Well, it's that time again: THE END OF THE SEMESTER! I was starting to get a little loopy there at the end. For example, I came home the other day from being at school all day, then at work all night. With little sleep the night before, so I was pretty worn out. When I got home, I parked on the street. As I was getting to my front door, I turned to look at my car (which I'm glad I did. How often does someone turn and look at their car before going into their house?), and there my goes my car. ROLLING. DOWN. THE. STREET. I had accidentally left the gear in NUETRAL.
For about 1 second, I wasn't sure what was happening, then it clicked: RUN! So, I drop everything and run down the driveway and into the street towards my car. We have a small hill near our house, so the car was picking up speed after a few seconds. I run as fast as I can and I make it to the car and reach for the door to try to stop it. I don't know why I thought I could stop it by trying to pull it backwards, but it hit the fence it was heading for. Luckily, there was no damage to the fence (it's a wrought iron fence), and it only left a small scratch on the front bumper. I go lucky on that one. What if I hadn't looked back, and I woke up the next morning with it chilling on their fence? or if it had been towed!?
I know what your thinking. "PAIGE YOU IDIOT!" haha I know, I felt pretty silly.
Once I gather my thoughts, I look around to see if anyone has witnessed this embarrassing moment. No one was around, thank goodness. So, I drive it back up to the house.
That's not the ending. There's more to this story. This is my life.
So, I park the car, this time, I actually put it in 'park' this go around. I go inside and have a good laugh about the whole thing, and really got a kick out of it. I go to text someone, anyone, I have to tell somebody about this crazy event! I look in my purse, and everywhere in the house, and can't find my phone anywhere. I had just had it in the car, so I check there. It isn't there either. So, I use my computer to call it. I hear a faint ring. But where is it? After redialing about 6 times, I poke my head out the front door, and can hear it better. So, I walk down the street, and there it is. Laying in the middle of the street, ringing. It had fallen out when I was running like a maniac after my car. It was fine, not even a scratch.
So, yeah, that's pretty much a good idea of how my finals week went. GLAD IT'S OVER. haha
I'm thrilled about this summer, and I can't wait to have some time off from deadlines, tests, and the stress. But, as soon as I got home from work, I started running through my mind of all of the things that I could do during the break. Friends from school want to have a group photo trip around town, and I want to spend a good chunk of time on a new video, I want to submit to more shows, dedicate certain days to go to the studio and work, figure out a direction for my art, and just ALL THE THINGS. Then, I realize, I'm just adding all of these goals together and setting deadlines for myself, which turns into stress. But I want to do all of those things. I guess I just like the feeling, or need it, in a way. Like, if I don't have something going on, I'd be so bored. I can't even enjoy a movie or hang out with friends without constantly thinking, "OOOH, that's a good project. What if I put paint on this surface? or how would I film this, or write that?" IT'S A CONSTANT in my mind. I'm never not thinking about art. Guess that makes me a real genuine arrrrrteest. But, I will make time to try and relax a bit this summer. We'll see how that goes.
Also, I got accepted to be a committee member for the art gallery at our school called the Box Gallery. I'll start this fall! I'm really excited to gain some experience working amongst others in a gallery setting. I've submitted to a few shows, too, so I should hear back soon. Fingers Crossed!
Now that I've written a novel^^^, here's a woodcut that I did last week. It's a 12" by 40" hand burnished print. I call it, "Old Lady River".
This Friday at Crosstown Arts is a show compiled of artwork made from repurposed items (that were purchased from Cleveland St. Flea Market)! This show was open to everyone, so I'm excited to see what the locals made. Stop by and check out the show from 6 to 9 pm! Also, for my submission, this was my first time getting to experiment with making a light box for a photo transparency. I used a jewelry display case, and I like how it turned out. TIP: Use LED lights, since they don't emit a lot of heat. (I didn't for this project, but I will next time!) I hope it doesn't overheat and catch the place on fire. Fingers crossed.
I'm almost half way through my semester in school (and about half way to my BFA), and I've been drawing/painting/creating for as long as I can remember. I still have some drawings I did when I was about 11 years old. I remember whenever career day came around in school, I was always the "Artist".
I am so proud to have come this far. I'm at a college that I love, studying a subject that I wouldn't know what to do without, in a city that I'm proud to call home. I often question, why I am so lucky? and especially, how in the hell did I get here? I haven't been the best student in the past, but I can't help but put forth my best effort in recent times. I want to do well in school, and learn everything there is to know about art.
I've only recently grasped a better understanding of the art world. Needless to say, I have so many questions. As a newcomer to this strange and beautiful arena, I've continued to experience new perspectives that I wasn't aware of before.
I've gone through different levels of understanding of how I've viewed everything so far.
