Two days ago, I woke up early and instead of getting a ride to school, I got a ride to Worcester, MA to go to Art All State. Art All State is a competitive yet rewarding program for art students that are juniors from all over the state of Massachusetts. Students get recommended by their teachers, and then we send in three pieces of our work. One portrait, and two others. I got accepted along with 140 other students, and we all came together on Friday, May 30th.
Below is my portrait and my two other works I sent in.
When we all arrived, we put our sleeping stuff in a Clark University dorm room, and then drove to the Worcester Art Museum to get checked in and sign our name tags. I found my friend, that was the other girl that got in from my school. We did not know a single soul in that room other than ourselves. We sat there for some time, until we got up with everyone else to watch a video that presented everyone’s portrait and a second video that introduced all the mentors. All the students were so talented! I was blown away by some of them. I wish I had the video to show you! The artists there included:
Emily Sandagata, Lisa Montanaro, Joanna Matuck, Andy Bell, Liesl Carlson, Dori Latman, Lauren Savoia, Jamie Buckmaster, Andy Fish, Veronica Fish, Caroline Clayton, Lena Schmid, Alex Romania, Elaine Smollin, and my two mentors were Rosa Ibarra and Robb Sandagata.
They were really great. They all did different things, and had different backgrounds to getting to the same stage. After the two video showings, we separated into our groups, and made our way to the studios. In studio 203, 17 students who have never met each other before sat together in awkward silence. We either used our phones to make it look like we had something to do, or just sat and starred at the wall. But that changed in a matter of a few hours. Our teachers walked in and told us that we were doing an installation piece to transform the room. We figured out what our materials were. (Black plastic trays, plastic sheets, and insulated aluminum foil air tubes. We didn’t have as much supplies as the other groups, so that made it much harder. We brainstormed ideas, and this is where we started getting more comfortable with each other. We pitched ideas like: a robot, a city, nature vs. industrialization, and a roller coaster. We all liked the idea of a city, and just built off from there.
We took a break for lunch and I sat with my friend, Alyssa, from my school, and three other girls named, Nina, Sarah, and Viv. They were so cool and very different. We ate a good lunch and reported back to our groups. We continued building and constructing. I talked a lot to Kristin, Olivia, Elizabeth, and Callie. They were all so different! I will be using different a lot, if you haven’t already noticed. When you throw a bunch of art crazy people together, that’s what you end up with, a ton of diversity. Each one was so DIFFERENT from the next. Callie ran track, Kristin was on a rock climbing team, Viv went to a boarding school and has lived in three different countries, and Nina only lived a town away from Worcester. It was really interesting to hear their stories and what they liked to do.
After dinner We all went back to 203. Me, Kristin, and Elizabeth finished the tunnel we started that was considered the entrance and exit to our installation. We continued our city for about 45 minutes, until we all stood back, and realized we did not like how it was coming out. The tables were draped in plastic, and even the buildings had plastic laying on them too, there were 2 bridges connecting the two tables that had buildings on it, and they were very uneven, the plastic that was hung around the perimeter looked plain and didn’t seem to work with what we were doing, and the “birds” (as we liked to call them) that hung from the ceiling were not balanced well. We wanted to make a change. So we brainstormed what we could change. I liked how our group was able to work so well together. Alyssa told me that it took her group half the day to figure out what they were doing, because no one could agree. I said that we should have the city exploding. People instantly liked it, and so we decided to move the city into the middle, and ditch the tables, Clump the “birds”, which we changed to calling debris, to the be more centralized, and thought that the hanging plastic should be the smoke coming from the buildings. We took the rest of the night reforming our room, until 10pm strolled along. We all left our studios for the night and met outside. The tape artist, Michael Townsend, and a few of his crew members worked on a piece for us all day. So we went out to see their finished product, and asked him a ton of questions. He was very lively and animated, it made the whole experience that much better.
After the presentation, we hopped onto our buses and drove to Clark. I luckily got to be roommates with Alyssa. We got back to the dorms at 11:30pm, so we were all pretty tired by then. We went to the bathrooms to get ready for bed, and then instantly fell asleep.
On Saturday 31st, We got on the buses at 7:15am to go back to the museum for breakfast and another day full of work. I once again sat with my normal “food” table as I would like to call it. At 8:30am we were back in our studios.
We worked really fast together, and got a lot done. So we took a break, and some of us went to the museum. We went into the contemporary arts portion until lunch was served.
After, we did some finishing touches on our installations, and then met our parents who came to see what we did. Our finished piece looked like this:
We called it Fragosus, which means fragile in Latin. Yes, it did take a some time to thing of that title.
And here is the group that made it!
Below are the other group projects.
(There was one that represented a womb, but it was so dark I couldn’t take a picture. Just picture a brown cave that leads into a small, red, glowing room.)
It was so fun. We had a ceremony where we walked in front of the crowd to receive our certificates, and then we went back to pick up our works of art.
I have to say destroying something can be so entertaining, but it is so shocking how fast we can take something down compared to putting it up.
And in a moment it was back to the tables with the brown paper rolled on top. Back to the start.
I was so glad I was able to meet so many cool people on this little, but huge trip. I will greatly miss it. Thank you Art All state for having me!