ACRE (Artist Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions) is an organization founded and run entirely by artists for artists. Each summer ACRE transforms a farm in Wisconsin into a proving ground for community making and participatory learning. With creativity at the core of the organization the potential sites for experimentation are endless and beyond studio time and workshops also take the form of dinners, dance parties, impromptu nail salons, ad hoc parades, tubing excursions and, even, daily administrative tasks.
The residency is staffed by artist-volunteers with diverse creative backgrounds. Together their varied perspectives are combined to build a dialogue-rich and exploratory space for summer artists in residence to grow, focus, and learn from one another. For the two-week residency, ideas between staff, residents, and visiting artists co-mingle and collide as we socialize, brainstorm, and create together.
In this spirit, staff members from each department at the residency (printmaking, fiber studio, ceramics, A/V, recording studio, wood shop, and kitchen) were asked to invite a recent resident with whom they connected or worked closely while at the residency. Summer Sessions is an exhibition built from mutual admiration and fruitful experimentation.
ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions) is an artist-run non-profit based in Chicago devoted to employing various systems of support for emerging artists and to creating a generative community of cultural producers. ACRE investigates and institutes models designed to help artists develop, present, and discuss their practices by providing forums for idea exchange, interdisciplinary collaboration, and experimental projects.
MARINA BALKO is an artist and the Director of Institutional Engagement for AS220, a multidisciplinary community arts organization in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. Primarily exhibiting in mixed-media installations, Balko’s artistic disciplines include film, video, 3D modeling and animation, creative coding and interactive design, digital and darkroom photography, fibers, costume design, food art, performance and curation. Balko starting working with the ACRE kitchen in 2013 and has returned every summer since. She has made food themed to the exhibitions at the ACRE Gallery and contributed to the publication of Kadabra, the ACRE Kitchen’s annual artist cookbook.
JULIE POTRATZ is an artist whose performances, videos, and celebrity impersonations take a phenomenological look at what it means to inhabit a body. With excesses of material, drama, and grotesque cartoons, she slips between the fantastical and the everyday, while continually undergoing physical and psychological transformations. Potratz was a resident in 2012. juliepotratz.com
COLIN TIMOTHY DICKSON is a native of the Midwest. Born in Wisconsin and raised in Indiana, he received his BFA in Sculpture at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Dickson works in Chicago as a skilled craftsperson and builder, generating a range of objects including mid-century modern-inspired furniture, utilitarian cabinetry, and an expanding collection of cat furniture/sculpture. Dickson began working with ACRE as a resident in 2013. He returned in 2014 and 2015 bringing his carpentry skills to the woodshop. clndkn.com
BURNING ORCHID is the meeting of the multidisciplinary practices of Rosé Hernandez and Efrén Arcoiris, which exists as a third entity and moves towards a faceted crystalline form. Hernandez brings experience in performance, movement, and Butoh; while Arcoiris incorporates sculpture and installation. They were residents in 2015 and have volunteered in various and very helpful ways in Chicago ever since.
BEN DRIGGS was born in Pekin, Illinois. He received his BFA with a focus in sculpture from Columbia College Chicago in 2004. His work relates to the countryside and everyday art objects. He is currently rehabbing a building in Little Village where he lives with his partner. Driggs was a resident in 2010 and kitchen staff in 2011. He returned in 2012 and 2013 to work in the wood shop. In 2015 he, along with fellow ACRE alumni Wolfie E. Rawk, successfully proposed and built a ceramics studio at the residency.For summer 2017 he plans to introduce a raku kiln to the studio. Bendriggs.com
KATE KLINGBEIL is a multi-disciplinary artist currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She grew up on a farm in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she spent her childhood surrounded by animals and riding horses. Her work spans the mediums of painting, sculpture, ceramics, and animation, and investigates sexuality, feminine power, memory, personal experiences, animal/human communication, secrets and movement. Klingbeil was a resident in 2016. kateklingbeil.com