WSU Tri-Cities program allows scholars to live, work — bring inspiration
BY SARA SCHILLING
SEPTEMBER 30, 2017 1:29 PM
Laurel Terlesky is a celebrated artist who’s spent years exploring touch and memory.
She’s based in Canada, and she’s worked and exhibited around the world.
She’s about to add a stint in the Tri-Cities to her list.
Terlesky is the first participant in the new Guest House Cultural Capital Residency through Washington State University Tri-Cities.
The program invites creative scholars in varying fields to live and work in Richland for short periods of time, from one week to one month. They conduct research that’s inspired by the area or that seeks to build culture and community in the region, and they make connections with students and community members along the way.
“We hope this will culminate in some fruitful projects,” said Peter Christenson, an assistant professor of fine arts and the residency program’s director.
It’s an opportunity for the scholars to work and research in a new setting, and for the community to get an infusion of new ideas and inspiration, he said.
Terlesky arrives in Richland this weekend.
Like the other resident scholars who’ll come to town over the next several months, she’ll stay at the Guest House, a “living learning community” a couple miles from campus.
Terlesky is staying about two weeks.
She’s based in Squamish, British Columbia, and holds a master of fine arts from Transart Institute and a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Victoria.
In recent years, she’s focused on exploring memory and touch, from installations such as Weighted Strings, which used wires to meditate on connection, and Surface Rupture, which explored the skin’s surface and the power of touch.
She’s completed residencies in other places, but the Guest House Cultural Capital Residency is her first in the U.S. She’ll work on a project about hope.
Terlesky said she’s excited to make the trip.
During a residency, “you’re out of your day-to-day situation. You’re there, you’re focused on your work without a lot of other distractions,” she said.
And it’s a chance to make new connections and be inspired, she said. Terlesky said she’s especially looking forward to working with students.
As part of the program, the resident scholars interact with Guest House students and the community through lectures and other creative activities. They’re also asked to donate a piece of research or art to a GH Cultural Capital Permanent Collection.
Terleksy’s schedule of public events will be posted on the residency program’s website, ghccres.tumblr.com, this week.
People also can inquire about appointments with her by emailing Christenson at email@example.com.
Along with Terlesky, five other resident scholars have been chosen for the program so far. Three more will make trips this fall, and two will arrive in the spring.
But, “we’re hoping to grow that number,” Christenson said, noting the program has received more than 50 submissions from creatives all over the world.
The program is funded in part through the Guest House. Chris Meiers, vice chancellor of enrollment management and student services, and Danielle Kleist, director of student life and services, helped make the program happen, along with former WSU Tri-Cities official Brandon Fox.
Christenson said he’s excited to welcome Terlesky and kick off the residency program.
“The goal, first and foremost, is to give students and the community access to diverse research practices and scholarship,” he said. “More broadly, we’re hoping that this continues to build culture in the Tri-Cities. We want to keep Tri-Cities on the map, and we want these (scholars) to think about how we can enhance the cultural capital of the Tri-Cities.”
Sara Schilling: 509-582-1529, @SaraTCHerald