Something I get asked about a lot by prospective students is what type of exhibition opportunities are available to the graduate students here and whether or not the faculty can help secure some of those opportunities.
The faculty are constantly sending us announcements for either juried exhibitions or other things that can be applied for, both nationally and locally here in Chicago. But every now and then, there is a specific opportunity that is presented by a faculty member.
Before Christmas break, Paul D’Amato approached me about being in a book show that he was curating at Riverside Art Center. I have long been interested in books, and he had seen some of the experiments that I had made during the spring semester. He invited me and two other current grads, as well as a number of alumni and a few current undergrads, to take part in the exhibition.
The opening took place on Super Bowl Sunday (not the best planning) and was quite well attended. The work was great to see. A book show is a little different in the fact that each book is like its own miniature exhibition, which means the show had a much larger volume of work than most.
The opening was really nice, and a lot of people, including a lot of the current grads, came. Paul said a few words, and then we all went and watched the Super Bowl. So, in the end, while I believe that it is ultimately up to the student—who wants to be an artist—to go out and find their opportunities, every now and then those opportunities get handed to them.