The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) will welcome acclaimed fine art photographer Robin Resch as its Winter 2021 Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence.
During her residency, Resch will continue work locally on her series, “Taking Pause,” in response to the challenges of this year and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Taking Pause” is a documentary, collaborative portrait project that asks people to reflect on what in their lives feels most essential. With what do we identify and connect most deeply? What truly matters to us and why?
Resch documents each participant with two distinct portraits: one of their physical self, and an accompanying portrait of their reflective self through what they choose to share, according to information provided by ACP. Each participant is then asked to tell the story behind their selection.
“At a time when our country feels so torn and disconnected, this project aims to reconnect and place trust with those we don’t know,” Resch said in the statement. “Crucial to this project is its collaborative nature that aspires to connect with people, share stories, and spend time together. In short, to take pause, to reflect.”
Work on this series began in early 2018 with a core group of participants from varying backgrounds. Between November 2018 and March 2019, Resch began to expand the project’s community and network exponentially by working with people across the United States, driving solo 10,553 miles east to west along a southerly route that naturally evolved and was largely determined by the location of the contributors, according to the statement. Resch’s goal for this Princeton manifestation of her “Taking Pause” project is to capture as broad a spectrum of the local community as possible.
“Our lives are so diverse and we’ve all been impacted in similar and yet differing ways,” Resch said in the statement. “To some degree, it has been equalizing. In other ways it’s been polarizing. How has it impacted us? Have our values changed? Would we answer the question ‘what is irreplaceable to you?’ differently today than a year ago?”
She said her hope is to sow seeds for a conversation that may help heal in such a challenging time and that as a collaborative project, “Taking Pause” may help rebuild trust by addressing our fears and fostering communication and reflection, according to the statement.
Resch’s work with each participant culminates in two photos and their brief written text, creating a finished portrait set. Five portrait sets will be printed on vinyl banners and be displayed in Dohm Alley, located near the corner of Nassau and Witherspoon streets, from April to October 2021, as a public art display, free and open to the public.
Resch is a Princeton-based photographer who lived in Italy, France, and the Netherlands until 1998. She left Europe to pursue her master’s in Architecture at Princeton University, which she combined with advanced photographic studies with Emmet Gowin and Andrew Moore. Her architectural training informs her documentary photographic work as she is particularly interested in making images that are about and their personal environments as well as the impact on our collective environments, according to the statement. Her landscape photography, which is more abstract, seeks to explore human experience of the natural environment.
In 2012, she was honored to be the exclusive campaign photographer for the Princeton fundraising event with First Lady Michelle Obama.
This project would not be possible without the support of Timothy M. Andrews, a longtime friend and supporter of the Arts Council of Princeton, who has underwritten the Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence program for three years, according to the statement. The Arts Council also acknowledges the Princeton University Humanities Council for their generous support.
The Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence Program, named after ACP’s founding director, was established by the Arts Council in 2009 to offer artists the opportunity to conceptualize and create work while providing the community with creative interaction with working artists in all disciplines.
To learn more, visit artscouncilofprinceton.org or follow @artscouncilofprinceton.