San Antonio artist Justin Boyd has started his residency program in Germany. I reached the Southwest School of Art’s teacher and artist via Skype.
“I’m speaking from the Kunstlerhaus Bethanian, and it’s in an area of Berlin called Kreutzberg,” he said.
Kunstlerhaus is the international cultural center that’s hosting Boyd’s artistic residency, and as Boyd explained, there are many other artists there as well: “There’s artists here from Korea, from Japan, Denmark."
But there’s only one from the USA. Him.
“I don’t feel intimidated in any way, but I feel really proud to represent San Antonio and the thoughtful, creative people we have there,” said Boyd.
The studio and his apartment are in the same room.
“The work space and the living space are in the same. It’s kind of divided by a half wall," he said. "I’ve been exploring the city on a bicycle a lot.”
The art he’s begun to make centers around audio he’s recorded there. And what a great place for it!
"I hear multiple languages constantly as I’m walking down the street: German, English, Russian. There’s lots of Scandinavian," he said. "Free Palestine Gaza protests right up the street; I’ve recorded some of that. Police sirens sound different here. The soundscape here is really quite different.”
He takes his microphone with him everywhere, and he sent me a little preview of the Nightingales he recorded early one morning.
(Click "Listen" above to hear this story, including the nightingales)
"This sort of opportunity is amazing because basically, you’re just literally left alone for three months in a city that is essentially the capitol of Europe at this point," explained Boyd.
I noted that it was, essentially, carte blanche.
"Yeah, there is carte blanche. Exactly. Your only job is to be creative," he said.
He’ll be heading back to the Alamo City in the middle of October with a project to share at the Blue Star. I’ll keep you updated. He had one last thing to say.
"Auf wiedersehen San Antonio!" Boyd said.
Ja, sehr gut!