A lot has changed

This is very late in posting, but as of last semester I have official changed my major to Studio Art. This doesn’t really change anything expect that I will know be graduating in December of this year and I won’t be a certified teacher when I do graduate.

Next week will be my first completed semester as a Studio Art major and I can honestly say that I probably should have changed my major years ago. I love teaching, but the American school system is just to much for me to want to get into it. For now I am going to finish out the rest of my semester and my victory lap. I’m going to make more are and have a senior show. I’m going to intern at the Smithsonian again this summer. I’m going to apply to grad schools and you know, I have never been more happy to see what comes next.

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Roommates part 1

I have had roommates before, freshman year of college I had two roommates in a forced triple and then I roomed with a friend during my sophomore year, plus when ever I went to camps and such and we had to share rooms them. Now usually I’m fine with roommates, we all get along and I make some new friends.

The same can not be said for my time in DC.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they have complaints about me too, I don’t even think for a second that I am the best person to live with, but I will still voice my complaints. First off, there were three of us living in a forced triple, which cool I’ve done that before and I could do it again. I was mistaken.

On move in day I got to our place first, so first come first served I got to pick my room. There were two rooms, one with one bed and no windows and another with windows but to beds. I chose the one with no windows and started to unpack. A while later I met my first roommate, so privacy sake we will call her Rose.

Now Rose had her mother to help her move in and they were very nice people, but then they noticed that there were only two rooms and the one left had two beds in it. When registering for the room, I figured something like this would happen because of the description on the GW website, Rose on the other hand did not. So to fix the “problem” of having two beds in a room, Rose and her mother moved the other bed into the living room. Which is connected to the entry way and the kitchen. I chose to stay in my closet bedroom and just left things happened, A few hours later Mary, my other roommate arrived. She like Rose, had been shocked by the living arrangements, especially since her bed was in the living room, and this led to our first roommate meeting. It went something like this.

Rose: I just can’t believe we don’t all get our own rooms! This is not what they advertised on the website.

Mary: I know right.

Me: *In my head* This is exactly what the advertised. 

Me: *Out loud* Yeah, well I guess we’ll just have to make the most of it.

Rose: *To Mary* Since Lillian already chose the other room, my mom and figured that the way this room *points to her room* would not work, so we moved you bed out to the living room. It should be fine since you have a lot of natural light and stuff, I hope you don’t mind.

Mary: Well, it should be fine. I’m sure we can work something out.

Rose: Oh I know! We can work out a rotation chart and change rooms every so often!

Mary: Oh that’s a brilliant idea.

Me: *blinks, forces a smile, mumbles something about unpacking, walks back into my room away from the nonsense.*

I am happy to report that we did not make a rotation system.

 

Working in an Art Museum

 

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This is me on my last day of working for the Smithsonian. Out of all the many jobs that I have had over the years, working for SAAM (Smithsonian American Art Museum) has been the best and most eye opening job. I have known for a while know that I want to work in museums, in fact I’ve decided that I want to help change museums so that they can have more events and exhibits that are more diverse and inclusive. Now, working for SAAM was not my first time working at a museum. In fact two years ago I worked for a local museum in Fort Worth, and that was fun but I didn’t learn as much there as I did at SAAM.

Working in an art museum, especially in the education department, challenged me to think about in a different direction. Since I am an Art Education major I have been taught how to think like and artist and a teacher, which is great and helped me with my internship, but at SAAM they pushed me to take that thinking to a new level. The goal is to not just show people art and recite information to them, but it’s to really help them connect to the art and the artist in ways that relate to their real lives. I’m not trying to say that art teachers don’t do that, but this was at a different level.

For my internship I had a mentor and she taught me a lot. She introduced me to new teaching and thinking styles that I can’t wait to show everyone here in Texas and she did everything that she could to give me a chance. I learned and modeled my work along the lines of this learning method from Harvard called Project Zero. In general, Project Zero is about give people the chance the tools needed to see how they are thinking. It’s about knowing how and why you got to the answer. The work I did for SAAm required me to think about learning in an art museum in a different way. Since I’ve been back and started the school year, I have noticed that I’m still thinking that way.

