Monday, January 25, 2010

Defining a New Paradigm

In the words of the true and faithful Samwise Gamgee, "Well, I'm back."

If you were wondering (all two or three of you - and you probably weren't because you know me well enough personally), I did get into the Master of Fine Arts program at Art Institute Boston. It is a low-residency program - which means - I attend 10 days in January and June each year for two years, with a 5th residency at the end to deliver and defend my thesis. During the rest of the year, I am assigned an Advisor and a Mentor, with the former acting as a guide for my research work and the latter as a guide to my artwork. It's actually a little more esoteric than this, but I'm going for a general description.

I have been home one week since the end of my January residency, and suffice to say, I am a changed artist. It is not yet clear how this change will affect my work, but there is no doubt that there will be some major shifts in the old paradigms.

In fact, one of my tasks is to give a summary of that very experience as my first piece of writing, so I won't give away all that much with this post. Consider it a preamble of sorts. It is more than worth mentioning at the outset here that I have encountered the most intelligent and focused people I've ever seen in such a large group. I speak not only of the incredible faculty, but the student body (about 85 +/- groups 1 through 5) as well. Also, I have made fast friends with all in my group. We all have. It's quite the bonding experience, when we're pinned like a herd of jacklit deer as the klieg lights of Critical Theory are suddenly turned on us en masse. We did indeed have to decompress in the evenings at various establishments in the Kenmore area, such as - Eastern Standard, The Lower Depths, Foundations, and of course, the venerable Cornwall's. More on this later.

Noteworthy, too, is the fact that I am back at MECA, teaching the Majors Studio in Illustration, as well as a CE course in oil painting. I still very much enjoy both, and am amused by my being in front of the class again, just when I was getting used to being in the class. It's a great contrast, and such lessons are not lost on me (not completely, anyway).

This blog, which has been on the outs of late, will begin its own new paradigm, documenting my current practice. This, of course, refers to my course of study and practical applications of such in my artwork while I move through this excellent MFA program. It should be quite a ride.

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