Ox-Bow keeps re-creating itself: fitting for the Saugatuck art school and artists’ residency founded in 1910 here.
Students come and go, housing expands, art making techniques evolve and staff changes — but the preservation of Ox-Bow’s history, look, feel, lasting memories and mission remain.
It’s a quiet space in the woods and dunes for learning, community and dedication to helping artists evolve their practices.
As Ox-Bow embarks on another season of programming with residencies, fellowships and summer courses, it welcomes Rebecca Parker as interim executive director. replacing Mike Andrews, who stepped down from that full-time post last year.
“In this moment of transition,” said Parker, “it’s been an incredible opportunity to reflect on both the history and future of Ox-Bow. As we do constantly with our programs; we are embracing the process, learning and growing with each other.
“We often hear people talk about the magic and transformative experience one has at Ox-Bow,” she continues. “This experience happens through intention, reflection and committed work.
“Over the last several months, we’ve been working as a team to create conditions for a vibrant 2019 and beyond. We are excited to introduce the community to new friendly faces.
“Things we all love remain in good hands, the vibes are great and we can’t wait to welcome you all to camp,” Parker said.
New campus director Claire Arctander and head chef Erin Chapla are welcoming students back to campus this month with activities and amenities.
Returning are course favorites such as Ghost in the Machine, Beginning Glass, Blacksmithing and Screenprinting. New are classes like in | un | data : humanizing data viz, working collaboratively with the Saugatuck Historical Society to connect the history of Ox-Bow and the community; and Abrupt Climate Change, offering a scientific and historical take on current social topics.
Ox-Bow will welcome 11 visiting artists this summer including Faythe Levine, curator at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisc.; Philadelphia Institute of the Arts curator Meg Onli, and Los Angeles-based installation artist Rodrigo Valenzuela.
Art on the Meadow will return with new classes and multi-level workshops for children, teens and adults, ranging from painting and drawing to weaving, fabric dying and cooking with Ox-Bow chefs old and new.
People who register for classes can learn how to weave a basket or footstool, create pastel still-lifes, make-your-own sushi and spring rolls, or brew their own beer. Classes are open for online or mail in registration.
The community is welcome to check out campus and studios for Friday Night Open Studios June 14 and 28, July 26 and Aug. 9 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. There, they can engage with staff and fellows, participate in demonstrations and attend live auctions of student, staff and faculty artwork.
Ox-Bow will host its annual Summer Benefit Saturday, July 6, on Warnock Meadow. Every year more than 400 guests visit campus to celebrate and support the art school, help support the great work plus indulge in an open bar, artisanal cuisine and a live auction.
This year the benefit will honor Kathleen Markland, a volunteer and friend who has been involved with Ox-Bow since 1998. Included with admission to this year’s benefit will be the exclusive cookbook “Ox-Bow Cooks at Home” featuring favorite campus recipes.
For more information about summer fun and activities, visit ox-bow.org.