This past Fourth of July seemed to mark the beginning of a lingering heat wave across much of the country. While I waited for the sun to set and some of the days heat to subside, I called artist Andréa Stanislav, who was en route to Chicago to take down her recent show, To the Western Lands, at the Packer Schopf Gallery. While Andrea was literally heading west, we talked about everything from her current show, her process as an artist, academia, and the current state of our society and nation.
I first met Andrea last summer at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens, during the installation of her piece Ghost Siege, a series of fifty full-scale, flagpoles with uniform silver flags. This large-scale piece was part of the 2009 Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition, which was open until this past March. This piece, as with most of Stanislav’s work, comments on society’s hidden state of turmoil.
Since last summer, Stanislav has held a number of solo exhibitions and completed public art commissions and projects in various locations around the country and world. While Stanislav does a lot of work at each particular project site, she maintains studios in New York City and in Minneapolis. Her main studio and fabrication station is in Minneapolis, where she holds a position as an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota.
During our “Fourth of July conversation,” we talked a lot about the world of academia, including the benefits and joys of being a student as well as the many frustrations and politics that arise in every academic institution. The actual phone conversation itself almost became a tutorial for me, which goes along perfectly with the overriding theme of this “Open Enrollment” column. The column itself is a virtual graduate school classroom, where students talk to each other from their perspective schools in various states and countries.
We talked about the emphasis of interdisciplinary teaching in graduate programs today and the unexpected outcomes that can sometimes come out of teaching. Recently one of Stanislav’s students, Miles Menendhall, went on to star on Bravo’s Work of Art show, a reality series that offers a winning prize of $100,000 and a solo exhibition.
Eventually Stanislav reached her final destination, and the sound of premature firecrackers in the street brought me back to the street life of Pacific Street in Brooklyn. Hydrant water ran through the streets and a Belizean contingent supplied a reggaeton soundtrack that would last until five the next morning.
As I moved on to see what the night had to offer, the words from a David Byrne song came to mind…
This compass points in two directions / And North and South are both the same / We’ll look forward to the good times / Come our Independence DayLily Rossebo is a visual artist and art researcher. She holds a B.F.A. in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design. After graduating, she worked on public art projects in New York and Mexico City. She is now a postgraduate student in the Art, Space + Nature course at the Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland.