Visit the Artists-in-Residence page to learn more about this group of artists.
Jackie Vitale is ever excited by the magic of food: as a source of joy, a community builder, a teaching tool, and a happy home for our microbial friends. She comes to Captiva from her hometown of Stuart, Florida, where she has spent the last five years growing an urban farm, restaurant, and community space, Ground Floor Farm. As the Chef in Residence, Jackie will oversee the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to providing fresh, regionally sourced food for the resident artists. She also will work to build relationships in the southwest Florida community.
Jackie, co-founder of the Florida Ferment Fest, an annual celebration of sunshine and microbes, fell in love with fermentation while working under renowned cheesemaker Bill Oglethorpe at Kappacasein Dairy in London, where she also moonlighted as a performance maker. With her artist collective, Spork, she created immersive performance and social experiences built around food and games. Her interest in the relationship between food and art was peaked while studying with Barcelona’s Teatro de los Sentidos. Jackie has a Master of Arts in Advanced Theater Practice from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London and a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.
Launched in 2016, the Rauschenberg Residency’s Chef in Residence is selected annually through an application process that supports chefs’ participation in an active artist community, while also pursuing their own culinary interests, research and community-based projects that center around sustainability and food justice. The Chef in Residence is responsible for preparing meals for the artists in residence, maintaining the Residency’s zero waste goal, and integrating produce both grown onsite from its vegetable and herb garden and from locally sourced purveyors with the same core values.
“Jackie’s application hit the mark in every aspect of what we were seeking in our next chef,” said Ann Brady, residency director. “Jackie is passionate about providing fresh, healthy and sustainably-produced food, supporting local producers, and working with environmental and human rights organizations. She is active in her community through cooking classes, committee work, and organizing events. Her keen interest in getting involved in the southwest Florida community along with her theater background and her experience as a restaurant chef, bread and cheese maker, made her the outstanding candidate for this position. We couldn’t be more excited.”
Located on Captiva Island, the Rauschenberg Residency is a creative center that welcomes artists of all disciplines from around the world to live, work, and create. Each year over 70 artists and creative thinkers from a variety of disciplines, backgrounds, ages, and career levels are selected to advance their work in this highly collaborative, interdisciplinary environment. The property spans 20 acres and includes nine buildings, a 3,600-square-foot vegetable garden, and 12 beehives.
Chefs at all stages of their careers are encouraged to apply by March 10, 2019.
The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation announces an open call for applications to be the next Chef in Residence at its artists’ residency program in Captiva Island, Florida. The position begins on June 3, 2019, and is for one year.
Inaugurated in 2016, the Chef-in-Residence (CIR) program at the Rauschenberg Residency is an annual opportunity for a chef to participate in an active artists’ community while also focusing on community outreach to help the Foundation strengthen its relationships with organizations across the region.
The CIR program aligns with the Foundation’s focus on environmental conservation and stewardship, and social activism stemming from Robert Rauschenberg’s longstanding concern for the safekeeping of the environment, the notion of individual responsibility, and his love of food and cooking for family and friends.
The CIR prepares meals for the artists in residence, while continuing to implement and maintain sustainable practices; build on and continue partnerships with local farmers, purveyors, and community; reduce waste; and integrate produce grown on the residency land and garden.
Located on Robert Rauschenberg’s former property on Captiva Island, Florida, the Rauschenberg Residency welcomes 70 artists each year to live and work in a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment. The property spans 20 acres and includes nine buildings, a 3,600-square-foot vegetable garden, and 12 beehives.
Current CIR Jason Neve says of the experience, “Cooking for a collaborative and creative community on a daily basis, while having face-to-face feedback and conversation about meals, has reminded me why I am a chef: to cook delicious food and provide people with joy and nourishment.”
