McNeely Family Artist Residency

Fall 2023 Artist in Residence: Robin Whiteman

The McNeely Family Artist in Residence for Fall 2023 is sculptor Robin Whiteman. 

Based in Upstate New York, Whiteman’s works often include elements of the surreal. Entirely hand built without the use of molds, her sculptures often portray fairytale-like characters and human-animal hybrids devoid of color and fashioned in delicate porcelain. 

Says Whiteman: "My work is meditation. I use human and animal forms to play with notions of duality and 'beingness.' I construct my work slowly, working on several sculptures at a time, allowing the work to ripen with minor adjustments to each piece until finished. The best work comes with
little intellectual thought or planning on my part, more like a conversation with something larger than myself. Myth, nature, children's stories, religious iconography, and art history contribute imagery and inspiration. Ultimately, everything is connected, constantly changing, and utterly
mysterious, and I value my work the most when it emerges from a place of openness and wonder."

Robin spent a week with our students this October, sharing techniques for working with clay by hand.

Previous Artists in Residence

Fall 2023: Robin Whiteman

Spring 2023: KAHN + SELESNICK

Fall 2022: Jody Alexander

The McNeely Family

Connecting Artists and Students

We know that art education provides students with skills that benefit them in the art studio and beyond: creativity, focus, critique, planning, and much more. When students attend school surrounded by art, they learn to think artistically, and they develop an understanding that the role of the arts in our society is crucially important. This knowledge is vital to our students as they grow into the innovators and creators of tomorrow. 

This is the impetus behind the McNeely Family Studio Residency, a program established in 2021 through the generosity of the McNeely family: Kevin, Rosemary, and Hannah Rose ‘19. The McNeelys are passionate about the arts in all of their forms, and this love for creative expression inspired them to endow a residency program that would attract established artists to be “embedded” in daily life at Sonoma Academy for an extended period of time. 

The goal of the residency is to host working artists from around the country and the world who will work closely with our students, cultivating the next generation of talented artists and providing insight into what it means to pursue a career in visual art. Artists will give lectures, hold workshops, exhibit their own work, create community-based art projects, and meaningfully engage with students, parents, and staffulty. 
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Sonoma Academy Is...

...the only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On our beautiful campus nestled at the base of Taylor Mountain in Southeastern Santa Rosa, our students are able to explore their interests and passions in a rigorous and inspiring environment that develops a lifelong love of learning and prepares them for college and beyond.

Sonoma Academy admits students of any race, color, religion, ethnicity or national origin, citizenship, gender or gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, or disability, to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity or national origin, citizenship, gender or gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and tuition assistance programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.