Every year, the seniors of the Illustration Department take part in an exciting project called Chalk FIT. Students, based off of a selected theme, create a mural on an assigned school panel. The result? A huge display of different artistic voices from a variety of students.
This year, the theme chosen by the professors of the department was “Dreamers.” Daniel Shefelman, a professor at FIT’s illustration department is one of the leaders of the project. Professor Shefelman’s idea for the project was to show the public outside what goes on inside FIT; he wanted the illustration students to see and understand the impact of creating their work. Creating art is like creating magic, and not very often do students have the opportunity to see what people think of their work outside from their peers- until now.
The professors involved in the project helped students choose their preferred designs to add vibrant color and life to FIT’s exterior. They brought in Victor Saint-Hilaire and Angel Garcia, two alumni of the FIT Illustration Department who specialize in murals, to help students work on their design, as well as explain the process of painting a mural.
Every year, International Print Center New York (IPCNY) hosts the three-day event Printfest. This is a time when MFA and BFA seniors from 17 schools around the area can showcase their work to a broad audience, and even sell them. You better believe that FIT is one of the included schools in this. During the event, IPCNY makes sure to offer fun printmaking workshops and even hosts panel discussions.
You might have noticed that FIT’s gray concrete walls have been covered in colorful art pieces recently. This is thanks to FIT’s annual event, Chalk FIT, where Illustration majors are assigned a theme and take to FIT itself for their canvas. Chalk FIT is currently in its fourth year, thanks to its creator Dan Shefelman, a professor here at FIT. (photo courtesy: @danshefelman)
This years theme was “Dreaming” in regards to the social and political discussion about illegal immigrant children brought to the US known as “Dreamers”.
(photo courtesy: @bulletproof_picasso_)
The art spans across 27th to 28th street on 7th Avenue and will be up on FIT’s walls till the springtime, available for students and pedestrians to see. Take advantage of this time to take some stellar photos with some amazing backdrops! And make sure to use the hashtag #ChalkFIT when you post to social media.
Always looking out for new finds in the city (for free), I came across a list of volunteer spots I’ve never heard of before, which spiked my curiosity. For the past three years I’ve volunteered at a number of organizations from Food Kitchens to various social events. However I’ve never really heard or seen around FIT (or city) organizations revolving around art. If you are an art lover and want to help an Arts Organization below is a long list of various non-profit organizations in the city. I’ve never realized how many there were until now, they range from books, music, painting etc. I’ve linked all the websites so you can go on them and contact the organizations for more information or volunteer work.
I really wanted to share my experience working at the HBC Global Art Collection I went to on Tuesday. Out of the blue a girl I met through connections, texted me and asked me if I would be interested in helping at the gala event. Obviously they were going to pay, well they were paying really well $60/h, so I couldn’t really refuse. I once again want to stress how important it is to start networking, and start building up your contact list. You don’t know how many times, I got to incredible opportunities, through random people.
The event was at Saks Fifth Avenue downtown in HBC brand new headquarters. I was never there, but the building was brand new and looked incredible, you should definitely check it out! Anyways they bring me up to the art exposition, and tell me that I’m going to be the art specialist, which basically means that if anyone has questions about the art they ask me. Obviously they thought I knew stuff about the art exposed there, but it was the first time I’ve ever seen it. Just to give you a visual the Guggenheim has 50’000 square feet of hanging space, and they had 500’000! My friend told me not to worry, that she was going to give me a tour of the art exhibition and there shouldn’t be a lot of people asking questions. While she’s giving me the tour, the two art curators come and join us and start explaining to me details about each photos. It was great I felt like I had a general idea of what each painting entailed. The cocktail party started at 6 and finished at 9. Everything went really well, a few people asked me questions, but were so kind to me and always told me I was doing a great job, which help boost my confidence a little.
Anyways moral of the story is that don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, it can be scary at first, but it pays at the end, because you feel like you’ve accomplished something. For me this was the most terrifying thing that could of ever happen to me, but I made the best out of it, I showed my passion and interest for art and looking back I’m so glad I went. Not only that, the art curators for HBC were so impressed that they want to keep in touch with me, for future opportunities.