This has been a very profound week for me as Pam and I closed up the yellow lake house and ended our relationship with Interlochen Center for the Arts. Commencement weekend was so great for us and it was really awesome to spend time with people that mean so much to us. It was also a nice way to bring things to a close as we look forward to the next steps in our lives.
It is not easy to sum up my time at Interlochen but I will try to do my experiences justice. I have had a great experience here with the Academy and with the Camp and am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with so many dedicated and enthusiastic artists.
First I would like to give a nod to fellow division directors David Montee and Mark Borchelt… two extremely dedicated artists who were committed to the integrity of their art and who worked daily top bring that integrity to their students. These guys were both great role models for me and I am so thankful that I had to chance to meet them and work with them.
There were so many great people who worked at Interlochen that I doubt I can acknowledge them all. People like Tim Wade (my first boss) who was so supportive and so respectful. I have so much respect for Tim and look to him as a role model. Tim always treated me fairly and was willing to engage in a dialogue no matter how much we disagreed on a particular subject. Jennifer Wesling taught me a lot about how to deal with people in the way she worked with students. She was a great listener, was always empathetic and fair, and I learned so much from her. My friend, Doug Long, has always been so supportive and encouraging and is the essence of what Interlochen is about. Amazing people like Beth Stoner, Scott Morey, Sandra Besselson, and so many others….it has been so great to work with all of y, I can’t express my gratitude.
I have also had a great time designing and building the Herbert H. and Barbara C. Dow Center for Visual Arts. It was great fun to work with Ueli Binkert and John Dancer on this project and I am so thankful to both of them (and the team from Cornerstone Architects) for indulging me in the needs of the visual arts program and lasting impact on the visual arts at Interlochen for a long time to come. What an amazing process to go through.
I can’t continue without making mention of my faculty. People like John McKaig, Patty Smith, Amy Long, Arnie Carlson, Ann Cole, Pam Ayres, Julie Mecoli, Hartmut Austen, Jen Teeter, Rich Barlow, Kurt Eslick, Elijah Van Benschoten, Yoko Nagami were all so incredible in terms of their dedication, caring, commitment, and professionalism. These guys all believed in me and worked so hard for me that I can never pay them back. Thank you so much!
My four years at Interlochen taught me that it is people that make the difference. We have had so many talented students and it has been such a great creative environment but it is the teachers who make the difference. In this sense, I will miss interlochen incredibly. What an amazing environment to teach and work with these young artists. All of the students–summer and academy–are so awesome…it is the students I will miss the most!
So, I’m taking my stache and I’m going home. Where home is, I’m not quite sure but I am excited about the prospects of being an artist again and exploring the possibilities of living in freedom. The next few months will be exciting and filled with anxiety but I am committed to making this separation work in my favor and creating a new body of work. Keep in touch!