Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Statement of Purpose Part Two

Erin Devlin
Statement of Purpose: Part Two

My Interdisciplinary studies have been more of a natural progression than a strict plan of attack. My art degree, linked with my Interdisciplinary work has given way to a bigger picture of my overall lifestyle than just a four-year degree track.
To earn my degree, with a major in Art and a minor in interdisciplinary studies I have had to take many classes that may not outwardly seem to relate, but they have all come together to give me a foundation for a lifetime of study. The art classes that I have chosen to take were very basically because of interest. However, paired with my interdisciplinary classes, those art classes taught me more than just the ability to work with a particular medium, they taught me life lessons that I will take with me forever.
A perfect example was my decision to take a ceramics class. I had always admired my fellow classmates who could work functionally and conceptually with clay, but more importantly I admired their patience with the clay. At that time I was apprenticing with a jeweler and my lack of patience was a common conversation topic. The retired jeweler was now working with clay and when I had some down time in the studio I would wander around looking at different pieces he was working on. I would always ask him about different surfaces he had created and he would always reply with the same answer, patience, you have to be patient. I enrolled in the ceramics course, yes to play with clay, but also to slow down and be patient with a new art form. By no means did I master the art of patience, but when working with a new medium, you have to be patient. Many of my art classes have been taken to learn a bit about the medium, but also they all teach so much more, and the student has to decide how those lessons shape over time.
Besides ceramics, my art degree has taken me through two drawing courses, which have developed my skill of observation and given me the ability to sketch out my ideas. I have taken metals classes purely on the love of casting and the dirtiness of it. I have taken art history classes, which give me a basis, sculpture classes, which entertained my childhood imagination, a fibers course, and currently a bookbinding course to broaden my ideas and interests in art.
The interdisciplinary courses I have taken helped me to make connections where otherwise I might not have. The most helpful and meaning course I have taken in IDS is by far Histories of Knowledge’s. It gave me the tools to be able to be comfortable in the sometimes-uncomfortable grey areas of life and experiences. I have taken a Chinese medicine course that taught me the philosophy and culture behind this form of healthcare. It also appeased my interest in acupuncture, medicinal herbs, and overall well being. Through IDS I have also studied at Penland, which taught me that learning does not end once you’re out of school. Penland also taught me that there are many ways of accomplishing a task, you just have to find or create a way that works for you. All of my Interdisciplinary and art courses have taught me something, whether I see it now or will recognize it in the future.
I have chosen to approach my studies in this fashion because it seems like a natural progression. In my opinion, learning is not a concrete structure. Instead you, follow the route to get to your specific destination. However, once on that route, you may find you need to go this way or that depending on what you have learned thus far. It is constantly changing, therefore I know I am a life long learner and my December graduation is only a point along my way.

No comments: