Vol 33 | No 1 | Fall 14
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Helping an Artist in Residence: Selwa Sweidan

ImageIn July, the 2014 UCI Artists in Residence exhibition showed the work accomplished through the artists' one-year residency in studio practice and research. Selwa Sweidan's work Simultaneously 1,3,5, and 9 comprises a film featuring dancer Crystal Sepúlveda, an olfactory element that was collaboratively realized with perfumer Jacqueline Steele, an artist's book, several digital prints, and a mixed media piece. Sweidan utilized library resources in her work's realization.

Sweidan, an interdisciplinary artist and designer, was interested in exploring the topics of cultural dance forms, ethnography in film, ethnobotany, an anthropological view of rituals, and a cultural history of smell. Early in her residency, Sweidan set up a research consultation with Emilee Mathews, Research Librarian for Visual Arts, to explore these topics using library resources.

"Overall, having access to the databases, books, and being able to access the librarian's help was a wonderful resource."
"It was a pleasure to have the chance to sit down with Emilee Mathews at the start of the program," said Sweidan. "I gained practical guidance on using the various research databases available and also received inspiring and helpful search query suggestions. Throughout the residency I dropped by the information desk and always received helpful tips. Overall, having access to the databases, books, and being able to access the librarian's help was a wonderful resource."

"As a visual arts librarian, one of my core goals is to connect artists with the resources they need to inspire their practice and to implement their vision," said Mathews. "Selwa was such a pleasure to work with and her research questions were completely intriguing. Seeing the exhibition was extremely fulfilling - I love to see how information transforms in the hands of an artist."

Though Sweidan's year in residence at UCI has culminated, she has an exciting next chapter: in September 2014, she is starting an MFA in Media Design Practices at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. She welcomes questions and thoughts about her work; to contact or for more information visit her website.

For further information, contact Emilee Mathews, Research Librarian for Visual Arts (x46672 or emilee.mathews@uci.edu).