Pequignot Palace

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Pequignot Palace

Address: P.O. Box 262, New Hampton, MO 64471
Contact: Abbe Findley
Email: tnkrdoodle@gmail.com
Website: www.pequignot-palace.com
Phone: 660-439-2204
Open Hours:
We are currently accepting applications through August 2012.
Palace will reopen April-August 2013.

How is the project operated?
It is an artist-run space that operates out of a residential home in rural Missouri, an hour and a half north of Kansas City.

How long has it been in existence?
Since August 2011.

What was your motivation?
My friend Charlie Mylie and I wanted to open the home to a multidisciplinary array of people, including artists, chefs, scientists, explorers, botanists, educators, and farmers. We want to share our countryside experience with others while cultivating new relationships, ideas, and practices. In addition there seemed to be a need for more artist-run spaces, and what better way to share our vision than by inviting a dialogue of contemporary ideas into our prairie land kitchen? Popular activities include:

  • Sipping on herbal elixir meads, blueberry cordial, and green smoothies with raw milk.
  • Listening to the beautiful voices of Vietnamese musicians Khánh Ly & Trịnh Công Sơn in the stillness of the prairie, recognizing life’s gifts.
  • Sitting on the porch hearing the sound vibrations of Mythical Beast while zoning out on constellations and getting down to mind matters with illuminating intelligences.
  • Conducting sound experiments in a geodesic hobbit cave built by residents Stewart Losee and Alana Fitzgerald.
  • Drinking Sencha listening to Wade Davis talk about the ethnosphere of humanity.

The future now is the motivation, cultivating experiences with each other to further the action and development of “modeling magnetic alternatives” to a hospitable future that ignites others.

Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
The project began with Charlie Mylie and Abbe Findley. Abbe currently organizes and directs the space with the help of Dale Szafranski, a long-term resident and artist. Dale is currently focused on culinary arts, researching food and cooking technology.

How are programs funded?
So far we are funded by a BREAD! KC Microgrant and out of pocket. BREAD! KC is a microgrant project started by Kansas City artists Sean Starowitz and Andy Erdrich. The funds have helped tremendously in providing multiple resources for residents, as well as small stipends and gifts. The funds were also used to attain a membership through ResArtis.

Who is responsible for the programming?
Abbe Findley currently handles resident imports, reading through applications, arranging pick-ups in Kansas City, and curating a food pantry that enables residents to learn how to cook food from cultures around the world.

Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
Residents are able to stay for a maximum of 2 weeks.  In addition, next spring’s programming will include an opportunity for someone of a specific background or discipline to do a one month residency that will aid in teaching residents skills and experiences. Examples of these one month stays might be someone who becomes the head gardener and designs the Palace garden, a yoga instructor, a chef, an astrophysicist, a game designer, an herbalist or botanist. It is essential that this be someone whose practice is centered on guided experiences.

How is your programming determined?
Currently the experience is rather free form – artists come with a project idea, and  we spend a valuable chunk of time discussing ideas and practices over fresh homemade rose water lemonade. Next season, we want to put more thought into mapping out certain kinds of ideas, exploration, and experimentation, as well as ensuring there is overlap between who is coming and going so artists have a chance to meet more people. We would like to have topics of investigation that we collectively explore, planned by the seasons or the month (e.g. Bioremediation, Soda Making, Space Exploration). Either way we want to create a platform for engaging in meaningful conversation that allows visitors to learn and freely explore their curiosities.

Do you accept proposals/submissions?
Right now we are accepting residents until September 1.  Applications for April-August 2013 will open in the fall.

What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
As a curator I am interested in the possibilities of transcending one’s dominant reality, through daily customs and practices of living. Curiously seeking and receiving the possibilities of otherness. Exploring various modes of becoming allows us to access knowledge and experiences that grant us information to carry into other phases and planes of life. Creating this residency in the country means that others and myself can learn animal husbandry (even if it doesn’t work out the way you expect), cooking from scratch, gardening, wild foraging, fermenting food, making homemade cleaning products, composting, and experiencing a different mode of time. The culinary aspect of the residency plays a huge part in the experience of the resident, cultivating culture through nature, food, weather, and mind matter. The Palace seeks creators who can make temporary or nomadic art. One guideline is that nothing be made that will permanently live at the Palace.  Artists are challenged to make temporary work or work that can be easily transported.  This opens up a discussion on the possibilities of art’s physical existence, how it can be documented if need be, and what it will mean or signify to and for the future.

What’s working? What’s not working?
It is working when the house is filled with diverse individuals cooking food, digging into their creative vision, and opening up to conversations about anything and everything. The challenge is living in such a remote location with not a lot of creative support – sometimes the social aspect of the city is missed.  However, it is only an hour and half away from Kansas City, so people are encouraged to come visit any time, even if for only a day. Visitors from out of town can budget time to see Kansas City itself, which has a very vibrant arts scene that attracts artists from around the country because of dynamic institutions such as the Kansas City Art Institute and because the low cost of living allows for experimentation and creativity.

What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
Being that the Palace is outside of Kansas City, it is providing an opportunity for thinkers and doers within the Kansas City arts community to have an opportunity to attend.  Several Kansas City artists have come to visit and are extremely supportive in the continuation of the Pequignot Palace Residency Program.

What idea are you most excited about for the future?
I am excited to return to the Palace next season. I want to consider the house itself as an experience or museum.  I see it as a giant installation, a mind map, a place where ideas fall from the sky into the pillowcases of creative visionaries. Where dreams are transmitted into the minds of great thinkers.  The Palace is for anyone who cares about something and wants to push the boundaries of comfort and the possibilities of living.  Figuring out how well-being can form, function, flow into spaces, places, and within groups of people to improve and progress the current state of human existence.


Images courtesy of Pequignot Palace.

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