In preparation for this year’s Showing Thinking exhibition, we read previous years’ catalogs. Each participant submitted a process statement along with a related quote. While the class agreed there were overlapping tendencies between members with similar backgrounds, each participant’s statement offered something unique. I found that the individuals I know wrote in a way very characteristic of their personality; it was easy to hear their voices as I read their statements.
I briefly want to comment on a few of my favorite statements and explain why I found them engaging.
To begin with, Donna L. Sadler’s statement is very well written and immediately draws the reader in through the use of story and humor. Her impulse to teach is clearly shown through her thoughtful descriptions and explanations of concepts central to her process. Having been in several of Sadler’s classes while she taught at Agnes, it was clear to see her personality through her writing. As one of the scholars, her use of language was clearly thought out with great care.
Next, Jiha Moon’s statement had a unique format. Set up like a Facebook correspondence between Moon and another artist Lauren Gallaspy, this process statement attests to the importance of doing and reveals both artists’ insecurities. Both find themselves unnecessarily asking for permission to take risk, but ultimately find the most satisfaction from being brave enough to try their ideas. Although I have never met Moon, I felt that I could read personality into her writing as well as relate to her experience of art making.
Next, Alan Koch’ statement points to the addictive quality of his passion: math. His process is like a game; he must solve puzzles, but does not always succeed. The most progress is found in these failures, and frustration does not prevent him from continuing. While I do not have much interest in mathematics, I found this statement to be very relatable. Much like Moon’s statement, Koch’s statement pointed to the idea that success is unobtainable within one’s comfort zone.
In conclusion, it is the overall investigation of the process that makes the Showing Thinking process statements so interesting to read; each participant’s willingness to express honesty and even doubt makes their statements strong. There are a lot of pearls of wisdom packed into these statements and it is intriguing to learn from different individual’s processes. I am looking forward to reading the statements of the 2017 participants soon!