Artists in Residence

Corinne Spielewoy

Originally published on iList Paducah.

It’s not every day that you meet someone in Tunisia and follow him back to Paducah. But that’s exactly what the gorgeous Swiss artist with the heartbreakingly charming French accent Corinne Spielewoy did. Spielewoy, originally from France, was in Tunisia earlier this year when she met LowerTown artist Paul Lorenz at an international art show.

“He told me about the Artist Relocation Program and that a new group, the Paducah Arts Alliance, had an artist-in-residence program,” Spielewoy says. “It sounded interesting, so I applied.”

Applied and accepted with great enthusiasm from LowerTown artists and residents, Spielewoy arrived in Paducah in November. She’s been staying at A.I.R. Studio, 621 Madison St., painting and recruiting artists for a group project. An introductory email to the neighborhood and a welcome party resulted in instant friendships. And before long, 15 artists accepted her artistic challenge.

Using the theme of communication, Spielewoy wanted to see what would happen if she created a piece of art and then two other artists created pieces in response. And then she wanted to have yet two more artists create pieces responding to those pieces — and so on, much like the childhood game of telephone.

The artists embraced the idea and have been working on the project for the past month. The result: Ripple Effect will open 4-7 p.m., Sunday, December 21, at Maiden Alley Cinema.

In addition, hottie writer Niaz Khadem created a piece he’ll read in response to the art, and several musicians have written songs. The performance part begins at 5 p.m.

The Paducah Arts Alliance that Spielewoy refers to is a group of LowerTown artists who are working together to fuel the creative energy among one another as well as to expose Paducah to emerging artists and innovative approaches to the creation of art.

One of the first projects the group put together was the 48-Hour Artists/Writers Lock-In in October. The artist-in-residence program is designed to attract artists of national and international reputation as well as emerging artists. The group also hosts collaborative art sessions and jam sessions with musicians. A.I.R. Studio has become PAA’s community arts center.

“We wanted the name Paducah to mean more in the art world and to entice people who are well-known artists to come here and create art,” says Freda Fairchild, multimedia artist. Fairchild, Lorenz, Teri Moore and Nikki D. May are the co-founders of PAA. “We want to make Paducah a good place to make art. It’s already a fantastic and unusual place and we want to make it more so.”

Reaching out to other artists is a critical part of that considering the often solitary nature of creating art.

“It’s easy to get caught up in your own stuff and only think of things in your own way,” says May, a mixed-media artist, graphic designer and iList Paducah designer. “Just the experience of working with people who do similar, but different things, is energizing. Artists in our community were leaving to lead workshops in other cities and had done artist-in-residency programs themselves, feeding off of each other’s creative energy. We wanted to bring that to Paducah.”

With reporting by Erica Moore — thanks, Erica!