The Nomadic Artist: Week 4


Pictured Above: More than 850 species witnessed at residency in Saratoga, WY. Photo Credit: Richelle Gribble

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
— Chief Seattle

Plants and animals documented at the Brush Creek Ranch. Photo Credit: Richelle Gribble


It’s a wrap! After four weeks on the ranch, it is clear that we made each day count. The final week was challenging as all of us concluded our projects: a composer outlined and drafted a plan for his entire 1-hour composition commission; an artist made final touches on her sculptures for exhibition upon return to Seattle; and an author completed his book (a two-year endeavor) that is now sent to agents and publishers for review. We all arrived to the ranch with a project in mind and got to see our efforts turned into reality.

Two of my projects in the studio. Photo Credit: Richelle Gribble

A residency experience provides time and space to create work, focused primarily on the process of creative development. But the final week of a residency is about plotting the lifespan of our projects once complete. Making art is only one stage of a greater chain of events, bringing it outside of the studio to be seen, experienced, sold and appreciated. We were so focused on the present creation of the work and now we are looking outward, future planning. Now it is time to bring the work outside of the studio to be activated and brought to life within the public sphere.
Hiking the grounds on my last day at the program. Photo Credit: Richelle Gribble

Group photo of the artists (minus Ryan Brown, composer). Photo Credit: Richelle Gribble

It is somewhat nostalgic in the final days of the program. Each artist slowly prepares to leave, whether submitting applications to plan for the next creative excursion or calling family members to reconnect with loved ones, we begin shifting back to reality. We say our goodbyes, discretely hiding notes and gifts in each other’s luggage and part ways, hopeful that our artistic careers will cross paths again.

Hiking the grounds on my last day at the program. Photo Credit: Richelle Gribble

Although sad to leave this beautiful place and incredible people, I am thrilled to be connected with this group with open invitations to their homes from Chicago to Spain! Artists need to build these bridges with one another, shrinking the world and connecting us across the globe. I find it to be professionally beneficial and personally relieving to know that there are people I know in the places I travel. Whether ‘weak ties’ or ‘strong ties’, this growing social network makes a new place feel less foreign, not so far away. We are all bound together in a social web, exchanging creativity and insights across borders and boundaries.

Grateful and honored to be selected for the Brush Creek Residency and highly recommend this program to fellow creatives looking to recenter, rejuvenate and connect with others. Sincere thank you to the jury committee, support staff, and the generous founders Bruce and Beth White for providing artists with a haven for creativity and growth.

Follow along! | FB: Richelle Gribble : Art | @richellegribble
Idyllwild Arts Academy, Visual Arts Major, Class of ’09


Saying goodbye to new friends on the ranch. Photo Credit: Richelle Gribble