This past weekend on Friday night I had the pleasure and privilege of witnessing an absolutely amazing Senior Thesis show at Fontbonne’s Art Gallery. Some of my close friends’ work was displayed and even though I had a sneak peek of their work prior to the show, seeing it opening night was an amazing experience.
And it was jam-packed! What a successful turn-out. The work itself included a wide variety of styles and mediums from painting to photography to graphic design to ceramics and really everything in-between. Each senior is expected to compile a body of work for the show that showcases their skills and really gives viewers insight into what their art is about. It’s really an expression of that artist as a person. Each piece has its own meaning for each artist–be it aesthetic, political, or emotional.
It really got me excited for my senior show next year. Photography teacher Denise gave me some great advice: don’t wait. There are always some complications when it comes to hanging/printing/framing/matting your work. With my Junior Synthesis show I was pretty down to the wire. It helped me realize the sooner I frame my pieces the better–which means that the work needs to be completed (or at least tangible) in order to frame it.
My advice for artists who might be in my position is this–don’t wait on an idea! This semester has really been a time of enlightenment for me. When I have an idea, I write it down or draw it out right away. Now I have a whole collection of ideas and somewhere to start. And, when it comes time to apply for internships + jobs, you’ll be ready with a portfolio full of creative and different ideas.
Fellow blogger Demarcus and I went on a spontaneous trip to the art museum. I was more than happy to go as the St. Louis Art Museum is the perfect way to relax, destress and get out of your own head. Especially as the weeks dwindle down and the semester nears its end, a little reprieve is much needed. And bonus! The art museum is a great place to find inspiration.
There were a lot of great things about the adventure. We stopped at the Ancient Egyptian wing and strolled around the “new” contemporary building. We also watched an art film titled Blow Away by artist Andréa Stanislav. Since it was Friday, we got to tour the exhibit the Carpet and the Connoisseur which featured a collection of oriental rugs. It also included two beautiful, intricate Persian pleasure tents which were used for outdoor gatherings and as respite from the hot midday sun. (It also included a hands-on activity, which we gladly participated in: making our own carpet bookmarks!)
But maybe my favorite part was the installation by Andréa Stanislav called Convergence Infinité. The focus of the installation was St.Louis and its evolution–particularly the Mississippi River. It was very organic and geological, with elements of steel (a reference to the Arch) and allusions to both mortality and life.
A glimpse at the installation. Footage of old St.Louis in the background.
On Fridays the main exhibition is free so do yourself a favor and stop by the St.Louis Art Museum! You won’t regret it.
Interestingly enough, in 2nd grade my teacher asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. And then she had us write a letter to our future selves and include our future job description. Then she said she would mail it to us some years down the road. I received the letter years later and past me wanted to be…a police officer! It’s a noble profession but I definitely don’t think I could do it today.
Growing up, I never had a realistic grasp on what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do. I had aspirations to be a police officer and then as the years went on I switched to dolphin trainer and then veterinarian. I love animals so a career path that included physically touching soft, furry animals seemed like a perfect fit. Then things started to get serious and I realized careers required hard work, dedication, and motivation.
Math, science, literature…I struggled with all of them. If I had to choose one, it would be literature (since I loved to read) but I wasn’t really passionate about it. When I found out I could turn my hapless doodling and drawing and creating into a career, I was ecstatic!
Even now, I can’t recall exactly when I made that decision to be an artist. In a manner of speaking, art chose me. It was the only thing I considered myself good at and it was something I loved to do. Art is a field that offers so many possibilities–and that’s the reason it works so well for me. Today, I have a better grasp on what I want to do but I also firmly believe that nothing is certain. There are so many different paths to take. Right now I’m a graphic designer but in a few years time, who knows?
As long as my job description requires me to create–anything!–then I’m satisfied.
It’s been very busy these last few weeks for art students at Fontbonne!
Coming up on Monday is the Junior Synthesis show. It runs until April 8th, so even if you can’t make the opening + reception on Monday (3:30-5:00pm), definitely pop your head in to look at the work! I’m proud to be part of this year’s Junior Synthesis show. Early this week, my fellow classmates and I hung our pieces in the gallery. It will be great to see such hard work pay off.
And, following that, there’s the Senior Show! But I’ll save that for the next post.
Artists are always working, and expanding on their body of work. I’m just now starting to realize that an artist’s work never stops. Just a heads up: if you’re a freshman or sophomore art major, start thinking about what you want to go in your Junior and Senior shows! A lot of work goes into it. Other than choosing your pieces, you’ll need to think about things like matting and framing. Also, if you have digital 2D work, you’ll need to print it (so do that in advance!).
It can be stressful. I struggle with motivation and inspiration, but I find it helps to separate myself from all the chaos and find a quiet place where I spread out my materials and paint or draw. The more you draw, paint, or even just doodle every day the easier it gets, and the more your style evolves. So to all you artists out there: keep up the good work!
I hope to see you there at the Junior Show! (And hey, there’s free food! Can’t beat that.)