I know that things can seem a bit confusing as you navigate the archives and backmost recesses of the Columbia College Chicago graduate student blog, so please allow me to establish some context for myself before proceeding any further.
I’ll start by saying that, in short, I’m new here! That is to say, I’m new to the Graduate Ambassador position, although it’s my second year in the Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA program. As you may or may not have seen in the”Q&A with the Bloggers” section of this site, I am a recent transplant from Atlanta. I moved to Chicago just over a year ago to begin pursuing my MFA, with the intent to both enrich my personal artistic practice and apply the knowledge I acquire toward a career in arts education.
Now just a little under halfway through the program, I think that my goals remain the same; however, there’s no substitute for experience in appreciating what being in an MFA program is like. Each day I feel my mind drawn in different directions, but truly for the better.
In my first year at Columbia, I gained so much perspective engaging in conversations with my professors and classmates around notions of art, the “art world,” and our place within that schema in my Art as Discourse and Art as Practice courses. Concurrently, I challenged myself to begin incorporating “new media” into my practice, which had previously been grounded very firmly in “traditional” methods–drawing, painting, and the like.
In a Post-Digital Printmaking workshop in my second semester, I created work through layered use of the programming language Processing, laser cutting, traditional woodblock printing, and drawing. Suffice it to say, my first couple of semesters at Columbia were revelatory.
Further, over the summer (my very first in Chicago, which is an amazing experience in itself) I had the privilege of participating in a Museum Education internship at the Art Institute of Chicago with the unwavering support of my academic advisor, Paul Catanese. Here, I was able to build upon the professional skills I’d already begun to acquire at Columbia, gaining first-hand experience in a sector of the art world and building strong relationships with a cohort of fellow art educators.
In this year, just as in the last, I look forward to the multitudinous paths that Columbia will offer me. In addition to studio projects, this semester I am beginning a curatorial independent study that represents a radical paradigm shift for me–from educator to curator.
My excitement is mounting as just weeks in I can already feel that familiar stirring of thoughts getting well under way.