Because he had a long history of curating unusual community art projects, in 2006 Tom Oberg, founder of Rural Research Laboratories, was invited to work with Arnot Art Museum director John O'Hern to offer an alternative artist space to artists in the community. Core members included painter Dan Reidy, sculptor Wendy Taylor, writer and musician Dan Aloi, poet and actor Clare Reidy, and media artist Jan Kather. The first event was the theatrical performance Colder than Here, directed by Clare Reidy of the Actors Co. Art installations, musical performances, poetry readings and performance art followed.Younger artists Sharla Lefkowitz-Brown and Hanet were invited to set up studios and began working with established artists in the community.
Today Rural Research Laboratories exists not as a physical space, but as an Internet space where we can relive the moments of artists, musicians and actors. The Pop Up Show at Tioga Point Museum is an example of working with the community to create a supportive environment for the arts.
--Jan Kather, 2012