Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Women at Moore College of Art & Design MFA program

Founded in 1848 by Sarah Worthington Peter as the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, Moore was the first women's art school in the United States. In 2011, I graduated from Moore with my MFA in Studio Arts. There were many professors who inspired me while I was there - Paul Hubbard, Moe Brooker, James Rosenthal to name a few. 

However, in celebration of Women's History Month, I am writing about the women who were a huge influence on me while I was at  Moore and to this day, still. This is an opportunity to thank those women. 

Jennie Shanker- for providing instruction and inspiration on how to operate a variety of power tools that make sculpture possible. Jennie took me from this:
to this:
All Trees of Wood Shout for Joy, 2014©Laura Petrovich-Cheney

Jennie Shanker taught me a great deal about woodshop tools and how to solve problems. My favorite problem was the ants. I know exactly what kind of holes carpenter ants can make and will never repeat that mistake again.

My other professor at Moore who influenced me a great deal was Alice Oh.  She generously shared her talents and her  daily practice as a professional artist with us.  Many of lessons that she taught I still use today  - photographing work in progress, keeping a studio journal, how to organize and document your exhibits, constructing  your practice as a daily part of your life.  Alice is one of the most generous people that I meet at Moore!

2009, Alice Oh's studio

Virginia Maksymowicz was my final professor at Moore. She was there to help prepare us for our thesis exhibit. She have me the courage to go big when I had many doubts about my work. 

Virginia's uncompromising passion for feminism and women in the arts pushed me to a new professional standard. Virginia made me think about a great deal about gender roles and assignments in the art world. She made realize gender assignments are merely a societal construct, not based on any inherent value. 

Finally, a special thank to Dean Dona Lantz. She is an amazingly patient woman who taught me how to speak my mind. 

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