We believe that art has the capacity to provoke curiosity, generate new perspectives, and create the potential for individual and social transformation. Art at Grace Farms demonstrates the Foundation's integrative vision and a dynamic interplay between people, architecture, and landscape. We develop and present new, collaborative, site-responsive works at the intersection of the visual, literary, and performing arts. By convening artists and practitioners across disciplines, we explore complex subjects significant to all of our initiatives through an inquiry-based approach.
"What art seeks, and what contemporary artists are uniquely positioned to contribute, is a way of knowing that reclaims memory, imagination, intuition, and the senses. These agencies, situated within artistic practices, propose a rigorous methodology suited to address complex subjects."
—Kenyon Victor Adams, Founding Arts Initiative Director
We convene invited artists to join interdisciplinary investigations in a distinctly hospitable setting. Workshop contributors—including poets, sculptors, cinematographers, theologians, philosophers, physicists, choreographers, dancers, composers, musicians, mindfulness practitioners—benefit from the collaborative potential of this unique place. Our workshop method leverages various ways of knowing and treats the creative process as a dialogical space. Key examples include: Practicing, a series examining empathy, awe, silence, and joy; and Arts & Mars, which brought together leading NASA scientists and artists.
A number of projects and other outcomes flow in succession from workshops and gatherings. Our many audiences encounter the artistic process through critical seeing, listening, moving, and making. These opportunities take the form of showings, exhibitions, talks, facilitated-family workshops, multi-media resources and more. In 2018, we developed projects which shared the content of the Practicing Joy workshops including the commissioning of a site-specific temporary installation with Julianne Swartz, a discussion and performance called Practicing Joy | Resistance & Survival with celebrated essayist Garnette Cadogan and performances from award-winning choreographer and dancer Camille A. Brown with dancers Maleek Washington and Timothy Edwards. Children and families were encouraged to learn about joy through imagination-driven child-directed play with Imagination Playground.
Joy will continue to be the central concept in our 2019 Open Arts Studio for Families.
Carrie Mae Weems
We recently welcomed Carrie Mae Weems to present her performance-based work Past Tense. Weems will continue her impactful work with us at Grace Farms during an extended residency.
Grace Farms Foundation was named a 2018 Patron of the Arts, sharing the honor with an esteemed group of individuals and organizations recognized for excellence and achievement in support of the arts in Connecticut.
Practicing Empathy | Workshop and Showing with Bill T. Jones
This video documents the first installment of Grace Farms Foundation's Practicing Series. Tony Award and National Medal of Arts Award-winning director, choreographer, and dancer, Bill T. Jones was joined by an ensemble of artists at Grace Farms to create a new work exploring the practice of empathy and its relationship to advancing justice in our world.
Watch this compelling series of videos that offer a glimpse into how artists warmed up the space at Grace Farms while construction was underway in 2014. This collaborative event set the stage for our unique approach to interdisciplinary arts programming.