Art practice inside out – entwining the art studies with the art public

“ I think of my studio as a vegetable garden, where things follow their natural course. They grow, they ripen. You have to graft. You have to water.” – Joan Miró

This quote by the Spanish artist Joan Miró provides a quite interesting image of the artist’s connection to the studio. For most artists the studio is a special place, a safe space where the imagination flows and ideas take form. This is where the major part of the work is done. But at some point, those creations from inside the studio has to be brought out – in the open, in public.

At Metàfora we place a great importance on individual studio practice and on creating a comfortable and friendly environment for the students to experiment and evolve their artistic path. But in addition to this, our Training Program likewise focuses on the importance of connecting the art studies with practical experience in presenting works to the public – and this is exactly what the students spend their time with during the last part of the first semester!

Take one: LOOP Barcelona

As in previous years, Metàfora once again took part in LOOP Barcelona – an extraordinary event for any enthusiast of art and the moving image. The expansive program encompassed everything from exhibitions and talks to installations and workshops, and both Metàfora staff and students participated in several events.

One of our in-house tutors, Adrian Melis, was represented at the main LOOP Fair by his gallery, ADN Galería , with the work Engagement Rate Formula, and two advanced level students, Karen Torres and Charlotte Nordgren-Sewell, presented their video-works, Erika I and Melting Gold within the LOOP City Screen program. Besides an exhibition and a screening, the evening also included a debate where curious visitors could ask questions and involve in an inspiring talk with the artists around the many aspects of each of their artworks.

Showing works to fellow art students is one thing, presenting it to the public is another, and events like this are some of the best practices in engaging in the local art scene and tell about your work to people who are not already familiar with the discourse and aesthetics of your art production.

It’s a wrap: Closing the semester with Open Studios

Another event aiming to connect the art students with the public is Metàfora´s biannual Open Studios – this time coinciding with the end of the semester and wrapping up months of fun, inspiration and hard work. The Open Studios event provides an important learning experience on several levels. Not only are the students exposed to explain their works to visitors, they also learn to reflect upon some of the more curatorial aspects of the artistic practice.

As an artist, it goes without saying that you first and foremost think about the artwork in itself, but an unfortunate mounting or an unfitting selection of pieces shown together can bring down the work and distort its content. Participating in the Open Studios the students both have to consider which works they want to show, explore the idea of their own studio as a temporary space for exhibiting, as well as finding the best way to present their art within a specific place at the school, given by the curatorial team.

Taking into account that it is not so often that an artist have the chance to choose exactly where in a gallery or artspace that his or her work should be placed, it is good to learn to be flexible with your set up so you can adjust to the given circumstances of an exhibition layout, and to know your works well, so you can make the best selection if the possibility of showing several works at once comes your way!