When the seed of my father fertilized my mother’s egg, a new organism was born. Initially a Stem Cell; a living being, sacred, made up of atoms as old as the Universe itself and with all the genetic information necessary to make me who I am. This first cell reproduced, multiplying and creating new cells in a magical alchemical process of mitosis.
As we enter our seventh month here at ArteSumapaz, we are so grateful for the many volunteers who have shared their time and energy with us. Volunteerism wasn’t really a part of our dream to begin with, but a chance meeting with someone who had participated with the volunteer platform Workaway turned us on to the possibilities; and since then, we’ve had over 30 volunteers from all around the world!
I had been traveling for 10 months when I arrived at ArteSumapaz, accompanied by Damián and carrying heavy backpacks. This house, lost among the mountains, has been one of the hundreds of places that I have inhabited since I started traveling. During this journey I have had very diverse homes, including mobile homes, beach houses, tents, hostels, apartments and pensions. Some I loved, and others not so much; It’s part of the “risk” of this adventure. ArteSumapaz is one of the homes that I loved.
Scottish artist, Kirsty Nicoll, has been our second international AIR. As she had been traveling through South America prior to her arrival, Kirsty had a limited supply of materials with her; she has used the opportunity for a very personal investigation of self-portrait. Many thanks to both Kirsty and Joseph Puglisi for the following interview.
Inerviewer: Joseph Puglisi
Joseph: What is your name and your cultural background?
In July 2019, we had our first official artist-in-residence, the Belgian painter, Nils Verkaeren. I had first seen Verkaeren’s work via a recent book, and was excited to have him working here; the actual experience was even better than I could have anticipated. Not only is Verkaeren a remarkable painter, but his energy for life and work is energizing.
Co-founders Ric Dragon, a United States visual artist living in Colombia for the past four years, and Pedro Crump, a Colombian composer and musician, have announced the formation of a non-profit organization dedicated to the support and growth of art and culture in Colombia. The foundation, named ArteSumapaz, is located on a former coffee plantation of 286 acres in San Bernardo, Cundinamarca.
I’m currently in Japan for the month of March, attending my own artist-in-residency at Studio Kura, in Ishotima, Japan. Besides getting to focus on my own work, I’m getting to see firsthand how an established AIR functions.