Over the course of my independent study I will create an experimental social space. Construction of the space will utilize a pre-fabricated aluminum rowboat as its foundation. A wooden shell will encapsulate an ~70 sq. ft. space on the 14 ft. boat. The process of fabrication is the central component of the course. The course builds off the three-dimensional making skills I have developed in previous classes.
The course fulfills the need for a senior thesis project. The structure that comes with being enrolled as a fulltime student is fleeting; within 5 short months I will no longer have the freedom to choose from an exhaustive list of courses. I don't regret the choice I made to pursue a BA, but I'm unsatisfied by the idea of graduating without having created a final culminating project. The BA track has allowed me to take a wide breadth of courses, all coming together to inform and improve my worldview. I believe that it is necessary to synthesize this range of information into a single project. The course I am proposing will be the culmination of four years of study.
Pre-requisites are a common component of upper-level studio courses. Looking at the course guide, almost all 300 and 400 level studio courses have at least one course students are required to have taken in order to enroll. This course creates an opportunity to connect these various lessons in a meaningful way. The 3D foundation course (ARTDES 120), Wood & Metal (ARTDES 215), and Sophomore Studio (ARTDES 220) courses have prepared me for the amount of technical skill and familiarity with materials required for the final construction of the structure. The course gives me a platform to manifest creative processes through practical fabrication skills.
The arts related writing completed during a History of Art minor (HISTART 210, 211, 244, 272), two study abroad programs, social science courses (AMCULT 231, HISTORY 374), and Writing in Art & Design (ARTDES 399) has given me the ability to write an analysis/review of the completed boat and fabrication process. Effectively writing about my own work allows me a better understanding of my personal narrative (the driving force of an individual's creative practice).
Penny Stamps offers artists the ability to develop in the academically excellent setting of the University of Michigan. Along with a long list of reasons, this was one of the most appealing aspects of Stamps when I enrolled four years ago. As I prepare for graduation, I want to tie together the various aspects of my educational experience into a single course. Having the opportunity to synthesize the aforementioned courses, skills, and knowledge into one multi-faceted project offers a realistic experience of professional practice after graduation.