Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency by Collar Works

 Elizabeth Murray in her studio, Spring 1991. Photo Brigitte Lacombe  © The Murray-Holman Family Trust  

Elizabeth Murray in her studio, Spring 1991. Photo Brigitte Lacombe  © The Murray-Holman Family Trust

Project Overview

For more than two decades, Elizabeth Murray and her husband Bob Holman, together with their daughters Sophie and Daisy, split their time between a TriBeCa loft and a classic farmhouse in Washington County, New York.  Murray, who passed away in 2007, was a groundbreaking artist. Her many honors include a Skowhegan Medal in Painting in 1986, a MacArthur “genius” grant in 1999 and a career retrospective at MoMA in 2005. Holman, a poet and arts activist, founded the Bowery Poetry Club in 2002 and produced the PBS series The United States of Poetry.

In 2017, the Murray-Holman family partnered with Collar Works to design a summer residency program for visual artists.

With its 77 acres of bucolic farmland, multiple bedrooms, common areas and barn bays suitable for artist studios, the farm is an ideal residency location. For many years, the farm served as both a summer home for the Murray-Holmans and a creative retreat for Elizabeth, whose studio was located in the large, cathedral-like dairy barn. Given the history, location and amenities, the family felt that the creative use of the property and its natural surroundings would carry on Elizabeth Murray’s legacy. Collar Works agreed.

After several months of planning and organizing, Collar Works successfully launched its pilot Residency year with 20 artists, and is now seeking funds to support future years of programming.

View our project proposal here.

Project Description

In the spirit of its namesake, the Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency will offer artists the time, space and opportunity to take risks, create new work and engage in meaningful dialogue with other residents. The pilot program focused on emerging and mid-career visual artists from the Hudson Valley and New York metropolitan area. Given the accelerated timeframe in year one, the pilot residency was by invitation, with artists in residence from late June to late July 2018.

The residency is designed to accommodate four artists in residence at a time plus onsite staff members. Artists are provided with 24-hour access to private studios, private bedroom accommodations and shared bathroom facilities. Daily dinners (with vegetarian options) are served in a communal atmosphere to foster dialogue between residents. Residents are responsible for their own breakfasts and lunches (kitchen staples provided). While the artists have the time and space to work on their projects, open studios are be scheduled on Friday afternoons for curators to meet with artists and share a BBQ-style dinner with the residents. At the conclusion of the four-week residency, artists will participate in exhibitions, artists talks, panels and public programs on-site and at Collar Works in Troy, New York.

Collar Works holds the administrative capacity and the organizational structure necessary to implement the program, but more importantly, it has the proven ability to transform vision into reality. Collar Works has built a reputation over the last decade of expanding the upstate arts vernacular through intriguing, experimental exhibitions and programs. A gallery and project space that outgrew its nascent, raw, scrappy roots in a historic garment factory, Collar Works’ current 4,000 square foot space hosts comprehensive programming that is at once serious yet playful, thought-provoking but accessible and often curious, daring and unconventional.

Dedicated to supporting the legacy of Elizabeth Murray, the Collar Works team believes there is a kindred connection between its mission and what Murray’s story symbolizes to artists on the periphery of the zeitgeist, to those who are artists as well as parents and to individuals who overcome adversity to achieve their vision.

About Collar Works

Collar Works is a nonprofit contemporary art space located in Troy, New York. Our mission is to support emerging, underrepresented artists and curators, working in any media, creating provocative and culturally-relevant artworks as a way of enriching the cultural life of the region. Collar Works provides a venue for community dialogue focused on serious and spirited artworks, educating the public through exhibitions, gallery talks, lectures, workshops and community outreach activities.

For more information about the Elizabeth Murray Artist Residency, contact Elizabeth Dubben, Executive Director of Collar Works, at 518.285.0765 or edubben@collarworks.org.

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