Last week, I started some new projects for the fall. One is a weekly class on sculptural weaving, taught by artist Nathalie Miebach; we’re studying traditional basket-making techniques, but there’s a lot of leeway for us to experiment with using those techniques to create more innovative sculptural forms. Another is a local weekly art group, a place where I can take my own projects to work on in a friendly, supportive environment. I officially will be showing my work at the Artspace Maynard Holiday Sale, an event I’ve tabled at for the past two years and really enjoy. The last item- a workshop with Jodi Colella, a local fiber artist whose work I deeply admire- doesn’t start until January, but at least I’m officially signed up. I’m really excited for all of these opportunities, and determined to find other workshops and things like that to fill out my fall months.
I’ve been thinking about future directions a lot recently, researching and weighing my options. For the past two years or so, I’ve been very much in a transitional phase, dealing with that good old mid-twenties angst about what I want to do with my life. It’s also been a healing phase, surrounding several health issues- some of which I’ve addressed here, some of which I haven’t. It hasn’t been easy. But things are getting better- better enough that I feel capable of making grander plans for the future.
Two years ago, I applied to a post-baccalaureate certificate program in fibers, and was accepted. Then things got complicated. Transportation and location problems and interference from other life plans made that particular program a difficult proposition. I went through a period where my creative energy was extremely low. I deferred entrance for a year, but eventually had to drop out. That program at that time wasn’t going to work for me, but I retained a yearning to immerse myself in working on my art and learning more, both in terms of theory and in terms of practical skills. I wanted to go to art school, and I still want to go to art school. That particular program just wasn’t the right one.
That dip in my creativity really affected me. I didn’t know whether my creativity was going to return, so I set out on other paths, taking online classes in a technical field. But with time and care, my creativity returned, and now I am at the point where I can’t imagine not making art a major part of my life. I am more sure than ever that while my desire to make art might ebb sometimes, it will always come back, because it is an integral part of my being.
When I go to my sculptural weaving class, I get to wander the halls of a real art school, and get a glimpse into the life of students who get to devote most of their time to art. That life is so beguiling. It makes me wish I had focused on art earlier in my career, had given myself the chance to have that experience too. And it might still be possible, through graduate art programs like MFA programs. Now, I don’t know if my work could ever be good enough to get me admitted to a program like that. I really don’t know. It’s a dream. But it’s an idea worth considering.
That’s all I’m looking for right now- an idea. Something to set me on a path, while giving me time to explore and see whether this is the right path for me. While I continue to heal and to work, to learn and to take care of myself, I am beginning to dream of art school as something possible, something a person like me could aspire to.
I’m doing my research, looking into what a graduate art program could give me and whether I could get those same benefits in any other way, finding ways to improve my own work and learn more about the art world. Nothing is set in stone, and I have a long, long way to go before I can even think about applying. But that’s my aspiration, the thing I would love to be doing, the thing I want to work towards. It’s important to have goals, I think, and this one is mine. My path to explore.