Saturday, January 23, 2016

16 Years Ago...

Spring of 2000 in the Sherman Gallery at BU
Winter of 2016 in the Sherman Gallery at BU

16 years ago on the same walls of the same gallery, I completed my MFA in Studio Teaching at Boston University. The final exhibition was a display of our own artwork next to our students' work. The children came to the show and proudly smiled in front of their artwork. I feel the need to share with you that the little boy in the photo above would now be about 24 years old (older than I was in that photo).
Following this show, I began working as an art educator. 

Last night on the same walls of the same gallery, I had a solo exhibition titled It's not you, it's me. I took photos with family and friends in front of the works in the show. The picture above shows a handful of supportive art colleagues from the AIB/LUCAD low residency MFA family. A degree I completed two years ago as I began working on the piece titled Two Years pictured behind us. 

Things do feel very different than 16 years ago when I showed work in that gallery. I have so many more life experiences now, I felt compelled to dye the gray our of my hair before the opening reception,  I am married and no longer breaking up with boys like I was back then (some evidence of this can be seen in the piece titled 381 Minutes of Letters from Past Relationships),  I am still teaching and I am still working as a practicing artist (which is no small feat while you are teaching so often). 

As an artist, I have grown so much since then. As a teacher, 16 years later and I am still doing that same crayon engraving project pictured above. It is a good project, but still it makes me question whether things have changed enough. You don't realize these things when you start out, but you do hit a point when there is not much growth left in teaching elementary art in a public school system. I am not good a being complacent. There is endless room for growth and expansion when you are an artist. Ideally, there would be a delicate balance between the two, but what happens when the balance goes out of whack? 

I am hopeful that this exhibition may be a pivotal point just as the last show in this gallery was. Sometimes we change and something was once a good fit is no longer… that's when we need to have the courage to say, " It's not you, it's me". Nobody likes having to be the one to say this, but that hasn't stopped me yet…

393 minutes of my graduate thesis (on left)
381 minutes of letters from past relationships (on right) 

No comments:

Post a Comment