Nishant John

It was in January 2017 that I heard from Daniel & Karen at Elsewhere studios saying that I was offered a residency in May 2017 and I remember immediately being extremely thrilled and nervous at the same time. I still had to apply for my visa, and it would be my first time in the United States. Fast forward 4 months later and here I was, 8000+ miles away from home, surrounded by some of the most beautiful people and landscapes. Coming from Bangalore, a city that has a population of 10 million + people right now, Paonia was such a welcome change and I immediately felt at home at Elsewhere.

I lived in the Suite and shared the house with fellow artists Robin, Other Robin, and Rhombie (all of us got along immediately and had many adventures that month!). My medium is mainly video and Paonia had so much to offer. I spent most of my month shooting a lot of footage that I’m compiling now. The town has so much happening (something none of us expected) and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all the fun things to go see and do. Live music, workshops, open mic, movies, open studios, art walks, yard sales, thrift stores, radio shows, parades, and so much more!

One of the best parts about Paonia for me was KVNF. I spent a lot of time listening to the station while I was there and I still tune in from India to shows that I follow. They have such a diverse selection of music that’s really well curated. I was lucky enough to do a show with Ali while I was there and we had a fun chat about the music scene here in India and I also got to share music from some of the artists here.

When you live in a city like mine, and you get everything delivered to your doorstep, you kind of forget about what’s really important in life. I love that so many people grow their own food in this town (that’s something I’ve always wanted to do but I live in an apartment on the fourth floor). I definitely plan to come back here and spend more time (one month went by way too quickly). The community here always has your back and I made some really good friends while I was here. People would go out of their way to make sure that we had everything we needed. I still keep in touch with them and dream about living here someday and I feel like that’s not so far away.  

I learnt so much from my time at Elsewhere and I can confidently say that this residency changed me both as an artist and a human being and I feel privileged to have been a part of it. Paonia is truly a magical place and the community of artists and the people who live there make it so. I’m so thankful to everyone at Elsewhere and so glad to be a part of the family.