View Full Version : Good News
04-29-2005, 08:46 PM
After the agonizing wait I have been notified that I was accepted to the New York Academy of Art's MFA sculpture program for 2005-2007. The rigorous figurative curriculum I am looking forward to. The thousands of dollars of new student loans I am not. All in all, however, I am not going to complain too much.
Having never been to New York, it should be an excellent opportunity to see many works of art up close I have only seen in books thus far.
04-29-2005, 09:06 PM
Wonderfull news I am pleased for you, I hope that you will find the time to keep us informed with events as they occure. I would love to know what the figurative curriculum consists of.
All the best in your new adventure
04-29-2005, 10:34 PM
Thanks. I imagine I will be pretty much swamped, but I'll try to make reports once it all gets underway.
The best way of getting an idea of what they offer is by going to nyaa.edu/gschool_cur.html . There is also a description of the individual courses that makes for interesting reading on another page.
My predisposition is towards the academic training of the 19th century and NYAA is pretty much geared in that direction with a contemporary twist. My initial introducton to the school was back in my undergraduate days, but then I had no idea that I would become fixated upon sculpture years down the road. Funny how things come back into the picture when you least expect it.
04-30-2005, 09:52 AM
Sounds like a great course, I imagine you will be very busy over the next two years. The history of sculpting techniques sounds very interesting I would love to know about some different methods, I was only taught one. As you are predisposited towards the 19th century I am sure you will find the cast collection of great interest even inspirational. I will be interested to know what you think of the ecorche project, I did this years ago and found it fasinating. In a year or so, I would ask you to try to put into words the "contemporary twist" that you speak of, as this has always been something that I have struggled with. I wish I could join you.
Best of luck.
04-30-2005, 11:53 AM
The contemporary twist I refer to is my shortened version of NYAA's goal of making figurative art that takes its rightful place at the forefront of modern art. Now I will agree that my understanding of this will undoubtedly broaden and deepen over the next two years, but generally that is what they espouse.
I look forward to the ecorche' class especially. I have studied anatomy and worked with the figure for years as a two dimensional artist, but never had a chance to do that. The book by Bruno Lucchesi, Modeling the Figure in Clay has been one of my resources for study up to this point. His ecorche' is excellent in that he delineates the forms of the muscles and tendons so well.
I think that it is great that you were able to go over to Europe and study as you did. That way of transmitting artistic knowledge is as old as the history of art and probably the best in terms of really getting an indepth understanding. I was lucky enough a few years ago to work/study with a muralist of high ability and it was worth more in educational terms than all my undergraduate training. Those years made a huge difference in my overall approach to art. I looked for that kind of situation myself in terms of sculpture by contacting a number of sculptors, but while they were very complimentary of my work, they did not want any help. There's more than one way to skin a cat however.
Also, although I said that the 19th century is my predisposed focus, I am a fan of any great figurative sculptor from any period. It might be Claus Sluter or Tilman Riemenschneider from the Northern Renaissance or Bernini from the Italian Baroque. I am drawn to the 19th century because of the plethora of great sculptors working in different modes and with different creative focuses.
04-30-2005, 01:40 PM
I, too, would be interested in knowing about hearing of your experiences in the program. (May I persuade you in keeping a blog for those of us who have never lived through an academic program in the arts? :D )
Arts programs have always been tempting for me because although I love to learn, I am thoroughly incompatible with the academic life. I'd love to know what's on your reading lists, as I am in the midst of educating myself on the history etc etc of sculpture.
04-30-2005, 07:33 PM
Jason - Congratulations on joining this excellent program! I was drawn to art at about age 12 or so, but my patents pushed me to look at other talents because of the difficulties artists always seem to have with making a living. Probably I was better off choosing science and math for my major work, but I did get back to art with several semesters in beginning sculpture as soon as I joined a university faculty, and I started in earnest some twenty years later.
Funny how real interest can find a way to express itself. Good luck with this, and I also hope you can run us through some of your experiences as you find time.
04-30-2005, 11:32 PM
I have had first hand knowledge of what your parents warn of, but in my case I am awful in math and like science, but not in a career oriented way. Funny thing is that my father is a sculptor, but I never seriously considered it. I figured the gene had passed me by. The bug bit when I least expected it and now it seems that my whole life has been a preparation for this very thing.
Since much of my academic training has been less than what I expected, I too have educated myself to compensate. I joke that the university library was the best art instructor I had because I always had an 11 or 12 inch stack of art books on my dorm room table. Painting, photography, sculpture, illustration, graphic design, it was all grist for my mill. Since school my personal library has grown until I have to be more selective or get rid of some. My reading list is still fairly eclectic. I am currently looking at a number of excellent books: Alphonse Mucha: The Spirit of Art Nouveau, a beautiful book from Prague on Josef Vaclav Myslbek, an great book, a Rizzoli Quadrifolio on The Sistine Chapel, Struggle : The Art of Szukalski, and the everpresent Sculpture: From Antiquity to the Present Day by Taschen. ( the other books change, but this last one is always with me) I go back and forth between them as my mood or need directs. In the purely text category, I recently read the great book Michelangelo andthe Popes Ceiling by Ross King.
