By Mark Golden
All the construction is headed to its final crescendo for the new Golden Foundation Artist Residence, capping off a 30 year dream of the Golden family to create a site where artists could live, work and most importantly, collaborate with the substantial material resources of Golden Artist Colors. It is no mistake that the company has remained in its original location on the site of Sam and Adele’s home. Amongst these verdant rolling hills are some of the most beautiful rural landscapes probably more appropriate for painting than locating a modern manufacturing facility. But we couldn’t help feeling that making beautiful colors in a beautiful environment was worth extra effort. And anyway, who would have thought a paint factory started in a barn, would become a worldwide center for artist materials?
Having started Golden Artist Colors in a barn, it is fitting that the Golden Foundation Artist Residence also starts in a barn, just 300 yards from the factory. The Residency had its preview party this past August, sharing a mostly completed building with staff and families, the local community, and artists and friends from around the country. The timing was perfect as that weekend was also the opening in the SAGG at the Golden Factory of the show ‘VELOCITY’; works by Larry Poons. Larry has been a longtime friend and collaborator with both Sam and Golden Artist Colors. It was Larry and his wife Paula, who provided Sam with the first list of artists to go visit when the company began in 1980. We.re very fortunate that this capstone for the Golden family and Foundation could be celebrated together.
The Golden Residency structure consists of 3 artist apartments, a common kitchen, dining room, and living room, all in the lower level of the building. The second floor contains the Foundation offices and a small gallery space. Also on this floor is an open plan studio of 2400 sq. ft., capable of being divided into smaller spaces depending upon the needs of the artists. The 3rd floor consists of a smaller loft studio approximately 900 sq. ft. and another open floor plan studio space approximately 1200 sq. ft. Beyond a catwalk bridge spanning the 3rd floor is the materials area, which is stocked with supplies required for the various needs of the residency artists. All the floors are accessible by elevator.
In planning the programs for the Golden Foundation Artist Residency, Barbara Golden, the Foundation Executive Director, has organized several professional advisory panels, consisting of artists, artist residency executives and staff at Golden Artist Colors. The continuing discussion with these groups has begun to coalesce the specifics of the programs and the sorting out of the selection process for the residency. Until there is a formal program for the residency, artists have been invited as residency advisors to work in the space and help us establish the requirements for the building and the studios to assure a successful residency experience.
The Golden Foundation Residence will offer a variety of different programs. Beyond providing beautiful studios and wonderful scenery, the residencies will be quite unlike any other residency experience. They will include an ‘Exploratory Residency’, allowing artists the opportunity to investigate a wide range of painting materials as well as a ‘Technical Residency’, allowing artists to extend the vocabulary of what paint is and can be. Each of these residencies will be awarded on a competitive basis, selected by a committee of highly regarded art professionals and the Executive Director.
The Golden Residency will also provide a range of artist workshops, allowing a larger group to experience the residency on a shorter basis, alongside a master teaching artist.
The official program announcements and applications will be available online by November 2011 on the Golden Foundation website, which is www.goldenfoundation.org. The anticipated dates for the first residency are for fall of 2012. The artist workshop schedule will begin the summer of 2012 and will also be listed on the website.
The Sam and Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts was originally conceived in 1997 as a way to thank the community of artists for their support and encouragement and as a means of celebrating the legacy of Sam and Adele Golden. This next chapter will allow the Foundation to continue that dialogue with artists in a most unique manner. Not unlike the small shop on 15th Street in 1936, where Sam Golden and Leonard Bocour began making paint and inviting artists into the process, or the small barn on Bell Road in 1980, where artists have continued to be the center and the heart of the creative effort. Now again in a barn, the Golden Foundation will continue the effort to support artists working in paint to continue its quest to become a significant resource for professional artists.