Kris Pfister ’17 is a Studio Art major/ Film and Media Studies minor from Galion, Ohio, and is working with two organizations this summer as a returning Field School Fellow. At the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts, she is updating a vast contact database, posting events on community calendars, assisting resident artists, and filling paint for the Seconds paint program. At Rogers Environmental Education Center, she is conducting research and collecting information about the feasibility of an improved children’s play area.
Golden has an artist residency program in which artists stay at the Golden Foundation for four weeks, attend sessions to learn about the paint products Golden Artist Colors produces, and have time to experiment with their own work. Kris’s daily tasks at Golden vary depending on the needs of the Foundation and the resident artists. While Kris typically enters new contacts into a database quite regularly, they often change tasks as the need arises. Kris thoroughly enjoys working with the resident artists who travel to New Berlin, NY from around the world for this residency. “These artists’ work are all completely different from each other, and every person has a unique perspective on art making. As an artist myself, it’s great for me to share time with these people and gain some insight into not only their own work and process, but also their experiences as a professional artist,” they said.
Kris’s daily tasks at Rogers tend to be more consistent. They are primarily working on a fencing project to contain a children’s play area near a waterfront. At the moment, several chaperones are needed during playtime to ensure the children do not stray too close to the water, posing a safety hazard. The fence, once in place, will create a much safer play space. Kris has been using their previous research experience to determine the most economical option for materials, while surveying and mapping the area in order to make an accurate cost estimate for the project. Kris says their experience with researching the fencing has given them, “a much better idea of what regulations, codes, and practices organizations need to follow, even for something that seems as straightforward as fencing.” Kris is also in the process of completing a grant application for playground equipment that could be used in the children’s area.
As a returning Field School Fellow, Kris has enjoyed the opportunity to learn and explore in upstate New York once again. Their work at Colgate tends to keep them on campus for much of the school year, but the Summer Field School encourages exploration of the surrounding area. Kris says of their experience, “I have enjoyed my time working with the Summer Field School, and while it has given me a unique insight into nonprofit work, helped me meet wonderful people, and exposed me to a variety of tasks, I am ready to work in the ‘real world’ and leave my mark.”