My teaching residency in Africa

$4,275 of $10k goal

Raised by 33 people in 2 months
Heather Chontos  PORTLAND, ME
Hello!
I am creating this campaign to help fund an extraordinary opportunity for myself as an artist and as a single mother of two amazing girls Kodie age 17 and Zana age 8. I have been awarded this very special artists residency for 10  weeks in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania to work and teach amongst other contemporary artists in this very special place in Africa. They have also invited me to bring along my daughters, which is so fantastic for all three of us to do this as a family. I have never been able to do a residency before because most of them do not allow artists to bring along family members, so this is quite extraordinary. The timing also could not be better as this is the last summer we have together before my oldest goes of to University in the fall.
The funding that I am asking for will go towards the travel expenses , art and teaching workshop materials, art transportation and living costs during our stay. We have housing and a studio for me to work in, but htis residency is completely self-funded otherwise. I am hoping to get the funds completely sourced by April 1st at the latest to organize all of the necessary details to make the trip as smoothe as possible.


It is so difficult to be a working female artist and make a living, let alone raise a family completely on my own.
I decided a long time ago to take on a life of exploration for myself and when I had my girls that did not change. They actually inspired me to explore even more and show them how to be adventurous and un-afraid of some risk. We have had a bit of a nomadic lifestyle, which is hard, but contributes a lot to my work and their education.
I am always considering the different methods and processes for creating work in a variety of environments. I am inspired by the challenges in creating new and diverse architecture in my work and feel there is a lot to gain in observing and participating in different cultures and the individual approaches to it.

I would love to go to Nefasi Contemporary art space in Tanzania to participate in this artist residency to discover and appreciate fellow artistic development and practice, as well as contribute my own approach and understanding.
I strive to constantly challenge my inspiration and energy to create my work. I need to participate in new artistic speech and aesthetics, different from what I am used to in my own surroundings, to explore and absorb new colours, forms and materials and to re-discover the artistic process and theoretical tools through a different culture.
I am very inspired by the patterns/forms and connections of shapes within many examples of textile and painting traditions within different parts of Africa, but I am also curious to learn from the modern and contemporary artists working today.

I would be so thankful for your support to be able to take this opportunity of growth and development in my career as a painter and as a mother, for my girls, to show them how there is so much to be learned from the world around us and to not be afraid to go for what you want in life! 
Thank you from the bottom of my heart
Heather
Nafasi Art Space 
heather chontos studio





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Update 6
Posted by Heather Chontos
1 month ago
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Hello! So I know what workshops I will be teaching in Tanzania after much thought on what would be relevant to my work and the other artists living and working in Tanzania. I will be teaching a workshops on abstract painting in contemporary art . The other workshop will be discussing colour palettes and looking at cultural heritage and how it influences our colour palettes choices. I will also discuss using social media methods in selling your work as an artist in the contemporary art market. And other exciting news... is that upon requesting info about whether it would be possible to find some wall space on the exterior of the building, I was given a booming "yes" ! So it looks like I will also be making a bright, bold and colourful mural in Tanzania this summer. Its all just so much to look forward to! We are still fundraising here, hoping to raise more money for materials to donate and all the costs associated with this amazing opportunity, thanks everyone!
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Update 5
Posted by Heather Chontos
1 month ago
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Happy Valentine's Day everyone,feeling the love today for sure!!!!
So I bought our tickets!!! We are going a bit later, on July 18 th instead of the end if June because the cost of the flights were half the price!!!! Now we are just so excited and planning everything because it is real, we can do this, thanks to all the support and generosity from donations. Thank you!
I have been developing my teaching workshop ideas. I want to do a workshop on cultural heritage as well as one on the meaning behind our color palettes in our work as artists it's great significance.
I have also decided to design a t -shirt with one of my pieces of textile artwork printed in it, that I am going to eventually send out to everyone who has donated and is donating to this incredible journey! I am working on the design and production of it and will post images soon. Everyone who has donated should e mail me there address so I can send them one!!
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Update 4
Posted by Heather Chontos
1 month ago
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Happy Valentine's Day everyone,feeling the love today for sure!!!!
So I bought our tickets!!! We are going a bit later, on July 18 th instead of the end if June because the cost of the flights were half the price!!!! Now we are just so excited and planning everything because it is real, we can do this, thanks to all the support and generosity from donations. Thank you!
I have been developing my teaching workshop ideas. I want to do a workshop on cultural heritage as well as one on the meaning behind our cologne palettes in our work as artists it's great significance.
I have also decided to design a t -shirt with one of my pieces of textile artwork printed in it, that I am going to eventually send out to everyone who has donated and is donating to this incredible journey! I am working on the design and production of it and will post images soon. Everyone who has donated should e mail me there address so I can send them one!!
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Update 3
Posted by Heather Chontos
1 month ago
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Hey everyone, someone recently brought to my attention that maybe the reason why a lot of people are not donating is because I am not an actual charity, nor am I a charity case for those who know me and that possibly, it feels strange to simply send $$ to someone? I set up the gofundme campaign because I can not afford to do this residency without raising funding. The flights alone are $4000, to just get there and there are a lot of shots to get, materials, etc... I do ok on my own with my girls, but this is a big extra for us, and so I thought I would ask for help. Which is not easy for my stubborn self to do, so I thought maybe something that would help with this campaign, is that for every $10 that is donated, I will put $2 towards money that I will donate to the contemporary art space in Tanzania as well as towards materials that I will donate to local schools. I am hoping to set up a group of kids to teach whilst I am there in the art space and work with them to create some artwork together. With that I plan on giving them new materials as well as any that I have leftover from my working time there. Thank you to everyone who has donated. I am so grateful. I hope to keep going with this to make it towards my goal.
some new work
a video about me and my work
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Read a Previous Update
Philip Webb
1 month ago

Bravo Heather.. more later, so much respect xx

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$4,275 of $10k goal

Raised by 33 people in 2 months
Created January 4, 2017
MH
$200
Mary Jo & Steve HOFFMAN
13 days ago

Such a cool opportunity!

$500
Anonymous
27 days ago
CP
$100
Con Poulos
28 days ago
$150
Anonymous
28 days ago
$50
Anonymous
28 days ago
$150
Anonymous
1 month ago
$100
Anonymous
1 month ago
JA
$50
Jill Armus
1 month ago
$100
Anonymous
1 month ago
$250
Anonymous
1 month ago
Philip Webb
1 month ago

Bravo Heather.. more later, so much respect xx

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