Saturday, August 1, 2009
Hartford Summer 09
Tomorrow turned into two weeks. But, I am back from Hartford initiation (complete with a champagne toast) into the MFA Illustration program. The best description I heard was from graduating Ron Spears. He said, "It's like drinking from a firehose...but exhiliarating!" That pretty much sums it up.The fun for me was boarding up with so many talented artists and illustrators who all pretty much talk the same language...something I had been really missing. Even commiserating bleary-eyed each morning over breakfast was enlightening. We were all in this collective boat that landed at University of Hartford each morning. Murray's lectures on the History of Illustration, putting the art in context, was fascinating. It was also nice to see how strongly the university supports this limited residency program. Deans and faculty of the Hartford Art School were visible, supportive, and engaged. The first week with Alice Carter and Dennis Nolan was the most intense with assignments of 50 thumbnails of this and 50 thumbnails of that flying at us. But the learning was profound. "Tough love" works well. The lack of sleep took its toll though. The Saturday between was spent at The Clark Museum and the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. --all extremely inspiring. Week two featured children's book authors/illustrators Ted and Betsy Lewin who helped us formulate storyboards for our respective stories. Both weeks peppered with slide presentations from illustration giants CF Payne, Gary Kelly, Nancy Stahl, Jean Tuttle, Chris Spollen, Danny Pelavin, Ted Lewin, Betsy Lewin, Alice "Bunny" Carter , Dennis Nolan and Murray Tinkelman. Then we had the pleasure of attending the reception at the exhibit of graduating MFA's in a beautiful gallery. Extremely talented group has just graduated. So the onus falls to the class of 2010 next and then to us. Part of the initiation is to let us experience what will be the culminating moment (exhibition, written thesis, and oral defense) for us newbies as well in 2011. The very best part is a new network of artists to communicate with from the isolation of my studio. Fast friends, and reliable shoulders:) The experience was extremely exciting, stimulating (almost too much), and rewarding so far. So stay tuned. I'll be working on assignments we have and planning for Pasadena trip in November and Dallas Fort Worth trip in March.