Remote creativity: Art thesis during a pandemic
art students, graduation is just around the corner. With a worldwide pandemic in existence, many of them had to forfeit a traditional process of working on their thesis in the studio with their professors and peers. Studio art majors Kyla Philips ’21 and Malik Edwards ’21 provide their take on the long awaited final thesis senior art show and how they were able to accomplish it.For some
What were your expectations going into your final fall senior show? Were your expectations met?
Kyla: I had very few expectations going into my fall show because for much of the time, my thoughts weren’t directed. Coming up with ideas for an entire exhibition can be challenging because, for me, I had many different options on how I could approach my concept. As time went on and I just continued to make more work, things just naturally started to flow together. I am more than satisfied with how everything turned out.
Malik: I very fortunately decided to do a mostly digital thesis before the pandemic started, so it actually didn’t affect my thesis too much.
Was it difficult to complete your thesis works amidst a global Pandemic?
Kyla: The most difficult part about completing my thesis during the pandemic was not being able to have access to my professors. Since some of them weren’t on campus as much as they would have been last semester, a lot of our communication was over email or Zoom. Although this is common for a lot of people, it was definitely something to get used to.
Would you have chosen a different project/medium if the pandemic didn’t exist?
Kyla: No, I don’t think I would have chosen different mediums if the pandemic didn’t exist. I became fascinated with the fluidity and looseness of watercolor so I decided on that medium months before our country was aware of how bad the pandemic would get.
Malik: I focused on color pencil originally for my thesis, but I coincidentally decided to work in Photoshop because I found I was able to be myself more with digital work.
How were you able to gain access to essential resources to complete your work?
Kyla: I was fortunate enough to think ahead and be supplied in bulk before we went on lock down so I had very little issue from that aspect. Also, my professors were so helpful whenever I would have a question. They would do all that they could to help meet my needs.
Malik: Thankfully, almost everything I needed I already had. However, the things I didn’t have I was able to order off eBay.
How often were you able to be in the studio?
Malik: I was barely in my studio space at all. I was doing digital work, so it could be done anywhere, and me being in my studio as little as possible helps social distancing with not just me, but with other people around my studio space as well.
Even though the pandemic exists, everyone is learning to adapt to new methods of getting things done. Hopefully these students are able to inspire others who are struggling to find motivation to work towards their goals in a temporarily remote world. It is important to learn other people’s accounts as a form of encouragement during this time because at the end of the day, we are all in this together.