Amanda Patenaude and Ben Wright were AiRs In S12 from October 17th until November 24th. 2012. They applied their wide-ranging, unorthodox glass and mixed media studio practices to the inspirational structures, behaviours and beauty of the aquatic environments surrounding Bergen. Few artists working at S12 had at that time, used S12s equipment to the degree they did. They turned the whole area into a place for artistic ideas and production, during their stay, everything from the “Monster Kiln” to a grandmother’s pot and a misplaced plastic bag had been put to use!
Their residency was completed with the exhibition Wet and Wild in the gallery, were they presented their creative and often surprising use of material: everything from balloons, plastic bags, videos and of course glass. Throughout their intensive stay they researched and experimented with microscopes and collaborated with variety of institutions including BEK – Bergen Center for Electronic Arts, Trykkeriet – Center for Contemporary Printmaking. They visited the University of Bergen to find out about Marine Research done in the oceans along the coast of Norway as well as The Natural History Collections and Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology. At the Art Academy in Bergen, they presented their work during an Artist Talk.
During their stay they played an active role in the educational activities in S12, in particular the Creative Sunday School, the results of their work done with children was shown in the Project Room and was incorporated in their final exhibition.
Ben Wright holds a BS in Evolutionary Biology from Dartmouth College a BFA from the Appalachian Center for Crafts and an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design and he is currently Director of Education at Urban Glass in New York City. His background in biology figures strongly in his artwork, which delves deeply into the ever evolving relationship between humans and their micro and macro environments. Through visual installations and sonic landscapes he engages all of his viewer’s senses and often bridges the gap between art and science.
Amanda Lee Patenaude received her BFA from Illinois State University working in both the glass and ceramic departments. She spent time outside of the studio spreading joy with environmental activities, freezing giant popsicles for public events and leaving anonymous gifts for strangers. She most recently had a residency at Grand Central Art Center, working with the community of Santa Ana to deconstruct our relationship to plastics and our waterways. Through collaborative clean ups and an interactive gallery space, their living sculpture transformed trash and the community. For several years, she has been a member of the Pilchuck Glass School seasonal staff.