Course: An Artist’s Life: Diverse Voices and Contexts, “Lacrimosa”, by Nathaniel Mensah

“Lacrimosa” By Nathaniel Mensah Exploration of music and its effect on us. A piece in two parts, each part with a different style/ genre of music. Step in paint and then listen to the song and dance/react to it, then…

Course: An Artist’s Life: Diverse Voices and Contexts, “Lacrimosa”, by Nathaniel Mensah

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“Lacrimosa”
By Nathaniel Mensah

Exploration of music and its effect on us. A piece in two parts, each part with a different style/ genre of music. Step in paint and then listen to the song and dance/react to it, then record the pattern created.

Course: An Artist’s Life: Diverse Voices and Contexts

Course Instructors:
Terry Berlier and Camille Utterback

Teaching Assistants:
Liz Maelane and Krystal Ramirez

If you want to explore a career in the visual arts, perhaps leading to an Art Practice major or minor at Stanford, this course will demystify what it takes to live an artist’s life, while also helping you hone your voice and passion as an artist.​ ​If you chose to be an artist, how will you sustain yourself financially and spiritually on your own unique path? How do emerging artists create visibility for their work, or even create their own contexts? How do artists connect to and contribute to an artistic community that supports what they do? Sustaining a career as a visual artist takes entrepreneurship, creativity, and clarity about your goals, yet there are myriad possible ways to succeed and thrive as an artist which we will explore.

The class will consist of a series of studio projects, each centered around a different guest artist whose career and art practice we will study. The example artists will be primarily artists of color or artists from underrepresented communities in the art world, such as queer or trans artists, with careers ranging from the conventional to the more unusual. These artist selections model the possibilities of an art career for students who do not see themselves represented in the mainstream art world, while broadening all students’ understanding of the different methods for making work and practicing as an artist today.

Through four introductory studio projects, and a longer personal final project, this course will help you hone your artistic concerns through a wide range of media and contexts. We will work with drawing & sculptural media (using a kit of shipped materials), digital media, photography, video, performance, and conceptual themes like designing an “anti-monument” or honoring your spiritual ancestors. You will be asked to consider how your personal voice can be expressed through introspection, engagement with your own history, cultural subjectivities, and activism. You will also research and create and share an online presentation of an artist who inspires your work.

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