Course taught at Stanford University.
In this course, student-artists spend time investigating their artistic practice as a framework for promoting power, wellness, and creativity; and as a tangible means for navigating the first steps of their artistic careers.
We spend time critically examining the philosophies and works of Black artists including James Baldwin, Octavia Butler, RZA (Wu-Tang Clan) and Nayyirah Waheed, in order to explore new visions for the artist as activist, as futurist and as spiritual healer.
We then use a mixture of these ideas and our own—along with meditation and mindfulness experiences—to begin conjuring and manifesting intimate relationships with our art practice and ourselves. Student-artists will develop creative confidence, formulate game plans for success, and begin to find balance between the uncertainty and ultimate freedom that life as an artist can bring.
Student evaluations reflect their commitment to and participation in the course including but not limited to: class preparation, completing assignments, which may include a) written, reflective work, b) providing constructive feedback on others’ work, c) building and expanding one’s artistic journey perhaps by sustaining one particular practice throughout the quarter, such as a strictly vegan diet, daily yoga, daily meditation, jumping rope, journaling.
Commitment project: Commitment is the first step towards manifestation. Artists will be asked to commit to doing one thing everyday for the duration of the course (70 days). This can be adopting a vegan diet, yoga everyday for 30 minutes, writing creatively every day, or daily meditation. Participants are asked to keep a consistent record of their process; from which, students prepare (3) statements of experience to be performed or presented to the class in-person and / or virtually to the greater online community.
Course Texts (provided):
James Baldwin Essay “4am”
Art on My Mind: Visual Politics by bell hooks (1995)
Nayyirah Waheed. Salt. (2013)
Week 2: Character
Week 3: Integrity
Week 4: Divinity
Week 5: Grace
Week 6: Power of Sacrifice
Week 7: Integration
Week 8: Intuition
Week 9: Stillness
Week 10: Commitment Revisited