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Aftermath of the MFA

 

diBenedetto_MFA_2015_42Not to sure how or where to start…. I finished my MFA in August and a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Literally and figuratively. All I wanted was a break from school and I felt the day would never come. But now it has… and now I am like “well what do I do now.” I think the hardest part of graduating with a terminal degree is that school is officially over. Done. Fin!…..Right… I could start my PhD in Visual Art, but is that what I really want right now. Not a 100% sure. The thought has crossed my mind over and over again, but for now, I think it’s best to just continue to the practice. Which right now, for me is the hardest part… finding the time to create again. At least when I was in graduate school, I was pushed to make art all the time, be in the studio all the time and create create create.

Now that I have completed my program, I find it more difficult to make time… mainly because there simply are not enough hours in the day. Now with new job opportunities flourishing and doors are opening, (WHICH IS GREAT!!!!- WHO WOULD HAVE KNOWN THEIR WOULD BE 4 JOBS OPEN IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!!)

BUT applying to exhibitions and applying for grants…. is like…. applying grad school every week… like every week… LITERALLY! I FEEL LIKE I AM APPLYING TO SCHOOL AGAIN ALL THE TIME. But just like one of my favorite art videos on Ted talk… Just do it. So how does one find time to create, research and write and then create more. Well here goes…..

I am learning that the push comes from within. It is now more than ever, more important to push myself. Nobody is here to check in on me. I am also learning maintaining the relationships I made in school are more important, more than ever right now at this moment. I valued my cohorts voices and opinions when it came to my work. So keeping that connection is very important right now. I also find it’s important to continuing reading and keeping up to date with whats going on in the contemporary art world. Joining mail list, artist talks, and even seeing more and more exhibitions has become so much more important than when I was in graduate school. More important… taking the time to rest. There is no need for those sleepless nights and endless writing and reading sessions. Of course I try not to procrastinate, but I work two adjunct positions full time and have my daughter, I can’t help but wait to the last minute at times. I have realized that I just need to be okay with that. And I am okay. I also realize, that it’s not worth the last minute push if I can’t sleep and get my mind right. I also find it very important to keep believing that my work is amazing because I am amazing. Confidence. That confidence I built in critiques and during my thesis…. that confidence that my daughter looks up too. Confidence. I didn’t just get a degree, I got a terminal degree. So I am going to keep moving forward… like always.

 

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Back to the Grind… In Boston.

Back to the Grind

I never thought I would reconsider going back to Grad school. I had such an awful first time experience and I had come to the conclusion that it wasn’t for me. However, I kept teaching part time as an adjunct, and it wasn’t until I realized how much my students motivated me to continue my own work, that I reconsidering going that route. My supervisors at CSUSM, continually pushed me and explained to me, that I couldn’t move forward in my teaching career if I didn’t finish my degree. But I also discovered, I wasn’t moving forward with my own work because I didn’t get the full experience of Graduate school. So here I was rebuilding a portfolio and reapplying to programs. I found two that I felt suited me and my situation. UCSD and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. I wanted a program that I could dive into, but work from home because of my daughter and work as an adjunct. I found Mass Art by just googling the internet. I already knew of UCSD because it was local. After researching, Mass Art was the program for me, just had to figure out how I was going to get there. There program is an intense 3 year program, with 3 Summer- 6 week residency and online classes and mentorship in the Fall and Spring. Its a called a low-residency program. For those of you who know me well, the attention span in class is very very minimal and I like to create on my own. This program was also perfect for me because it allowed me to be home with Savannah. As you can see, I applied, had a Skype interview anddddd long behold, I am here and I got in. I was like oh crap! Here I come Boston!

The first week, was overwhelming with moving into the dorms, meeting everyone and reviews. My reviews actually went pretty well despite how scared I was. Being back in a dorm situation is also a little funny too. But the other woman in the dorm with me are fantastic! They are all third year and have such an abundance of information. I enjoy the program most because of the interdisciplinary aspect of the program. Everyone has so much wonderful work and concepts, that its exciting to see on a daily basis! I love it. I love being surrounded by so many wonderful experienced artist. Below, I have listed a few of them and hope to continue to add more as time goes on.

My biggest goal for the summer is to really experiment with my hands and find a different way to show my prints. I grow so tiresome of just posting them on a big white wall. I have a paper making class, printmaking workshop, Graduate studio drawing class and Graduate seminar class. I look forward to keep you posted on this new journey and experience!

I really want to thank my loved ones for supporting me. I couldn’t be here without the full support. I grow homesick a little now and then, especially because its summer in Cali, but I love the new journey I am on.

Here are some fun photos from getting lost around the city.

Check out these artist and more to come:

William Chambers 

william-chambers.com

williamchambersstudio@gmail.com
Ashley Normal 

www.ashleynormal.com

Stephanie Wagner

https://vimeo.com/stephanieawagner

http://stephaniewagnersincrementalshaping.org

Colleen Pearce

colleenpearceart.com

Sara Wichterman

sarawichterman.com

Rebecca Barsi

mrsbbarsi.tumblr.com

Deborah Gray

deborahgraystudio.com

Facebook.com/debstinybookshop

Freedom Baird

http://freedombaird.com/