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Looking at the past, pondering the future

This weekend I was looking back on travels, grad school, and reflecting on my growth as an educator. Below is a excerpt reflection paper from May 2011. I smile because of the things I have learned, the lessons my students have taught me, the things I have already accomplished, the places I have yet to go, and the students that waiting to teach me even more!

Maymester Lessons This Maymester two main topics have emerged that I have learned so much from, learning how artists in general interact with the art world and also how I personally begin to I fit into the art world.

At the Old Art Jail and The Grace Museum, I learned that a smaller institution is the best place to start off or the best place to be if you want hands on experience. I feel a smaller organization would be best for me starting out as I would gain more overall experience and could find the areas that would really interest me and specialize later if the option were available. In the southwest region I noticed that there are several cities that are strong in supporting artists and several that are growing. The trip really helped me to locate the types of cities I feel I would fit and thrive in. I found myself very interested in the possibility of doing a short-term residency or internship in such places such as Truth or Consequences, Santa Fe, or Dallas. However, long-term I was most interested in the growth that San Antonio offers overall. The San Antonio Museum of Art and BlueStar organizations really interact with the career goals I have of being an artist and working with youth in the community.

Learning about learning at the San Antonio Museum of Art, May 2011

Throughout the trip I was very amazed with the organizations that had such a strong youth/community outreach program. Even those organizations that didn’t have large programs seemed to be doing their best to grow the programs. I was impressed with Site Santa Fe, the Art Institute of Santa Fe, SAMA, and BlueStar, these organizations were supporting artists as well as developing young artists and using art to help others develop their personal goals. .... Not only did this trip open my eyes to possibilities for internships, employment and gallery representation but it also helped me to visit so many exhibitions and form new ideas and ways to communicate.

One remarkable statement that will stick with me was from Linda in Santa Fe, she stated that she loves to use “art to connect the world.” Her outlook and personal goals are incredible and she is doing things that I only hope someday to have done a small portion. Her influence, the experiences of this trip, as well as many influences of my past continue to show me that making art is essential. It is essential for myself to continue to learn, grow, and preserve my outlook and culture. In the same way, I feel it is more important for me to use my knowledge to connect the world—to help others to grow and preserve their culture, from this trip I learned that my personal goals to continue to be a working artist and work in a non-profit being a community servant is the best career goal that I could ever set for myself.

Several of the people we met with encouraged us to really think about what we wanted out of our lives and were we saw ourselves. This trip helped me to view all the possible paths to take postgraduate school and start to think about the best locations, positions, opportunities that are available to be a successful artist.

Photo Credits: Megan Dill

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