Sunday, December 03, 2006

reflections on an MFA past ...

First, a little blog on blogging ...

This is only my second entry to this blog in three months. OK, so maybe blogging is not my thing. I write a lot, but usually keep it to myself. Writing and discussion are how I hash things out--all things, whether personal or political or aesthetic (and let's be real, art is generally a combination of those three things)--but that means my writing is often not a "finished product." I'm still figuring out what I mean or what's going on or even sorting out my own opinion when I write. Cyberspace is often not kind to circular, unfinished documents.

To the matter at hand ...

I attended an artist's reception last night, that of a friend's MFA exhibition. Athough she began the program before I did, and now has finished just after me, we are cohorts in a way and are weirdly similar in our non-art interests and outlook. For some reason, her graduation feels to me like the closing of an era.

There was a good turnout and I spent a long time talking to other post-MFA friends I hadn't seen in months, many of us in different phases of depression, separation anxiety, or overwhelm. Some, like me, are working full-time in something that is not necessarily art but pays the bills in an effort to stay above the waterline, and cramming art and art projects into any residual space we can find. Others are taking a "trust that what I need will come" approach and have quit "paying" jobs to make getting their art out into the world their full-time job. Some aren't dealing with their art at all at the moment, trying to decompress and refocus themselves.

All of us are wrestling with the "what is success in art to ME?" question. But that's another post for another time.

Anyway, I came away from my evening understanding that we all seem to feel the same way, post-MFA, even if we are dealing with it differently. We find that we have to make time for community, for discussions about art and art-life, in a way we didn't have to before. But we have the opportunity to create something new--associations, connections, adventures together--without the annoyances that the graduate art program experience brings.

1 comment:

Ronny Joe Grooms said...

We'll share notes on this topic in a month. :)