Is pretty much the first word that comes to mind when I think of this exhibition. There’s so much to talk about! So let’s start unpacking -
First, I want to start by thanking Lindsey for being such a generous mentor as well as all the amazing artists that welcomed me into this journey. It’s been pivotal to my career as a young artist and recent graduate. Mostly because I think one of the most important things we can do as artists is come together to create or to do something for the community. And that’s truly what this exhibition was.
Seeing such an extensive show exist in a space like the Contemporary Arts Center is truly the start of something new for our ever expanding artistic community. AAA opened up a whole new world of creative experience for the public. Often I was told it being was a patrons first time in an art museum at all! It’s truly magical, especially in our current sociopolitical climate to have a safe, inclusive space, open and free to all ages. AAA let this community exist with it. In fact it existed for them, open to the individuals experience!
There was never a point that the gallery wasn’t alive. And what I admire most; the ability to create art that lives even without interaction. Though performance engagement is a crucial part to Lindsey’s work, it can breathe regardless. Either way her work never fails to welcome a viewer with a bright and genuinely saturated “hello!” It’s like it’s saying, “come exist with me!” In whatever form you want to be in. There is no wrong answer!
I’ll be honest, I came into this internship in late January as a soon to be graduate student, filled to the brim with daunting uncertainty. Of how I was going to progress as an artist, if I could or even wanted to. However, being fresh out of Lindsey’s performance class I knew that I needed to continue learning about action and community based/interactive art. I was reassured that this is the life that I want.
What I never imagined out of our time together was countless genuine connections, constant inspiration, sports pep talks, hypnotization, dancing in a freight elevator with a huge table of confectionery goods. And more colors than I knew existed!
When I say that this exhibition and this internship put a new lens on my practice, I mean it. I had never seen an artist so committed to their practice before meeting Lindsey: An artist who truly lives and breathes art. While simultaneously exuding so much joy in doing so. It really is an inspiration. To see and be a part of an exhibition like AAA keeps a constant reminder inside me of what art is truly capable of.
Being an artist is a responsibility. It’s not necessarily a hat you ever truly take off. Your creative energy stays with you through every facet of life. I think the most helpful part about this internship was getting to see someone else living through all the uncertainties that every young artist has. The best advice I ever got was to just "show up." We're all told in grade school, about how you miss 100% of the shots you don't take? Well, as an artist that's the honest to god truth. If you aren't present then you will never know what you could have created or the connections you could have made. I think we tend to get so caught up in our own heads that it becomes hard to get those creative ideas out to the public. But you just have to trust yourself to do it!
I would say the last thing that will stick with me is the importance of community. Where you live, the people you interact with on a daily basis, fellow artists, friends, family, etc. I always thought being an artist meant isolation and late nights in the studio. But it doesn't have to be! Sometimes it's easier to see a concept through when you have a hive mind around you, supporting one another, being excited for the next step -together. Then are we really artists? Or are we collaborators? The answer is both.