carrying on

It’s the last week of Carry On, the Faculty Triennial at USF’s Thacher Gallery. The exhibition closes April 13.

Recognizing that the artists in Carry On are educators and practitioners, USF’s Museum Studies team asked us to to respond to the question, “What piece of advice or instruction from a teacher has stuck with you and helped you throughout your creative and/or teaching career?” My response, and the work that was included in the exhibition, was about Carlos Villa, naturally.

My response, included on the wall didactic:
I am immensely grateful to Carlos for being an instructor who saw validity in making art about a Filipino American experience. For acknowledging that identity, activism and politics were valid topics for creative expression. For breaking down the boundaries between one’s personal art practice and one’s pedagogy. For making a syllabus a call to action and a work of art, all at once. For teaching so many of us what participating in, and making, a creative community really means. For modeling a more intimate, connected, alternative to this nebulous, network-y place called the “art world”; for so many of my deepest friendships, collaborators and cronies. For his uncanny knack for match-making creative colleagues. For inspiring me to teach to diversity and to stories and artists often still relegated to the margins, to question the western Canon and its terms and conditions. For always finding love and joy in this work, even on the bad days.

And my 3 works, from the CPV series:

CPV 4, 5, 6, ink and acrylic on paper, 2014

Carlos passed away March 23, 2013: since his passing, a small group of us still get together for a meal around that date to observe this anniversary, to stay connected with one another and to the legacy we’re trying to maintain for him. It was serendipitous having the Carry On exhibition, and our annual meal, fall so closely together this spring: it was a doubly-good reminder of the work that still requires our attention and our care.