SHIFT (Fall 2017). Image courtesy of Erin Latham

Below is a personal account of Erin Latham’s experience in the IDSVA Low Residency PhD Program:

“In May 2017, I was given the opportunity to work with Factory Obscura, an Oklahoma City-based art collective. By fall, we opened our first interactive, large-scale installation entitled “SHIFT.” The project was an amazing success, with more than 20,000 attendees.

Most recently, Factory Obscura was the recipient of a million-dollar investmentand we are now busy building the collective’s first permanent public art experience in Oklahoma City.

In 2015, when I chose to enroll at IDSVA, I wasn’t sure whether what I had to offer the world as an artist was enough. Now, as I prepare to start writing my dissertation, my understanding of the role of art in contemporary society and my contribution as an artist has changed dramatically. I’ve grown in directions that I wouldn’t have otherwise considered. I am developing a tool-kit that allows me to better investigate the world around me through aesthetic theory and practice.

The cross-pollination of my studies at IDSVA with my work at Factory Obscura has opened fascinating and rewarding new territories for me.”

To see more of Erin’s work, please visit

IDSVA’s pioneering curriculum—fusing distance learning with intensive residencies—allows working art professionals to pursue rigorous advanced scholarship without having to interrupt or abandon their teaching careers, art practice, or other professional responsibilities.

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