Long Road Projects and Selina Chelsea are launching this week a new kind of global artist residency. The announcement will be celebrated on Thursday, March 5 from 5:30-7:00 PM at the new Selina Chelsea with a panel discussion featuring arts professional Lisa Dent, artist Dustin Harewood, the Bronx Museum and Project for Empty Space’s Jasmine Wahi, and Selina’s VP of Experience Greg Bresnitz, moderated by Long Road Projects’s Aaron Levi Garvey.
In this new partnership, the art-centric hotel will host artists in the U.S. and abroad, starting with residencies in New York, Miami, and New Orleans. The collaboration brings Long Road Project’s vision of community building through contemporary art to a next level, inviting artists to engage with new places, cultures, and ideas.
In advance of this week’s talk in New York, Whitewall spoke with Garvey and Bresnitz about the possibilities that come about when artists get the chance to move beyond the studio, and are given the resource of time and space.
WHITEWALL: Can you tell us about how the partnership between Long Road Projects and Selina came about?
AARON LEVI GARVEY: Long Road was founded on the ideas of crosspollination and the artist-experience. From studio time, to lectures, to informal dinners, and trips to some of Northeast Florida’s most sacred and historic spots; we have fostered an environment and community where artists, writers, musicians and thinkers can come to be free of distraction, have time to focus and experience a new region outside of typical art hubs.
These guiding principles align seemingly perfectly with those of Selina’s and were the jumping off point for a conversation a while back at an exhibition opening in New Orleans. We began discussing the support for artists and how integral to any practice it is to remove oneself from their everyday routine and hit a refresh button. In the first couple of years, our program has been lucky to work with some of the most interesting and generous artists currently active—and their work speaks for themselves. In being able to provide these artists a place to work and generate ideas—in a place they might not typically consider visiting has allowed us to grow with them as we exchange ideas and experiences.
WHITEWALL: What makes Selina a fitting host for artists and a residency of this kind?
GREG BRESNITZ: The mission of Selina is to inspire authentic, meaningful connections with people, places, and communities around the world. This concept is brought to life through the hotel’s experiential and community-centric offerings that deliver new, inspiring spaces and programming with the common goal of bringing guests and locals together.
Rooted in the artistic spirit of the neighborhood, Selina Chelsea intends to serve as a home for the arts. It is a platform that through its programming and partnerships fosters innovation, drives meaningful connections, and cross-pollinates ideas, creativity, and design. Knowing that the mission of Long Road Project is to be an integral platform for artistic experimentation, community engagement and education connecting these two brands together for this residency’s seemed like a natural partnership.
WW: What impact can residencies have on an artist’s practice?
ALG: I believe they serve artists by giving them time and space—but also, in getting out of a routine, it helps the brain tackle problems in new ways. I think one of the most important parts of what LRP does is that we make a huge effort to get the highly regarded artists that we invite to engage within communities.
For artists making work in a place that can feel forgotten about and passed over, the opportunity to have insightful studio visits and gain feedback is a way for our artists to engage more deeply in contemporary and relevant conversations. Additionally, these residencies provide access to resources that artists and curators may not necessarily have had access to in their day-to-day practice—like working with our master printers and fabricators or gaining access to historic sites and archives.
We understand that the most important resource is time, and second to that space and support. In providing this, we hope to tangibly impact and improve not just the lives/practices of artists, but the communities they visit and engage with.
WW: Can you tell us about the first three locations of Selina that will host—New York, Miami, and New Orleans?
GB: Each new property celebrates the culture of its respective location, and offers unique experiences at the intersection of life, work and travel.
Selina Catahoula New Orleans has been designed as a bohemian downtown gathering spot that reflects the vibrancy and heritage of one of America’s most iconic cities. It brings together New Orleans’ vanguard “roots” music programming with performances from up and coming artists and supporting small local businesses throughout the design and development of the property.
Located in downtown Miami, Selina Miami River gives wellness the spotlight, offering a range of tranquil activities including wellness retreats, open-aired yoga classes and invigorating workouts that allow guests to both decompress and sharpen their mind, body, and soul.
Selina Chelsea is designed to create a bridge between Latin American and New York City’s cultures and communities. Exclusively featuring Latinx artists, the program shines a spotlight on a community who for too long has been marginalized by the international art scene. The property is a welcoming home that fosters meaningful connections for guests and locals alike by providing an accessible art gallery throughout the property, social connection spaces.