By Aleah Chapin (MFA 2012)
In 2005 I stood at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, WA staring at a canvas by David Schnell. I remember feeling as if I could step one foot forward into the vast expanse of line, color and space. Now, 6 years later I'm sitting in a spacious industrial room with tall ceilings and large windows on the 3rd floor of an enormous brick building in Leipzig, Germany, where David Schnell has his studio. This room will be my home and studio for the next 7 weeks.
I'm one of 4 very lucky Academy students who will be spending the summer at LIA, an international artist residency. The program is located at the Spinnerei, an old cotton mill that has been converted into a thriving artist community with incredible live/work studios, galleries, a theater, cafe and an amazing art store. Leipzig is a beautiful city. Slightly crumbling at the edges, it is full of parks, lakes and gorgeous architecture.
There is so much history here and yet it has a feeling of freshness and infinite opportunity. Over the last week we've explored the city on wobbly bicycles, set up our studios, and excitedly, if also slightly nervously, confronted white canvases. Sometimes life throws you places you would never have imagined being in. I'm finding it fascinating to be exposed to such a different art scene than what I'm used to in NYC and I'm eager to see what I can learn from a style so different from mine. It's impossible not to be inspired in Leipzig and I'm looking forward to soaking up every bit of this incredible experience.