by Susan Johnson
One of the best features of our 2013 New York residency was the location. We were right in the heart of the city. In addition to great accessibility to all parts of the city, modernist landmarks surrounded us. Heading out to Fifth Ave, we were sandwiched between the Flatiron Building and the Empire State Building. Down the block and over another are the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower and the 69th Regiment Armory building, where the 1913 show that introduced modernism was held.
Chelsea Galleries and the Highline were a few blocks away via cross-town bus. MOMA, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, and the Met were all just a few subway stops away. Greenwich Village, SoHo, the Lower East Side were all within walking distance.
Mornings were spent sharing presentations, and afternoons and evenings in museums and galleries. In-between these incredible activities, there were the streets to wander with all their history. It was spectacular.
The ground breaking IDSVA graduation ceremony and celebration dinner were amazing. All the lectures and speeches moved me so deeply, particularly those by Eric Kandel and Susan Stewart. As they spoke, I could feel a realization move through my body like a physical transformation. For most of my life I have known that my job is to be an artist and philosopher, but this was the first time I really truly understood the importance of it, and what it really means to be in this program with so many who share this task. I felt very humbled by this. It was an incredible moment for me, and I think I stepped into a new maturity right then. So, what was the most significant aspect of this residency for me? With many moments giving me so much, I discovered new meaning in what I thought I knew.