The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily
reflect the views of the Art League.
In stark contrast to last month, August was very busy for me. In truth, I scheduled myself so tightly with classes, volunteer work at The Art League Of Long Island, where I am a resident artist, speaking engagements and openings that I did not give myself enough time to come back and work in my own studio. I began to miss my own work space. The flip side of this is that I got to meet and work with a bunch of wonderful new people.
I took Printmaking and Ceramics this past month. I thoroughly enjoyed both. My printmaking instructor strikes me as being very thrifty, which I appreciate and share as a value. My ceramics instructor is patient and understanding and seems to share a fascination with Mixed Media, and process overlap. I think that they are my people. Anyway, in my own practice, things tend to move very quickly. I tend to treat almost everything that I do in my studio like a drawing. That is, I tend to do things gesturally and off the cuff. In the case of ceramics and printmaking, this is not feasible. They are both process heavy media, and cannot be rushed. I appreciate this frame of thinking because it’s the opposite of how I currently do things. Perhaps this shift in thought will inform my own process in the future…?
I got to work in the Jeanie Tengelson Gallery this month as a volunteer installer. I have never installed in a gallery before. I had a lot of fun. I worked with the gallery coordinator, and a bunch of other volunteers to hang 2 shows. It was a pleasant atmosphere with a lot of laughter and some great music. It’s interesting to see another angle of the industry that I’m in. I think I will be volunteering for gallery work more often in the future.
I had my first Artist talk this past month. It’s strange, I always wanted to do an artist talk, but when faced with the reality of actually getting up in front of people and speaking my personal truths, I became terrified. I did it anyway. I think that it went well. I must have connected with people because I had more than one observer come to me after words, either thanking me for my scrupulous truth telling, or relaying to me (in tears at times) their own personal battles, or those of their loved ones. I’m grateful that they had a moment of connection. Perhaps, through my art, they got a reprieve from their own isolation.
Two days after my artist talk, I was on a speaking panel in the Huntington Cinema Arts Center for the opening, inaugural, event of SEA (Support Expression through the Arts) of Visibility. The mission of this event and art show, is to destigmatize mental illness, and support the healing power of the arts. Naturally, I got on board. I have my own history of psychiatric disturbance, and healing through the arts. After my time on the panel I, again, had people come to me (again with tears in their eyes) speaking to me about their experiences and asking advice on healing. It feels good to connect with people over something so important and real. I’m glad that for a few minutes, we were united in our common experiences.
The downside of doing so much public speaking (my least favorite thing that I will be striving to do more of), classes, and volunteer work is that it left me exhausted. I need silence and solitude with some regularity and I plan to be more wary of that need in the months to come.