Auburn’s Mary Olson Farm will host an artist-in-residence, courtesy of a new program. ROBERT WHALE, Auburn Reporter

Auburn’s Mary Olson Farm will host an artist-in-residence, courtesy of a new program. ROBERT WHALE, Auburn Reporter

City, museum create artist-in-residence at Mary Olson Farm

Opportunity to work and be inspired by the beautiful setting

Allison Hyde loved the rag rugs Mary Olson wove in the weaving shed outside of the Olson farmhouse and the illustrations Olson’s daughter, Anna, created, which are now on display in the restored farmhouse.

Safe to say, the Mary Olson Farm knocked Auburn’s new art coordinator out on her first tour of the place last year, with its rich history of arts and crafts, and its gem-like setting.

In her excitement, Hyde immediately arranged for artist and photographer Robert Chism to snap photographs at the farm for the exhibition she was then arranging for him at Auburn City Hall.

“He found great inspiration there, and we thought that perhaps other artists could as well,” Hyde explained.

Thus inspired, Hyde and Chism hustled over to the White River Valley Museum to pitch a new idea to Director Patricia Cosgrove: create an artist-in-residence program at the farm.

Such an artist, the two told Cosgrove, would draw inspiration from the beauty and history of the site, and thus inspired, share their artwork and skills with the world through free events like open-studio days, a workshop class, an artist lecture – and a final exhibition.

Cosgrove loved it.

Hence, the Mary Olson Farm Artist in Residence program was born, offering an annual opportunity for an artist to pursue his or her work in, and to be inspired by, the beautiful setting of the Mary Olson Farm.

Now, they are looking for that artist.

The residency, which lasts about two months during the months of June and July, provides a $3,500 stipend, a large historic barn “studio space” on an historic 67-acre property — accommodations not provided — an exhibition opportunity, a reception and a well-publicized artist talk in the City of Auburn.

Here’s what’s expected of the artist: a minimum of 10 hours per week times eight weeks, creating work on-site at the Mary Olson Farm studio space; two “open-studio” weekend afternoons for the public; one free, artist-led workshop demonstrating techniques or inspiration to the public; participation in a final artist talk-presentation, reception and exhibition; and the donation to the City of Auburn of one piece of artwork created during the residency.

The artist would provide his or her own art supplies and transportation to and from Mary Olson Farm.

Any individual artist or artist team in the Pacific Northwest working in two and three-dimensional media is encouraged to apply, including but not limited to, drawing, painting, photography, textiles, sculpture, installation, woodworking and printmaking.

Other than individual artists, collaborative projects will also be considered.

“We are very excited to see how the Artist in Residence program can add another point of interest and engagement at the farm and enrich the arts programming for Auburn,” Hyde said.

This program is coordinated through the City of Auburn, the White River Valley Museum, Mary Olson Farm, with the support of the Auburn Arts Commission.

Questions? Contact Allison Hyde, Art Coordinator at 253-804-5043 or ahyde@auburnwa.gov. Information on City of Auburn arts programs can be found at auburnwa.gov/arts or by calling (253) 931-3043.

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