Tuesday, April 29, 2008

drawing final

if me and closure got along, this critique would have done it.

fabienne talked about just how much i have grown this past year, in drawing and in general. and not growth in a cliched sense of the term. but real, nitty gritty growth you can feel. and i think that is what college is all about. it's overwhelming. even my hair and my clothes have changed, she says. i visibly more comfortable with where i am at.

we talked about my work and social justice. and she brought up kate. it's crazy to think that it was a whole school year ago that i got here, and brought all of that history with me. and no one knew. the first full day of drawing, fabienne had everyone share a piece they had done that represented them, and a piece by an artist that they liked. the piece i shared of my own was advokate. i still can't believe i actually shared it. it was me at my most vulnerable. but i knew i had to put it out there in the atmosphere. i needed to. but in the same breath i shared calliebotte's "rainy day, paris street" as my favorite piece. fabienne challenged me right off the bat. how could those two possibly relate? how could i find pleasure in a painting that simply hung on a wall when all the art that i did was about actually getting things done? i froze. i remember answering by saying that i didn't exactly know, but it was something i hoped to figure out this year. and i think i have gotten closer to a resolution.

fabienne told me she gets so excited when she finds a student who pushes that envelope. and we both agreed with how lucky i am to have found a place where that dialogue exists. when she went to school, that wasn't heard of. and especially in grad school, she just felt frustrated. there was no room in the technical and conceptual rigor of art school for art that screamed social justice. and coming from canada to the us, she realized the urgency of such art. here, she said, those issues surround you even more intensely. it's almost impossible to separate your art from these things, but at the same time, it's that much harder to find harmony between the two.

she said the challenge for me will be to keep challenging myself for the next three years. to not let mica get too easy. to study abroad. and i think next year will be drastically different. actually taking graphic design classes will be totally different for me. and i am so glad that i have had the foundation of classes like drawing, because i know that my idea of design does not have to be limited by a computer.

my final was a project i never would have done first semester. first semester was about assignments. and feeling things out. and making typical art. i finished in december and realized that i was playing it way too safe. so i came back in january and sought to not only blur the lines between classes, but to blur the lines between my life and my art. if i felt something, thought something, i wanted my art to be a direct composite of those things. this final built off of a very open ended assignment about presences and context. it was due the day i got back from states. so i had this elaborate plan to take advantage of all of the time in transit and draw in the airport. i wanted to pick text as my presence (or more fundamentally, just a letter itself) pull it out of context, and abstract everything around it. i got one done on the way to traverse city. and i started to realize it was a bad idea. i was letting art interefere with my ability to experience something huge. why would i worry about an assignment when my life right now was about spending a weekend in emmanuel's presence? coming from the airport after picking up emmanuel, we drove by these park benches and picnic tables all leaning up against each other. the ice had just thawed on the lake behind them. and these arrangements spotted the side of the road for at least a quarter of a mile. it was the most beautiful thing. simple compositions. it was like my drawing project just got handed to me. which does not happen often, so i took advantage of it. so my final became about that instance of finding the art in the everyday. and actually installing it in a corner of my drawing room - coming in the night before and responding to the space and getting it done. i love making art that way.

one down, four to go.

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