Thursday, June 13, 2024
HomePraxis Center for AestheticsMove Forward, Reach Back

Move Forward, Reach Back

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” -Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank

As we progress through life, it is important to stop and look at our surroundings, observing those who need help along the way and offering what we can. Many will have had someone reach out to them somewhere on the road, offering a much needed hand at just the right moment. In turn, it falls to us to reach back as we journey forward to guide those coming up in our wake. Whether we do this in many small ways or a few larger gestures does not matter, what matters is that we always remember from whence we came and that we honor the people who helped us move along the winding path.

Mike Messier lives in Woodford, Rhode Island. He finds a great sense of community in the small state of Rhode Island. Many of Messier’s friends are artists with whom he sometimes collaborates. Messier is part of artist Anne Murray’s Cloud Conversations.

Messier is involved in the art and theater worlds and he recently participated in an evening of one acts at High Plains Community Center in Orange, Connecticut where one of his plays will be brought to life. He came across the opportunity via a website called Play Submission Helper. For a small monthly fee, the site keeps members updated about theaters around the world accepting play submissions. For film there is a site called Film Freeway which Messier considers very useful.

In addition to submitting his writing to festivals, Messier has begun his own film festival called Avalonia Festival. The festival has modest submission fees. Films are judged and the winners screened. There is no charge to attend the short films during Avalonia Festival. The angle of the festival is very short films. In this way, Messier is able to include more films and also able to archive the films online if the filmmaker allows.

To hear more from Mike Messier about his own work and the festival he founded, listen to the complete interview.

Pau Cata Marles is based in Barcelona, Spain but works internationally. At the moment he is working on multiple projects. The main projects he has been involved with over the last several years have ended so it is time for transition.

Cata Marles is coordinator of an artist in residency program in Spain that takes place in the house of his grandmother. He is also co-coordinator of the North Africa Cultural Mobility Map (NACMM) and is an Ph.D researcher at the Edinburgh College of Art.

NACMM examines cultural exchange within Africa, particularly through artist residencies. The map not only identifies the locations of these places, but gives information about who is behind the programs. NACMM includes a funding arm that aims to help connect artists financially with opportunities.

At Casa Marles, the residency that Cata Marles runs, things are entering into a period of rest while Cata Marles works toward his Ph.D. Trying to run the residency while researching his Ph.D proved too much all at once and so in 2017 he put the program on hiatus. When up and running, the residency is open from March to October hosting three groups of four artists for two months at a time.

To hear more about what Pau Cata Marles is working on, including an in-depth description of the North Africa Cultural Mobility Map and  some of the work that has come out of Casa Marles, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Look for ways to give back, no matter how large or small. Seek them out and seize every one.

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Mike Messier recommends Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder by Samuel Wilson Fussell. Praxis user P recommends Transmorphing Utopia by Paul W. Waddell.


The Hopper Prize awards five grants of $1,000 each to artists at all levels of their career working across the entire range of media. Additionally, 30 artists will have their work archived at The jury is made up of two curators who will select the winners. There are no restrictions on media or subject matter for this prize. To learn more, visit the website. Deadline for applications is November 13.


Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.


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