Saturday, December 24, 2011

Last Looks

As mentioned in my last post, I recently had the culmination of my graduate school experience - my thesis exhibition and defense.  I am happy to say that I got over the yips, defended my thesis, passed, and officially became a Master of Fine Art in Painting!  I made it!  What a relief!!  (I'll post some photos on my website of the exhibition soon, so you can see it.)   

While I'm excited about finishing and moving on to the next phase of my life, I'm also nervous about moving on to the next phase of my life...  Finishing grad school equals change, and like most people, I don't like change!  I'm planning on staying in Grand Rapids for a little longer, so I don't have to say goodbye to everyone/thing yet, but I've already had to say some sad goodbyes.  

The first was to my studio.  I've been in this particular studio for two years now (my first semester I was down a few spaces but moved closer to the windows) and have really learned and grown SO much in this space!  I've had so much fun with my studio friends and great meetings with my professors there.  It's been a great place to just go and immerse myself in painting for hours on end.  This is where I've seen the most growth personally and professionally, so it's meant a lot to me.
Studio a couple of months ago
Last week I spent a number of hours packing it up and moving everything out (with the help of my dad and my friend/studio mate Damian).  I went back the next night to sweep it out and no one else was there.  This was a good thing, because as I was sweeping and thinking about all the good/hard times there, I got a little choked up!  A tear or two may have been shed.  Sigh.  So many good memories there!  

Emptied-Out Studio

Tried to wipe one of my favorite poems
off the wall...

The sink where we clean our brushes -
yeah, it's a little gross, but a great place
to create and be messy!

The entrance to our studios

Well-worn stairs leading up to our studios

Another goodbye I had to say was to my job.  For the last year and a half I've been the graduate assistant in Kendall's Continuing Studies program.  I work with a girl named Cori (alias Co-Rizz - she's the undergraduate assistant) and we really made our cubicle a fun place to work.  

One of the walls in our cubicle 
Another cubicle wall with holiday decor - Christmas,
Festivus, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah!

We really had some fun/ridiculous times there!  And got a lot of quality work done, too, of course.  ;) In recent weeks we've taken to throwing a crumpled-up ball of paper at each other throughout our work day just to spice things up.  (I also wrote insults from the French knights in "Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail" on it, such as, "Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!"  It adds to the insult of being hit by a crumpled paper ball.)    

I made a "Magic 8 Drawer" so we could
receive answers to all of our most important
questions.  Cori made that little pumpkin
out of a marshmallow...  
I've enjoyed the job, had some really great coworkers and a boss that I got along with really well, and gained a lot of really valuable work experience there.  It was so sad to say goodbye on Wednesday!  While I realize I'll see them again and stay in touch, it's still sad to know that I won't see them regularly. 

The last two goodbyes were to the Kendall on-campus studios (my studio was with 10 others off-campus, the rest were on-campus inside the building) where we went for some critiques and things, and to my studio keys (there were 3).  My keychain is lighter, but my heart is heavier.  (Yeah, I said it, it's cheesy, get over it.)  ;)

Kendall studios

All of my keys before removing my studio keys
So, onward and upward, yes, but a sad goodbye to the familiar and comfortable and fun times!  Hopefully soon I'll have a post full of first looks and new adventures.  Here's hopin'!  

P.S. Merry Christmas Eve!