Objectified: Lesley University’s Visual Arts Alumni Exhibition

Objectified: Lesley University’s Visual Arts Alumni Exhibition

An artist objectifies or exploits a particular subject
when they work with the subject. MAN:
Objectified is space, movement, and form. MAN:
Taking something simple and making it complex. Or taking something complex… MAN:
Something that’s, you know, luscious, desirable. WOMAN:
The amount of power that you can take away
from something by naming it or turning it into an object. WOMAN:
…was internal, now becomes… (voices all running together) “Objectified” is an exhibition
that brings together the Art Institute of Boston’s
low residency program, MFA program, alum. It’s a time every two years
for all of us to come and be part of something big. It’s about us. That’s it. Well, it start back… I guess
about three years ago now. And Mike came to me
with this great idea of having an alumni exhibition. He’s like, “Hey, we should
do this show, you know, “invite and collaborate
and bring a whole big group of people together.” You know, invite the whole
MFA alumni cohort into participating
in a huge exhibition, the first of its kind. This is the second iteration
of the show that we’ve been working on. Initially I thought
that this would be easy– you know, doing this show
the second time would just… would be easier, since it was
something we’d already sort of worked out the nuts and bolts
and the kinks and whatnot in the first time around. In a way, I figured we’d be able
to, you know, sort of slide right through this one. Absolutely not the case. After choosing the space
at Lesley, I then started to realize, “My goodness,
how the hell are we going to make a gallery
in this space?” But, you know, that’s why we
have our amazing people on our committee. We found a way. We are building the walls,
the space, from the ground up. We are creating almost
an illusion. We have far more people
participating in this exhibition than we did
the first time around. The first time we had, like,
roughly 80. Now we’re up near 130. I mean, it’s probably
the largest exhibition in New England in January
this year probably alone. So it’s just bigger. Everything about it is bigger
and more complicated. The space is more complicated. The setup is more complicated. The lighting’s more complicated. The end goal? The end goal is going to be
We chose “Objectified” for the second exhibition
because we thought it was important
to have a theme. We’ve got photographers
and sculptors, installation artists,
painters, illustrators, you name it. To bring all those people
together was really difficult. So we thought that if we
came up with a theme… the theme could be anything. It could be “Blue”. So we wanted to come up
with something that people could sort of go off
in different tangents and really sort of chew onto. And so we thought “Objectified”
was a really good… was a good theme to work with. It’s almost, I would say,
in many ways a recontextualization
in addition to taking something and imbuing your own definitions
into it. I was really draw
to this exhibition when I heard what the theme was. And I thought… you know,
it resonated with me right away. I thought it fit the work well. “Objectified” I believe
represents the work that I’m doing right now. It expresses something deep
and almost esoteric about the ideas that
I’ve been thinking about at this moment. As much of my current work
does pertain to perception, media and manipulation,
I felt that it was really a perfect fit
for this exhibition. The expression or the term
“objectified” is perfect for me, because basically what I do
is objectifying a certain subject matter. In my work I want to show
how we use nature as a commodity,
and that everything, whatever, animals,
the lake itself, all of the natural world
is used as a commodity. For me, a lot of times,
I’ll take an object, spray paint over it,
scratch it out, tag into the face. Many times I really don’t
choose an object for so much the image, but just the idea
of painting it. Well, that’s a great
huge, open subject. I mean, I could have taken
just about anything with this. Objects… as an artist, you
pretty much are making objects. You’re taking your ideas
and turning them into objects. Or you’re taking objects
and giving them more meaning. I mean, it gives you
the opportunity to kind of stretch the boundaries of it. Not necessarily build
on some huge, great principle, but just to get right back down
to the idea of object, and what it means
to build an object, create an object, or… brings it right down to the core
of what you would do as an artist anyway. My connection with
the AIB community is deeply personal. They don’t know it. But my two years that I spent
at Lesley in the MFA program was just unbelievable. The creativity, being immersed,
being almost sequestered with all these artists,
I’d never been involved in anything like that before. And after coming out of
those two weeks, I did some of the most
creative work I’ve ever done in my life. Well, my two years at AIB
have really informed and really changed my work. When I graduated from AIB
in 2007, I suddenly felt at a great loss, because this
intense relationship that I had been part of
for two years was suddenly over. I live in a very remote area
in Quebec, and it’s on a dirt road,
and it’s on a farm. So I’m quite isolated. So having this connection
when I go on Facebook, or when I get all the messages
from AIB, it makes me feel like
I’m part of a community of artists. It’s like a family for me. BROOKE HOLLAND: My connection
and experience at AIB helped me find my voice as an artist and gave me
confidence in making artwork. There were so many people. You go in, and you’re not
in a roomful of just painters anymore. There are so many people
from so many different walks of life, so many
different backgrounds, languages, countries,
different mediums. I walked in, and I’m having
my photography critiqued by a surrealist painter. I mean, you get
every perspective you could possibly have from
somebody who looks at your work. I’m proud to be associated
with AIB and Lesley in every way. My big fear is that they will
disown and blackball me. TERESA BONILLO: If I had to
describe my experience with the Art Institute
of Boston, I guess I would just have to say
life changing. Definitely my understanding
of being a professional artist changed drastically after going
to the MFA program. I could see
the contemporary art world in a different way, and I could
see myself fitting into the contemporary art world. It allowed me to figure out
a way to incorporate art making into
the rest of my life. I think you learn
more about everybody else’s medium as well, because
you’ve learned how to open your eyes and see
in different ways from different people. So you now have that knowledge. FINNEGAN:
When I came into the program, I felt I didn’t belong,
my work wasn’t good enough. But I feel like my art
changed quite dramatically. I started painting,
everything was different, and I started making work
that made me feel uncomfortable, and learning a whole lot. TIM GEERS:
The greatest part about the MFA program is
they force artists to go outside
their comfort zone. I like that. It really validated me
as an artist and as a teacher. And it really valued…
or it allowed me to value the time that I spend
on my work. I think that the program
really taught me the importance of art making
being a habit in your life. Habit and hobby are two
very, very different things. And it’s really…
it needs to be a daily habit. Before I went to AIB,
I was a person who made art. And after being in the
low residency MFA program, I’m an artist. Thank you, AIB. Thank you, AIB! Thank you, AIB. Thank you, AIB! MANY VOICES:
Thank you, AIB. For giving me opportunity
to have a voice. For giving me an opportunity
to prove myself to the world and to the art community. For giving me an entire
new community of ideas, not just one. For helping me pursue the life
that I’d like to lead. For helping me be
a better artist and a better teacher. For having a low residency
program. I wanted to go back to school,
and I was able to do that without having to drop
everything in my life. Thank you, AIB
for teaching me discipline. For creating a situation
that brought me and the artists in the program
together, and gave us opportunities to work together
and to find different ways to connect our work
to the world. I thank AIB very much
for helping me get to where I am now as an artist
and to have given me all this wonderful community of
artists who are so supportive. Merci beaucoup. Thanks, AIB, for being
so welcoming. I learned a lot. It was hard work. And I’d do it again. So thanks, AIB. Thank you AIB for waking me up. I love you.

local_offerevent_note September 20, 2019

account_box Matthew Anderson


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