From Analyzing to Creating: Student Discovers New Pathways in the Studio Art Program
Photo Credit: Simon Goodacre
After earning an undergraduate degree in Art History, Scott Lerner decided to pursue the post-baccalaureate program in Studio Art at Brandeis because he realized that he was more interested in “making art rather than talking about someone else’s art.” The program fit his objective perfectly because it is designed to “help students who studied something other than studio art in college pursue art making at a high academic level.”
“I enjoy the act of making art–trying new materials, mixing paint, carving wood, etc.,” says Lerner. “The most exciting part of art for me is the way that it can be used as a lens through which to study any range of subjects. All cultures have produced art, and that art offers material examples of their beliefs on the issues of politics, religion, love, everything really. Studying art means learning about subjects like philosophy, politics and even geology.”
Lerner has taken advantage of several of the program’s resources, such as funded field trips to Boston and New York, the visiting artists series, and access to exhibitions and programming at Brandeis’s Rose Art Museum. The visiting artists series have enabled Lerner to receive feedback on his work from professionals in the field, and he has been able to keep in touch with these artists. “The visiting artist series has helped make the art world a smaller place,” says Lerner. “When I visit galleries in New York City or read art publications, I see a lot of familiar faces.” Through the program, Lerner has met renowned artists such as Michael Rakowitz and Amy Silman.
The Rose Art Museum, located on the Brandeis campus, has also been a useful resource for Lerner. Through the museum, he has met with famed artists such as Howardina Pindell. Each semester, post-baccalaureate students also get to give artists talks in the museum, an opportunity that Lerner describes as “a great opportunity to practice talking about your own work and how it fits into the history of art.”
Lerner is also a “Maker-in Residence” at the Brandeis library’s MakerLab, where he has taken advantage of their 3D printing and scanning technology. The lab is part of the library’s Research Technology and Innovation department that aims to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the Brandeis Community. At the MakerLab, Lerner has enjoyed support and mentorship from the lab’s faculty and staff. Currently, Lerner is working on his final exhibition project, which includes a series of pieces that he describes as “contemporary artifacts” that combine “the design and material choices of ancient art with futuristic materials and subjects.” In other words, “think ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets meet Star Trek control panels.”
Eventually, Lerner hopes to pursue a Masters in Fine Arts program—the terminal degree for an artist. He would also like to work on “educational programs at museums and work for art related non-profits.” For students considering pursuing studio art, Lerner advises “Almost everyone is more of an artist than they think! You often just need to find out what type of art excites you most for it to become a lifelong passion.”