The French painter Laurence de Valmy shares with Singulart the experience of her artist residency at ESKFF within Mana Contemporary when she moved to the United States.
ESKFF in a few words.
The Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation is an artist residency located in Jersey City and founded in 2009 by Eileen Kaminsky, philanthropist collector . The residence welcomes local and international artists, emerging or established in order to encourage dialogue between artists, artistic institutions, critics and collectors.
Why did you want to join an artist residency?
I entered the art market in second career and in a city where I had just settled. I then had no network and I needed to build a community. When I arrived in New Jersey, I first contacted artists whose work I admired. It was an artist - who had since become a friend - who recommended this artist residency to me while he was participating in it. I was afraid of not being at the level, I thought that the residences were reserved for known artists, accessible only by invitation. I discovered that there were many types of residences and that each had their own selection criteria. For ESKFF it is really the project and the motivation that take precedence for the chance to be selected.
How does a Residence at ESKFF work?
The ESKFF welcomes 8 artists for 3 months with a grant for the purchase of material, canvas and painting in my case. They give us access to a shared studio (but not accommodation) and some workshops with professionals such as critics, coaches or curators. At the end of the Residence, a collective exhibition is organized. In my case it coincided with the Open House of Mana Contemporary with thousands of visitors on a special shuttle between NYC and Jersey City. In return, the artist offers two works : one for the Foundation's collection, the other to finance the Residence which will be sold during the final exhibition or at an auction.
The Residence is based in the artistic institution Mana Contemporary: an old tobacco factory converted into huge creative spaces (museums, drawing and dance schools, etc.). It was exciting to meet artists of all nationalities and all disciplines.
What was your project to integrate this artist residency?
When I applied for the Residence, I was just starting a new artistic project: post paintings . I had only realized three then and was not sure if I was going in the right direction. When writing my file, it pushed me to put words on my creations and define my concept. I also had to commit to a number of works to create and set goals for myself.
What did the Residence bring you?
It is the link with the people, artists or professionals of the art market, that I particularly remember from my stay.
Exhibition opportunities : during the workshop with a critic, I was lucky that he spotted my work and recommended it to a New York gallery, who offered me my first exhibition. I was also put in contact with a second gallery in New York, which exhibited me in Miami during the week of contemporary art shortly after.
The Residence also allowed me to be more productive than alone in the workshop, which was essential to be able to present works to galleries. It also allowed me to get a professional look at my work , a kind of validation by art market experts.