By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer
A new artists-in-residence program kicks off in Portales next week.
Ryder Richards and Sue Anne Rische, a married couple and visual artists working and teaching in Dallas, are set to spend Sunday through May 29 living and creating art in Portales. After a public reception and artists’ talk, their Portales work will be displayed at Eastern New Mexico University’s Runnels Gallery throughout the summer.
The Portales Arts Council is funding and organizing the residency, said council President Chris Taylor.
“It brings a lot of attention and things like that to the community,” he said.
Taylor said the program aims to portray Portales as arts-friendly and give the community more opportunity to participate in art.
Eventually, he hopes to expand the residency to last up to a month and include workshops and other events allowing the community, art students and artists to interact. Taylor would also like to provide a stipend, housing and workspace for artists who compete to participate every year.
With this being the first year, he said, the arts council invited Richards and Rische. Taylor’s wife, Dawn Wolf-Taylor, worked with them while she was curator of an art center in Lubbock.
Richards said he and Rische would spend the first part of their stay interacting with people to let the city influence their work. His art usually deals with masculinity and power, and he is interested in incorporating Portales’ F-111 display plane and Cannon Air Force Base.
Rische said she would create art from recycled materials, but she wasn’t sure what shape it would take. She said she hoped the art produced during the residency would keep the program going.
“Any art will add to the culture of an area,” Rische said.
Richards said art portraying an outsiders’ view of Portales could pay tribute to what residents see in themselves or could change their perspective.
“Maybe they learn to see their community in a way they haven’t before,” he said.
Richards also said bringing in outsiders could lead to discourse, which leads to community, which brings about shared experience.
“I think that’s one of the things that strengthens cultures,” he continued.