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Pedro Lasch to Join Usdan Summer Camp as First-Ever Artist-in-Residence

Usdan Summer Camp for the arts—an arts education initiative founded in 1968 that today serves more than fifteen hundred students each year—has announced that artist Pedro Lasch has been chosen as its inaugural artist-in-residence. Located in Wheatley Heights on Long Island, New York, the nonprofit program welcomes students from ages four to eighteen.

Beginning this summer, Lasch will launch a three-year art project in collaboration with Usdan’s students, faculty, and staff. “Dreaming in the Woods” will draw from the people, grounds, and resources at Usdan for inspiration in the creation of new works and will give students firsthand experience in making art.

“Often, collaborations with children are dismissed as not being ‘professional’ or ‘real art,’” Lasch said. “I’m excited to be doing this work at Usdan—a camp known for putting the student at the center and fostering creativity on all levels—as a way to challenge these typical perspectives and push towards a collaborative and innovative contemporary art engagement.”

Executive director Lauren Brandt Schloss said, “As discussions about launching the artist-in-residence program at Usdan took hold, Pedro was always top of mind. The goal of these artists-in-residence initiatives is to bring into all disciplines of contemporary art the ideas, concerns, and voices of youth.”

Born and raised in Mexico City, Lasch studied art at Cooper Union before earning his master’s degree from Goldsmiths College in London. From 1999 to 2005, he served as the founding director of the experimental program Art, Story-Telling, and the Five Senses in Jackson Heights, Queens, and he joined Duke University as a professor in 2002. Lasch has coauthored two books, Black Mirror/Espejo Negro (2012) and Grand Gestures and (Im)modest Proposals (2012), and his work has been featured in exhibitions at PS1 MoMA, the Queens Museum, the Phillips Collection, the Fifty-Sixth Venice Biennale, the Eleventh Havana Biennale, and Documenta 13.