Wexner Center announces Artist Residency Awards for 2015–16

Tue, Jul 07, 2015

The Wexner Center is pleased to announce its 2015–16 Wexner Center Artist Residency Award recipients in all programming areas. An essential part of the center’s role as a creative research laboratory for artists, the Artist Residency Award program also complements Ohio State’s mission as a leading research institution. Artist Residency Awards in amounts ranging from $25,000­–$100,000 are allocated annually in the three programming areas at the Wexner Center: visual arts (including architecture and design), performing arts, and media arts (film and video). Chosen by the center’s curators and director, residency artists receive significant financial resources, along with technical, intellectual, and professional support—as well as space—to develop new work on-site.

Residencies are completely “artist-centric”; the evolution and timing of each project is at the artist’s discretion, and they spend as much time at the center over the course of the year (sometimes over multiple visits) as necessary to complete their work. The Wex team facilitates artists’ engagement with faculty experts in respective fields, and all Artist Residencies require student participation at some juncture.

The upcoming year features a respected artist working on a site-specific installation at the Wexner Center that will alter how visitors experience Peter Eisenman’s iconic architectural design; a groundbreaking theater ensemble who has a long, robust relationship with the center; and an award-winning filmmaker whose upcoming film will receive extensive post-production support in the center’s Film/Video Studio.

Director Sherri Geldin says, “For 25 years, the Wexner Center has hosted among the most generous and sustained artist residency programs of any cultural institution in the country. With funding of up to $100,000 per project, plus full access to the center’s professional and technical resources—as well as to a vast array of expertise across the university—artists have researched, developed and produced seminal works in their respective fields and sometimes explored entirely new creative disciplines and practices. But a cursory scan at the roster of artists who have benefitted from Wexner Center residencies reveals how robust and wide-ranging the Wex has been from its inception as a catalyst to the production of new work by emerging and established artists alike.”

Next season’s recipients in the three programming areas are:


This is the third Wexner Center Artist Residency Award for the innovative British theater ensemble Improbable. Past Wexner Center residencies supported development of their productions The Hanging Man, which had its US premiere at the Wexner Center in 2003, and Panic in 2009. The Wexner Center’s relationship with Improbable extends back to presenting their breakthrough work 70 Hill Lane in 1999, as well as presenting the US premiere of the internationally acclaimed music theater production Shockheaded Peter, directed and designed by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch of Improbablefeaturing the Tiger Lillies in 2000. That this notable London-based ensemble finds a second creative home in Columbus at the Wexner Center is a point of pride for our performing arts program.

Their new project, Opening Skinner’s Box, illuminates surprising truths about human nature as revealed in Lauren Slater’s book of the same name that covers a famous series of psychological experiments—including those of still-controversial behaviorist B. F. Skinner—and delves into the fascinating stories behind them. The project is spearheaded by Improbable co-artistic directors Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson and shaped by their trademark mix of clever wit, penetrating insight, and inventive stagecraft.

A free work-in-progress discussion of this production will take place Thursday, July 16, in the Wexner Center Performance Space.


This year’s Residency Award for Oppenheimer represents a continuation of  the project first conceived by the artist during her residency in the 2014–15 season. The New York-based artist has conceived a complex site-specific installation that directly respondsand draws attention to the center’s distinctive design by Peter Eisenman, challenging visitors to re-experience the space. Oppenheimer will create a mechanical, rotating pivot system affecting the way visitors perceive the thresholds, sightlines, and interwoven grids of the Wex galleries. To fully research and realize the project, Oppenheimer is working with students and faculty at Ohio State’s Knowlton School of Architecture and College of Engineering. She has also engaged Columbus-based architect Jerome Scott, who was a young associate in the Eisenman office when the center was designed and who served as a design consultant for the center’s 2003–2005 renovation.


This is the first Wexner Center Artist Residency Award for acclaimed filmmaker Kelly Reichardt (Old JoyWendy and LucyMeek’s Cutoff, Night Moves), who will receive post-production support for her upcoming film. The film, Certain Women, stars Michelle Williams, Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Jared Harris, and James Le Gros and is based on the short stories of award-winning author and Montana native Maile Meloy (sister of Colin Meloy of The Decemberists). Throughout her residency, Reichardt will have access to the full range of editing technology available at the Wex plus ongoing assistance from one of the center’s two fulltime editors.

Reichardt is a familiar face to the Wexner Center’s internationally recognized Film/Video program, having screened several of her feature length and short works at the center. The Wexner Center also provided Reichardt with editing support in 2004 through its ongoing Film/Video Studio program, which accommodates approximately 20 film/video makers per year to a dedicated studio on the center’s premises, perhaps the only one of its kind imbedded in an arts institution.

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