Chris Rauschenberg on the Robert Rauschenberg Residency

Artists watching the sunset on the beach, Robert Rauschenberg Residency
This year, Photolucida is partnering with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to offer a four-week artist’s residency award to one photographer from Critical Mass. We’re absolutely thrilled about this award. For four weeks, the residency winner will have the opportunity to live and work at the Foundation’s gorgeous island retreat, off the west coast of Florida. Robert Rauschenberg’s son, Chris Rauschenberg, was a founding member of Photolucida, and has been a long-time supporter. We asked him to talk a bit about the residency experience, and he was gracious enough to do so.
Special reminder: Critical Mass registration ends shortly! Don’t miss it.
Chris Rauschenberg: “My father amassed 20 acres of land, with nine buildings, on Captiva Island, Florida, in order to preserve it from development. He lived and worked there for almost 40 years. It was his vision to have an artist residency program there after he was gone.

“We have created the Robert Rauschenberg Residency in the spirit of Black Mountain College, as a place for people working in a wide variety of media to interact and inspire each other. So far, we have brought together academics, acrobats, cartoonists, ceramicists, composers, craftspeople, dancers, installation artists, musicians, painters, papermakers, performance artists, photographers, poets, printmakers, puppeteers, sculptors and more – from nine countries.

“The site extends from the white sand Gulf of Mexico beach to the mangrove-lined bay and is an oasis of wildlife and art-making. We have a staff of six there to support the residencies, six studios to work in (not counting the writer’s shack), a magical fish house on stilts over the bay for contemplation, and a house for communal eating and hanging out.

“There are up to 10 artists at a time in residence – twenty-somethings to eighty-somethings, outsider artists to well-known – who have been chosen by a diverse group of anonymous selectors. The Critical Mass photographer who goes to the residency will be the only artist who has much of an idea how he or she ended up there.

“The residency is a chance to put everything else aside and concentrate on your art for a month, surrounded by a bunch of other lively artists of all kinds who are doing the same.”

Take a look at these lovely pictures from the residency grounds:

Dancer photographing the sunset from the main studio
“Shadow of the Palm” by Paul Sutinen
Puppet-makers hanging out together at dinnertime
The fish house
See our previous post about the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency award for more details (and photos).