The Caumsett Foundation


David Almeida, Seascape #016, 2020, Found balloons, 16” X 20”

MAY 2024


Laura Powers-SwiggettLaura Powers-Swiggett in front of the studio
A residency is, for me, about total immersion. It is about creating the time and space to concentrate with intention on a particular project (or, in this case, a particular place) for a defined period of time, trusting that something new will be born. What would happen if I immersed myself in all that is Caumsett, a place that I love deeply? What would grow in me that might be expressed through my art? What new things might I discover — about Caumsett and myself? It would be a collaborative process with a life of its own.

Laura Powers-SwiggettLaura Powers-Swiggett, The Soft Edges of Loss, Acrylic on Paper, 23” x 23”, 2023

I hope to capture the joy and wonder of a walk through the meadows and woods, a great horned owl’s gentle “hoo hoo” in my ears, the flight of a red-tailed hawk traced in the sky. Or my excitement as I glimpse the salt marsh through the tree canopy. When the view opens up at the end of the fisherman’s road, revealing Long Island Sound and the Connecticut shore beyond, I have questions — would one blue violet brush stroke be enough to describe the intersection of land, sea and sky? What does that junction really mean to me? There are discoveries to be made in the juniper and scrub pines, as their shapes play against the subtle colors of the sand spit’s underbrush, a palette of neutral grays that varies with the time of day, weather and season. The return walk along the bluff offers a bird’s eye view of shifting tidal patterns and blue cast shadows — a natural tutorial in organic abstraction.

Caumsett is a visual feast. I will open my senses and imagination to all that is there, and share what I find with others through open studios and community walks devoted to seeing like an artist. I will engage in a conversation with the landscape through a series of field studies, deepening my connection to this place that I love, and my understanding of who I am within it. I am curious what might be revealed over time. As I find rhythms and themes that excite me, I will expand my explorations to larger works in the studio. My ultimate hope is to distill what I have experienced into something that is both specific to Caumsett and also universal.


Open studio hours are a good time for you to visit the Artist in Residence and learn more about their practice. During this time, the artist will welcome park-goers into their creation space and be available for conversation. If you notice an artist in their studio outside of the open studio hours, please consider that he or she may be quite focused on their work.

Saturday: 9am-1pm
Sunday: 9am-1pm

Please note the week of May 27th the studio will be open Thursday from 12-6pm.



QualiaTina Hejtmanek, Qualia, ink on birch panel, 20 x 20 inches, 2018
Using photography, sculpture, painting and drawing I create abstracted images that address concepts of temporality, perception and varying states of consciousness.

I am interested in the power of nature. Symbolically, culturally, intuitively and in worship. Investigations of sacred space/land led me to explore sacred geometry and concepts of alternate space/planes.

The paintings are evidence of a personal process I think of as intuitive geometry. Made with a snap line method with ink-soaked string the compositions are unplanned, the geometry is not measured. The process is highly active, performative and automatic they are compulsive, intuitive and meditative investigations of space and geometry, real and interpreted.



GloryVanessa Powers, Glory, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches, 2023
I am a figurative oil painter whose work uses a visceral symbolic language to navigate my inner world and how it relates to our current cultural climate in terms of how we process loss and uncertainty. My surreal paintings explore themes including grief, vice, mortality, and resiliency. I use my paintings to articulate my personal spirituality with an emphasis on the significance of ritual, memory, and the profoundly human impulse of ceremony. My work is simultaneously self portraits and memorials for people, places, and times that have passed.

The figures in my paintings are translucent or isolated parts of bodies. The absence of the body is equally as important as the positive space of the figure and is a subconscious process that relies on where my emotions physically reveal themselves.

My process always begins with a landscape to anchor the subject matter. These settings are sometimes complete fabrications, several places stitched together, or are key familiar locations from growing up and currently living on Long Island.



DaystandCJ Escobar-Rodgers, Daystand, textured paint on cone 6 ceramic, wood, steel, cast aluminum, cotton, 2024
My research in South American textiles significantly influences my art, highlighting human motifs alongside animal and plant motifs to suggest material equality and manipulability. This perspective aligns with contemporary new materialist and posthumanist philosophies, inspiring my depiction of the human form in clay. I explore the materiality of humanity, drawing from architecture, ornamentation, and nature- inspired technologies, like Ancient Greek columns that emulate forests or the Wright brothers’ aviation designs inspired by bird wings.

In my work, human elements serve both structural and decorative purposes, such as using the human foot and lower leg as foundational supports. Additionally, I embellish my pieces with fabrics and jewelry to contrast the innate desire for individuality with the material interconnectedness conveyed through the ceramic medium. My work delivers a message of humility and interconnectedness, positioning humans not as dominators but as integral parts of a broader ecological and cultural network. This approach underlines the importance of recognizing our anthropocentric biases to address ecological challenges and promote a more inclusive, globally conscious view that honors our bond with the natural world and various cultural perspectives.



DaystandAndreas Rentsch, Project made with photo students. cyanotype, 55" x 75”
My photographic work of late possesses a close aesthetic relationship to performance art, drawing and painting. Process has become more and more important in my art practice. My aim has consistently remained within the parameters of the photographic medium in order to discover new ways to articulate my ideas visually. Experimentation and chance have become important tools in my research. A large part of my methodology has been to abandon a considerable amount of control and allow the material to take over in some unexpected and unpredictable ways.

My unconventional approach to photography raises the question of medium specificity. As photography has been closely identified to the apparatus and to its reproducibility, the questions and limitations as defined in the past have given way to new explorations of alternative fields of study. The incorporation of other mediums has been a vital aspect of my art making, and this expansion opens up new avenues of expression.

My interest in the discourse of the medium’s potential can’t hide the fact that my work is anchored in a moral sensibility that relates to my upbringing. I spent the first 18 years of my life on a prison compound where my father was the warden and where daily interactions with convicts were common. These visual and real-life experiences nurtured a sense of empathy in me for the human condition that has been a guiding force in my life as well as my work.