Reflecting toward graduation at the end of this month from California Institute of Integral Studies MFA Programs in San Francisco, I'm going to miss...
A support network of people, all asked to fall in love with someone else's work as they create together. People who advocate what I have to say in reaching ways. Mentoring relationships with my professors. The small classes. Assigned readings and viewings that provoke me, challenge me, ask a lot of me in a deep listening way.
A group of artists who truly seek to listen for understanding. Who pay attention for when to step forward, when back. Those who judge systems, not people. A nurturing community that pushes me in new directions, asks me to experiment and cross boundaries.
The more multicultural environment where I am not surrounded by so many other white bodies. The largely female population of artists, students, professors who are richly schooled on the dynamics of gender, class, race barriers, on oppression against those marginalized in these categories and also orientation, preference, ability, religion, origin, and and and...
Thoughtful, provocative discussions on how our individual art can help create the world we want to see/live in/experience. On where people come from, honestly, honestly, and how they can reach beyond themselves.
The Zen Garden on the 6th floor, the Mad Men/Frank Lloyd Wright feeling library. The events and workshops in Area 5, in the gallery. The long days of art absorption. The MUNI rides, BART rides, walks over urban cement canvases. The murals.
A view from my nearsighted eyes on the people who need great compassion set up against rich buildings of operating wealth prosperity, extremes side-by-side. Seeing the problems in my face, I can't ignore it like in pretend-land Boise. Boise is real. Boise is beautiful. Boise is not a prime subject of diversity. Boise has so much gentrification in its midst it is barely aware what that word means.
There is a big need for open outlets where people can speak their personal truth here, and not just the privileged well-off majority. Perhaps I can help with that. There are great people working toward that here too, I know it, setting up those opportunities, making great relational art. There can be more.
I'm going to miss the push to make art beyond pretty pictures. I can help push for that here, too. There are great people doing that here now, I know it. There can be more. We can go further. We can make art that moves, speaks, thinks, cracks, connects.
I'll miss mouth-open dialogue over food. The humid air. The human air. The laying down of egos.
I get many of these things in other places, Boise too, among incredible artists and loved ones, but I will miss them there all the same.
There I could bring my whole self, presented first through my work, then introducing all my guts. I have never felt so accepted among a group of people. One on one, yes, but never at home en masse until I studied and made art with those weirdo radicals. I was no longer the strangest in the room. I could let go, take of my mask bit by bit, and then we were altogether there, all together. I found my people. I miss that.
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Process notes on a work in progress (me). This mostly contains raw rough content pulled out of practice notebooks. Occasional posts also invite you into the way I work, with intermittent notes on the hows and whys on the whats I make. Less often you may also find prompts and processes I've brought to workshops, as well as surveys that help me gather material for projects. Similar earlier posts from years ago can be found on: