I'm in love with Philadelphia. My love affair began in the Summer of 2013. I interned in the American Art Wing of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I met some wonderful people and each day felt the magic of the City of Brotherly Love pull at my heart. So here I am now at the end of my orientation at Drexel University already pining for an excuse to make the grueling yet beautiful drive from Lancaster to my city.
A note to 11 year old me: Moving to Pennsylvania isn't going to be the end. You won't love New York the same way but you will still love it and that's okay. This does not make you any less Boricua, Nuyorican or tough. Your memories are valid and so is your mourning. You will be okay mija. And you will fall in love with a new city.
I digress. Today is the very last day of Arts Administration orientation for graduate students. I'm a graduate student! I'm looking at completing my degree in Spring of 2017. The whole program is wonderful so far. I had some hesitations at first. I kept thinking of this as a lateral move away from my Arts degree but now I'm seeing it as a logical next step. Especially if I want to pursue a career in the arts. In the end, the MFA won't disappear if I just wait a little to decide if I'm going to pursue it at all.
Today we have presentations for mock arts organizations we had to create in small groups. The goal is that we fully understand how to organize a successful organization that's grounded in the arts. Arts being fine art, visual art, performance, theater, voice, instrumental etc. It's been a great orientation so far and I'm excited to start coursework. Because we're online, it will be an adjustment to move from meeting with my group in person to communicating solely through digital media.
I haven't been to the studio all week due to the orientation. I did manage to squeeze in some time to make my newspaper-mache bust! I have to halves successfully pulled to form the back of the bust. It's sturdy and has some great color to it. It handles and holds the stitches well. I'm crazy excited to start making the final piece.
Next week I'll get back to reading and writing more about the residency. Classes officially begin the 21 (eeeeeeek!!!) so we'll see what happens!
OH! I also managed to squeeze in attending a reception unrelated to the orientation. I met up with a friend whom I used to work with at F&M at the ICA to see the opening of three exhibitions. She knows one of the artists whose paintings are very graphic and beautifully detailed. Their was a photography exhibition (wasn't that great) and a retrospective like mixed media exhibition that I really enjoyed. Can't expound too much now but maybe I'll discuss more in a future post.
I'm writing this right now though I should be completing homework for my foray into Art's Administration (eek!). This week has been yet another whirlwind. I'm starting to rethink my current schedule and cut myself a little slack. I tend to spread myself thin...too thin. I've notoriously taken two or three more classes than advised, written two or three more pages than required and pushed myself into two or three times more stress related mini-breakdowns in the process. Unfortunately I thrive on the madness. I specialize in anxiety driven productivity. This, also unfortunately, leads to moments where I step back angry and stressed and full of panic realizing that I alone have made this environment. So here I go again! And I say all of this not to barrage myself with negativity but to make myself and others aware that this is how I work. I've gotten a little better at recognizing the ingredients that lead to this hot mess. Today, as I logged into my courses I realized that I'm staring at yet another potential hot mess. This week I tried the following schedule: Monday-Millersville/Studio 9am-3pm, F&M (work) 4pm-10pm (we have a night class), Tuesday-F&M 9am-3pm, Millersville/Studio 4pm-10pm, Wednesday-Millersville/Studio 9am-3pm, F&M (work) 4pm-10pm, Thursday F&M 9am-3pm, Millersville/Studio 4pm-10pm Friday-Open Day. It's...sort of working. I'm realizing gas costs money and the more frequently I travel between work and the studio the more gas I'll be using up (a-doy) and I'm just not getting enough time in the studio. Also working so late by myself isn't exactly safe. Where at F&M we have more pre-cautions and I know basically everyone who belongs in the building, Millersville is much more relaxed and has far more flexibility with security than I'm used to. It works for them I suppose but it's discomforting for me. Maybe I'll get used to it and maybe I'm paranoid, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
This week I'll be away from both work and the studio from Wednesday until Saturday evening. I'll be in Philadelphia for the Arts Administration and Graduate Admissions orientation. I'm really looking forward to it. My program will be online and I'll be taking classes part time. I'm already signed up for an Intro to Arts Administration course and a Writing for the Arts course. Here's a snapshot of me getting familiar with my Master's coursework:
I welded yesterday! I used a MIG and didn't blow up the building. I also have a new idea in the works. Something I've been dyyyyyiiiing to do is use a bata for a dipped plaster project. Clarity: A bata is basically a miu-miu. ALL of my older aunts and cousins wear them and it's kind of a running joke in Latinx culture that wearing a bata is a sign that you're of a certain age. It's an inevitability. Here is the bata all plastered up and ready to get an armature. I should have taken a before shot. It was a purple little number with flowers on the neck.
This blog functions as a space for me to articulate what goes into making my artwork. As it goes, artists are supposedly notorious for being verbose and confusing writers that often come off as pretentious, pompous asses. That hopefully won't happen here. I intend to be as informal as possible. If you've made it this far I probably don't have to warn you that some of this might be NSFW because nudity is known to literally, and irreversibly, burn corneas.*