MFA in Photography Exhibition

MFA in Photography Exhibition

Idea for Exhibition: mural of Chemise (2018) and overlay of Rich in Romper (2018) framed.

Rough sketch of design above

I’m in the middle of preparing my MFA thesis exhibition with my fellow cohort members, and the feelings are unreal. Where did the two years go? It’s definitely a weird feeling knowing that I’m about to be a master in photography when it feels like I just got here.

Two years ago I was just beginning my MFA in Photography candidacy at Columbia College Chicago, and now? Wow. I’m preparing my portion of what’s going to be a kick-ass 2019 MFA exhibition in the upcoming months. The show is in May, so we only have so much time to write our thesis papers, work up an edit, and sequence of a limited number of images that really encompasses the whole idea of your work…

My workload this semester is manageable, but if I had this much crap to do my first year first semester, I would lost my mind. Currently, I’m the production manager for the Hokin Gallery (an on-campus gallery), throwing up two shows this semester, Fulfilled Fantasies and Hokin Honors. I just finished as a curatorial assistant for the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s STATELESS: Views of Global Migration, and today at work I almost didn’t get a lunch because we were so busy with tours and print viewings. I have to help create, develop, and produce the MFA show, and completely install everything myself. I’m super thankful that I have experience with gallery and museum management; also, because the preparation of the show doesn’t feel scary (at least freakin’ yet) so much as it does exhausting. I trust that everything will be alright with my experience, but I’m also planning to mount my own images, which… is always tricky. Any minor mistake and your print has a ding in it. You don’t want that. Before this semester is over we will also de-install and install a new show at the MoCP. I will have worked on a total of five exhibitions this semester alone. There are days that I come home and the thought of trying to write a page or two on my paper agonizes me.

This is my brain. Right now. Everything I’m currently thinking about is lying on my desk at home.

All the bull that is running through my head. Small images for editing and sequencing, notes and recommendations from colleagues, and thesis research.

It’s also important to note that there is chocolate on that desk.

I’ve started to rough up a layout of my gallery space and how I want to show my work, as well as which images I’m going to use. That is the hardest part; because you make so many images over the course of your time in school, once you get to a successful place and start rolling them out, it’s hard to separate yourself from the favorite to the most successful. One great thing about my schedule and classes this semester at Columbia is that since I’m in the Gallery Management class and work at the Hokin, I have been able to become familiar with the space we will be showing in. Our graduate advisor gave us the option of either of the two student galleries, Glass Curtain or Hokin, and we decided Hokin. It’s a tough decision, because Glass is very white cube, but Hokin gets more traffic and has a different (and difficult) layout.

We also as a cohort get to work on designing our exhibition catalogue. This is fun because we’re thinking about doing consistent format as the past two previous years, but maybe, potentially, splitting the catalogue into smaller, individuals booklets for each graduating artist. This is rad. We wanna be different, since we all feel that Columbia’s MFA photo reputation is pretty traditional, yet the students that occupy the seminar focus on a variety of issues.

My Family. I love them so much, and am looking forward to showing and graduating with most of them! (from left to right: Jamie, Atefeh, Levi, me, Michael, Kalin, Christian, Marcella. Kalin is already gone, and Atefeh and Michael will graduate next semester!)

Anyway, that’s all I have. There’s a lot of things happening in this head, and I need to go do some self-care. Tonight, I’m going to watch a cat movie, and that’s all that I really know. Good day, all!