Anywho, we had a couple hours of general orientation with the sculpture residency students (we share the same building with the sculpture facilities). After that we went off to the Nature Lab and got acquainted with our classmates and our professors. Today we met Suzanne Anker and Joseph DeGiorgis. There are 14 people in the class and only 4 (including myself) are from the United States. We have students from Russia, Columbia, Taiwan, Zimbabwe, Australia, Korea, and I'm probably missing some. But how cool is that!
I was able to choose my own studio space today. It's 6'x7' and I'm super excited because I've never had a studio before. At SVA they are very social with their studio layout so each studio only has three walls therefore making artmaking a social activity which I think is great. So as of right now all I have is a table and chair in my studio- not sure if I need to bring other equipment since most of the work will be lab based.
We got a brief tour of the lab and the equipment we can use. It is a Level 1 lab which means we cannot have pathogens or any human or animal cultures. Basically we are allowed to use a bunch of bacteria, plants, and they will allow us a frog or fish. They also have shell collections, bone collections, a few taxidermy pieces as well as a few insects in resin.
Then some of us an an opportunity with the remaining class time to show our previous work to the class. Only about four of us had the time to share our work with the class today (myself being one of them) but after sharing my work I realized I am in a room full of very VERY creative people. One of my classmates had a piece in the Armory show last month! Can't wait to see what else people will share with the class.
But with that being said, here is where I know this class will be a great opportunity for me. There's a quote by James Watson in which he states, "If you're the most intelligent person in the room...you're in the wrong room." And let me tell you, I am most certainly in the right room. My entire college career thus far I have always been the most intelligent out of my classmates and none of my classes seemed to challenge me to my utmost ability. Well here I am after day 1 at SVA and I'm like woah, this is the real deal. Everyone is so focused and driven and is serious about their work. Many people haven't even had that much of a background in biology they are just interested in it, but they know their stuff. This class is definitely going to challenge me to grow not only as an artist but as a person as well. My professor made the comment that once you meet her you no longer are a fine artist or call yourself just a painter, she sways you (in a good way) into becoming more biology based in your practice. She told the class that everyone will come out a changed individual and will be a different person after these four weeks. Leaving class today, mental & physically exhausted nonetheless, I can honestly say that I am glad I was given this opportunity to not only change as an artist but as a person as well. I think being around likeminded individuals is something I've been waiting for for the past five years and cannot wait to see where this program will take me in the future.