Dear Skowhegan

Reflections on the summer

Already I know that Skowhegan changed my life. For a while I thought it had made me a different person. I have realized that it has done something much more than that; it gave me the strength and confidence to be exactly who I am.
— Leonora Hennessy, A '02
The experience at Skowhegan was fundamental for me because I regained conviction in my own work as an artist. I believe again that my artwork is pertinent, important, and possible. And I will be forever grateful to Skowhegan for that. Every member of the community contributed to build a diverse, tolerant, and respectful environment, which translated divergence into a fertile field for reflection and understanding, and for professional and personal growth.
— Ximena Diaz, A '10
At Skowhegan I felt nurtured, encouraged, supported, and understood. I also felt challenged, called out, pushed, and almost telepathically let loose into new realms of work…
— Molly Lowe, A '08
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How can I say my experience at Skowhegan taught me who I was without sounding soft? It confirmed my position in the world as an artist. It gave me intellectual muscle. I left there with a sense of confidence I have never before possessed.
— Emily Mast, A '06
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In my life, there have been places that have become part of who I am. These landscapes exist in memory; the energy and spirit of the place permeates my being. Skowhegan is one of these enchanted places.
— Lauren E. Winnen, A '04
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My summer spent at Skowhegan saved me in so many ways. It rekindled my will to make work; it gave me faith in other people and their work.
— David Michael DiGregorio, A '02
Dear Skowhegan: When I first met you I was scared and shy and not quite sure why I wanted to be an artist anymore. I had spent the year before struggling to make ends meet and my studio practice felt irrelevant. Then I met you, and all of a sudden I felt alive again. You somehow made me believe in myself and my work again, and you were able to take away the burden I was feeling in my studio practice and create an environment where I was not afraid of the unknown and embraced experimentation.
— Brooke Berger, A '10
I can’t say that I never falter, but I can say that Skowhegan has given me the ability to remember that sometimes utopia does exist, where you are among peers that actually care and take an interest in what you have to say; that I remember what I like about art, and how multi-faceted and enormous that world is; that you have to find the strength to push through and promote; that my network is bigger than the small bubble I thought it was; and that this wonderful shared experience will also always only be mine.
— Avi Krispin, A '09
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Difficulties [after Skowhegan]: I now live in a box. There are not as many stars here in NY. Or they are hiding.
Request: Please send me a box of fresh air, sunshine, trees, and the smell of grass. If this is too much to ask for, please send the sparkle that the fireflies make when you are walking down the hill at night alone without a flashlight. Or, if that is too hard just that light between the leaves and reflection of the trees that falls into the elongated puddle next to the road. Or, if that is too hard to capture, that green moss that attaches itself to the small wooden bridge…
— Elanit Kayne, A '07
My work has changed as a result of my experience at Skowhegan. I have found myself exploring other mediums and approaches to art making that I probably wouldn’t have investigated this early in my career. Skowhegan has given me the chance to learn how to be a better artist.
— Josh Anderson, A '05
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At a time in my life when I was starting to lose faith, Skowhegan has totally rejuvenated my creative spirit and has left me feeling empowered and confident… Skowhegan, in my opinion, is the single most important experience that any artist who is eager to learn must encounter. It’s enlightening, humbling and reaffirming.
— Gabe Martinez, A '03