In May, I was the speaker at a local collegeís graduation ceremonies.
As I prepared my remarks, I thought of the dedication of the students and the pride that they and their parents must feel in their accomplishments. At the same time, I couldnít help but think of the many other commencement ceremonies happening around the country, and especially those at art schools.
Choosing art as a career, even in the best of economic times, is difficult. Todayís economic uncertainties emphasize the strength of character, talent, and courage demonstrated by our youngest sculptors. Certainly that courage will be challenged again and again as they leave school.
One of the wonderful things about the sculpture community is the support that we show for one another. International Sculpture Center members can be proud of the support that we provide to educators, and specifically to young sculptors. The Outstanding Student Achieve?ment in Contemporary Sculpture Awards program has made a considerable impact on the community that we serve. Support from the Johnson Art and Education Foundation allows us to provide emerging artists with a platform from which to launch their careers and attract an international audience.
In addition, our Student Awards Traveling Exhibition attracts national and international participation and interest in the winning student work at locations across the United States. As we move into the 18th year of the Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculp?ture Awards, the 2011 exhibition is enjoying success at Grounds For Sculpture. We are looking forward to increased visibility for the students as the show travels to Chicago to coincide with the ISCís 23rd Inter?national Sculpture Conference.
In addition to sponsoring this important program recognizing young talent, we also reduce or eliminate the cost of student admission to ISC conferences and events. This allows students to network with professional sculptors, administrators, and patrons and to participate in ongoing discussions about trends in contemporary sculptural practice and education.
The ISC takes career development seriously. Executive Director Johannah Hutchison and other members of the ISC staff often speak at colleges and universities, providing information about our organization and how its publications and programs can help students as they launch their art careers.
To all of our art graduates, especially those focusing on sculpture, congratulations on your success. Continue to be brave as you pursue your love of sculpture. You are an inspiration to all of us.