This has been quite a week. I have been nominated for the Maude Morgan award at The Museum Of Fine Arts in Boston, it is a great honor. The award is in honor of artist Maude Morgan.
During her most active years as an artist and instructor in Massachusetts, Maud Morgan represented a voice of recognition for women committed to a career in the arts. She was associated with some of the most distinguished artists of the 1930s and studied at the Art Students League in New York with Hans Hoffman. Morgan exhibited with the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York in the company of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko before instructing students of studio art, including Frank Stella and Carl Andre with her then-husband, painter Patrick Morgan, at Abbot Academy and Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. At the age of 92, she published her autobiography, Maud’s Journey: A Life from Art. Throughout her career, Morgan was a source of inspiration for many artists, both young and old.
I flew home from IUP for a day to meet with MfA Curators Thursday afternoon. I was a little nervous when 7 Curators showed up at my house, but was so excited to be able to share my, story, work, process and conversation with all of them. They were all wonderful, interested and insightful. I realized that I take this work for granted. I have been so busy for the last couple of years that I have not had time to step back and see the accomplishments. Watching them look and touch pieces was thrilling. Multiple comments about the work were very helpful and eye opening. I head back to IUP today with a lot to think about. All the nominees have already won. They got to have the experience of having a totally focused audience look at talk about their work. I am a maker and am compelled to create objects. My house fills with work and then it gets recycled into other work, many of these objects are only seen in person by a few people. There are less and less venues for artist to show work. How do we get as many viewers at a museum as at sporting events? I believe strongly in the act of making. I love teaching because I want to share with as many people as I can the satisfaction and empowerment of creating something. I also feel that my life of making has been extremely therapeutic, it helps me keep a positive hopeful view of the world. My victories are small ones. I believe if you teach 3000 people how to make something, maybe 2900 had a fun time with and artifact of the day, And an appreciation for the act of making, but what if 100 individual took away more than just fun? What if it sparked inquiries that will be life long and help the world in some new and interesting way? Art is about problem solving, decision making- something I think we need a little more of in our modern culture.