April 22, 2013 – Today is my last day of my six-month probation on my new job. Time went by fast and I’ve been really busy and productive at my job. When I got hired in October 2012, I was part of a new wave of folks coming in, whether as new hires or elected into new roles. LMU has a new President and a new Provost. The Communication & Fine Arts College (CFA), in which the Department of Art & Art History is a part of, has a new Dean. With this new wave of folks, follows new ideas and perspectives on things that can help circulate change, especially change where it is needed. My role as an Administrative Coordinator for the department places me at the ground level: observing the changes, serving as a liaison between colleagues in Art and Art History and other areas of the CFA College and the university, and coordinating activities and projects. I have an amazing opportunity of seeing the artists themselves, both the faculty and students: the teaching, mentoring and the development and maturation of their art works and perspectives.
My appreciation for art grows even more.
Every time I see a student’s art work, such as a painting in the making or completed, I am in awe, wishing I could paint like that or IF I can paint or draw like that. And I think that’s what makes my experience heartfelt.
In museums and galleries I see the finish work. I can talk to the artist about his or her processes or attend a lecture or read about an art work in a catalog. Which is good and it is part of the experience. But to see an art work in the making or listening to it live (for the music folks), even every day, that creates another layer to the experience, understanding and appreciation of art.
For me, part of that experience is when I walk through the studios and I see students working solo on their paintings or focusing on their drawing while a model poses patiently still in the center of the studio. Or a group of graphic design students collaborating on a design project or students getting their hands covered in clay in the ceramics studio or working on their printmaking projects while the art history students continue to strengthen their critical skills and appreciation of art. Seeing photography students tucked away in the darkrooms while students, some of whom are in art education, curating an exhibition in the Student Art Gallery. Even walking through the lobby area where the Music department is, I see students lounging on the couches talking while practicing their music on guitars or seeing the dance students stretching along the balcony upstairs in front of the dance studios.
It is an ongoing experience in understanding of how deep and diversified art is in our lives.