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2009 November

PRESS RELEASE
A message from the firing line....about Place at Galway City Museum, Ireland.
Artists from Japan, Peru, a Native America Tribe and County Mayo will combine to produce a very unique collaborative work in Galway City Museum, on the experience of place while referencing their own individual cultural work. The exhibition, which opens on 7th November at 1pm, will run until the end of December.
The collective, which was created after a meeting at an international artists symposium and residency in Budapest, Hungary, includes Natalie Ball from the Modoc and Klamath Tribes of America, Shimon Sakakibara a Japanese visual artist based in London, Isabela Basombrio Hoban a Peruvian visual artist whose work is centered on the unseen and John Hoban from County Mayo, whose identification is founded in the nomadic but also deeply rooted in his native and local culture.
The collective explore the tensions between the traditional and contemporary, the native and the immigrant, transplantation, intermixing, authenticity and 'roots' to give evidence that the message, not the messenger, is what survives in movement.
The exhibition will be opened by Pat McMahon, Galway County Librarian and Mr. and Mrs. Pokweh and Gaynayshee from the Burmese Karen community in Ireland.

2008 September

Megha Joshi, Delhi, India
As I write this feedback report three days upon returning from the residency at Budapest, the significance of the experience reveals itself much better in hindsight. There are so many thoughts and experiences to share but to make it concise let me just give my primary thoughts on all the aspects....
ON HMC: For an organisation that does not have a physical presence in terms of space and facilities in Budapest, the HMC has done a remarkable job of facilitating these for the artists. Comfortable living space, creation of studio/working space, the choice of artists markedly different from one another in their artistic style and the accessibility, advice and support of the HMC representatives are its strengths. The fact that the people making this happen for you are hugely experienced and well-respected artists themselves, only makes it all the more humbling.
ON BUDAPEST: I found Budapest to be quite different from the other European cities I have visited. It has a remarkable history showing the resilience of its people, a unique culture, quaint customs, language and food yet it is embracing and cosmopolitan. The cafés, Turkish baths and market halls are as enriching and stimulating as the Museums, concerts and galleries.
ON THE RESIDENCY: Specific to this residency, I felt it supports and respects equally the person inside the artist - you are kept free from any pressure, expectation or judgement with regard to your creating. How one use this time-out is therefore a personal choice and that makes it a liberating experience.
ON MY EXPERIENCE: Being away from family and all things familiar in completely new surroundings can be challenging but the mind-space created when there are no tasks or chores ahead is what I needed and enjoyed. I felt I accomplished what I intended and more at the residency in terms of photography and other artworks but most importantly, I was able to think and plan my way ahead in my practice it gave me the much needed time and distance that an artist seeks when they want to bring about dramatic changes in their artistic language I am extremely excited about executing all the works I planned (while sitting over cappuccinos in beautiful cafés!!). My interaction with the co-artists at the residency was great and we did a lot of the sight-seeing and museum visits together (apart from all the Hungarian wine and food tasting). We parted as friends and hope to meet again soon. It has been a positive experience and I am grateful to the HMC for giving me this opportunity...


2008 Summer

Megan Randlett
I have recently spent more then three weeks in Budapest, Hungary through the Hungarian Multicultural Center's A.I.R. International Residency.
I am absolutely thrilled that I was able to fulfill so many of my dreams and hopes on this residency. The small issues I mention above did not take away from the overall excellent experience I had and the profound changes this residency instilled in me as an artist, a woman and a Hungarian. For me, it was a personal journey as well as an artistic one and the opportunities and experiences I gathered in Budapest will shape the rest of my life and my art for the rest of my days.

Marlene Vinha
My participation at this residency was a very positive experience, with good results for my work and with a pleasant final show. All of my mates were good colleagues, friends, which made my time at Budapest very positive and happy. Our coordinator, Beata Szechy was important as a friend she became, and in the support she gave to me and to my work. The place where I lived for almost four weeks was simple, but nice and with a great location to reach any part of the city or to buy art supplies, or to eat, or just to go for a walk...

