Tag: masters

January + February Inspiration

Note: Sometimes the things I include in these posts directly influence something I’m working on; other times I include things that just inspire and motivate me to continue making work.

IMG_9297 Werner Pellis

1. Flower parade featuring floats inspired by Vincent van Gogh in the Netherlands


2. This heartbeat gif

“Envy will eat you alive; cynicism will eat your work alive.”

3. Jerry Saltz’s tips for art students


4. Paintings by Guayasamín


5. Exhibition: Queen by Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and Dana DeGiulio

sewing gif still

6. This sewing gif

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7. Poetry Readings

“One of the hardest things about being chronically ill is that most people find what you’re going through incomprehensible—if they believe you are going through it. In your loneliness, your preoccupation with an enduring new reality, you want to be understood in a way that you can’t be. “Pain is always new to the sufferer, but loses its originality for those around him,” the nineteenth-century French writer Alphonse Daudet observes in his account of living with syphilis, “In the Land of Pain.” “Everyone will get used to it except me.””

8. New Yorker article: What’s Wrong with Me? by Meghan O’Rourke

masters at work

9. Videos of the old masters at work


10. Vintage NASA Posters


11. Isabelle Arsenault and her illustrations for Jane, the Fox, and Me

“I’m not a celebrity, I’m a worker. I’ve always worked. I was working before people read anything about me, and the day they stopped reading about me, I was doing even more work. And the idea that if you’re a mother, you’re not doing anything—it’s the hardest job there is, being a mother or father requires great sacrifice, discipline, selflessness, and to think that we weren’t doing anything while we were raising a son or daughter is appalling. It makes me understand why some human beings question their worth if they’re not making a huge amount of money or aren’t famous, and that’s not right.”

12. Interview with Patti Smith by Alan Light

Links: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12



Updated Interwoven FlyerIt’s been a while since this show took place, but I finally have time to write about it! Interwoven was a show curated by my ambitious friend and peer, Pia Cruzalegui, and it included the work of many (class of 2016) SAIC Low Residency MFA students. Our second six-week summer together began on June 13th and the perfect way to kick it off was with this show opening.

IMG_0654Me and pia

The show took place at Throop Studios in Chicago and was designed as a pop-up show, which means it was only up for one night. A lot of work went into making that one night a success. Pia was able to find support from literally across the world in order to properly promote and organize this show. There were lots of emails and phone calls back and forth. Back in Virginia, I was responsible for creating a Facebook event page and making posts on our Facebook page every day about all the artists who would be a part of the show.

DSC_0909ana moralesDSC_0906
jennifer chadwickDSC_0913
kelli black
From left to right: Kelly Long, Mohamad Kanaan, Janice Marin
DSC_0930carly zufelt

June 13th was a hectic day since I flew in that afternoon. I spent a few hours getting partially settled in and before I knew it, it was time to head over to Throop. The space looked beautiful (a team of awesome fellow students had set up the night before) and the reunion was emotional since most of us hadn’t seen each other since last summer.


Sandrine schaeferDSC_0944
fatma al-remaihi
From left to right: cathy pach, eleanor neal, jennifer chadwick, amy malcolm
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verónica casado-hernández

The turnout for the show included faculty, new students, family members, and other visitors. There were many conversations about events from the past year and the directions our work had taken. It was great to see new work from my cohort. Everyone was exhausted, but the show was a success. At the end of the night, it was time to deinstall the show and prepare for the next six weeks of craziness.


Laurie palmer, john neff, gregg bordowitzDSC_1004

I couldn’t include all the photos from the show, so please check out our Facebook page for more:



My Decision to Apply to Grad School + An Update


So a few years ago, my plan was to go to grad school right after graduating from JMU. At the beginning of my senior year at JMU, I did research and started the application process. I even did a pre-application online portfolio review. By December, however, I was feeling super doubtful of my plan. It was a mix of emotions really. I was eager for a break from school, worried about the expenses, and also doubtful of my chances of even getting into a good program. In the end, I decided to not apply that year and I was okay with my decision.

Fast forward a few months to the summer after my graduation. I was applying for teaching jobs in every school district within an hour of Roanoke and waiting for interviews that never came. I went through some personal changes that were hard for me to deal with and I looked for ways to stay busy. I signed up for a few online classes and worked on art projects. It was around this time that I started to reconsider my plan yet again.

I finally admitted to myself that I still wanted to go to grad school for art and I decided to go for it. I started the process earlier, did more research, and contacted some of my former professors. I applied to four low-residency programs (SAIC, MICA, Lesley, MassArt), none of which are in Virginia. Low-residency, by the way, means that most of the course work is done from home. Residencies take place in the summer, and this is when you stay on campus for several weeks of intense work and time with visiting artists.

MFA programs are pretty competitive, as they typically accept only small groups of students (15-30) each year. One of my priorities is to go to a school that is well-known for its art program. Of course, the higher ranked the school, the more applicants there will probably be. Two of the schools I applied to are among the top ten for fine arts grad programs in the U.S. (according to US News–although a high ranking isn’t always a guarantee that the program is great). That said, I tried to be optimistic about my chances of getting in, but I was also mentally preparing myself for rejection.

I have received one rejection letter so far, and that one was from MassArt. Normally I would’ve been super disappointed, but it just so happened that I opened another letter first, and that one was from SAIC (School of the Art Institute of Chicago). And yeah, I got in!! I was so thrilled because SAIC was my first choice and also because I really didn’t think I would get into the #2 fine arts school in the country. The low-residency program is actually being introduced to SAIC this summer, so I will be among the first 35 students to be in it.

I will definitely share more details as I get them, as well as let you know the status of my applications to the other two schools. I’m so excited for this next chapter of my life to begin and I look forward to sharing it with you all :] Thanks for reading!