Every semester subtle changes happen in the studio. While the students are away, Weston and I always stand back and take a look at our space to ask how can we make it better. Sometimes we move tables or art materials. A few semesters back we moved the entire digital arts program into the upstairs gallery, where several of Kent’s scenic backdrops are still on display. Last summer we acquired several huge art-storage flat racks and with the help of the Joslyn facility staff, hauled the bulky hand-me-downs up our back stairs. It’s an ongoing game of Tetris. We are trying to get the most out our space and it is fun to play.
This semester we are installing two new features to the studio. I’m working on a sculptural wood shop, which we hope to dedicate to our recently passed student, Josh Sward. We are making good on our promise to Josh to continue to make room for more serious tools. So far we have a radial arm saw, a band saw, a scroll saw, a drill press, an air compressor, a shop vac, dremel goodies, hand tools and a rapidly growing supply of safety equipment.
Weston digi-drew up some plans for a new student lounge, coat rack, backpack storage and mobile device charging station. We are hoping to give our students a place to be still and quite or engage in more serious conversation. Reflection is a key piece to the creative process and our boisterous art studio is not always the most conducive space for meditation.
These projects should be done in the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait to see what our young artists make this semester. It never fails to amaze me, that you can place almost anything in front of a creative teen and they will make something that will surprise you. You give them acorns and they make lemonade. You give them lemons… watch out.