Catching Up: Show installation, critique with James Elkins, and other stuff..

Over the past few weeks one day seems to have blurred into another. Lack of sleep and a too long “to-do” list are to blame. There have been many things I’ve wanted to write about but simply too little time to post anything of substance.

Now that my show is installed and my 3rd thesis draft is pending comments from my committee I feel like I can breathe again. My husband, Ryan, and I installed the show this Monday but it already feels like it went up weeks ago. I thought that time would slow down after my work was hung on the walls but it hasn’t managed to do that quite yet… I’m still waiting… patiently.

I don’t know how I would have managed the installation without Ryan’s help… I don’t really know how I’d manage any of this without him. I’m very fortunate to have a supportive spouse.

So, now that the exhibition is done I can start working on job applications again, begin putting together my opening reception next week, and prepare for my oral defense on the 23rd. And, on a more joyful note: I can start making some of the work I’ve had mulling about in my brain that’s been put on hold because it “didn’t go” with the rest of my show.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my critique with James Elkins, among other things. Elkins’ comments echoed some of my own suppressed thoughts on my current work, things I wasn’t quite ready to face or deal with. The overall development of the work in my exhibition is about 50/50 at this point. There is much left to be cultivated and explored. I’m rather excited about stepping forward – not having an expectation like an exhibition or thesis hanging over me removes a great deal of pressure. James Elkins feedback was direct, complimentary where warranted, and overall geared toward future development with a supportive and encouraging perspective on the possibilities and potential that I have before me.

I am constantly amazed at how much I don’t listen to myself even when I try so hard to follow my instincts. My instinctual responses continue to fall victim to doubt or over-analysis at times. The more important the work, the harder it is to resist this pattern. Sometimes it takes critiques from people who don’t deal with my same old bull-shit everyday to make me see things for what they are.

At this point, I can simply make whatever work I want. I feel like the cockiness that comes with this sort of realization stems from an awareness that in order to propel myself forward once I graduate I have to hit the ground running. I have to build up enough personal momentum so that the uncertainty of not knowing where life will take me next won’t drag me down too deeply inside my own head.

But for now, just for a couple of days, I’m calling a time out. I’m spending some time by myself to read, watch movies, shop, clean house, and… breath… It is spring break after all… and perhaps time will start to slow back down again, if only for a little while.


  1. I’m glad that things have come together for you, both externally and internally. It’s a process, certainly. I’m looking forward to seeing you and seeing your show.

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