I find it difficult to approach blog posts, because I think it is hard to speak outwardly to any readers when my go-to is either formal or personal writing. Writing a blog is different from any other form of writing that I find comfortable, in that it is a personal experience, but you share it with others. For any posts in the future, I think I may tie together my love of research and analysis of art with my personal musings, and have this first blog post give some context as to who I am and how I found myself in this field of work.
I have always loved all forms of art. However, I put it on the back burner in my high school years, as I had built up this 15-year plan of becoming a neuroscientist and researcher. My focus was primarily maths and sciences, and while I did enjoy my studies, I realized by the end of my first year in Undergrad that the science route was not for me. I love education, and research, and problem solving, but I was burnt out all of the time, and sought out arts-related courses for my electives. I switched into Art History and Multimedia in my second year of University. I have not looked back.
Most of the friends I made throughout my University career were either in Science, Engineering, or Kinesiology. I was in Art History and Multimedia, but I could not seem to bridge that gap between my science-based past and my desire to discuss the arts in my free time. My attempts at making the connection were founded in dragging my friends to Art Crawl and show openings (which I still do to this day). I would like to think that my friends enjoyed these exposures to art, but I think it is more likely that my excitement towards a gallery showing might have blinded me from seeing what they really think.
With this background in mind, I tend to shy away from bringing up art-related discussion topics. It was not until my seminar classes and position as Teaching Assistant in my Fourth year that I fully embraced what I had chosen for myself three years ago. Being in a classroom setting, discussing Contemporary Art that I loved, with only six other people, was an extremely cathartic experience. For two hours on Monday mornings, I could open up and analyze pieces without thinking that others were not interested in hearing my opinions. As a TA, I found that reading others opinions were just as significant to my understanding of art. With so many views, Art History is revolutionary in and of itself. It is a transformative field of study, and I think that as I grow as an artist and as a person, any observed art piece may also change.
I hope to further my studies and either pursue a career in Archiving, Curating, or Teaching. I want to speak to people who are already interested in art, as well as those who have no interest, but might just listen anyways. So this is just a little bit about me. The posts to come might tie together art and science, and analyze studies, or pieces of art, or artists. There are so many possibilities, but what it comes down to is writing about what I care about. It took me eight years in school to find something I am passionate about, and I am so thrilled to have an opportunity like this right after graduation. As the Arts Outreach Officer at the Hamilton Arts Council, I am literally immersed in what I care about most. It is amazing.
*Banner image: Installation view with work by (from left) Barbara Astman, Suzy Lake, at McMaster Museum of Art [Photo: MMA]