Woo hoo! I finally finished installed "On the last day of college," an installation in three residence hall buildings featuring first year students from UMass Dartmouth pretending that they're on their last day of college. Here is the text included with the installation:
When I joined the UMass Dartmouth community as an Artist in Residence (AIR) working with the First Year Experience Program and the College of Visual and Performing Art in the fall of 2017, I had a lot of flashbacks to my first year of college back in 2008. During fall semester of that year, I enrolled in: Introduction to Environmental Studies, Tropical Ecology, Introduction to Anthropology: Heritage Studies, Animal Thinking, and Introduction to Sociology: Social Problems. As you might imagine after seeing this list, I felt completely lost with no idea what I wanted to major in, and I often wondered if I would make it to graduation. Luckily, I found an excellent advisor who supported my broad range of inquiry and helped me organize myself into earning a BA in Anthropology with a concentration in Public Archaeology. That advisor also helped me imagine a future where I was successful and working in a job that made me happy.
This portrait series is in homage to the unknown, to perseverance, to the imaginary space we hold to see our future selves succeeding. I think of this installation as a place for students to see themselves as residents in their new home—their picture on the wall of the space where they’re newly living. The production of this project also gave me an opportunity to meet first year students face to face during the first week of classes. During that first week, I invited people to pose for a photo as if it were their very last day of college, and here are the results—a wide-ranging set of emotions and feelings expressed through movement, gratitude, pride, relief, and excitement. Treasure the time you have during school to explore and experience as many things as you can, and never forget to imagine yourself, alongside your peers at the end of this journey. Good luck!
This installation was created by AIR Roz Crews as part of the Center for Undisciplined Research with support from UMass Dartmouth Housing and Residence Education. Special thanks to Michelle Black, Eric Petersen, Jake Hogg, and Amber Whitton. If you have any questions, please contact Roz at firstname.lastname@example.org.