February 1, 2011There was a strong student and alumni turnout for the second annual alumni artists' studio tour, which took place on January 9, in New York City. The tour was initiated by the AAP advisory council's career committee led by Jill Lerner (B.Arch. '75) and organized by Mark Gibian (B.F.A. '77).
The tour included visits to the studios of Maria Calandra (M.F.A. '06), Erik den Breejen (M.F.A '06), Peter Gerakaris (B.F.A. '03), Gibian, and Jill Magid (B.F.A. '95). Artists showed their current work, reflected on their Cornell experiences, and offered insight about their career paths, both academically and professionally.
"It's a win-win opportunity to get this group together annually to see Cornell artists' studios," says Gibian. "It's beneficial on many levels: uniting alumni and aligning them more closely with Cornell, and providing students with a network and an idea of how to proceed once they graduate. All this in addition to the pleasure of meeting and visiting interesting artists and seeing their work in the studio environment."
Calandra was happy to connect with current students and alumni. "The students' questions were very to the point, and I also really enjoyed sharing the work with Cornell alumni," she says. "It's a great thing to be part of a group that has been so fruitful since graduating."
"Close friends that I made at Cornell in the art, music, and various social scenes formed a 'support group' that contributed significantly to my survival as a young artist in NYC," says Gerakaris. "It has been rewarding to share some of these experiences with new students — from the survival stories of crashing on warehouse floors to fortuitous encounters with influential art collectors. Although a life in the arts is no walk in the park, it can be incredibly exciting and addictive: for better or worse, it's the kind of thing that chooses you, not the other way around."
Feedback from the students was also positive. "Going on this studio tour and seeing a community of artists was a truly inspiring and important part of my education," says Roxanne Yamins (B.F.A. '11).