1997, Deborah Wasserman


Deborah Wasserman

I shot a video of myself called: Things Came (and will) Disappear.

My acceptance to Skowhegan in 1997 came at the right time, just a few weeks after a very meaningful relationship in my life ended. Leaving New York City for Maine to be in the company of other artists, focus on expression, creation, art, and dialogue was my life-saving grace. Never before did I feel so nurtured, respected, and encouraged to make art. It allowed me to envision myself moving forward, fueled by new ideas, inspirations, new friends, and new beginnings.

I took long walks and marveled in the solitude and quietude of nature. The trees swaying in the light wind, the reflection of the sun in water ripples, and the intensity of colors and smells stood in strong contrast to the windowless live/work loft space I then inhabited in Long Island City.

There was a particular spot, not too far from the studios, where the landscape was perfectly orchestrated: trees in the background, a field with honey colored hay and in the middle a road. The path extending into the horizon drew my attention most than all. It made me think of a journey, our long journey in life, extending all the way into the far horizon. Wide at the beginning and narrow at the end. Where does it take us, this journey?

Exploring the landscape and how I experienced it in my body, I brought my camera and tripod and started filming. I moved across the field in all directions, utilizing the path: north to south, west to east and vice-versa while stepping in and out of the frame. I was riding a bike, carrying suitcases, running forward and backwards, dressed on a white gown. I was interested in the image of a woman alone in nature. I wanted to illustrate how ‘she’ experiences her journey.

When I edited the footage I overlapped the images and faded them in and out before they reached the border of the frame. I was interested in creating a feeling of temporality and fragility as if the images evaporate into nothing.

1998, JD Beltran


JD Beltran

A photo-collage of my Skowhegan studio, which I converted into an 18th Century style sitting room, with deep blue walls, a red floor, a satin-covered divan, and velvet, gold-tasseled pillows. I had Skowpeople come in to “sit” for their photo portrait. My photo-collage includes a photo of the studio itself, and Rick Lowe, Janine Antoni, Kerry James Marshall, Glenn Ligon, Joyce Kozloff, and Vito Acconci sitting for their portraits, along with one of me and my fellow-resident Will Rogan.

I made lifelong friends at Skowhegan; it was one of the most memorable summers of my life. It began an incredibly fruitful and inspiring new chapter of thinking about how I made art.