We all gathered in the coffee room at the posh Residence Inn that we are staying in...and the room kept getting fuller and fuller with old and new people getting to know each other, updating each other on the last few months with the new people beginning to meet each other. There was a lot of loud buzz and happiness that really we could all just go home from there. Carol handed out folders with schedules, and the facebooks that she compiled from each of the classes. And then we all paired off to go over to the campus.
We met in the art building (with a brand new addition that hints at Frank Gehry) and went to the multimedia classroom for briefing. We were given locker keys and hartford email addresses. We talked about financial aid, loans the the process of transferring money, taking money and keeping it for later etc. We looked at my show which was shown twice. We talked about the thesis--the expectations and process and show. Murray and Anne Catharine Blake talked about an editing service they had discovered and recommended it to us. Then it was downstairs to lunch in the pretty open Koopman Commons with a champagne toast from Dean Power Boothe. All the soon to graduates were given embroidered baseball caps which they all sported proudly.
We newbies were given a tour of the facilities which are remarkable. There is a series of impressive printmaking studios with everything from letterpress to intaglio, woodcut, lithography with plenty of light and room to move. The spaces were used but maintained nicely, and it was clean. We saw their media suites which really had the basics for students to pursue multimedia and film with the right tools to begin learning the technology, techniques and thinking for film and film production. They have wet and dry photography rooms, with plenty of gathering spaces, and classrooms. We went to our building with an eating club and another gallery and were shown our spaces, our lockers and the computer room (with the big epson scanner and 2 big epson printers we can use. (note to self: must provide computer paper>bring next year>>Amazon this year). The University is running a football camp, arts programs for small people, a pre-coll program in art so the campus will prove to be quite busy. I was struck at the diversity of architecture, sculpture and many nice small spaces for congregating that were designed into the campus. Though it is in the country, the campus has a density I hadn't expected at all. It looks as if we are about to be spoiled what with the nice studios, air conditioning, choices for eating, all sorts of exciting stuff to go into our brains--that the two weeks will fly by and all we will have are assignments to do, and our lives to catch up with.
Top two images from the New art building, Middle: Paul Zdepski at lunch; Bottom: Chad Grohman (left) and Jay Lincoln (right) in our studio.