Santiago Chavez and Julia Stoddard awarded the 2016 Leipzig Residency

At the end of each academic year, the Visual & Critical Studies Program awards a six-month residency at the Leipzig International Art Programme (LIA) to a recent graduate. Earlier this summer, the department awarded LIA two residencies for next year, scheduled to begin in January and July of 2017. The application process was very competitive this time around, and we are pleased to announce that Santiago Chavez and Julia Stoddard were chosen from a pool of ten strong proposals.

Recently, I caught up with Santiago and Julia and got their comments on the residency.

Here’s what Santiago had to say:

Santiago Chavez (via Instagram)

Santiago Chavez (via Instagram)

I was thoroughly excited and truly honored when I received the award. I see it as an extraordinarily generous confirmation of the work I put in to my own education and my love for VCS, which was rewarding in its own right. During my time in VCS I found a community of professors and fellow students dedicated to art and learning, and to the health of the whole community. It was a pleasure to be able to contribute to the magic through day-to-day participation. I have nothing but thanks to express to my peers for their support and friendship. And I would like to dedicate an extra special thanks to all of my professors, who worked every day to create a space where my peers and I could freely express ourselves, and for encouraging and challenging us to create work and open dialogues that drew from our personal truths and our shared realities.

Before my time at SVA, I never would have dreamed of such an opportunity, to be given a space to create art for six months in Leipzig. I am truly excited and impatient to begin collaborating with artists and citizens of Leipzig. And, I look forward with an open mind to the experiences that await me in Germany and beyond.

Julia offered the following comments, quoted from the letter of intent in her LIA residency application:

My project at the Leipzig International Art Program will be an inquiry into how people who are displaced from their (home)land have remembered their place of origin. I also plan to explore how landscape morphology precipitated by humans complicates the desire to recall one’s place of origin. Specifically, I’ll analyze how landscapes are altered by war and its aftermath, something acutely embedded in Germany’s landscape. From the experiences an extended body of video and performance works will be generated, stemming from the topics of land, memory, and identity. This will be my first time traveling to Europe, and I cannot fully express my gratitude for this opportunity.

Julia Stoddard in a still from her video cloistered (2016)

Above: Julia Stoddard in a still from her video cloistered (2016)

We’d like to congratulate Santiago and Julia, and we look forward to hearing from them about their residencies next year.

Visual & Critical Studies