Victoria’s Secret Fellowship – A Dream Come True

Since the beginning of the Foundation in 2019, there has been the desire to create a fellowship for Colombian artists to carry out an artistic residency.

In 2023 Victoria’s Secret approached us to see the possibility of us working together. They welcomed the idea of ​​financing a Fellowship that would offer month-long artistic residencies to 13 Colombian women visual artists. Each stipend would include transportation from anywhere in Colombia to ArteSumapaz, artistic materials and obviously a comfortable room, meals and workshop space to work and create.

For the call we had a prestigious Jury made up of Claudia Hakim, artist and former director of the Museum of Modern Art of Bogotá MAMBO; Joyce Lamassonne, artist and director of the Lamazone gallery; Luz Ángela Lizarazo, well-known Colombian artist, as well as Peppa Herrera, artist and director of the ArteSumapaz artistic residency program. 

The Fellowship began in January 2024 until July 2024. The winning artists have been able to work in a natural environment of great beauty in contact with artists from different cultures and countries in an inspiring and transformative space.

Exhibition In the Galeria Lamazone

The Fellowship will conclude with an exhibition in Bogotá in the month of August at the Lamazone Gallery. This exhibition will focus on the work done during the residencies.

We take this opportunity to especially thank Victoria’s Secret, the jury participants, and all the people who have made this dream come true. Likewise, a thank you to Galería Lamazone for offering us their wonderful space for the final exhibition.

The selected artists were:

  • Lina Moreno
  • Laura Riaño Cabrera
  • Maria Elisa Gómez
  • María Paula Lozano
  • Angélica Chavarro Franco
  • Valentina Garcés
  • Berta Ibáñez
  • Olga Mercedes Bautista
  • Angela Cadena Gómez
  • Pilar Vargas Pinzón
  • Ararat Sofía Vargas
  • Karen Olaya
  • Luisa Velasco Escalante

Community versus Tourism

“Arriving at a residency involves the excitement of first times. A residency always carries the freshness and excitement of walking into a city for the first time.” – Tania Candiani, from Rethinking Residencies

Let’s assume that we all agree that we want our time at an artist residency to light a proverbial firecracker under our creative practices; we want to somehow come out of the experience richer, energized, with a fertile impetus for creative lives. And residencies can have that effect! But not for the same reasons for all, and not in the same magnitude. Here, at ArteSumapaz, we see different factors having different impacts on different artists:

  • Newness of place and culture
  • Community of like-minded people
  • Nature
  • Supportive infrastructure such as studio and meals

For some of us, the last time we had all of our needs anticipated and didn’t understand what everyone was saying was when we were very young children, so that when that environment is recreated it can have a wonderful way of throwing us back into that oneiric creative space of childhood.

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Inaugural Artist Residency Fellowships of the Victoria’s Secret Global Fund

Fundacion ArteSumapaz, in partnership with the Victoria’s Secret Global Fund, announced its 2024 fellows, a cohort of Colombian women artists whose projects encompass a wide range of explorations in the visual arts including painting, sculpture, drawing fabric arts, and other disciplines. The fellowship awards these visionaries twelve transformative one-month residencies, granting them the sanctuary to support their creative process, foster business acumen and carve pathways in leadership and innovation.

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AIR: Chiara Ciabattoni

Chiara is a writer training as a Biodanza facilitator. She is an intrepid explorer of the inner and outer worlds, loves to celebrate human light and shadow through ritual and dance. She is a theatre lover, who graduated in cultural Diplomacy and worked at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York and at ArteSumapaz – a cultural hacienda in the Colombian countryside, helping create cultural hubs and promoting Arts. Chiara has spent the past decade working front-of-house at the Gate Theatre, Sadler’s Wells and Orange Tree Theatre; as well as Press Rep to actress Lucy Roslyn in The State Versus John Hayes at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is currently working as Theatre Manager for Gate Theatre and Theatro Technis @ 26 Crowndale, and as part of the Young Vic Welcome Team.

