Saturday, October 5, 2013

Senior Thesis: A Weekly Update

"Your senior show is in eighteen days!" my mom said super excitingly on the phone Thursday.  Now just shy of two weeks away, I am spending my extended Fall Break weekend tying together all the loose ends of my senior show. 

Balancing the time I spend on each aspect of my senior show is what I have learned is extremely important. The final big picture includes more than just my body of work. Things that I have been working on besides my body of work include the overall display, marketing strategies, professionalizing my résumé, and preparing for my defense.  

The Cochenour Gallery (and the Gallery 108 space) in the LRC is where Shelby and I will be displaying our senior show.  The two walls that face each other are over 22 feet long.  I personally have never installed my own exhibit; I have had some experience installing work in Dr. Decker's curatorial class, which installs the annual homecoming exhibit (which is currently on display in the Cochenour). It is important to know the space you are installing in. For instance: the Cochenour wall I am installing my work on is 22 feet and 4 inches long, by 8 feet tall. However after analyzing the space more in-depthly, I noticed that there is a baseboard that runs around the gallery, and the light source casts a shadow around the top of the wall, also the walls were not built to hold a lot of weight, so it is important to research and talk with Jeanette Tesmer (gallery director) when hanging anything in that space. Always double-check your installation space!

For any opening date of an exhibit, marketing is important to get people to show up! Shelby and I have been working on a press release, invitations, and social media will also play an important role.  

Part of this whole experience is preparing you for the professional world after you graduate. For many, graduate school is an immediate option, to continue their education more in-depthly and intensely.  As for myself, I am one of the many that will be joining grown up world an entering the workforce! The reason why I am having my senior show this semester instead of next spring semester with the rest of the art majors, is because I am graduating in December. (One of my friends asked me a few months ago if I had started apartment searching yet! Ahhh!) I’m not going to think about moving and apartment searching now, but I have already been thinking about job searching.  Updating my résumé and documenting my senior show all play an important part in professionalizing my portfolio. As for my post-grad plans, grad school isn’t on the top of my list, though the last thing I want to be is closed-minded. Networking and keeping my options for job openings is what I feel is most beneficial to me at this point.  

As far as my installation, senior show (which is on October 20th don’t forget!) and my defense, I know I can never be fully prepared for exactly what is to come, part of the experience is knowing how to operate under pressure. However, it is the moment I have been preparing for since I knew I was going to be an art major. Through all the late nights I have spent in the art building practicing printing techniques, saving Adobe files, and getting paint on almost all my clothes, I have learned that I have to have undying determination and patience to better myself, and that it is not just going to happen over night. And another big obstacle that I had to get over is the fear of failure or failure itself.  Sometimes things just aren’t going to work out, but you won’t get anywhere staring at a blank piece of paper because you’re too afraid to leave a mark that may not meet some sort of expectation. Perfection is for the ignorant, because it really doesn’t exist; and even if you believe you have achieved it, odds are there is someone out there eager to share their differing opinion.  In my experience in senior thesis so far, this process has been more about bettering myself as an artist and less about being someone else’s idea of a good artist. Finding out my identity as an artist has been a rewarding experience and the best preparation I can imagine to conclude my Georgetown learning experience.

Once again, the date of our Fall Senior Show is Sunday October 20th! Shelby and I would love to see you there!

-Maddy Fritz 

1 comment:

Daniel Cantu II said...

I am super pumped to see your senior show, I only wish I knew more about Shelby's line of work.

And I admire your confidence as you venture into a scary yet defining point in your career. In my opinion, your senior thesis shouldn't be entirely about the art, but it should coincide with your personality and methods. From looking at your blogposts, you appear to have an uncanny attention to detail and design. Everything in your work seems to have a significant meaning that could easily be overlooked, but the design is so well crafted that it is great that it goes unnoticed.

Some advice for defense: be honest. In the academic world and the work force, honesty is a difficult thing to practice. Even when your shortcomings are pointed out, it is never a good idea to make up excuses. Just like you pointed out, striving for perfection isn't really possible, but being confident in your art and giving you best shot helps. And it never hurts to ask for some assistance, because people are only capable of so much.