Knitting circle of local women and resident artist Siri Johansen; the "yarn" was created from torn recycled T-shirts (summer 2015)

Thread: Artists' Residency & Cultural Center

Thread is a site for artists from around the world to live and work in Sinthian, a rural village in Tambacounda, the southeastern region of Senegal. It houses two artists' dwellings, as well as ample indoor and outdoor studio space.

In addition to the artists' residencies, Thread provides a venue for markets; classes in agriculture, language, and health for the villagers; and village performances and meetings. The roof collects and retains rainwater, creating a viable source for 40% of the village's domestic water needs.

Thread enables artists from around the world, and from within Senegal, to advance their own work in this exceptional setting and to work with the regional population to rekindle artistic practices and facilitate new ones.

While Thread is a space constructed by the people of Sinthian, for the people of Sinthian, and while the artists in residence are their guests at this cultural center, the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation has made the project possible through spearheading its development, funding its construction and operation, and collaborating on its programming, all at a relatively low cost and dependent almost entirely on local materials.

A willingness to expand one's personal frontiers in possibly daunting circumstances helped infuse both of the Alberses' work with vitality and strength. Willpower and energy, more than a mastery of the local tongue, are what counts for great artists to advance in their own work and have an impact on others, and are the qualities we look for in artists for the residencies.