Mystery Box: Student Artists At Work
Throughout the 2015 summer and fall season, The Olana Partnership gave nine Bard College students the opportunity to participate in a “research-based” artist residency program. On their first day they were given a box of unknown objects and materials that had been assembled by The Olana Partnership staff; all of these poems, photographs, and historic documents surfaced from Olana’s collections and circled around the theme “Trees, Art, and Tourism”. Throughout the summer, the student artists were on-site creating art, conducting individual research, and were available to visitors for questions and conversations. While the exhibition River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home was taking place in the Main House the Olana staff recognized the Mystery Box: Student Artists at Work exhibition would coincide and reinforce how history can inform contemporary art-making. At the gallery opening on September 5, 2015, ephemeral performances of sound and movement took place – they existed and evaporated within Olana’s centuries old structure. These works were performed in part by the Bard Art Students Collective which encompassed eight of the student artists; Blood and Shit by Ezra San Millan and Cullan Powers, wade weight wait by Serena Caffrey and Susannah Yugler, and Ghost in a Shell by Denis Blumin and Kai Mote. The BASC’s works included a music composition titled Jupiter Falling by Ethan Evans and a creative writing work The Church of Quiet Collaboration by Marion Albers which were installed in the Coachman’s House Gallery. Paris McGarry created a solo exhibition titled Don’t Forget to Send Photos including a moving image piece, mixed media photographs, and a graphic map installation.
This exhibition is organized by The Olana Partnership, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Bard College.