by Aliene de Souza Howell (MFA 2011)
Back for my second and final year at the Academy, I am greeted by Will Kurtz's newspaper motorcycle woman, Neoplatonism and a fourth floor window studio. I returned from the Leipzig residency and subsequent backpacking trip in the German Alps feeling refreshed for the first day of school and with ideas buzzing rooted in the work I created there.
The year has ignited with an opening for the stirring work of the third year fellows, Panni Malek, Will Kurtz, and Peter Mühlhäußer. And my classes began with John Jacobsmeyer's Narrative Printmaking Seminar (being offered for the first time this year!) and Vincent Desiderio's painting elective. Jacobsmeyer pushed our creative canons with selected woodcuts from his book, More Than Human, and his personal print collection as I began to formulate ideas for my own series. Desiderio inaugurated class with a philosophical lecture about artist as intellectuals with its origins in Neoplatonism. From there he came to each student's studio and gave individual homework assignments based his or her Thesis ideas; he was enthusiastic regarding my concepts and work, instructing me to keep experimenting.
On the heels of his advice, I delved into dioramas and sketches in preparation for my large scale Thesis works to come! I am continuing the series I started this summer about the disconnect between daily life and the string of global natural disasters that have happened recently. I can't wait to manifest the sketches and brainstorming of this week into action! As Delacroix said in regards to creating, " If I am not quivering like a snake in the hands of Pythoness, I am cold..."