…have gone by and I haven’t posted a thing. Damn. Also, I accidentally deleted all previous comments when I added a spam-buster plugin to the site. Whoops!
Anyway, February flew by. I think I was in a daze for most of it. This is what happened:
- Northern was temporarily put on hold due to city permit issues. The City of Olympia does nothing but hinder progress downtown, unless you’re an upscale niche boutique that attracts wealthy Thurston County residents instead of people that actually live downtown.
- Evergreen is preparing for massive budget cuts for the next biennium, which begins 01 July. I’ve been on a committee comprised of faculty and staff trying to come up with scenarios of various levels of funding elimination. Needless to say, it was heartbreaking, morally debilitating and exhausting. However, the good news as of Friday afternoon is that the arts area can brace for an expected 10% cut, instead of the 25% that we were mentally preparing for. There’s just not enough budgetary fat in our area to cut. So our skeleton crew again tightens a few more notches on our collective belt, breathes, and puts one foot in front of the other.
- At the end of the month, I flew down to L.A. for the annual College Art Association Conference. Attendance was abysmal but I certainly had a good time. I stayed with My friend Nicole who is currently an OSU grad student in Columbus, Ohio. We shared our swanky room with two other grads from Nic’s program. Nic, if you ever read this, I’m sorry, but I am so happy that I am no longer a grad student.
The CAA conference was noticeably poorly attended. Armies of empty seats in vast lecture halls made the few participants seem insignificant. Talking with one of the interview hall organizers, I was told that there was a 40% decline of particpating institutions interviewing for advertised positions compared to last year, which was already slim pickings. Apprently, since December, over 50% of positions advertised on the CAA website dried up. Only 70 schools were interviewing for positions. I think that CAA is going to have to reinvent its annual conference as it’s certainly no longer a viable resource for newly minted MFA holders or “emerging professionals” to find a job. We’ll see in the coming years how this all shakes out.
I did attend some notable panels though, including a decent discussion on the life and careers of arts academics hosted by VCU’s own Reni Gower. I also attended a panel presented by The New Media Caucus which included Pete Baldes and a couple PhD candidates from the new doctorate program. Southern Graphics Council also hosted a really great panel which included Virgil Marti, Kate Bingaman and Adrianne Herman of Slop Art on the influence of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. I also had a mentoring sesh to look over my application materials which was a good experience, although the professor I was paired up with this time around left me questioning some of her advice after I discussed it with Reni.
Other than hanging out and listening to academics, I had my fill of California sunshine! I drove around with Theresa and Pete and his friend Joe, I went to the Culver City Galleries (where Blum & Poe is located). I went to an all vegan fancy restaurant, stood by the Elliott Smith memorial mural from the album Figure 8, spent a couple hours at the Museum of Jurassic Technology and finsihed my adventure with an afternoon on Venice Beach. Here are some photos. Gallery shots to follow.