We are thrilled to announce the selection of five artists selected for their Spring 2022 In-Residence, Rooting a Deeper Connection (RDC): Nicole Anderson-Cobb, Barber, Latrelle Bright, Jose Gobbo, and Simiya Sudduth. Each artist will spend three weeks living at the Allerton estate, 515 Old Timber Road, Monticello, between March and May.
Allerton’s In-Residence program, which began in 2020, offers artists and naturalists the opportunity to immerse themselves in their work and find inspiration from the Park. The program aims to support and highlight the meaningful work of creators and researchers, making their professions more accessible to the public.
This Spring’s In-Residence is the result of a partnership with the University of Illinois’ Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (OVCDEI). Allerton’s proposal was one of 22 projects funded by the University’s “Call to Action Research Program to Address Racism and Social Injustice” announced last summer.
“This residency seeks to welcome a diverse cohort of artists, naturalists, and scientists to experience the very special place that is the Allerton Park and Retreat Center,” said Sean C. Garrick, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “We hope to facilitate meaningful opportunities to leverage the beauty and wonder of this rural setting, to elevate voices as well as inform and engage communities in the deep and sometimes complex histories of the natural environment around them.”
The five finalists were chosen from a competitive pool of applicants, with the selected artists residing in Champaign, Springfield, Chicago, and St. Louis. Between March and May, each resident will live on the Allerton estate for three weeks, using the Park’s art, nature, and history to inspire their creations.
Simiya Sudduth, a multidisciplinary artist and art educator living in St. Louis, will be the first resident onsite. Sudduth’s work, which explores the intersections of wellness, ecology, social justice, and spirituality, will include designing and creating a mural in the Greenhouse Café. Brazilian jazz guitarist and University of Illinois Springfield faculty Jose Gobbo will overlap one week with Sudduth, as he explores intersections between improvisation and composition. Gobbo moved to Illinois in 2014, where he performed locally while pursuing his doctoral degree from the University of Illinois.
The remaining three artists will all arrive in mid-April. Barber (#BarberPaintsPpl), an artist from Chicago, is “devoted to repairing racially impaired perceptions of the body.” Barber’s “Ppl” allow the viewer to determine the figures’ social and cultural identities for themselves by “codifying” the human form into geometric shapes and lines. Finally, creative writer, researcher, and advocate Nicole Anderson-Cobb, and theatre maker and University of Illinois Professor Latrelle Bright, both Champaign residents, will collaborate to research, create, and perform a series of short theatre pieces. The pair anticipates performances that encourage visitors to consider Allerton’s past as they navigate the present and future.
Allerton’s Assistant Director of Annual Fund and Programming Mindy Brand noted that all residencies will culminate with an outreach activity of the artists’ own envisioning, meant to highlight their meaningful work and make it more accessible to the community. Information about each artists’ program will be available on Allerton’s website as their residencies get closer.
“We hope Simiya, Jose, Barber, Nicole, and Latrelle can use Allerton as a source of inspiration to blend art, nature, and history together in order to highlight the deep and significant impact they have on the human condition, and vice versa,” said Brand. “By focusing on artistic and environmental innovation specifically within the Black and Latinx communities, our goal is to grow the connection between Allerton and the whole community it serves.”
The Allerton In-Residence program was made possible in part through gifts from Joan and Peter Hood and Dana Brehm and Larry Baumann. Find more information on supporting Allerton here.
Fall 2022 residency applications will open April 1. Learn more on our Allerton In-Residence page.