Jun 17, 2019

Residency 39 photos of artists in residence

Visit the Artists-in-Residence page to learn more about this group of artists.

May 1, 2019

Jackie Vitale, 2019 Chef in Residence

Jackie Vitale, who will commence as Chef in Residence in June, looks forward to continuing to explore the intersection of food, art, ritual, and community during her time at the Rauschenberg Residency.

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.

Apr 22, 2019

Residency 38 photos of artists in residence

Visit the Artists-in-Residence page to learn more about this group of artists.

Mar 4, 2019

Rauschenberg Residency #37

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Feb 1, 2019

2018-19 CIR Jason Neve demonstrates pasta making to artists-in-residence Amanda Galvan Huynh, Elizabeth Schwaiger, and Paul Mpagi Sepuya.

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:

Jan 14, 2019

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Nov 5, 2018

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Oct 1, 2018

R34 Photo Grid

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Sep 18, 2018

Robert Rauschenberg Sorting through the photography archives at the Miami Herald

Rauschenberg at the Miami Herald, looking through photography archives for source material for Cover for Tropic, The Miami Herald (1979), published in an edition of 600,000, December 1979. Photo: Attributed to John Doman.

Today we announce the open call for the second Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Archives Research Residency (formerly Travel Fund), a program that provides partial support for costs related to travel and living expenses that scholars may incur in order to do research at the Rauschenberg Foundation and its Archives located in Manhattan, New York. 
The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Archives, consisting of Robert Rauschenberg’s personal papers and the records from his Florida and New York studios, is the most comprehensive body of information on the artist’s life and career.  The 2019 Rauschenberg Archives Research Residency, renamed to reflect the recipients’ one- to two-week onsite research intensives and select participation in Foundation activities, supports continued scholarly and investigative use of archival materials by addressing financial barriers that may prohibit onsite access to the Archives. In addition, the application is open to all individuals encouraging research opportunities that include as well as move beyond traditional art historical discourse.
We invite scholars, academics, artists, and other researchers who can demonstrate a compelling need to use the archival materials onsite at the Foundation to apply. To be eligible, applicants must:
  • reside 50 miles or more away from the Foundation;
  • not have received a grant or other funding from the Foundation in the past 3 years; and
  • be at the graduate level and above.
All individuals eligible to travel in the United States are invited to apply. Please note, priority will be given to independent researchers or those affiliated with institutions with limited resources. Present and former staff and consultants are ineligible. Archives Research Residencies are typically one- to two- weeks and can be scheuled between February 4 – December 12, 2019.
Applications opened on September 17, 2018 and will be open until the November 2, 2018 deadline. More information, including eligible projects, selection criteria, and how to apply, can be found in Grants .

Partial support for travel and housing costs that may incur in order to do research at the Rauschenberg Foundation and its Archives in Manhattan, New York
Individuals who can demonstrate a compelling need to use the archival materials housed onsite at the Rauschenberg Foundation
February 4 – December 12, 2019
Range from $500 - $2,500 depending on travel distance
November 2, 2018
Early January 2019

Aug 6, 2018

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Jun 11, 2018

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Apr 23, 2018

Residency 31 Photo Grid

Visit the Artists-in-Residence page to learn more about this group of artists. The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s 2016-2017 Artist as Activist Fellowships were awarded to independent artists and art collectives whose work addresses racial justice through the lens of mass incarceration.

Mar 5, 2018

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Jan 16, 2018

Residency 29

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Nov 29, 2017

Residency 28 Photos

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Nov 22, 2017

Jason Neve, the new Chef-in-Residence

Today, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation announced Jason Neve as the 2018 Chef-in-Residence.

Neve, who most recently served as the Executive Chef at Eataly USA in Boston since the restaurant’s opening, has more than a decade of experience producing high-end cuisine. Prior to Eataly, Neve worked for Mario Batali’s B&B Hospitality Group and B&B Ristorante as Chef di Cuisine, Culinary Director, and Executive Chef. As the 2018 Chef-in-Residence, Neve will oversee the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to providing fresh, regionally-sourced food for the resident artists. His residency will begin in early January and run through December 2018.  
“I am excited to welcome Jason, a Florida native, to the Residency team,” said Ann Brady, Rauschenberg Residency director, “Over the past two years, the Foundation has continued to recognize chefs as culinary artists and facilitate relationships with local farmers. Jason follows in the footsteps of our previous and current chefs-in-residence who have imprinted the program with their creativity, knowledge and passion for food; I am confident that Jason will not only continue to meet and exemplify those high standards, he will contribute in a meaningful way that embodies his professional experience and personal goals.”
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 and research. 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. The Chef-in-Residence has opportunities to develop and participate in community engagement opportunities around sustainability and food justice in the local communities of Lee County, as well as collaborate with the artists.
“We started the Chef-in-Residence program partly in response to the resident artists’ appeals for more fresh, local Florida food, and to prioritize the Foundation’s emphasis on environmental conservation and stewardship. The program was built in the spirit of Robert Rauschenberg’s longstanding concern for the safekeeping of the environment, as well as his love of food and cooking for family and friends,” said Sharon Ullman, Deputy Director of the Foundation. “We are very excited to have Jason join us in 2018. His culinary skills, and his commitment to community and sustainable cooking embody our goals for the Residency.” 
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 60 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.