I'm not really that up on the blog phenomena. While I wouldn't be adverse to doing as you have requested, I honestly would not know where to start. I do well to get on and post. :confused:
Congratulations, Jason! I'm envious of the environment you will be immersed in and the contacts you will make.
05-01-2005, 10:49 AM
You are much further along than I in your sculptural career while I am still in the begining phase. I look forward to being at the stage you are at, but I intend to make the best use I can of this opportunity and learn as much as possible.
05-02-2005, 10:13 AM
Congrats, Jason. It sounds like a great and glorious time intensively doing and learning sculpture. I'll second the request for a blog for us to live and learn vicariously, but they do require a lot of time. Maybe just start a new thread on the site and update it periodically?
05-02-2005, 08:46 PM
I think that I should be able to do that. Right now we're just trying to figure out the logistics of relocating, my wife getting a teaching position up there, etc.. But, God willing, when we are up there and I am actually in the program, I'll certainly keep some sort of commentary on what my classes are like.
Thanks to everyone for their words of encouragement. I appreciate the support.
05-07-2005, 09:08 AM
I've also considered books to be much better than university courses---why restrict oneself to the perspective and knowledge of one person? I was lucky enough to find the Independent Studies Programme (http://www.adm.uwaterloo.ca/interdis/independent/) at our local university, which allowed me to study the way I want to and get a bachelor's degree.
I'm also reading Taschen's "Sculpture". That thing is massive---I hope when you say you always have it with you that you mean it's always a part of your library! I just leave mine on my kitchen-table because I don't want to lug it from one room to another. It's not exactly something you can take with you to read on the bus, is it? ;)
Re: blogs. There's not much too it. Blogger (http://www.blogger.com) is usually a favourite for "blogging software" because it's free and ad-free. Sam had also started a post (http://www.sculpture.net/community/showthread.php?t=948) on this forum to document his sculpture tour. You can PM me on this if you want, so that we don't clutter this too much with off-topic stuff.
05-10-2005, 03:51 AM
Congratulations on your acceptance!
As I am also in the (long) process of applying to grad programs for my MFA, I am curious to know what your application/portfolio experience was like--especially, where sculpture is concerned.
Of many of the schools I've been in contact with, many of them have the same portfolio requirements for sculptors as they do with other media, specifically, painting and photography, requiring 10-20 pieces.
This is a problem, especially where large-scale sculpture is concerned.
I look forward to your thoughts!
05-10-2005, 07:58 AM
Way to go dude,and take advantage of a great opportunity.If your art work is anything like your writting skills,you have a great career in the making.Don't let the "pinky capachino" artist in NY suck you into the vortex of talking a big game,and actually producing few things they spout about.Now NY don't get mad,they are in every town......
05-14-2005, 03:51 PM
Yes, I don't lug the Taschen Sculpture book everywhere, but it is always near like you mentioned with yours. Certainly self-education is a must for any artist that is wanting to rise above the mediocre. I'll look into the blogging site and the way that it operates. I've got this summer to figure it out. If I have any questions I'll holler.
You'll be interested to know that the other three schools I applied to did not admit me to their programs. They all had programs that were geared specifically if not almost exclusively towards modern/post-modern abstraction. My thought was that I did not care if I was the only person there with a figurative/realist bent. As some who have experience working in graduate programs told me, I was not a likely candidate because the programs in question would either see me as too much outside their school of thought or they wouldn't know what to do with me. I dunno.
From a practical stand point, I think that the general application process was about the same between the schools. It seems to have been that they all wanted somewhere between 15-20 slides, but the stipulation was that often they did not want more than 2-3 views of any given work. You might ask. I sent out a portfolio of no more than 7 works and a couple of schools required 5-6 drawings additionally. I ended up with the right number of slides when I supplied all the different views.
Thanks, I am looking forward to the process if not the actual geography. Strangely enough, I've never had a desire to go to New York because of exactly the situation you refer to. To get the training, however, I'll make an exception. As you say, they are everywhere and I recall running into that sort during my undergraduate days. One of my friends in the dept., a great abstracted artist, once told me, "You know there are a lot of artists in this building but not a lot of art." LOL He had hit the nail on the head.
Also, as I get chance I'll post some photos from my portfolio and you can give me your input.
05-24-2005, 03:05 PM
FYI-To Julianna and anyone else interested, I have set up a blog site to try and record my experiences at the New York Academy of Art. (You were right about the ease of getting started.) The classes aren't scheduled to start until Sept, I believe, but I will begin posting as soon as I start to get near to that date. (This is assuming that our move and all the other moving parts work according to schedule. Keep your fingers crossed that all the student loans come through if you don't mind.:))
http://scultpturelife.blogspot.com/ is the address.
If there are certain questions or the like that you want me to address in my posts, let me know and I'll try to accomodate. Otherwise, I will put what comes to mind and whatever else seems fitting. As I figure out what I am doing, I'll try to keep some images up of the course work I'm involved in.
That's it for now.
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