Setting Up Shop
Mentor Visit Assessment 1
Mentor: Mary Vernon
Profession: Professor of Art
Location: Meadows School of the Arts, 6101 Bishop Blvd, Dallas, TX 75205
Date: February 9, 2017
Time: 3:20 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
For my mentor visits, Ms. Vernon has allowed me to participate in one of her classes. They are in session every Monday and Wednesday for three hours, but I will only be able to go every other Monday consistently. However, this visit was on a Wednesday. I had originally not planned to go to this meeting due to another commitment, but Ms. Vernon recommended me to go. She explained this meeting would be important, so I decided to go. Admittedly, this was not my first visit. I did not write about the others because the first was simply a review on the Mentor Handbook, and the second was mainly focused on setting up the studio for Ms. Vernon’s class. In reality this was my the first mentor visit that centered on teaching me about painting.
When I reached Meadows School of the Art I did not go to Ms. Vernon’s studio, but the two floors below hers. She was teaching the class how to set up for a critique. Setting up for a critique is quite similar to setting up for a showcase in a museum, which is exactly what a museum curator does. Curating involves someone deciding where to put a piece of art in a showcase. They have to take into account the lighting, spacing, and the pieces themselves. Do the colors match? Should they match? How should the pieces be spaced? By size? If so, should each wall start with the biggest piece, from the center, and then spread out? There are many questions to answer, and we, the class, attempted to answer these questions. We set up the pieces in three walls. Each wall started with a large piece, in the middle, that spread into smaller pieces. We also tried making the colors and lighting match. In the end it looked pretty nice.
The most interesting part of this, however, was the purpose of this. Ms. Vernon explained we would have a critique towards the end of the semester, and each person will have to curate their own tiny space. Once I learned this I realized why Ms. Vernon recommended I come. I always show up slightly later than most people, which means I will, undoubtedly, get the worst spot to set up my pieces during the critique. I needed to know how to curate my own area, so that when the time comes I will be able to make the “worst” area the “best” one. This will be done by manipulating the placement of each of my pieces and the lighting. I also find that this knowledge can be incredibly beneficial in future endeavors. Artist have to showcase their artwork in local shows; knowing how to curate can help me truly stand out among my peers.
Once we finished curating, we continued painting our last assignment, a beet. For that assignment Ms. Vernon taught me an amazing way to paint. Rather than painting an object and the background, this method involves painting both the background and object at the same time. It somewhat feels like carving the object through painting the background. Honestly, I genuinely enjoy this method. It feels incredibly efficient and fun because it allows me to mix colors in an incredibly interesting style. Another reason I am excited to learn this style is that it feels more natural than how I usually paint, which, to me, means it is closer to the style of painting I want to develop. Every artist needs to develop a unique style, this one might bring me closer to my style of painting and it could be invaluable in helping me paint my one hundred pieces, for my final product, more efficiently.
Overall, I feel this visit was the first step towards my final product. I feel like a painter. My life has increasingly begun revolve around painting and, in the near future, I will get to explore the career in an incredibly different way than before. Not only am I taking a class in college specifically directed at painting, but I will also begin painting daily for ten days. I am incredibly excited to begin this next phase of my journey in ISM. Everything seems to be coming together, all my research, my interviews, my original work, and even this mentor visit seem to building up to my final product. I feel like my choices matter, and that I am actually building a foundation for my future; it feels incredible.