So this is the last blog response for Art 700 (Intro to Graduate Studies). I have to admit that I am a little relieved. This was a very intensive class, which at times I felt almost overwhelmed me. Though, I doubt I would have felt this way if my other class (advanced woodworking) hadn’t taken up so much of my time. Truthfully, the amount of work wasn’t the most difficult part of the class for me. What was most difficult for me was the long list of things we had remember to do each week. This may have been different for others, but as a person who finds much disorder in the deficit of my attention (just my funny way of saying A.D.D), I function best when only worrying about accomplishing one thing at a time. Almost all the classes I have ever taken before have never assigned more than 2 different assignments after every class and usually limited it to 1. I, like everyone else I have talked to, also Found myself frustrated by the amount of time I was able to dedicate to my studio practice this term. It was lucky that i was able to work throughout last year so that when I arrived here, I already knew where I wanted to start and was able to hit the ground running. I do believe that this class might have severely impeded my ability to get things going in the studio if I had not already been in the habit of working in the studio every day.
That being said, when thinking back on the many, many, many different pieces that made up this class, I also have to admit that almost nearly all of them class were necessary to the overall development of ideas, information, themes, and concepts that, I believe, will ultimately help us to get through grad school and continue to shape our artistic practices long after we have graduated.
The first and foremost of the ideas that were stressed in this class, which I believe to be most valuable in the years to come, is the idea of community. The small reading groups and weekly one on one meetings with our peers in their studios was such an effective way to build a community out of a bunch of strangers, thrown together because of their love of art and their thirst for education. From past experiences, both as an undergrad and as a post-bacc, I had come to realize that art students are mor likely to be socially awkward and much less out going that students in other educational departments. I found that it is much harder to begin a relationship or break the ice with other art students. But if they are given just a little push or to require the initial interaction, the ice breaks and they find that they can get along quite easily and will begin to form sense of community. For these reasons I am very thankful that these meetings were required because I believe we would have found it much harder and taken much more time to get to know one another. These meetings gave us a chance to bond by venting to one another outside of class about the large workload, and giving eachother the chance to take a look at our current practices. I also really enjoyed ideas of community and collaberationhe show we had as a class. It gave us a chance to either remove ourselves completely from our own work in order to work with our groups to make something completely foreign to us, or to make work through our own artistic practices, which would play off the artistic practices of the others in our group. ehind t b All in all, I believe getting through the difficulties of this class, side by side with each other served as a very strong foundation for our artistic community. Thank you Laurie Beth.
Another overarching idea of the course was awareness of our environment (UW environment, not nature) which also goes hand in hand with resources. This also could be tied into the community because the community brings their own contributions and resources to the environment. The specific parts of the course that I am refering to when talking about environment and resources are the liberary tours, the presentations on campus resources and our own personal sources for art world information, colloquium and the faculty presentations. For me, I felt that the faculty presentations were most enjoyable and important. However, I can’t say that the other things weren’t important. I think If you had to get rid of something, it would be on of our own presentations, even though I thouroughly enjoyed learning of about and presenting on the design lab. But still, I think it was invaluable to take a look at the work of our faculty in order to get a sense of the different resources that can be accessed through them. These presentations also assisted us in deciding which faculty members we would benefit most from working with. Overall, like was mentioned in Art School, these diffent activities and assignments gave use a good sense of place, which is imparative for the development of a fully realized artistic practice.
The final overarching idea that stuck out to me in this class was the idea of the critique. Critiques are use throughout the art world and its educational system, assisting artists in the development of their work. But instead of critiquing eachothers work, in this class we we were asked to critique the art world itself and its many different parts. In this class, we were given a well rounded selection of books, which were chosen to give us enough information about the art world to participate in a well formulated critique. I felt like the selection of books succeeded. Even Seven Days in the Artworld and Your Everyday Artworld, which nobody seemed to like got us talking about the superficial aspects of the artworld, the ever shifting stucture of its networks and the inflated structure of its market. I didn’t like those book much but I do think it was important to get a grasp of what the art market and the art world out side school can be like. I also think that The Studio Reader and Art School succeded in getting us to think critically about our present situation as students. I believe that the most important thing these books did in this class was to assist us in stepping outside of our present situation in order to look back on it as an outsider, allowing us to formulate oppinions with less bias.
All in all, I belive this was a very ambitious class, which succeeded in giving us a well rounded and concise understanding of the artworld and the educational system of which have all chosen to become a part. I say ambitious because this is a very difficult thing to do because, as we have all come to understand, the artworld is very complex and has an overwhelming number of parts, which are ever changing. Its funny, if discribing the structure of this class, I would say the same exact thing. Complex, extremely multi-facited and ever changing.
Thanks Laurie Beth
I also plan to put up photos of my final woodworking project and the sculptural work I have been doing for my indipendent studies. Specifically 2 pieces, which I am becoming increasingly excited about. They have come a long way in the past 2 weeks.