Friday, April 22, 2011


In preparation of a move, things are getting pitched. And since artists tend to be pack rats, it's essential for things to be re-evaluated from time-to-time.

Why are artists pack rats? Good question. Somewhere down the line, some professor once planted the seed in the heads of all his students that it was important to save everything in the event that you get or want to get 1) a show, 2) a grant, 3) a retrospective, 4) a book written about you. Somehow this also translates into saving every magazine you've ever bought because it has a little something about art. Meh.

What got tossed:
Upwards of 400 slides. Remember those? I have no clue how many hundreds of dollars were spent on those. But I have not taken a slide, converted a digital image into a slide, or sent out a slide for nearly five years (if not longer). If an exhibition asks for slides, or a college job opening only wants to see slides, I ignore them. All of the slides tossed were duplicates of about 185 original works and details. None of the work was created after 2006, which means most of the work was created as an undergrad or a grad student. What is even more interesting is that some of that work has been destroyed or lost. Some got damaged in floods, some got pitched in moves, some were given to friends as gifts (and I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere along the line Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so asked each other if they really wanted to save the large contour drawing of a nude woman in a Unibind frame that has warped the Plexi and board off the wall).

Magazines. Some get saved because there is an article I haven't read, or because there is some current event that makes an already-read article seem relevant.

Old class projects. I still have my Art 100 stuff -- from undergrad. Even then I thought I might teach and that it might be a good idea to save some stuff. So, everything (or most everything) from my painting and graphic design majors has been preserved. Until tonight. Some of it is in a big dumpster out back. Some of it gets saved for students to look through (to see process). Some of it gets incorporated into instruction.

Old sketch books. Only a few are going in the big bin. Some are going to get examined and interesting notes will be re-posted here. What I found interesting as that in the beginning of graduate school I burned through a sketch book a month. Semester 1 = 4 sketch books. The rest of graduate school fits into two sketch books.

What else goes? I have a feeling there will be a bundle of painting supplies that find their ways to happy homes. Time will tell.

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