ALEXANDRIA SMITH AND BRIDGET MULLEN
Provincetown’s Fine Arts Work Center’s Fellowship Program provides a unique opportunity for 10 artists and 10 writers to serve seven-month residencies during the developmental stages of their careers. Over 1,100 applications come in annually with the hope of being selected for the cherished experience that runs from October 1 through May 1. Over 800 fellowships have been served since FAWC’s inception in 1968.
There will be a FAWC Fellows at PAAM exhibition from January 23 through February 22 at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, 460 Commercial Street, Provincetown.
Artscope’s Laura Shabott spoke with Alexandria Smith and Bridget Mullen, two second-year FAWC Fellows, about their experiences with the program, two months into their current residencies.
IN YOUR FIRST-YEAR RESIDENCY, DID YOU FIND OTHER PEOPLE COMING IN TO WORK WITH YOU, OR DID YOU FIND YOURSELF TO BE SOLITARY, AND THEN YOU WOULD PRESENT YOURSELF?
ALEXANDRIA SMITH: I was definitely solitary. I’ve never worked in a collaborative way. I’m interested in it, but the projects I’ve been working on haven’t really called for any type of collaboration. When I first got here, it was just me working and plugging away and making paintings in the studio, and collages, which is what I was doing before. And then some kind of shift happened and I started to create these collage installations that existed on the wall, which wasn’t confined to a rectangle or a square panel. Being here allowed for something new.
AN OUT-OF-THE-BOX WAY OF THINKING…
SO YOUR FIRST RESIDENCY HERE WAS IN 2013?
AS: I was here till May, and then I went to New York. Once I found out that I got a second residency, I said, “Well, I just have to make it through the summer.” I sold a few paintings and made some small-scale stuff because I didn’t have a studio. But I had some shows coming up — some big shows — so I had to find a way to make art in an extra room at my parents. I had a solo show in New York City on the Lower East Side at Scaramouche Gallery — that was a big one — and I had an installation up here at Tim’s Used Books. That will be up through my residency. I had a group show at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem and that was a big show.
ALL IN THE LAST YEAR?
AS: This was all in August! I did all that for August. My solo show was works from here. I made one new painting, but everything else was from my time at FAWC.