My Journals….

This is a photo of my shelf full of my all journals (bottom shelf)…. and the shelf above holds my 13 sketchbooks, which are really just a different kind of journal.  They are all different shapes, sizes, binding styles, paper type, etc, including a good portion of reworked composition books, as well as a number I have made myself.

I have a system of numbering them, although it’s not very specific.  The journals (including the sketchbooks) are numbered chronologically, but in some cases (where there’s two journals for the same time period, for example), there’s a B journal.  There are possibly a couple in here that are not quite full, but  the majority of them are full right to the last page.

I’m currently working on #39 (personal, private journal, yet untitled), and #40 (sketchbook, entitled, “Eggplant Sandwiches.”)

I don’t know if you remember, but a couple of years ago, I had an exhibition (Self Portrait) where I had invited people to read them.

Hanna’s Centennial History Book

I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but I submitted a design to a contest my home town was holding, looking for a cover for Hanna’s Centennial History Book, which will be published for the celebrations next summer. (Puttin’ my BFA to good use!  Just kidding.  Kinda.)

Looking Back….


It was an interesting year.  It was definitely a year of transition for me, of growth and learning, and though the year is done, I am not (really).

Let’s recap (in no particular order):

1) The biggest one for me this year, GRADUATION.

Feeling like all my hard work over the last five years has paid off, and at that moment, I was exactly where I should have been.  This was the right choice for me, and I know/ knew that it would be a difficult path sometimes, but I love the adventure, and the personal rewards and the community is a treasure.


Amazing! The experience was amazing, my studio mate was incredible- fun, smart, motivated, caring, and adventurous, and I learned a lot! It was great to feel validated as an artist, and to get to spend a whole month concerned about nothing but having an adventure and making work was incredible, a luxury I hope to have again sometime.  Definitely an amazing first artist residency experience in on of my favourite parts of the world, and not too far away from home. Trap/Door Artist Run Centre.

3) SPARK (Fluid Festival)

Undersense. By Veronica Benz and Jennifer Akkermans. Photo by Ron Checora.

The two week intensive collaborative residency taught me to trust my own decisions and those of my partner.  It was definitely a unique experience, resulting in a very interesting show.  I learned a lot about my own creative process, as well as that of others, and by the end of it, felt like I had made twelve new friends!  (And all the Happy Birthday texts showing up in one particularly memorable audience interaction piece was very sweet!)

4) Making my film, MORPHOPODIA through EMMEDIA.

Humongous project. I learned to use what I had access to.  EMMEDIA was great with the technical stuff- teaching me how to use the equipment and software to edit, and allowing me the opportunity to make the film, but, in all honesty, there is so much more involved in taking on a project like this.  Planning, writing scripts, finding and coordinating actors, volunteers and helpers (all of which have their own busy schedules), finding someone with a vehicle to move large amounts of equipment around reliably (more than I’m used to carrying on the train, anyway), setting up sets and scenes, adjusting lighting, sound, acting, editing, etc.

5) Terrarrium / International Festival of Animated Objects

This exhibition, in Stride‘s +15, was an opportunity for me to explore how the Morphoids would interact with eachother over a period of time.  The show was up for two months, February and March, I believe, and because it was part of the IFAO, I adjusted the exhibit twice a week, creating a storyline, like a very slow stop-motion animation. The personalities of the Morphoids came out, and there was an accident, resulting in one of the Morphoids getting eaten. (It’s funny, this seems like much longer ago, probably because I’ve done a lot since then.)

6) ArtaWEARness

A lesson in time management, depending on other people, and building things for the body.  In particular, this shoulder piece.  It was so complicated to get to sit in the right place and stand up, but I count it as an engineering success. (Model: Sara Girletz.)

7) St[art] Residency/ Calgary Allied Arts Foundation.

