Submitted by susan on Fri, 12/05/2008 - 11:56
Taking a cue from it’s own research-oriented history, the Berwick extends its eight years of experience supporting unconventional creative practices into the arena of experimental arts administration. Director-in-Residence (DiR) names a new position taking equal inspiration from the traditional role of an Executive Director and from the contained tenure and supported experimentation associated with an artist residency; a twenty-four month residency in which the DiR takes the reins and asks the organization itself to become the creative experiment.
It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome Leon Johnson as the Berwick’s first Director-in-Residence. There will be a Pirate Party welcome for Leon and the new SPI Coordinators (see below) on December 17th from 7-10pm at the Midway Cafe. Please join us in welcoming our new staff!
Leon comes to the Berwick as an artist and educator whose innovative and genre-defying practice incorporates the conception, research, design and production of intermedia communications and events. Johnson succeeds Meg Rotzel who co-founded and led the Berwick as Director from 2000-2006.
In his own studio practice, Johnson produces work in film, performance, and site-specific events and is the proprietor of The Long Bell Press and a founding member of Creative Material Group, a non-profit arts collective. He is the recipient of a Pollock/Krasner Foundation Grant for Painting and a Yaddo Residency Fellowship. His film FAUST/FAUSTUS IN DEPTFORD was selected for the KunstFilmBienale in Cologne, Germany and the Raindance Film Festival in London, UK. AFTER, a recent video, was published by Chiasmus Press last summer as part of The End of Reality, a DVD and fiction anthology. His new video project, FORTRESS BOY BRIDGE, was finished in 2007 during a Cuts + Burns Residency at The Outpost in Williamsburg. He is Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studio + Theory in the Graduate Program at The Transart Institute and will lead a workshop for them, in Berlin, in the summer of 2009. Johnson lives in Portland, Maine with his partner, Megan O’Connell and two sons.
As a kick-off to his tenure as DiR, Johnson has initiated a series of convivial symposia through which the Berwick will draw together leading creative thinkers to provide state-of-the-art research on questions relating to the cultivation of, and engagement with, new audiences; the incubation, initiation, and distribution of new works in convergent media; and strategies to build and sustain networks of knowledge and collaboration. The results of these symposia will form the nucleus of a Berwick authored publication slated for release in late 2009.