Thursday, February 16, 2012

Curation, conferences and life as a contract worker

artist, Mary Frey

artists Nick Bontrager and Megan Cannon

It seems that time is filled and full and rich. Sometimes I think I am just as busy as my grad school days. Life as a contract educator means I spend a lot of time on the hustle, pitching course and workshop ideas, prepping to teach, of course the wonderful time with students and then waiting and waiting to get paid. I am loving my community arts students, and also the feeling that no company "owns" me. The no health insurance and intermittent pay checks part isn't nearly as fun. Also, without a full time job, I thought I would have much more studio time. Finding that space is still a struggle.

artist, Jessica Larva

This past week, my life was consummed with the art and technology show that I curated for the eTech Ohio annual conference at the Greater Columbus Convention Center 50 artists from 8 Ohio schools (including OSU, University of Cincinnati, Bowling Green State University, Ohio Dominican, Cleveland Institute of Art, Shawnee State University, Columbus State and CTec of Licking County) including faculty and student work, shown via seven large plasma screens, eight computers (pcs and macs), six projectors, seven dvd players, a kinects camera, 27 easels, interactive works, motion sensors, robotics, animation, video, digital paintings, photography, assemblage and installation work - was a lot to coordinate and keep up and running. Thanks to the amazing support of eTech of their first art show and the volunteers and assistants, including Steve and Ely Lombardi, John Cairns, Jenn Deafenbaugh, Jennie Evans Kinsley and Rachel Heberling the whole experience has now come and gone.

artist, Michaela Lynch from her moving video piece Nothing was Coherent

I was able to attend a few conference sessions, especially the ones hosted by Michelle Aubrecht in the MASH lab about game based learning and a couple of the keynote speeches. From our vantage point on the Mezzanene of Battelle Grand Hall I also saw middle school students in a lego robotic challange and a robotic birth from a life sized "mother" whose eyes blinked. The keynote speaker yesterday morning was Brene Brown. She had a profound message about the role of vunerability in living authentically and how practicing gratitude is essential for joy. Check out her TED talk.

I ran up to meet her after her speach, and invited her to the art show!

Ely missed most of his school week for conference style learning. In addition to supporting and promoting the art and tech show, he selected sessions to attend, sat in the front row, answered questions, provided feedback and collected candy, 7 colorful foamy stress relievers, 2 pens, a lego mini figure keychain and a mousepad from the vendors in the exhibition hall. It is very cool to have an empowered and creative 11 year old. I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity, its amazing experiences and especially the interesting and inspiring people that it brought me in contact with. All of the images on the post are from artists in the show.

GRoW bot, artist Austin Stewart

Suggestion Box, artist Barb Shardy

Machine Wheat Field, artist John Cairns
artist Brian Whitinger

artist Heather Elliott Famularo