Bringing the artist, Museum and community together

How does developing artwork in community settings change us? This is the central question of our Artist Residency, which seeks to bring an artist, the Museum and our community together to create a new immersive installation or studio space that will remain on view at The New Children’s Museum. By engaging with families at several community centers in San Diego through our Mass Creativity program, the artist is inspired to add to his or her initial concept as part of the process of creating a new art installation. The overall goals of the residency are to create experiences that meet the needs of all visitors, to listen to our many creative community collaborators and devise new ways to reach all San Diego families, and to share our unique model with artists and the museum field. The Wonder Sound by Wes Bruce (2016) was the first Museum installation to be created using this residency model. Learn more about our past artist-in-residences below.

past artist-in-residences

David Israel Reynoso, 2021
Teatro Piñata

David Israel Reynoso is a San Diego-based artist and theatre designer. He is a recipient of a San Diego Foundation Creative Catalyst Award as well as a 2011 Obie Award for Sleep No More the mysterious, non-linear theatre production in which audiences could touch, smell and even taste. He also founded Optika Moderna, the innovative, immersive theatre company that creates “bold experiences that allow participants to peer through the eyes of another.” Reynoso participated in the 2021 Mass Creativity program, which informed his  installation, Teatro Piñata, that opened at the Museum in November 2021.

Panca, 2020
El Más Allá

Panca (aka Paola Villaseñor) lives and works in Tijuana. She is an international artist known for her playful street art, which has appeared everywhere from walls in Mexico City to the galleries of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD). As a child, Panca visited The New Children’s Museum and recalls painting the Painted Object. This left a big impression on her and has inspired her artwork today. Her work SMILE, currently adorns the Museum’s entry bridge. Panca participated in the 2020 Mass Creativity program, which informed her art installation, El Más Allá, that opened in the summer of 2021.

Tanya Aguiñiga, 2019

Tanya Aguiñiga is a Los Angeles-based artist, designer and craftsperson who was raised in Tijuana, Mexico. She holds an MFA in furniture design from Rhode Island School of Design and a BA from San Diego State University. Tanya was first commissioned for The New Children’s Museum’s grand opening in 2008 to create Texture Forest, a whimsical toddler playspace. More than a decade later, she came back to collaborate on engaging workshops for the Museum’s 2019 Mass Creativity program. These workshops ultimately informed a reimagined Tot Studio installation, tikitiko, that opened in the fall of 2019.

Rizzhel Javier, 2018
People and Places

Rizzhel Javier is a San Diego based artist and educator. She graduated college with a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts from San Diego State University in 2012. Storytelling is at the core of Rizzhel Javier’s People and Places project. Workshop participants drew self-portraits and shared stories on recorders. These were then made into dolls which the participants could give to “someone they missed.” The final installation in The Community Gallery included opportunities for visitors to record their own stories as well as a playspace with replicas of dozens of the dolls that were created at workshops.

Wes Bruce, 2016
The Wonder Sound

Wes Bruce is an artist, educator, illustrator, photographer and poet with deep roots in San Diego. He was also the first artist-in-residence at the Museum. After two years of working with community partners, Wes installed a three-story fort-like structure with drawings of animals, secret rooms and a coded alphabet. He wove stories of community members he had met into the very walls of the structure, creating a space intended to forge new connections among the thousands of people who have visited the space since.

Community Partners

Funding for our Artist Residency program includes