In Fall 2011 I received a Faculty Development Grant to purchase a MIG welder to fabricate my sculptures. I also received funds to purchase umbrella lights/stands, a seamless backdrop, and a tripod, which have enabled me to take professional quality photographs of my art. Additionally, I obtained financial support to buy two ceiling lighting fixtures for my studio.
Receiving this grant helped me in my studio practice in multiple ways. It has made it possible for me to weld my sculpture at my studio, instead of having to drive, with my sculpture, to another location to use borrowed welding equipment (#1, #2, #3, welded sculptures in various stages of production).
I have used the umbrella lighting system/seamless backdrop/tripod to shoot photos of my current work for professional activities. I have also been able to photograph several older sculptures that have been taking up space on my studio walls for a year (#4, light stands/umbrellas and installer Tom Villa hanging my ceiling lights). Afterwards, I moved the older sculptures into storage, thus creating additional walls on which to hang my current work.
However, the biggest impact so far has been the installation of the two new overhead ceiling lighting fixtures, (#5, both light fixtures installed and separated by a skylight). They have made a huge difference in the environment at my studio. Their bright light made it apparent to me that my studio desperately needed to be repainted (#6, #7, #8). One of the walls, a 14' brick wall, had never even been painted all the way up to the ceiling (#9). Because the new ceiling lights illuminated absolutely everything, down to the smallest detail, my studio looked much dirtier than I realized. As a result, I was inspired to bring my studio up to speed. Subsequently, I spent four exhausting days repainting the walls (#10, #11, repainting in progress). You can clearly see the difference in the before and after pictures. I also did some major spring-cleaning at the same time. At the present I feel my studio looks amazing (#12).
Value to Otis:
Now that my workspace projects a professional demeanor, I look forward to bringing my current Otis summer elective class, "Experimental Painting", (as well as future classes) to my studio for a field trip. I have also begun using my new photo equipment to create a power point presentation of my sculptures and drawings to show to my Principles of Design classes this fall. Neither of these projects would have been possible before without a Faculty Development Grant to acquire new equipment.
It is vital to have a brightly lit and well-organized studio and work environment in order to create, maintain, and project a professional atmosphere. This is because as a professional artist I need to entertain studio visits from gallerists and curators, photograph and market images of my work, and to easily produce my sculptures. The Otis Faculty Development Grant has greatly enhanced my ability to accomplish these endeavors, and has been instrumental in helping me to strive to achieve my highest potential so far (#13, #14, #15, #16).
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