Holly Boruck
The artist residency program was inspiring and rich in cultural interactions on a couple of important levels. There were a mixture of artists from a variety of language/geographical areas in our group and this lead to a wonderfully stimulating environment. Our particular group, all female by chance, was extremely cohesive and we bonded like sisters in a college dorm! So, not only did we encounter our own micro-group international dynamics, but we also embraced, and explored with vigor, the Hungarian culture.
Each individual artist in this program had a purpose for participation - some more personal and others for an artistic and cultural exploration. Mine was both. I was beginning a new body of work and wanted a fresh, stimulating and 'foreign' (unfamiliar) environment in which to incubate the work, and, I also had a familial connection through the father of my children and his family who had fled during the '56 revolution. The residency more than satisfied my hopes and desires. There was a perfect balance between time spent in the studio making art, time spent investigating Budapest and occasions where you (and cute little Padi and Max!) would lead us to and/or inform us of galleries, artist's spaces, and locations of artistic interest.
...The artist presentations that we gave at the beginning of the residency were inspiring and a great way to get to know each of the participants, however, it would have been an even better experience had we given them in a more accessible space which would have generated more attendance by the general public. Along this line too, I would have enjoyed a more formal interaction with the local community, maybe by giving a class or a more organized exchange with the local artists? (I realize this will be difficult for the summer groups as many people go on vacation at this time).
In all Beata, this was a more than wonderful experience for me! The other artists that I met there will continue to be among my most valued art colleagues. Experiencing Budapest has enriched my life artistically, and personally on many levels. Thank you for your support of artists world wide!

Lana Ing Gabor
A.I.R. International Artists Residencies-2008- BUDAPEST, Hungary is a good opportunity for emerging artists make great contacts and to take in the beautiful culture of Budapest, Hungary.
A.I.R. HMC promotes the opportunity for artists from all over the world to partake in the exchange of cultures and ideas. As an artist I really appreciated getting to know the other artists who were both creatively inspiring and fun to be around. One thing that drew me to apply for the residency is that there was a closing gallery exhibition for resident artists during our stay, and that there are further ones in the works for 2009/2010. Having future exhibitions as a result of the residency is a great way to stay in contact as well as continue to benefit from the residency...

Hannah Verlin
First and foremost, I found my three weeks in Budapest with the Hungarian Multi-Cultural Center to be an amazing experience. Living and creating art in such a beautiful city, was truly inspiring and brought a new perspective to my work. I really felt like I got a chance to know the city. In addition, the other residences were all a pleasure to live and work with. The group was small enough to be intimate, but still large enough to be diverse.
The only problem that I found with the experience was the working situation. Although the Medosz Hotel was a lovely place to stay, it was difficult to live and work in the space, especially with three other people. Some problems could perhaps be remedied with more work tables and better light. Overall though I found not having an "art space" to be difficult. Although the hotel was very good, in general I also found living in a hotel for 3 weeks to be a little trying. There were times when I would have liked the opportunity to cook my own meals, etc. On the other hand, having the centrally located hotel was very exciting and convenient. I think overall there needs to be a better balance between the residency as being a time to experience Budapest and as a time to make art. I found the experience to be more experience oriented, which was good for some things, but not for others.
I enjoyed the organized trips that we took over the course of the residency and found them very useful. Perhaps some more organized opportunities to interact with local artists would be useful as well. Maybe the presentations could done in a more public art space. Having the public exhibition at the end of the residency really brought the whole experience together for me in terms of making art and getting to know Budapest.

2008 January

Jennifer L. Grabarczyk

This past winter I had the opportunity to spend a few weeks in Budapest, Hungary for an Artist in Residence program. The trip was two-fold in that while going to make art and experience the presence of other artists, I also had the opportunity to connect some of the dots in my family heritage, for my mother was born in Budapest and her family left the country during the Revolution of 1956. This has always been a curious part of my life and since visiting the city of Budapest, it has become a growing pursuit to learn more and create from what I am coming to understand of my heritage. It will likely be a long exploration, with the hopeful expression of an exhibition at some point. However, 'til then, the process will be documented here with what I am able to share. For now, there isn't a wealth to share, but updates may come regularly.



Isabela B. Hoban

Dear Beata, We have just returned from the residency in Budapest and feel that our lives have been enriched as a result of the people, including yourself, that we met there. The residency itself has a very good format, with the presentations at the beginning allowing all the artists to get to know each other and to understand where their work is coming from, it creates unity and also gives a lot of inspiration. It is excellent that the residency has an exhibition aspect to it, because that provides a direct goal and purpose to the work that will be created and gives structure and discipline to the residency. However, there is also non-structured time. The presentations are followed by open studio time, which is wonderful to have and it was incredible to see how much work and commitment was shown by every artist there. And it is extremely helpful and interesting to see all the artwork unfolding and to get feedback as well. Our group was very well selected, and there was a general feeling of good-will and respect among all the artists (and musician!). One of the most significant aspects of the residency is that it is organized by a professional, long-time member of the artist community (Beata). So, there is a great priviledge to be with a colleague who has a true insight of the cultural world in Budapest and also of the artwork being created. In terms of location, Budapest is a beautiful and profound place. It is very complex and endless in terms of possibilities and culturally it is extremely rich. All in all, the residency has been of tremendous benefit to us and we would give it our highest recommendation, With Kind Regards, Isabela and John Hoban.