Jun 21, 2017

CIR June2017 Sesame Cake

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. 

Coconut and Preserved Hong Kong Orchid Sorbet

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!

Tea Soaked Sesame Cake

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
Pan Spray

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!

Jun 7, 2017

Residency 26 Artists

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Jan 5, 2017

Residency 24 News

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Nov 17, 2016

Rauschenberg Residency

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Sep 18, 2016

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Jul 27, 2016

Visit the Artists-in-Residence page to learn more about the Residency 21 artists.

Jun 6, 2016

Residency 20 Headshots

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Apr 20, 2016

Robert Rauschenberg in front of beach house

Rauschenberg in front of the Fish House with Global Chute (Kabal American Zephyr) (1982), Captiva, Florida, circa 1982. Photo: Terry Van Brunt

Throughout his career, Robert Rauschenberg used his platform as an artist to increase knowledge about global issues and to raise money for many causes and organizations.

The safekeeping of the environment and the notion of individual responsibility for the welfare of life on earth was one of Rauschenberg’s key causes. This commitment to the environment that extended throughout various aspects of his work and life took focus in 1970 when he purchased his first tract of land on Captiva Island. Rauschenberg viewed his residence in Captiva as dependent on the natural environment of the island. He therefore focused on the maintenance of this land as a natural habitat throughout his lifetime. Images from the surrounding landscape and wildlife, as well as of issues that affected the island such as water conservation, served as regular inspiration for his work. Over the course of forty years, he bought historic cottages and adjacent land to preserve and protect it from encroaching commercial development, and undertook a significant restoration of the landscape after Hurricane Charley in 2004.

Today the property remains intact as a pristine natural environment, hosting more than seventy artists each year for month-long residencies in Rauschenberg’s former home and studio.

, Truce (Scenario), 2003

Truce (Scenario), 2003


Apr 14, 2016

Residency 19 Headshots

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.

Feb 26, 2016

Residency 18 Headshots

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Jan 6, 2016

Residency 17 News

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Dec 8, 2015

Rising Water residents working together in Captiva, FL. Video by Dancing Camera

In the spring of 2015 twenty artists and scientists were invited by the Foundation to convene in Captiva, Florida for the first-ever Rauschenberg Residency focused on climate change.

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 Mel Chin, 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. 

Watch the Rising Waters Confab video >

Learn more about Rising Waters Confab >

Sep 21, 2015

Residency 15 Artists

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Aug 31, 2015

Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artists-in-Residence 2015-2016

Photo: Sage Sohier

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. 

2015–16 Residents

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

Jul 31, 2015

R14 Meet the Artists Edit

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Jun 15, 2015

Rauschenberg Foundation Residents

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Jun 1, 2015

R Waters Open Studio

The Rising Waters Confab Open Studio, May 27, 2015

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. 

Apr 22, 2015

Earth Day Poster 1970

Earth Day, 1970

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.  

Apr 17, 2015

Residency 11 News

Photos: Sage Sohier

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.”

Apr 14, 2015

Rising Waters Headshots

Visit the Artists in Residence page to learn about Residency 12 and Rising Waters Confab.  

Feb 26, 2015

Residents 11

Visit the Artists in Residence page to learn about the Residency 11 artists.

Jan 28, 2015

Residents 10

Visit the Artists in Residence page to learn about the Residency 10 artists. 

