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After the Summer Residency, I understood that there was a place and a future for my work, as well as an audience.

Country of origin: USA

In which Residency Program(s) did you participate?
Lens and Screen Arts: Still and Moving Imaging, 2011

What led you to participate in the Summer Residency Program?
Prior to the Summer Residency Program, I had an undergraduate background in portrait painting. I had also been doing a lot of vaudeville comedy performances with a burlesque troop in Providence, Rhode Island. I began to build sets for these sketches and record them with a camcorder in my parents' garage. I quickly became invested in the short films I was creating, and wanted to put them in a greater context of art making. I also had no formal training in video and editing. I had taken some continuing education classes at SVA in graphic design and through this, I found out about their Summer Residency Program. I applied and the rest is history.

What was the best part of your experience at SVA?
I would have to say the people I met. Not only did I learn a tremendous amount from Charles Traub, Grahame Weinbren and Michelle Leftheris as faculty, but I met life-long friends in the other participating artists. We often Skype, share ideas, and promote and support each others work. I'm hoping for a reunion special sometime soon.

How did the Residency Program contribute to your development as a professional artist? 
The Residency Program gave me a confidence and understanding I didn't have before. I used to refer to my work as "guerrilla performing" or "garage video", in that it did not belong in any type of organized or formalized art world or institution. After the Summer Residency, I understood that there was a place and a future for my work, as well as an audience.

What's going on in your studio now? 
I am still portraying a variety of crazy characters. I am currently shooting a film entitled "Grandma Liz is Tired" in which I play an old woman at the end of her life. I enjoy work that is bittersweet.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experiences in the program or after? 
I am currently enrolled in the MFA Photography, Video, and Related Media Department at SVA. I had been a teaching artist the past two years and wanted to go back to school to get my MFA. SVA was the clear choice, and so far it's awesome!

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