Alexis Serio and Dewane Hughes, associate professors of art at The University of Texas at Tyler, recently completed an international residency program in Laugarvatn, Iceland.
The Gullkistan Residency for Creative People hosted both artists, alongside other national and international creative scholars for a two-week stay earlier this summer. The residency is located in a remote area of Iceland at a farmhouse, which provides basic living amenities and access to a studio.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to experience a new culture, see a vast and spectacular country, as well as meet artists from around the world. We hope to return in the future and stay for a longer period of time,” Serio said.
Serio and Hughes traveled the circumference of the entire country the first week. While on their self-directed tour, they documented their travels with journals, drawings and photography, gathering information to be used in new bodies of artwork. Through the second week, they presented lectures on their work to the other residents and hosts as well as participated in open studio critiques.
Serio produced more than 50 watercolor studies and drawings as plans for her next body of oil paintings, which will reflect the structure of the new landscape she experienced in Iceland.
“I am planning a new body of work that will follow suit with what I am investigating now in my abstract landscapes, however these new works will be about waterfalls, volcanos and icebergs,” she said.
Hughes created many drawings and paper and tape maquettes, which were influenced by the formations of the Icelandic cairns, boats and glaciers. He plans to return to the studio with these in mind for his next body of sculptures.
“I was impressed with the extent to which I was influenced by the landscape of Iceland,” he said.
The two professors work along side each other not only in the UT Tyler Department of Art and Art History, but also in life. The pair met and married while teaching at the university.
They plan to propose a joint exhibition featuring their artwork inspired by Iceland.
Serio holds a master of fine arts in painting from the University of Pennsylvania and has served UT Tyler since 2004.
Serving UT Tyler since 2005, Hughes holds a master of fine arts in sculpture from Montana State University.
One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 7,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.