This month I’ve had the awesome privilege of having my work in a group show at 3rd Street Gallery in Philly. It’s a Rutgers Camden Department of Fine Arts Faculty and Alumni show, and the cool thing is, I’m now in the faculty category (my first class teaching for Rutgers starts up in just a few weeks). I unfortunately couldn’t make the opening because I was teaching my Art 101 class at RCBC, so today Melissa, the boys and I took the PATCO in to see the show and listen to a couple lectures.
First, off, it is really a great show. I was honored to be a part of it from the get go, but I guess it’s been a while since I’ve seen a lot of the faculty’s work in person. They are really fantastic artists (and individuals) and I was reminded of how so many of them impacted my own work.
Bruce Garrity and Ken Hohing are the two professors who I’ve kept in contact with in particular over the years, and they were delivering their lectures today. While I was excited to hear them speak, I wasn’t really planning on hearing anything new because, well, I’ve heard them speak quite a lot over the years. But here again, I was blown away at the quality of the lectures they both presented. They both spoke at length in particular about who influenced them throughout their histories, leading to how their work is where it is today.
I really appreciated the perspective of their current practice not as a grand culmination of some kind, but as simply the most recent occurrence in the evolution of their work. It was really a wider view of their art practice, almost on a timeline, on which we are somewhere in the middle.
So I have two take aways from today:
- Stop getting hung up on trying to find “my work” and just keep making, because I think at the core, being a creator is more important to the process than what in particular is being created at any given moment.
- I really need to start creating a library of artists and images that I feel are my influences. Not so I can copy them better (although, would that be a bad thing?) but so I can more easily put my finger on the concepts I’m working though by referring to artists that have already been there.
So, if you were asked, would you be able to easily list your top 10 influences?