When I came to FSU, my sole goal was to become a graphic designer. I was, however, conflicted, because I have always wanted to use my art for activism. I spent my first semester thinking of how I could make a career out of art activism. I then found out about the Public Art & Architectural Art Program. Soon after, I began talking to Carolyn Henne about it, and she informed me of opportunities I could take to be more involved in the school, the art department, and the program. One such opportunity was an internship at Master Craftsman Studio (MCS), which I eagerly accepted.
My internship at MCS lasts the duration of Summer A, and I spend fifteen hours per week working there. The first day was the most difficult, as I had to become accustomed to the layout of the studio, not to mention the fact that I was a novice studio hand. I was intimidated by the tasks given to me, but managed to overcome it by asking for assistance, despite any hesitations. As a result, the atmosphere of the workplace became more natural, and my nervousness eased.
The assignments so far have been introductory, as many things are still new, and summer commissions are scarce. I always find something to do, and I often help coworkers with their work (i.e. cutting/firing/grinding glass). I have since learned to make models, plan projects, and properly use materials and machines in a professional work setting; however, a commission from FSU has recently been placed, which would mark the first major project I will see the preparation and fabrication. For this project, to be made in glass, I attended the first planning session in which we discussed materials to order, designs to sketch, color schemes, and presentation. From this project I hope to gain more knowledge of glass work (i.e.cutting, firing, frit combinations, etc.). By participating in the project, I will have access to Bullseye glass tutorials and hands-on experience in glasswork. It will also help me fulfill my most important goal: to understand the business surrounding commissions. Even though I will be taking public art courses in the Fall and Spring semesters, where I will learn how to make public works and handle commissions, I would like to get a head start in a professional setting where I have a closer understanding of the system.
During my time working in the studio, I have found that I enjoy working in both sculpture and digital media, and could use both in my pursuit of artistic activism, as public art is not always sculptural, and sculpture is not always traditional. Additionally, I hope to get an internship next summer in New York City for the public art program so that I may get acquainted with the NY public art scene. My professor, mentor, and internship supervisor, Kenn von Roenn, has agreed to work with me in the 2015-2016 UROP program, studying and experimenting with tensegrity structures.