I was honored with an invite by Ringling College of Art and Design's Illustration Department to come down and judge their Best of Ringling Illustration Show. While I was there, I was also asked to give a presentation to the students.
I think I am fortunate enough that I can travel and meet new and wonderful people. I'm always about new experiences that I find interesting. I've never been to Sarasota Florida nor Ringling and I was intrigued by both on a lot of different levels.
Having chaired the Society of Illustrator's Student Scholarship Competition for the last 6 years, Ringling was always a school that seemed to always get many pieces in so I was curious about what's in the water down there. (I soon found out it's some sort of sulfurous fart smell...about that another time!)
Part of this trip I enjoyed was that the hotel I was staying in was on Lido Beach. My hotel room overlooked the ocean! During these cold days in Boston, this was a welcomed relief, even if for only a few days. As I type this, I just got done shoveling 6 inches of snow this morning. Gah! I went down a day early to be able to spend on the beach and adventure around St. Armand's Circle and get my 'tourist' on. It allowed me some quiet time to think about things, draw a bit and recharge from a pretty busy schedule. It wasn't enough and we're talking about going down for a full week this summer.
The pic above was sunset on the day I arrived. The pic below is sunrise the next morning.
Hello Mr. Ringling.
'Stay Thoughtful' is what the hotel stationary says. Good words.
Besides getting a pretty good sunburn, I was adjusting the presentation I was going to give at the hotel. My presentations are in constant adjustment and revision. I like to keep adjusting what I want to say or find another angle to get my thoughts across. Art can be tough and school can make the process that much more confusing and I like to talk about that stuff and try to help alleviate worries that some have and be bold enough to do what is right for each artist. I plan on doing a major update to the presentation so I was trying a new thread of though which was Experience and Empathy. Ahh-haha...Ringling guinea pigs!
The day of the presentation, my friend Mike Hodges who is a professor at Ringling along with Patrick Fiore and new Chair Jeff Schwartz gave me a bit of tour around a beautiful campus. I got to see some exhibitions that were up of all types. Really wonderful work! I was particularly fond of this piece currently up in an abstraction show.
Congrats to the class of 2013! (Love the poster!)
The students I met along the way, at my presentation and talking with them after about their portfolios and just life in general were so wonderful. That part of these trips is what really makes it worth it. I love getting to know people and talk shop.
After the lecture/presentation/portfolio review day and hanging out with some teachers that night at a really great pub/restaurant which the name escapes me at the moment, I got up the next morning at about 5am to prepare and judge the student show.
It was a pretty difficult task. When most of the 510+ piece submitted are as awesome as they were, it makes it that much harder to cut it down to the requested 50-60.
I picked 78! There was just too much good work to omit.
I am hopeful that the pieces selected for the show exhibits the range of styles, media, techniques and thinking that the students have to offer. Unfortunately, not everyone is included but I hope that doesn’t deter students from continuing on their artistic paths. There was not a single piece I saw that made me ever say, or even think, that ‘this student should not be involved with art’ and with the help of their very strong department and instructors, will do well when the students move onto their professional careers.
Everyone was so wonderful as well as all of the student volunteers that helped me move art around and dealt with making the Best of Ringling competition come together without a hitch.
Thank you to everyone that made the few days at Ringling special!
Above are a few volunteers that helped out the day of judging. Show them some love and visit their sites!
From left to right: Victoria Gedvillas - portfolio : http://www.artofvictoria.com/ Gabriel Sorondo - portfolio: http://cargocollective.com/gabrielsorondo Zachary Grantham - tumblr: http://actionwerewolfcsi.tumblr.com/ Livy Long (also Student Rep!) - portfolio : http://cargocollective.com/livylongart
Also, along the way at Ringling, I met a few other nice folks! Sorry if I missed you!