We all know that Atlanta is awesome, especially our artists, musicians, and writers. We live in a big city that is a small town for us creative folk. It’s part of our job to find and make connections as a part of this creative niche that fascinates us all. This community aspect of Atlanta is something that has appeal and a bit of wonder. To those that watch us creative folk there is a constant buzz and excitement about what will happen next. But what will happen next to our buzzing city?
As a local artist and broke student, there is always this desire to see something new. Whenever I stay in Atlanta too long I feel an urgency in the arts to see more about how we’re all connected. I was on a mission of revival with Georgia State University’s Printmaking Department. Where else would I venture but New Orleans?
The Southern Graphics Council International (SGCinternational.org/) was also hosting their annual conference there, stay focused. The SGC International was founded in the 1970’s, at a time when university and college printmaking programs were small, neglected and generally disconnected from the rest of the printmaking field. Today the SGC has an annual conference that offers students exposure to graduate and undergraduate programs, art and prints form all over the U.S.A., mentorship programs, portfolio exchanges, discussion panels, projects, demonstrations and I can keep going. Overall, it’s a chance to network, see new methods of printmaking and realize that art is a large spectrum connected by varying mediums.
The moment I got to New Orleans, I could sense that the city was sizzling with the all mighty creative forces. There were kids out on the street playing jazz and dancing to make their after school buck. There were street vending artists actually selling their art and making money. One artist I talked to in particular said something along the lines of “I’ve been selling so much on the street that I had to take down my Etsy account because I can’t keep up with the volume and inventory”.
Like I said earlier, I’m staying focused. Back at the SGC I finally got to meet my mentor, which was an option while registering. We e-emailed back and forth before the SGC to decide what we would talk about. I had prepared a list of “artistic dilemma’s” like; art is a business, graduate schools, artist block (you get the drift). However, by the time I sat down to talk to my mentor, I realized I had already answered my own “artistic dilemma’s” because I was outside of my element, scheduling and what is predictable in my life here in Atlanta.
When you get to college, they want you to pick a major and that is what you do and to an extent who you are (especially if you’re of the artist kind). For all you artistic people out there, why would you ever stick to one medium? I found myself submerged in this “artistic dilemma” because of academic curriculum and personal preferences, meaning I had become solely a printmaker. My mentor and I discussed how vital this concept is to an artist of any medium, not to get stuck in what they do; drawing, painting, writing, music, ect. Keeping up with your interests should include a “well circulated pallet”, or a medley of influences and mediums. This is how we are all connected, is through areas that merge us together.
So, Dear Reader, what other mediums are you fluent in? Now say it five times fast.
Tulane University, local’s and travelers hosted a knight of prints with varying mediums,paint-guns, screen printing demonstrations, to 6 foot block prints. This was an adventurous evening because a wondering group of artist and myself were stranded by the scheduled bus. We all ended up herding our way back to the French Quarter through a labyrinth of neighborhoods.
One of GSU’s printmaking students, Hannah, who was observing one of the many shows on display during the SGC.
Snap shot of a statue I found while wondering around. Not quite sure where I was, but very certain that greatness was in front of me.
Some front yard voodoo I spotted on the Island of Algiers, which is an easy 15 minute ferry ride from NO. Relaxing escape from the commotion of the SGC.