Tuesday, December 11, 2007

cap crit

i don't think any of us had any idea at all of what we were getting ourselves into when we selected "finding baltimore" as a foundation elective. i could not have foreseen finding paula and fletcher as mentors. finding other students with the same passions and drive that i have. finding a need within myself to seek the truth in baltimore. and also finding how i can speak my own truth as a member of the community. finding a way to immediately impact the dynamic of the neighborhoods we visited with the "a neighborhood called baltimore" project. finding a whole new leadership lexicon and mentality. finding myself in the middle of what is truly a community arts movement. finding countless reassuring examples of art that is truly making a difference.

it was so neat to see everyone share their growth from this class in a culminating project: johanna's examination of food as a social gathering conduit, maria's "skinny white girls" clothing line, ellen's organic "planting of the seeds" in labeled jars for each neighborhood, lauren's huge neon yellow "aware" on the front of the brown center (right next to the "bullet hole") and her "driving drawings," stephanie's performance paralleling cap and faith, tierny's knitting club project in brooklyn, sarah's broken glass self portrait and map of baltimore, alder's illustrations and poems, anna's banner of journaling and words, meg's "give and recieve" hands installation, emily's honest stream of conciousness, maggie's warm fuzzies, and the other maggie's "holding hands in a circle" pictures.

i can already feel that not having this next semester will leave a big void to fill. i'm going to have to make sure that i am replacing the energy that was coming from the class in other avenues. like the mount royal elementary + mica portrait collaboration i've been working on with katherine. and trying something new for tier two of my cap internship. and, of course, everything "a neighborhood called baltimore." really watching it explode. and the great thing is that now, all of this comes together under my new role as arts and education program manager with student activities. (like today in class i started thinking and talking with fletcher about how baltimore is presented during freshman orientation, which was through a charm city "slide show." i remember that clearly. not only was the powerpoint itself weak, but there was just something off about the whole thing. my mind started going a mile a minute... why does it have to be "charm city?" why can't it be "a neighborhood called baltimore." that's the mentality we need to be presenting to incoming freshman.)

i know i will keep soaking it all in and growing and connecting the dots. that is really what this college thing is all about. i can't compartmentalize and keep these things separate. (even though i am an organizational machine.) it was too hard to come back from a neighborhood tour and switch back to making conceptual art for assignments. and it will be too hard to contain this experience in one class. it is now ingrained into who i am as an individual, and just as importantly, an artist. whether i realize it yet or not, every choice i make in the rest of my classes at mica will be influenced by the revelations that have come from the "finding baltimore" experience.

i am going to miss this class so much! (can you say community arts concentration?)

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