Kristelle M. Ulrich
...was in awe of all the richness and beauty, the adventure and independence, the desire and drive, the creative flow of energy and the expansive wealth of intellect, I felt among our group. This gave me warmth and encouragement in my life journey. As we all go back into ourselves and walk our familiar paths, I hope we continue to meet along the way.

2007
Arlissa Dockery: My experience at the HMC residency in Balaton was overall enjoyable. I felt that I was definitely the youngest and least experienced artist amongst the group. So, for me, just listening to the other artists talk about their work, galleries, and thoughts on art in general was a great learning time. I was able to get a lot of work done, much more than I ever could in my usual life due to other jobs and obligations! The trips to the surrounding villages, castles, etc were very interesting...

Robyn Kinsela: ...I have come home with great stories, and a multitude of ideas from which to develop new work. Beata and Anet could not have been more obliging and supportive, and this, along with the very difficulties mentioned earlier, has endeared me to Hungary. I would return to Hungary, and it would be as a wiser woman. Advice for future artists would be to take few art materials but, at the same time, don';t rely upon buying whatever you want in an art shop. It just won't happen! Enjoy the people and places and culture, and visit the Terror House in Budapest to get a further recent historical perspective on the country and its people. Köszönöm Beata for this opportunity. It was jo ötlet, Egészségedre!

Ray Neufeld: Thank you for the opportunity to work in and explore Balatonfured this summer. Working outside of a home studio can be challenging and exciting, especially in a new country. I had a wonderful time and found local folks to be especially helpful once we overcame the communication barrier. Having had no idea what to expect prior to my residency, I am now excited to return in the near future with a clearer vision of what I might accomplish. You have opened up a unique opportunity to American artists and I am grateful to have been a part of it. The quick sense of community established among our group could only have happened along with the sense of displacement that we shared outside of our usual comfort zone. I plan to keep in touch with my fellow residents into the future; thank you for bringing us together. I hope to see you and Hungary again soon.

2006

Mark Warwick: Dear Beata, Thank you so much for sending this information about the exhibitions and the pictures! I wish I could have been there to attend the exhibitions. I have been meaning to write to you to give my impressions of the residency program. In fact, it has been useful to wait a bit to write to you so that I could digest the experience a bit more now that I am home. I would like to say first that overall the experience was wonderful and I would highly recommend it to any serious artist. Hungary is a most interesting country and I will certainly return in future. The initial correspondence with you about the residency was smooth and you were very helpful with the preparations. My personal arrival was a little bit difficult as I had some problems finding the building in Budapest. But after finding it, it was a pleasant and interesting place to say. Our travel to Csopak was smooth and the living and working arrangements in Csopak were wonderful. The food was delicious and the people were so kind. The trip to Tihany was so interesting - I hope others will get the same chance! If there is one bit of advice I would offer to future artists is that they should be prepared to walk or bike quite a bit and that Csopak is quite rural. For me this was an excellent place to be and for others who want peace and quiet it will be equally good. As is often the case, the other artists were a highlight of the residency. Our group was excellent and we interacted and got along very well. There is nothing I would change about my time on this residency and I only hope that others will have a similar wonderful experience that I have had. Thank you Beata and thanks to everyone who helped arrange this residency and the accompanying exhibitions. PS - Please say hello to David, Max and Pluto!!!!

Liz Obert: Overall I had a great time. It was wonderful to experience Hungary and meet a lot of great people. I found I was very productive. I definitely took a lot of great images from the Balaton region and Budapest. You were an awesome host and very helpful in navigating the Hungarian culture and language. I felt the best part of the residency was the dialog that developed between artists. It was great to meet people from such diverse backgrounds and hear their views on art, life and whatever else. Here are some detailed items: The food: I thought breakfast was great. Lunch was often on the heavy side - but I guess that's just Hungarian cuisine. There is a definite need for a real coffee machine. Nest cafe just isn't the same. I was very glad that the phone was installed. It was a real drag to have to walk to a pay phone. The rooms were great. I was lucky since we didn't have too many artists so I got my own space. I was cold several nights. More blankets would be nice. The most critical thing I have to say is about the studio spaces. Artists need a space where they can make a big mess. It was very hard to work and worry about spilling paint, etc. Also, I would have liked to use the wall. It's frustrating to create something and not be able to hang it up and look at it from a distance. Also I like to nail my canvases to the walls and paint on them. Other than that issue I thought the spaces were great. I heard one of the photographers complain about not having a darkroom. I don't think this is an issue since you never advertised that you did. I certainly didn't expect one. That's why I brought my own printer. Thank you so much for this experience. I hope to do it again some day. Liz

