The Process – Ideation of _______hood

When I began my journey to building my career, I had a difficult time finding “my place”. I simply wanted to male a living in the arts, but it was never clear to me howdiverse the creative field was until I went to A&T. While exploring my options, one consideration was being a curator so I can produce exhibitions. 

April (left), Edie, and Jim

During undergrad, I was already producing exhibitions for a variety of purposes. I had been involved in planning and putting on annual fall and spring student exhibitions  that our program sponsored. Eventually, I became an intern at Greenhill for the executive director of curatorial and creative programming. Eventually the director became a mentor and she began dating me on curating and maintaining the gallery and dealing with all the lid just sticks that comes with it. One of the biggest takeaways I had from her advice was “if you wants to start your career path is a curator, you need to start producing shows.” At the time, this went perfect with the advice my other mentor had given us during our classes, “if you want to be something, do the things that ‘something’ does. And you better be the best one there.” 

Keeping those advice with me, I continue producing exhibitions for the program and started planning personal ones to do once I was done with school. Before The end of my junior year, The director of the visualize the program, Roymieco Carter, had notice of my interest in putting on exhibitions and it suggested that I look into art administration. During and after my enrollment at SCAD, I begin planning and thinking of ideas for exhibitions to start producing once I was done with school. The very first one became organically made when I met local artists in Atlanta who were doing some really interesting work. I believed now was the best time to produce and build.

Since plans went through constant revisions for my final project, I decided to focus on one artist, so I can focus on the administrative aspect, and save my other ideas for later. However, this was when I began considering launching my brand with this production as the launching point. After I graduated, and still scurrying around for a spot to start my career, I started planning for the next exhibition.
Amongst the ideas I had written down, more on that later,  _______hood became more present in mind. Combining personal experience with an awareness of our social circumstances, I wanted the first exhibition to be used as an open forum for people to come together and share experiences. In the near future, I hope these exhibitions inspire audiences to take action to do better. 

Recalling all these experiences, I wanted an exhibition that reflected what I think is the biggest deal, Identity. Considering that a part of the political polarization between liberals and conservatives, as well as social issues with immigration and LGBT to name a few, is largely tied to individual values that are almost married to one’s identity. This particular exhibition matters as five emerging artist, who are going through their own rite of passage to be established, show work that relates to the process of developing, or changing, an identity. In being able to have control over your identity, you should be able to control your destiny. 

In all of this, I wonder:

  1. What defines you?
  2. What do you think defines masculinity and femininity?
  3. At what point do we achieve the identities we pursue? 

Please share your thoughts.

Published by

JTRobinson

Artist and Business Professional working to build a stronger community for the Arts.

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