Wow

It’s been way too long since my last post and it’s high time to remedy that.  Let’s recap the past 6 months…

The final semester of the BFA portion of my studies seemed to fly by in a blur.  Between losing my German Shepherd to complications stemming from megasophagus to the final preparations for my senior show, it got hard to grip the handle sometimes.  I managed to get through it (with a little help from my old friend Nicotine) and emerged exhausted, both physically and mentally.  I developed what I think are some strong bonds with a couple of my classmates and got to know everyone a little bit better.  The stress of achieving a common goal can bring out the best in people, and I got a good look at the best of my classmates this past spring.  As the president of the class, I am very proud of what everyone achieved with their collective effort.  The show came off with no out-of-the-ordinary problems and only 1 very minor hiccup occurred on opening night.

My installation for the BFA show

My installation for the BFA show

The summer was spent decompressing.  I kicked around a few ideas of future projects and resumed The Houston Metal Project, which was mostly on hold because of all my other commitments.  Being able to take a road trip to a family reunion went a long way toward decompression.  The best part was visiting an area of the country I had yet fully experience.  Southern Illinois probably isn’t paradise to everyone, but the area has an allure about it I cannot quite nail down.  I also got to spend a day in St. Louis, MO.  Aside from the attempted break-in of my rental car (in a supposedly secure parking garage at the St. Louis Art Museum), I must say I had a great time.  The best part of the whole experience of the family reunion (aside from meeting family members I have never known) was the fact that I had no phone signal at the event, which took place at an Illinois state park.  The 4 hour disconnect from the outside world was, in a word, liberating.

It is worth noting that, even though there was no signal, everyone (including myself) tried to check their phones.  That phenomenon is something for the critical theorists to ponder.

After spending a day in Minneapolis to reconnect with a couple of family members close to my heart, it was back to the daily grind and academic decompression.

The obligatory tourist photo

The obligatory tourist photo

A rather scary sight from my window in central Iowa

A rather scary sight from my window in central Iowa

That’s pretty much how I spent the rest of the summer.  I looked forward to this, my final semester as an undergrad at the University of Houston.  This semester does not include any studio courses as I am fulfilling my minor in Art History.  These Art History courses aren’t your regular types, either.  Both classes are seminar style, with an emphasis on reading and discussion.  There are no midterms or finals, just a lot of writing.  These classes are by no means going to be easy as they are going to challenge me on an intellectual level to think even more deeply about art in general and help chart the future course of the projects I am undertaking.

And, speaking of art projects, I have just been asked to do a show with a local alternative space.  The organizers are in the planning stages right now, but I’m excited.

candlelight self portrait

A test shot from my new project

My final semester as an undergrad is ending its second week.  Expect a lot more posts over the next 14 weeks as I discuss some of the concepts being researched in my classes.  As for now, it’s time to get back to the reading.

PS – Don’t forget to check out my new website – www.artistrichardcuster.com

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