This weekend we hosted the artist Lorna Meaden at the college where I work. Anymore about the only time that I make functional work at the wheel is for a demo in my class, but Lorna is such a good artist and such a great presenter that she has me dreaming of getting back onto the wheel to try out some of the things that I saw her demo this weekend. Even better than seeing new forms demonstrated, however, is the opportunity to pick the brain of a successful ceramic artist. As the studio manager I was invited to take Lorna out for dinner yesterday after the workshop. This was a really great opportunity for me to ask her my questions about her professional career and what advice she has for someone like myself who is just finishing up her MFA. Her advice was to remember that the MFA is just the beginning of a career and that I really need to work hard to get my work out. She suggested that I email the editor of Ceramics Monthly the next time I have a show opening and ask her to match me up with a writer who would be interested in writing about my work. Who knew!
The semester has been a busy one for me. In addition to taking seven credit hours at school, working and taking care of my family I also put up a show of installation art at Spark Gallery in February. While this made for a crazy semester, it was a good opportunity to try out an idea in a gallery space in anticipation of my thesis show a year from now. I was lucky enough to have a couple of art friends come to the show and spent nearly two hours talking about the work with me. I really feel that having local artists that I can talk with has been critical to my development during the MFA process and I am so blessed to have these folks available and willing to help out!
After my show came down I attended the NCECA conference in Portland, OR. As always, this is a way to see what's trending in the ceramic world, though I got the most inspiration from an installation piece by Brenda Mallory at the Portland Museum of Art. This piece reminded me of hiking in the desert with short sage plants and tall cacti. It was a neat combination of short and tall pieces that added visual interest. Definitively something that I can start incorporating in what I've been doing.
Now I'm just trying to wrap up lose ends at the end of the semester. One more gas kiln firing on Wednesday and then I'll be heading out to Hays, KS for a workshop and end of semester meeting. I'll have one year of thesis to get through and then I'll be done! I feel like I'm close enough that I can taste it and I know that I can complete this degree! In the mean time, I will be continuing to push my artistic ideas, getting my work out in the world and pushing on until the end, keeping in mind that the end is only the beginning.
I hope that you all have had a great last four months. Thanks for reading my ramblings.