Applications are being accepted now through March 10, 2019. Chefs from all over the world and at all stages of their careers are encouraged to apply. For more information about the position and the application process, please visit: rauschenbergfoundation.org/residency/chef-residence
When 2017 Chef-in-Residence Isaac Saunders arrived in Captiva in January, he spoke about his particular interest with the garden and his excitement about working with ingredients indigenous to the island. Six months into his residency, he is sharing two new recipes he created using unconventional vegetation, such as Hong Kong Orchids, grown on the property.
Check out the recipes below.
Makes 3 Pints
Coconut Cream 1 Qt
Hong Kong Orchids Preserved in Sugar To Taste
Salt To Taste
Sorbet Stabilizer .05% of Total Base Weight (Or as instructed per the specific stabillizer used)
This is a very simple recipe that can be made very quickly and without too much planning if you have a good blender and an ice cream machine. The biggest part of the process is cleaning and preserving the flowers. You can use any edible flower you have available to you as the process is the same regardless. First take your flowers and gently rinse them in cold water. Then soak them in water overnight in the refrigerator. The next day take the weight of the flowers after draining the water and mix them with 2 parts sugar by weight. For example, if your flowers weigh 250 grams mix them with 500 grams of sugar. This mixture should stay in your refrigerator for about a month before you use them. The longer they stay in the sugar the more flavor you will extract, to a point. Try to stir the mixture every week or so as the flowers tend to fall to the bottom.
To make the sorbet, bring your coconut cream to a boil and place in the blender. Add about ½ cup of the preserved flowers and a teaspoon of salt and blend on high until the sugar dissolves and the flowers have broken down. Taste and reseason as you see fit but remember that because you will be eating the ice cream cold you will need to season the base more heavily. Once you have seasoned the mixture to where you want it, thoroughly blend in your stabilizer. Chill the mixture in an ice bath before putting into your ice cream machine. Spin until the mixture reaches your preferred texture and enjoy!
Makes One 8x10 Inch Cake
Butter ½ pound or 210g
Sesame Oil ½ Tablespoon
Sugar 2 cups or 370g
Extra Large Whole Eggs 4 ea
AP Flour 2 ½ cups or 340g
Lightly Toasted Sesame Seeds ½ cup or 70g
Baking Powder ½ teaspoon or 2.5g
Salt ½ tablespoon or 4.5g
Milk 1 cup or 240g
For the Tea Syrup:
Your Favorite Tea 4-6 Cups
Your Favorite Honey To taste
The tea syrup should be made first and let to cool as it should be applied at room temperature. Make your favorite type of tea to the strength you prefer. Here at the residency we dry herbs and flowers from the garden for teas which gives this syrup a very distinct flavor. I personally like to err on the strong side as I enjoy the bitterness from a strong steep in combination with the sweet sesame cake. Once you have brewed your tea, season it with honey and a little bit of salt and allow it to come to room temperature. Set aside for later use. This is also the point at which you could add a little bit (or a lot) of liquor or hard alcohol to your syrup to liven it up if you are so inclined.
Preheat oven to 375
To start the cake recipe we want to have everything measured out into individual containers and brought to room temperature. The flour should be sifted before being mixed thoroughly with the sesame seeds, baking powder and salt. The first step of making the cake batter is to cream the butter, sesame oil and sugar, either in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. Let the mixture cream for at least 10 minutes until it looks light and fluffy and some of the grainy texture in the sugar is gone. Make sure to scrape the bowl a few times during this process to ensure an even texture. Once this is done, add your eggs one at a time until completely and evenly combined, again making sure to scrape the bowl and mix thoroughly. The next step is to alternate adding the dry mixture and the milk in two stages. That meaning that first you add half the dry, mix on the lowest setting for 2 seconds, then half the milk, mix again for 2 seconds, the rest of the dry, mix for 2 seconds, and then finally the rest of the milk. Now, before you mix it again, be aware that the texture of the batter will look a bit clumpy at this point, that’s what we want. For the final mix you’re going to crank the mixer as high as it will go and whip the batter for maybe four or 5 seconds which should give you a nice homogenous batter. This is the most dangerous part of the recipe as people tend to over mix during this final step… Don’t do it! The cake will be tough and chewy and dense if you do! Once you have your batter made, gently place it in a baking dish lined with parchment paper and lightly sprayed with some sort of pan spray to prevent it from sticking to the dish. When putting the batter into the dish it is important to touch it as little as possible with your spatula but under no circumstances should you tap the dish on the table to level out the batter! A lot of the leavening in this cake comes from the expansion of the steam trapped in the small bubbles that we formed when creaming the butter, sugar and egg mixture in the beginning of the process. Smacking the table with the dish will burst all of these fragile bubbles and give you a flat dense brick, not ideal… Once the batter has been safely put into your baking dish let it rest with a damp towel over the top for about 20 minutes at room temperature before you bake it. Bake at 375 in the middle of your oven for 15 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 15 minutes. Check for doneness by using a cake tester, if the cake is not done continue to bake at 5 minute intervals checking and rotating every time you go back into the oven. After the cake is done let it cool on a wire rack for a total of 30 to 40 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool uncovered for the remainder of the resting period.
