Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 2 -Drawing, Design, BBQ, and Beale

Day 2 of the MCA academy was drawing and design.  We worked in the studio with one of the MCA drawing instructors, then he turned us loose.  It was so much fun. 

Getting some directions and critique from a prof.

Mrs. Rosalie.  She was so much fun, she's from New Orleans and teaches in an all girls Catholic School.  She kept us rolling with laughter all week!

My space.  It's still a work in progress, but we were working with textures.
  We broke for lunch at a graphic design firm, Combustion.  The owner is an MCA grad, and several employees are also MCA grads.  They do all the graphic design work for MCA, and International Paper.  You would think it would be a stuffy, corporate place, but that is far from the truth.  I could so work here!

Leah's office.  I had to wipe the drool from my chin when I saw her big, giant Mac!  Her office is very fun, too!

Yes, that is a set of drums and some electric guitars in the design firm.  It's the way they get over a creative slump.....I think I need some drums...

An awesome inspiration board.  I will be having one of these in my classroom and inviting students to contribute.

Ah, ha, so that's where the name "Combustion" came from.  I wonder if they would care if I borrowed their slogan?
 After lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon in the drawing studio.  I didn't quite get finished with mine, but it was a fun, abstract project, so it wasn't that big a deal.  For supper, we were heading downtown to the Rendezvous for some Memphis Barbeque.  We had some good food followed by a walk on Beale St.  There were a few brave souls who stayed late on Beale, but this girl came back to the dorm by 11 and crashed!

Our group in front of the dorm before heading to Beale.  Of course there is always one comedian in the group, and the only guy was ours. 

Yummmm, ribs! (and brisket, and chicken, and pulled pork...and....)

One very historic Memphis BBQ joint.  Worth the trip to the little hole-in-the-wall, side alley entrance.

Walking in Memphis....walking with my feet 10 feet off of Beale.  Historic Beale Street at night.

I really wanted to ride one of these cute little 3 wheeled police Seqey's, but I was afraid they would just throw me in jail if I tried, so I resisted the urge.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

MCA grad school and metals studio

Monday kicked off our Teacher Academy in a big way.  We toured the MCA Graduate School which is downtown close to the river.  After leaving there we went to the metals lab.  I had never tried enameling, but now that I have I really, really like it.  I've never been a huge fan of cloisonne....until now, and now that I know how to do it I have a whole new respect for it.

A soft sculpture piece done by an MCA grad student.  She used plastic grocery sacks.  Her studio had old fashioned braided rugs as inspiration.  It was great!

A very large watercolo/mixed media piece by another grad student.

Another statement sculpture by a grad student.  It reminds me of toxic waste pouring into the water.  The big bubble things were made from kids punching balls. 

I was jealous

Then I saw the inside of the Mac lab and had computer envy.  I thought they were going to have to drag me out kicking and screaming.  Sigh......

Just down the block from the MCA grad school is the Lorraine Motel.  This is where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assisanated.  It is now the Civil Rights Museum.

Enameling demo by Bill, the MCA small metals instructor.  I just wonder how he keeps from burning off the beard????

A copper piece with enameling powder, just before it got really hot.

This is why there is a sign in the metals studio that reads, "Assume EVERYTHING is hot!" 

Enamel pieces and cloisonne pieces done by Letha, one of my roomies for the week.  Hers looked so much better than  mine so I used her examples. 

MCA in pictures

Here are a few pictures from day one.  We settled into the dorms then had dinner at "The Beauty Shop", which I didn't get pictures of, but I'm hoping someone else did and will share with me. 

Fogelman Hall, Memphis College of Art.  The top floor is an open studio, it was great!

Hello, Tennessee.  Old Man River was back in its banks, but it was even muddier than usual....if that can be possible.

My bedroom in our "dorm".

Why yes, that is a full size washer and dryer in each dorm room.  I don't recall living in a dorm such as this, in fact, our apartment didn't even have a washer and dryer!

The hallway of our dorm room....it had 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, full kitchen, and living room.

The living room area.  I can just see this fixed up really cute!

Notice the kitchen area has stainless appliances.  This was the Rolls Royce of dorms!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 1- MCA teacher academy

Okay, one more day with no pictures, but I'm too tired to wait for them to load...I promise, I will share some soon.

Today we toured the MCA grad school which is in downtown Memphis, not on the same campus as the undergrad classes.  It was such a neat space with lots and lots of growing room.  I hope they start some online classes soon because I will be working on an Art History degree if they do!  I was standing outside the grad school looking at the historic buildings and happened to notice we were just up the street from the Lorraine Motel.  This is the motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot.  It's amazing to me to be so close to such a historical place. (yes, I took a couple of shots of the sign, but they are renovating it right now so there were construction vehicles in the way)  

After the grad school visit we went to the small metals studio and learned how to do enameling.  This is such a neat process!  I'd never done it before, but now I really want to try more.  I learned how to make cloisonne, which is a very labor intensive process. (so don't gripe about how much those little beads cost)  After the afternoon of small metals, we met for pizza with the director of admissions & student services (I don't exactly remember her title, but her name was Gadspy, which I thought was very cool).  There are so many new areas for degree concentration and they all sounded so interesting to me.  We also learned about some of the programs for high school students, which I will be recommending a certain students who I know would LOVE this!

