Altos de Chavon: An Open Mind is Essential For Growth

By Sarah Novio (MFA 2015)

This is my second week in Altos de Chavón, and I am amazed how beautiful this place is! Jess Leo (MFA 2015) and I arrived during Alex Smith (MFA 2015) and Andres de la Torre’s (MFA 2015) last week of their residency. They helped us get acclimated to the new environment, taking us on various day trips and giving us advice based on what they experienced here. It was comforting to see their familiar faces.

Now that Alex and Andres have left, I am excited to see how our residency will differ from theirs and how Altos de Chavón will affect our work. Jess and I will no longer be teaching separate classes like we thought. Fortunately, we were able to plan a one-week intensive workshop scheduled for next week combining painting, collage and woodblock printmaking.

Since neither of us have done it before, Jess suggested to recreate one of my collage paintings into a woodblock print. So far, I have drawn the image on to a block and carved into it. I can’t wait to start printing! The scenario forced us to backtrack, but it forced me to be more open-minded about the outcome of my work.

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