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Art Department


Art Students Interview Art Students

Art Students Interview Art Students

: "Relay Series": Lauren Armstrong interviews Arthur Pennock. Screencap of video by Alistair McMeekin. Photo by Alistair McMeekin.

Art Students Interview Art Students

: "Relay Series": Sam Whalen interviews JD Banke. Screencap of video by Alistair McMeekin. Photo by Alistair McMeekin.

Art Students Interview Art Students

: "Relay Series": JD Banke's "big-ass cupids." Screencap of video by Alistair McMeekin. Photo by Alistair McMeekin.

Art Students Interview Art Students

: "Relay Series": JD Banke interviews Lauren Armstrong. Screencap of video by Alistair McMeekin. Photo by Alistair McMeekin.

Art Students Interview Art Students

: "Relay Series": Arthur Pennock at work. Screencap of video by Alistair McMeekin. Photo by Alistair McMeekin.

Art Students Interview Art Students

: "Relay Series": Arthur Pennock interviews Caitlin Brookins. Screencap of video by Alistair McMeekin. Photo by Alistair McMeekin.

Art Students Interview Art Students

: "Relay Series": Caitlin Brookins at work. Screencap of video by Alistair McMeekin. Photo by Alistair McMeekin.

Art Students Interview Art Students

: "Relay Series": Caitlin Brookins interviews Jade Highleyman. Screencap of video by Alistair McMeekin. Photo by Alistair McMeekin.

Art Students Interview Art Students

: "Relay Series": Jade Highleyman with nail sculpture. Screencap of video by Alistair McMeekin. Photo by Alistair McMeekin.

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Tag, you’re it: plans, triumphs, worries and work on display in art students’ serial interviews, The Relay Series.

The subject of one interview becomes the interviewer in the next: it’s an Art Department chain of being. The Relay Series is currently found on the department’s page on the Cornish website, a growing set of videos that offer a window into the working lives of art students at the college. In the videos, everyone can get a good look at the kind of person who studies art at Cornish. They talk about their work, fret a bit about their future, shape their plans, and share some successes. It’s hard not to respond to their intelligence and good humor. It’s hard not to respond to their work.

    Sam Whalen: What would you say influences your work the most?
    JD Banke: I would say — angst … is a lot of it.

The Relay Series is about to expand, but right now the count stands at five: Sam Whalen (AR ‘13) interviewing JD Banke (AR ‘13), JD Banke interviewing Lauren Armstrong (AR ‘13), Lauren Armstrong interviewing Arthur Pennock (AR ‘14), Arthur Pennock interviewing Caitlin Brookins (AR ‘14), and Caitlin Brookins interviewing Jade Highleyman (AR ‘15).

    Arthur Pennock: “I want to have a pizzeria-slash-artists’ space.”
    Lauren Armstrong: “That is cool, actually.”

Alistair McMeekin, the computer support coordinator for Cornish’s Art Department, was talking some time ago with the department chair, Christy Johnson about what kind of information was available about the department. “The idea came out of our talks,” says McMeekin. “She said there was not a lot of video showing students working and the kind of environments they’re working in.”  Along with his other responsibilities, McMeekin is a videographer; he took on the job of taping and editing the pieces.

    Arthur Pennock: “Now that you’re not in painting, are you still, like, interested in that?
    Or are you working with that in your prints? Or in your photography practice?
    Or have you abandoned painting?”
    Caitlin Brookins: “I haven’t. I actually do those more as commissions outside of school.”

Once the two decided to move forward with the project, McMeekin took on the responsibility of getting the thing moving. Only the first bit was difficult, since there would be no first piece to relay from. The linchpin was his engaging then-senior, now-graduate Samantha Whalen. “I somewhat arbitrarily chose Sam to be the first interview,” says McMeekin. Sam Whalen graduated last year and is still involved at Cornish. “I knew she was comfortable speaking about art, and that she knew most of the other students as she worked in the art office.” Whalen chose JD Banke, now a fellow alumnus, and so the seriers began. After Alistair McMeekin’s initial choice of Sam Whalen, he stepped out of the equation; subsequent interviews have been and will be chosen by students.

    Jade Highleyman: “My job as an artist is to continually create regardless of who’s buying or
    who’s looking, or whatever. I just want to do art for art’s sake.”

“I’m very pleased the way it has turned out,” says McMeekin. “I really like how they’ve engaged each other and each other’s work. I’m constantly interested in how they view one another other across classes, across disciplines and across year groups.” There are two more videos in the pipeline, still in production. McMeekin says there are no release dates, but they should be out soon.   


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