by Quentin McCaffrey, MFA 2011

In the weeks after the dizzying and malnourished/sleepless whirlwind that is the ascension towards the ever-exciting TriBeCa Ball, one by one e-mails revealing those students selected for the abundance of scholarships, residencies and fellowships trickle down from the committees and faculty meetings in the sky and all students hope to read their name as they anxiously scan the awaited lists. When the queue of those selected for the bulk of the residencies was released, smart phones blazed and thumbs quickly pulled down the lines of text.

Quietly, in between the longer lists of students going to Giverny, the St. Barth hopefuls and those given a summer studio in New York, there was a single name attached to an unanticipated residency: Carrara Residency: Quentin McCaffrey. “That's my name.” I thought (feeling like a ballerina picked to play the lead in the handsome but strict instructor's magnum opus), “What is the Carrara Residency?”

I scanned back through my memory and pieced together the snippets of information that might clue me in to the experience before me: Carrara. Italy. Marble. Stone. Stone carving in Italy. Liz Lemon's signature line from the popular NBC show 30 Rock came to the forefront of my mind, “I want to go to there.”

I had done a small amount of work in stone before and basically remember it being really...well...hard. Maybe that goes without saying with rocks, but after having worked in relatively soft materials for the last 3 years (clay and wax) I was a bit nervous. I really wanted to learn about the processes and the qualities of the material, but I also wanted to come away with a piece of art that I would be proud to show. I learned that I would have about two weeks to work in Carrara, and I earnestly hoped to make the most of the time that I would have around the people who made a living working with this material, fluidly shaping it with yet-to-be-discovered tools.

Quentin McCaffreyBushman, 2011, beeswax, paraffin wax, plaster, steel,
h: 8.5 x w: 6 x d: 7 in / h: 21.6 x w: 15.2 x d: 17.8 cm

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