TEDxSalem is proud to introduce our 2018 artist-in-residence Cayla Skillin-Brauchle, who will bring the theme “Through the Looking Glass” to life on stage through her art. The theme’s idea of shifting perspectives inspired her work.
Cayla sees the looking glass as a kaleidoscope or a magnifying glass, but also a mirror, all of which show art’s capacity to give us different perspectives, she said.
An assistant professor of art at Willamette University, Cayla is excited for her involvement in this year’s TEDxSalem.
“I think it’s inspiring to hear people’s stories of finding their a-ha moments,” she said.
She’s also excited to get to know the Salem community better and meet people who are interested in thinking creatively about community and other fields.
Cayla moved to Salem two years ago after spending a year in India on a Fullbright Scholarship. She enjoys living and working in western Oregon in all but one way. Cayla says she has lived in the tropics during monsoon season, but that experience did not prepare her to “understand the length and depth of the rainy season in Oregon.”
She also enjoys the smaller community feel of Salem. Cayla grew up in a rural community in central Vermont ,“which has four true seasons.” She finds Salem to have a similar ethos of self sustainability and outdoor appreciation.
Cayla describes herself as a conceptual artist who seeks to challenge people’s perceptions regarding both what and how they think. Many of her projects combine complex drawings, bright colorful costumes and performance.
“A lot of my work is absurdist. I often set up scenes that are absurd…the function of that is to allow people to consider other possibilities than they do in their everyday life.”
Cayla will not only design the installation, but will also give a talk and lead a recess activity. She hopes that people will be inspired to think about the different perspectives in Salem.
Pets: No. I have a partner and a garden. That’s enough. We travel a lot.
Favorite Movie: “Amelie”
Favorite Book: “Bell Hooks”, Teaching to transgress is very inspiring to me right now.
Favorite Music: I’m currently listening to a lot of the B52’s. They are awesome, weird feminist musicians. Also, girl rock from the 80’s and 90’s, singer songwriters, and music I can dance to.
Favorite Food: Right now, the tomatoes from my garden.
Favorite Salem Food: Flash fried Brussels sprouts from Taproot Lounge & Cafe
Favorite Drink: Milk shakes at Minto Island Growers farm stand.
Hobbies: Gardening and cooking. “I like to do stuff with things from my garden, like making pickles.”
Creativity in action
In cooperation with the Salem Art Association through a program catering to the Artist-in-Residence concept, Cayla will be working on her TEDxSalem stage installation on-and-off at The Annex from Dec. 12 to Jan. 6.
Salem Art Association exhibitions are always free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday from 10 am-5 pm, and Saturday-Sunday from Noon-5 pm (Annex weekend hours may differ, please call 503-581-2228 to check availability). Learn more at salemart.org/programs/annex.
Get your tickets for TEDxSalem V
TEDxSalem V is an all-day event featuring talks, performances, refreshments, lunch and a swag bag Saturday, Jan. 6, at the Salem Convention Center. Purchase tickets here. Follow us on Facebook for the most up-to-date news from our community, and check our website regularly for new information. You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.