Old(er) in Art School
My first few weeks at Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD):
School is different than I remember it. Professors now ask about your mental health and encourage you to take care of yourself. Everyone introduces themselves with their preferred pronouns. Everyone wears a mask which makes it hard for me to remember names because I can only see half of their face. Maybe I am just getting old and all young people look alike to me? Actually, I am not the oldest in my class of 18 MFA (Master of Fine Arts) students. There are three of us in late 50’s/early 60’s and three of us with doctorates of one kind or another. I still fall asleep in class but that has happened any time I sit down since 1977. My professors from veterinary school still tell stories about me sleeping in their class and then getting an A. Heidi was always generous about sharing her notes with me but it meant I had to spend lots of time studying stuff that I missed in class.
The 3D shop at MCAD is amazing. They have pretty much any tool I could want for welding, casting, wood working, 3D scanning and printing, CNC routing, sewing, blacksmithing etc. along with staff to help with training. My mentor is helping me focus and develop my ideas into a cohesive project along with guiding me through the finishing stages of my large sculpture for my veterinary school. I’m even a graduate teaching assistant for undergrad students.
Most of all, I am enjoying spending time with my dad. My dad lives in West St. Paul and invited me to move into his basement. I’m certainly not the typical boomerang kid. Conversations over breakfast and dinner are so much better than weekly phone calls. I occasionally bring home tools from my studio for home projects with him. I haven’t lived with my dad since my junior year in high school so it is nice to reconnect. Labor Day weekend he helped me make a mold of a beaver stump in the woods near our cabin, painting on silicone, carrying stuff into the woods for me and documenting the process with photos and video.
My first weekend Heidi met us at our cabin, the next weekend I flew to Chicago for Heidi’s high school reunion (I’ll leave out the round number for this reunion) and this week we attended
a veterinary conference together in Tucson. HVH business partner and Hospital Administrator, Cyndi, joined us for the meeting which focused on effective communication and strategic business planning with some team building during sunrise yoga and horseback riding in the desert. We also celebrated Cyndi’s 24 year anniversary at Hallett Veterinary Hospital while we were in Tucson!
So far I still seem to be juggling a lot of things but most of them are related to my art. I hope to cast my first bronze pieces for my MFA program in a couple of weeks as I get ready for my first critique in October.