Jan 15, 2015

Residency 9 News

Photos: Sage Sohier

Once the home of the Calusa Indian tribe and then two centuries later, a fishing destination for Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Edison, Captiva Island, Florida, now boasts luxury homes on a street nicknamed the “Gold Coast.” But the enchantment of the land that Robert Rauschenberg embraced for forty years remains and is invigorated by the newest, and perhaps most itinerant, visitors to the island, the artists in residence at the Rauschenberg Residency. And so what does this small cohort of artists do for thirty-three days on this island in the Gulf of Mexico?
“I was able to work on thirty-five paintings and experiment with different surfaces instead of canvas (muslin, plastic, plexi). I experimented with different forms of hanging, suspending work from the ceiling like stretched cowhide or suspended from a point (this technique also allowed me to consider installation work more effectively than I am usually able to in my studio). The last five paintings at the residency incorporated plastic/drop cloth from the floor and allowed me to begin a dialogue between painting and performance,” wrote Gage Peer (Santa Fe). And did this differ from his original intention? “I did plan to work with painting, but the amount of work and the introduction of these materials and how they would change my painting process was not planned.”
For many, the experience transcends initial aspirations. “I accomplished so much . . . above and beyond my expectations!” wrote Laurie Lambrecht (Bridgehampton, NY), and so, too, for David Francis (Minneapolis), “The pace and depth of work on my memoir was far beyond my expectations that I remain flabbergasted.”
The plan is often best left behind, as Douglas Coupland (Vancouver) noted, “I think that if I arrived with a definite idea in my head and only worked on that idea, it would defeat the spell of the place.” The residency experience has also proven to be a trigger. “When I got home I had a creative explosion that could never have happened if not for the ideas from RR and their incubation there.”
Another artist, Brighde Mullins (Los Angeles), wrote afterward, “To be in a place where nature is still in charge was a huge influence. I felt like I had a different experience of time because of the proximity to the water and the plants and animals. Being on Captiva was a daily lesson in humility and in the finite capacity of humans. Being in Bob’s World was inspiring and calming. I remembered that I used to draw and paint and make collages of my play worlds (I’m primarily a playwright), and being around his work and his spirit reconnected me to the multidimensional aspect of creating a character.”
Collaborations took place slowly and organically. As Keith Sklar (Chicago) listed in his follow-up evaluation: “Experiments with residency staff Matt, Carrell, and Maria in silkscreen. Exploration of digital printing and Photoshop with Carrell and Ehren. An improvised performance with musician David Ornette Cherry and painter Gage Peer. Planned possible series of public artworks in collaboration with Dorit Cypis and Brighde Mullins, based on Brighde’s work on Phyllis Wheatley. Discussions and critiques of a range of residents’ art practices and ideas throughout the residency.”
The community was engaged, as well, through an outreach where the two musicians, David Ornette Cherry (Portland, OR) and Colin Gilmore (Austin) performed for 160 elementary school students at Sanibel School. Later the same day, an Open Studio was held in the Main Studio at the residency for fifty community members.
And there was time for other kinds of work, too, as Dorit Cypis noted. “Resting, listening, biking, dreaming, reflecting, questioning, sharing, communing, exploring, experimenting, recognizing others, recognizing myself, writing, wandering, wondering, walking, boating, beaching, bird watching, eating.”
The influence of Robert Rauschenberg pervades the residency as Mary Ellen Carroll (New York) reflected, “I thanked him constantly as he and his legacy made it possible to be there and to work as an artist. To have the people and equipment and facilities to realize 500 silkscreens and digital prints and paintings. . . .”
“I look forward to the months ahead to absorb and utilize the inspiration and ideas,” Laurie Lambrecht wrote, summing up the residency experience. “I learned much about myself; it was a time of growth.”

Dec 5, 2014

SEED Summit Captiva

SEED Summit 2014

Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Hosts Grantees on Its Captiva Campus
Eighty-five nonprofit professionals from across the country join together at historic island residence

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. 

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Nov 7, 2014

Meet the Artists - Residency

Photos: Sage Sohier

On November 17, 2014, Rauschenberg Residency 9 begins. Ten artists, including musicians, visual artists, and writers from across the United States and Canada will arrive to work, share meals, play, commune, and collaborate at the residency that provides them with the time, space, and resources to explore new possibilities. 
“I may be asking volunteers to help me collect drift items from local beaches,” explained Douglas Coupland. A writer who has published fourteen novels and several nonfiction works, Doug is also a visual artist. It will be his visual practice that he intends to focus on during his five weeks in Captiva. Meanwhile, time away from routine will allow poet and playwright Brighde Mullins to complete unfinished writing projects and start new ones.
David Ornette Cherry, whose music mixes world and jazz idioms, plans to edit video and audio, create a book prototype, paint, and experiment with Pro Tools, the audio tools software programs. Joining him in the Pro Tools tutorial is songwriter Colin Gilmore, who “turns life experiences into poetry, and puts poetry to soundwaves and lighwaves that bring it to life.”
Experimentation with new methods continues to be the hallmark of the Rauschenberg Residency, since the pilot program began in 2012, with screenprinting among the most popular. Photographer Laurie Lambrecht and visual artist, educator, mediator, and community-builder Dorit Cypis both plan to investigate the form. While Laurie will also work with cyanotypes and photography, Dorit expects to write, work with small props, fabricate, print text photographs, and work with writer and collaborator David Francis.
The main studio, built for Rauschenberg in 1990, is a majestic 16,000-square-foot, two-story, white building that presents a blank canvas to each new group of residents. It will be filled with paintings by Keith Sklar and Gage Peer, while the 3-D studio will be used by Conceptual artist Mary Ellen Carroll to work in a variety of mediums, including printmaking, photography, video, and fabrication.