Depending on how you want to showcase the cake you can either cut it into pieces appropriate to your use or leave the cake whole. I prefer to cut the cake before soaking as it opens up the more absorbent interior. When applying the syrup, spoon a generous amount onto the cake over a wire rack above a tray of some sort. The excess syrup will drip through the cake and onto the tray. After soaking you are ready to serve!
Visit the Artists in Residence page to learn more about this group of artists.
Visit the Artists-in-Residence page to learn more about the Residency 21 artists.
Visit the Artists in Residence page to learn more about the Residency 20 artists.
Rising Waters Confab II will bring together the perspectives of architects, artists, scientists, and writers to address issues of climate change. Visit the Artists in Residence page to learn more about this diverse group of creative thinkers.
Visit the Artists in Residence page to learn more about the Residency 18 artists.
Visit the Artists in Residence page to learn about the Residency 17 artists.
Curated by the artists Buster Simpson and Laura Sindell, the "Rising Waters Confab" was designed to spark a productive dialogue amongst scientists, activists, artists, island dwellers, and others, and work toward addressing the realities of sea level rise.
Some of the concepts generated during the residency have served as catalysts for projects taking place at ArtCOP21, a global festival of cultural activity on climate change happening now through December 11 in 51 countries around the world. One of these events is L’Arctique est Paris (created and produced by , Gretel Ehrlich, Ed Morris, Helen Nagge) a film project with the message that "the Arctic drives the climate of the world."Another is a video installation, The Lost Defenders (created and produced by Orion Cruz and Mika Yamaguchi) about those on the frontlines of the struggle to protect what’s left of our environment. Back in Florida, the City of Hialeah presents CLIMA by Xavier Cortada.
In his summary document about the Confab Buster Simpson writes: The intent of the Rising Waters Confab was to further Rauschenberg’s lifelong approach to use art as a catalyst for social and environmental change, and to bring together artists, scientists, and other creative thinkers in this endeavor. This powerful new video filmed during Rising Waters Confab reveals how the Rauschenberg Residency serves as an effective platform for cross-disciplinary approaches to problem solving and the cultivation of ideas that become motivators for action.
Visit the Artists in Residence page to learn about the Residency 15 artists.
The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (RRF) is pleased to announce the third season of the Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, Florida.
Interdisciplinary in its focus, the Rauschenberg Residency is based on Rauschenberg's formative experience at Black Mountain College, North Carolina, and his belief that art can affect positive social change. Sited on the grounds of Rauschenberg's former home and studio on Captiva Island, the Residency maintains a robust commitment to the preservation of the land—its history and the stewardship of the natural environment.
Each year the foundation appoints an anonymous group of artists, arts administrators, curators, and partner organizations to identify emerging and recognized artists and other creative thinkers. The foundation has, for the second year, invited an artist to organize a residency focused on the environment
Of the nine, five-week residencies this season, six include invited artists in a wide range of disciplines, while three have a particular focus: a family residency for artists with young children; a performance residency held in partnership with Danspace, New York; and the second Rising Waters Confab, to address climate change.
