A Week of My Life…..

So I’ve been feeling a little… disjointed(?) this weekend, probably because it’s the tail end of reading week.  Bear was away this weekend, at a family thing, and I didn’t go, because I actually have a lot of work to get done.  In reality, though, I had no attention span and was feeling pretty restless yesterday, as I tend to do when I have time off (even though I have stuff to do, I need the structure of being somewhere at a specific time- regularly.) So, I didn’t really get much done.  Tomorrow is back to school, and it’s midterm season, so I need to get some stuff done today (and the rest of the week).  Maybe if I post a To Do: List here, I’ll feel more inclined to get things done.  (It’s so funny, because sometimes I am almost overly efficient and productive.)

To Do:
Today (Sunday):
-Finish proposal (outline and preliminary bibliography) for research project for Material Culture class.  (Put it on my flash drive, as my printer is, sadly, out of ink.)
-Make mockups of simple sewing projects (weaving) for Mackenzie’s weaving project- 3 Pieces, One Warp, to see how much yardage I need to weave. (yikes?)
-Do small blurb and pick image for Artist Spotlight submission for “Blend,” the ACAD student publication.  Would LOVE to submit my paper on masks, but the submission is due tomorrow, and it needs a good edit. Maybe.

Monday: Essentials
9:00 – 12:00 – Multiharness Weaving Class (I have a feeling I should have my weaving drafts done but I can’t do too much in one go- all those little squares make me cross-eyed.  But I AM very glad we don’t have to do it by hand anymore!) 
12:30- 2:00 – Material Culture Class- print and hand in proposal
3:00 – Career Panel with 4th year Jewellery and Metals kids.
– 7:00 – The Best of the Ottawa film Festival is show at ACAD!  (This should be fun!)
-Also need to check that we’re ready to go for the Bag Sale on Tuesday. (Fundraiser for Fibre field Trip to Santa Fe)
 Should Do’s:
– check possible room numbers for smART seminars, look into booking.
-take a load of my directed studio samples and pieces to school – I’ve been making things like crazy lately… (I’ll post pics when I can find my camera.)

Have To’s:
-technically, my day off, but never happens that way.
-bring some Directed Studio Stuff to school (there’s a lot of it, and I’d rather not take it on the train in rush hour…
-Bag Sale Fundraiser, 12:30-2
-SLC (Student Gov) meeting at 6:00
Should Do’s:
– get ink cartridge filled
– calculate and wind warp for weaving project.
– go to ACAD and public library for sources on my research paper.  Topic: History and social context of The Sewing Machine.

-my second day off (in theory.)
-take more DS stuff to school.
-Return library books
-12:30- Peer helper inservice- discussing the improvement of orientation for new students.
-work on weaving
Would like to’s:
-2:00 – Guest artist lecture – Erik Mattijssen
-7:00 – Guest Artist lecture – Darsha Hewitt

12:30- 2:00 – Material Culture Class – hand in notes on a reading
– If my midterm crit is Friday, finish that up! (Still have to make material and sew/stuff one more form.

– 2:00 – Directed Studio midterm crit – but, for some reason, I think maybe we rescheduled it for next week.
– 7:00 – ArtaWearness!! The biggest event at ACAD!

Thursday and Friday seem pretty slow as compared to the others, but they’ll fill in, as they always do. I’ll keep you posted.  Somehow, in writing this post about how much I have to do, I’ve been procrastinating.  Funny how that works.  Anyway, back to work.

Self Portrait

Ok, so here’s some better images from my most recent show, Self Portrait.  The pictures are from the opening, which seemed to coincide with every other opening in Calgary, which I can’t decide if it was bad or good.  I think, because of it, I got some people looking at my work which may not have, normally, because I didn’t know them.  I also lost some people I thought would come, because they had other commitments.

I got a lot of great feedback from the show.  It seemed to touch a lot of people, which I think is quite a feat in this art school atmosphere, where we see so much art that half the time we don’t really even LOOK at it.  Someone told me they had seen 9 people in the gallery at once- the most she’s ever seen without it being an opening.  I’m patting myself on the back.

The last one is me, posing in my own installation.  This set of photos is courtesy of Robyn Thompson.  Thanks Robyn!


I applied for a couple scholarships this week, a few through school, and one through RBC.  The RBC one was interesting, because it was more based on leadership, and I think I fit pretty well into that category.  This interesting part was the essay questions, which I really didn’t find to be as hard as they would have been for me a couple years ago.  There are 4 scholarships of $10,000, so I’m keeping my fingers realkyt croswseds!

Here’s the questions and my responses:

1. What are you passionate about?  Please present the community or environmental issue you are most passionate about, whether it be global or community based.   Answer in 100 words or less.

My answer:

I am passionate about empowering emerging artists.  I attend an art school, and while it seems a risky career, I do believe there are ways to not only survive, but prosper.  I encourage budding artists to take their own initiative and fill in what’s missing in their education, such as business, writing and social skills.  Too often, artists play the part of the pitiful, starving artist, waving in the wind. I don’t think that’s necessary, or a desirable way to live.  Why can’t an artist be a business person, creating their own opportunities and enabling their own destiny?

2. How would you mobilize others to join your in your cause?  Imagine yourself addressing a room of your peers. Please write a speech that you would give to inspire/ask others to mobilize for your cause and join you in being an agent of change to achieve your cause related goals. Answer in 500 words or less.