Gloria A. Adams: The International Artist Residency in Csopak, Hungary was a wonderful experience! It was a great mix of working on artwork, meeting interesting people and seeing and learning about the history and culture of Hungary. I was able to make progress on my own work and learn about what other people around the U.S. are doing with their artwork. I enjoyed the environment that we worked in, and the location near the lake and near Balatonfured was beautiful and ideal for sparking creativity while allowing us easy access to a town. I especially enjoyed the yard, the barbeque, and the company of Max, Pluto and the cats. I was initially surprised that we did not have a traditional studio space, but got used to working with plastic protecting the spaces we did have. I also initially thought that we would be closer to a town, but grew to love the walk I took most days to check e-mail and get ice cream. Thank you Beata for making the residency possible and for making my stay wonderful! Thanks again! Hope you are having fun!

Nicholas Conbere: The residency experience was great. I really enjoyed working the people and the setting, and it gave me time to get artwork done. The house near Csopak was a good facility. The size of the group was large enough to have a range of people but small enough that it wasn't crowded. I thought that we could have accomodated a couple more people, but that would be about the limit. I really enjoyed working with you and David, and I appreciate the work you have done getting us exhibitions. My only suggestion was that we could have one or two more critiques in the middle of the session. Maybe one with the group and one individual one. Overall, I really enjoyed the experience. I have already highly recommended it to other artists. Thank you for all your work. It was terrific. If you're ever in Minnesota, look me up! I hope Max is doing well.

Kathryn Blume: I am back, and mostly caught up on my sleep. My main suggestions would be to do more to accomodate the dietary needs of vegetarians - I know that there was very little that Paul could eat most days. Also, if there would be any way to arrange internet access at the Guesthouse, that would be incredibly valuable. I know that Anett has internet access on her computer. It wouldn't be very difficult to add a wireless router to her machine. Then, anyone who has a laptop could use it at the residency and save themselves the trouble and expense and time of going into town just to check email or do research. Especially since the internet cafes in Balatonfured charge more than any other European internet cafes I went to on my trip. More, even, than London! And, as you know, the guy at the Pink House isn't very nice - though I did manage to get him to smile. Finally, those bicycles were in terrible condition - and rediculously expensive. Given the high profile of the residency and the work you're doing (and the value of those bikes for transportation), I'd be surprised if you couldn't find a bike shop willing to donate a few bikes in exchange for some kind of formal sponsorship and mention in all your publicity materials. Then you'd have them, and not have to rent them every single time. Ok, there you go! I hope your transition back to Dallas goes well. Love to Max!

Ricardo Quinonez: I brought with me the best memories of my life. This is my first time in Europe, and first residency i participate and I have enjoy it so much. For me that i am still grad student it has been a whole experience living and sharing artistic thoughts with other artists whose already are professionals in their fields. I think at the residency I really found the space that I need to make arkwork during this summer, but also It gave the space to make really good friendship. I am so pleased with everything Csopak, Balatonfured i think are the best place for an artist to work. The reason because I got the opportunity to know the countryside of Hungary, away from traffic and modern life that here in USA we live everyday. I was so amaze with the architecture of buildings in Budapest, i was so overwelming the first day when I arrived. I really had the time to learned about the culture and the history of Hungary. I am really happy been in this experience this summer, that it has motivates me to search more residencies. My proffessors and classmates are so happy about my exerience that some of them are thinking in applying for next summer. I am sure the other artists think the same way like me, Forras Fogado is the best! Beata I really want to say thank you for your hospitality and for giving me this opportunity to participate at the residency. I will keep in touch. In April I will have my MFA show, I will sent you an invitation. Please say hello to Marti, Anett, ang Greg, they really treat me so well at the residency. Best wishes, Ricardo

Paul Hoover: I found the residency to be a great experience and opportunity to meet and interact with a diverse group of artists, especially since everyone was serious about their artwork and also fun to spend time with. I do not have such opportunities on a regular basis where I live, so I am hopeful I will have a chance to participate in other residencies in the future. Even though the facilities for photography and printing are lacking in Balatonfured, I was able to be productive by using alternative means of constructing my images, which I often do anyway. A more private studio space would have been nice, though I actually had no problems getting my work done. Csopak and Balatonfured were beautiful places to spend a few weeks. Nice gardens everywhere, good fish to eat by the lake, and of course good beer. I enjoyed Budapest as well, with lots of things to do, good restaurants, even for a vegetarian (Govinda and Eden are both great), and easy transportation. As soon as I returned home I missed the residency. I'm sure the other participants enjoyed the experience as well. Thanks for the opportunity, Take care and keep in touch, Paul

