Monday, December 4, 2023
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Outside Your Control

“Take a lyre player: he’s relaxed when he performs alone, but put him in front of an audience, and it’s a different story, no matter how beautiful his voice or how well he plays the instrument. Why? Because he not only wants to perform well, he wants to be well received — and the latter lies outside his control.” -Epictetus

We are, in a way, only that which others perceive us to be. We strive to own our space, to be all of what we are capable of being, and in the end are we really dictated by our own perception of ourselves or by that of others? Perhaps the answer is both. We can decide who we present to the world but we can never predict or choose what the world sees of us. In this is a lesson to internalize should we choose to be so brave. That we will perhaps never know our true selves and can only strive to be the very best of us that we know how.

Kevin Robinson is currently working on multiple projects. He recently graduated from Mills College Masters Program. His thesis involved his system of writing music and allowed him to collaborate with some incredible mentors.

Robinson is very interested in labyrinths and mazes. A large piece of his last two years have been focused on this. He relates to his early days in music and how this connected to his emotional and spiritual life.

It was in third grade when Robinson began to play music and at the time he wasn’t too interested. He didn’t understand how he fit into the larger part of music and wanted more meaning than could be gained at that age. He needed an outlet.

Eventually, Robinson found the outlet he needed and has built a career around this. To hear more about this and his life as a performer, listen to the complete interview.

Brian Alfred is an artist living and working in Pensylvaina. He teaches at Penn State and also has a studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC. When he isn’t involved in class, he spends his time in the studio in Brooklyn.

At the moment he is working on an upcoming show for September. This new body of work is comprised of new paintings as well as new animation. At the same time Alfred is working on several group shows. He has reached a point in his career where he always has quite a lot going on at once and sometimes needs to edit down what he is working on at once.

Recently, Alfred has created a few public works which he says always draw a different response than his studio work. These public pieces were on a very large scale and were created for Rag and Bone.

To hear more about Brian Alfred’s take on public murals, social media and more, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Embrace who you are but never forget that you are not in control of who you are seen to be by those around you.

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Kevin Robinson has recently been reading the autobiography of Herbie Hancock, Possibilities. Brian Alfred has been reading scores and scores of graphic novels in his role as judge for the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize.

Opportunities / Open Calls

Tides Institute and Museum of Art (TIMA) invites artists to apply for their StudioWorks Artist-in-Residency program. Located in beautiful, coastal Eastport, Maine – a small fishing village situated in Washington County overlooking the New Brunswick, Canada border – this residency is open to any artists who will not be enrolled in an undergraduate or masters program during the time of residency. In their own words, “A StudioWorks residency provides an artist with a unique experience to play an active role in our creative community through socially engaged projects, educational outreach or public programming.” For full details and to apply, visit the website. Deadline is February 1.


Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.

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