Over the next couple weeks, I will be blogging about the traveling I am doing. I will also be blogging about the difficulties of working as an artist and trying to go to school at the same time. Over the next three weeks, I will be in Louisiana for an opening, lecture, and critiques. Then it’s straight off to Bologna, Italy for my first book release, public interview, and opening (which accompanies the book release). Finally, I am hoping to travel to Frankfurt for the opening of a major exhibition that my work is being prominently featured in.
I begin my trip in Louisiana. Right at the end of the spring semester, I had applied and been accepted (with a fellow grad) to a juried show at a gallery in Atlanta. My image from the show was included along with the digital invitation. The gallery director at Southeastern Louisiana University saw the invite and proposed a solo show of my Technically Intimate series. I gladly accepted. The show would also come with a visiting artist lecture and speaking with classes as well as individual students.
Getting the work ready for the wall was a labor that lasted the latter part of the summer. I only had 6 pieces finished and ready to hang when the director had contacted me in the spring, which meant I had to get 7 pieces that had never been shown before printed and mounted. Then ship all 13 pieces down to Louisiana by the end of September. Everything made it, although it was very close to not making it in time.
On a side note, I was extremely excited about the opportunity to show this work in such a large body. Part of the problem with solo shows for me is that they have to be in large spaces due to the size that I choose to exhibit at. SELU had 7,500 square feet, which is a really nice amount of space for these pieces.
I flew down on Wednesday morning. I had hoped to do some crits on Wednesday, but my flight was slightly delayed, so that was not possible. Instead, I toured the show, went out to lunch with the gallery director, and met with the photo professor (a former Columbia grad, oddly enough). Thursday was a big day for me. It began bright and early with individual meetings with some of the photo students. I spent about three hours with the photo students going over the projects they were working on. That is always quite fun for me, and it makes me realize that even though I want to be primarily making my own work, I want to teach as well. I haven’t decided if I want to teach full-time, but I definitely want to teach.
Then it was off to the lecture. A decent number of students and faculty showed up to the lecture. I would say somewhere between 100–150. There were a bunch of people who ended up rolling in fashionably late, so it ended up being standing-room only. The lecture lasted around 35 minutes and the A&A went on for about another 35. It was one of the longer A&A sessions that I have experienced. The most interesting part was when the audience began to argue with each other about the content of my work. I always like watching these arguments.
After the lecture, I went out to lunch, which was followed by hopping back into class, this time for “New Media.” I had a one-on-one with a graduating senior working on her final project. That lasted almost 2 hours. The project has a lot of interesting potential, and if it is executed well, I think it will be really successful. Stumbling onto those types of projects really excites me and sometimes makes me feel like I want to step out of photography every now and then.
Next up was the actual opening. The opening ran from 5–7p, but because Isaac hit a few weeks ago, fall break was “kind of” happening that Thursday/Friday, and so many of the students had come to the lecture earlier in the day, the opening cleared out by 6:30. So, I took off to dinner with three of the faculty.
I ended up back at my hotel around 10p. It was a long day, and I was exhausted.
The next day was down to New Orleans, where I took in some galleries, saw a performance, and checked out the Contemporary Arts Center’s new show. Then it was back to Chicago to pack, as I am leaving for Italy tomorrow. (Breathe in, breathe out.)