This last weekend, I graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with my Master’s degree in Fine Art! There were so many things to do leading up to that event, that I hardly realized it when the day came. It really didn’t sink in until it was actually happening.
I painted every spare moment until the ASE exhibition, which was May 9, the same day as graduation. But there were also all the little details to be taken care of that took time as well, such as the work being photographed, invitations sent out, the work had to be wired, hung, varnished and signed, and finals for classes and reviews still had to be studied for and completed.
The day was a softly filtered sky, the energy of everyone graduating was completely ready, poised for the next phase of life, each student ready to take on the world. Or at least the art world.
Phyllis Gorsen gave a beautiful and inspiring speech as the spokesperson for the MFA 2014 class. After we received our diplomas, students gathered outside briefly to take pictures with friends and family before heading inside to the ASE to stand by their wall of artwork.
It was an exciting night! Hundreds and hundreds of people from Philadelphia came through the labyrinth of an exhibition: some serious collectors, some alumni, some curious onlookers. The response that I received from the viewers was so affirming: three pieces sold, but it was more the conversations and responses that I received about the work that was most validating. As an artist, you may labor over work for months or even years without immediate feedback of a job well done, or even the surety that you finished the work. The exhibition gave me a broad range of responses from people as to what the work meant to them. As more and more people came through and hundreds of strangers looked closely at my work, there was an odd sense of exposure, as well.
More photos to come. I want to thank everyone that came out that night to show love and support. Also, a huge congratulations to the MFA class of 2014, I’m honored to call you my colleagues!