Here Come the Scientists and Artists! (Braced for impact)
As you might expect, my job as the Resident Manager at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program is heavily influenced by the personalities and needs of the rotating artists in residence. Usually this means I’m surrounded by inspiring, generous, and interesting people. Those are the 99% (and let’s not talk about those 1%). After 2 ½ years here I generally know what to expect and am pretty comfortable with our little routine. But what about this Scientists/Artists mix?? What would it be like? Scientists come with variables unknown to our staff, and it made me nervous. Are they community minded? Will they pitch in to make meals together? How independent are they? How social? Can they set up their own presentations without a TA? Will we live up to their expectations? After all, we’re no Stanford University when it comes to funding and facilities. Our Internet connection is “squirrelly” and our support staff relatively small. As with many things NEW and DIFFERENT we looked forward to their arrival with a lot of excitement and a little trepidation. Then I realized: If my own scientist father is any example, it would be a great month (love you, Dad). And they would definitely pilfer the Sunday New York Times Magazine. And so far it IS great. For those of you hoping for a riotous story about mad scientists fighting with quirky artists, you’ll be disappointed. It’s pretty much the same as hosting a regular artist residency. It’s quiet during the daytime while people work and lively at dinner when they emerge from their studios and minds. Ideas and wine are shared, and topics of conversation range from politics to what cute thing Hank, the resident dog, did that day. No one has blown anything up (yet). If you’re one of our alumni reading this it probably sounds very familiar.
Pictured above: The view from our yoga session. There have even been the*special perks* of working at a residecy: homemade ice cream from a resident food enthusiast, impromptu ukulele concerts by a wandering composer, and a peaceful morning yoga class in our Artists Barn as we gaze at the rolling hills. No Dance Party yet- another staple of after-work-hours self-created artist entertainment- but there are still 3 weeks to go! Oh right, there was ONE point where it was startlingly different. During our Orientation introductions, residents usually say things like “So that’s the project I’m working on in X community, X state, X foundation.” This time, one resident concluded: “So that’s what I’m doing on Mars.”