OX BOW Fall Residency / by Charles Vinz

This past fall, I had the honor and privilege to attend the Ox Bow School of Art and Artist Residency as a fully supported artist in residence for 3 weeks. I was given the time, space, and support to pursue some studio-based work that so rarely get the opportunity to work on.

I focused on exploring more fabric and textile based work, expanding on the experimental hand weaving I've been doing in fits and starts for the past few years, as well as exploring the world of natural plant-based dyes and resins. In keeping with my practice of working primarily or entirely with found and reclaimed materials, I brought no supplies with me, and spent the first several days gathering used clothing and other textiles.

Once I had a good chunk of these materials pulled together, I organized them around various "situations" based on color, form, and source to develop different narratives for each. The practice of tearing apart these discarded materials, then weaving them back together in different configurations proved revealing in a multitude of ways.

There are many wonderful things to appreciate about Ox Bow, but the two most salient ones to me are all the people involved - staff and fellow artists in residence alike - and the surrounding landscape. Set on a lagoon with dunes to separate us from Lake Michigan, daily routines always involved making time to watch the sunset, check out what other people were working on, and having a bonfire, all in a place that has been doing this for over 100 years and that has hosted thousands of artists.