Sometimes the phrase once in a lifetime gets tossed around carelessly, referencing an experience or event that could, most likely, happen again. But for the past week (and five more days – not as if I am counting or anything) I have been exceedingly fortunate to be in one of those true once in a lifetime opportunities as an artist-in-residence at the Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island in Florida. I am part of Residency #34, a unique group of residents in that we all represent arts administrators from other residency programs across the country – a sort of meta-residency.
Nick DeFord is an artist, educator, and arts administrator who resides in Knoxville, TN. His embroidery and mixed media work explores the visual culture of cartography, occult imagery, game boards, geographical souvenirs, and other structures of information that is altered to examine the relationship of identity, space, and place. He received his MFA from Arizona State University, and a MS and BFA from the University of Tennessee. He exhibits nationally, with exhibitions at Coastal Carolina University, The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, University of Mississippi, Lindenwood University, and the William King Museum. He has had artwork or writing published in Surface Design Journal, Elephant Magazine, Hayden Ferry Review, and Willow Springs. Currently, Nick is the Program Director at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Tennessee, and works on his fiber art practice from his home studio.