In the beginning, I was starting to apply to schools and looking into art programs. God, did I want a spot at Memphis College of Art more than anything. But that was way of my league, and price range. I was making random art, whatever popped into my head. I never thought to make art for a reason, or a purpose, and hadn't even discovered the term "concept" yet. I did, however, experiment with various materials and mediums thanks to Mrs. Neal, my art teacher. She was an amazing teacher, one that always pushed me to challenge myself, most times giving me more work than other students. I think teachers can recognize a student's passion when they see it. I only wish that I could've been more prepared for art school. But, hey, in a small town in Tennessee, where agriculture and health sciences are the top areas of interest, there wasn't a huge demand for art courses and serious art instruction.
I wish some mysterious art genie could've swooped in and told me what art school would be like:
*in mysterious art genie voice*
- You will be judged for choosing art as your major by non-artists.
- People will tilt there head, and express concern for the stability of your future.
- Some students can be quite distant and hard to communicate with at first.
- Some will scoff at the fact you use acrylic paint instead of oil.
- Prepare to fully expose your mind/life through your art.
- You will meet the most amazing, creative people along the way who will inspire you.
- Your teachers will push you further and further, which will make you insane at times.
- You will get a studio where you can do whatever your artsy heart desires.
- Exhibitions and shows are a must for meeting new people and keeping up with local art.
- Supplies aren't cheap, but there are always alternative mediums to experiment with.
- Change is good.
- Don't take one person's opinion too seriously. Everyone has their own interpretation,
which is what makes art so great.
- Listen to your peers and professors.
- Research other artists and their work.
- Namedropping is a huge deal.
- The more art/artists/movements you study, the better off you'll be as an artist.
- Make friends, have fun, and remember to go your own way (as Fleetwood Mac famously put it.)
- I've got a lot of learning to do. I'm going to try and stick to my roots, but I want to grow as a person and as a student of the arts. Cheers to new beginnings!
Until next time!
Ps. Here's my studio, I still can't believe I get to have a space to work in!
On Thursday night, Memphis Pets Alive! held their first Annual Art Unleashed Silent Auction at Crosstown Arts. It was an incredible turn out, for such a great cause. MPA helps find homes and fosters for pets in the Memphis area. A friend of mine, Dani Rutherford works at MPA, and she and few others worked on this project. So, I was extremely proud to see this event come to life! I'm proud to say they raised over $5,000 in the auction. I even won a bid for a painting by local artist, Erica Qualey. I love it!
More pictures from the event can be seen here!
This is my first blog post that will entail experiences and thoughts about my art/life. I feel like I have a lot to say from an art student's point of view. A fairly new art student at that.
I've been in college for a few years now, but only recently have I been challenged to create work that has a more substantial conceptual presence. Last semester, with the guidance of my wonderful (and challenging) teachers and peers, I finally came to an understanding with where I want to take my art. I haven't been very confident in my paintings or anything I create. I obviously am happy with what I create most of the time, or I wouldn't be making them at all. But to make something public, to expose yourself in that way, can be nerve-racking. A fellow friend and classmate, said it best I think, while discussing the challenges we have as artists:
I can't think of anything harder than exposing yourself for all the world to pick apart.
When she said that, I had a moment of reassuring realization as to why I want to make art, and the difficulties that come with it.
I will be talking more about the aforementioned issues in future posts, but on to the next topic. We had our Annual Juried Student Exhibition opening last night. My incredibly supportive family and friends came along as well, although I believe some of them came for the refreshments. The M&M and cheese plates were definitely flowing (haha you know I love you guys!) I was so grateful to have my mother, brother, and 5 of my closest friends there with me.
The awards were to be given out at 6, we had arrived shortly before. They gathered the attendees and artists into the main hall of the museum (Art Museum of the University of Memphis) where they began to give out the awards: the Graduate Purchase Award, the Merit awards, the Best of Show, and the Undergraduate award. As they were announcing the winners, one of my best friends asked if I thought I was going to win and I immediately (pessimistically) diverted her comment. Then, they announced, "The undergraduate award goes to Whitney Paige Ellens". I was so shocked! I could not believe they had chosen me. It was a complete and utter pleasant surprise. I heard cheers from my classmates, and family and received an envelope marked with the award and enclosed was a $300 check from the university. I felt so honored to have been selected, especially in the presence of such amazing artists, whom I look up to.
I emailed one of my art professors last night after the opening thanking him for all his input and help last semester. At the end of his email, he says:
I was absolutely proud to hear your name called, and cheered quite loudly, it's a good feeling to see a student succeed. I hope one day you're in the position I'm in now and feel that same feeling. And I think you should and will be.
That meant a lot to hear. I don't know what the future holds, but being an art educator is a very big possibility. We shall see what is in the cards.
Please excuse the celebratory "apple juice".