Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Time to Breathe - Almost Through!

Wow! It's been so long since I've posted that the whole Blogger set up has changed. I suppose that should tell me something. I feel as though I'm in a foreign land, trying to navigate through something that I used to find quite familiar. I will say, however, that my absence from this space has been filled by many other activities, the most important of which was my art exhibition to finish out my degree. It went off without a hitch, and after two hours of my nerves keeping me anywhere buy near my designated space, I finally calmed down and felt comfortable enough to talk with people. This was one of those moments that I wished I had taken the many, many opportunities to show at other locations during my time in school. I think it would've helped alleviate a good portion of my anxiety. I have shown work prior to this exhibition, but there was little expected of me, and they were typically very causal places so it didn't bother me (at least too much) to have work hanging.
This little pigeon was hanging out in another individual's artwork, but blended quite nicely
I was extremely fortunate to have many friends and family on hand who kept me from running out a back door during the show. My brother came in from Australia, which was really fun, and I had the opportunity to see friends I haven't seen in many months. Truly, the best part of the exhibition was having the opportunity to watch people reacting to the work. I can see how it would be quite addictive!
The pigeons were all over the gallery space, even in others' art, but a couple of sections had faux-droppings, and pigeon sounds were found in this area as well.
(My apologies about the quality of photos... of course, no good camera was on hand.)
After the exhibition on Friday evening, I had the not-so-fabulous pleasure of meeting with my oral review board to defend my work. As it was explained to me, I would talk for 10-15 minutes, and then the board would ask questions as they saw fit. I was so nervous about it that I had to write out nearly everything I intended to say and go over it so many times that anyone should've been able to remember it easily. What ended up taking place was far less of a speech, and much more of a defense than I ever thought possible. Still, I lived to fight another day, and also reconfirmed for myself that I definitely don't belong among the pretentious portion of the art world. This is not to say that I won't produce art, but I definitely have no intention of trying to mold myself into what they see as a "proper fine artist," and will instead continue on doing my "coffee shop art." (<--- This is a direct quote from the board.)

Kickboxing has continued on for me as well, and I'm really enjoying the class (I know Melanie and Sam are playing along, but if anyone else wants to join in or has been participating silently in our self-motivated games/contest, May 1st is almost here, which will be our first check in date). I seem to be getting stronger, even discovering muscles I never knew existed, and am realizing how much potential I actually have to improve (that is code for "this class is tough"). I'm also still riding my bikes, as I hope everyone else is continuing to do. My rides haven't been long, but I hope that will change in the next couple of weeks as I wrap things up at school.

Oh, and if you're local, the Farmer's Market Bike Valet will be coming back early (due to popular demand) on Saturday, May 5th, so ride your bike and we'll all be happy to park your ride for you while you do your shopping.

4 comments:

  1. Love the pigeons and the faux splatters were inspired! But ~ouch~ about that board comment. Or at least, I assume they meant it to be a cutting remark. Whatever. My home is decorated with "coffee shop art" because the drawings and giclees are eclectic, personal, and speak to me. Kudos to you!

    I'm ashamed to say that zumba hasn't happened AT ALL. I didn't fit my work schedule around the class time. Good on you for keeping up with the kickboxing! I'd want you in my corner in a darkened alley. ;)

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    1. Honestly, it didn't hurt as badly as it seems like it would, and I've had so many positive comments from all sorts of people who had the opportunity to visit the show in person, that I have to let those little things go. I'm learning to grow some thicker skin, which is a good thing, I think.

      I wouldn't worry too much about your Zumba class... from what I've read, you've been busy riding away, and I think that if you're enjoying the rides, stick with it. I tend to just do whatever my heart is into for the time, so I see nothing wrong with waiting for your class.

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  2. I visit your blog from time to time because, like you, I am a bike enthusiast who doesn't fit the general stereotype of a willowy cyclist and I enjoy your posts. Even though you seem to be shrugging off your experience with an art review board, I had to speak up and say a thing or two.

    I am the manager of an Art Center in Texas that features three fine art gslleries. We host 36-40 exhibits a year in all media, including a few nationally-recognized art shows. I am also an artist who has sold a few of her pieces in a gallery.

    The kind of snarky art snob you encountered irritates me. What they said about your work says more about the source than it defines your work. Artists or "connoiseurs" who belittle another artist's work instead of offering constructive criticism are usually sub-par, insecure artists themselves.

    Your work is fun, whimsical and thoroughly delightful ... and it is definitely ART. Your artistic voice is a happy one and I enjoy the work you've shared on your blog. Keep painting! Embrace the joy of creating and have fun with your art, regardless of what others have to say.

    Coffee house art. What does that even mean, anyway? Art doesn't have to be all broody or make a serious statement. Art that's fun and joyful is the kind of thing I want hanging in my own home - because, honestly, the world around us is heavy enough as it is.

    The pigeons are great.

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    1. LanzaMarie,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts - I truly appreciate it. It's easy to say that the boards' thoughts don't affect me, but how can it not (at least on some level)? I had to let it go as best I could though because I know I cannot allow a couple of individuals opinions to change what I enjoy. Quite honestly, I would be honored to have my work in coffee shops, or anywhere that someone would want to hang it, but I know they intended it as a derogatory remark. I don't know if they expected me to fight back or wanted to see how I'd react, but all I could do was tell them my intention, and that I don't view it as anything sub-par. I wasn't rude, but I did defend my work.

      Thankfully, I've run into several people (including your very kind words) from ex-professors, to folks I'd never met prior to the evening of the opening who have told me that they loved the work. I had one professor tell me that she couldn't believe the board would say what they did because she thought it was conceptually one of the best works she viewed in the exhibition. I think all of the positive comments have allowed me to see that 1) I'm not crazy, and there are people who enjoy some lightheartedness in art, and 2) Everyone has an opinion, and as you pointed out, it could very well be that they have their own insecurities. Unfortunately, it may at times require me to wear my thick skin suit and just let it all bounce off. I don't ever want to dismiss constructive criticism, but I do think it's important to recognize the difference.

      At the end of the exhibition, I was honored to learn that the curator of the gallery wants to use the work in another longer-term exhibition. We're currently working out details for that loan, but it felt wonderful to know that it was something she would like to see up again.

      I just want to say thank you (again) for taking the time to write. It means a lot and helps reassure me that this is something I should be doing. There will always be those who won't like what I'm doing, but I am happy to share with those who do enjoy the work.

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