Buenos Aires-born artists Eli Cornejo and Juan Arata are spending their summer at the Pajama Factory, 1307 Park Ave., as part of its Artist-in-Residence program. The artists, who are currently based in Berlin, Germany, wanted to come here to have more time to focus on their work and to meet more artists.
"Well, first of all, we are always interested in taking part in different artist-in-residency programs," Arata said. "And it is just exciting getting to know other artists working in different places and the interaction with them, plus the a new context, is always very inspiring."
Cornejo, who studied economics at the University of Buenos Aires, saw the residency as an opportunity to cement her dedication to photography.
Argentinian artist Eli Cornejo is seen in her summer studio at the Pajama Factory. Cornejo is one of the Factory's artists-in-residence.
Argentinian artist Juan Arata is seen in his summer studio at the Pajama Factory. Cornejo is one of the Factory's artists-in-residence.
"Although I've been working with photography for a few years now, I was trying to commit myself to what I really want to do and work on," she said. "For different reasons, I wasn't pursuing it as much as I really wanted to and finding about this residency was definitely the best thing that could happen to me in order to accomplish my goals."
Arata, a painter and writer who studied architecture at the University of Buenos Aires, said that his aim for the summer was to explore new ideas.
"Producing and experimenting as much as I can," he said. "I find this program interesting because it offers a time frame for doing new things or just experimenting with new medias or styles."
Both artists said that the Factory has been a great place to work - because of the space itself and the people as well.
"The Factory is like a paradise for anyone that wants to work like this," Cornejo said. "You have everything you want or need here - different artists working with different media, including a radio station, painters, photographers, collage artists, designers, printers, a community woodshop ... and big spaces, a nice style, an old building, lovely gardens and positive energy. What else can you ask for?"
The city also has been nothing but a good experience for them.
"Williamsport is an amazing city, full of enthusiastic and creative heads," Arata said. "It is wonderful for me to meet new people around and hang out with them. The Factory is the mirror of that - they have been really supportive and helpful with us making this one of the best experiences I had so far."
As it does each year, the residency will culminate in an art exhibition. This year's will be held July 26 and 27 in Studio 10 at the Factory. The time has not yet been set, so check with the Pajama Factory Artist-in-Residence Program Facebook page for updates.
The exhibition also will feature the third artist-in-residence, Rebecca Armstrong, an area native who now lives in Belgium.
After the show, Arata and Cornejo will head back to Berlin to prepare for another residency in Slovenia.
"After that, I'm not sure, as I don't think too much about the long-term," Cornejo said. "Probably going to Buenos Aires, maybe for the beginning of 2014, but not sure yet."
About their art
"I'm interested in showing what is happening right here, right now. I like the documentation process. Not to think too much. When I see something that I like, that I find strange, curious, new or just quotidian, I shoot. I enjoy the surprise. As I work mainly with analog cameras, I'm never certain what I'm going to get from them. Sometimes, I forget what I've been taking pictures of and when I get them developed, I remember that moment, that person. But, well, I try to be honest with myself, clear on the image, simple and straight." - Eli Cornejo.
"I like to work in different medias - like installation, painting, video or writing. I think that is because I have different things I like to explore in my practice and each media offers different possibilities, but in general, I like to study the human mind, how people are, why they are the way they are, and then I like to relate all this to history, cycle and repetition. It is amazing how much and how often we repeat ourselves." - Juana Arata.