As part of Lilian Garcia-Roig’s Professional Practices and Studio Workshop course, 3rd Year MFAs visited New York City to meet with several artists. Studio visits in NYC provided the students with an opportunity to see a wide range of artists in their working environments and to see their current output in an in-depth manner. It also allowed them to experience first hand the practical side of making art and of running a studio. In addition to meeting artists in their studios, the MFAs met with specialists in museum and gallery art preparation and handling.
Lourdes Jimenez described the benefits of meeting Jacki Battenfield, “It’s difficult to be proactive in something you know nothing about. I want to have a business. I want to make a living selling my art. I want to create a community for local artists. It was great to hear someone be so motivating and inspiring.” Several students had opportunities to visit locations that they have always wanted to see. As described by Tenee’ Hart, “you see the hidden beauties that the city has to offer. One such hidden gem is the Walter de Maria land art piece, Earthroom. If I visualize it hard enough I can still smell the aroma of the aged mulch. Visiting this site has been one of my goals for several years.”
Prospect 3 is an international contemporary art biennial featuring the work of 58 artists in venues throughout New Orleans, Louisiana. Prospect 3 is vitally committed to the city of New Orleans – revelatory, generative, and frictional. The artistic director for P3, Franklin Sirmans (Head Curator, Los Angeles County Museum of Art) took his inspiration from Walker Percy’s 1961 novel, The Moviegoer, specifically protagonist Binx Boling’s “search” for the other as a means of finding the self. Guided by “the search,” Sirmans organized works by 58 artists in 18 venues throughout the city. Like art fairs, biennials give students a chance to see large quantities of contemporary art in one city at one time – in this case, in a city less than six hours from Tallahassee – but unlike art fairs, biennials include a curatorial vision that provides critical context for the work. At the heart of Prospect is the connection that it enables between “high ar t” and the larger cultural landscape of the city, with its rich and diverse vernacular traditions of music and popular cultural forms. Prospect introduces audiences to the richness of New Orleans culture as seen through the eyes of artists.
During this trip, 22 FSU Art MFAs and 4 faculty viewed works by over 40 artists and met directly with several artists, including alumni of Florida State University. The group stayed in a grand old haunted hotel and saw much of the biennial en masse, via caravan, led by a tremendously insightful docent who was a recent art history graduate from NYU. Department of Art Chair Carolyn Henne shared one of the group’s highlights from the New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History in Treme. The sound installation by Zarouhie Abdalian provided visitors will a glimpse into the art and culture of the area and was enthusiastically experienced by the students. The group experienced this further through the culture and environment of the region, especially along Frenchman Street, which was moments from their very NOLA guest house.
These trips were heavily subsidized by donor funds and Allies for Art (A4A). We are all deeply appreciative of these generous gifts.