It is better known as the New York Studio Residency Program, but better described as an experience. A program is something structured, perhaps rigid, outlined, explained beforehand; a program is what you would expect. The New York Studio Residency Program is not.
My experience was unique, as yours would be, and just as any single day in the Big Apple is for an outsider. Devoid of boredom, monotony, normalcy and familiarity, I found a new kind of comfort in keeping my head above the water. I ran out of money, I slept on floors in rooms smaller than a closet, I was lost more often than found on the subway. I had been thrown into the deep end of a dirty pool, full of strangers, on the hottest day of the year. It felt great.
I think this short list of notable details will suffice to replace a narrative of my experience (that would ultimately be lengthy and incoherent):
· Location in Dumbo (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is beautiful. See photo below.
· NYSRP forces you to occupy your time and be self motivated. Its sink or swim, like the reality of the day-to-day life of young working artists in NYC.
· I watched the sunrise over the Manhattan skyline from so many different roof tops, seriously I lost count.
· I met a few people that made me feel very uncool, I met a few people that made me feel very uninformed, and then I met a few people who made me appreciate my sanity.
· Time Square sucks, but the Max Neuhaus sound piece is amazing.
· The professors did not agree with me on most things, ergo I learned very quickly how to argue a (potentially wrong) point and appreciate differences in opinion.
· I ate new cuisine from at least 20 different cultures. For the entirety of my life I thought I knew what Chinese food was. I was totally wrong. - FYI - Traditional Dim Sum is amazing.
· Watching live performances! Poetry, plays, concerts, readings, lectures- EVERYTHING is at your fingertips.
· I was excited by, depressed by, and confused by contemporary art... on a weekly basis. You will see.
· I realized I really don't know anything about the contemporary art... but that I really want to know everything about contemporary art.
So, if I recommend this experience to anyone, I do so with gusto. If you dont think you are cut out for it, you probably need it more than any of your peers. If you are an artist in any sense of the word, you have an inherent desire to make your life's experience synonynomous with your creative process. There is no better setting to live breathe and think art than New York City.
Matilda Paulin, AAC senior