Cultivate’s La Baldi Residency In Italy Welcomes DC Area Artists

By Editorial Team on June 7, 2022
Cultivate’s La Baldi Residency, Garden workspace, Montegiovi, Italy

CULTIVATE is pleased to announce its new multi-disciplinary, international residency and 2022 inaugural cohort of residents. The self-directed residency in Montegiovi, Italy, hosts and supports artists, writers, and researchers in their immersive investigations of the land, culture, and social-environmental-political dynamic of the Monte Amiata region in southern Tuscany. 

The residency honors the inspiring, generous legacy of Maura Baldi—a dynamic educator of literature, a fierce protector of the curiosity and expression of youth, and a spirited advocate for art, sustainable land practices and the life and history of the area. “La Baldi”—”the Baldi” as her beloved students called her—was and is even now a unique force in their lives. She trusted and believed in the power of their potential to be extraordinary human beings and engaged world citizens. Sharing and exchange were imperatives for La Baldi, and they permeate the ethos of the residency along with Cultivate’s free-ranging investigation of land, place and the commons. 

The 2022 inaugural cohort of La Baldi residents includes: Eric Holzman, Ariane Guelich, Anitra Accetturo, Laurel Stewart, Yes We Cannibal (Liz Lessner/Mat Keel), Erik Thor Sandberg, Heather Harvey, Leah Clare Michaels, Nate Larson, Virginia Warwick, Inga Adda, Bonny Reichert, Leonardo Bravo, Michele Montalbano, and Liliane Blom. Working with diverse media, intentions, and questions, the residents will live and work in the small village of Montegiovi. Artists are selected by a review panel consisting of the Cultivate collective and invited guests.

Each year the La Baldi Residency plans to award residency grants to two residents or collaborations whose proposals and intentions are significant for their promise of local exchange and/or provocative research that expands notions of landscape. The residency awards cover the costs of the residency. The 2022 awardees are Yes We Cannibal (Liz Lessner/Mat Keel) and Nate Larson. 

Yes We Cannibal, founded by artists and researchers Liz Lessner and Mat Keel, started around the germ of an idea to create a new calendar for sprouting and sustaining uncanny new communities collectively aligned with alternative relationships to time. Today, Yes We Cannibal offers a home for unrestricted, non-hierarchical experimentation in art, performance, research, and community in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For their La Baldi Residency the two-person collective returns to the calendar with plans to work with text, sculpture, film, and performance in dialogue with the Roman Menologium Rusticum Colotianum, the archeological artifact of an agricultural and cosmological calendar. They contend that this object, long preceding the Roman annexation of Etruria (351 CE), represents the possibility of a tactical sculptural object which codes imperial view. It will serve as a counter-tactic for producing a model that supports the production of communities which are aligned to alternate temporalities and cosmologies. The residency award will support research made possible by a return to a site of geographic origin that is embedded within the Italian landscape and its strata, the surviving gestures and customs of its descendants, its cosmic rhythms, and its flora and fauna.

La Baldi Residency awardee, Nate Larson is a Baltimore-based contemporary artist and documentarian working with photographic media, artist books, site-responsive installations, and time-based media. For the past twenty years, he has created site-responsive portraits of communities and examined contemporary American identity by deeply investigating our interactions between digital and physical spaces, probing the influence of cultural history on current events, dissecting societal use of surveillance technologies, repurposing big data for new uses, gleaning insights through oral history storytelling, and recording observations in the contemporary landscape. His work as an artist strives to illuminate the peculiarities of contemporary culture and to create a context for the historical complexities of the times in which we live.

Having spent the last eight years working photographically in small towns in rural America, he is interested in seeing how this context translates – what does it mean to shift the context to a small rural Italian town? “How can I,” asks Larson, “as an outsider from another country, contribute to the fabric of the local community and give as much as I receive?” He is interested in seeing what kind of partnerships, conversations, and relationships evolve with the town to make a collective portrait of the village. 

About La Baldi Residency: La Baldi Residency is a self-directed, international, multi-disciplinary residency welcomes individuals and collaborative teams. Located in the historic village of Montegiovi, Italy, in southern Tuscany, the residency is an opportunity to experiment, develop ideas and projects, dream, explore, rejuvenate, research, and investigate the land and culture of this special area. La Baldi Residency accepts applications from artists, writers, and researchers whose interests rest in land investigations. Priority deadlines for submitting an application are February 1 and May 1.

About CULTIVATE: Cultivate is an evolving collection of interdisciplinary artists, writers, and researchers driven by investigations of landscape, place, and the commons. Projects include experimental and practical art explorations that wrestle with the qualities, perceptions, and layers of experience that inform and expand notions of landscape. Ideas from a full spectrum of voices across generations are supported using sustainable tactics. From the hyper-local to the global, Cultivate reflects individual and collective curiosity, intention, imagining, and engagement with the phenomena of landscape. 

Location: Shifting virtual and analog locations in watersheds around the globe with physical bases in the Washington, DC metro area, Montana, and Italy.

(source: Cultivate press release)