I did it. I got through the Thinking Through Making final critique. The six-hour first semester Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts MFA critique. Six hours. I thought that I would spend some time explaining how the critique was set up and how it went, since a lot of us were curious as to how it would be beforehand.
We all set up our work from the semester in either the book bindery or the paper studio before the meeting time for the class, noon. Then we signed up for times once the faculty arrived and went to it. Each student was given one half hour. First, we got a chance to explain our work and what lines we were thinking about following forward. Then, we got feedback from our peers and the faculty. Everyone at Columbia College Chicago is very interested in helping lift you up as an artist. The criticism was very constructive.
The faculty was looking for a couple of things, it seemed. One, they were looking at craftsmanship—how well you crafted books, if there were any flaws. They were also looking at content and if the book form made sense with said content. They were also very interested in where we wanted to go next. In that regard, I found the critique very helpful, as it helped clarify to myself what I want to pursue next semester.
We spent the six hours walking back and forth across the Center for Book and Paper Arts until somehow, the time was up and we were set free, accomplished and a little beat up and worn out. But, we made it through the first of many critiques. We were also given an idea of what to expect next semester when we critique again at the end of Art as Practice—something entirely different. The format of that critique will follow more the idea of the artist talk, in which we will be giving a presentation of our work followed by a Q&A session.
And that was it. The end of my first semester at Columbia College Chicago. There were times that seemed like we would never run out of time and there were others where it felt like there was not enough time in the world.
Three days later, I celebrated my thirtieth birthday with Hobitses and was able to take a breath. Now, I am spending break with family and friends and working on a new book in between. We are also in the middle of moving, so not too much rest this break.
I would also like to thank everyone for reading my posts and wish everyone happy holidays. I look forward to checking back in next semester. Please stay safe out there, and I will see you soon. :)