The Sam Fox School has selected the next group of artists and designers for residencies at the College & Graduate School of Art’s Paris studio at the Cité internationale des arts. Opened in 1956, the Cité is a complex of live-work spaces that hosts approximately 1,200 artists in all disciplines each year. The studio residencies provide WashU alumni, faculty, and students a place to focus on the development of their work, broaden their international network, and immerse themselves in French culture.
The Sam Fox School recently invested in renovations for its studio space at the Cité, which the university has held since 1983.
Conrad Bakker, MFA ’96, makes sculptures and paintings of everyday objects, placing them in consumer contexts and exhibition spaces, to reveal and critically comment on their political economies and relational networks. Bakker has created previous projects with significant connections to Paris, and has an interest in producing a new, site-specific project.
Lyndon Barrois, Jr., MFA ’13, uses his multimedia practice to break down and reconfigure the language of print, design, and popular culture in order to investigate underlying ideology, ethics, and conceptions of value. Barrois intends to use the residency to spend time at the library and archives of Cinémathèque Française to inform his long-term cinema-themed project examining the acts of forgery and conservation.
Cecilia Bien, BFA ’05, seeks to use fashion as a universal language and foster new dialogue around the structures of dress and class. While in Paris, Bien will investigate how migration and displacement influence fleeting trends, dress rituals, economic fluctuations, and shifting culture. She plans to write about fashion as a social project and tool for activism.
Robin Crocker, BFA ’84, acts as a conduit in her art practice. By putting materials in play, summoning ideas, and drawing upon texts and experiences, her works evolve into something more meaningful. Especially inspired by text, Crocker will explore the dynamic between an idea and its physical expression through poet Rainer Marie Rilke and sculptor Auguste Rodin. She intends to produce a body of small, book-sized pieces reflecting their diametric influences.
Ming Ying Hong, MFA ’15, is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores hybridized bodies and how we define, categorize, and assign power to them, as well as examining themes of belonging, assimilation, and displacement. As an expansion of this work, Hong will dedicate her time in Paris to researching the effects of the Vietnamese diaspora in France by interviewing family members and locate places where French, Chinese, and Vietnamese cultures meld.
Carlos Salazar-Lermont, MFA ’22, focuses his practice on performativity and socially engaged art. Originally from Venezuela, he plans to use his time in Paris to connect with other Venezuelan artists, curators, and collaborators. Salazar-Lermont is interested in continuing to develop a three-channel video experience as a means to create an environment in contemporary art, which he used in his thesis project, Sanctuary.
Aggie Toppins, associate professor and chair of undergraduate design, utilizes a hybrid model of studio making and critical writing to bridge historical research methods and design practice. Toppins intends to use the dérive, a method for critical wandering, to explore archives, museums, and special collections of graphic design in Paris. Following several writing-heavy years in her career, she seeks to reinvigorate her studio practice, experimenting with the visual essay form with the goal of submission to scholarly journals.
The Sam Fox School issues a biennial call for applications from alumni and faculty, and recipients are selected by a committee of faculty and previous recipients. Graduating students are selected through a separate application process for the John T. Milliken Foreign Travel Award (undergraduate students) and the John T. Milliken Graduate Foreign Travel Award (graduate students); those recipients are announced annually during commencement week.