Monday, September 12, 2011

Are art students becoming dull (at least at NIU)?

Hello all again!

So Last friday was The First Friday.  My goal was to hit up everything that night with my best friend Roni.  But that's not what happened.  Roni and I did get out there (a touch late since it was a must to go see an old colleagues art opening in the south loop). So I did see an interesting fashion design show, and a couple other galleries, but then we found out that the most wonderful person in the world was around the corner at one of the Indian restaurants!!!

Billie Giese, was my drawing-studio mentor when I was over at NIU.  At the time she taught many of the mid level classes and then also the senior studies classes, so I was blessed to have her though out my years at NIU.  Today she teaches much of the same classes, but now the school is sooooooo lucky to have her as the Fine Art Studio Division Chair! 

Billie has always inspired me artistically and conceptually, but while I ate Indian food with her instead of going to any of the shows, I realized that she has now fueled my desire to obtain this masters that I am just starting at SAIC! 

The thing about Billie is that she LOVES art... and she LOVES teaching! She is such a down to earth person that is so in-tuned with conceptual/contemporary art... And she has just the right touch of quirkiness.  It is all of this that I want to be.  She was updating me on all the happenings that are going on at NIU since my departure.  And sadly there are some downfalls.  The main thing is the dedication and enthusiasm of the students.  This topic was brought up because NIU has a bus that takes a group from the school out in DeKalb to the West Loop area for First Friday, and so I asked Billie how many students came this year.  She told me that there was no interest from any of the students!  I was just absolutely shocked! When I was at NIU everyone loved that trip, we took a full mega bus size load of students!  So Billie and I were discussing how there is such a sad downfall with students in the fine arts areas of schools.  Her guess is that the economy along with the overwhelming politics in the school creates a body of students that are just trying to get by.  Also she mentioned there is a reluctancy to learn from the students.  Billie told me a story about how she demonstrated xerox transfers using gloss medium to her 300 drawing class. This is a tedious technique, but not at all rocket science.  The next day when the class was to use the transfer technique, every single one of them did it completely wrong.  (Now i know how Billie teaches this lesson... no excuse on getting it wrong!)

So through that fantastic meal I had with Billie,  I made a personal goal to make sure that my time spent at SAIC is not waisted and make my two years dedicated to Billie! Love that Lady!

No comments:

Post a Comment