The first week of classes is over and it was really great. I have 2 fine cohorts of students and they are really excited about getting to work. The rosters and working with the Registrar has been difficult, but I am hoping the sailing is a lot smoother here on out.
The high point of the week, besides the teaching, setting up my studio, and meeting Hung Liu, an amazing artist from China, was the Visiting Artist Lecture from Steven Yazzie. I met Steven at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture when he was a Participant in 2006. The work he created there became a large scale, multi-media project called Drawing and Driving. He showed this work and all it its various permutations and also showed work he is making with a collaborative of artists called Postcommodity. It was a really far reaching presentation and he talked very generously about his practice and how he allows his work to grow out of itself. He is a very exciting artist to keep an eye on.
After Steven's lecture, we went to dinner at a restaurant called local11ten, where all the the food on the menu was locally grown. It made me think of Sarah Beth, she would have loved to see a fine dining establishment that was committed to the local environment and area growers. Plus the food was amazing. Steven, and I got to talk and I also got to speak at length with the amazing Hung Liu. Her show is at SCAD right now and there was a very large speaking event for her the same night as Steven's. I wish that I could have heard her speak as well. Since she grew up in Communist China and I grew up in a leftist family, we had a great time singing old party songs and talking about Paul Robeson. Her exhibition at SCAD is called Memorial Grounds. You can see images of her work at her website.
We also had a sort of pep rally/faculty meeting this morning for the entire faculty. SCAD is essentially staffed by adjuncts at the Savannah campus, so this means that there are a huge number of people teaching here, just like MassArt. At this all faculty meeting, we had a speaker named Peggy Maki, an Education Consultant and Assessment Editor who talked to us about how to assess students and how to figure out how they are doing in class. I have to tell you, I was so glad that I knew about the Studio Habits of Mind because everything this woman was saying was an affront to what I know about making and teaching art. She was so focused on rhetoric and rubrics that she lost sight of what and how one learns in the making. It was so results oriented that she never saw what artists learn from error or mistakes. Lastly, it was so concerned with metric evaluation that it did not move the student from problem solving to problem creating. You can bet that as soon as the presentation was over, I gave her my card with the name of Lois's book on the back. I have to order another copy of the book from Amazon. I gave my copy away.