Friday, January 29, 2010

Hope vs. Reality

I've been doing some critical thinking lately and I'm really becoming terrified that I won't be able to find a job after graduation. This MFA was supposed to be the first move up the career ladder, but I'm afraid that it only let me live on borrowed time for three years. When I quit my job to come back to school in the summer of 2007, I only missed the corporate mass layoffs by a few months.  In that respect, grad school let me dodge a bullet by handing me a teaching job and a living wage. By the end of this May, I have a gut feeling that I'll be facing destitution. It weighs heavily on my mind because I've already been in this position before, having graduated with a bachelor's degree eight months after 9-11.  I worked part time in demeaning jobs for a couple of years before I got a chance to do freelance work, but, I was young then and felt like I had the rest of my life to become a professional.  Now, all I feel like is that time is closing in...
Logically, I know that new MFA grads are lucky to get a semester of adjunct work.  I know that I'm fooling myself, wasting time even, by applying to Associate Professor positions for which there will be hundreds, literally, hundreds of more-qualified applicants than myself.
My reality, at this point, is to return to my hometown and live rent-free with my grandma. I should be grateful for the opportunity considering the alternative, but all I can think of is, "Wow,  32 and living in a basement, jobless with no prospects for marriage or children in this decade.  Sweet!"
Maybe I'm looking at it from the wrong way. Maybe it'll be my big chance to be no-obligations, full time artist!  Maybe I can get a semester of work at my old community college and everything will have come around full-circle.
I know on a long enough timeline that things work out, but I don't know if I have the intestinal fortitude to weather the storm until then.
The sadness is setting in...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Back to the Grind...

...Even though I never really stopped in the first place!   Yesterday was the first day of my last semester as a graduate student.  It was real hard too- had to read a whole syllabus to my one whole class- totally tragic.
Beyond that, I didn't really do anything productive, besides going to the ice rink to work on my non-existent Axel jump.  I need to figure skate.  It's the only place in the world where I can block out the whole world and just concentrate on the task at hand.  But I digress...
I'm now switching work modes from my tasks being paperwork heavy to getting back in the studio to make shite. Last night I surfed around for scanning electron microscopy images of what else?  Spores, mold, and fungus! (to quote Egon Spengler.)  I find a brilliant pic of mold, whose structures I am going to mimic for my next piece.
It's weird that way I work.  It used to be: Think of concept, gather materials, make work.
Then it became: Make work from whatever I can find, think of concept, assemble.
And now it's: Have concept, make work with whatever, incorporate the two.
I just want to evince a strong concept with a strong series.  My thesis show goes up Sat. Feb. 27th.

ARRRGHHH!  Why didn't I push it back to April when I had the chance?  Oh who cares?  I'm still going to keep working on this baby until next year, probably.  Deadlines be damned, I'm a-trucking now!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Applicant Beware

So, how do you know if when you apply to a show that it's going to be legit or not?  You don't.  You basically have to try to read the warning signs- if there are any- in the prospectus when you apply.
Case in point:
I applied to a show in Oct. at Energy Gallery in Toronto.  Paid the entry fee: $35 for 4 pieces.  Heard back yesterday & they told me:
We are glad to inform you that you have been selected for the Freestyles 2-3-d-15 online exhibition as well as the upcoming physical exhibit entitled: "Energeia 14-15".
Of course, they didn't mention which pieces.  Then I get a nice little email:

Maximum number of artwork by each artist: 2
Exhibition & shipping fees:
US and Canadian artists - US$120/one piece of artwork (includes gallery exhibition, online exhibition and return shipping fees by standard courier).
Give me an effing break!  If you are not a vanity gallery, how do you have the right to ask for that kind of nonsense? Are we paying your salaries or what?  
They tried to cover their ass when I wrote back to complain.  Apparently, I overlooked/forgot the clause:
(Please note charges for physical exhibition applies, however qualifying fees paid by accepted artists will be credited toward physical exhibition fees payment.)

What do you think that would turn out to be?  $20 $30 $40 extra?  I obviously would never have applied if I thought I was going to get scammed out of an additional $240!  

Call me bitter, but I hope that gallery get struck by lightning. 

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I've noticed lately, that all my highs have been coupled with lows, even if neither case is that extreme.  Example:  Free shipping to a gallery yields some broken glass, a department store clearance purchase equals a negative bank account balance and moments after being notified of winning a prize, I slip on a wet floor and re-sprain my big toe.  
Eh, what are you going to do?

But check it out- I received the First Place Photograph award in Baker Arts Center's 12th National Juried Art Exhibition

Yay!  And ow.  But mostly yay. 

Carrie M. Becker