Well today was the day where I finally let go of any imperfections that may still exist in my thesis paper and uploaded it to the digital world.   It was amazing how many times I was able to refine each sentence to arrive at statements that were less informed by my personal beliefs and reflective more of the research.  As I reread each paragraph over and over, I could help but feel a bit of nostalgia for the last two years of intense study and making.  

Now teaching at both OCAD U and Georgian College while continuing to curate at Quest Art, it seems like ages ago that my focus was on my work and not on the work of others.  Don’t get me wrong, the work of others is extremely exciting and inspiring.  I still get excited at pulling together an exhibition of disparate work and making it work, and there is nothing like watching a young artist have a break through in their practice. 

The most difficult thing about being back in the work force full time is finding the time to administer or further research your own practice.  The mark making and assemblage of materials always comes easy to me, but continuing to push or refine the work takes quiet contemplation and focus.  My husband is also not thrilled that I am now teaching at two different schools that have different breaks!  This makes it extra difficult for him to schedule holidays.  

What I can’t seem to figure out is how do teachers figure out how to do one of the many amazing artist residencies out there?  Getting time off from my curatorial role hasn’t been a problem, but as an educator you are extremely limited to applying to summer residencies when everyone else is!  Just one more first world problem I will need to deal with. 

So now what?  A two page summary report on my travels this summer needs to get done!

Now what?

It wasn’t ten minutes after the successful completion of my MFA thesis defense at OCADU that I had professors and advisors asking me, “Now what?”.  I could feel my eyes go wide and my jaw drop as I didn’t expect this from my academic and artistic peers.  This is the type of question you get from the worried parents or the post-secondary naysayers who don’t believe that an arts degree will get you anywhere. 

I answered, ” Sleep, eat, edit and sleep some more”.

Still in the editing stage and frantically looking to offset the debt I have incurred over the last two years, the focus I had for my research over the last two years has quickly dissipated in order to make ends meet, disseminate my work and start an arms length list of projects that were never realized during school.  Re-organizing my office, studio and closets has also become a major task as I try to make room for the work created for my thesis exhibition.  These tasks are often undermined by the urgency to update my personal website and other online media to reflect the transformation of my practice and update qualifications so that I can contact all those who might hire or exhibit a recent MFA graduate.

All in all, it feels as though the last two years were really play, and it is now time that I need to get to work putting all of that learning and research to work outside of institutional walls.  

One blog down, and many more to go.

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