2005
Krista Hoefle: First I feel that I should contextualize my own experiences in residency programs... I've really only participated in one other residency/workshop, at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Aspen, CO. It was an entirely differentexperience / environment, but even so, I had no expectations regarding what the HMC residency program should/would entail. On the whole, I would say that my experiences in Budapest and within the residency were immensely rewarding and my time there continues to have an impact upon me and my work as I write this to you. The residency and my time in Hungary far surpassed anything I could have envisioned prior to the ten days I spent w/ you, David, and the participating artists. I cannot express my thanks adequately enough for giving me this experience... if the opportunity arose to participate in the program again (especially during the summer!), I would return in a heartbeat. That being said, what follows are a few suggestions for you given what I observed during the residency, and some reasons why you should give David a raise. On the last day of the artist lectures, you gave an eloquent talk regarding the diversity of the artists chosen for the program... specifically the value of choosing artists from a wide array of educational/stylistic/geographic backgrounds, to name a few. This would have been a great thing to start the artists lectures off with... it helped give me the framework of the residency's goals with regard to the participants, and gave me a better appreciation of the work of everyone involved (in addition to their presentation styles). Admittedly, as someone coming from an academic background, I have a narrow view of what an "artist presentation/lecture" is, and your talk helped to broaden my viewpoint in regard to this. My other suggestion is to have a more distinct itinerary for the participants... don't leave so much up to the group to decide! you decide and that's it! I thought you were incredibly generous, and I appreciated this... but with a large group like ours, it can get a little hectic! I was more than willing to "go with the flow"...but others seemed less able to adapt to changes/fluxations in the itinerary. David was an immensely invaluable resource during the residency program in a multitude of ways... he was not only incredibly generous with his time (taking us to the baths, suggesting museums, taking us out at night), he was generous imparting his knowledge of contemporary artists he has worked with in the past (at the ICA, for example), and emerging artists that may be poignant for the residency participants given the nature of their work, both conceptually and technically. It was wonderful to "pick his brain" regarding the art/music scene in Budapest, and his effervescent and charming personality made the trip completely unforgettable. David was really the keystone of the residency for me.... give 'im a raise!!! I hope these comments are helpful to you! Thank you thank you thank you again for everything. Please let me know if you need the video sooner than mid-February.

Tiffany Pollack: Really great location for accomodations. Csopak would be much more lovely in summer- and while it gave me a great amt of time to work on artwork- I don't know if everyone was clear on what to expect- and possibly some people could have been more productive in Budapest since it is a short residency- but I am not totally sure about that. Seminars could have been more structured. I think everyone would have benefitted from a strict time limit. possibly someone has a stopwatch or timer and sets it for 20 min and when that is over the person has 5 min to wrap it up. there is plenty of time later to talk with people more in depth about their work. I would be happy to work with you on organizing maps and maybe a key or contact list for major places to get things (photos developed etc) and for major recommended sights- I think it would clarify a lot of things for people and help them get out there- just to make copies and pass them out- and every year people could add places to the list (restaurants, post office, bank, etc). I loved your approach and your dedication to her program. Thank you!

Troy Duane Wingard: Dear Beata, Thank you for the wonderful experience that I had at the HMCResidency. It has been a life-long dream of mine to go to Budapest, so thank you and the HMC for selecting me for the residency! You were a wonderful host and a VERY helpful coordinator. I especially loved how you left the residency open, giving us time to work and to sight-see. I felt that I used my time wisely by exploring Budapest AND making work for your upcoming exhibitions.

