2018 Open Studios

July 27, 2018
Rochelle Feinstein’s studio
Fosco Lucarelli (left) talks about his practice
Abigail DeVille in her studio
Guests in the studio of Beverly McIver
A visitor tries on a wearable work by Alison Hirsch and Aroussiak Gabrielian
Sanford Biggers (right) explains his process
A wall in Allen Frame’s studio
Guests gather on the steps of the McKim, Mead & White building
Performance view of “Janus”
Performance view of “Janus”
Alessandro Di Pietro and Tricia Treacy
Keith Krumwiede in his studio
A reading by T. Geronimo Johnson in Beverly McIver’s studio
The studio of Rä di Martino
A view of the performance “Filament Fragment 1” in the Cryptoporticus
Ishion Hutchinson reads his work in the courtyard
Performance view of “Filament Fragment 2” in the front garden
Suzanne Farrin plays the ondes Martenot
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Open Studios is an annual American Academy in Rome tradition that takes place in the late spring, when Rome Prize winners and Italian Fellows in architecture, design, landscape architecture, and visual arts present the fruits of their work and research from the previous nine months. This year’s event took place on Thursday, June 7, 2018. Open Studios is not just about art—the Academy hosts readings with Fellows in literature, temporary installations made from cross-disciplinary collaborations, and exclusive performances by Fellows in musical composition.

Participants in the 2018 iteration of Open Studios were: Brandon Clifford and Keith Krumwiede (architecture); Jennifer Birkeland, Fosco Lucarelli, Jonathan Scelsa, and Tricia Treacy (design); Aroussiak Gabrielian, Alison Hirsch, and Rosetta Elkin (landscape architecture); Sanford Biggers, Abigail DeVille, Rä di Martino, Alessandro Di Pietro, Rochelle Feinstein, Allen Frame, and Beverly McIver (visual arts); Ishion Hutchinson and T. Geronimo Johnson (literature); and Suzanne Farrin, Ashley Fure, and Federico Gardella (musical composition).


Open Studios welcomed visitors in the front garden at 6:00pm, and a performance/installation titled Janus started thirty minutes later. Led by Brandon Clifford and Federico Gardella, Janus featured sculpture by Clifford and CEMEX Global R&D, a mural by Johanna Lobdell, and a “formwork” by Odico Formwork Robotics. The musical composition was written by Gardella and Simone Conforti.

Funding for Janus was provided by CEMEX Global R&D with a formwork provided by Odico Formwork Robotics.

Inside the Studios

The studios in the McKim, Mead & White building were open to public from 7:00 to 10:00pm. The visual artists who received visitors in their studios were Rome Prize Fellows Sanford Biggers, Abigail DeVille, Rochelle Feinstein, Allen Frame, and Beverly McIver. The Italian Fellows in visuals arts were Rä di Martino and Alessandro Di Pietro. Those from other disciplines included the architects Brandon Clifford and Keith Krumwiede, the designers Tricia Treacy, Jennifer Birkeland, and Jonathan A. Scelsa, and three Fellows in landscape architecture: Rosetta S. Elkin, Alison B. Hirsch, and Aroussiak Gabrielian. The writers and Rome Prize winners Ishion Hutchinson and T. Geronimo Johnson gave readings at 8:00 and 8:30pm, respectively.

Filament Fragment 1 and Filament Fragment 2

When the main building studios closed at 10:00pm, attendees descended to the Cryptoporticus for Filament Fragment 1, a performance featuring a composition by Ashley Fure in collaboration with Brandon Clifford (megaphone design), Yi Zhao (lighting design), Lilleth Glimcher (associate director), and Lester St. Louis (assistant producer). Fure performed the score on double bass, assisted by eight vocalists: Marisa Michelson, Antonella Marotta, Sabina Meyer, Paola Ronchetti, Keiko Morikawa, Anna Di Martini, Marta Zanazzi, and Ornella Scocca.

The second part of this work, Filament Fragment 2, followed more readings by and additional performances at Open Studios. Visitors gathered in the front garden at 11:00pm, where Fure presented a composition, performed in collaboration with Clifford (megaphone design), Yi (lighting design), Glimcher (associate director), and St. Louis (assistant producer). Suzanne Farrin played the ondes Martenot—an electronic instrument invented in 1928 that sounds like a theremin but controlled by a traditional keyboard and a slide—with the same eight vocalists. This performance, and the 2018 edition of Open Studios as a whole, concluded at 11:30pm.

Musical performances at Open Studios 2018 were made possible by the Fromm Music Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and the Fellows’ Project Fund of the American Academy in Rome.

More Readings and Performances

A second set of readings by Ishion Hutchinson and T. Geronimo Johnson, the two 2018 Rome Prize Fellows in literature, was held in the courtyard at 10:20pm. Afterward, attendees gathered in the front garden at 10:45pm for Gibigiana, created by Suzanne Farrin, Aroussiak Gabrielian, and Alison Hirsch. Farris then offered Hypersea-a work in progress, and Oliver Messiaen adapted the original Oraison for ondes Martenot, viola, and two cellos. Gabrielian and Hirsch collaborated with Stefano Silvia for another work, in which audience members witnessed a performance by Farrin (ondes Martenot), Luca Bagagli (violin and conductor), Soyeon Kim (violin), Elena Favila (viola), Roberto Mansueto (cello), Wilhemina Smith (cello), and Flavio Tanzi (percussion).

Funding for Gibigiana was provided by the University of Southern California and Hunter College, City University of New York. Musical performances at Open Studios 2018 were made possible by the Fromm Music Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and the Fellows’ Project Fund of the American Academy in Rome.