Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Names Jason Kalajainen Inaugural Creative Director

Rauschenberg Estate on Captiva. (Courtesy Panoramio)

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation just announced the appointment of Jason Kalajainen as the first creative director of the organization’s artist residency program in Captiva, Fla., a new program to support artists in various disciplines while they enjoy the estate that served as Rauschenberg’s beach home. 

Mr. Kalajainen, who will be leaving his post as executive director of the Ox-Bow School in Michigan to take on his new role, will be charged with the duty of transforming Robert Rauschenberg’s 26-acre estate on Captiva Island into a creative hub to bring together leaders in the visual arts, music, dance, writing and a range of other disciplines from around the world to live, work and explore the property together. And he’ll have to do it all by the launch of the pilot program in 2013.

During his time at Ox-Bow, Mr. Kalajainen was responsible  for increasing Ox-Bow’s outreach, and overseeing six new campus facilities. He also is credited with putting 85 wooded acres of Ox-Bow’s property into a conservation easement.

The Captiva property, which has a studio facility and six individual homes, served as Rauschenberg’s getaway for more than 40 years. While its recipients have not yet been named, the Captiva Residency will support the foundation’s mission of nurturing talent while also preserving Rauschenberg’s property.

“The development of an Artist Residency on the property where Robert Rauschenberg lived and worked for over 40 years is one of our major strategic initiatives,” said Christy MacLear, executive director of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, in a statement. “Jason is the perfect candidate as a leader in the field of artistic communities to help create a model which builds on this legacy of new ideas, new work and supporting generations of new artists.”

Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Names Jason Kalajainen Inaugural Creative Director