Jan Conradi: The residency was great, exceeding even my optimistic hopes for a positive experience. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate. There is nothing of consequence that I would change. There are two things to stress for applicants. One: if you don't have a sense of adventure, a willingness to step outside your normal routine, and an ability to be flexible--then don't do this. Of course it is a new situation with different people, unfamiliar foods, language barriers. It is only four weeks so chill! Some of the frustrations (such as figuring out the bus into Balatonfured) actually ended up creating the best and most memorable stories. We were lucky to have a group that was talented, mature and considerate. I made some good friendships because we enjoyed each other and we learned from each other.
Second: it really is a plus if you can arrive in Budapest a few days before leaving the city for the residency. Most of our group had three or so days to get to know one another so by the time we were on a bus to Balatonfured, we were already comfortable together. I think that made it easier to settle in and be productive. Besides, Budapest is an amazing city with much to see and experience. The two people who really impacted this adventure were Beata and Anett. Beata obviously put tremendous work into making the residency and the exhibition happen, and she obviously wanted each of us to have a good experience. Anett was a joy as house manager. She also went out of her way to help us and cheerfully put up with all kinds of shenanigans and odd requests. Koszonom szepen to you both! It was a bit different experience for me, since I was participating as a writer and the nature of my research and writing sometimes made it tough to stay focused. While I didn't get as much written as I might have intended, I did good work. Most importantly, I came home with a strong sense of how to continue. That was something I'd been missing prior to this residency. It would be fun to come back and participate as a working artist the next time, in part because most of the visual artists were more easily able to work and to interact with others while doing so. It was a rich and satisfying experience.

Shari Stoddard: Dear Beata, I can't express in words how wonderful the residency program was for me. I really needed that experience in my life at this time. How fortunate for the younger members in our group to have such an experience at so early an age. I have been telling everyone here about how great the program was and how I really didn't want to return. Jan and I have spoken several times since our return and we both refer to our wonderful experiences and how we wait for Annet to ring the bell and shout "lunch". I am working on university stuff already but have had time to at least look at a few of my digital images taken in Hungary. Oh, what fond memories. When I can figure out how to do it I will send you some of my pictures. I have several good ones of Max and of course others as well. To lets see, to evaluate the program. Ummmm. Well besides it being great, what can I say. You always were there for us, taking us places and making sure we had everything we needed. Annet and the house were perfect. The group of participants was delightful and I couldn't have wished for a better group. I had an opportunity to make art which I certainly appreciated and I would love to come again. Is there anything specifically you would like me to comment on? If I wasn't so terrible in learning languages I would love to live in Hungary for a time but I am afraid I can't even master the simplest phrases. Maybe a German word or two I could learn, possibly. Although,I did seem to muddle through all right. People were understanding and friendly, and seemed o.k. with my inability to speak the language. I loved having the time to concentrate on making art and also having the freedom to travel about a might. Riding the bus into town and to Pecs was fun, and having you and Dave drive us about was great too. I realize I am going on a tad, in a gushy sort of way, but I really did love the experience and that about sums it up for me. I hope we can stay in contact and I hope to some day have another great experience with you in Hungary. So for now, I will close. I hope this email finds you well and your schedule got better and your classes, and the students who take them, are not to burdensome.

Lin White: The HMC Residency in Csopak 2005 was truly a special experience for me. Armed with photos of my Hungarian ancestors, my great aunt's prayer book and a very limited knowledge of Hungarian history, I was able to reconnect with my past. Thanks to Beata, and the wonderful Hungarian people, I learned much about the sad but brave past of Hungary. Every street in Budapest was a living history lesson. St. Stephen's Day celebration on the Danube was spectacular. The Fogado (guesthouse) in Csopak was beautiful. All the rooms had fabulous views. My working space was the perfect place to create. With Anett and Beata's help, I stumbled through the language and finally learned a handful of expressions in Hungarian. Anett and her son, Soma, were gracious hosts, and quickly became our friends, able to laugh at our fractured Hungarian and learning to love marshmallows cooked over the fire pit. The field trips were really fun, the wine wonderful and the bus system challenging! The ten very talented artists who shared this experience, were great! We laughed, created, grumbled, talked until the wee hours of the morning, and shared in a very unique opportunity for which I am very grateful. This was my second residency and my first in Europe. I wouldn't hesitate to return. Thanks to the Hungarian Multicultural Center for this opportunity. A special thank you to Beata, a truly gifted artist.