My answer:

The most important skill a person can have is the ability to empower themselves.  In my community, the arts community, like any other, it is important to learn, absorb and take advantage of opportunities.  I endeavor to create and advertise opportunities for students like myself to reach their full potential.  I am a Project Manager of the smART Group, a student-run initiative (which isn’t even from my school), which enables emerging artists to learn business skills, which they will need to flourish instead of merely survive.  The group puts on speaker events with high profile artists, curators, and other professionals, such as lawyers, who have skills and experience that artists can benefit from.  In the past, we’ve created other opportunities by hosting “Critique Nights” at an art gallery (a chance to be seen by a curator, the professional artists critiquing, as well as the community), networking events and having a contest for the design of our logo.

While the smART Group provides some prospects, I encourage everyone to find opportunities for themselves.  These could be anything, such as scholarships, learning and volunteering opportunities, exhibition calls for submissions, residencies, apprenticeships, as well as the lessons you could learn from other people.  You have to push yourself, doing things that seem scary or uncomfortable, in order to continue to grow and advance in whatever it is you choose to do.  Every situation is an occasion to learn, to introduce yourself to someone, to take your fate into your own hands.

While some prospects are made for you by someone else, or are available to you through an organization, you also have to create your own opportunities.  If you can’t find a summer job, maybe you could start a summer business.  If you don’t get accepted into an exhibition, create your own.  Show your art out of your locker, or the trunk of your car.  Don’t like the choice of food on campus? Run for student government and change the menu.  See opportunities where others may not.  Have a green thumb? Start a “plant doctor” business for people who struggle with plants.  Maybe you could teach people about growing things.

You need to pay attention to what things interest you and what they can do for you.  It may not be apparent at first, but be open to everything, seek things out and good things will come your way.  Be creative.  Every experience is an opportunity, and needs to be taken advantage of.  Not only during your school years, but long after, life should be both your personal classroom and your playground.  Be open to the world, even the crazy ideas. Talk to everyone.  You never know what someone has up their sleeve that you may benefit from.

The only way to get ahead is to put yourself in the right position: always ready to jump at a moment’s notice.  The only one that will empower you is yourself, so take control of your own education!

Self Portrait: the Journals of Jennifer Akkermans

 In Self Portrait, Jennifer Akkermans invites you in to her world.   Her installation focuses on her journals, forming an in-depth, intense, yet unwittingly candid study of herself.  The content is pure, unedited, and true, a self-portrait from every angle: good, bad, and sometimes both hilarious and poignant.
  This is my first solo show!  It’s in the Marion Nicoll Gallery at school.  I found out on Tuesday, and set up was Sunday, so needless to say, it’s been a busy week! I’ve been getting comments on it, and people have been sitting and reading, so I feel pretty good about that!  More pictures to come!

Back to School!

So this week is back to school for me…. AWESOME!  I go to the Alberta College of Art + Design, and school is a lot of fun for me.  I am currently taking four classes, but it might soon be three, because I don’t need four.  I’m taking: Material Culture, Multi-harness weaving, Sculpture: Concepts and Strategies, and a Directed Studio.  The directed studio is much more free than the rest, in that we don’t have specific assignments, but are free to follow our own interests, working under an instructor.  Out of the five of us in my class, three are doing tapestry, one is doing garments of hand dyed silk, and then there’s me.  I do polyester.  I layer it, sew it together, and melt it.  I make things out of it.

For the directed studio, I would like to:
– Do samples (play with color, texture, shape and construction) to make
– 3-4 3D Polyester sculptures of a good size- minimum 2′
– Make a “Quilt” out of the same material, attempting to push the material into questioning what fibre is and how we see it
– Do more research on polyester- history, properties, uses, and how are other artists working with it?

My goals for the semester:
– Get good grades, developing a solid body of work and documenting it properly.
– Get accepted to do a show in the student gallery (Marion Nicoll Gallery), “Self Portrait,” showcasing my journals.
– Put in a stellar scholarship application package.
– Develop an action plan to defer my pattern of depression in the summer

I think these are reasonable goals, and I am actually quite proud of how much I did over Christmas break- I updated my portfolio AND finished my website, which had been a mess for a long time.

Starting off- A little about me!

So, um, I decided it’s about time. I need a more public place to share what’s been going on with me. I plan to use this space to share my life, art, journals, etc.

So, a little about me. I loooooovvvveee school. Or, more specifically, my school. I am currently a fibre major at the Alberta College of Art + Design in Calgary. I have just finished year 3 out of 5 – it’s a four year program, but I’m taking my time. I am really into designing repeating patterns right now, as well as many other things. I am also really into business and am a project manager of the smART group, an inter-school student run project that organizes learning events for emerging artists and students to learn the business they need in order to thrive as a professional artist.

Anyway, more to come later- I’ll consider putting up some images!



ACAD Undergraduate Student Journal

I wrote an article about smART, a student-run group putting on information sessions and guest lectures centering on business skills relevant to emerging artists.

Here is the article.



ACAD Undergraduate Student Journal

I wrote an article about smART, a student-run group putting on information sessions and guest lectures centering on business skills relevant to emerging artists.

Here is the article.