Week 13

Week 13

Wow! What a weekend! It was pure craziness. I always love the times before a multiple shows when everyone is cranking away at their studios. Personally, I like to save work until the last minute for better motivation. Or, story number two: no matter how finished a piece is, I am still adding to it and working up until the opening. Pieces with fresh paint and live acid keep the reception going smoother!

I missed Katie Hudnall’s opening at the Lofts as I was rounding people up to help me install in the seventh floor. I will check it out Monday. Our Wisculpture 5D show was successful and I really enjoyed Trina and Marina’s installation at the Laundromat! They totally transformed the space from a dated boring Laundromat into a community experience. The walls gave voices and warmth to the usual quietness of such a facility. It transformed the cleaning ritual in to an experience on a human level that seemed to create a community. Thanks, girls!

On to the focus of this blog: a summary of my Graduate plan. I wish that I had a better one but it seems to be getting easier with the seminar class. In undergrad’ my plans changed with each semester until I applied for a BFA in Sculpture. It seemed to take me so long in life to understand that I could really do things that made me happy. I now plan much better. My usual process is to find an end goal, choose things that I need to do for it to happen and sometimes throw myself into a situation regardless of the notion of timeliness. This forces me to buckle down and get things done. I plan to register tomorrow on the UW site. I did not like any of the art history classes offered this year so I plan to take my second seminar class. I have not decided for sure. I wanted to take the critique class but it only applies to the institution itself, and I have decent critique skills. I think that the tourism class sounds interesting for a couple of reasons. I enjoy to travel and talk about travel. This could be advantageous later in life. Also, I enjoy seeing military and national monuments. I believe that the world, specifically America, pays to much attention to tributes, heroes, and accomplishments. Many of my fellow veterans would disagree with me but I believe that a lot of statuary and memorials are more about the vindication and public awareness of events than the actual documentation of events. Now, to piss off everyone else: I think that the U.S.S. Arizona memorial is unneeded. I believe that the bombastic World War II memorial is a salute to nationalism. Statues of men on horses make me want to urinate publicly. Roadside memorials are a way for people to deal with the grief publicly of losing a loved one in a traffic accident. If we mark everyplace a person ever died, we would run out of room. Also, I enjoy old graveyards for their charm but believe that funerals, caskets, vaults, lots, and headstones are all a scam. At this population growth rate, how long can we possibly keep putting vaults in the ground? The entire countryside will be cemeteries a couple of thousand years from now and they will have to start burying people in the boulevard easements. Many times, we see monuments that only feed into myth/legend or revisionists history. So, I love to travel and see these things, but I usually find them a replacement for something else. Maya Lin’s memorial piece? Yes, one of the most beautiful and subtle memorials ever made. Even it was put in to show past due respect for a shitty loss of life and general disrespect of certain classes of people that had to go die in a conflict that we should not have been in. I remember being young and asking a friends dad about losing a war. He answered to the effect that America has never lost a war. Vietnam was just a conflict. !!? So, I love to travel and see these historical places and monuments as a way to learn about a group of people as a nation. In reality, I enjoy traveling and getting behind the scenes learning about cultures and daily life. People breaking bread offer more cultural insight than a bronze statue of a general that ordered kitchen cutlery to be loaded in the last remaining cannons on board a ship while screaming fire and pointing with his remaining arm, ultimately winning the battle as he remained aboard his craft to meet his maker. Tourism/ tourist sights focus on what the government and nationalists or other affirming patrons want you to focus on, not the actual culture. So, I probably should take the tourism class as I just spoke on it for five minutes.

As far as other classes, I am debating between Foundry and Fabrication. I enjoy “fab” more and need to learn Tig-welding and some new metals, but foundry would be very handy for me as I am at the point where I know how to do all of the waxes, prep and molds, but would like to learn the technical side of it regarding temps, and running pours and such. I don’t use many castings in my work at this time but is always enjoyable.

Choosing my committee: This part seems tough. Here are a few of the names that I threw on my dream sheet: Aris Georgiades, Jack Damer, Gail Simpson, John Hitchcock, Fred Stonehouse, and Doug Rosenberg. Of these people, I think that Gail would be a good committee chair as she is tough, organized, and thorough. She understands, my work and we communicate really well. She does not sugarcoat things. Gail says what I need to consider/do/investigate and is very direct and accurate. I am still unsure of this process as far as politics. I plan to discuss that subject with second and third year students so I can avoid any uncomfortable situations. I would also like to consider Fred Stonehouse and Steve Farren, as they would be valuable for some post-institution guidance and practical ability. I would love to discuss my willingness to stay in the arts outside of the institution and my “shoot the hostage” theory but there is not enough blog time left.

On my qualifiers and MFA show: I wish I could find the perfect space but that is a full time job as well as having perfect timing. In my dream world, it would be an old-construction building, maybe an old military or government building. Possibly a Victorian “row-front” building near a toy store. Ideally, a darkened underground meeting room that had military or historical meaning. So, tell me if you hear of any cool places like Al Capone’s vaults or something. Last week in Doug Rosenberg’s class, I watched a performance by a German artist performing in London in an underground arched brick bomb shelter. Super cool!

Chat again next week!


Sorry, my  camera is dead. I will add in some images tomorrow.

2 Responses to “Week 13”

  1. eduardojvillanueva Says:

    hello sir,
    i want to start off by saying breakfast was great this morning, wasn’t it? it was one of the those times that you are in a space of familiarity or with familiar faces but there is intrinsically something different about the world. there was a sense of excitement in the air not only for the 20 feet of snow, but also for convening with friends in a completely new and delicious environment. so yeah, a pat on the back to all of us.
    secondly great job in the show. your ship was the shit. i work really similarly. there has to be a fire under my ass when i work otherwise i have a tendency to drift off from my responsibilities. it is something that i am trying to work on, but then again if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
    your comments on memorial and death are really insightful. i suppose i have always been caught up in the fervor and iconography of the memorial to concern myself with the other things they symbolize. I kind of love the vision of gravestones lining the boulevard. Does this then mean that the true and proper action toward the death of a loved one is to accept decomposition and transition, rather than feverishly trying to preserve their memory in stone… perhaps.
    Its good that you’re starting to think about your committee. I find it really interesting to hear about everybody’s choices. Its funny because almost all the members on peoples dream teams are different except for fred. everybody wants to work with him, which is a great thing. i think that everybody realizes how great of an asset he is to not only this program but also to understanding the practicality of the art world. the cold outside world.
    god speed sandy,

  2. Trina May Smith Says:

    Well Sandy, I found myself chuckling multiple times during your blog. I loved your rant about war monuments…I find it valuable and interesting to hear from you about it since you have a valid perspective having been involved in the military. I am very curious about your shoot the hostage theory…my curiosity is definitely peaked.

    Thanks for the kind feedback on the laundromat piece. For any of its short comings i think that your praise lined up with the aspects that I found positive as well. In addition I enjoyed chatting with you at Mickeys after the show. Thanks again for coming out in support of our piece…I am sorry that I missed the excitement of your 5d opening.

    It has been a great term and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you Sandy…from Interstice, to battleship, to everything else…it has be awesome.

    U Rock


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