Judy Greff: Dear Beata, Seems strange writing to you now that I know you here is my report of the residency: We spent a few days in Budapest at the Health Union Guest House. Loved the city and found the lodging adequate. Nice to meet some of the other artists who were also staying there. We had a picnic on the balcony one evening and also debriefed some of the artists coming off the first residency. They informed us of the bus problem. Arriving at Csopek was exciting. I had looked forward to it for so long. It was great hearing and seeing the presentations of the other artists and especially yours, Beata and meeting Max, the beggar, who slept through most of the presentations. Our room had the best view. I have photos of that particular view for every day we were there. Each a little different. There were six people with laptops at the residency! I did take a digital camera with a small printer and was glad to have both. I had a great place to work. The TV room was at the rear of the house with double doors opening to a patio and rose garden. It was quiet and cool there. I had planned to work plain air but rain and heat drove me inside. Glad I took all needed supplies with me. We did buy a few more art supplies in Budapest just in case. I worked in acrylic and had brought birch panels as supports. I made them to fit in my suitcase and they were not too heavy. I learned to appreciate the availability of supplies here in the US. I just do not know how the Hungarian artists get by. Also framing was a problem for most of us. I can't say enough about Annette, the housekeeper, laundress, food preparer, and Mom. Also it was a joy to have Soma, her son, around and see him blossom while we were there... Ringggggg... LAUNCH!! We had some awesome campfires. Learned how to overcome the BUS PROBLEM, and also enjoyed some community meals and the nearby restaurants where food and wine were a bargain. We also visited the farmers market in Balaton Fured, the internet café, and the clothing by the pound (kilo?) place. Field trips were fun and educational. The spa at Heviz, the village of Csopak, the bug and butterfly exhibit at the monastery and the Tesco shop in Veszprem! Cheese, rotisserie chicken and wine. The exhibition held the last week of the residency was very nice. Lots of press there with a formal opening. The art work was interesting and well presented. I did not paint any masterpieces in Hungary, and have decided that that was not what it was all about. What it was about was interacting with the other residents seeing how they worked and played. Being inspired! Getting out of a comfortable rut and smelling the roses. I found the Hungarian people to be gentle and fierce. The most moving moment for me was hearing the thousands of patriots singing their national anthem back in Budapest on St. Stephen's Day. It was a privilege for me to be a part of the SHEP group. Thanks for all you did in putting it all together what an amazing job. I hope we will meet again.

2004
Kichung Lee Lizee: It has been an interesting residency which I have learned more about myself. The experience expanded + enriched me in various ways., which helped me to be a better functional human being. Thanks for providing this wonderful opportunity to be in Hungary and wish you more successful future residencies for the future.

Jessica Halonen: ...I was surprised to have a shared studio space. It worked out fine with our group since there were only three artists using the studios. I enjoyed our gatherings and hearing participants discuss their work. The excursions were fun-loved the winery. This group of artists worked very well together. I enjoyed my stay at the residency and feel that I accomplished what I intended.

Ben Dallas: I commend you on your residency. I found it both personally enjoyable and professionally rewarding. It was organized appropriately to insure that things would go smoothly while always allowing enough flexibility for induvidual preferences and choices - good combination. Your personal support for the artists was at all times apparent. The group of artists you brought together could not have been better. Our induvidual presentations and the converasations they generated were in valuable... The residency was quite wonderful, thanks. Ben

Joshua Sledge: In general I found the residency to be an excellent experience. I think that extending it to four weeks would be helpful... I was very pleased with the inclusion of the writers... Thank you, Beata, and I wish you the best in your work, Josh

Georgina Luck: I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Balatonfured and am glad I travelled all the way from Australia to participate in the residency. The residency was unconventional and fascinating, and it was very inspiring to meet and work alongside the other artists. The highlights for me were:
* Meeting such a talented, diverse and fun group of artists
* Hearing the other artists talk about their work, and then seeing their work develop
* The artistic freedom offered by the residency structure
* The food, especially breakfasts - Sylvie's generosity and cheerfulness were a joy
* The wine tasting
* Max! ...

Mitch Kern: Thank you Beata for the incredible cultural experience. Connecting my art with the people of Hungary through the HMC residency program has given me an opportunity to grow my understanding of Hungarian culture... Keep up the great work, your friend always, Mitch.

Myrna Orsini: For me was a very positive experience. I have gathered from Hungarian architecture and cultural expressions ideas for a new body of work. The interaction with the artists from different disciplines and outlooks has opened me to more possibilities of technical and aesthetic expression in my work. I have bonded with several of the artists and friendships shall continue.

Sandee S. Johnson: I have enjoyed the residency and appreciate the opportunity to be in the Hungarian culture. I came to work and made that a priority. I am leaving with the joy of four new friendships scattered across America. Memories of Budapest, Lake Balaton and the countryside will provide inspiration in the years ahead.

Uday Dhar: ...For me the beauty of balatonfured and the hospitality of the local people out weighed all the negatives and difficulties of language and custom. I have appreciated the time to do my work, and as a result it has been a productive stay. It has also been incredibly instructive and informative to spend three weeks with a group of creative, intelligent fellow artists as we have learned to get to know each other and negatiate our differences.

Diana Ferguson: I had a marvelous time in Balatonfured and was grateful to be a guest in Hungary. I found the location and the people to be absolutely wonderful... The residency made me question my beliefs and attitudes toward what I do as an artist and that was a very good thing... I will treasure this experience forever, not only on the professional level, but also the friends and connections I made. See you in Budapest 2006. Thanks again.

