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Martin House Announces Two Creative Residents for 2024

The Martin House, considered a cultural hub in North Buffalo, has identified its next two creative residents that will not only live at the site over the course of the next few weeks, they will also produce works that are inspired by their experience.


(L-R) t’ai freedom ford, photo by Sekiya Dorsett | Cheryl R. Riley, photo by Jonathon Andre’ Beckles

Writer and poet t’ai freedom ford and multimedia artist and furniture designer Cheryl R. Riley have both been “given the keys” to the Martin House, where they will familiarize themselves with the architectural masterpiece, including the spectacular grounds and ancillary buildings. Ultimately, the artist-in-residence program is an excellent way for the artists to share their Martin House-inspired processes and works with the community via free public programs.

“Hundreds of applicants presented ideas from a wide variety of disciplines. While it was difficult to narrow down the field, our two 2024 Creative Residents have identified projects that closely align to themes central to the Martin House,” said Martin House Executive Director Jessie Fisher. “We look forward to welcoming t’ai freedom ford and Cheryl Riley in 2024 and experiencing the Martin House anew through their eyes and work.”

The Martin House will welcome the first 2024 Creative Resident, t’ai freedom ford, who will reside on campus for a two-week residency beginning in July. ford is an English teacher, writer, and poet who has received awards and fellowships from Camargo Foundation, The Center for Fiction, Community of Literary Magazines and Presses, New York Foundation for the Arts, and The Poetry Project. Her Martin House project will lead to the creation of a multimedia chapbook, ‘Façades,’ that will examine the structural and interpersonal façades on the Martin House campus through the development of ten new poems. ford’s project will conclude with a community poetry writing workshop that explores personal feelings around home.

In September, the Martin House will welcome its second 2024 Creative Resident, Cheryl R. Riley. An accomplished multimedia artist and furniture designer based in Jersey City, New Jersey, Riley’s project titled “The Wright Design” will produce a series of sketches and drawings for a new suite of furniture inspired by Wright’s Martin House. Riley will reimagine Wright’s idioms in the 21st century by drawing inspiration from his cultural influences, materials, and methods of fabrication. The project will culminate in a proposal for a future Martin House commission, as well as art-making workshops for local students of color.

“I look forward to investigating the parallel narratives of the construction of Martin House with the construction of a Black Buffalo populace and politic. I want to understand the ways in which these parallels converge, intersect, overlap, collide,” said ford.

“I am fascinated by unorthodox materials, histories, cultural tropes, ornaments, and art to shape what I imagine and render,” said Riley. “My sketches will not necessarily be a visual response to Wright’s architecture, but a form of preserved storytelling.”

The Martin House will provide more information about the 2024 Creative Residents, the progress of the individual projects, and upcoming public programs as plans are finalized. For general information about the Martin House and the Creative Residency Program, visit martinhouse.org

Lead image: Wikimedia Commons

The post Martin House Announces Two Creative Residents for 2024 appeared first on Buffalo Rising.

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