Artist in Residence Program
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Our Artist in Residence Program

Every summer, Usdan brings world-class teachers and visiting artists – actors, directors, playwrights, painters, sculptors, musicians, composers, dancers, poets and novelists – to teach and collaborate with Usdan campers ages 4 to 18. It’s a two-way exchange because we know experienced artists and young creators learn from each other and contribute to one another’s work and development.

In summer 2017, we piloted an Artist in Residence program to involve youth in the creative process as equal collaborators in the generation of a new work. The goal was to harness the creativity, concerns, and intelligence of youth in contemporary art making. Each Artist in Residence, working in different media, collaborated with a group of students through research and workshops to create an experimental piece.

Multi-Year Projects

Pedro Lasch

Usdan’s summer 2017 session included the first stage of an ambitious three-year art commission from internationally exhibited artist and Duke University professor, Pedro Lasch. The project, entitled “Dreaming in the Woods,” launched this spring with Art in Your Inbox, a series of paintings by Lasch sent via email, designed to bring art to Usdan families before the summer season.

From 2017 through 2019, Lasch will work with students to experience Usdan as a place where they can explore their creative voices and engage in a process of art-making that flows from a basis of mutual trust and the freedom to imagine new possibilities.

View "Dreaming in the Woods".

Pedro Lasch was born and raised in Mexico City. He studied art at Cooper Union (BFA,NY) and Goldsmiths College (MFA, London). Before coming to teach at Duke, he founded and directed the experimental program ‘Art, Story-Telling, and the Five Senses’ (K-12 and beyond) in Jackson Heights, Queens (1999-2005). He has since exhibited his work at PS1 MoMA, Queens Museum, The Phillips Collection, Nasher Museum, the 56th Venice Biennale (CTS, 2015), Havana Biennale (2012), and Documenta 13 (2012),among many others. He loves to collaborate with people of all ages, disciplines, and backgrounds.

Learn more about Pedro Lasch.


The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is an artist collective committed to transforming the way music is created and experienced. As performer, curator, and educator, ICE explores how new music intersects with communities across the world. The ensemble’s 35 members are featured as soloists, chamber musicians, commissioners, and collaborators with the foremost musical artists of our time. Works by emerging composers have anchored ICE’s programming since its founding in 2001, and the group’s recordings and digital platforms highlight the many voices that weave music’s present.

In 2017, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) collaborated with the Usdan Junior Chorus to explore methods for creative, sonic exploration in the open Usdan environment.

View "Flower Machine", the collaboration with ICE and Junior Chorus. 

Learn more about ICE.

If you or someone you know would like to participate in the Artist in Residence program, please email