The 2015–16 participants represent diverse ages, geographies, and disciplines. They range in age from twenty-five to seventy-eight, and originate from fourteen states, and thirteen countries, including Botswana, Greece, Ireland, South Africa, and Vietnam. The array of disciplines includes: choreography, dance, interdisciplinary filmmaking, painting, photography, poetry, sculpture, and sound art.
September 21–October 23, 2015—Muriel Miguel Borst, Andries Botha, Maria Hassabi, Naomi Natale, Silke Otto-Knapp, Cauleen Smith, Tamara Staples
November 16–December 18, 2015—Susan Banyas, Will Cotton, LeBrie Rich, Louise Steinman, Lavinia Vago, Kate Wallich, Bill Will
January 11–February 12, 2016—Jane Hirshfield, Victoria Marks, Susan McAllister, Danny McCarthy, Mick O’Shea, Jasiri X, Bob Tannen, James Weingrod
February 29–April 1, 2016—Katie Aliprando, Caitlin Cherry, Ty Defoe, David Harper, Jill Sigman, Alex Smith, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Christopher Williams
April 18–May 18, 2016—Rising Waters Confab II organized by Buster Simpson
June 13–July 15, 2016—Family Residency: David Hartt, Ralph Lemon, Meleko Mokgosi, Chemi Rosado
August 1–September 2, 2016—Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Magdalena Campos-Pons, Josephine Halvorson, Steffani Jemison, Dinh Q. Lê, Neil Leonard, Harold Mendez, Sohrab Mohebbi, Thenmozhi Soundararajan, Deanna Van Buren
September 19–October 21, 2016—Performance Residency with Wally Cardona in partnership with Danspace, New York.
November 14–December 16, 2016—Raul Ayala, Kevin Beasley, Jen Bervin, Fernanda Espinosa, Matthew Goulish, Lin Hixson, Deborah Luster, Kate McNeely, Eiko Otake, Steve Roden, Rachel Schragis
Visit the Artists in Residence page to learn about the Residency 14 artists.
Visit the Artists in Residence page to learn about the Residency 13 artists
The Rising Waters Confab, held at the Rauschenberg Residency (April 27–May 29, 2015), was inspired by Robert Rauschenberg’s lifelong belief in the power of collaboration and the potential for art to bring about positive social change. To address climate change, the most pressing concern of our time, the Rising Waters Confab convened an interdisciplinary group of creative thinkers, including artists, scientists, activists, educators, and island dwellers at the Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island, Florida. Rising Waters Confab is the first time that the residency has been dedicated to a single theme.
During the five-week immersion, participants differed widely in their approach, background, and knowledge but were equal in their dedication to addressing climate change. “Confabbing”—or meeting, sharing meals, exploring the local environs, and making art—resulted in provocative and powerful collaborations and reflected a shared commitment to the issue. The Confab culminated in an Open Studio (May 27, 2015) when the public was invited to meet with the participants to view their individual and collaborative works in process.
Rising Waters Confab was organized by Buster Simpson, Laura Sindell, and Anne Focke. Each of the twenty participants provided an invaluable contribution and made an inimitable imprint on the experience and the outcome of the residency.
The protection of the planet has been central to the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s mission since its founding by the artist in 1990. In 1991, through the sale of an edition and poster designed by Rauschenberg, the foundation raised funds and greater awareness for the Earth Pledge that was announced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) that same year. The foundation continues to uphold that original pledge “to make the earth a secure and hospitable home for present and future generations.”
For the next thirty days, in celebration of the forty-fifth anniversary of Earth Day, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation will highlight some of the grants and programs that extend the artist’s legacy as a champion of the environment. You can join the conversation by following the foundation on Twitter and Facebook. News items include:
Today the foundation is announcing $250,000 in grants to agencies working in Southwest Florida, including a grant to the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Fund, which focuses much of its work on the preservation of Florida’s fragile wetlands and other ecosystems. All of the awardees were identified through a partnership with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation to advance social innovation in the region. Southwest Florida is an area where Rauschenberg lived and worked for forty years and a place of ongoing investment for the foundation. To learn more about this partnership and the $250,000 in grants, you can read more here.
