Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Coming Up With New Ideas and Finding the Right Space

My little experiment with applying for artist residencies has borne some results. Mostly it seems that 1) there's enormous competition and 2) even for "emerging" artists there is a certain tenor to my work that doesn't "fit in." What do I mean by that?

I think there is a certain polish, a self-consciousness, a certain tone of presentation maybe rooted in fine arts training, that distinguishes "real" fine arts people from me. I don't say this to be harsh with myself at all. I think my work is hard to categorize and I probably don't "fit" into any "category" at all.


I look at this as a good thing. Applying and getting so many rejections has helped me hone my ideas about what I want to be doing during this sabbatical. Unquestioned through it all is that I still want to be doing art.


How to fit that "art" into some kind of space, and does it even need to be there? The big, direct answer is no. I could do my work in a vacuum. But I think I am happier doing it in a context. And there are many contexts I can fit into.


Both of the fellowships/residencies I've been accepted to this summer involve some sort of interdisciplinary "bridging" of gaps. As a matter of fact this is what I set out to do in my formal sabbatical proposal, so these opportunities are a great fit.

Ceramic Rope

More than that, the work I seek to do is something that hasn't been invented yet. I like that challenge, however it happens to play out. And I look forward to a year of discovery, growth, and change that lead to many more years of mindful, productive, and positive evolution.

At Rest in the Garden


  1. Love your textured garden sculptures. Lots of ins and outs for moss and lichen to take hold and add to the beauty of the work.

  2. enjoying your thoughts here. yes, the academic fine art syndrome is one i consider myself in perpetual recovery from, having gone thru art school, only to find myself full circle back into my own intuitive curiosity and love affair with art-making itself - regardless of the fitting-in potential. congrats on knowing your truth and best wishes on your journey. i can sense you are on one that offers much much more than just a pedastal in some gallery.