Daniel Raffin: On the whole I loved this residency for all of the ways it did not meet my tentative expectations...

Michael Zheng: Dear Beata, ...I have been to other larger residencies and none has been as responsive as yours. I particularly appreciate the incredibly rich intellectual exchange amongst the participating artists. The range and mix of the diverse artistic and cultural backgrounds that each artist brought is, in my mind, one of the best assets you presented to us. The incredible hospitality of the Hungarian people has left a deep impression on me. Again, thank you very much for the opportunity and all your help.

Paul Clancy: The Artist's residency in Balatofüred Hungary, directed by Beata Szechy, in collaboration of the Hungarian Multicultural Center, was my first residency experience. Suffice it to say that that it was the most positive experience for me, exceeding all of my expectations. There is only one criticism regarding the facility, that of much road noise... The residency is not over in spirit. Most of us have become very good friends, and we are in contact via e-mail, and I intend to visit two new friends in New York. The residency for me was a pivotal experience for which I am most grateful. I would do it again.

Sigrid Wonsil: Since I already attended this residency once in 2002 I would like to mention a few differences I noted between the two. There was much more interaction among the artists in this session than last time. Having each artist present his or her own work at the beginning of the session promoted mutual respect and a lot of discussion... I have recommended this residency to my friends and I was glad I came back.

James R. Pace: ... This is what I needed. As far as what I expected... How can one know about living in a culture where the language is difficult to even make modest inroads? Where the food is often as unusual as it is good? Where the community has a difficult, tragic history written all over it? Those aspects, and more are the "great experience" that no one could possibly predict. My sense is, that the residency will continue influence me, my work, my world view for a long time to come. Thank you for the opportunity, and pass the cherry soup.

Joy Kloman: My experience in Hungary was fantastic. I greatly enjoyed gaining knowledge of the rich Hungarian culture. I think that trips to Veszprem, Keszthely, Heviz, Tihany, and especially Budapest were extremely valuable to learning more about Hungary and its fascinating history. As a group, the artists in the residency benefited from individual presentations about each other's work. I have very fond memories of Hungary and the residency. I highly recommend the residency to other artists. Thank you, Beata.

Veronika Szarejko: I did not know what to expect when I arrived in Hungry for the Hungarian Multicultural Center's Residency. I was truly surprised at how well organized everything was. Beata's e-mails prior to the trip were invaluable. Everything that I would have to know was detailed in a coherent way so that, when I arrived in Budapest, I never encountered a single problem. The residency itself is extremely comfortable. While all the rooms are large, nicely furnished and have their own style, I think I was one of the most fortunate. The town of Balatonfured is small but charming. My experience with the residency was more than what I could have expected. I send Beata my deepest gratitude for making this a wonderful experience and organizing a fine exhibition of top quality.

Candice Smith Corby: I loved it! I loved how open and free it was with little structure. I came wanting solitary work time without judgement and am greatful that the atmosphere permitted that. The provided meals were a luxury and the restaurants great and people very nice. I enjoyed the mix of people and art styles. I loved having a writer between us. Everything was so great, I feel lucky. Thanks for all your hard work, Candice

Laura Duggan: ...My main criticism was that the second group really did not have full benefit of working for three weeks and then selecting work to be donated... Thank you for the experience. Best regards to you and Max, Laura

Geraldine S. Dobos: ...I would be remiss if I did not commend Beata Szechy for all the effort that it took to organize such an event. As a participant, my experiences of preparing for the trip were nearly overwhelming. ...There are a number of benefits that I received as a result of participating in the residency. The most intriquing was the immersion in another culture, which was also very inspiring. The occasion of being in close contact with other artists gave me a fresh perspective. The exhibition and encouragement from others reaffirmed me as an artist. I am truly thankful for the opportunity that I was given.

Edward and Diane Lane: Overall, this experience has been fabulous. Our new understanding of Hungary, the hospitality of the people of Balatonfured, Beata's very special care of each of us, Rita 's help and good humor couldn't be better. The residency has far surpassed our expectations... We loved the tour day and the wonderful end of the day at Beata's home. Thank you for making this possible for us.

Renee Rhor: Evaluation of the Hungarian Multicultural residency from Renee ROHR At Balatonfured, I appreciated first of all the huge terrace where we worked every day facing the beauty of ultra old chestnuts. We were a team of painters and sculptors of all ages and countries and the diversity was fascinating. I had time enough to work and to exchange opinions about our respective works. This gave me a lot of ideas and new stimulations. A special note for the barbecue given by Beata at her marvellous fairy tale cottage...