The Artists in Residence (AIR) Program
AIR summer residential programs are a tried and true method of supporting studio artists. They run on donations from individual sponsors, foundations, and state agencies. A careful selection process precedes an artist’s acceptance into the AIR programs, which have a capacity of up to sixteen people. The Williamsport program features:
- One- to two-month studio residencies in a roomy rural community setting
- Fully furnished apartments and shared studio space
- Dynamic collaboration with other artists
- Instruction from guest artists as well as program directors
- Sequestration from everyday life, to intensify focus on work in progress and increase creativity as well as output
- A gallery show at the culmination of the program brings exposure for the work as well as the opportunity to make sales to compensate artists for the time they devoted to this intensive experience.
the norwegian student exchange program
The pilot for this program took place in 2010. Artists Yuriy Karabash and Michael Pilato traveled to Skejberg, Norway, where they worked with 44 high school art students to create a new Inspiration mural of the student’s own design. The students identified their heroes and, under the guidance of Michael and Yuriy, painted their portraits on a mural entitled Speak Out. A video documentary was prepared as a message to their American student counterparts, about what inspired them:
Later that year, the same students traveled to the U.S. to tour the Inspiration murals in Pennsylvania, and to present their video and instruct high school students in State College. It is the PAA’s goal to repeat this program in the future, and develop a mechanism whereby American students may travel to Norway for a similar art experience.
The Public Art Academy has contributed to many murals around the world:
- Inspiration: State College, Pennsylvania
- Inspiration: Lycoming, Pennsylvania
- Speak Out: Skejberg
- Two murals in Emporium, PA: subjects were chosen by the community, and murals were designed by PAA artists, then painted “by number” by Emporium students
- A mural on a historic lumber company in Picture Rocks, PA, honoring the company founder and history
- A mural on a Lewisburg, PA community center
- Two murals in Reston Virginia, created by elementary school children, one of which honored a classmate who succumbed to cancer
- Numerous murals around State College and Williamsport, covering various inspirational subjects including historical figures, caring organizations, and various individuals who have sought to make a difference; roughly 30 in all.
- The World Mural: Proposed for a location in Oslo, Norway, this third Inspiration mural will honor women who have won the Nobel Peace Prize. It will feature painted portraits of the seven living recipients and retain the style of the Pennsylvania Inspiration murals. When completed, the three murals will stand in their separate locations as thirds of a whole; the entire work will be visible in its entirety on the worldwide web.