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Summer 2017 Multi-Arts Collectives

Under the auspices of the Creative Arts Across Disciplines project, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Vassar has offered opportunities over the next several summers for multidisciplinary teams of two or more students to work on creative arts or design-based projects. CAAD’s summer multi-arts collectives were eight-week programs for Vassar students, faculty mentors, and visiting artisits. Students with majors in different departments collaborated to realize proposed project ideas under the guidance and encrouagement of project mentors. 

  • Projects that involve students majoring in at least two different disciplines, at least one from the arts.
  • Projects taking place mainly on campus and may involve presentation or engagement with the Poughkeepsie-area community.
  • A culmination of the project in something that is presented on campus or in the Poughkeepsie area during the coming academic year, preferably in the fall. It can be in the forms of performance, installation, activity, intervention, community or educational initiative, etc.
  • Projects that tie in some way with CAAD’s programming focus on the senses.

Over the course of eight weeks, 5 students from different majors worked with each other, their faculty mentors, and two artists-in-residence  to answer questions, collect data, and make plans to produce their research into projects that could be shared with the campus community in the fall.

Professor Lisa Brawley served as faculty mentor to both projects, guest artists Courtney Starret and Susan Reiser were visiting mentors. 

Each week of the prorgam consisted of a critique for all participants (including the guest artists and their project), open studio hours, and individual meetings. Both student projects presented their work alongside the guest artist installation (Intersections) to create a show in Vassar's Palmer Gallery.


Students: Jake Brody, Noah Trueblood
Faculty Mentor: Lisa Brawley

The goal of Windswept is to explore the experience of the touch of wind. When thinking of ideas for a project, we were drawn to the unique phenomenon of the feeling of the touch of wind. In order to create a project that recreates the experience of the touch of wind, we want to simulate the interactions that occur between wind and nature.
Experimental Classroom
Students: Charlotte Foley, Antoine Robinson, Audrey Keefe
Faculty Mentor: Lisa Brawley
The Experimental Classroom is a project in 3 parts that puts classroom architecture in conversation with liberatory pedagogy and interrogating norms via physical interventions on classroom spaces. 
On June 13, 2017 all five students, digital librarian and project consultant, Amy Laughline, and the Interdisciplary Arts Coordinator met guest artists Starret and Reiser at the Autodesk Build Space in Boston. After a tour of the facilty, students met with Education Director, Akshay Sharma to discuss their projects. 
On the last day of the program, all projects presented the results of their research and plans for the Palmer Gallery to peers and guests. 
All projects were presented in the Palmer Gallery as a collaborative instalation called, "Remix: Interdiscipinary Exploration" September 12-17, 2017