Elisabeth Melkonyan-Mayr, curator and WIDE WEST project leader for the Imperial Palace in Innsbruck, Austria is making a return visit to Paducah, Kentucky, February 8-15, as part of the Paducah Arts Alliance (PAA) Artist-in-Residence program.
Elisabeth Melkonyan-Mayr, curator and WIDE WEST project leader for the Imperial Palace in Innsbruck, Austria is making a return visit to Paducah, Kentucky, February 8-15, as part of the Paducah Arts Alliance (PAA) Artist-in-Residence program. Melkonyan-Mayr first visited Paducah in 2011 as a participant of the PAA residency program. The connection resulted in her facilitating the inclusion of five Paducah artists in the WIDE WEST exhibit at the Imperial Palace in Innsbruck in April 2013.
The ongoing exchange of creative ideas and processes and the connectivity of cultures are key components of the mission of the PAA Artist-in-Residence program. To that effect, Melkonyan-Mayr will speak to students at the Paducah School of Art & Design during her stay about her experiences with international art exchanges. The schedule for her talk includes the Introduction to Art class on Tuesday morning and Drawing class on Wednesday.
A printmaker and fiber artist, Melkonyan-Mayr is bringing some of her own imagery to Paducah. She will be using her drawings to learn a non-toxic process of printmaking with LowerTown artist Freda Fairchild at Studio Miska, 627 Madison Street. Fairchild demonstrated the eco-friendly method while visiting Innsbruck for the WIDE WEST exhibit. One of Melkonyan-Mayr’s intentions for her return residency is to learn more about non-toxic printmaking in order to educate Austrian students on the process. Melkonyan-Mayr will also be visiting the studios of several award-winning Paducah fiber artists, including Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry of Bryerpatch Studio, Helene Davis of Jefferson Street Studios and Lily Liu, another one of the select artists that exhibited and taught workshops in Innsbruck last April.
“Elizabeth is an organizational genius,” said Fairchild. “She has a innate ability for arranging connections with creative networks.” Her talents and accomplishments are a perfect fit for an UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Art. “WIDE WEST is equivalent to a synonym for a NEW WORLD,” explains Melkonyan-Mayr. “Experiencing another’s homeland–a new world–creates an unimagined scope for creative possibilities. Old cultures meet new cultures and expand the multi-facetted wealth of art even further.”
Renowned Russian documentary photographers Oksana Yushko and Arthur Bondarare slated to be the artists-in-residence participants in March. Yushko and Bondar share their solo and collective projects and experience with workshop attendees around the globe and are looking forward to visiting and photographing Paducah. Yushko is a freelance photographer who has been working in professional journalism since 2006. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Mare Magazine(Germany), Guardian (UK), Russian Reporter, Esquire and Financial Times to name a few. Bondar has been working as a journalist since 2007. He exhibits his work worldwide, and was named "Best Photographer of the Year in Ukraine" in 2013.
PAA initiated the Artist-in-Residence Program in 2008 with funds provided by the City of Paducah. The program was established to enhance Paducah’s identity as an international art community and to promote the growth of individual artists through education and outreach programs. Since January 2009, PAA has hosted nearly 40 visiting American and international artists from 13 states and 4 countries. Over the past five years, resident artists have conducted more than 50 events, which include workshops, lectures, exhibitions, performances and installations. The Commonwealth of Kentucky has recently recognized Paducah Arts Alliance as a 501c3 organization.
For more information, email Freda Fairchild, PAA president or call her at 270.519.2341 or Rosemarie Steele or call 270.331.5588.