You can also read the newly posted Art in Context to learn more about Rauschenberg’s commitment to the environment in his art and activities. Among the highlighted artworks is Rauschenberg’s Earth Day poster, created for the first annual Earth Day on April 22, 1970, to benefit the American Environment Foundation in Washington, D.C. The poster is the first of many editioned works that the artist produced to support the social and political causes most important to him.
This Monday, April 27, 2015, will mark the beginning of a month-long gathering of artists, scientists, engineers, and activists at the Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island, Florida. Entitled Rising Waters Confab, the meeting aims to spark new thinking and to influence civic will toward finding and spreading solutions for the rising waters of climate change. Participants will contribute to a blog that captures key themes and ideas.
Over the next month, the foundation will share more highlights of its work to support a healthy, sustainable planet, including announcing the inaugural grantees of its Climate Change Solutions Fund, a new initiative that spurs the use of cultural and civic engagement to advance solutions to global warming.
During his residency, Tijuana-based artist Marcos Ramirez printed the front page of a different international newspaper each day for thirty-three days and screen-printed imagery that he had photographed around Captiva. Later, he will add text to create a personal journal that is juxtaposed against his worldview. Inspired by Rauschenberg’s legacy of printmaking and collage, Ramirez chose to integrate similar techniques into his work during the residency.
Other artists in Residency 11 were also influenced by the ways in which Rauschenberg worked. David Martine and Shawne Major experimented with screen printing with their individual art practices; Martine created three murals as he worked directly in Rauschenberg’s former studio, and which enabled him to step back in time to imagine Rauschenberg’s experimentation process; and Major also found the residency invigorating and plans to incorporate Rauschenberg’s methods into her next mixed-media works.
Catherine Chalmers arrived in Captiva with the idea to make screen prints but found it led to something else: “I brought several images for this purpose and when printing them into black and white and adding one color during the preparation, I inadvertently discovered an exciting way to create digital paintings. Although this finding led me away from making screen prints, I would not have discovered this new process without trying to manipulate the images for the screen. I am completely thrilled to have found a new method in which to work with my vast and beloved body of photographs.”
James Leary came to the residency in early March with a plan to complete the first draft of a screenplay, which he achieved. Yet two unforeseen projects also emerged: A series of 300 drawings and what turned out to be, in his words, “a complete surprise,” learning the process to create cyanotypes and executing a series of prints in collaboration with the art critic Charlie Schultz. Schultz also completed a writing project on photography and industry in America.
Photographers Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun finally found the time to print their Kodachrome slides that had been waterlogged during Hurricane Katrina, and which they had kept in a freezer that was found on the street to preserve them.
Two artists during the residency used elements that had washed ashore. Diane Schenandoah sculpted driftwood and wood from Australian pine and Sea Grape trees. Charles Lindsay used the carcasses of horseshoe crabs in a sculpture piece for an upcoming exhibition. He noted, “The re-discovery of horseshoe crabs is significant by adding a perfect symbol species to the part of my artistic mission that considers nonhuman intelligence and vast time scales. My challenge continues to be about bringing nature, technology, and the nature of existence into the contemporary art domain. The pace and arc of this project speaks well to adaptation and to responding to a location and situation, which is a high compliment to the residency itself.”
Visit the Artists in Residence page to learn about the Residency 11 artists.
Visit the Artists in Residence page to learn about the Residency 10 artists.
Beginning November 3, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation used its Captiva Campus to host eighty-five artists, entrepreneurs, community organizers, and social innovators from across the United States, and who have received support through the foundation’s SEED Grant program. The inaugural SEED Summit, which is intended to become an annual event at Captiva, brought these arts professionals together for a one week meeting to build skills, share knowledge, and form ongoing relationships.