Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fire Island September 14-20, 2012

On September 14, 2012 we left NYC, took a train to another train to a van to a ferry to
Fire Island.
This was the view from our backyard!

We were writers. We were artists. We were pretty much in paradise!
We took turns cooking meals.
We ate well!
And we stayed in an incredible place, generously provided by The Field.

Jason Schuler

The 2012 Artward Bound residency at Fire Island was a significantly valuable component in the development process of my new theater piece, The Oracle, a living museum exhibition about the industrial revolution and our reliance on technology. The experience came at a perfect time in my process. When I needed respite from the hectic distractions of the city’s daily routines and obligations, it afforded the opportunity to spend six straight days focusing on much needed research, reflection and inspiration that is integral to honestly and exhaustively approaching the expansive subject matter of my piece.
It’s rare that we’re presented such chance as to separate from the compulsions and commitments of society. Although hardly isolated, we were miles from the immediacy and around-the-clock convenience that I are used to possessing in New York City. The Fire Island residency was located in a pastoral setting and the timing coincided with the closing of the area’s busy summer season, settling us into an idyllic atmosphere at the far edge of a community tucking itself in early for its winter hibernation. 
I cannot thank the Field and its supporters enough for providing this much needed and greatly appreciated opportunity to nurture the artistic process.
Jason Schuler, Operating Theater Company

Dana Fisch

The Artward Bound Residency on Fire Island offered by The Field was an amazing experience. The accommodations incredible and the location picturesque which allowed for the perfect artistic backdrop. Having a week away from the craziness of NYC living was exactly what I needed to get my dance company's 5th season underway. The other artists involved in the residency were supportive and welcoming which made the Fieldwork sessions productive and insightful. Our facilitator was knowledgeable, encouraging and accommodating which made the week-long residency a success. If I could spend a week on Fire Island every year, I would be in artistic heaven. Thank you to The Field for making this opportunity available!

We shared work in Fieldwork Sessions and Career Workshop Sessions

Jessica Sue Burstein

It was a first for me- going on an artist retreat. Something I wanted to experience for quite some time. It was important to me that The Field uses a lottery system to choose the artists verses a panel of judges. What work you are making doesn't matter so much. What matters is supporting artists that are working, allowing them to grow their art.

Artward Bound was a nurturing, yet a very challenging environment. One I think that not only each and every artist deserves but is necessary for the future work to incubate. As an artist we rarely take the time to let our projects simmer. We write, re-write, plan, produce, but many of us never have the time to allow for what is bubbling beneath the surface to be born. We need survival jobs so our art can't be number one. The benefit of going away for several days with other artists where you are told to put your art first is undeniable. Energies exchanged, processes shared, new ideas arrive and old ones let go. You realize you are not alone in this, yet you are given the freedom and time to work alone.

I have reached a point in my career/life as an artist where I realize my process has to change. I don't love how I work.  I found it beneficial to see how other artists worked. Questions that Artward Bound brought up in me: How can your artistic process be sustainable? How can you grow if you keep writing the same way? It took courage to show work in progress in the fieldwork sessions. Although it was hard hearing others' thoughts, ideas, feelings...it eventually somehow allowed me to grow stronger and honor my art on a deeper level, giving me for a new way back in to my process. I expected to write fifty pages of my screenplay. I wrote about fifteen pages of prose/poetry. Page count means nothing. I needed to slow down and explore MY ARTIST. I searched deeper for my voice, grew my confidence and let go of what needed to go. I collaborated with another artist do some movement work on the beach- art for art's sake. It was beautiful. This generously donated space and time allowed for that. Art is about growing/expanding-it's a process that reaches no final end, just stopping points.

Chris Wells

Artward Bound is a beautiful gift for any artist. A week in a beautiful setting with 5 other working artists, taking time to get away from the city, away from the grind, with no financial considerations - a place to open the mind and heart to other possibilities of feeling and seeing things. It’s also a time to make work – large chunks of time to write, create, rework, sketch, outline. I’m grateful to have gone on Artward Bound – it’s an amazing opportunity.

Cynthia Berkshire

The setting of the September Field residency was
rich in it’s emphasis on nature, both the short walk
to an active Atlantic Ocean with beautiful dunes, and the
grounds of the lovely home, sitting on decks overlooking
the bay, surrounded by ivy, and an outdoor shower.
I felt fortunate and free in these surroundings, and enjoyed sharing
it with five other artists. Meeting every evening for dinner and
sharing work wasn’t always easy, however it was wonderful. At
times we stayed and talked a few more hours. Regarding my project,
I had a vision prior to applying for the residency of shooting my character
on the beach, who wasn’t always fully clothed. Shooting footage on
Fire Island was perfect. Much appreciation to Steve Gross, the Field,
James Scruggs and the other artists!

James Scruggs

It was my great pleasure to facilitate The Fields’ incredibly generous Artward Bound trip to Fire Island. When we got to our destination I think we all felt somewhat unworthy of the fine, manicured, ample, and well appointed surroundings. That changed fast. The space was so welcoming that we acclimated quickly. Everyone had a bedroom and there were plenty of private spaces to write. Then there was the amazing September weather! We took turns cooking and cleaning and had daily Fieldwork or Career Session Workshops. The majority of the time was given to the artists to explore their process on their own; to write, to relax, to do whatever helped them move to a new and productive space with their work.
It was a great gift that we all shared. Thanks to Steve Gross and The Field!