Hybrid Ways of Thinking

Ronya Dones, Virtual Artist in Residence 2022

“Every time we say, let there be!
In any form,
something happens.”

Stella Terrill Mann

Starting a new creative project of any kind is often intimidating, and this residency with Convergence was no different, but Lisa and Convergence community could not have been more supportive. I started this residency with the desire to identify and effectively pursue my creative goals, grow my technical skill set, and invite others into exploring the questions I create around. Many people have shared their expertise and support, and I have grown so much throughout this process.

As a humanitarian artist and educator, I move between printmaking, digital sculpting, painting, and photography in my art practice. This year my goal has been to explore digital technology as a bridge that helps humanity find new ways of thinking, working, and connecting. I have found new media to be the perfect realm for exploring this theme of focus.

A major focus for this year’s residency and exploration has been the hybridity of race and design. Since 2018 I have written essays on identity politics, the psychology of identity, identity crisis, and using the arts as a form of therapy and inner reconciliation. I have been using digital sculpture, carving robots, and 3d printing as tools for exploring these complex ideas. The work in progress above explores my personal process of being an emerging adult woman who grew up in an inter-faith, mixed-race home.

Through this residency, I have taken significant steps forward in building artistic skills through independent study, formal art education, studio work, and coaching with Convergence artists, local artists, and professors of the arts.

One of my latest practices has been focused on learning how to sculpt and print facial textures and features. Like much of my work, this practice has been meditative for me while simultaneously inspiring conversation with others.

Over the next few weeks, I will use the many pages from my journals and documenting of this process to write posts that invite readers to join me in this creative exploration and artistic growth process.

About the Artist

Ronya Dones is Convergence’s first “Virtual Artist in Residence.” As an artist and teacher, Ronya examines human flourishing with child-like curiosity and modern sophistication. She has developed innovative spiritual, social-emotional and arts-based programming for individuals, families, schools, museums, libraries, rehabilitation centers, therapists, churches, community and social service agencies. In 2018 she founded Re-Deme studio, which has exposed thousands of people to unique forms of experiencing art, personal development, community engagement and learning. Learn more…