Obstructions project

There’s a doozy of a project they like to give us painters over in the Uarts low-residency MFA program.  Students divide into groups to give each other challenging assignments.  The goals are to practice seeing each others’ work insightfully enough to design assignments which challenge their working habits or preconceptions…just as much as it is to break out of your own artistic rut.

The concept comes from a film titled The Five Obstructions .

This year I’m in just such a group with Halah, Megan, and Jeremy.  We have three weeks to prepare two artworks that incorporate the obstructions bestowed against us.

Jeremy, we’d like to see you try the following things:

1) something very simple (not visually complicated)

2) appropriate someone else’s work and incorporate it with your own

3) make something warm
4) document the changes and process for at least one of these artworks (and show it to us)

Megan, here are the ideas for you:

1) a portrait that doesn’t show the face
2) a portrait in the style of Dana Schutz
3) at least two people interacting in a painting (one of whom you know)

Halah, these are your challenges:

1) show your children without showing them
2) include yourself
3) show time
4) use more than one image in an artwork (collage, diptych, stop-motion animation, etc.)


1. Incorporate your own personal experience with your religious beliefs.  You do not need to talk about that personal experience or belief when speaking about the piece.
2. Make a contemporary reference in a past world/time.

[They worded mine vaguely because they know I tend to overanalyze everything.  This way…my own habit will cause me to challenge myself.  Well played.]

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