Thursday, July 23, 2009

Persistence and change

I came to Minneapolis last summer with high hopes - my husband would begin teaching at Carleton College in the fall, and I had fingers (and toes!) crossed that I would become the next studio tech at Northern Clay Center. Sadly, the job was not to be mine... So I started out small - taking a glaze calc class in the fall (with the amazingly knowledgable Margaret Bohls!) and setting up a tiny corner of our kitchen as studio space. Lucky for me, there was a private studio open in January, at which point I moved from the student side of the NCC building over to the resident side. While being a resident artist in the studios is lovely, paying for space/firings/materials can be a bit of a burden for an emerging artist. So I applied for a Jerome Fellowship to offset some expenses along with a work-study grant to help get me out to Penland for a workshop with Ayumi Horie. No dice on either. Boo. I was feeling gloomy with the weight of rejections, but at the same time excited about where my work was headed. So, I kept trying, next for the Fogleberg grant at NCC. Low and behold - I got it! And then, my work was accepted into a gallery (Local Elements). Yea! And now the big one: the tech job I applied for a year ago reopened. I applied, and this time the stars aligned. I'll be starting as the new Northern Clay Center studio tech in late August. And the final bit of exciting news - my work was just accepted into the 2010 NCECA invitational exhibition. I won't deny the thrill of floating on this surge of acceptances. But, those rejections are still out there, lingering, waiting to give me another kick in the pants. And while I don't eagerly await the next "no" on the horizon, it's overcoming those hardest rejections, getting back up and trying again, that make these yesses all the sweeter.

So this fall, my studio practice will see a very significant shift. I will go from full time maker to studio tech, teacher, and fogleberg fellow. I'm excited for these opportunities, but nervous about how I will continue to push my own work forward. Luckily, with our move to the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis, I am now a mere three minutes by bike from the studio. I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of time in the NCC building - which, in all honesty, is exactly what I've been waiting for.