Baxter St Family Residency at STONELEAF Retreat
Libby Pratt has been announced as the 2023 recipient of the Baxter St Family Residency at STONELEAF RETREAT. The two-week program, started in 2021 with inaugural recipient Nona Faustine, provides lens-based artists who are also mothers with an unrestricted grant of $2,500, focused studio time, one-on-one critiques with members of Baxter St’s Art Advisory Board, and family accommodations on STONELEAF’s 22-acre property in New York’s Catskill Mountains. The residency is a partnership between Baxter St, a 137-year-old organization renowned for its critical support of emerging lens-based artists, and STONELEAF, an artist residency and creative space for womxn and families, and is made possible by the generous support of 7|G Foundation and the Howard & Sarah D. Solomon Foundation.
“Having twins in a community where childcare is scarce upended my ideas about what was possible to accomplish as a mother and creative professional. Receiving the Stoneleaf / Baxter St Family Residency is such an incredible gift at a crucial moment for me professionally and personally and I can’t wait for the time and mental space to dedicate my efforts to my creative work,” Pratt says.
The Baxter St Family Residency at STONELEAF RETREAT grew out of conversations Baxter St President Michi Jigarjian and STONELEAF Co-Founder Helen Toomer had regarding the increased difficulties of working and parenting during a pandemic. As working parents, Jigarjian and Toomer wanted to provide time, space, and support to artists who are juggling families, artistic practice, and, often, a day job, and simply do not have the time or resources to do it all.
“While the traditional residency model of escaping to a bucolic environment to singularly focus on artistic practice can be a well-intentioned dream, for most artists who are also mothers, leaving family behind is often not an option,” said Michi Jigarjian. “The Baxter St Family Residency is intended to drive home the notion that motherhood and artistic practice do not have to be mutually exclusive.”
The Baxter St Family Residency at STONELEAF RETREAT continues Baxter St and STONELEAF’s shared commitment to serving the evolving needs of their artistic communities. Artist grantees are jointly and unanimously selected from a pool of nominees. The Family Residency is intended as a purely supportive and experiential experience, and does not impose required deliverables upon the selected artist.
Libby Pratt (b. 1978 Seattle, WA) is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and facilitator. Through video, photography, and installation, she looks at the role of familial relationships as they relate to broader societal concerns such as LGBTQIA+ rights, race, the environment, and the universal cycles of life and death. Her eventworks created under New Draft Collective include sailing excursions where the curated program is based on the navigational route of the sail. Her work has been exhibited worldwide and was most recently on view in the exhibition Dust: the plates of the present at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France.
STONELEAF RETREAT is an artist residency and creative space for womxn and families, set in the Hudson Valley. It was founded in 2017 by Helen Toomer and Eric Romano to foster and support connection and community within a calm, natural setting.