2012 Artists In Residence Named
Contact: Mindi Rambo, 212-363-3206 x 106
New York, NY - Today the National Park Service (NPS) and New Jersey City University (NJCU) welcomed the participants of the first Artist-in-Residence program at Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island: Debra Scacco and the team of Theresa Loong and Laura Nova.
Their proposals were selected from those of 16 finalists by a jury made up of NPS staff from Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island and the members of the Art Department at NJCU. The panel agreed that these two proposals displayed unique talents and project concepts that best exemplify the spirit of the Artist-In-Residence program at the park. Applications for the program came from across the United States, the globe -- including Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and Spain, as well as from the New York City metropolitan area.
"These projects will help new audiences engage with the park and its stories in ways that are meaningful to them," said Deputy Superintendent for Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, John Hnedak, who led the effort to establish the Artist-In-Residency program at the park. "As the Statue of Liberty marks its 125th anniversary and the National Park Service approaches its centennial in 2016, this is a unique opportunity to demonstrate that the historic link between the arts and our national parks offers endless opportunities to forge new partnerships and to build relationships with the future stewards of these national treasures."
New York-born, but London-based Scacco's personal immigration history informs her proposal: Her maternal grandfather was an Ellis Island immigrant. She herself visited another country (United Kingdom) and ended up staying there.
"And much like immigrant generations before me, have found myself questions where I truly belong. "My story is not unique, as there are large numbers of immigrations, and large numbers of second generation New Yorkers. However, as time passes and the nature of immigration changes, it is vital that we do not allow future generations to have a diminished view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island; not just as a physical place, but as all it symbolized for those who passed through," she said in her application.
In her statement of purpose, Scacco noted "The resulting work would most likely be in the form of text based contour drawing that bring to life in some way the stories found throughout my research." The New York City-based artistic team of Theresa Loong and Laura Nova proposed a project radically different from any other application: a documentary-style video cookbook that collects stories from a food cart and encourages the sharing of family recipes. "By answering questions like 'What is your favorite childhood food?', 'What was the first recipe you learned to cook?' and 'What food is important to your cultural experience?' the project incorporates immigration history and social awareness," the team explained in their application.
You can see their previous work at debrascacco.com and feedmeastory.com .
As part of their month-long residency, the artists will have use of studio space in the NJCU Visual Arts Building and unparalleled access to the park's resources, including the museum, library, oral histories, as well as the archives and extensive museum collections which are not normally accessible to visitors. The artists will also present 2 one-hour public programs during their residencies -- one at either Liberty Island or Ellis Island and the other at New Jersey City University.
All or some of the works created during the residency may be displayed both in the park and at NJCU.
- NPS -
Did You Know?
The Statue of Liberty's face was said to be modeled after the sculptor's mother, Charlotte. This colossal statuary follows design going back to ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.