From: Italy

Artistic Preference or Outlets: Writer, Playwright, Dancer

Age: 41

Most Beloved Memory at ArteSumapaz: 

“I became a vegan chef for the community for almost two weeks. Playing with foods and creating meals for the hacienda inhabitants gave me purpose and awakened my mothering side, my nature_rooted powers and allowed my creative juices to flow and merge with the fruits of the earth.”

“It was incredible to spend time with a community of artists hidden in the heart of nature, it felt like being born again within the giant legs of the mountains, held within green breasts and dreamy clouds.”

https://www.gatetheatre.co.uk/about-us/the-team/

Three Words: nurturing, raw, harbor

Lessons from Building a Cabin

I’ve resided at the residency at ArteSumapaz for over three and a half years, and in the process, discovered that while I crave community, I need my own space. I’m not quite ready to construct my own house, so embarked on building a small house, or cabin, that afterwards can be another space in the residency. And while I had my share of experience with construction back in upstate New York, the Colombian approach to construction is quite different. Thus, in short, I’ve learned a lot, and would like to share some of those experiences in this post.

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The Pets of ArteSumapaz

We have three dogs and two cats at ArteSumapaz. In reality, we don’t think of them so much as “our” pets, as we are their humans. The dogs, who are all rescues, have an incredible amount of liberty, and will happily follow you to town.

Ray Chimba

Ray Chimba was the first of our dogs. He trotted up the driveway one day, skinny as could be, and terribly skittish. Since then, he’s gained some weight, and has been the muse of many a drawing and song. The phrase “Re Chimba” is a colombian colloquialisms  for “really cool,” but also not considered polite in some circles.

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LETS COLLECTIVELY FIGHT THE CISHETEROPATRIARCHY! (It affects us ALL, not just trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people)

ArteSumapaz as a community acknowledges that gender and sex are not binary,  and not everyone identifies as a man or woman / male or female. Neither are we en titled to know anyone’s gender nor sex nor sexuality and we must not assume! Assuming that being cisgender and heterosexual is the norm is very harmful and contributes to homophobia and transphobia which very commonly turn in to violent  hate crimes and deprivation of basic rights. 

Some helpful and important vocabulary: 

Transgender: relating to a person who’s gender identity does not correspond with  their assigned sex at birth. 

Cisgender: relating to a person who’s gender identity does correspond with their  assigned sex at birth.  

Non-binary: an umbrella term for gender identities outside the gender binary  (there are several) 

Ways to show up as an ally 

  • Practice using various pronouns. 
  • Don’t apologize if you mess up, just correct yourself. 
  • Correct other people if they misgender someone. 
  • Don’t assume anyone’s gender nor sexuality. Use they/them pronouns and gender  neutral language until they / someone close to them tells you their pronouns.
  • Normalize introducing yourself with your pronouns and adding them to your social  media bios etc., this creates a safe space for gender variant people to do so.
  • Educate yourselves and those around you, have difficult conversations. It is not the  job of LGBTQIA+ people to educate you. 
  • Don’t impose cis and heteronormativity on anyone, especially on kids. They are  never too young to learn about various gender and sexual identities.
  • Listen to and amplify LGBTQIA+ voices, especially BIPOC and disabled ones.
  • Use inclusive language, don’t forget that trans men and non-binary people  menstruate and give birth too. 
  • Acknowledge your privilege – it is a privilege to connect with the gender assigned  to us at birth, it is a privilege to not be misgendered. 
  • Make sure your feminism is intersectional, the patriarchy does not only affect cis  women.

