Diane Middlebrook Studios
The Djerassi Resident Artists Program was honored to celebrate the imminent completion of the Diane Middlebrook Studios at its dedication ceremony on August 27, 2011. Djerassi Program Founder Carl Djerassi, Leah Middlebrook and former NEA Chairman, Dana Gioia each spoke of Diane’s character, her contributions to art and to the Program and of the significance of this permanent legacy in Diane’s name.
This new writers’ residence was a dream of Diane’s. She was a co-founder of the Djerassi Program with her husband Dr. Carl Djerassi and was influential in its activities throughout the Program’s first three decades of supporting the creativity of artists. She understood that what working artists need most is the gift of time to advance their creative work beyond the responsibilities of their daily lives. These four new live/work studios under an over-arching, solar power-generating canopy increase the capacity of the Djerassi Program to host artists by 50% and, at the same time, strengthen the discipline that was Diane’s own by enabling the Program to award residencies to greater numbers of writers.
The Program is deeply grateful to Dr. Djerassi, Sue and John Diekman, The Williams Charitable Foundation, The Ayrshire Foundation and the many other contributors in making the Diane Middlebrook Memorial Writers’ Residence possible. Special gratitude is also extended to Cass Calder Smith AIA and CCS Architecture for the enlightened design and dedication to the project, and to Bill Brown Construction for giving this vision permanence.
Diane Middlebrook was special to all who knew her. Since her death in late 2007, memories of her dynamic and creative spirit continue to dominate our thoughts. The Diane Middlebrook Memorial Writers’ Residence is a fitting tribute to Diane’s strength of spirit, breadth of vision and commitment to the support of artists.
Completed building photos by Paul Dyer