When she graduated from Tyler last spring, Paige Morris (BFA Glass) had just finished her BFA Exhibition “And also with you” with funding from a highly competitive Temple University CARAS (Creative Arts and Research Award) and was headed to Penland as Tyler’s half-scholarship winner for the class So to Speak, taught my Michael Rogers and Richard Meitner. In the fall, she started as the Emerging Artist in Residence in Sculpture at Millersville University.
This is a really great and unique residency. I first learned about it several years ago when one of my favorite people, Jennifer McTague (BFA Tyler Printmaking and co-founder/co-director of Second State Press) was selected for the residency program. Like Jenn, Paige has been working like crazy since she has been at Millersville and making great use of the opportunity to expand her studio practice and conceptual framework.
This is the official description of the residency program:
The Emerging Artist in Residence Program at Millersville University is a unique residency opportunity open to emerging artists who have completed their undergraduate degree and are seeking opportunities that will allow them to further their experience and concentrate on their art practice for a period of up to one year. During the residency, the EAR will have complete access to various studios and equipment as well as the university library. They will also participate in and assist the advanced classes in their respective area, and will have the opportunity to meet with fellow residents and faculty for critiques and discussions. The residency will culminate in a spring group exhibition in Millersville’s Sykes Gallery” from April 29th – May 16th.
When I asked Paige for more info about the residency, she said: “The residency takes place during an entire academic year and is considered a volunteer-in-service position by the university. In exchange for studio space and use of the facilities, the resident artist commits to approximately 12 hours of work in the studio per week. For me, the main duties include being a teacher’s assistant to the Sculpture 1 class, participating in Advanced Sculpture critiques, and monitoring the studio. Residents are also required to show work in a group show at the end of the residency.”
I also asked Paige about what she has been focusing on in her studio practice.
“I have continued to produce molds in order to recontextualize objects I find intriguing. I have been playing with casting sugar as well as the more traditional slip casting which is still new to me. I also plan to work more digitally through video and sound pieces. Mainly, I have continued to have an open mind and practice through experimentation. Some new pieces I am considering will be deconstructed or built up through restrictive repetitive actions.”
“The new focus of my work has been ‘destruction’. Upon further discussion with Richard Meitner, I found that most of my past works have felt somewhat dead and stagnant. I wanted to breathe life into my works instead of making what appeared to be mementos. With that realization, I have spent a lot of time thinking about moments in my family’s life and in my own life that have caused some form of self-destruction; specifically the death of my grandfather, issues with anxiety, and the never ending pressure to conform to American society’s unrealistic beauty standards. Although these pieces stem from my experiences, they will be diluted in order to allow the audience to react and respond to them without knowing the full story behind each piece. I am finding it more important to attempt to convey an emotion rather than a story and allow the pieces to speak for themselves.”
It’s exciting to see Paige’s new work and to know that this residency is giving her the opportunity to continue to focus on her studio practice. And I’m really happy to see the great impact of her time at Penland – technically and conceptually, through conversations with Richard Meitner and Michael Rogers. Oh, and her work was accepted for New Glass Review – congratulations, Paige!
– Sharyn O’Mara