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Reed Center reaches milestones over summer

Doel Reed Center for the Arts

The Doel Reed Center for the Arts has made some impressive strides over the past year. Summer sessions featured a record number of students and scholarships, and for the first time, most courses were held on the historic property.

More than 35 students participated, most of whom received one of the 30 scholarships available.

"The students' response to the classes has been amazing," said Carol Moder, director of the Doel Reed Center for the Arts. "We had three classes from the College of Arts and Sciences, and one from Human Sciences. We are getting increased interest across campus from various colleges who want to plan courses in Taos."

Topics included principles of nature for design inspiration, the science behind art, water ethics and literature.

Four experts studied in Taos as well, supported by funds for visiting artists, scholars and OSU faculty.

This year launched the Hargis Fellows program, which supports OSU professors who study independently in Taos. Cristina Cruz González, associate professor of art history, and Andy Mattern, photography and digital media professor, were the inaugural honorees.

González, who studies late colonial New Spain and the art of the northern frontier, said the setting was perfect.

"The residency provided much-needed time and space in a majestic environment conducive to focused writing and intellectual inspiration," she said. "Coinciding with important exhibitions in Taos and Santa Fe was an added bonus."

Mattern used a handmade cardboard camera to create unique prints with half-hour exposures. A time-lapse video of the process is viewable at andymattern.com/window.

His images pay homage to the primary inventors of photography who were tethered to their studios and forced to photograph out the window due to long exposure times. He said innovators toiled away for years in dark rooms before finding solutions to problems.

"Later, of course photography would become smaller and portable, but in the beginning it was stationary, cumbersome, and uncertain," Mattern said. "It is this final aspect, uncertainty, that I sought to encounter by building my own camera at the Doel Reed Center for the Arts and gazing out the window to produce my own 'first photographs.'"

Both González and Mattern have created proposals for new Reed Center courses in their areas of expertise.

"One of the goals of the Hargis Fellows program is to get more OSU faculty out to Taos," Moder said. "This affords them a way to take from the rich environment of New Mexico and fold it into their work and courses, and bring it back to the Reed Center to benefit the students or lifelong learners as well."

The Smelser-Vallion Visiting Artist and the Linda and Jim Burke Visiting Scholar also helped teach summer courses.

Paper Samples

Students created paper from pulp using plants they gathered at the Doel Reed Center for the Arts.

Artist Megan Singleton came from St. Louis to work with students on the science of papermaking. She uses hand papermaking as a main component of her mixed-media installations, and had students create their own paper.

"They collected samples from the property and cooked them down into pulp in the fire pit at the Vallion Gathering Place," Moder said. "They really enjoyed that."

The OSU community will have the opportunity to participate in a similar experience when Singleton visits the OSU Museum of Art this winter. Singleton is scheduled to speak at the museum from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 23 and will host a papermaking workshop the following day.

Also scheduled to appear in Stillwater is the visiting scholar, Lois Rudnick, who co-taught "New Mexico Regionalism and Modernism" with former Reed Center director Ed Walkiewicz this summer.

Rudnick, the retired former chair of the American Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston, focuses on modern American history, culture and literature, especially the writers and artists in Taos and Santa Fe.

Rudnick will speak from 5 to 7 p.m. April 6 at the OSU Museum of Art. The topic is "A Creator of Creators: How Mabel Dodge Luhan Catalyzed Southwest Modernism."

"The Reed Center has attracted impressive visiting experts," Moder said. "It is delightful to see their work extend from Taos to Stillwater, fulfilling the holistic vision Martha Reed had when she gifted her family's property to OSU."

Cristina González, Hargis Fellow
Cristina González
Hargis Fellow
Andy Mattern, Hargis Fellow
Andy Mattern
Hargis Fellow
Lois Rudnick, Linda and Jim Burke Visiting Scholar in Literature
Lois Rudnick
Visiting Scholar
Megan Singleton
Megan Singleton
Visiting Artist