My MFA thesis exhibition officially opened Friday April 22nd at Pratt Manhattan on W14th. If you’re in NYC, it’s open to the public until May 3rd! Check it out!!
After all the blood, sweat, and tears the show came together. I guess it always does right? I will get better pictures in the coming days but these are all I have for now. The opening went great! I saw lots of people I knew and meet lots of new ones too. In terms of how the show was received, I think my exhibition accomplished all my goals. My hope was that people would read the letters, see the work, take a moment to pause and smile, thinking about what brings joy/happiness in their life. I also wanted to make a project that was easy to understand and digest. I think I did just that. I can’t describe the joy I felt seeing people read the letters with a huge smile on their faces. It made me feel like all the stress was worth it. A lot of people said the work was beautiful and let’s be real, that’s one of the greatest compliments one could get. So everything worked out, mission accomplished.
I still have a feeling the powers at be aren’t convinced about my inquiry into joy and the body of work I created for the exhibition. I judge this b/c the only thing my adviser said to me during the opening was, “Are you getting good constructive criticism?” .. how about “good job,” or “it came together nicely,” or anything nice to say, EVER? I told her a lot of people were touched and were excited to talk to me about the project and how beautiful everything was. She just said, ohhh okay, in that sort of judgmental way, as if people saying beautiful design work is a bad thing. I’m sorry, its not easy to make beautiful work and work that people actually connect with. She’s such a hater. BUT — my plan this week is to use my paper to make my argument perfectly clear. I say this now, but I’m actually excited to finish it.
I had people in the space write down joy statements and I got a TON of responses, I think I’m going to post them on the wall during the show. I think it will make my wallpaper a little more interesting. One flaw I noticed was that many people weren’t connecting the dots between the projects, they didn’t realize the letters came first, which inspired another project, then another. I think I could have labeled things differently, or been more clear. So there’s room for improvement there! I also wish I could have left an address sign up sheet during the opening to collect addresses of people that would like to participate in the future. Would have been great to have another 20+ people to send new letters to … for the next wave. Ideas for next time! Here’s a few more pictures.
My framed visual responses on the floor of my studio, all 60 of them!
This was my space during set up on Thursday. A mess!
My finished space Friday morning. Added a third row of cards last minute.
Close-up of postcards, and the postcard packaging (right, hanging on wall)
The website thisbringsmejoy.com – will be the digital home for this project in May!
Thanks to everyone that came to the opening and a special thanks to Nick, Theresa, and Nefeli, who were each so helpful to me during the entire process.
I couldn’t have done it without you!