Award Winners / Artist Profile

About the Artist

Anna Callahan is a community-based artist, focusing on creating art in public places. She has created several interactive projects involving interviews with strangers in libraries, on buses and in public spaces in Illinois, Seattle and Dublin.

Information included above was provided by artist at the time of application.
From the Artist

More than anything, my month in Ireland on Paul Goode’s residency was a huge and wonderful gift. It allowed me the opportunity to plan for the completion of a project I started in Dublin in 2005 while my partner, Susanna Bluhm, had a residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. My project, What Happened Was…, consists of stories I recorded from people in Dublin at libraries around the city. The residency in Westport (four hours from Dublin) gave me the chance to meet with the Divisional Librarian of Dublin Public Libraries. This face-to-face meeting was instrumental in laying out a plan for the launch of the project in several Dublin Libraries in 2008.

In addition, my month-long stay in Ireland was a relaxing break from everyday life. Paul’s house is perched on a hill overlooking Clew Bay and a multitude of small islands. I found myself appreciating simple things, like the tide going in and out, and watching Jack, the dog across the bay, play fetch. The weather was highly variable and dramatic, and we would sit in awe as the rained poured down almost horizontally with the wind.

The weeks were filled with adventures as well as opportunities to contemplate my work and future plans. After staring at Crough Patrick (Mount Patrick) from the living room window all month, on the last Sunday of July we climbed it with 20,000 pilgrims. It was a sharp incline of raw rock all the way up; if we hadn’t been with all those people, I would have thought for sure we were on the wrong trail. We were triumphant at the top, and then could barely move the next day.

For a self-employed artist balancing financial issues, a career and a family, this residency was miraculously well-timed. I didn’t realize how desperately I needed a break from my daily responsibilities until I was allowed to step back from them. I regained a sense of perspective and peace on this trip, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Anna Callahan