Rising Waters Confab: Rauschenberg Residency 12

Jun 1, 2015


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.