At the Master's Elbow
Renowned artist collaborates with the next generation
UMass Amherst’s artist-in-residence program supports extended residencies by a variety of outstanding creative talents. The first of its kind in campus history, it provides life-changing—and career-enhancing—experiences for graduate students. The program was launched in 2007 as a collaborative between the University Gallery and the Studio Art’s Digital Print Center, with world-renowned artist Tom Friedman as the first in residence.
In a 2008 master class in the campus’s print lab, six student artists were all ears as visiting artist Tom Friedman told how they could collaborate with him in making a limited-edition print. Friedman—whose work has been exhibited in leading museums and galleries in New York, San Francisco, London, and Milan—placed before the students an oversized sheet printed with images randomly pulled from his artworks. Using Photoshop, the students were invited to enlarge repeat, distort, and move them. The resulting pigment print was exhibited at the acclaimed 2009 Basel Art Fair in Miami.
The students hung on every word Friedman uttered. “Any time an artist comes to campus and talks about the artistic process,” said student Megan Randlett, “it makes it more approachable and understandable. This project is giving graduate students a lot more access to the artist than any other project I’ve been involved with, and I’m grateful for it.”