Four Hamilton College Studio Art majors had the opportunity to work side-by-side with artist Alyson Shotz for the upcoming exhibition Alyson Shotz: Force of Nature. The process took four days to install the 50-foot volumetric wall drawing White Fold.
Lily Johnston '16
I had the opportunity to meet Alyson Shotz last spring during the planning of the exhibition. She was immediately caring and pleasant to be around. Then, later into the summer, while working in NYC, I asked Alyson if I might be able to visit her studio and help with anything that might need doing for preparation for the installation. Even though there wasn’t much to do, she invited me down to ball yarn and visit her studio space. She takes great care of the individuals working with her, as well as her studio and is very involved in her artwork. During the installation process Alyson was very focused, mindful of the space and the people working with her, and very involved with the process of making her work. In all, working with Alyson was a delight and I feel so honored to have had this opportunity.
Lesley Klose '15
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with Alyson Shotz on her solo exhibition in the Wellin Museum. As a Senior Studio Art Concentrator, this experience has been instrumental in preparing me to create and install my own work for next semester’s senior show. Alyson’s work required careful preparation to design and construct large and intricate site-specific sculptures. We students were able to see this development process and work together to bring the piece to life. Both works required Alyson, her assistant Han, and student helpers to work on small areas of the piece to gradually and cooperatively create a larger whole. Alyson was extremely involved in the details, while also trusting us to work accurately and independently. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire process and cannot wait to see the finished products and her other work at the opening in October.
Caroline Rudd '16
It was an absolute honor to work on the White Fold installation alongside Alyson Shotz this past August—what an incredible and invaluable experience. I had heard back in March that I was recommended to help with the installation, and since that first email my excitement continuously escalated. As an aspiring artist, I felt extremely privileged to not only closely observe Alyson Shotz and her creative process, but to also lend my hand in it. We were working hard all day, but at the same time I found the process to be quite meditative. By the end of each day, I was filled with a wonderful sense of reward and accomplishment. I feel very strongly about the exhibitions at the Wellin museum and the community that the museum fosters, and I am always eager and utterly thrilled to contribute in any way that I can.
Sarah Scalet '15
Working with Alyson Shotz was an invaluable learning experience. As an art major, I was most interested in picking up new techniques and strategies while working on White Fold. I loved Alyson’s use of readily accessible resources. Because nails and string are commonplace materials, it’s even more breathtaking to see them create something beautiful and intricate. I was most impressed by Alyson’s involvement in all parts of the installation process. While working with us to create White Fold, she simultaneously coordinated other parts of the exhibit. It was incredible to watch the gallery space evolve into its final form. The overall experience has encouraged me to always focus on the details!