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.

11 comments:

Judy Shreve said...

Kip -- Congrats on all of those 'yesses!' WOW persistence does pay off.

I hate those rejections -- makes you question your work & direction. I always end up wondering if I should even be working in ceramics after those big rejections.

I think with the grant support and the influence of students & other residents -- gallery expectations -- your work will just soar. Congrats!

Ron said...

Kip that's all really wonderful!!! Way to go.

Kip said...

Judy, I totally know what you mean about questioning what you're doing. It's so hard to have faith when people you respect tell you you're not good enough. But, I've learned over the last year just how subjective this whole art business is - for every person out there who dislikes my work, there is certainly one who's intrigued. It's just a matter of finding those people! My husband, who is an economist, likes to cite the law of probabilities - the more I apply, the better my chances are that I'll get accepted... it's hard to deny math!

FetishGhost said...

Congrats!

Patricia Griffin said...

Oh, I'm so relieved to read your post and see that it's good news! The headline about change had me worried for a second. All great news -- and what a reminder that everything always changes, and often for the better! Bravo!

Linda Starr said...

Congratulations, clay definitely takes a lot of persistence that's for sure. Love the law of probabilities from your husband.

cindy shake said...

CONGRATULATIONS! In all this time of change and new directions artists are taking I was so relieved to read some POSITIVE news :o) you made my day! It demonstrates your ability to pursue what you knew to be true.

ang said...

brilliant, well done...your new stamps are v. cool..

cynthia said...

having all the goodness compiled here adds yet another element of sweetness! i'm so glad you're lavishing in the glory of it all. and despite what busy-ness may come, your work will only continue to get better and better!

Pam said...

Hi Kip,
I love all of your work and I am so glad you will have the national venue of NCCEA to display it. Best of luck with all the new avenues opening for you.

jeanette said...

Congrats! Your work is amazing and you will only continue to grow with it. (those stamps are rockin'!)