Assistant Professor of Art at FSU, Rob Duarte, has just returned from a two-week residency at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine. This highly competitive residency was available to 50 selected applicants and was the first iteration of the residency, which has been funded by an anonymous foundation for three years. The Haystack campus has been awarded the American Institute of Architects Twenty-Five Year Award and is in the National Register of Historic Places. During the two week residency at Haystack, the participants are provided two-weeks of studio time with an opportunity to work amongst a supportive community of makers. Participants have access to the tools and resources housed at Haystack, which provides an opportunity for experimentation and an augmentation of creative practices.
Haystack is an international craft school that offers intensive studio-based workshops in a wide variety of media. This school’s mission is to “teach fine craftsmanship, develop latent or inherent creative ability, and carry on research and development in connect with the crafts”. The school is also the site of a FabLab – part of the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms. The FabLab, like the one housed in the Fine Arts Building at Florida State University, is part of an expanding series of small scale digital fabrication labs located all over the world.
During his residency, Rob worked in a variety of studios and created several sculptural works in metal and wood. Rob also created a permanent interactive installation – one of only a few permanent works on the campus. As an attendee of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts since 2002, Rob witnessed the continued use of the school’s payphone, an essential aspect of the school due to an absence of cell phone reception. Recently, reception on the island has been greatly improved and the payphone was removed due to lack of use. Rob installed a replacement payphone, programed to play a series of recorded stories when specific buttons are pushed. This phone has been transformed to serve as a place where artists who visit the campus can trade stories on a variety of themes for many years to come.
Rob has been invited back to Haystack to teach a Mixed-Media course during summer 2014.