Blog . The halfway point: we are artists
I have now completed my third week of the Yale Norfolk Program. Much has happened in the past week. On Thursday, I participated in the Mid-Term Critique. Our group of 26 students spent the day split in two groups, critiquing one another for 15-20 minutes each. The day was slightly exhausting, but with the exhaustion came excitement to recognize what we had accomplished thus far. I watched my friends and fellow colleagues rejoice in their success through their completed works. I was particularly fascinated with how many students handled their printmaking assignments. There was a breadth of experimentation and approaches I have never seen before, or would have ever considered.
The following day, a small group of students were taken to Mass MoCA for a few hours. I luckily was one of the six selected to attend the trip. Mass MoCA currently has a retrospective of 105 wall drawings by Sol LeWitt, and also a warehouse for works specifically created by Anselm Kiefer (one of my favorites). The retrospective will be installed in Mass MoCA for the next 25 years. I am grateful to have seen it while being on the east coast.
As for the Anselm Kiefer... as soon as I walked in and through the installation my eyes had already swelled with tears. I had never been so close to the works of an artist I admire so deeply. The presence of the works was unbelievable.
I spent most of my time in the Kiefer building until my fellow students and I met up with Clifford Ross, a photographer currently showing at the museum. Clifford was very pleasant; he spoke with us about his technique for composing the photographs in the show and gave advice to us as emerging artists.
After spending time with Clifford, later in the evening we were invited to attend an opening for new works by Francesco Clemente. He was showing new works he had made in collaboration with townspeople of a city in India where he spends most of his time. The tents were extravagantly constructed with prints, paintings and drawings. Patterns arranged throughout the exterior of most tents alluded to the content of the interior. Above the tents on another level of the building, a collection of drawings was created to accompany the tents below. While looking at the drawings, our director Sam Messer introduced us to Francesco.
I was introduced to Francesco as a fellow artist. I was in frazzled for a moment when I realized that I was introduced without the title of student. My fellow colleagues and I stood baffled in the limelight for a moment. We are artists and we are students, but the title of student should not overshadow our positions as emerging artists. We are accomplishing great things and I enjoyed hearing how respected it was to be a part of this program.
Yale Norfolk has brought much opportunity to network and to experience the growth of fellow artists and the lives of those that lecture us on the greater art world. I look forward to the final weeks of the program. The courses have ended so now we may spend all the time in the world creating. I am excited to share the knowledge I have gained from my experience here with my fellow students at CIA. This community of Yale Norfolk is incredible but the community of CIA is my home and it is dearly missed.
Above: Encampment, an installation by Francesco Clemente, photographed by Samantha Konet at MASS MoCa.