The Year Before.

By Maria Teicher, MFA 2013

This time last year I was just beginning to understand my flow within New York and the school that now feels like a second home. I recognized very little faces and was just starting friendships. It was all new and a bit overwhelming. Everything felt a little foreign (which is strange considering I grew up only an hour outside of the city) yet it all had a sense of magic to it. Coming back in this year I can’t help to be reminded of how different I felt just one year ago. The fear is gone and is instead replaced by a stronger work ethic, and the ability to jump into whatever is ahead of me without worry.

The first day last year was slighting different than it was this year. Our orientation was an entire day followed by an exhibition of the 2011 fellows. Following NYAA through blogs and social media sites, I knew OF these three artists and knew what their work looked like digitally. As always though, art is so much better viewed in person. I walked around the exhibition space that night feeling this incredible sense of inspiration, awe, and again, magic.

Last year every part of that first day was brand new, from how we all got to be sitting in the same room together to how the incredible pieces I would see that night were made. This year, half of the faces were a breath of fresh air to see again, while the other half I couldn’t wait to get to know better. The faculty was familiar, the same professors who I’d learned so much from were there and the fellows were acquaintances and friends.

I walked around the 2012 Fellows opening just as inspired and in awe as I did the year before. This time, however, I felt like I had taken part of the journey of making these brilliant pieces with them. I had seen this art in different stages and spoke to the artists about the work. I had shared coffee or a love of printmaking with them. I knew their journey from before the academy all the way through their experience at NYAA. We were somehow part of the same family now (this very large, very talented New York Academy of Art family) and because of that their artwork took on a new meaning.

The greatest part of this year’s opening was that these pieces didn’t lack the magic that I had seen the year before as a stranger to both the school and the artists. I believe the sense of community here has added something better than a feeling of mysticism. There is now an added excitement for three artists I never imagined crossing paths with before coming here. The newest emotion coming back this Fall was walking into the exhibition, and being so proud.

Congratulations a hundred times over to Ian Healy, Aliene De Souza Howell, and Emily Davis Adams.  Thank you for your shared words of wisdom, kindness and allowing us to see your talents in close and personal ways.  

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