Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lester Merriweather

Lester Merriweather's visit was very refreshing. Although I've enjoyed all of our artist talks, this one stood apart as something more than a basic lecture and was a lot less formal though relaxed. Because we've had so many artist talks and they all covered more or less similar ground, I was glad Lester didn't talk too much about his professional practices experience, but only covered the essentials like school, his residency at Skowhegan, and what led him to his position at U of M today. It was nice to talk with an MCA alumni becasue at one time, he really was in the same position we are in now. I thought he offered up some great advice that I had not considered before he mentioned it. He stressed the importance of networking and the real benefits it can have (like in the story of his acceptance into Skowhegan because he'd met someone who was employed there). I think networking is not something many artists think about while stuck in their solitary, art-making, private universes, but it is definitely essential to know people. Another aspect of art college life he placed some emphasis on was the usage of the school's facilities while we have them and are paying to use them because after we graduate, they will no longer be available to us and that definitely woke me up a little bit. Now I just want to be in the computer labs and studios all the time. I don't have any negative criticisms of this talk. It was down-to-earth, simple, and touched on many important things without giving us the same information as the previous talks. It was also great that the question/answer portion took up the majority of the talk. Maybe the next lecture could just be one huge Q&A session and we could bring in questions to ask beforehand. Might be fun.  

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