Last month I went back to my high school in Kentucky to give a presentation about my work and do studio visits. I had so much fun sharing my process and getting to know the current students and faculty!
During my lecture, I talked about my work and process, including how I really do use math to build stuff (Hello, SOH-CAH-TOA!). I also shared what it was like to tell Dr. Mom and Dr. Dad that I didn’t want to finish the 8-year medical program at Brown—that instead of becoming a surgeon who straightened spines and un-paralyzed people, I wanted to move to NYC to become an artist… even though I had no idea what that really meant. I talked about always feeling like “a square peg trying to fit into a round hole” and how art helped me find my place in the world. I also discussed my (ongoing) journey to define my voice as an artist through curiosity, experimentation, and absolute stubborn refusal to quit.
I was a senior exactly 20 YEARS AGO (you can catch a glimpse of my class yearbook photo in one of the projections!) and it’s crazy how different life is now. In fact, the only one of my teachers who is still there was surprised to hear that I would be lecturing about art because in high school I was all about math, science, and becoming a spine surgeon.
To be perfectly honest, I was a little freaked out about going back there—high school was a really rough time in my life because I never felt like I fit in anywhere. But going back as an alum and guest speaker was a surprisingly cathartic experience. I had an amazing time, and it was fantastic to see how much the school has expanded its curriculum and facilities. (The new auditorium alone is breathtaking… especially compared to the cafeteria we used to do musicals in!) I’m super excited to see what this next generation of KCD grads brings into the world!
videos and photos by (my brother!) Rawny Media