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Campbellsville University professor takes part in Chautauqua Visual Arts residency

Campbellsville University professor takes part in Chautauqua Visual Arts residency
Trejo Williams’ work, “I Was Told I Take Up Too Much Space,” is on display at the Gallo Family Gallery as part of a residency through Chautauqua Visual Arts. (Chautauqua Visual Arts Photo by Judy Barie)

By Ariel C. Emberton, staff writer/photographer, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Azucena Trejo Williams, assistant professor of art and design, is taking part in a residency with Chautauqua Visual Arts (CVA) through mid-August.

Her exhibit, “I Was Told I Take Up Too Much Space,” is on display through Aug. 6 at https://bit.ly/2XevtmB and can be found on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2XkYZHu.

Trejo Williams’ exhibit is part of the emerging artists exhibition at the Gallo Family Gallery at the Strohl Art Center in the medium of vinyl letter installation. A portion of her description on the Chautauqua website is as follows:

Trejo Williams said her exhibit is “a consideration of marginalization, privilege and the UN’s University Declaration of Human Rights and how they shift hierarchically based on place, self and community. The texts are declarations and examples of providing a voice for those marginalized and are tailored based on site specifically. The installation placement are marginalized spaces to emphasize ‘the overlooked.’”

Her work is considered site specific because it has to be formatted to fit a certain space. Trejo Williams was sent the dimensions of a door frame and had to make the words of her piece fit within the set dimensions.

Trejo Williams said, “I am a lifetime learner, teacher and artist.” She was able to take what she has learned in her residency as a student and use it in her classroom. “In the residency, I was able to ask questions others didn’t because I am also a teacher,” she said.

The residency would have been in person but due to COVID-19, all classes were moved online. As a teacher, this helped Trejo Williams gain new insight on how to teach art online when necessary.

The exhibition showcased five painters, five print makers, nine sculptures/ceramics, four photographers, seven fiber artists, three mixed media artists, three video installations and one psych artist.

Judy Barie, Susan and John Turben director of Chautauqua Visual Arts Galleries, said this year’s participants were interesting because it was like they knew each other before they even got accepted to the program. She said there were a variety of similarities between the students’ work including color and subject, such as hands.

“Many works in the exhibition were in response to things that happened in 2020: the pandemic, George Floyd’s death and the protests throughout the world. I look at this as an entire show that works together to create a voice for all,” Barie said.

According to the organization’s website, the residency is the centerpiece of CVA. The Chautauqua School of Art residency program welcomes artists who have yet to receive wide recognition of their work, including those as young as 21-years-old.

The program welcomes 38 students from around the world to participate in their residency each year. Eight mentors work with students to break apart the traditional methods that silo disciples from each other and instead embrace a full range of studio and pragmatic studies including professional development for artists, the art of pedagogy, writing in the 21st century, archiving and the relevance of art history today. The program strives to be intergenerational and this year the participants range in age from 21 to 64 and represent 18 different states.

Participants not only work with mentors but also interact with visiting artists who come in for short stints throughout the seven weeks. The program also includes a lecture series where artists tell their stories, history and commentary on issues of today.

Students are required to work with a minimum of two mentors, of their choice, and are allowed to sign up for as many one-on-one sessions as they would like. The program is designed for those students who think about their work on a 24/7 basis and are hungry to engage with serious artists.

College enrollment is not a requirement to attend the program and artists from all media are encouraged to apply.

For more information on CVA visit https://art.chq.org/.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 11,900 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.

Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Campbellsville University.