The Bubbler Artist in residence program has been a work in progress since its inception five years ago. Our team has continued to learn as we adapt and respond to the diverse needs of our artists, aiming to provide them with the best resources, space, materials, and promotions to thrive during their 2 month stay at the Bubbler.
Each one of our residencies has taught us something new about connecting artists to the community, and we have gotten more nimble in running our residencies. However, we realized we were missing out on an incredible opportunity to build stronger community between our resident artists.
This fall, we hosted our first in-person, hands-on orientation well before our new rotation of artist hit the ground running for their two months in the Bubbler. With seven upcoming and three previous residents it was a powerhouse of the Madison arts world all in one room.
As everyone shared their best practices for working with youth and adults, setting up interactive projects, and connecting to all the resources the library can offer, it was amazing to hear and see the ideas and plans already start to bubble to the surface for residencies months away.
How do we measure impact?
Bubbler residencies aren't just about our artists making art, although that is often a big part of it. It is also about engaging with the patrons of the library, and striving to reach them where they are at. During the convening, it was amazing to have previous residents Richie Morales, Rachal Duggan,and Michael Velliquette on hand to talk about their past experiences in the space and how they set it up to engage with the public both when they were present and not. They shared examples of passive projects as well how they planned active workshops and demonstrations of their work to reach the widest audiences. The Bubbler team also extended our reporting tool for collecting stories from within the Bubbler, so we can better share the quality of the work and the learning that comes when having experiences in our space. We are delighted at the intentions that the upcoming artists have already shared with us from the understanding we were able to develop early on.
Building a Community of Resources
THE MOST EXCITING part for us was to get all of these amazing people in a room together and to watch what happened. To our delight, several of our artists have already begun collaborative efforts together - including linking and reposting work from each others' social networks.
We have seen collaborations before, like the amazing spaceship to the right - and we cannot wait to see what community impact these introductions will produce.
Upcoming Bubbler Artist-in-Residence:
November-December: Richard Jones Jr.
January-February: Rodney Lambright II
March-April: Taylor W. Rushing