Letter from the chair

Dear Students,

This past week has been a challenge. Your professors have been working creatively and diligently to rework your classes so they can be conducted online. As you can imagine, this is a massive undertaking.

But who is better equipped for creative thinking than artists?

Two summers ago at an artists' residency in Vermont, I met dancer and writer Andrew Simonet. This week he sent around a message titled "Artists, this is what we train for." This is what he means by that…

"This is a health crisis, a brutal one. It is also a crisis of meaning. It is a crisis of connection, of story. It is a crisis of who we are to each other and the agreements that hold us together. And those things we artists know how to work on.The script for how we will be together in this time has not been written. Artists will have a huge impact on that story."

As you settle into this new reality, exercise your skills and seek out new ones. If you paint and don't have paint right now, experiment with a material around you. Maybe try a drawing tablet. If you sculpt and don't have sculpting materials, try looking in the recycle bin or even that bag for Goodwill.

Simonet also said that the world needs "a project to mourn what is lost, a project to invite what is yet to come." This week and going forward, I urge you to find your own way of working, of expressing yourselves, of exploring your worlds through art and creativity. Your interests may be changing. The way you work may be changing. The way we relate to one another might feel like it is changing.

You must rely on the creativity that lies within you. Your creativity can give you strength and resiliency and it will be the way that you help the world move forward together.

My dear students, I am looking forward seeing where your creativity leads you. And I want you to know that I am here for you and I am so excited to keep working with you in these new ways with these new tools and materials.