After supper we returned to the very cool dorm and realized it was only 7:30 and we had time to make a Target run.  I had forgotten to bring my camera charger, so I was able to pick one up at Best Buy, now the battery is charging and we will be in business in the morning. 

Tomorrow is a day of drawing and I'm really looking forward to it, maybe I'll have a few pictures then.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Made it to Memphis

Sorry this one has no pictures, but it's been a busy day.  I made it to Memphis safely.  We're all settled in and hit the ground running in the morning.  I get to try something I've never done before, metal arts and enameling!  I'm really looking forward to it.

We had supper in a groovy little place called "The Beauty Shop".  This former beauty shop turned gourmet restaurant (hence the name) is the spot where Pricilla Presley used to get the jet black bouffant done.  How cool is that! 

Our itenerary is full, so tomorrow should have some good pics.....if I'm not too tired to upload them!

Friday, June 10, 2011

MCA....the excitement builds!

I am taking my laptop with me to the teacher academy next week, and I'm really going to try hard to blog about my experience. So here's the first post. Are these dorms awesome or what! This is going to be quite an experience!

Fogelman Hall & Metz Hall, Oh, do I see some cool photography shots in the near future!

Inside the dorm, Cool!

Awesome studio space!  I want one of these!

Exterior at night.  The building itself is a piece of sculpture!  How can you NOT be inspired!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My little slugger

I love this kid!  He makes me laugh, especially while I was trying to take his picture.  "Hey, Mom, do I look tough?"   Now, if you were on an opposite t-ball team and you ran up against this face on first base, would you be intimidated?  Yeah, me, either. 

Our team has become the cardiac kids, they've won 2 of the last 3 games in the 5th inning (20-19 and 19-18).  One game they even had a TRIPLE play!  Awesome!   Chris is one of the coaches this year, but couldn't make it to last night's game (we won 20-9, the ump called it after the 4th inning), so Austin filled in and helped keep the players in line.  

We love baseball!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Whoop, whooop!

Do you know who's going here next week.....?

Just check out this funky/cool building!  One of the few times I really dig modern architecture.

This girl!  Yes, that's right, I am going to the Summer Teacher Academy next week!  Excited?  I think so!

I have been in such a funk for a couple of weeks,  (Maybe I'm having a Blue Period like Picasso) and I felt like my creativity levels were nonexistent.  This is NOT a good thing when people think you're going to have some really neat ideas for things.  I was tapped out.  I had begun to feel like a shadow of myself.  It's probably more than just lacking creativity, but that was at least part of it.  

I was so bummed when I didn't get into the Academy at first.  They take the first 12 and I was somewhere around 13. (Yes, if only the US Postal service could have gotten my registration back quicker)  I was worried about what other workshops I was going to pick up this summer, especially since I needed 20 hours in my subject area (Art).  You try getting some fine art classes in rural Arkansas.  It ain't happenin'!  I was so looking forward to something fresh and different this summer, but had consigned myself to the fact that I was not going this year, but had a guaranteed spot for next year.  I was on the waiting list, but didn't hold out much hope that someone would drop out, (Did I mention this is free of charge to teachers?  No?  Well, teachers never pass up a good freebie.)  Imagine my surprise and delight when I got a call this afternoon saying someone had dropped out and I could have that spot if I wanted it.  If I wanted it......pshaw, OF COURSE!   

Oh, and to those friends who I told I was going to call or email all the other accepted participants to this Academy,  just know it had nothing to do with me.  I have no idea who is going, so I couldn't call them all and tell them they probably don't want to go to Memphis this summer because of all the snake problems and mosquito population explosion that follow severe flooding,  (nevermind that MCA is in historic mid-town, not by the river), but whoever you are that dropped out, thank you.  You may actually be partly responsibe for bringing my creative mojo back. 
Now comes the flurry of trying to figure out where everyone will go next week while I'm going.  Chris may be gone a few nights, too, so I have to get a plan....on paper so everyone will know what everyone else is doing, because this talking Mom calendar won't be here.   Even though we're out and about there is still livestock to be fed and plants to be watered.  I'm just thankful Casey and Austin are old enough to do that and I won't have to worry.

So that's my exciting news of the day, and now I'm going to bed.  I've had too much excitement, a "rally-in-the-fifth" t-ball game, and great news from MCA.  I'm exhausted and I'm ready for bed.  Good night!