In 1988, two upstart artist fellowship programs embarked on an experiment. The VCCA, in Amherst, and the Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, located in the picturesque Bavarian village of Schwandorf, each agreed to send two of their own artists to be in residence at the other place. In 1989 the first two Americans went to Germany. Twenty years later, 100 artists have traveled back and forth, inspiring exhibitions, translations, concerts, events and other creative collaborations.
The VCCA is celebrating this milestone on Sat., Oct. 17, 2009, with art and music created by these exchange artists. The event, which is free and open to the public, includes a retrospective art exhibition and a concert of music for piano by Bavarian composer Jens Barnieck. The exhibition is open from 3 to 5 p.m. and the one-hour concert begins at 5 p.m. The event takes places in the Fellows Residence building. All art featured in the exhibition is for sale.
Several American and German Fellows, who have participated in the exchange over the years, will attend the event. In addition, the director of the Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, Heiner Riepl and the organization's board president will be on hand to make remarks.
The VCCA's international exchange program with seven artists communities abroad is the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. And this event is one of the rare opportunities offered to the public to visit the VCCA and meet artists from around the world.
Image: Untitled Clay Horse, Peter Mayer, 1998, is one of about 40 pieces in the 20-year retrospective exhibit.