During the summer of 2019 I worked on the design and installation of a sculptural installation under the supervision of Prof. Michelle Lopez of the Weitzman School of Design. As a team, Prof. Lopez, two graduate students, and myself, helped design and install the piece Ballasts & Barricades for exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art. For a description of the piece itself, “...in this exhibition Lopez brings together a selection of recent sculptures alongside a monumental, site-specific installation that creates a suspended cityscape reduced to rubble.”
I had quite a rich learning experience. I obtained practical skills such as welding, soldering, and metal fabrication. I received direct tutoring when initially learning then given free reign to experiment and learn at my own pace. Besides these practical skills, I learned many soft skills working as a team. In the art industry, frequent collaboration within and outside your network is vital to the process of turning an artistic idea into physical reality. I collaborated with a diverse range of people from demolition crews and manufacturers to other artists and curators. This collaboration was necessary in order to procure various materials and turn them into art.
Besides these collaborations I gained great experience working as a team, and all the complexities that may arise when trying to organize a project. To me the most valuable lesson I learned was the importance of not just communication, but effective communication which enables the transfer of ideas seamlessly. Art itself is such an abstract concept that an incredibly practical skill set is necessary to work with these ideas. My experience with PURM has given me a toolset and breadth of knowledge applicable to any field or endeavor I may pursue, whether or not it be in art industry.