Carolina: It was a time period of both of our lives where we were growing so much and figuring how to be artists outside of academic institutions that we had been in our whole lives. It was the 24 hours roll out optimus trucking services shirt and by the same token and first time I’d done anything like that—it was my first time even in Colorado—but it was so impactful to have the time to experiment. It really helped me to think about how to bring social engagement outside of the studio. To your point about going somewhere kind of blindly: It seems hard with some of these smaller residencies, especially those that have very little online about them, to know what’s worth it—especially if you’re traveling there alone, and also taking time off from work. C: When we attended back in 2013, there wasn’t really social media for all these residencies. I think I even reached out to one of the past artists, just to make sure Elsewhere was real [laughs]. We saw the benefits of both of our ways into finding the residency, as well as the gap [in information]. A: [With Piney Wood Atlas] we wanted our voice to be a person who was telling their friend about the amazing experience they had. We really wanted to be able to vouch for the artist residencies ourselves, which is why we came up with the structure of visiting on these road trips. Our first road trip was in 2016 and we published our first book in 2017.
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C: Alicia does the 24 hours roll out optimus trucking services shirt and by the same token and portraits of the facilitators and I do the maps. It’s very much an equal collaboration where we divide the task down the middle. It’s important to us to make our books a physical copy that you hold with you, rather than putting a digital PDF of it online. A: We’ve visited about 70 artist residencies at this point. We start our process with a lot of research: a mix of Internet searching and speaking with our network of people in the art world. Then we put them all together, region by region, and create a map. We’ll stay at each residency for usually one night to get a full 24-hour experience of what it’d be like to be an artist there. C: It’s been a learning process. We want residencies that accept all types of artists and are using the term artist really broadly and not necessarily focused on a specific medium. We also have a cap at featuring ones that cost $1,000 max per month, but ideally, we search for ones that are free or are otherwise offering a stipend or have scholarship opportunities—especially for BIPOC and queer creatives. Bonus points if they have a socially-engaged focus or it’s a residency that welcomes artists to work on environmental justice projects. A: Oh, and the residency also must have a living space rather than just a studio. We like to define an artist as a creative thinker or maker. We want this to be for people who don’t necessarily fit into the traditional criteria of a residency: you can be a scientist or a podcaster… anyone as long as you have a project in mind.I’ve also seen on your Instagram you highlight residencies that are parent-friendly. That seems to be an often-forgotten element that creates a barrier for people who can’t or don’t want to sacrifice family time.