by William T. Beverly, Ph.D.
WALSENBURG — During the months of March and April of 2012, curators Maria Cocchiarelli and Brendt Berger of the Museum of Friends will be working with public programs to develop a new art/intervention initiative to help at-risk persons in the community reconnect socially, emotionally and educationally using the vehicle of art.
With the help of Creative Industries (formerly the Colorado Arts Council) and private donations, the Museum of Friends will host its first ever Artist-in-Residence program with photographer Zoe Childerley in June and July of 2012.
For “Where’s Walsenburg?” community members will be invited to sit for portraits at the Museum of Friends on Main and 6th Street. Following the portrait sittings and the two-month residency, there will be an exhibition of the works created while Childerley is living and working in Walsenburg. Plans to travel the exhibition are in the works.
Childerley is a senior lecturer of Photography and Video at De Montfort University in Leicester, England who is known for “community arts practice.” Her photographs have been exhibited internationally and she also participated in the 2009, MOF-sponsored “artposium” at the Colorado Art Ranch.
She has worked in many different environments, interacting with community members including Jamaican faith groups, Romany travelers and homeless people. Her photographic practice involves both a documentary and a conceptual approach.
Childerley comments, “I am interested in man’s relationship to history, culture and spirituality, what unites and divides us, embracing emotional subjectivity. My work reflects a vision of the world concerned with uncertainty and loss and how we make sense of this through humor and reflection.” her website is www.zoechilderley.moonfruit.com
Curators Cocchiarelli and Berger, who currently have their work hanging at the “EnvironMental” show at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center in the Pueblo, hope this project will be a positive force in the community.
For more information, one can tour the MOF at www.museumoffriends.org and help them move into the future.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward