | Artist
Jo Stone | USA | Furniture Maker

2010

Stefano Catalani | USA | Scholar
Luc Deroo | Belgium | Artist
Irene Gafert | Denmark | Artist
Jay Heryet | UK | Artist
David Huntley | USA | Photojournalist
Wonjoo Park | South Korea | Artist
Karl Seifert | USA | Photojournalist
Derek Weidman | USA | Artist

2014

Eric Adjetey Anang | Ghana | Artist
Miriam Carpenter | USA | Artist
Jordan Gehman | USA | Artist
Reed Hansuld | Canada | Artist
Maggie Jackson | USA | Scholar
Amber Johnston | USA | Photojournalist
Yuri Kobayashi | Born Japan, active US | Artist

2018

Cha Jong-Rye | Korea | Artist
Vivian Chiu | USA | Artist
Morgan Hill | USA | Artist
Jack Mauch | USA | Artist
Michael Puryear | USA | Artist
Janine Wang | USA | Student Artist
Cristina Tamarez | USA | Photojournalist
Seán Breen
| Galway Ireland | Scholar

1998

Daniel Guilloux | France | Artist/Photojournalist
Alain Mailland | France | Artist
Fabrice Micha | France | Artist
Gael Montgomerie | New Zealand | Artist
Jack Slentz | USA | Artist
Seth A. Thayer III | USA | Scholar

2002

Richie Garrison | USA | Scholar
Laurent Guillot | France | Artist
Friedrich Kuhn | Germany | Artist
Rudiger Marquarding | Germany | Artist
Gord Peteran | Canada | Furniture Maker
Robin Rice | USA | Photojournalist
Gordon Ward | Australia | Artist

2007

Elisabeth Agro | USA | Scholar
Jean-François Delorme | France | Artist
Peter Harrison | USA | Furniture Maker
Sean Ohrenich | USA | Artist
Lesya QPopil | USA | Dancer
Siegfried Schreiber | Germany | Artist
Lynne Yamaguchi | USA | Artist/Photojournalist

2011

Noah Addis | USA | Photojournalist
Michael de Forest | USA | Artist
Daniel Forrest Hoffman | USA | Artist
Beth Ireland | USA | Artist
Carl Pittmann | USA | Artist
Kimberly Winkle | USA | Artist
Jennifer A. Zwilling | USA | Scholar

2015

Seth Bruggeman | USA | Scholar
Julia Harrison | USA | Artist
Rex Kalehoff | USA | Artist
Zina Manesa-Burloiu | Romania | Artist
Adrien Segal | USA | Artist
Grant Vaughan | Australia  | Artist
Winifred Helton-Harmond | USA | Photojournalist

2019

Per Brandstedt | Sweden | Artist
Joshua Enck | USA | Artist
Heide Martin | USA | Artist
Hartmut Rademann | Germany | Artist
Ellie Richards | USA | Artist
Jacob Zimmerman | USA | Student Artist
Amy Forsyth | USA | Sketch Journalist
John-Duane Kingsley | USA | Scholar