Friday, March 16, 2018

Catching Up

This week I have been on Spring Break from the one school that actually gave me classes this semester, so I've been mostly taking time to relax, but there's always things that have to get done.  Even at the school on break.  Answered e-mails from students, which I never mind doing.  Always happy to help a student who takes the time to ask for help related to classes.  But now also have to deal with administration requests, much less welcome.  One that was due today was related to a program for college students who really aren't qualified to be college students, but they have tuition checks, so they are accepted and it's left to professors to get them up to speed.  Again, I don't mind helping students, but the first graded project isn't due until next week, so I was requesting extending that deadline until I had something to actually tell them about.  They agreed.  More annoying was another demand that came in yesterday, one that college administrators pull every few years.  Someone new wants to know all kinds of stuff about the faculty, and needs us to submit copies of the evaluation forms, our syllabi, a CV, due in about a month or we will not get classes again.  I consider this to just be laziness, since all this stuff is in office files already and they can pull it out any time, instead of making us use our own unpaid time to dig the stuff up and submit it again.  I found the necessary information this week.

Have also devoted time to thinking about the next print project.  Have three projects that I plan to pursue, just a matter of deciding which one will be first.  Meanwhile, things may be changing at the Studio.  Molly informed me early this week that Jackie, our third artist in the space (for the last few years) is going to be moving out soon.  This leaves us two options- find a new third person to split the rent, or go back to the two artist system we had for many years- more rent, but more space.  More will be decided about this in the future.

Not much has been done lately about the planned printmaking show in Belmar, mostly because the new person in charge of exhibitions hasn't responded to questions we have, and we need those answers before we start recruiting artists of the show.  Luckily it's not until the fall, so we have a little more time, but we also need to give time to the artists to make prints.  The one thing that I have done toward this is to schedule a woodcut series at the location.  Good for them, as most people involved in BelmarArts don't know what a print is or how to make one, so if we want people in the show, we will have to teach them.  Plus the organizations takes a percentage of tuition for all classes, so they will make money that way, too.  And as the teacher of that class, I'll make some money.  Got all the paperwork submitted over a week ago, but they have yet to put it on the website or start advertising it.    I need to remind them that they have something to gain from this as well.  Got most of the supplies I will need to get started, and this week I received the newest catalog from my woodcut supply company.  Won't order anything until I find out if I have students, but I am curious about some new inks they are carrying.

This week we also got the results of the upcoming big juried show.  This is the 14th annual, and I joined in time to be part of the 2nd annual show, back before we had our own building.  I've been in it every year since then, winning many awards along the way, but this year I was rejected.  I don't take the results of juried shows too seriously- as I tell students, if I get into a juried show or win an award, it means one person liked what I did, and if I am rejected, it means one person didn't like what I did.  However, there seems to be some weird things going on here.  Out of 49 people in the show,  I only know 13 of them, and I've been around long enough to know most of the active members.  And 49 is the smallest number of artists to be selected I've ever seen.  In the 10 years prior to this one, the shows averaged 81 artists each.  All the founders are gone- I don't know if they all left or were pushed out by the people running things now.  Many of them are part of a group that has been showing in other places in the area, such as the show I am in right now in Spring Lake.  That show has a closing reception this coming week, so perhaps I will see them and find out some answers.

And we've had a lot of college basketball on the tv this past week, so I have watched a bit of it.  I'll have the results of my Tournament of Art at the end of the weekend, and assuming my schools survive those rounds, more next week.

Anyway just because I'm off work, doesn't mean I have nothing to do or that nothing happens. Life as  an artist keeps you busy.


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