Three Columbia Alumni Awarded Residencies at Fountainhead Arts

Mădălina Telea Borteș
January 20, 2023

Over the course of 2023, three Visual Arts alumni will partake in the prestigious month-long Fountainhead Residency. Founded in 2008 by Kathryn and Dan Mikesell, the Fountainhead Residency facilitates artistic development in studio and professional practice. Artists participate in open studio sessions, meet with renowned curators, gallerists, and collectors, and have the chance to build entrepreneurial acumen.  

The first to attend the residency, in January 2023, will be alumnus and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Visual Arts, Baris Gokturk ’20, a Turkish artist whose sculptural works engage questions of art and protest through collaged images, metal, plaster, paint, and stone. In an interview with gallerist Helena Anrather, Gokturk pinpointed his current focus as one that explores “the conceptual relationship between image and meaning in the wider cultural and political context,” where protest exists as a space charged with potential. “For me,” Gokturk explained, “the speculative surface of painting has become a way of processing the speculative space of protest, the former a reflection for evaluating the many directions of the latter’s potential.”

In June of 2023, alumna and Assistant Professor of Visual Arts, Adama Delphine Fawundu ’18, will begin the residency. The fulcrum of Fawundu’s mixed-media art practice is kinship, which she explores through the body’s gestures, serving as a starting point for a larger exploration of language, ancestral knowledge, and belonging. Fawundu utilizes digital photography and textile installations to render works that investigate and expand notions of kin, community, and diasporic history. 

Jeffrey Meris ’19, whose interdisciplinary works employ drawing, sculptural installation, and performance to probe and historicize the ecological facets of lived experience, will round the residency season off in October of 2023. Kinetic sculptures and paintings feature strongly in Meris’s practice, often invoking gestures of care, degradation, and regeneration.  

This year, the Residency applications were reviewed by members of the arts community ranging from Allison Glenn, senior curator at the Public Art Fund in New York, and  curator Susanna Temkin of El Museo del Barrio in New York to Rodrigo Valenzuela of the University of California Los Angeles and Melissa Wallen, the director of the esteemed de la Cruz Collection in Miami.