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SS:035 Mixing It Up

So what's new...

I moved to Lansing, MI with Megan.

I began my candidacy as an MFA student at Michigan State University.

I've almost completed my first semester as an instructor of a Drawing course at MSU.

The practice of my studio work has broadened into new areas: sculpture, sound, installation.

I've met a wonderful group of students and faculty who are inspiring me to work harder.

While many of my social media ideas tend to fizzle out, I will make sure to post a few times during the holiday/academic break. Today I just wanted to share the progress of a most recent work in my studio. I built this sculpture as a final project for my Bodies of Sound elective course under the Artist-In-Residence Alejandro T. Acierto. Alejandro has spent the semester teaching us methods of Performance and Sound Art. This sculpture, currently Untitled, is blending forms of drawing, painting, sculpture, and sound. I'm interested in ways I can investigate forms of the internal and external aspects of identity and narration. Following this experimental work I plan to continue shaping a story I can tell with sculpture, painting, and stop motion animation. I'm interested in the illusion of painting and sculpture and how a time based context can add exciting layers of narration to an exhibition.

Throughout this semester I've been encouraged to experiment with material and play with the process of creativity. Sometimes I think the word play, for adults, has garnered a negative connotation within our society. A word which is sometimes seen as unworthy of our time or unacknowledged for its usefulness. As I continue my career in the arts I often find myself feeling guilty of the ways I'm encouraged to play in my studio. But why?! In the past I've been selective in using "play" in conversation. I think inherently in all of us we need outlets where we're allowed to play and discover interactions between ourselves and the world. In my studio this semester, with the help of graduate students and professors, I've been able to let go of those negative attachments to forms of play and learn from new processes of creativity.

One of the reasons I wanted to make this piece was to enhance the scale of plaster. Plaster is a media I've been drawn to after looking at works by Manuel Neri and other artists of the Bay Area Figurative Movement. In their sculptures they continued their language of mark making and texture found in the language of painting. I thought well why can't I be a sculptor too?

It seems that the people who usually tell us we can't do something are ourselves. In my case I assumed that once you find the media/discipline you excel at you need to stay within that media. That's not true at all. With the help of the community at MSU I was able to push experimentation and cross disciplines in a few works this semester. By taking Alejandro's course I've gained more insight into the role sound or performance can have alongside painting.

This piece is still in-progress and has no clear vision for it's end result. I think by leaving a work like this open ended I'll be able to keep learning from this process of combining material and responding to each decision. One thing I do know is that I really love the capabilities of plaster and the rich surface quality I can achieve with it.

I'm excited to continue this approach in new works. Now that the semester is almost over I'll have a week, after grading, to make a few more pieces before I head to Wisconsin for break. As of now, I'm planning to read a few books off my list and enhance my knowledge surrounding the concepts of my work while on break. If you see anything in this piece or others I post online, than please let me know your thoughts or questions. Your engagement is crucial in this process of sharing my art.

Thank you for catching up with me and the studio. I hope your year is closing in good health and fortune. As always thank you so much for your support and I can't wait to share what's next!



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