Proyecto Ace: My Artist-in-Residence Experience

I am back home safely from my absolutely fabulous trip to Buenos Aires! I wrote the following to those who directly supported me with airfare, lodging, studio fees and art materials and wanted to document on my website.
I embraced the printmaking experience that is Proyecto Ace‘s expertise, and created a new series of prints for the first time since high school (yes I was an undergraduate art major but focused on drawing and painting!) and was reminded of the very extensive printmaking process.
Here are some highlights!
Everything was late, but that’s the chill culture!  Many restaurants don’t open for dinner until 8pm! They have a tradition for everyone in the studio to eat together at lunch and even have a cook on hand. The laid back nature was really fun to enjoy. Everyone was super friendly. Not everyone spoke English in the city so I had to stumble through a lot, which was fun! I felt very safe everywhere I went, even in the big crowds. Where I stayed and worked, though, it was pretty quiet aside from dogs (people LOVE their dogs there!) and traffic.  Food was EXTREMELY cheap. I only bought 1 meal a day and a good fine dining experience with a few copas de vino, for maybe $7-9.
Site highlights:
  •       Museum of Latin American Art in Buenos Aires (or “MALBA” as they call it) – the first artwork I see?  A self portrait of Marta Minujin with Andy Warhol (below)! I travel thousands of miles to see a neighbor artist I see all the time – ha! However, after researching Minujin, I decide to make her part of my new series, as a very successful and influential Argentinan artist who happens to be a woman. I also instantly connected with the work of Argentinian feminist artist Liliana Maresca which I also incorporated in my work (right).Photos of a woman

Photo of man and woman and corn

  • Woman in front of bridgeCity tour: I saw all the highlights around Palermo, San Telmo, Collegiate and Belgrano (where I stayed) including the “Woman’s Bridge” (self portrait with, left) which supposedly was designed to look like a woman dancing the Tango (!?). The markets in San Telmo and Palermo including art, antiques and crafts lined miles of streets, as did unique boutiques, galleries, restaurants/cafes and tons of fabulous street art.
  • Museo Moderno,, Centro Cultural
  • Comical illustrations of women Kichner and Museo de Bellas Artes – both had fabulous contemporary exhibits, though I couldn’t understand most of it because nothing is really in English.  I took tons of photos to study later. At the Centro there was a fabulous exhibit of feminist comic artist Mateina that I super enjoyed even with the language barrier (right).
In the studio! 
Day 1: Presented to the studio coordinators and other artist residents about my work. The studio coordinators encouraged me to make an itinerary for the week to visit sites, which I did. I had my new printmaking tools but had no idea what to do. The director encouraged me to think big, in a series of a square, say 9 small works together to form one, instead of the 1-off drawings/paintings I typically do.  I went to MALBA that first day (successfully taking the public bus!) and knew I’d make a tribute to Marta Minujin and Liliana Maresca.
woman in studio
Day 2: Sketched out ideas and got feedback from the team. I would enlarge one of my figures, create carvings inspired by Marta Minujic’s large colorful abstract work, and incorporate text from Maresca’s works. I’d linocut the abstract sections, and photo-synthetic transfer the large figure with a metal carving produced by their team.
Day 3: I created the 4 carvings, and sketched out the large figurative workprintmaking supplies with a projection.
Day 4: I completed the final figurative piece to be transferred into a plate, designed where I wanted the abstract parts to be in the final piece, and mixed the printmaking paint to create my Minujin inspired bright colors.
Day 5: After a round of “fails” using the printmaking machine, we decided it would be best if I had printed the smaller pieces. This is a long process of cleaning in between each print and re painting the linocuts, and hand rolling onto the paper.
Day 6: Mixing up the color for the figure print, then making the four large prints on the machine using the metal transfer piece. Cleaning up was a whole ordeal each day!
Figurative print
Day 7: Laying them all out, having the team review, select one for donation, packing up and review of experience. We were all happy with the results! I also got in several of my Feminist Tribute drawings.
In the studio I got to work with the fabulous residency team including a master printmaker, as well as artists from London, Argentina and Toronto. Overall it was one of the best experiences of my life, and I thank you again for your support!
This is only the beginning!
Feel free to reach out for more pictures, questions or to say hi!
PS: See Wanda’s experience with Proyecto Ace, in 2011 here.
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