This is the last thing I have participated in this year, and I actually still have the space until January the 8th.  I used the two month residency in art central to do some drawings, develop some ideas for the insides and organs of some of the Morphoids, and I built a set and animated a Morphoid hatching.  A great opportunity to do something I would not have the space to do properly at home. Calgary Allied Arts Foundation


In terms of my practice, this year has been pretty amazing.  I made the transition from student to artist, showing work, looking for opportunities, and developing my practice.  I learned a lot, including learning to work with film and basic animation, modeling materials, constructing things from wood, etc, etc, etc.  There have of course been other cool things going on this year, but these are definitely the highlights.

I can only hope that next year yields as many opportunities!

Goodbye 2011!

(Hello 2012.)


The Spark Performances!

The Spark Performances were last night and the night before.  It was a really unusual, exciting show!  Our work went really well, according to the other performers and the people I talked to in the audience, because I didn’t actually see it!  Being back stage, ready for a bow, means that you’re standing still as still can be, behind a giant black curtain, waiting.

Anyway, these are just a couple of pictures from the dress rehearsal.  All photos in this post by Ron Checora.

This is me and Veronica at our final dress rehearsal!

And a larger view of the space…

And, of course, congrats to all the other artists in the show!

Morphopodia Screening Tomorrow!!

Just a reminder that if you want to see the finished version of the film, it will be playing tomorrow, Friday, September 16th, at 7:00 at the Plaza Theatre in Kensington, as part of Resonant Frequencies, Emmedia’s 2011 Production Access Screening.

Unfortunately, I won’t be there, as I am currently doing the Gushul Residency in the Crowsnest Pass (which is pretty AWESOME), and don’t have a vehicle, so…. I’m staying here.  If you do happen to go to the screening, please let me know how it went!  I’m sorry I’m going to miss it!

Here is a short clip of the film (which I believe I have posted before…). Enjoy!

Foraminifera from Jennifer Akkermans on Vimeo.

A Peek into the Creative Process…/ Balance

I thought I’d post this…. a peek into my creative process.  This is a recent page in my sketchbook where I’m playing with some ideas to build some “didactic panels,” including using a couple of version of an electronic set up to create a informational recordings and some specimen display cases.  Maybe I can build a couple of these when things settle down a little for me.

Things have definitely been busy.  I just finished the EMMEDIA film project, Morphopodia, and *BOOM* I’m off on this Gushul Residency. Right after I get back from here, I’ll be participating in Spark, a collaborative performance, which will culminate in two performances in October, the 18th and 19th, which is my birthday.  One thing after another.  After Spark, I have a residency in the St[art] space in Art Central for November and December.  My original plan was to do some animation there, but that might change.  It’s even hard to predict now, when it’s only a month and a half away.  And I’m also working on stuff for the New Alberta Contemporaries Exhibition, happening in January.  And wanting to apply for grad school this year. And keeping up with the IMR blog, and this blog here, and keeping an eye on calls for submissions and what’s going on in Calgary, and other places.  Things are definitely busy… sometimes almost overwhelmingly busy.  And I’ve been lucky.  To be accepted to do all these things, and to be able to do them.  To have these opportunities and projects to persue.  It sure doesn’t get boring.

I think my challenge for the next year is to find a balance.  A balance of working, both my arts practice and a job.  A balance of activities, types of activities.  A balance between too much work time and too much leisure time.  I’ll figure it out.  Things at least seem less dire than I thought they would be after graduation….. I had only a brief encounter with my “summer problem,” and since then, have managed to keep a handle on it by being busy.  Now, I just need to find the balance that will work for me.

The Official Screening: Resonant Frequencies!

The Official Screening for EMMEDIA‘s Production Access Program Participants will be Friday, September 16th, at 7:00 at the Plaza Theatre in Kensington!

My film, Morphopodia: A Strange New World in Our Own Back Yard, will be showing, along with work from the other participants, including Rosanna Terracciano, Aran Wilkinson-Blanc, Laura Wayne, Teresa Tam, and Bogdan Cheta.

While the Gushul Residency is an amazing opportunity (and so far, an amazing experience), I am sad that I won’t get to see my film at the Plaza.  THAT would also be an amazing experience.

The event is FREE, and, from what I’ve seen of the other participants work, there will be a wide and wonderful range of work to be seen.  I wish I could go…