Studio Clear Out

Its been a busy few weeks for various reasons, one of which was that I made it my task to move my studio. Right now I’m using the loft, which has been great, but since I’ve made my art home there for 3 years, it has become less functional and more storage space. So not its time to clear that out, which in this case includes getting rid of some old work.

I’ve cleaned my studio before, but the prospect of simply throwing out things that I created, had spent hours thinking about and making perfect, was simply not a happy thought. But, the truth of the matter is, I was storing a lot of work that would never see the light of day again. So I’ve been tossing stuff, but what began as a semi-heartbreaking exercise has now morphed into something akin to writing an artist statement. I think most artist end up doing what I did: doing little experiments, making tests and creating a trial version for a work or series. And now I have lots of these little (and not so little) artworks that may not represent my finest or most refined efforts, but mean a lot to me as part of the process. And then there is always that nagging feeling of what if I return to this and try to make work in a similar way in the future? But, like writing an artist statement, I have to arrive at a place where I can strip down my practice to its core. The scraps of process testing that I have always done, and always kept as references are an essential part of how I work, but returning to them has almost never been. So, I’ll let it go, or at least a lot of it.

This clearing out has also made me ask myself the question, what do I need as an artist? I can’t say I have a definite answer, but I know that part of it does include having references all around me. I am not the type of person who typically generates ideas out of thin air. Rather, through learning a process I can see new ways of saying something that I want to. That’s by no means a profound realization, but maybe it is something that can get me out of future ruts. I’ve got to keep learning, and keeping some kind of reference of what I’ve learned or know how to do around me, to keep in my mind a list of possibilities.

A Studio with a View

These are views from my studio (well, actually the first one is from across the hall) but I just wanted to show you all what I get to stare at while I’m working. That is the Franklin institute in the second pic to the left. I gotta say that Moore has awesome studio spaces and I am definitely gonna miss that during the year while I’m working at home. Wow these six weeks have gone by really quickly.

[by] ben

A Peek Inside the Studio

Here’s just a little peek into the studio space that Ben works in at Moore. You can see previous work hanging up, along with current projects. If you’re interested in what he’s working on in this picture, I can only point out the small “book” standing at the edge of the table, at the bottom right-center or the picture. This is a miniature of a display idea Ben has been thinking about. Instead of that 6" contraption, it would be much taller- think: to the ceiling. Of course to the left is the coffee mug I made for him that was mentioned in the Philadelphia Inquirer. 🙂

His schedule is 5 days a week from about 8:30 to 6pm, but Wednesdays are until 9pm. That time is split up into the “Visual Culture and Contemporary Aesthetics” class, taught by Ian Verstegan, PhD., time to work in the studio, during which Ben has been guided by 3 different artists, and studio seminars. This will continue for another 2 weeks (6 weeks total), and then he will have all-day Saturday courses during the rest of the year. This will repeat until graduation in the August of 2012.

Ben finds the Aesthetics class a welcome and expected challenge as he studies current trends in art at the Masters level. The three artists with whom Ben has worked are: Moe Brooker, Alice Oh (official site), and Veronica Ryan. The studio seminar is taught by Jennie Shanker (official site). Thanks to all of these artists, he’s been pushed so much already: we’re excited to see how his work will grow in the next two years.

[by melissa]
praise God who holds in his hand our life and all our ways