(GB) How Not To Make Art: Part II

(My dear good-natured friend Laura Jennings is an MFA student at North Texas. She's just about to finish her three year program in studio art and other arty things. Recently she sent out one of her irregular updates to friends and family. I asked if I could post it publicly and she kindly said yes. I love her missives because they're embarrassingly honest. She says things that I think but would never voice for fear of appearing stupid (i.e. "the un-smart, un-cool artist"). She's a brave gal. I tell her often that if she doesn't make it as a famous artist, she should try to become a famously unintentional humor columnist. GB = Guest Blogger.)
Dear Friends and Family-

Greetings from Denton. Some of you might recall volume I of “How to Not Make Art and More” from my first year at good ‘ol UNT. It often requires some special circumstances such as abscessed teeth and infected toes, but I imagine you have some good material of your own to work with.
So for maximum zero results, follow the instructions below and e-mail me three months later with your results.
1. It is always helpful to have a crisis before the semester even starts – for example, your car completely falling apart to the point of no recovery and throw in your Mom’s car incinerating.

2. Get your teaching schedule re-arranged four days before beginning to teach. Of course, this will only work if you switch out a TA job for a TF job, like beginning painting, where you are solely responsible for its content (I’ve always wanted to say that)—syllabus, schedule, projects, grading criteria, etc.

3. Be awakened in the middle of the night, like around 3 am, to hear your dear, precious cat screaming and screeching at the guest’s cat, which was kept two doors away from the precious. Was. In your cold stupor dash into the dark bathroom, react on pure emotion, and just surrender your bare hands and wrists to the demonic guest cat while pushing it out of the bathroom.

When sweet Jennifer Seal asks if you are OK say yes because it is dark, you are stunned and a bit PO-ed, and you are not aware that your wrist has just been reformed into several spouts for you exiting blood.

Turn on the lights, and upon lightening-quick analysis, recant your claim. Notice that you are now sweating and dizzy and that stopping the spouts would indeed be challenged by sudden vomiting. Lie down with arms in air and most spickets covered. Realize that the perpetrator is still at large. Instruct with your handy teacher voice for a search committee to form to locate the demon and the precious.

Precious is in the bathtub breathing fire and poisonous gasses you learn.

Several small Asian girls run about the house looking for demon cat, a.k.a. Kitty-O. (Now I understand the “O” part.) Be sure to not get a doctor’s appointment until the next day around 4:00 so that there has been plenty of time for the post holes/former spouts to become infected and throb to what you are sure is a rap beat.

4. Now, it’s important to throw in some truly positive detractors – so as to not catch on to the diabolical plan. For example, miraculously have two shows in Dallas…that open on the same night.

This one is brilliant, because not only are you not working but you are getting really tired. Deliver the work, on two different days, of course. This may seem a little too simple for you but—aha!—remember you have no car and you develop a shocking case of vertigo upon entering the city limits of Big D (D for disaster). One show at the MAC necessitates a panel discussion on Wednesday. Drive for 1.5 hours to get there. Say four sentences. Drive back.

5. Enter the famous Voertman’s Student Show – you know, the one open to grads and undergrads that you haven’t gotten into the past two years. Enter two paintings and a video.

A video? Yeah, c’mon, don’t let the fact that you are doing good to just play a DVD stop you, because hey, you got a brilliant idea (you do). Ask a friend to join forces with you – the electronic guru that knows all. Of course you actually get accepted into the show this year because everyone is secretly involved in the plan to keep you from making art – I mean, art specifically related to your alleged MFA show.

OK. You’re in—all three. Spend Friday night and part of a Saturday filming the students and the work that are not accepted into the famous Voertman Show. (Get it???) Sunday night meet up with a friend because she knows iMovie. No worky. Freak out just a little bit because the freakin’ video is due to the gallery Monday. HA.

Spend all of Monday extinguishing your immune system while locating some helpful sole that will help you for providential reasons alone. Turn in the DVD that by the way has practically no sound from the interviewees, but has your voice booming like an air horn…throughout the gallery…ALL DAY long.

6. Join e-harmony for a hobby.

7. Start 10 two hour sessions of Rolfing so as to walk like a homo sapien.
That should do for now.
Other than that I am fine. I’ll probably be in rehab or 2 or 3 twelve-step programs after this experience, but at least I know what to say when people ask me what my plans are after graduation.


Save the date of SATURDAY APRIL 28

to make a joyful trip to the ever so near Fort Worth Community Arts Center for my MFA Show 7-9 pm, secretly entitled, “Laura Lived to Tell.”

Make it a fun filled weekend for the whole family. The Center is conveniently located in the Arts district where the Kimball and Modern are located – venues every self-respecting Texan should frequently visit, especially at the end of April.Please overwhelm me with an RSVP so I can plan some fantastic food and beverages for











(For other cool LJ work, click on hyperlink of her name in my first sentence.)


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