I sat down with Jonathan Logan and Claudia Rivera from the School of Visual Arts in NYC regarding the Art Squad and their upcoming exhibition at the CREATIVEBLOCH gallery.
Joe: Tell me about what it's like to be an art student these days. It's been a long while for me when I graduated back from RIT in the nineties.
Jon: "The path of an art-student is unique and personal. It usually starts with painting on the floor in your dorm room with some mediocre brand of paint because it was the cheapest in the store, to eventually blossoming into an artist who has an individualized process."
Joe: That's interesting. I still use the cheapest paints. I never felt artists need to spend crazy amounts of money on materials. I remember some art students used to buy crazy expensive brushes and $30 tubes of gouache. Never made sense to me. But agree on process, that takes quite some time for an artist. I didn't really come up with a style I liked until over 40. It's interesting that students feel the need to pin down a process and style early. But the reality is, it takes decades of life experiences to really find out who you are as an artist. It's more of an evolution. But I recall as a student, I needed a completed portfolio, and style ready to enter the job market. That's a ton of pressure for recent graduates.
Claudia: "With this in mind, sometimes it's hard to balance out our personal lives, school, and our own projects. We begin to find ourselves straying away from the communal aspect of the Art World and become more isolated. But what is so amazing about being an artist is the ability and opportunity to feed off of other artists energy, ideas and creativity. We go to each others' shows, collaborate, share studio space, and hang out."
Joe: Totally agree. It's easy as an artist to feel isolated. I remember being locked up in an art studio working for days without social interaction. While its an intense experience, it helps to work with other artists, get feedback and support. Part of my goal with CREATIVEBLOCH, is to create an environment that fosters collaboration and connects artists to each other.
Jon: "The School of Visual Arts on campus art club, Art Squad, encapsulates all of these qualities. We are a student community-building organization. Our aim is to encourage collaboration and creativity amongst the various majors the School of Visual Arts provides."
Claudia: "Art Squad is a haven for students who want to create art amongst their peers, and not have to worry about the pressures of school. Together we create meaningful connections with one another and make even more eclectic art pieces. At our events, our members from various majors can coexist. We are not just illustrators, cartoonists, film makers, or graphic designers. We are Art Squad, and together we form our community, where we support, create and hang out."
Joe: It's really great SVA has something like that, often times school and the real world can feel competitive with doors closed off, or challenges getting ahead. The Art Squad is a way in which more artists can succeed. So tell me about how you feel about your first public exhibition at CREATIVEBLOCH?
Jon: "We are super excited. SVA provides some opportunities for students to show their work, but how cool is it to have our work in a real gallery in DUMBO, Brooklyn, no less. DUMBO has always been know as a vibrant artistic and creative community, so we are excited for the students to have this opportunity. We really appreciate that CREATIVEBLOCH is supporting us with this show."
Joe: We are happy to do it. It works with our mission to support students and emerging artists in their career. Too many opportunities out there are only for established artists, but we want to change that, and serve as a platform for lesser known artists to get their work out in the marketplace. Good luck with the exhibition, we are super excited to see the amazing student work and share it with the art community!
Come see the SVA Art Squad Show March 2-31 at CREATIVEBLOCH GALLERY. TO RSVP for the Opening on March 2 from 6-9 pm, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/100123577172311/