Serendipity

Ann Roth Universal Access Artist in Residence

// July 1 - August 28

Ann Roth is the 2022 Artspace Universal Access Resident. This program provides funding, studio space and support for an artist who identifies as having a disability to produce a solo exhibition at Artspace. Throughout the month of June, Roth used the Upfront Gallery as a studio space. During that time, she welcomed community members to help in the creation of her large-scale installation, Serendipity. Two public painting events allowed participants to leave their mark using paint and various tools, including brushes, squeegees and stamps, onto large sheets of prepared tyvek. Roth then hosted a series of smaller workgroups where she led volunteers through her process of cutting the large sheets into organic shapes, attaching the pieces together, and installing them to form the brightly colored undulating forms that greet visitors in our space. 

On Serendipity and the Residency

“I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004 at the age of 54. I am fortunate that the biggest challenges I face are feeling dragged down with fatigue and twitching that can be hard to control and is very noticeable. A balance of regular exercise, yoga, a finely tuned combination of medications and making art keep me functioning close to normal. I am convinced making art has been a major force in managing this disease. 

While my disease sometimes dictates what I can physically accomplish it does not hinder my creative process. I love the challenge of working big…basically I love the challenge of taking risks in my artwork, asking “What if…?” and answering “Why not?” and learning new techniques. The Universal Access Artist Residency gave me a chance to create art for a large and complex space and to work with people in the community to realize larger pieces. It met my need for production assistance and sparked new conceptual and aesthetic approaches.

Two public Paint-a-Thons quickly covered both sides of Tyvek sheets in colors and patterns as diverse and unique as the people who painted them. There were 3 year olds all the way up to grandparents. Three smaller workshops gathered together people I’d known for several years and some I’d never met before. These people assembled all the works you see hanging.  All these sessions were high-energy and laughter-filled, reinforcing my conviction that creativity unites. What would have taken me months to do was done in a fraction of that time. I am grateful to everyone who took up a paintbrush or strung shapes on monofilament or helped in numerous other ways! I share these artworks with you. 

The Artspace staff made everything happen smoothly and artfully. Annah Lee was the chief facilitator, while Danny Peña, Oliver Hayes, Oami Powers, Sanjé James, and Gab Corter were my daily go-to’s for logistics and questions. These folks and everyone else I came into contact with were always efficient, and always fun to be with. 

Sharon Hill managed to read my mind about what needed to be done next, reminded me to take my medicine and was a tremendous source of encouragement. John Coffey was there to do anything or nothing, as needed, every step of the way. His observations, insights and constant support provided immeasurable support.

The one month I spent at Artspace will inspire new work for a long time ahead.”

Ann Roth

Beauty in the world around me and life’s quirks, mysteries and capacity to change directions unexpectedly inspire my creative process. I play with subtleties, complexities, illusions and the interaction of colors.

Volunteers with Ann Roth in front of the work they helped with

Thank you to the many people who helped to create this meaningful experience! A special thanks to:

  • Sharon Hill
  • Jane Cheek
  • Tonya Solley Thornton
  • Debby Secan
  • Adriana Ameigh
  • Janine LeBlanc
  • Cindy Collins
  • Julie Lewis
  • Ruth Cox
  • Graham Williams
  • John Coffey
  • Cindy Morefield
  • Phyllis Secan
  • Lea that Koefler 
  • Brenda Brokke
  • Ellen McSorley
  • Ricardo McCrimmons
  • Mia Noonan
  • Mary Kircher
  • Paint-a-thon participants