04.04.17 Studio 2, Journal 10 – Prep for Grad Expo


E-mail from Susan, Sent 03.31.17

Hello everyone,

We made it. Now we have the push to the finish line.

For the next crit class, please come with an artist statement and an image for your work in the Expo. I know, not everyone’s work is object based, but an image that can be used to represent your work for potential promotion. Also have the final way your work will be displayed, and I hope to have word back from those in charge of this event on our specific amenities, etc.

The artist statement should provide title, medium, and a short statement about the work- a paragraph- maybe 6 sentences. it is best to speak about the work in factual phrases, referring to the work, not so much “you” as in I think… I feel…Describe the work, not you.

We will work on them in class.

Lastly, bring another statement that is directed to the work you will show in the final crit. Be prepared, and practice a short elevator speech on the final crit piece. Direct this toward a general audience. 

It is of vital importance that you are able to speak about the work clearly and without hesitation- the better you understand the work, and refine the context, the stronger the work itself will be, and going forward, there will be many opportunities for needing this skill if you are showing art, applying for grants, and such.

Have a good weekend and see you Tuesday!




My Response

I responded to Susan’s e-mail. I told her it was not appropriate to request written assignments in only 4 days. It is not that I do not completely agree that the assignment is good, I just don’t think it should be given without warning. Things like that take a lot of time and thought. I can’t just drop everything and put in the hours to write something like that. If It had been in the syllabus I would have been working on it as I went along with the various iterations of the project.


This is just another reason that I think Crit needs to be systematic. Every teacher should teach it exactly the same way every time. I This way we always know what to expect. The changing of teachers should be to give us different perspectives, not different assignments. There is no reason we can’t do this. We can design it with adequate flexibility to accommodate Snow Days and other activities. We just need a list of activities for each semester of each year and the ideal week of completion. We should not have more than 3 or 4 scheduled activities and no extra activities should be added by any teacher unless every student agrees to it. Even that should be subject to some kind of check/balance to prevent students from feeling pressured to agree to an assignment they don’t want. If the rest of the class is dedicated to regular peer/teacher criticism sessions, we have plenty of flexibility to adapt when needed. There is no reason a given cohort cannot ask for the specific things they need during those days.


I pretty much refused to do the assignment. I did not refuse on principle.  I wasn’t trying to be a whiny bitch. If I had time to do it, I would have done it even if I disagreed with it but I did not have time. I have too much to do.


That said, I did like the assignment. If I had more time I really would have done it and I would have put a lot into it. I think it would be a good idea to include some kind of weekly way of keeping artist statements up-to-date. I keep this journal, but my first priority has been to record what I do so that I am accountable for my time. The second priority is to give me a place to record my thoughts. I do spend time doing lots of other things but maybe I should add a more systematic method. I kind of tried to do that first semester but I failed. I had too much stuff and could not maintain it. I will have to think about what I can maintain.


Alternately, I could try just formalizing my project plans. Right now, they are a bit hit and miss. They don’t all give the same information. That is mostly because I do them even for small projects and things don’ always seem to apply. At least, I did not think so. Reflection tells me that there are probably certain things I should always know. I will work on this when I have more time.



Class Notes

I was an hour late for class because I looked at the clock on my GPS while I was driving Gedi around. I completely forgot that it is no longer accurate. When I got there, everyone was doing elevator speeches about their work. It seems Susan decided not to do the written things in class. That is good but the problem is, I think most people expected her to.


The elevator speeches were useful. I did not really take notes on them but I think I got the idea. I did mine on the Poetry Garden stuff from years ago. I didn’t feel ready to do it on my current project. This is not good. I need to be able to do that more effectively. Again, I will work on adding this to my journal somehow.


Random Note: It is a bad idea to give assignments if you don’t expect students to do them. It does not matter what level the class is. It’s true of Pre-school to University. If you give students instructions of any kind and then don’t follow through by holding them accountable, then they will not take the assignments seriously when you really mean for them to. I feel like that happens in all the classes here. It is really hard to know what people are serious about because so often someone says, “do this” but then doesn’t really expect it to be done. Pretty much everyone I have had experience with has done it. I get the idea that we need to hold ourselves accountable, but we also need to know what is important. Even if we don’t procrastinate and do try to take it all seriously, sometimes we will have to prioritize. We need to know what matters so that we can.