Common Field

Jessica Zawadowciz (BFA 2019) received funding to attend a three-day program organized by Common Field – an artist-centered network that brings together independent visual arts organizations to discuss ways to create community, share resources and exchange experiences.

Jessica’s purpose in attending was to extend her network and identify strategies she might use to develop an online forum designed to share experiences and new forms of creative work, as well as to encourage collaboration.   

Takeaways

  • Artists are caretakers of the public imagination and drive JUSTICE

  • Vulnerability can be a powerful catalyst for creativity, empathy and change.

  • Artists can create DIY residencies in non-urban environments and build visibility, diversity and sustainability outside an urban-centric art world.  

  • Rural spaces invite a new way of seeing and creating, one based on community rather than hierarchy.

  • Education must be rethought so that the creation of Art is linked to social activism and advocacy.  

Lessons Learned

One of the most significant lessons learned is that the community of artists—at least those attending Common Field Convening – share a sense of urgency, determination, passion, and purpose.  There seemed to be no separation between their commitment to their arts practice – whether it be a collective, residency or individual one – and their commitment to service to the world. The conference itself doubled as a call to action.  

“There were certain challenges for me,” wrote Jessica.  “I was one of the youngest participants there and did not necessarily have the same knowledge to share.   It helped to clarify what I want and where I want to go next.”

Next Steps

  • Spending the summer in an intensive program to learn Russian.  

  • Travel to abroad and participation in an artist residency for 6 months.

  • More travel to make more connections, expand the network

  • Rethink the idea of an online platform, using images and visual material, rather than text, to establish a voice and community.