Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Announces Inaugural Creative Director For Its Captiva Artists Residency

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Jason KalajainenThe Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (RRF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jason Kalajainen as the Creative Director of the Foundation’s Artists Residency program in Captiva, Florida.

In this role, Kalajainen will be responsible for transforming Robert Rauschenberg’s 26-acre estate on Captiva Island, Florida into a creative center that welcomes leaders in the visual arts, music, dance, writing and a variety of scholarship and disciplines from around the world to live, work and develop new work in residence on the property. The RRF/Captiva Residency program is inspired by Rauschenberg’s early years at Black Mountain College where an artistic community brought out elements central to his legacy—collaboration and exploration—learning from and working with others to break new ground.

The site consists of nine buildings, which include Rauschenberg’s original beach home and studio as well as his state-of-the-art studio facility and six individual homes. This property is now a part of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. The Captiva Residency will support RRF’s mission by cultivating the talent of others, support new ideas and artistic exploration and preserve the natural environment, which Rauschenberg saved parcel by parcel. RRF plans to convert the compound and launch the pilot program in 2013.

“The development of an Artists Residency on the property where Robert Rauschenberg lived and worked for over 40 years is one of our major strategic initiatives. Jason is the perfect candidate as a leader in the field of artistic communities to help create a model which builds on this legacy of new ideas, new work and supporting generations of new artists,” said Christy MacLear, Executive Director of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Kalajainen will be leaving his position as Executive Director of Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency to assume his new post with immediate effect. During his six-year tenure at Ox-Bow, he has been responsible for increasing the quality of programming, Ox-Bow’s national and international reach, envisioning and managing the construction of six new campus facilities, putting over 85 acres of Ox-Bow’s wooded property into a conservation easement, successfully completing Ox-Bow’s Campaign for the Second Century.

“We are delighted to have Jason join the team at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to help in the creation of the artist residency program on Captiva Island, a site of historic importance in Bob’s life and art. Bob assembled the property over the course of 40 years with the intent of preserving the environment and building a place where artists of many disciplines could come together to develop new ideas. The residency program will be true to Bob’s vision, and Jason has an important job ahead, supported by everyone at the Foundation,” said Sidney Felsen, Chair of the Captiva Committee for the Board of Directors of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

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