Tag: update

Things Happened + More Things Are Happening

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Hello! If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, then you might know that the last few months have been hectic, exciting, and stressful. Very stressful. I think primarily two things kept me sane: the support of my loved ones and the fact that I really enjoy what I’m doing right now. The stressful part stemmed from having too much to do in too little time. At times I felt like I was spreading myself very thin and I was frustrated by my inability to dedicate an appropriate amount of time and focus to any one of my priorities, which all seemed relatively equal.

The spring semester officially ended last week, and even though I still have a lot to do, I feel like I can breathe again. The unfortunate (or maybe not so unfortunate) part is that my body noticed me relaxing and decided that now I was able to deal with some health-related obstacles. It sucks, but thank you, body, for not doing this to me when I was already struggling to stay afloat two months ago.

The past semester was incredibly challenging and, as most things go, ultimately rewarding. I was lucky enough to work with Janet Niewald, Corrine Fitzpatrick, and Sally Alatalo, three talented and generous women, who served as my mentor and advisors and helped me grow in different ways. In spite of distance, I have remained connected to many of my classmates through Skype, e-mail, and Facebook and I can’t wait to be reunited for our last summer together next month (!!!).

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I mailed in my thesis last week, complete with a visual timeline, and I will share that here soon for anyone who would like to read it. My book is taking me longer to finish than I planned, but only because I love it so much and I want it to be perfect. Well also because I’ve been working on a million other things too. I’ve been sharing snippets of it on my Instagram and Facebook so make sure to follow me! You can find all the links to my social media accounts at the top of this page.

This summer, I’m traveling to Chicago again for my last residency (somehow it’s already that time). This last residency will consist of a big thesis exhibition in the Sullivan Galleries, thesis presentations, colloquiums, an art history class, a professional practices class, a class on how to do a thesis presentation, 3 visiting artist lectures per week, screenings, studio visits, and a one-night open studio event. Oh, and graduation of course!!

I dare say that most of my work for the thesis show is done, but anything can happen so I’m doing my best to prepare as much as I can before leaving. I will definitely share images once the work is installed, but basically it is made up of five panels of watercolor on Yupo paper that measure roughly 9′ x 9′ altogether. Over the next month, I’ll finish the paintings and prepare them for shipment to Chicago, where installation will begin as early as June 21st.

When I come home I’ll go back to work at the museum, get some teeth pulled (really), and finish preparing for my wedding. Clearly the excitement will not be over for a while! Thanks for reading and thank you to everyone who has been there for me during this crazy time, especially my fiancé and my family. XOXO

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The Gallery U: Weeks 1-7

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Every week I will share links to my posts on The Gallery U website. If you don’t already know, The Gallery U is a recently launched website featuring the artwork of college students across the US. I am one of 18 interns who will be posting new work every week along with a brief description. If you visit the site, you will notice a small heart icon on each post. The intern with the most clicks at the end of 15 weeks will be featured in V23, a New York-based blog which showcases the music, creative writing, photography, and art of young adults. If you like what you see, please help me increase my chances of winning by clicking that heart! xoxo

Week 1: Self Portrait

Week 2: Untitled (Madame Insulin in Red)

Week 3: Insulin is Not a Cure

Week 4: Ebb and Flow

Week 5: MI Framed

Week 6: Yes.

Week 7: Too Sweet

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Still Here

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I’ve been absent for a couple weeks now and my excuse is just that I’ve been busy (this is a valid excuse, I promise). Anyway, things are wrapping up (no pun intended) as the holiday season quickly approaches, so I am finally finding time to return to the things I’ve had to place on the back burner recently.

Today I am finishing the first paper of my graduate school career (it has been no easy task, but it’s almost done!) Maybe I will post the finished paper in its entirety on the site later, or at least a link to it…but here is a peek:

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In the next two weeks I will teach my last museum classes and gifted art classes of the year. Here are some of the projects we have been or will be working on:

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Literal art gouache paintings

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Monochromatic paintings

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Abstract sculptures inspired by Chihuly’s glass pieces

My goals for this month are to finish a commissioned painting, start a new personal project (which I’m really excited and will share details about soon), and relax! I have a lot more to do, but I’ll spare you the list. Hopefully I will be able to post on here more frequently again, but for now, here is some more evidence that I have been alive and well:

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My Decision to Apply to Grad School + An Update

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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!

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Fall 2013 Update

Mmmmmm I love the fall. The smells, the sights, the feels…it’s all just so cozy and inspiring. I’m sure I’m not alone here, but I think I feel the most inspired during the fall season. It’s probably because I associate this season with the beginning of a new school year. No, I’m not in school anymore, but I was for the past…17 years? It’s pretty much wired into my subconscious now.

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This fall, I’m definitely feeling inspired, but also very overwhelmed. I guess you could say I’m out in the “real world” now and I’m at a crossroads, trying to decide what I need/want to do at this point in my life. My brain is overflowing with ideas and prioritizing isn’t coming to me so easily right now. There’s no doubt that being an artist is risky. It’s hard to prepare for something unknown, you know? But more and more, I’m feeling the urge to take the risks. I’m writing a lot, reading a lot, and thinking a lot in an attempt to go into this with as much knowledge and confidence as I can. I’ve been more active in asking for help from others who know more than I do, and even the smallest bits of advice have been really eye opening and helpful.

I’ve learned a lot of things about myself since graduating from college. One thing I learned is that apparently I’m not ready to stop taking classes. I’m currently enrolled in about 11 online classes and I took two more over the summer. The majority are free classes offered by several different universities, which is so awesome because anyone with Internet access can take them. I will include the links at the end.

I only paid for two classes and neither one was overpriced in my opinion. I took the first one over the summer through Blue Ridge Community College. This 8-week class, taught by the knowledgeable Teri King, was all about starting your own arts and crafts business. It was filled with tons and tons of useful information that I’m still referring to now.

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The second class I paid for is actually an e-course written by the owners of A Beautiful Mess. This class is about creating your dream job, and I haven’t read through all the content yet, but it seems very similar to the class I previously mentioned only more personal and with a sort of different perspective. I will share more of my thoughts on the e-course once I finish it.

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Although being unemployed is frustrating for sure, I have to look on the bright side and say that all this time to myself is super beneficial. I’m really thankful that I’m able to do this right now. Besides taking a million classes, I’ve also been creating more products for my Etsy shop, working on grad school applications (yes, I decided to apply—more on that soon!), and attempting to get a handle on the business aspects of my art (making it more legit).

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Since not all my plans and ideas are fully developed/make a lot of sense, I’m keeping things kind of under wraps for now. I feel like I need to keep them somewhat to myself while I work out the kinks and all the confusing stuff. Don’t fret though, because like I said in my last post, I have lots of other content coming up to keep you occupied while I work on this other stuff :] Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!

P.S. Here are some links to click if you’re feeling the thirst to learn:

Udacity
NovoEd
EdX
Coursera
Canvas

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Fall is Approaching…

I’m not doing a very good job of keeping the site updated, I know! :/ The last few months have been crazy in a slow kind of way if that makes any sense… The future is still a little fuzzy, but I have been taking steps toward the things I ultimately want. I promise I’ll actually elaborate on that in the next few posts (which will not be months apart…). After some updates, these are the next 5 posts you can expect to find here (maybe or maybe not in this order):

  1. My August show at Larkin Arts
  2. The story behind the collaborative bookshelf chair
  3. The story behind the conjoined twins project
  4. The zillions of hours that led to me finally earning a teaching license (this will probably be split up into multiple posts)
  5. My experiences at some conferences/workshops in the last year

I have so many things I want to share! That’s just part of the list :P

 

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