Possession and Revolt by Caitlyn Wilson

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Alum in Residence: Anne Focke

Submitted on September 12, 2016 - 4:32pm
Anne Focke
Anne Focke

From a School press release dated September 9, 2016:

The School of Art + Art History + Design is pleased to announce Anne Focke as the Alum in Residence for the 2016-2017 academic year.

The Alum in Residence role is a new one for the School; it presents an opportunity to strengthen relationships with alums who have greatly affected the art and design communities through their practice. In this role, an alum will be invited to engage with the multiplicity of resources, the student and faculty community, and the many ways of learning that coexist on campus and in the spaces of the School of Art + Art History + Design. The Alum in Residence, in turn, may design their role in harmony with their experience and skills, bringing with them valuable insight for our students into the varied lives of professional artists and scholars. They may also develop novel programs, engage in archival work and research, and offer mentorship.

Anne Focke plans to bring to the position the same habits that have defined her work over the last 50 years: a keenness to suss out gaps that allow new opportunities and meet them with creative solutions. Focke freelances in the arts, philanthropy, and civil society. She has worked as an editor, writer, and researcher; a consultant and planner; nonprofit executive; organizer and start-up activist; public arts agency staffer; curator; and artist. She served for ten years as the first executive director of Grantmakers in the Arts and for eighteen years as co-editor of its journal, the GIA Reader. She has participated in founding new enterprises including Arts Wire, an early national online network; Artist Trust, serving Washington State artists; and/or, an artist center; and Artech, a for-profit art-handling company.

Part of Focke’s time at the School will be spent in organizing and archiving documents and ephemera in relation to and/or, Artist Trust, Artech, Arts Wire, and more — some already held in Special Collections at the UW Libraries. She will do this work alongside student interns from the School. Focke’s additional plans include class visits, open office hours, and events at the School centered around open conversation on issues of contemporary artistic livelihood and practice. Read in additional detail about the genesis of the residency at Focke’s blog.