DO ARTISTS AND VOLCANOES GO TOGETHER?
Whakatane Museum, located in Whakatane, New Zealand, has been testing a theory for nearly a full year - do artists and volcanoes go together? In order to prove this concept, Museum Director Eric Holowacz established partnerships with other organizations and created a handful of 1-8-week residencies for artists coming from all walks of life and all 4-corners of the world. Former Sedona, Arizona artist Jennifer Epperson has been selected to participate in exploring the idea of how volcanoes, the changing earth, and art move and form in tandem.
As the earth boils below, Epperson will explore wonders and raw power of the natural world to determine how the experience might transform the creative process in mysterious new ways.
“It is an honor to be a part of The Volcanic Artist Residency in Whakatane New Zealand. I will live and work in an entirely different place, in the southern hemisphere, where the sun rises first. I am excited and energized to experience a wholly new community and curious as to how it might affect my work,” says Epperson.
No stranger to new places, Epperson recently moved her studio from Northern Arizona to Central Texas. “Within twelve months I will have work in three very different environments, one of Earth, one of Water and one of Fire.”
Jennifer Epperson is a visual artist and art activist, originally from Texas, has enjoyed the magnificence of working in Sedona, Arizona for the past fifteen years. “I love Sedona, its red rock landscape and perfect weather. The light and spacious skies, the possibility of solitude in the studio or on a hike sustained a completely different perspective, outwardly and inwardly. It provided a strong foundation for my practice to grow,” says Epperson, “I am enamored and respectful of the Earth energy Sedona exudes.”
Jennifer will be leaving for the 4-week long international residency later this month. She will be just one of a handful of artists and other creative professional fields who have been chosen to participate in this working theory developed by the Whakatane Museum. The program provides artists in residence housing, work space, field visits and connections to unique Eastern Bay of Plenty environments.
The invitation to participate in the Volcanic Artist Residency pilot program was the impetus for the Jennifer to begin work on her newest project, a Comix Journal. The Journal will explore living and working in three very different environments. “I have always been intrigued by how place affects art. Now I can chronicle my journey from the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona to the artesian springs, rivers and aquifer of San Marcos, Texas, and finally to Whakatane, New Zealand, on the other side of the world, where it perches far south, part of the Ring of Fire,” says Epperson.
To learn more about this residency and Jennifer’s time in New Zealand, please visit TheStudio61.com and look for her on Facebook and Instagram.