GENDER NEUTRAL VOCABULARY

English: 

  • Friends 
  • Folks 
  • Comrades
  • Loved ones 
  • Theydies and gentlethems
  • People / Person 
  • Partner 
  • Sibling 
  • Parent 
  • Child 
  • Royalty 
  • Leige 
  • Highness 
  • Wonderfulness 
  • Excelence 
  • Goddexx 

Spanish: 

  • Diose 
  • Linde 
  • Hermose 
  • Guape / Guapi 
  • Mx. (pre x) 
  • Hije 
  • Hermane 
  • Amigue / Amigui Veci 
  • Chique / Chiqui Latine 
  • Elles 
  • Seño / Señore Marica 
  • Amor 
  • Tie 
  • Compañere 

GENDER NEUTRAL PRONOUNS: 

They / them / ze / zir / xe / hir / ae AND MANY MORE (English) Elle (Spanish)

May we work to create a safe and nurturing environment for all, free of  any form of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or any kind of  discrimination. We are not perfect and there will always be new things  for us to learn and unlearn due to years of societal conditioning. May  we stay open-minded and help each other grow and be aware and  concious of all identities and expressions. May we collectively  dismantle all oppressive systems, and make space for all marginalized  communities and folks!

By. Minelle

A Small Piece of the More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible

I’m reading Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore from the  extensive Arte Sumapaz library, enjoying the ideas about working with the soul’s shadows; to ask how our shadows might help,  to acknowledge longing, desire, anger, melancholy or numerous aspects of ourselves, in favor of becoming intimate with this facet of our personal diamond.  What does our soul want from us and how can we fully express its longing as much as possible in this incarnation? 

Deciding to explore my true nature has meant dropping most other things I used to know and value – productivity, money, reputation, work, home – to explore a sense of creative freedom. I was a good-enough citizen for so long, holding a house, relationships, work and life together. Then, undoing and dismantling, seeing a picture of what I’d been unconsciously driven by, healing the unconscious and erotic, leaving corporate life to become a sex coach. While that jigsaw may never be complete, it’s good enough for now. 

I lived abroad in my twenties as a teacher and always had a sense I’d do that again in my fifties. Now I’m beginning a future jigsaw, carrying a piece – me – in my hand, wondering who, what or where the four pieces are around me, what frame and picture I might be a part of. It’s daunting and full of potential, leaving the UK in a pandemic to live in other parts of this beautiful world. 

Working with my renaissance-soul creative personality instead of attempting to deny or transcend it, is helpful. Giving in to myself, no longer berating myself for being a dilettante, accepting that multiplicity is enhanced by depth. Dealing with three or four projects is fun, having something of a broad remit for myself here, at peace that only some of the daily fifty ideas before breakfast might be fulfilled in this lifetime. If this sounds like you too you could be at home here amongst the other renaissance souls, polymaths and creative visionaries. 

I can get so in my head with ideas and forget to notice that existence is miraculous. While pondering what to write today in this safe Andes bubble, I hear birdsong from little red or yellow flitting feathers, there’s a hawk above circling the territory, countless butterflies and black and yellow long-bodied wasps in a valley of misty restful green. The internet went down in a storm, so it’s a time to enjoy digging the garden, wellies and shorts on, talking immersive theatre, gender identity and philosophy with the volunteers and artists. It’s good to begin to meet new people again – thoughtful, healing, questioning – I’m in awe of the distance they’ve come, the humility in recognising all was not well, commiting to the journey to wholeness, contributing to being the change.

Reading Joanna Macy, World as Lover, World as Self, I like her insight into three ways we can make a contribution to a greater reset: Shift in Consciousness – self awareness in a personal spiritual revolution, Holding Actions – stopping future destruction with activism and Structural Change – building new models. Being at ArteSumapaz where we are building new models of possibility in living, in art, in community, I feel less helpless and furious. This place holds a high vision, there’s cause for optimism. Awareness and pleasure activism is probably where my re-emerging joyful, practical nature contributes best, I may never get to the barricades. Being at ArteSumapaz, where we have open art crits, share ideas, offer mini-workshops, we see and support each other’s creativity. Sharing my writing from my yet-to-be-published book with the group is a gift of considered feedback. It’s creative refuge in a Colombian paradise. I’ve been happy every day here. Realising it’s been a while since I’ve felt that, I’m in deep appreciation of the space ArteSumapaz holds, to give us glimpses of what might be possible in a new model for future living. 

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