Another aspect about working for an art museum is that I I could talk art history with people. That’s not to say I can’t do that at home, but it was different there. At school and in the art department, unless someone is an art history major, a professor, of a studio art major (and even then it’s kind of a push) no one wants to take art history with me. But thing with SAAM was that, we had to talk art history. In order to tell people about the works you had to know the background behind them, the artist and the time it came from. Without that knowledge you were screwed. I learned a ton about American art and figured out along the way that, out of all the art in the world, I like American art a bit better. Maybe I’ll write something later to go in deeper explanation of that but the just of it is that, there is more to American art. It’s not all the same even if the subject is. There is literally so much to American art, especially in contemporary craft, that I know I what I learned didn’t even break the surface.

Long story short, working at SAAM for two and a half months was a game changer and eye opening. I like and want to do in-gallery work in the future so I can really communicate and work with the general public; I want to work with American art because there is just so much to it; I am going to keep using the new mind set and thinking skills that I learned while there; and I want to make better art. Being surrounded by works from people who are considered so important that they have to be apart of the Smithsonian collection has given me the push that I think I needed. I need to take more time with what I’m making, consider all the directions I can go and just emerge myself in the process. I don’t necessarily want to have my work placed in a museum, but I would love to work in one again.

Last first day (of undergrad)

Today is the day. Today is my last first day of undergrad. Now I know this should seem like a bigger deal because, yay I’m going to graduate this spring, but at the same time I’m not that excited.

When I was little my mom never did the take a picture of their first day of school so we can always remember this. So in turn she didn’t do the it’s your last first day picture take a picture so we can remember this tend that is going around the inter webs. I know that to some that might sound weird, but my family isn’t one of those where every moment must be recored or captured for the future. We kind of just go with the flow.

Anyway, as I said before this is (technically) my last first day. After this semester I will be a college graduate which means I have to go into the work force and actually act like a real adult. Nerve-racking, yes, but I think I can do this. After living on my own for a summer, in a chocolate city no less, my confidence has really grown. I’ve done work that I didn’t dream of being able to do until I was in my thirties. I have connections at one of the largest museums in the US. I know (kind of) what I want to do in my life and I’m not going to let anything or anyone stand in my way.

So yeah, it’s my last first day, but it’s gonna be one hell of a year.

Home again

It has been about four days since I came back home to Texas and y’all I missed this place. When comparing living in the city to the suburbs there are a lot of differences and I could instantly see them when I got out of the airport.

First big difference, highways. Yes they are a thing in DC but in DFW, taking the highway is (on a good day) the quickest way to get from Dallas to Fort Worth. Which means a car is a necessary part of life. Now I will miss the not having to drive myself everywhere and not spending gas money, but when I think about how much I spent to fill my metro card and how much I spend on gas it’s basically the same amount.

Another difference is that compared to DC at least, Fort Worth is a little bit greener. We are no where close to being a concrete jungle so there are plains and grass and trees just about everywhere; and yes that means allergies are a gift from the devil but hey at least it all looks pretty. Now I will miss how close everything was and that I could literally just walk everywhere but one thing I am happy to have back is some damn good hispanic food.

DC, your great and all but y’all don’t know how to make tacos and that in itself is tragic. In fact, when my boyfriend picked me up from the airport his mom sent him with a bag of conchas for me. I almost cried, it had been months since I had conchas. I missed them so much.  But not as much as I missed my friends and family (ha, bet ya didn’t think I’d get to them did ya?).

I did make good friends with people while in DC, it wasn’t the same as the ones that I have here. I love my DC friends but we only had two and a half months to get to know each other. For me, it can sometimes take time for me to build really strong relationships. I’m friendly with just about everyone, but the friends and family that I have in Texas are the people that I know I can trust. I think the big reason for this was because I knew that my time in DC wasn’t permanent. Since I wasn’t planning on staying in DC long term I didn’t feel the need to set up roots. That will probably change in the future when I actually do move to a more permanent place but until then, I’m just happy to be home.