Wednesday, August 12, 2009

it all started with a giant steam roller

Or how I picked which art school to attend

By the time I was in high school, I was serious about art. 

I took every class offered at school, after school classes with private instructors, and in my last year the senior studies class at Massachusetts College of Art. 
me, circa 1985

Boston was about an hour from my home in southern New Hampshire and I managed to convince my parents that it would be a good idea for them to spend 6 Saturdays in a row trekking me and a girlfriend down there.

I don’t remember much about the classes. Other than that I really liked them, and that we tried a bit of everything—painting, drawing, printmaking; using lots of different materials from paints, chalk, inks, charcoal and even sculpture out of found objects.

What I do remember is the steam roller.

We were coming out of class on one Saturday and walked out onto a small side street adjacent to the school.  There was a bit of commotion so we stopped to check it out.

A bunch of art students were working on a giant printmaking project.  Some were laying out huge sheets of paper on the street, others were busy applying some kind of paint to large, textured surfaces.  After a bit, the two were layed on top of one another and the steam roller was fired up and driven over the whole concoction--the coolest printing process I'd ever witnessed.

Now, I’d taken advanced print making in high school, and even fancied myself as a bit cutting edge making fish prints from whole, dead fish I’d procured from the fish market. 

But this…THIS WAS SO COOL…this was so PUNK ROCK!  I was entranced.  The girls in their funky, black, art student clothes were actually driving a steam roller. They were allowed to do this! 

If this is how you got to spend a Saturday here at MassArt then this was the school for me.

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